Speedway Digest Staff
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Going Green...The No. 32 Chevrolet is going green, sporting the colors of AccuDoc Solutions this weekend at Rockingham Speedway. AccuDoc Solutions is based in Morrisville, NC and provides billing-statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians. In addition to paper-based billing statements, ADS enables patients to choose electronic statement delivery and make payments through secure online payment portals. Notable North Carolina based clients include Carolina's Healthcare System, the UNC Healthcare System, Sentara Healthcare, Baptist Health Care Pensacola, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Memorial Healthcare System and WakeMed. To learn more, visit www.AccuDocSolutions.com
This Week's Silverado...Paludo and the No. 32 AccuDoc Solutions. team will utilize chassis TSM-216 this weekend at Rockingham Speedway. TSM-216 was a favorite of the No. 32 team at intermediate tracks last season, making seven starts in 2012. The truck was most recently on track in the fall race at Texas Motor Speedway, where it finished 14th. The chassis has a best finish of eighth, which Paludo earned at the fall event at Kentucky Speedway.
Meet Miguel...Come meet Paludo and the rest of the Turner Scott Motorsports drivers at the NCWTS autograph session on Saturday, April 13th from 10:15-11:00 a.m. EDT. The session will take place by the rock located in front of the main ticket office.
Watch and Listen...The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine can be seen live on Sunday, April 14 on SPEED. Race coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT, and the event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.
Previous Race Recap...Paludo was on his way to a strong finish in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, running in the top 10 for nearly the entire event and occupying the top five for much of the second half of the race, but a wild final restart marred the Brazilian's stellar run, resulting in a 17th-place finish for the No. 32 SEM Products, Inc. Chevrolet.
Miguel Paludo on driving at Rockingham Speedway
"Last year was obviously our first race ever at Rockingham Speedway, so we struggled a bit to zero in on our truck, but our team has made so much progress since then. The chassis we're bringing with us was our 'go-to' truck last season on the intermediate tracks, and we've learned a lot about it and made many improvements to it. Turner Scott Motorsports as a whole was very successful last year in Rockingham, so we feel very prepared going into the race. The No. 32 team has been fantastic this year. I have no doubt we can go to The Rock and win it."
Opening night at Lebanon I-44 Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, with a full slate of racing on tap headlined by a strong field of Pro Late Model challengers eager to contend for a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state title. Also in action that evening will be Modifieds, Sportsman, Road Warriors and Chargers, and Lebanon I-44 Speedway promoter Kevin Greven is expecting tight quarters in the pit area.
"We're just a few spots away from selling out our 2013 reserved pit spots," Greven said. "That's just one of the many indicators that signal an historic season under the NASCAR sanctioning body at Lebanon I-44 Speedway as the only NASCAR track in Missouri. We've also received strong support from our sponsors and the Central Bank VIP Suite Tower is sold out on opening night and 90 percent of our suites are sold for this season. We're expecting increased car counts in all five classes as our drivers are showing a renewed enthusiasm in anticipation of what promises to be a fantastic season."
While the action on track will be heating up with several special events on the 2013 schedule, fans can expect widespread changes outside of the racing that will help enhance their experience.
Concession and suite menus have been updated and expanded, and fans can expect changes and additions to the concession to help speed up the serving process and make it more efficient. Over the winter, construction crews have been working hard to construct a brand new Budweiser Fan Deck on the main concourse midway and Greven's pleased with the results.
"We had an idea of what we thought fans wanted," said Greven, "and the way it turned out, it's going to make the Saturday night racing trip a real experience. The goal is to make this the cleanest, friendliest and most entertaining NASCAR weekly racing facility in the region, and I'm confident that with our experienced staff, exciting racing and tremendous Mid-Missouri fan base, that can become a reality during the 2013 season. We have looked at everything from the sound system to the lighting and our racers have really bought into the program to put the best show possible on the track."
Staff also refurbished restrooms and added display lighting to brighten up the midway area. The track itself also received improved lighting in anticipation of a national TV appearance when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series visits the facility on Sunday, June 9.
I-44 Speedway PR
If Johnny Sauter goes on to win the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' championship, he might look back on Saturday's Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway as a critical turning point.
Sauter became the second driver in the 19-year history of the Truck Series to win the first two events of the season, tying the veteran Mark Martin, who accomplished the feat in 2006 when he ran a partial schedule for owner Jack Roush.
Six weeks earlier, Sauter won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. To win at Martinsville, Sauter overcame a body-damaged No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota truck, debilitating tire wear and a mid-race pit stop that put his truck in the middle of the field and its driver, well, nearly beside himself.
But Sauter recovered his composure and set about getting back to the front, from where he led only the last 17 laps of the day. His performance had his crew chief, Joe Shear Jr., marveling at the growth his driver's showing this season and the results it's enabled them to harvest.
"Our strategy was really to take it easy and race the racetrack instead of everybody else," Shear said, admitting that restarting 19th with 100 laps to go had him concerned. "I got a little nervous about getting back in track position there, but I have to admit Johnny Sauter is growing up with me.
"He's not really known for saving equipment and he saved a lot more (Saturday) than I gave him credit for. I really didn't think our truck was that fast. I thought it was good, but I didn't think it was as fast as it was at the end. But then we had some pretty good lap times there at the end, so I was pretty impressed."
On the final restart, with 17 laps left, Sauter struck after his teammate, No. 13 SealMaster Toyota driver Todd Bodine, was spun by Kevin Harvick going into Turn 3 to bring out the 11th and final caution.
When the green flag flew Sauter drove around the outside of leader and pole-sitter Jeb Burton and raced away to a 1.8-second victory over his teammate, Matt Crafton, who was closing fast at the end in his No. 88 Rip It Energy Fuel / Menards Toyota.
With his second consecutive win and the eighth of his career -- which also marked the third time in its history ThorSport had two trucks finish one-two -- Sauter now has a 12-point lead in the championship over Burton, with 20 races remaining. On a great day for ThorSport, Crafton now sits third in the points and Bodine is seventh --- the first time in its history ThorSport has three trucks in the top-10.
Sauter earned kudos at Martinsville for his calm, calculated management of his race truck and his tires. And after the race he credited an off-weekend excursion to Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway, where he finished third in his first late model race of the season, with the PASS South Series. Sauter said lessons he learned there were critical for the Martinsville win once he and Shear figured out tire wear.
"I go back to that late model race, and I've never seen tire wear like that in my life," said Sauter, who set fast time in PASS qualifying but used his tires up and had nothing left to mount a challenge at the finish. "I just kept thinking about that race and what I feel like I did wrong, and trying to apply it to (Saturday).
"People can say whatever they want about that or laugh about it, but it's true."
Sauter's hoping he can apply everything he learned at Martinsville, this weekend at Rockingham Speedway, a one-mile high-banked oval in the North Carolina sand hills that is legendary for abusing tires. The season's third race, the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine, starts at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
In 22 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tony Stewart has scored a pole, two wins, six top-fives, 12 top-10s and led 727 laps. The 1.5-mile oval has been a stout venue for Stewart, who first ran at the Texas track in 1997 as a member of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
In short, Texas has been a boomtown for Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. That Stewart is sponsored by Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, makes his return to the oil-rich state of Texas even more appropriate.
Just as roughnecks have come to Texas searching for black gold, Stewart enters the Lone Star State searching for a strong run after a rough start. Six races into the 36-race season – and 20 races away from the cutoff for the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup – Stewart is 22nd in points with only one top-10 finish.
Missed opportunities have dogged Stewart. Just 34 laps into the season-opening Daytona 500, Stewart was collected in a multi-car crash and finished 41st. After posting solid results of eighth and 11th in the series’ next two races at Phoenix and Las Vegas, respectively, a flat left-rear tire only nine laps into the 500-lap race at Bristol (Tenn.) sent Stewart into the wall and relegated him to a 31st-place finish. A rebound appeared in the cards in Round No. 5 at Fontana (Calif.), but after starting third for a restart with only 10 laps to go, Stewart was blocked by another competitor, lost momentum and finished 22nd. And in his most recent race at Martinsville (Va.), Stewart had a top-10 in hand before being caught in the slower, outside lane following a restart with less than 30 laps remaining. He wound up 17th.
Like a wildcatter drilling for oil, Stewart and Co. just want one hit. If they get that one solid finish, more will come. Stewart knows this well. For reasons unexplained, he’s streaky. Want proof? Eighteen of Stewart’s 47 career Sprint Cup victories have come back-to-back. The most recent instance came in 2011 with successive wins Oct. 30 at Martinsville and Nov. 6 at Texas. Those victories were a microcosm of Stewart’s 2011 season, as he was winless until the Chase, where in the span of 10 races, he won five times to secure his third Sprint Cup championship.
The knowledge that comes from that kind of experience, as well as the cumulative effect of competing in NASCAR’s elite series for 15 years, allows Stewart to persevere.
The beauty of a 36-race season is that there is seemingly endless opportunity to turn the tide, especially when that 36-race season is only six races old. It bodes well for Stewart that Texas is his next opportunity to begin his march toward the top-10 and resume his typical perch among the Chase combatants, because beyond his NASCAR success at Texas, Stewart has proven successful in other racing series that have visited the Great American Speedway.
Stewart has made three IZOD IndyCar Series starts at Texas. He started on the pole twice (June 1997 and 1998) and second once (September 1998). While Stewart never finished an IndyCar Series race at Texas (he suffered engine failures in June 1997 and September 1998 and mechanical troubles in June 1998), he still led 208 of a possible 624 laps (33.4 percent).
And prior to Stewart’s first Sprint Cup win at Texas, he scored a victory in the International Race of Champions (IROC). In April 2006, Stewart won round two of IROC XXX at Texas. He followed that win with a victory on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. And with a third-place finish in the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Stewart secured his first IROC championship – the last in the 30-year history of IROC.
With Mobil 1 pulsing through his Chevrolet SS, and some might say though his veins, Stewart is intent on making the most of his time in Texas.
After only running a select few NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races in 2012, Brennan Newberry is returning to one of those tracks with a little more knowledge, experience and confidence. Newberry will pilot the No. 14 NO FEAR Chevrolet Silverado for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock, Presented by Cheerwine Sunday, April 14th, looking to best last year’s finish. Joining the rookie to call the shots at “The Rock”, will be veteran crew chief, Eddie Pardue.
Sponsor Spotlight: NO FEAR is looking to venture back into racing and what better way to do so than to jump on board with both a rookie and veteran. Ron Hornaday, Jr. ran the black NO FEAR Chevrolet last weekend in Martinsville, and the No. 14 Chevrolet Silverado will display a shiny red NO FEAR scheme for this weekend’s race in Rockingham.
Shiny Silverado: Pardue and the No. 14 crew prepared and tested NTS Chassis No. 16 at Rockingham earlier this year. They were pleased with the test, and are bringing that same chassis to Rockingham for Newberry to race.
Newberry’s Rockingham Confidence:
“Coming off a rough weekend at Martinsville I’m looking forward to Rockingham. Our team tested there earlier this year and I feel I gained some great experience working with Ron (Hornaday) and our whole NTS Motorsports crew. Eddie and I are enjoying working together, and I want to do everything I can to give him the best information about the truck each week, as we continue to improve our communication on and off the track.”
“We finished Martinsville better than we finished Daytona, and my goal this week is to finish Rockingham better than Martinsville. Being my rookie season, I’m going into this race looking to gain as much track time and experience as I can. This is a tough track and I’m going to focus on running competitively all day and finishing all of the laps.”
“Rockingham is a tough track for rookies, with lots of different racing lines and tire wear. Our main goal this season is to finish races. We tested at Rockingham earlier this year, and I think we have a good solid set-up for Brennan, but we still have to focus on finishing each lap and making ourselves better each time we go out during practice.”
NTS Motorsports PR
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCTWS) Veteran, Ron Hornaday, Jr. jumps back into the familiar green No. 9 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet for theNorth Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock Presented by Cheerwine.Hornaday will hear a familiar voice on the radio this year, as 2011 crew chief Bruce Cook will call the shots from atop the No. 9 pit box.
Sponsor Spotlight: The No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado will switch back to the Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff colors, as it takes to the track at the Rock. Smokey Mountain Chew, Inc. invented Smokey Mountain Snuff and Pouches, a tobacco-free snuff for consumers to use as a nicotine-free chewing tobacco option. The No. 9 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Silverado will get a little extra TV exposure this weekend as Hornaday will also carry an on-board camera.
Silverado Spotlight: The team will bring chassis (No. 14) to Rockingham this weekend. Cook and the No. 9 NTS crew are working with a chassis from the Joe Denette Motorsports stables that they tested with at Rockingham.
“After testing at Rockingham earlier this year, I think our NTS Motorsports team is more prepared for how the trucks will react to the racetrack. It’s one of the few tracks I haven’t won on; so I want to go in, dominate the race and leave with a win.”
“It was tough coming off of the Martinsville weekend where we had a truck good enough to win with, and got wrecked while leading. We’ve all kept our heads high this week, dug in a little deeper, and feel like we’ve prepared another good truck for Rockingham.”
“I’m pretty excited to go to Rockingham and see how much our testing there helped. The track is old and has quite a few bumps that upset the truck. While we were there (testing) we worked on the setups for both Brennan (Newberry) and Ron, making sure the drivers didn’t feel the bumps as much. I feel confident in the packages we are bringing to the track and can’t wait to see how competitive we are.”
NTS Motorsports PR
The moment Max Gresham pulled away from the Martinsville Speedway last Saturday, his attention was focused on Sunday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Rockingham Speedway.
"You don't race by looking in the rearview mirror," the 19-year old Gresham said. "You're always looking ahead."
Gresham recently tested with the No. 8 Made In USA Brand (MIUSA) Chevrolet at the track affectionately known as "The Rock." The Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team compiled copious notes for Sunday's 200-lap race, including strategies for tire management.
"When you're at Rockingham managing your tires well is always an issue," crew chief Chris Showalter said.
"From a racer's standpoint, it's a great track. You spend so much time up in the corners; if you aren't careful you'll wear out your tires, or your truck. You have to manage everything well there."
Gresham finished 18th there a year ago in just his sixth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start. He considers an additional year of experience as well as the recent test session will give him a new perspective for Sunday's race.
"You really have to hit your marks and be smooth," he said. "The more laps you get there, the more you realize that. I know we've got a good package for the race. We have great trucks at Eddie Sharp Racing. I know Showy (Showalter) has a good strategy. And I know I have a better understanding of what it takes to be successful there.
"After the test session, I had a new respect for the track and became more comfortable with it."
Gresham qualified 18th for the race at Martinsville, a career best starting position at the historic track before brake issues relegated him to a 30th-place finish.
"What I like most about racing is each week is a chance to forget about a bad race and create a better memory," Gresham said. "We're very confident with our preparation for Rockingham. I feel very good about the race. It's a great way to look ahead."
With the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series both racing at Texas Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be on center stage on Sunday. Teams will have two practice sessions on Saturday and qualify at 11:05 a.m. ET on Sunday. The green flag will wave at 2 p.m., and the race will be televised on SPEED.
"A new week, a new race and a chance to keep looking forward," Gresham said.
Max Gresham PR
Bebida Beverage Company (OTC markets: BBDA) (www.bebevco.com) (BeBevCo.) makers of the KOMA Unwind® Liquid Relaxation drink (@KOMAUnwindNews) will donate 100 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) tickets for the second consecutive year to Sunday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine.
The success of sending members of the "Single Marines Outreach Program" from nearby Camp Lejeune to the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event last April at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway prompted CEO Brian Weber to give back to the United States Marine Corps. once again.
Developed by BeBevCo., KOMA Unwind relaxes those who drink it. It also helps them improve both the duration and quality of their sleep with flair and favor. KOMA Unwind is formulated to relax the body, mind and soul. It is the perfect lifestyle beverage for those who can appreciate extreme relaxation.
The relaxation or "anti-energy" drink category is a new category to the beverage industry. This type of drink is dedicated to helping consumers achieve a level of relaxation without the use of pills or alcohol.
Additionally, KOMA Unwind will be on-site at the 1.0-mile oval on April 14 to offer samples to event attendees in an effort to continue to fuel the relaxation revolution. Furthermore, KOMA Unwind will reunite with Jennifer Jo Cobb for the third race of the season and sponsor her No. 10 entry.
"We're so excited to bring back the Marines to Rockingham Speedway," said BeBevCo. CEO Brian Weber. "We had great success with the idea last year and to be able to do it again is just an honor for us. I am forever grateful as I am for all those service men and women that allow us to live in a nation full of opportunities and freedom."
He added, "We're equally excited to offer sampling of KOMA Unwind as race fans enter the track on Sunday. We hope they'll enjoy the race and cheer on Jennifer Jo Cobb and take home a can or two to chill on their way home after what we anticipate to be a very exciting race!"
The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine is the third race on the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. The green flag is scheduled to waive shortly after 2:00 p.m. (local) with live coverage on SPEED, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90 on Sunday, April 14.
NASCAR driver, Alex Bowman and SchoolTipline.com have announced a joint venture where the 19-year old driver will become the face of the company's "Driving Away Bullies" campaign. The announcement was made by Kevin Wright CEO of RightWay Nutrition, entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose gracious donation is funding the campaign. A director and board member of the Safe To Talk Foundation, Wright along with his wife Annette, helped to create the campaign whose mission it is to provide a safe haven and outlet for kids, who are being bullied, while providing a firm backdrop for suicide prevention.
SchoolTipline.com was founded as a platform to give students, parents, and faculty alike an outlet to report bullying, weapon possession, drug use, etc. in schools. Completely anonymous, students can report bullying and other incidents via text messages. Administrators receiving the texts can respond, opening bridges of two-way communication. This system empowers students to make positive changes, so schools can return to a safe place of learning.
The relationship between Bowman and SchoolTipline.com will run throughout the 2013 Nationwide Series season and commences Friday, April 12th at the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Bowman's RAB Racing #99 car will be sporting a brand new look, fully branded for the SchoolTipline.com.
Wright is donating SchoolTipline.com's services to Gene Pike Middle School in Justin, Texas beginning with a school wide assembly this Thursday, April 11th at 2 pm. Bowman will accompany Wright to the school where they will speak to the student body to ensure the kids know how to fully utilize SchoolTipline.com, thus making the school a safer place to report bullying and promote suicide prevention. Bowman will reaffirm his commitment to this cause by speaking to middle school students in each city the Nationwide Series runs for the remainder of the season.
Bowman said, "As a teenager, it's still fresh in my mind what kids of all ages go through when confronted with bullying. Whether in person or on the Internet, bullying is a real issue that effects every kid. I am honored to represent SchoolTipline.com to millions of people each week on the track, and to be able to have the opportunity to look kids in the eye each week to share my passion. I want to let students know there is a safe place where they can report trouble, find solutions and understand that they are not alone."
Wright was introduced to Bowman via Shark Tank's Daymond John, his good friend and business associate. In addition to putting Wright and Bowman together, John consulted on the branding of the car and fire suit in light of the partnership with SchoolTipline.com.
Wright describes his motivation for participating by saying: "Daymond John and I are close friends and have had some very successful business dealings in the past. After he invited me to a few races to meet Alex, I realized Daymond was right when he was quoted in the USA Today saying 'Alex is a Rock Star!' Along with Daymond and my wife Annette, we created the "Driving Away Bullies" campaign. The combination of Daymond John, Alex Bowman, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule truly provides SchoolTipline.com all the tools needed to successfully run this promotion to combat bullying on a national platform."
Bowman races for RAB Racing with Brack Maggard, who opened their doors in 2005 and have established itself as one of the top teams in the motorsports industry. Since joining the team, Bowman's willingness to employ non-traditional methods to articulate his persona has gained a lot of national media attention with ESPN, Yahoo, USA Today, NASCAR.com and more. Bowman currently is 10th in overall points and is in contention for Nationwide Rookie of the Year, highlighted by two top-ten finishes including a third place finish at Daytona's DRIVE4COPD 300 in February.
RAB Racing PR