Speedway Digest Staff
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John Wes Townley will pilot the No. 25 Zaxby’s Athenian Motorsports Toyota in the running of the Subway Firecracker 250 Friday, July 4th at Daytona International Speedway.
Townley has four previous starts in the Nationwide Series, two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, posting a best finish of 14th place in 2014, and two ARCA Racing Series events winning the 2013 series’ season opener on the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway.
“It is always great to race at Daytona especially on the Fourth of July weekend,” John Wes Townley said. “It is definitely hot in the summer sun, but not as hot as it is on the track when all 40 cars are drafting around the high banked superspeedway. You need to make sure you line up some draft partners before you go out but sometimes that game plan doesn’t always pay off. I hope to find some guys to work with me, like we had in Talladega, and get this Athenian Motorsports Zaxby’s car out front at the end of the day.”
The Athenian Motorsports team will bring chassis 003- the same Toyota Camry that Townley drove at Talladega Superspeedway posting a 13th-place finish.
JR Motorsports announced today that BetBomb.com, a free wagering site where players can bet on their favorite sports teams without risking money, will be the primary sponsor on Austin Theriault’s No. 5 Chevrolet in the July 12NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
BetBomb.com allows players to bet against real spreads, lines and totals for all major sports. It is not a gambling website. It’s a free wagering site built for millions of sports fans to provide them with a platform to pick games, track their statistics, compete in tournaments, and win prizes without risking money.
“We offer free social sports tournaments where users can win cash prizes playing with virtual points in all major professional sports and leagues,” said BetBomb.com CEO, Patrick Gray. “We are excited to sponsor the No. 5 JRM car to promote our free social sports tournaments and games to the NASCAR audience at New Hampshire Motor Speedway race weekend. We are not only betting on the success of our patent-pending tournaments, but we are betting on Austin taking the checkered flag race day.”
Theriault, a native of Fort Kent, Maine, will make his second career Nationwide Series start that weekend at New Hampshire. He made his debut at Iowa Speedway on May 18, to which he drove the No. 5 Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish. On June 13, he won the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway in his first career start.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the Nationwide Series car for JR Motorsports,” said the 20-year-old Theriault, who made his name in late models and became the 2012 Maine Vintage Race Car Association Driver of the Year. “It’s a privilege to carry BetBomb.com on board the No. 5. I appreciate them stepping up, because I think it’s going to be a special weekend in New Hampshire. It’s a track I’m quite familiar with, and now that I’ve had a little bit of seat time in the car, I feel extremely confident that we can compete for a win.”
Theriault’s ARCA win at Michigan made him the first driver since Alex Bowman in 2011 to win in his debut. Until then he had never raced on a track longer than a mile.
Theriault’s Nationwide debut at Iowa in May was impressive as well. He raced into the top 10 after starting 17th and competed for a top-10 finishing position on a final restart. Until then the only seat time he had in the car was the weekend practice sessions.
“After watching Austin’s performance in Iowa, we felt he is a driver destined for big things,” said Gray. “Austin and BetBomb.com are tied into social media, and Austin represents a significant cross section of our younger demographic.”
The New Hampshire race will be the second of three races for Theriault in the JR Motorsports No. 5 car. His third start will take place at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 20. The No. 5 team is a partial-schedule team that is shared between drivers Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Josh Berry and Theriault. To date, the No. 5 team earned victories with Harvick at Richmond International Raceway (April 25) and Kentucky Speedway (June 27).
David Starr and long time partner, Chasco Constructors, will join forces for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Sparks will fly as the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at DIS will be under the lights on Friday, July 4th.
For over 30-years Chasco Constructors, who is based in Round Rock Texas, has been committed to delivering the highest level of quality and services to their clients throughout the "Lone Star State". Chasco has experienced substantial growth by building quality projects and establishing long-term partnerships.
"I'm honored and proud to sponsor David and just happy to help," said President of Chasco, Chaz Glace. "Hopefully we can win the race."
"Chaz and Kathy Glace are long-time friends that have been with me since the beginning of my NASCAR racing career," said Starr. "I'm honored and fortunate to have such a remarkable company like Chasco Constructors supporting me for the past 16 years."
TriStar Motorsports Looking to "Knock One Out of the Park" with the Addition of Benny Gordon to the Daytona Roster
TriStar Motorsports and BWP Bats will team up to furnish a fifth entry for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Benny Gordon will be in the cockpit of the No. 91 Toyota Camry for his second NASCAR Nationwide Series career start at the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
The Pennsylvania native made his first NNS start at DIS in 2012. After starting the race from the 33rd position, Gordon matched his career best finish of 12th. With 18 career starts under his belt, Gordon is more than ready to light up the banks of Daytona.
"I am excited to drive the No. 91 BWP Bats Camry this Friday in Daytona," said Gordon. "TriStar Motorsports has worked hard to get the car finished and I know that with BWP Bats on board, we will run a good race."
Located in the "Hardwood Capitol of the World", Brookville, Pennsylvania, BWP Bats is a uniquely crafted wooden bat manufacturer that provides the highest quality of bats available. Processing approximately 1,500 bats a week, BWP bats has been utilized by some of Major League Baseball's (MLB) finest players such as; Johnny Damon, Jeff Larish, Shane Victorino and Justin Morneau, who has won two batting titles and the home run derby at the 2008 All-Star game.
Dillon Bassett, and the No. 44 Butler Trailer Manufacturing/Roush Yates Performance/Rex Younger Galleries Bassett Racing team reached victory lane an unprecedented two times in just two days this past weekend at Motor Mile Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway. This was also Bassett's first ever career start at Motor Mile, and the first time he had ever stepped foot inside the famed .416 mile Speedway. The two wins moved Bassett's total to seven NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) wins of the season, and his 16thtop-5 finish in 19 races.
On Friday at Motor Mile Speedway, Bassett was able qualify with one of his best efforts of the season, a 2nd place starting position. With that qualifying effort, Bassett began to drop back and conserve his equipment, knowing he had a really good long green-flag run car. The No. 44 dropped back to the fourth position with only 35 laps to go, but quickly began to reel in the leaders when Bassett wanted to go to the front. With only seven-laps remaining the two leaders (Matt Bowling and Lee Pulliam) made contact with each other, which opened the door for Bassett to compete for the top spot. The final seven-laps had the entire crowd at Motor Mile Speedway on their feet as Dillon Bassett raced side-by-side with two-time defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Lee Pulliam for the race win, with both drivers not giving the other an inch of room. It all came down to the last lap as Bassett on the inside and Pulliam on the outside began leaning on each other, still side-by-side Bassett drove into turn three farther than Pulliam, pulled ahead by a nose, and moved him up a lane on the track. This strategy allowed Bassett to complete the pass and came across the finish line just feet ahead to take the win.
On Saturday Bassett's the No. 44 Butler Trailer Manufacturing/Roush Yates Performance/Rex Younger Galleries Bassett Racing team pulled into Hickory Motor Speedway for the Hendrick Honda of Hickory 100-lap event. Bassett practiced extensively on old tires, recording the 22nd fastest lap time out of the 23-car field, but he nor the team were worried. Bassett qualified in the 17th position and the team was happy with the result. As soon the green-flag flew Bassett made it perfectly clear that he was going to challenge for the win. On lap 11 he had passed five cars, up to the 12th position, on lap 20 he was up to the eighth position, and on lap 30 he had moved into the fifth position. All positions were uncontested until he made his way to the second position, as the battle for the lead waged on for the rest of the night. By lap 65 the No. 44 was solidly in the top spot, but each of the ensuing cautions brought another battle for the lead. Although caution periods gave a chance for the rest of the competition to take the win from the No. 44, they were no match for Bassett, as he led the last 41 laps to take the win after starting from the 17th position.
"What a great weekend for my entire Butler Trailer Manufacturing/Roush Yates Performance/Rex Younger Galleries Bassett Racing team at Motor Mile Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway. We had a really good long run car at both Motor Mile and Hickory Motor Speedway, which we knew in practice and I have to give credit to my crew chief Seth Smith who made all the right calls to get me to this point. Racing in the NWAAS in the Southeast is so hard and the competition around here is so great that it's really difficult to get one win, let alone have seven wins already this season. It just goes to show what kind of people and the kind of equipment we have at Bassett Racing. I'd say the win at Motor Mile Speedway was one of the best of my career with only leading the last 100 yards and how hard I had to drive to make it to the front in such short of time. The win at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday was just evidence of a great car underneath me that I could conserve tires all while passing and making my way to the front. Really looking forward to bringing this momentum into Caraway next week for the Rusty Harpe Memorial."
Bassett Racing PR
Brad Keselowski outran the field with his Team Penske Ford powered by Roush Yates Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway to claim his second win of the season. Keselowski drove through the field over the final 47 laps making him the first two-time winner at the 1.5 mile speedway in three years.
Team Penske’s Fords powered by Roush Yates had a great weekend at Kentucky winning pole positions in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. Starting out front, Keselowski was able to extend his lead to an impressive 3.5 seconds over second place by lap 34. Penske teammates Joey Logano and Keselowski led most of the race, switching first and second positions throughout 91 of the first 100 laps.
After the final caution Keselowski was able to make up nearly 1.1 seconds in just three laps and made a pass for the lead on lap 249. The “Blue Deuce” would go on to lead the remaining 18 laps to take the win.
“Our car was awesome,” Keselowski stated in a post-race interview. “The team did a great job and I’m just really thankful to have a car this good. Doug Yates and Roush Yates with the engine department deserve a lot of credit, this engine was killer.”
Keselowski is now fourth in the Sprint Cup Series standings and has become one of six multi-race winners in the 2014 season.
“This is the type of performance we’re going to need to compete for another championship,” Keselowski continued. “I’m proud of all the work that’s gone on so far.”
Saturday’s race proved to be a learning experience for Devon Amos and Paige Decker. The two Whelen All-American Series drivers raced their Late Models for the first time at Motor Mile Speedway, and both knew they wanted to pace themselves during the New River Bank TWIN 75s.
After taking the green in the first face, a caution came on the fifth lap, and the drivers were given a little more time to warm up their tires. By lap 30, Amos worked his way up from his 21st qualifying spot, passing two cars and maintaining his position to finish 19th. Decker was not far behind and finished 23rd after managing to pass five cars from her 28th qualifying position.
The drivers returned to the track about an hour later for the second race. After earning the 17th position in qualifying, the second race was going smoothly for Amos until lap 20. There was a wreck a few yards ahead of him at turn 1, and unfortunately, another driver tried to maneuver around the cars, but hit Amos near the end of the straightaway. The Rev Racing driver was unable to return to the track due to the amount of suspension damage on the front of the car.
“I feel like I gave it my all. It’s unfortunate that we got caught in a big wreck because we had a great race day going,” Amos said. “We definitely made improvements on the car that should carry over to our next race, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The 13-car wreck resulted in a 40-minute caution to allow officials to get the track back in driving condition. None of the drivers were seriously hurt.
Though the first race of the night didn’t go as Decker planned, she was eager to get back on the track for the second race. After qualifying 23rd, she improved tremendously on the track gaining 13 positions, and she was in the tenth position for a few laps. She almost gained her third top-10 of the season, however, during the last two laps, a driver passed her, and Decker took the checkered flag in 11th.
“I went into Motor Mile just wanting to learn. I knew it was my first time at the track, and I knew the competition was going to be stout,” Decker said. “Next time I want to qualify better and improve my finishing spot.”
Rev Racing PR
Ross Chastain will further cement himself as a NASCAR Nationwide competitor this Friday when he tackles the famed Daytona International Speedway for the first time in a NASCAR Nationwide car. This will mark the 3rd NNS start in the career of the young Floridian. Chastain made his debut with Viva Motorsports earlier this year in Charlotte. That race and his subsequent start at Michigan resulted in top 20 finishes. Chastain looks to continue his success and bring home his No. 55 Watermelon.org Chevrolet in the top 10. Additional support for this race is provided by Helena Chemical Company and the National Watermelon Association.
""I've gone to the July races at Daytona for as long as I can remember. Daytona is as close as I have to a 'home track' and although your results usually don't reflect your performance, driving through the tri-oval is like nothing else I've ever felt," says Ross Chastain. "Getting the chance to race at Daytona on July 4th with Viva Motorsports and watermelons on my car is a dream come true for me!"
Race Info: The Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway will be held Friday, July 4th with live coverage on ESPN2 starting at 7:00pm ET and radio coverage on MRN/Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 at 7:00pm ET.
Chassis Selection: Crew Chief Bill Henderson will be unloading chassis VM-007 for this weekend's race. This car is a designated super speedway car, racing at each super speedway event the last two seasons. Most recently the car ran strong until a mechanical failure resulted in a 27th place finish[KC1] . The backup will be VM-009.
Viva Motorsports PR
A hot summer night at Kentucky Speedway resulted in a 26th place finish for Jamie Dick and his Viva Motorsports team. The No. 55 Viva Auto Group Chevrolet rolled off 29th for the start of the John R. Elliot HERO Campaign 300 and the first laps of the race saw the orange and black Camaro fall a few more spots. As the sun set and the tires wore, Dick grew more comfortable with the handling of the car and started marching back forward, gaining several spots before the end of the first race segment. After pit stops, it was more of the same with Dick battling hard each lap of the race, usually running nose to tail or side by side with his competitors. By the end of the night, Dick and the Viva Motorsports team had picked up three positions from their initial spot.
"We were kind of searching all weekend and never really got the car right. Everyone says that the bumps give this track a lot of character. If your car handles through the bumps, you love that character, but if you're struggling, you can hate it," says Jamie Dick. "I've been on both sides, but unfortunately this weekend, we were on the negative side. My guys never gave up and we kept fighting and getting better until the checkered flag fell."
Viva Motorsports PR
The 19th place finish wasn’t exactly what Sunoco rookie of the year contender Mason Mingus and his Win-Tron Racing team were hoping for in this past Thursday night’s UNOH 225, but the team did accomplish one of their goals; see the checkered flag.
Armed with the same No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra that the team utilized at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park two weeks ago, the Win-Tron Racing development driver was comfortable with the chassis – and more importantly as the week pressed on, he was becoming more in-tune with the 1.5-mile track of Kentucky Speedway.
Thursday yielded two practice sessions with Mingus, placing 19th and 21st respectively. In knock-out qualifying, Mingus throttled his No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra to his fastest lap of the weekend thus far, putting his automobile 20th on the starting grid.
Not exactly satisfied with his grid placement, Mingus turned his attention towards the 150-lap race, where he hoped his experience and top-10 finish in last year ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race would pay dividends.
From the drop of the green flag, Mingus steadily moved his way forward. His patience mounted fast and productive laps, which saw him climb through the field.
Green flag pit stops began on Lap 48 with Mingus running in 17th. Following the stop, Mingus would have to bring his No. 35 Call 811 Before You Dig Toyota Tundra to pit road for a loose-wheel, which put the freshman team behind.
Trying to climb out of the hole would prove to be difficult, but with leadership from crew chief Mark Rette and cheerleading from inside the cockpit, the team was able to battle back inside the top-20.
In the waning laps, Mingus found himself battling John Wes Townley and Tyler Young for a safety net inside the top-20. In the closing laps, Mingus was able to fend off his competitors and take the checkered flag in 19th, netting his fifth top-20 performance of the year.
It was also the third consecutive top-20 finish for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team.
“We had a lot of positive things out of Kentucky,” said Mingus. “It was nice to bring home a truck in one piece and I was able to learn a lot. By mid-race, we had a really solid truck and I felt like we could have contended. We need to work on some things on pit road though. We had a loose wheel after the first green flag pit stop. It cost us a lot. It also put us behind and we never really could catch up.”
He added, “I had a lot of support in the stands from 811, my family and friends, so I want to thank them all for coming out, it means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to going back to Iowa in a couple weeks.”
Nate Thiesse, co-truck owner of Win-Tron Racing also expressed his thoughts post-Kentucky.
“I thought Mason did a great job,” he said. “He made solid improvements from start to finish. Kentucky is not an easy place to race. With a worn surface, the place is very tricky, especially racing over the bumps. However, Mason seems to excel at places like that and he was heading towards the front, when a bobble on pit road sent us to rally back for a solid finish.
“We’re sorry to Mason and everyone at 811 for the missed opportunity, but we win as a team and lose as a team, so we’ll regroup and stay focused on Iowa and hope for our second top-10 finish of the year.”
Exiting Kentucky, Mingus sits 13th in the championship standings, 53 markers from 10th place held by Joey Coulter. Mingus unofficially sits second in the Sunoco rookie of the year standings, behind current leader Ben Kennedy.