Sunday, Jun 04
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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David Ragan and Front Row Motorsports return to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this week looking to duplicate their wild win earned on a last-lap surge in May.  With all eyes on the reigning Talladega champ, the driver will bring a brightly colored paint scheme promoting, a one-stop shop for vehicle safety established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


Not only will Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 500 be Ragan's return to the site of Front Row Motorsports' first victory, it will also be the 27-year-old driver's 250th career Sprint Cup start.  In his eight-year Cup career, Ragan has two wins, 14 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes, and two poles.  He has one victory, four top-five and six top-10 finishes at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway.


Comments from team driver David Ragan heading to Talladega:


"Talladega is a special place in our history from years past and obviously this year for getting that first win for Front Row Motorsports in a nice 1-2 finish for David Gilliland and myself.  For me, I just try to watch some video and get a good feel for what my car can do and what it can't do.  It's all about strategy.  There are 25 or 30 cars that can win the race given the right decisions at the end of the 500-mile event.


"If we can stay in that lead pack all day, if I don't make any mistakes and if we have a little bit of luck, we can make the right moves again and hopefully shoot for another win.  It's going to be a big race for the whole Front Row Motorsports organization going back to Talladega for a second time this year.


"On that last lap in May, I knew David (Gilliland) was there but I didn't really expect him to be able to push that hard for that long.  It just worked out that he made the right decisions, he made the right moves, and we were able to keep our momentum the whole way around that long racetrack.  The crazy thing is, you can take the lead going into Turn 1, but you've still got two more miles to go before you get back around.  So, it's very crucial to make some good decisions the last couple of laps.  Hopefully, we can be in contention to do that again.  I feel confident that my spotter, Roman Pemberton, and I can do the right things in order to get another checkered flag.


"You'll have no problem spotting our No. 34 Ford Fusion on the track.  We've got a bright-colored paint scheme promoting  It's a website established by NHTSA that promotes vehicle safety, provides crash-test ratings for the cars, information on recalls, child safety seats and lots of other things.  It's a pretty big initiative that's close to my heart being an automotive dealer trying to put safe cars on the road.  So, having the NHTSA with their safety message on our car is special.  I encourage everyone to check out to learn a lot about their existing car or their next vehicle purchase."



On his last visit to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, David Gilliland was "the pusher."  This time, he'd like to be "the pushee."  


The driver of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford pushed teammate David Ragan to victory on the last lap of the May 5 race at the 2.66-mile track for Front Row Motorsports' first victory.  As the team prepares to return to the track for this weekend's Camping World RV Sales 500, Gilliland is confident he can be the one to cross the finish line first for his first Sprint Cup win.


The driver will strap in to the same Ford Fusion that powered him and his teammate to the front of the pack in that stunning May finish.  The car also finished 15th at Daytona International Speedway in July.


In his 12 career starts at Talladega, Gilliland has two top-five and three top-10 finishes, and one pole (2006).


Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland heading back to Talladega:


"I have a lot of confidence going into Talladega, obviously.  David (Ragan) and I didn't have any damage from the previous race, so we're turning those cars around and going back to try to repeat.  We obviously had a dream weekend there earlier this year and have a lot of confidence as an organization going back.  We know we have a legitimate shot as an organization, as a team and me personally as a driver to be able to get my first win in the Cup series.  So, that's what we'll be focused on so we can achieve that.


"Our 1-2 finish in May was huge.  I don't think you could have a bigger day at the racetrack as an organization.  I'm just really proud to have been a part of it.  It was a special day and hopefully we can go back and do it again.


"Like they always say at superspeedways, anything can happen.  I've been wrecked out of the race in the opening laps and I've come close to winning a few times. So you've just got to go in with a smart strategy and be prepared to adjust, depending on where you are and where the cautions fall.  You've just got to be in position.  We were back in ninth or 10th for the green-white-checkered last time at Talladega and our Roush Yates horsepower got us up to the front in those final two laps. That's what it's all about -- just lurking around the doorway for when it finally opens and then barging through."



Swan Racing today announced that Parker Kligerman will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the No. 30 Swan Energy Toyota on Sunday, November 3 for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
"Since I started racing, my dream like many young racers, was to get to the top, which means competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Kligerman. "Now that Swan Racing has given me that opportunity, I hope to make the most of it. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and to Swan Racing."
Kligerman, 22, is a fulltime competitor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the No. 77 Toyota where he is currently 10th in points with 3 Top 5s and 12 Top 10s. In 2012, Kligerman finished the season 5th in points in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he had one win, 8 Top 5s and 15 Top 10 finishes.
"Parker is one of the truly gifted young drivers that will be winning races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the near future," said owner Brandon Davis. "We are really looking forward to evaluating him at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway."
Swan Racing PR

Marshal Faust, a crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.

On Oct. 10, Faust was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.


Persistent rain has postponed a critical NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Texas Motor Speedway for the upcoming AAA Texas 500 as Chase contenders Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing departed Tuesdayand rescheduled their plans for next week.


The four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations had planned for an extensive three-day test session beginning Monday, but the lingering inclement weather did not allow the teams to participate in any on-track activity on the opening day. The teams were hopeful Tuesday, but the forecast had a 100 percent chance of thunderstorms and they all opted to pack up after intermittent rain began falling in the morning.


Following Sunday's Chase of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will return to Texas Motor Speedway and begin a three-day test session Monday from 3-10 p.m. CT. The teams also are planning to run Tuesday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (with a two-hour break from 4-6 p.m.) and Wednesday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Richard Childress Racing also will be part of the teams testing on Tuesday and Wednesday.


The teams are preparing for the Nov. 3 AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that could prove pivotal to their championship aspirations. Overall, the test could feature as many as nine of the 13 drivers competing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including the top six currently in the championship standings.


Among the drivers who were scheduled for the original test session and expected to return are five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports; current championship leader and 2003 Cup champion Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing; Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and possibly Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing; and Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing. Richard Childress Racing is slated to have Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard at the test.


Next week's three-day test will be open to the public free of charge. Gate 4 - the main entrance - will be open for fans to enter the grandstands just prior to the start of the session and will remain open until the conclusion of the test session each day. Fans can park in the VIP/PSL parking lot located just outside Gate 4. The restroom facilities will be available but concession stands will be closed so fans are encouraged to bring their coolers.



No.15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer says Sunday’s 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway could go a long way in determining the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

He points to a last lap crash and 23rd-place finish at Talladega and a later Phoenix crash as reasons he ended the 2012 Chase 39 points behind champion Brad Keselowski in second place.

This year Bowyer ranks eighth in the Chase trailing leader Matt Kenseth by 63 points with five races remaining. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver hopes the 2.66-mile Alabama superspeedway could be the place make up that deficit. 

BOWYER ON TALLADEGA: “Talladega is the race that can win or lose you the Chase in a fraction of a second. It’s a traffic jam at 200 mph. You have to survive until the end, which is easier said then done, all while putting yourself in the right position to win and get as many points as you can. You have to drive aggressive and be defensive all at the same time. You worry about what you are doing and keep track of who is around you. If you make a mistake chances are you’ll end up with a wrecked race car. On the other hand if you are as far back in points as we are right now - if something happens early in the race it can put you right back in this thing. You just have to race and hope it all works out in the end.”

ON LAST SEASON’S CHASE: “Looking back on last year’s Chase, it was Talladega that hurt us the most. We tried to stay out of trouble for most of the race and put ourselves in a good spot, but we went from a top-10, maybe even a top-five, to wrecked and 23rd. That is a big points swing with only a couple races left.  If we could have made it out of Talladega with a better finish then maybe I don’t put myself in the same position at Phoenix. Those were the two races that cost us most last year. In the other eight races we averaged a top-five finish and that will typically win you a championship.”


Go Big or Go Home...The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) returns from an extended vacation to visit the largest track on the 2013 schedule: Talladega Superspeedway. Paludo goes into the season's biggest 'wild card' race fifth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings. Paludo is four points behind fourth-place teammate Jeb Burton and eight points ahead of sixth-place driver Timothy Peters.


Braking Point...The No. 32 Chevrolet returns to Duroline Brakes and Components colors this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Duroline is recognized as a world-class company present all over the world with its products and services. It utilizes high technology for producing heavy-duty brake linings, guaranteeing high performance and durability on its products with very low noise level. It uses a patented production process called Wave Process, which is ecologically correct and contributes to environment preservation. For more information, visit


Pleased To Meet You...Paludo will join his Turner Scott Motorsports teammates at the NCWTS driver autograph session on Friday, October 18 from 2:15-3:00 p.m. local time. The autograph session will be held in the concourse under the OV Hill South Grandstand.


Vote Early and Often...The polls have opened for the 2013 NCWTS Most Popular Driver fan vote. Fans can vote once a day from each device: laptop, desktop, tablet, smart phone, etc. Be sure to place your vote for Paludo every day from now until November 15 at


This Week's Silverado...Paludo and the No. 32 Duroline Brakes and Components team will unload chassis TSM-212 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. TSM-212 was the truck utilized in the 2013 season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February, where Paludo earned a seventh-place finish.


Watch And Listen...The Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola can be seen live Saturday, October 19 on FOX Sports 1, with coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The race can also be heard live on MRN Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90.


Previous Race Recap...Paludo had the comeback of the year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the Brazilian earned a top-three finish in the Smith's 350. After taking the green flag from the seventh position, the Brazilian experienced a strong start, but a spin on lap 15 sent Paludo back to the 25th position, one lap down. The No. 32 AccuDoc Solutions team had a remarkable recovery, and Paludo quickly regained his lap and became a contender for the win, crossing the finish line in the third position.


Miguel Paludo on driving at Talladega Superspeedway

"Talladega is a big wild card race for sure. I really like restrictor plate races, but your day can go from good to bad pretty quickly. We were running really well last year and had a shot for the win, but wound up wrecking in the final turn of the race. Talladega is all about patience. There's a huge debate about whether the best strategy is to run up front or run way in back. I've had both strategies work out and I've bad both situations put me in a wreck, so it's really all about drafting with the right people and being smart on every lap. I was able to go home to Brazil during our off weeks, and now I feel relaxed and ready to get back to the track. If we can leave Talladega with a good finish, we can really secure a good place in the points for the rest of the season."



Pack Is Back...James Buescher and his Rheem team return to Talladega Superspeedway coming off their sixth straight top-10 finish of the 2013 season. Buescher looks to continue his success at Talladega and improve his average finish of 6.8. Buescher has only finished outside the top 10 one time in his four career starts at the 2.66-mile track. Last year at Talladega, Buescher managed to stay out of the "Big One" to bring home a third-place finish and stay within striking distance of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship.


Gotta Have a Rheem...Once again, the No. 31Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team will have the familiar Rheem colors back onboard at Talladega Superspeedway. Rheem Manufacturing Company ( is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta. In its 87th year of operation, the company manufactures a full line of high-quality residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar, and heat pump water heaters; swimming pool heaters and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company's premium brands, including Raypak, Ruud and Rheem, have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem, now in its seventh consecutive year as a NASCAR sponsor, is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Turner Scott Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing. Rheem also sponsors RCR's No. 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car driven by Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series car driven by Paul Menard.


Chassis Info...The TSM team will utilize chassis TSM-015 for the Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway. This will mark the second time this season that this particular chassis will be used. Buescher used TSM-015 at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.


Back to the Trucks...After the Smith's 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway three weeks ago, the series took a short break in the action, but that didn't stop Buescher and his No. 31 TSM team from racing. Buescher made his third and fourth starts of the year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and brought home two top-15 finishes.


Get Your Sharpie Ready...On Friday, come and get an autograph from Buescher and his TSM teammates during the NCWTS autograph session located on the Concourse under the OV Hill South Grandstand from 2:15 to 3:00 p.m. CDT.


Watch and Listen...Buescher and the NCWTS return to action after a short break in the schedule with the Fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. The Fred's 250 can be seen live Saturday, October 19 on FOX Sports 1. Race coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Be sure to tune in, as the No. 31 Rheem Chevrolet will carry an on-board camera for the 94-lap event. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90.


James Buescher on Returning to Talladega Superspeedway

"Unlike some drivers, I am really looking forward to returning to Talladega this weekend A lot of people think this is a wild card event, but I am looking at this weekend as another opportunity for my Turner Scott Motorsports team to gain ground in the points. My team has a good track record at the superspeedways; I hope we are able to stay out of trouble and be in position to grab our third win of the season."



Shake and Bake...After two weekends off, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) will make its way to the infamous Talladega Superspeedway for action-packed drafting. Jeb Burton and the No. 4 Arrowhead/Kangaroo Express truck will make their debut at the 2.66-mile track for the Fred 250's on Saturday afternoon. In what's considered the biggest wild card race of the year, Burton and his team will rely on strategy, speed and a lot of luck to get the No. 4 Chevy into victory lane.


This Week's Silverado...The No. 4 Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team will unload chassis TSM-004 this week at Talladega Superspeedway. Used in his NCWTS debut at Daytona International Speedway, TSM-004 brought Burton a top-five finish in February.


Meet and Greet...Stop by and meet Burton along with his fellow TSM teammates at the NCWTS driver autograph session on Friday, October 18 from 2:15 to 3:00 p.m. local time. The autograph session will be held in the concourse under the OV Hill South Grandstand.


Don't Forget to Vote...The polls have opened for the 2013 NCWTS Most Popular Driver award and Jeb needs your help! Vote once a day from now until November 15 at #TeamBurton


You Won't Want to Miss This...Don't miss any of the action from Talladega! The Fred's 250 can be seen live on Saturday, October 19, with pre-race coverage beginning at 3:300 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1. The race can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90.


Previous Race Recap...In his debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Burton faced multiple challenges at the one-day event, starting with a rough first practice session where he made contact with the wall. In his backup truck, Burton used the final practice session to get comfortable and qualified fourth for the Smith's 350. The team, however, struggled with handling issues and despite multiple pit stops and adjustments, the issues remained throughout the race. Fighting hard, Burton managed to cross the finish line in 12th place and remain fourth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings.


Jeb Burton on Racing at Talladega Superspeedway

"I'm looking forward to racing at Talladega for the plain reason that it's Dega. As excited as I am to get back on a racetrack and compete, this weekend will really be all about luck. We'll either have it on our side or we won't. We ran good in this truck at Daytona, so we'll give it another shot this weekend and hope for the best. A lot of things are riding on this wild card race."



Eight inches of North Carolina clay made all of the difference at 175 mph for Reed Sorenson. But that was the difference between finishing on the track or in the garage at the maiden voyage of Leavine Family Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program.

Sorenson clipped the inside apron too closely in last Friday night’s Dollar General 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in an attempt to avoid lapped-traffic that unfortunately sent his No. 95 Jetset Getset Ford into a spin for a 37th-place finish.

“Just thinking back on it, I had a run on the No. 98 and the No. 14, I believe, and I was going to pass them both,” Sorenson said. “The next thing I know my left-front was in the grass, and when I hit it my car went right. So I don’t really have an explanation for it other than that I was making a move on passing a couple cars and once I hit the grass it was over.”

Sorenson and the team hoped the debut would be a springboard for future success in the Nationwide Series. Instead, it served as another valuable and difficult lesson that success doesn’t easily come in NASCAR.

“The car was hurt,” crew chief Wally Rogers said. “Reed barely clipped the grass, but it shot it straight right and into the outside wall. At racing’s drawing board everything is measured by fractions of inches, and Reed found that out last Friday. A fraction of an inch to the right and everything’s all right.”

Sorenson started 21st and was running in the 20s when the accident happened.

“We were still feeling out the car and making changes,” Sorenson said. “For a first race, we were really fast right off the truck. Another stop or two and the adjustments would have been even better. I think we were a top-10, top-15 car, for sure.

“The commitment from everyone at Leavine Family Racing and Jetset Getset was incredible. We came a long way in a couple days in our first Nationwide race. That same commitment will help us move forward.”



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