Speedway Digest Staff
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This Week's Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra at Gateway Motorsports Park... Peters will be piloting chassis No. 001 in the Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday, June 14. This is the same Toyota Tundra that he drove to a sixth-place finish in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway in March of this year.
Peters' History at Gateway Motorsports Park... Peters has four previous starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Gateway Motorsports Park, earning two top-10 finishes. The last time the series paid a visit to the Madison, Illinois race track was in July 2010, where Peters started seventh and finished sixth while driving for Red Horse Racing.
Cardinal for a Day... The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver traveled to St. Louis, Missouri in May where he threw out the first pitch at the Cardinals game against the Cubs. Peters also visited various media outlets while in Missouri to help promote the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' return to Gateway Motorsports Park and the Drivin' for Linemen 200.
Race Rewind: Texas Motor Speedway... Peters arrived to the Lone Star State as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship point's leader, and with high hopes of expanding the edge he had on the rest of the field. He ran mid-pack during both practice sessions, and earned a 15th-place starting position. When the green flag dropped, the No. 17 Red Horse Racing team made adjustments to give Peters a truck with which he could compete, and he quickly began to make up ground. Unfortunately, on lap 54 an oil spill from engine failure on the No. 77 truck caused Peters to go into the wall, ending his night in the 24th position, and moving him to fifth in the series' point standings.
TIMOTHY PETERS QUOTES:
On heading to Gateway Motorsports Park... "I'm excited about going back to Gateway [Motorsports Park]. It's a great short track with a lot of speed, and being a night race takes me back to the last two times I raced there under the lights. It's good to be back at a track that Missouri and Illinois race fans love, they always welcome us with open arms."
Rebounding from Texas... "We're looking to bounce back and gain some good momentum at Gateway [Motorsports Park] after a disappointing weekend in Texas. Even though we lost the points lead, we still have a lot of confidence as a team and I know we can be there again this season."
Well that didn’t take long for Cole Custer to back up a win. Custer who just back in August at Iowa became the youngest winner in the NASCAR K&N Series at just 15 year old again returned to victory lane this weekend at New Hampshire, leading 60 of the scheduled laps.
Making what would just be his 15th start in the lower feeder division of the NASCAR K&N series turned the fastest lap in Friday qualifying to take the pole for the North American Power 150, which is his second pole of the season after also securing it back on August 2nd at Iowa.
In addition to being the youngest winner in the NASCAR K&N Series Custer also wrote his name in the history books becoming the youngest winner at New Hampshire.
“The guys bring a great car to the track, I have to thank Gene Haas and Haas Automation. All the guys did great, the car was perfect” Custer said.
Following behind Custer was Daniel Suarez who took home his fifth top-three finish in the last hand full of races, Cale Conley, Ben Rhodes, and Dylan Presnell rounded out the top-five.
Brett Moffitt who finished in the seventh spot was able to cut Dylan Kwasniewski’s points lead down to just 23 point with just two races remaining after Kwasniewski who was battling for the lead with eventual race winner Custer got spun on lap 34 to finish out the race with his worst finish of the season in 24th.
NOTES: For those at home the race will be tape delayed broadcast will be on Fox Sports 1 on October 4th. Also the series will move on to Dover International Speedway next Friday.
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is an elegant monument that was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis’ central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. Completed in October 1965, the Gateway Arch is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally famous symbol of St. Louis.
For Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado for Haas Racing Development (HRD) and native of Ladera Ranch, California, the hope is that the Gateway Arch is just as welcoming to those who travel from the West Coast to the East, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series converges on Greater St. Louis at Gateway Motorsports Park for the first time since 2010.
A “veteran” driver of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series – as much as one can be at just 16 years of age – Custer has experienced success on both sides of the country. With three victories in the East Series and a win in the West Series in a combined 20 starts, Custer has proven his ability to find victory lane regardless of which coast he’s racing on. Now he’ll look to score his first victory not only in the Heartland of America, but also in the Camping World Truck Series.
While Custer will make his third Camping World Truck Series start of the 2014 season this weekend, it will mark the first time he will race at Gateway in any kind of vehicle. He has, however, tested twice at the 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis in Madison, Illinois. In 2013, Custer visited Gateway once in his K&N Pro Series car, and again in his Camping World Truck.
Custer feels more than ready for Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200. It will be his first standalone Truck Series event – those that are not held in conjunction with other NASCAR touring series – and he’s counting on making the most of the opportunity. With no Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series drivers to overshadow the Truck Series up-and-comers, Custer fully expects to be in contention for his first Truck Series victory when the checkered flag waves Saturday night.
HScott Motorsports announced today that Carcoons Storage Solutions (CSS) will sponsor the No. 51 Chevrolet SS driven by Justin Allgaier in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
Carcoon is the leading innovator in the portable automotive storage and portable workstation field. Carcoon Storage Systems will be on the hood of the No. 51 Chevy, with CSSUSA on the quarter panels. Carcoon Workstations are portable paint booths designed for busy body shops and car dealerships as a place to complete small to medium repairs without taking up time in their full-size paint booths. Mobile repairers, going to and from multiple destinations, also use the Carcoon Workstations. The Carcoon Workstations conform to rules implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency. Carcoon Storage Systems also provide the ultimate protection for any automobile for long or short-term storage. Many customers also use the Carcoon Veloce System for convenient daily usage and protection.
"We are pleased to be on the No. 51 car at Michigan International Speedway,"said George Page, owner of Carcoon. "This is our first time being involved in NASCAR, and we are looking forward to a great race at Michigan. Justin [Allgaier] is a solid driver and we are proud to associate our company with HScott Motorsports."
Justin Allgaier, who is running for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in the NSCS this season, will be making his first career NSCS start at MIS. He has participated in five Nationwide Series events at MIS, with one top five, two top 10s and 14 laps led at the 2.0-mile track.
"I'm excited to have Carcoon Storage Solutions on the car at Michigan,"said Allgaier. "They have a very unique and innovative product with the Carcoon Airflow System. Michigan is a big weekend for my team because it's not too far from Chevy's back yard, and I'm thrilled to represent the Carcoon Storage Solutions brand there."
HScott Motorsports PR
Kyle Busch remembers the day well. It was Aug. 21, 2011, and with just four top-10 finishes to that point in his career at Michigan International Speedway, he found himself outdueling now six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson for the win in a late-race shootout at the 2-mile oval.
But, during the offseason that followed, the heavily worn Michigan racing surface was repaved because of the toll the harsh Upper Midwest winters wreaked on the pavement. In the four races since, Busch has two finishes outside the top-30, but also one top-five finish there last June.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), hopes to use the same approach he and crew chief Dave Rogers used on the repaved Kansas Speedway in Kansas City surface last month while making this weekend’s stopover in the Irish Hills for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Quicken Loans 400.
Even though the Kansas boxscore showed a result of 15th for Busch, he and Rogers felt they benefitted from a dramatically different approach there than in the past. They started from a blank sheet of paper and raced strongly at times. But a pit-road speeding penalty, coupled with alternate fuel strategies employed by others, proved costly. Anyone who has ever followed Busch knows he has never been into moral victories. However, the team overcame its past issues and posted that 15th-place finish at Kansas, where it failed to finish at each of the last four races.
As the M&M’s team struggled similarly on Michigan’s now-smooth asphalt surface last August, it’ll use the approach this weekend that it did at Kansas. On newer surfaces, grip level is greatly increased, which makes the speeds faster than usual. But, the racing groove remains narrower than usual as the track continues to take time taking Goodyear tire rubber. Eventually, the groove will widen and competitors will have more options for three- and four-wide racing. In the meantime, sound tire and fuel strategy will be the key to making sure this trip to the Automobile State is a successful one.
So, as Busch and the M&M’s team head to the Upper Midwest this weekend, they’ll hope to benefit from the same approach they used on other repaves and that it will bear fruit with a second Sprint Cup victory of the season Sunday afternoon in the Irish Hills of Michigan.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway this weekend with just 12 races remaining before the sport’s 16-team playoffs begin. Michael Waltrip Racing’s two fulltime drivers Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer are both in the battle to secure one of those 16 spots.
Under the new rules a win likely earns a spot in the Chase while those without wins will rely onpoints to gain a berth. That makes for some sleepless nights for the men that run these race teams. Scott Miller, MWR’s vice president of competition, said the new format provides greater rewards for winning, but the drive to win has always been the mission at MWR.
SCOTT MILLER: “We are trying to get the best finishes we can every single week. We are focused on fielding the best cars we can that are capable of winning. Obviously, if we can close the deal and get a win then we are in great shape with both cars. But, winning at this level is very difficult. Outside of our two drivers, I’m fine if we don’t see any more first time winners in 2014 (laughing.) That just leaves more spots open if we can’t get a win. But, we are confident at MWR that we can close the deal. The cars have been running good enough and we have some good tracks coming up. We’ll see if we can get that victory.”
TRACK WITH HIGH HOPES: “I feel like Sonoma is obviously a good place for MWR. Road courses are really, really hard to close the deal. We have had tremendous success there winning the last two races and Brian always runs good on road courses. We expect to go back there and run competitively. But, I give ourselves a chance of being competitive in all the upcoming races.”
IS THIS NERVE-RACKING? “Everything about this sport is nerve-racking if you want it to be. I think you have to be insane to do this, but all of us love it. The new format places more emphasis on winning, but it was nerve -racking under the old way. If you were eighth through 12th under the old system you were on pins and needles those last five races. If you were 13th you were trying to claw your way in. Under the new format you have the same concerns.”
“The only thing you really need to know about Junie Donlavey is that he was probably the most well-liked person ever in the sport of NASCAR. He was a good friend of the Wood Brothers … one of our very best friends in the sport. I can tell you I would call him on the phone, and even before I could get a word or two out, he knew who it was that was calling.
“The thing I will always remember about Junie is that he was never mad or upset. He took everything in stride. He just enjoyed being around the sport and being around people. You’d see him in the garage, and he’d always be talking with someone, and I used to love seeing him doubled-up laughing over some story.
“As far as I know, his team was never fully-funded, like you would see with most teams. But he always wanted to run well every time he was out there. I know he had some real good cars in the modified and sportsman days, even before NASCAR started. He had cars that ran well all the time, so he was a competitive person..
“But he always helped out everyone, no matter who you were. He helped out so many drivers and crew members who just wanted to get into the sport. He always had time for people like that."
Wood Brothers Racing PR
After a thrilling race at Bowman Gray Stadium, the Rev Racing team will load up the haulers and take the racecars to Pensacola, FL to compete in the Pensacola 150 at Five Flags Speedway. However, unlike Rev Racing’s 2013 outing at Five Flags Speedway, this year’s race was scheduled further along into the season, giving each of the Rev drivers the advantage of having more time to gel with their crew. The additional seat-time, combined with the momentum surrounding the team after placing three drivers in the top-10 at the toughest track on the 2014 schedule, has the bar set high for Rev’s upcoming endeavor. Leading the charge for Rev Racing will be newcomer Jay Beasley and veteran Daniel Suarez.
Jay Beasley (No. 42 Toyota Racing Development Toyota) – The K&N Pro Series East newcomer, who is 15th in the point standings, will be competing at Five Flags Speedway for the first time. However, after finishing top-5 and top-10 in his last two races, Beasley’s stock and confidence are sky-high.
“I think my success lately is due to having more seat-time in the car and more time to gel with my crew. The team has done a great job with the car. Over the season our communication has gotten better and better. And recently we’ve been making strides in having the car set up better.”
Daniel Suarez (No. 6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota) – Suarez heads to Five Flags Speedway coming off an unlikely second place finish at Bowman Gray where he managed to improve 18 places over the course of a 150-lap, 37.5-mile race. Furthermore, the Monterrey, Mexico native returns to the United States after recently winning his fourth race in the Mexico Toyota Series. Suarez is currently third in the point standings.
Ryan Gifford (No. 2 UTI/NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota) – Coming off of a hard fought top-10 effort at Bowman Gray, Gifford is looking to build some momentum to carry him into the second half of the season. Historically, Five Flags Speedway has been a generous track for the NASCAR Next driver. In his last outing at Five Flags Speedway, Gifford finished within the top-10. Gifford is currently 16th in the point standings.
Sergio Peña (No. 4 L&M Enthanol Toyota) – Sergio Peña will be competing at Five Flags Speedway for the first time with Rev Racing. After mechanical issues put a damper on his top-10 qualifying effort at Bowman Gray, Peña is eager to get back behind the wheel.
"Last race was unfortunate as blowing a front right tire isn't something you can control. So the strategy hasn't changed. The team is working hard and still believe we have a great car," said Peña.
He is currently 17th in the point standings.
Mackena Bell (No. 21 Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota) – In her last outing at Five Flags Speedway. Bell narrowly missed a top-10 finish. With a chip on her shoulder, Bell is looking to redeem last year’s efforts and finish in the top-10.
Rev Racing PR
Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page will be inducted to the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame later this month.
Page and four other honorees will be inducted during a gala event at the Meritage Resort in Napa on Thursday, June 19, in conjunction with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 20-22.
Page joined Sonoma Raceway as President and General Manager in 1991, after 11 years working in marketing and special events for baseball’s Oakland Athletics – where, among other responsibilities — he served as coordinator for the 1987 MLB All-Star Game. He was the principal advocate for Sonoma Raceway’s $100 million modernization project, which transformed it into one of the premier motor racing venues in the country. Page is involved with numerous community activities, as well as serving on the board of directors of Speedway Children’s Charities.
“It is an honor to be included among the individuals who pioneered and built this sport in our part of the country, particularly considering that I came to this industry relatively late in my career,” said Page. “I consider it a reflection of our tremendous raceway team and the unparalleled support we receive from our chairman Bruton Smith and the rest of our corporation. I am grateful to the Hall of Fame board for this recognition.”
Joining Page are Bob Bondurant, founder of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving; Marshall Chesrown, owner of several championship racing teams; Ron Eaton, driver/owner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West; and Mike Skinner, NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver.
“The class of inductees for 2014 features five very talented and well-known individuals, with varied backgrounds in the motorsports industry,” said Hall of Fame Board Chairman Ken Clapp. “Each of these gentlemen has been tremendously successful in his endeavor in the sport. We look forward to welcoming them as members of the Hall.”
The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, which inducted its inaugural class in 2002, was founded in 2001. It memorializes significant contributors to the sport’s development and history – including designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, racetrack owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.
Sonoma Raceway PR
Denny Hamlin doesn’t want to get ahead of himself. He knows he isn’t “officially” locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But with a victory already in hand this season, he knows under the new Chase format, the odds are good he’s in the elimination-style playoff field.
When the Sprint Cup teams arrive at Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot™ 500 on October 26 Hamlin figures if he has survived the cut to the final eight championship contenders, he will be in perfect position for a title run.
The Eliminator Round, the third round of the Chase, begins at Martinsville and a win in any of the three races in that round guarantees a spot in the Sprint Cup Series Championship on November 16.
“Martinsville is going to be a key race, especially for our 11 team,” Hamlin said recently during a break in a mid-week test session. “I think you find yourself in a place where you have won a lot of races before, and if you can somehow win that Chase race (Martinsville) you are going to be moving on to that big round.
“So we are excited about how the Chase format plays out, the race tracks that are set up for us in those last two segments. We just got to make sure we get there.”
Hamlin has put up some phenomenal numbers at Martinsville Speedway since he made his Sprint Cup debut on the half-mile oval in the fall of 2005. In fact, he was good right off the bat, qualifying fifth and finishing eighth in his inaugural effort.
He came back with a second in the fall of 2006 that started a string of nine consecutive top-10 finishes.
Hamlin grabbed his first Martinsville checkered flag in the spring of 2008 and then reeled off three consecutive wins, starting with the fall event in 2009. He dominated Martinsville in 2010, sweeping the Sprint Cup events. Although he hasn’t won here since the fall of 2010, he’s still strong with three top-10s in the last six races and was the pole-sitter for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot™ 500 last fall.
“We hope (our Martinsville experience) helps this fall. It’s been part of the Chase eight or nine times now so you kind of figure out the ins and outs of it, the mistakes you’ve made and learn from them,” said Hamlin, who wound up seventh a year ago in the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot™ 500. “And obviously it’s one of the race tracks that we look at going into a Chase race there at Martinsville as a place we can capitalize.”
Martinsville Speedway PR