Speedway Digest Staff
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Seth Barbour will fill in atop the No. 6 Cargill pit box for Roush Fenway and Trevor Bayne in tonight’s 300-mile Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Barbour, who normally serves as the No. 6 team’s head engineer, was slated to crew chief the No. 16 Roush Fenway NNS entry with rookie Chris Buescher in tonight’s race.
No. 6 team crew chief Mike Kelley left the track earlier in the day after not feeling well and is being treated at a local area hospital with flu-like symptoms.
Former Sprint Cup championship crew chief and current Roush Fenway vice president of competition Robbie Reiser will now serve as crew chief for Buescher and the No. 16 team in tonight’s race.
Barbour guided Buescher to a career-high seventh-place finish in his crew chief debut last month at Bristol.
Roush Fenway team co-owner Jack Roush was honored by Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Thursday night, with Roush entering as the 15thinductee into the speedway’s celebrated Hall of Fame.
Roush’s teams swept the inaugural NASCAR race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 and have gone on to win 18 times at TMS, while leading more than 3,400 laps and driving to 125 top-10 finishes. A total of seven drivers have won at Texas in Roush’s Fords.
Roush was inducted via a formal ceremony at the Speedway Club Grand Ballroom on Thursday night. Former Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin presented him at the ceremony. Martin posted RFR’s first win at Texas in 1997 and is a fellow member of the TMS Hall of Fame.
Roush received a standing ovation from the crowd of 200 plus after giving a rousing historical perspective of his team’s trials, tribulations and success. The legendary owner closed the night by expressing his gratitude to all of those who have contributed to the team’s successes over the past 26 seasons.
“For the contribution of your time, energy, passion and commitment; I humbly salute you and thank you for the small part you have allowed me to play in your many successes which have brought me to this event at the Texas Motor Speedway tonight,” closed Roush.
“Truly, you are the 2013 Texas Motorsports Hall of Famers and I thank each and every one of you for all your support down through the years.
“God Bless Texas and Good Night.”
Kurt Busch gave a passionate speech (Youtube.com/furniturerow racing) during Thursday night's Texas Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Gala.
Driver Jerick Johnson, Godfather Motorsports and the No. 30 KOMA Unwind Chevrolet will make their 2013 season debut Saturday at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, NC, with a 150-lap event sanctioned by the Pro All Stars Series.
Saturday's "Dogwood Blossom 150" marks the return of the PASS South Super Late Models to Southern National for the first time since 2009, and Johnson said he is looking forward to tackling the high-banked, 4/10 mile speed plant. "We had a great test at Hickory Motor Speedway earlier this week and I feel like we're ready to go, said Johnson. "Southern National requires a perfect combination of horsepower and handling, and to win there, you've really got to have your ducks in a row."
Southern National reopened last season after being shuttered for nearly four years, and will host a top field of Super Late Model drivers and teams Saturday, including Kyle Grissom (son of 1993 NASCAR Busch Series champion Steve Grissom), Jay Fogleman, Preston Peltier and Jared Irvan, son of 1991 Daytona 500 winner Ernie Irvan.
"Crew chief Jim Gallison, Jr. and the KOMA Unwind Team have worked their tails off getting ready for this race," said Godfather Motorsports owner, Dave Moody. "I'm as confident heading to Southern National this weekend as I have ever been, and I look forward to seeing the KOMA Unwind colors at the front of the pack."
Action begins today (Friday), with rotating practice for the PASS South Super Late Models, PASS Pro Late Models, Limited Late Models, Chargers, Mini Mod Mayhem and Bandoleros from 1 pm to 6 pm. On Saturday, pit gates open at 10 am, with rotating practice for all divisions from 12:45 to 4:20. Time trial qualifying is set for 4:45 pm, with a special Fan Pit Party at 6:30 pm for fans to meet their favorite drivers and collect autographs. Feature racing begins at 7 pm.
140 BUZZ PR
RAB Racing will host the Airmen from the 28th Bomb Squadron based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, as well as run their insignia on the No. 99 SchoolTipline.com Toyota Camry this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Last fall, these U.S. Airforce servicemen graciously treated RAB Racing team owner Robby Benton and a number of other NASCAR industry members including Landon Cassill and Jim Cassidy to a tour of Dyess Air Force Base. The group spent the day visiting the base and learning about the B-1 Bombers. Appreciative to the servicemen for their hospitality, Benton is reciprocating the favor by inviting them to join RAB Racing at Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 12th, as well as paying tribute to the squadron by running a decal on the Toyota Camry.
"It was an honor to be invited out to the base last fall," said Benton. "All the base personnel we got to meet gave us an in-depth look at what a day in their life looks like. Getting up close to the B-1 was an awesome experience and I hope we can return the excitement of our visit by having them as special guests for tonight's Nationwide Series race. We owe all of our military service men and women a debt of gratitude and I'm proud to have them out to the track as we compete in tonight's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300."
Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway will be televised live Friday, April 12th beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network.
RAB Racing PR
Justin Original Workboots (JOW), a leading workboot manufacturer, joins Landon Cassill and the Circle Sport Racing teamas a primary sponsor for the NRA 500 this Saturday, April 13, under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
The No. 33 Chevrolet will display the nation’s colors with the Justin Workboots paint scheme, a fitting representation of the boot brand’s commitment to donating up to $15,000 to Camp Patriot, a non-profit organization that honors and supports disabled American veterans. Together, JOW and Landon Cassill are calling on the NASCAR community to show their support, too.
Race fans at the track and at home can follow @JustinWorkboots (www.Twitter.com/JustinWorkboots) and ReTweet this message: “Help #SupportOurVets! Every RT of this msg sends 50¢ to @Camp_Patriot (up to $5k). We'll donate more if @landoncassill races well! #NASCAR.”
During Saturday’s race, JOW will donate up to $10,000 to Camp Patriot based on Cassill’s performance. That’s a potential donation of $15,000 to support American heroes who’ve fought for our country and our freedom, in addition to the more than $50,000 JOW has donated to Camp Patriot since 2010.
“We are proud to support Landon Cassill and Circle Sport Racing this weekend,” said Brandon Barker, brand manager, Justin Original Workboots. “Knowing Landon will be racing for a cause and a charity that is near and dear to the heart of our brand is such an honor, made even more special as it will take place in our home state.”
Landon Cassill and Circle Sport Racing are thrilled to be sponsored by Justin Original Workboots, proudly handcrafted in America and known for their incredible quality.
“I’m more than excited,” Cassill said during practice on Thursday afternoon. “This is a solid step forward and I couldn’t be happier to have a company like Justin Original Workboots to step up and support the whole Circle Sport team.”
Landon expects the speeds to be blistering fast around the 1.5-mile speedway and is planning on having a solid race for Justin Original Workboots while continuing his march forward this season with Circle Sport Racing.
Circle Sport PR
Shell and the Common Ground Alliance have teamed up for a fifth consecutive season to raise awareness for 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline. Shell will leverage its sponsorship with Penske Racing around seven races this season in a continued effort to protect America’s underground infrastructure.
As in previous years, the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion will carry the 811 logo during National Safe Digging Month in April. Due to the program’s continued success, new races have been added this year, as Shell-Pennzoil driver Joey Logano will feature a large Call 811 logo on the deck lid of his car during races in Talladega on May 5 and Sonoma on June 23. Logano will also display the 811 logo on the TV panel during races in Phoenix on March 3 and Las Vegas on March 10.
“Since the beginning of our relationship with Shell, we’ve continued to expand our efforts to raise awareness of this great program,” said Roger Penske. “We recognize the importance of calling 811 before starting any digging projects, and are excited to be able to support our sponsor in spreading the word about this crucial initiative to race fans across the country.”
“Many of the fans watching races are also working on digging projects - both small home projects and large-scale construction – so this initiative has been tremendous in terms of reaching this core audience,” said Greg Smith, President, Shell Pipeline Company LP. “CGA routinely sees an increase in calls to 811 whenever we run these programs, so we’re happy to continue this relationship.”
In addition, starting today, the Common Ground Alliance will give race fans the chance for a weekend of a lifetime with the “Spring to Sonoma” sweepstakes. One lucky fan and a guest will win a grand prize trip to wine country in Sonoma, CA, and tickets to that weekend’s race on June 23 to see the Call 811 logo on the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion up close and in person. The dream weekend will also include a special meet and greet with Logano. Fans can enter at www.springtosonoma.com.
Even small projects like planting trees or shrubs require a call to 811. The quick and easy call will connect you with a local One Call Center operator who will record information about your dig location and notify the underground facility operators so they can mark the approximate location of underground utilities and pipelines. Once the lines are marked, you can begin to dig, but always dig with care.
For more information, visitwww.call811.com.
Matter Inc. PR
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stars Racing in Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown to Participate in Fan Q&A Session
Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars will participate in a Q&A session with Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown presented by FedEx ticket holders on Thursday, April 25, prior to the race at Richmond International Raceway. The Q&A is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. in the Amphitheater and is open to all April 25 ticketholders.Fans can tweet their questions ahead of time to @DHFoundation.
Drivers scheduled to participate include:
- · Denny Hamlin (will not race)
- · Tony Stewart
- · Kyle Busch
- · Michael Waltrip
- · Matt Kenseth
This season marks the third year the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown presented by FedEx will run at Richmond International Raceway. The race, which typically features a dozen NASCAR drivers and celebrities battling on the ¾-mile track with some of the best local Late Model Stock Car drivers, will serve as a fundraiser for the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
In 2012, the Denny Hamlin Foundation committed to a 3-year grant totaling $150,000 for the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). Funds from the grant, which are raised through events like this year’s Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway, will help accelerate the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab's ability to bring new therapies to cystic fibrosis patients. In addition, the newly established Denny Hamlin Foundation Summer Scholars program will help train the next generation of CF research scientists.
Growing up, Army Staff Sergeant Fabian Hall could always be found in the kitchen with his grandmother. After learning family recipes and many culinary skills, he will now have the opportunity to put his talents on display this weekend. Hall was surprised Thursday evening outside a Kroger grocery store in Ft. Worth, Texas, by the driver of the famed No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Aric Almirola. Stepping out of his race car at the store, Almirola handed Hall an Eckrich grilling set and asked if he could help grill for the race team and owner, "The King" Richard Petty, during this weekend's race activities.
Almirola and sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, made the surprise visit as part of their partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors. The event was the first of many this summer that Eckrich will host through its Operation Inspiration campaign that supports and honors military veterans and their families.
For Hall, who has served two tours in Iraq, this weekend is a way for Eckrich and Operation Homefront to honor and thank him and his family for all their sacrifice. Hall's service overseas came to a sudden stop when he was diagnosed with cancer. After returning home, Operation Homefront assisted Hall and his two sons by providing them with a place to live at the Operation Homefront Village in San Antonio, Texas. Today, Hall's cancer is in remission and he can now build upon his army career as a cook as a culinary arts student.
Eckrich is now giving Hall, a NASCAR fan, an opportunity to test his grilling skills this weekend as he prepares Eckrich sausage-inspired meals for the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team Friday and Saturday at the Texas Motor Speedway. Prepared with a new grilling set, an authentic Eckrich crew shirt and hat, Hall will help the team prepare a lunch and dinner. Saturday, Hall will also prepare a meal for Richard Petty, who race fans know as "The King." Afterwards, Hall will be treated like a king as he will receive VIP treatment for Saturday night's race.
"I thought the race weekend was starting a little bit early when I saw the No. 43 come racing around the parking lot," commented Hall after his surprise Thursday evening. "I really didn't know what was happening, but then Aric (Almirola) came out of the car and said I could come and cook for the race team this weekend. I just can't believe it. I'm still a bit shocked about everything that is happening, but it's really cool. I can't wait to cook for the race team this weekend."
Almirola, in his second year working with Eckrich and Operation Homefront, knows about the sacrifice of our military servicemen and women and their families. Born on an Air Force base, Almirola has military roots. He is also a new father and understands the importance of family.
"This is really cool to honor our military veterans and their families," said Almirola. "All of our military veterans are heroes, but when you hear a story like Fabian's, who is a single father and who has survived cancer, it makes it even better to give back. We're going to make sure he has a good time with the crew this weekend."
Eckrich will also donate up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.
"As we continue our partnerships with Richard Petty Motorsports and Operation Homefront, it remains important for us to honor our military veterans and their families," said Charles Gitkin, vice president, marketing, innovation and R&D for the John Morrell Food Group. "Fabian and his family have sacrificed immensely, but with the help of Operation Homefront they have been able to overcome great obstacles. We now want to honor Fabian by giving him an experience that hopefully he will never forget."