Thursday, Sep 21
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

The Detroit Lions’ first-round draft pick Eric Ebron is the grand marshal and Quicken Loans chief executive officer Bill Emerson will serve as the honorary starter for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

The rookie tight end will give the command of “Start your engines!” when the race gets under way at 1:07 p.m. p.m. at the track. The Quicken Loans 400 will be broadcast live on TNT.

“I am excited,” Ebron said. “I’ve never been to a race before, and being new to the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan, it’s an honor. I know NASCAR has a lot of ties to North Carolina, so I’m proud to represent my hometown of Greensboro, my university and the Detroit Lions.”

Ebron was the first-round draft pick (10th overall) of the Lions in the 2014 NFL Draft. The North Carolina product caught 112 career passes for 1,805 yards and eight touchdowns for the Tar Heels. The Lions project the athletic tight end to step right in as a starter and serve as another valuable addition to its offensive unit this upcoming season.

The rookie holds school tight end records for single-season receptions, single-season receiving yards, career receptions and career receiving yards as a junior at North Carolina. His 895 receiving yards in 2013 are an ACC record for a tight end, besting the mark of 871 set by Maryland’s Vernon Davis in 2005.

As chief executive officer, Emerson is responsible for the leadership and growth of Quicken Loans, the nation’s second largest retail mortgage lender and largest VA mortgage provider. Dedicated to his community, Emerson has been the recipient of the ALS Association’s Iron Horse Award and the Salvation Army’s prestigious William Booth Award, the non-profit’s highest honor.  He also supports the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter.


Pocono Raceway announced today their inaugural “Show Us Yer Bass” photo contest. Participants, in this photo submission contest, will set a ticket discount for all race fans to enjoy for the 400 and will compete for Grand Prizes. The contest, which also includes a kids’ portion, will run from Saturday, June 14 through Friday, July 25.

Grand Prizes, which will include tickets to the 400, will be awarded to the individuals who submit a photo with the longest largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass. Additionally, there is a kid’s prize giveaway for the child, ages 12 and under, who catches the longest bass, across all species. Those wishing to participate can do so by visiting Additionally, all are encouraged to read all the rules carefully before submitting any photo.

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, here a few tips regarding this year’s bass fishing season and the “Show Us Yer Bass” contest. Please consider catch and release of your fish.  Some tips for successful catch and release of fish include: using barbless hooks, playing your fish quickly, using a landing net and wetting your hands before handling the fish.  Remember to buy a Pennsylvania fishing license, as contest rules include being properly licensed. Go to to purchase a license online or to view a list of over 900 licensing agents statewide.  If you’re looking for productive places to fish for bass, stop by for a listing of some of the best fishing waters, as selected by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Fisheries Biologists. 

Pocono Raceway PR

Team Stange Racing, LLC announced today the launch of “THE RACE TO THE CUP”. The Race to the Cup is a premiere Driver Development Program developed around “Stock Car” racing for the Serious race car driver that is passionate about a career in motorsports particularly stock car racing with ambitions of racing in the NASCAR series.

The Program is 3 Step, 3 to 4 year process that will assist the driver in all the moving parts of being a professional race car driver from driver coaching and car diagnostics to sponsor acquisition and self-promotion, Driver Brand Building and most importantly the proper planning. The Levels of the program start in the ARCA series and move through a ladder system of competing in The Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide series and eventually the goal of Sprint cup. “The Race to the Cup will cover everything that a driver needs to do to make it to the NASCAR level through this very personalized program” stated Ashley Stange, Team Stange Racing, LLC Co-Owner. “We will assist the driver in making themselves marketable and promotable to sponsors and fans as well as providing them with the right driver coach to help them sharpen their driving skills to learning how to diagnose and set up a race car as well as how to communicate with their crew and team along with the so many little detailed things that go into being a race car driver with goals of moving forward” stated John Stange, Jr. Team Stange Racing, LLC Co-Owner.

The Race to the Cup is set out to achieve much possible success with the goal of landing a driver in a competitive seat in the premier level of NASCAR racing both mentally and physically prepared as possible and as a Major Brand of their own. This program is tailored around each individual driver and their goals.

Team Stange Racing, LLC will prepare, test and race cars in the ARCA step of the program, Teams in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series will be chosen based on the driver and what is best suited for their needs.

For More information and Enrollment Costs for this tailored Driver Development Program please visit our website at: or contact us @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Team Stange PR

Dow GREAT STUFFTM is closing the Gap with the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Driver, Austin Dillon. Yesterday, Dow unveiled the paint scheme that will run under the lights at this year's Bristol race. This paint scheme supports the Dow GREAT STUFFTM "Gaps and Tracks" Sweepstakes that launched June 1, 2014 and will run through July 31, 2014. The sweepstakes offers numerous ways to "close the gap" and be in victory lane. The grand prize recipient will win a trip to Bristol, Tenn. on August 23 to meet Austin Dillon, and be an honorary pit crew member during the race.


To enter, fans must purchase a can of GREAT STUFF™ online or at a local home improvement store and enter the product code at www.greatstuffsweepstakes.com1. One winner will be randomly chosen and announced in early August. In addition, contractors and do-it-yourselfers (DIYs) have a chance to "show us their STUFF" and be automatically entered to win autographed merchandise simply by posting photos on Twitter showing how they use GREAT STUFF™ and including the hashtag #ClosingTheGap."


Austin Dillon has always been well known in the social media realm. Recently, however, he has set the Twitterverse on fire with his #Allin Challenges. These weekly challenges give fans the chance to show Austin how they are "all in" with No. 3! In June and July, Austin will challenge followers to share how they go #Allin by #ClosingtheGap.


"We're proud to partner with RCR and to support Austin Dillon, a proven champion," said Tim Lacey, Dow Building Solutions Business Director. "This winning team is performance based and results driven-values Dow and our employees share."


On August 23 in Bristol, Tenn., Dillon will be thundering around the "World's Fastest Half Mile" in the Dow GREAT STUFF™ No. 3 car - looking to close the gap on his competition and secure the win. Just like Dillon and his crew, contractors and DIYs can rely on Dow GREAT STUFF™ Insulating Foam Sealants to close the gaps in their homes, ultimately winning the race to improve home comfort, energy efficiency and lower utility bills.


Just like the half-mile track at Bristol, the average mid-size U.S. home has a staggering half mile of gaps and cracks where air, dust and allergens can enter, making homes drafty and uncomfortable and driving up energy costs. "Dow is committed to providing air sealing solutions designed to help DIYs and contractors seal those gaps and cracks and improve the comfort and energy efficiency of their homes quickly, easily and inexpensively," added Lacey.


Learn more about Dow's "Gaps and Tracks" sweepstakes at and tune in to ABC on August 23 to see Austin Dillon "close the gap."



Hometown Team, Hometown Sponsors Head To Gateway: For the first time since 2010, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Gateway Motorsports Park.  This return is especially gratifying for MB Motorsports, St. Louis’ hometown NCWTS team, whose sponsors are all based within the region.

“We are extremely excited to be back at Gateway” says team owner Mike Mittler.  “Curtis Francois and his team have done a tremendous job with the facility and getting NASCAR to return.  Everybody talks about how Charlotte is the home track for most teams, well, Gateway is our home track, so we couldn’t be happier.”

Driver Justin Jennings, a native of LaGrange, MO, is excited to have the opportunity to race at Gateway Motorsports Park.  “Growing up this was the closest NASCAR track to home, so going there was a big deal.  Now to have a chance to race there is very cool.  The fact that all our sponsors are from this region just makes it even better.”

Adds Mittler, “All of our sponsors have people coming to this race. LG SEEDS is sending a bus full of people.  Ski Soda / Excel Bottling, which is based in nearby Breese, IL has a group joining us.  We’ve got a brand new marketing partner in Homeyer Precision Manufacturing, which is based only about an hour from the track.  And of course, we’ve got lots of employees and friends from Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool joining us as well.  Saturday night is going to be great event for our team and our partners.”

Jennings, who currently sits 15th in NCWTS Driver’s Points, says the MB Motorsports crew has been working hard to prepare the Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool / LG SEEDS Chevy Silverado. “You work super hard getting ready for each race, but when that race is at your hometown track, in front of friends and family and all your sponsors, I think everybody works a little harder.”

MB Motorsports will once again be supporting Eagle Rock Camp, a faith-based, holistic sports camp where military families learn to re-connect and re-integrate. Their secluded setting, free of the distractions daily life, allows warriors with both invisible and physical wounds to re-learn old and learn new sports skills.  “Lynn Miller and everyone involved with Eagle Rock Camp do a great job supporting our military personnel who have given so much for our country,” notes Mittler.

MB Motorsports PR

CRC will partner with Hillman Racing and driver Landon Cassill as the primary sponsor of the No. 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry this weekend at Michigan International Speedway to promote K&W FIBERLOCK Head Gasket & Block Repair.  CRC, a manufacturer of an extensive arsenal of automotive maintenance products, will showcase its widely-accepted cooling system additive with Cassill behind the wheel of the No. 40 CRC/K&W FIBERLOCK Chevroletin Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400.  Easy to use, K&W FIBERLOCK does not require you to drain the cooling system first as in the case of many other cooling system additives on the market today. Just pour and go!

“Seeing this scheme brings back memories of the California race where we were able to use some pit strategy to put ourselves in the lead going into the final green-white-checkered finish,” Cassill said.  “We’re hoping that bringing the distinctive green K&W FIBERLOCK scheme back to another two-mile track this weekend in the Irish Hills of Michigan will also bring back some of that same good fortune.”

Circle Sport PR

Farmers Insurance, one of the nation’s largest multiline insurers, has extended its sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for three years and, in celebration, will give fans the opportunity to help design driver Kasey Kahne’s 2015 Chevrolet SS primary paint scheme.

As the official insurance partner of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team, Farmers Insurance will be featured as primary sponsor in 12 Sprint Cup Series races annually, including the season-opening Daytona 500, and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Fans can now visit to register for access to the upcoming paint scheme design challenge that will allow participants to vote on different elements of Kahne’s 2015 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, including paint color, television panel text and more. In addition, one lucky fan will be randomly selected to see the car in action at the 2015 Daytona 500. Voting will launch later this summer.

“We are pleased to announce our continued sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 team and are excited to build on the momentum of the last three years,” said Mike Linton, chief marketing officer at Farmers Insurance. “We are also looking forward to involving our fans in the design of the paint scheme for next year’s car.”

Kahne, 34, has been an integral part of supporting numerous Farmers Insurance community programs. During Teacher Appreciation Month in May, Kahne and the No. 5 team promoted the company’s Thank A Million Teachers national program, which was launched at the beginning of 2014 to recognize America’s educators. He also raced a special Thank A Million Teachers paint scheme and made appearances at several schools throughout the country to personally thank teachers.

“Our team takes so much pride in representing Farmers Insurance and the thousands of agents, district managers and employees around the country,” Kahne said. “They have such a passion for NASCAR and the sport’s fans. Whether it’s thanking teachers or helping rebuild Joplin (Missouri), I’m honored to be involved with Farmers and the communities they serve. It’s exciting to continue our work together.”

Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance joined the No. 5 team as a primary sponsor in April 2011.

“Our partnership with the team at Farmers has been unbelievable,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Everything that’s been accomplished in just three years is extremely impressive, and they continue to seek ways to engage our fans and use the sponsorship to improve the lives of others. It’s gratifying to see the impact of our two organizations working together, and we look forward to more successes in the coming years.”

Since joining Hendrick Motorsports for the 2012 season, Kahne has earned two consecutive Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths. In addition to his 16 career race wins, the Enumclaw, Washington, native has earned 26 pole positions, 81 top-five finishes and 139 top-10s in Sprint Cup competition. His current contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs through the 2015 NASCAR season.


Matt Crafton's had some pretty serious success in 10 previous NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at the unique 1.25-mile oval at Gateway Motorsports Park outside St. Louis.

But Saturday night Crafton's hoping he and his No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Toyota Tundra team can convert the experience gained through seven top-10 finishes in 10 career starts there into a coveted victory in the Drivin' For Linemen 200.

"At least we've been there and we have a pretty good notebook of setups for Gateway," Crafton said, "We've been there quite a bit in the past, and we're hoping that gives us a little bit of a leg up on the competition."

That might not be hard, because only nine drivers in the field of 32 entered trucks has any experience at Gateway. Not surprisingly, four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday has the best resume, with a win and two second-place finishes. But the ThorSport Racing pair of Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the next-best, by far.

The Truck Series is nothing if it's not populated with quick learners, but there's no discounting Crafton's record there, including a fifth-place run the last time the series visited, in July 2010. But Crafton feels like he might have another ace up his sleeve, as well.

"To me, Gateway races a lot like Phoenix -- the old Phoenix -- and everyone knows how I feel about that place," Crafton said of the track where he grew up, literally, from a child into a championship-winning racer. "Turns 1 and 2 (at Gateway) are quite a bit tighter, kind of like Darlington, but 3 and 4 are really like Phoenix.

"Whatever the case, with our experience we feel like we'll really have a good balance with our Menards Tundra and we've got plenty of practice to get re-acquainted with the place."

Saturday night's race is the 14th Truck Series race held at Gateway since 1998 but the first since 2010. As a result, teams will have extra practice, and that certainly doesn't bother Crafton, who'll carry an 11-point lead in the championship standings over ThorSport teammate Sauter, into the season's seventh race.

"I just love racing at Gateway and I always have -- it's that Phoenix connection again, for sure," Crafton said. "All I'm hoping is to be able to go back there and run as good as we always did, and with the Toyotas Junior (Joiner, crew chief) and the guys have been putting together this season, we have a lot of confidence in that." 

The Gateway weekend begins Friday morning with opening inspection followed by four hours of Truck Series practice, including two-hour sessions from 4-6 p.m. ET and 7-9 p.m.  The second session will be shown live on FOX Sports 1.

Saturday's schedule opens with a 90-minute final practice, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, with no TV coverage scheduled. A one-hour public NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver autograph session is scheduled from 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Then, the Truck Series' fourth elimination-style, three-session Keystone Light Pole Qualifying event of the season goes green at 5:10 p.m. ET to set the starting lineup of up to 36 trucks. Live coverage is scheduled on FOX Sports 2 beginning at 5.
Thorsport PR

Saturday’s Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 250 at Michigan International Speedway will begin the toughest stretch of the Nationwide Series season.

The Saturday 125-lapper will be the first of 18 consecutive weekly events for NASCAR’s No. 2 series. That stretch will end Oct. 10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. In between will be visits to such diverse tracks as Road America, Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen International.

For Jeffrey Earnhardt, the weekend will mark a return to one of his favorite tracks.

“Michigan is smooth and wide and fast, and it’s a fun track to drive,” Earnhardt said. “The track has enough grooves that you can find one to match your car. We’re looking forward to doing well there with the JD Motorsports bunch. It’s the start of a long run.”

Experience Jackson, which promotes attractions and activities in Jackson County, Michigan, is sponsoring Earnhardt’s No. 4 this weekend.

Earnhardt, driving in the Nationwide Series full-time for the first time in his career, is 16th in driver points.

JD Motorsports PR


No right click

Please link the article.