Monday, Feb 06
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Businesses and fans are bringing thousands of troops to Charlotte Motor Speedway for 54th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 with the new Patriot Partners bus sponsorship program.

The program provides companies and individuals the opportunity to welcome home and thank the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces by sponsoring buses to bring troops from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C., to the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway for the Coca-Cola 600.

Companies that have already signed up to participate include Coca-Cola, Toyota, Smithfield, Goodyear, Bojangles’, HEAR USA, Thunder Road Harley Davidson, Cross Roads Harley Davidson, Ohio Logistics, Precision Walls and more.

“We were already trying to come up with a program to help veterans and when the speedway told us about the Patriot Partners program, we thought this was a great opportunity,” said Loy Allen, co-founder of Cary, N.C.-based company Precision Walls. “These troops volunteered to go and fight for our country and I have a lot of respect for them. This is a way for us to give back and to thank them for their service.”

Patriot Partner sponsorships are still available for purchase at various levels and includes tickets, transportation and sponsor benefits. Fans and businesses can also donate tickets to send troops to the Coca-Cola 600 through the Let the Troops Race program. Tickets are only $25 each and can be purchased through the speedway ticket office or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

“Charlotte Motor Speedway is providing 3,000 tickets to the military for distribution through the USO, and with these additional programs of corporate and fan support, we’ve already got more than 7,000 troops and their family members to entertain on Memorial Day Weekend,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“These soldiers deserve to be recognized for their service and to enjoy the world’s most patriotic pre-race celebration. We invite additional fans and companies to join us so that we can have 20,000 troops and their families with us at the Coca-Cola 600.”

For more information on the Patriot Partners or Let the Troops Race programs, contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

CMS PR

Race fans who want to get up close and personal with today’s NASCAR stars need to look no further than Darlington Raceway’s hospitality areas on May 10-11.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick, along with Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte, who are both Coca-Cola Racing Family members, are scheduled to participate in 15-minute question and answer sessions for race fans in the track’s Darlington Stripe Zone Hospitality club, prior to the running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500.

For fans who have not yet purchased a Stripe Zone hospitality package, this is the perfect opportunity to see NASCAR drivers in person, while enjoying the amenities of the all-inclusive experience the Stripe Zone has to offer.

For $140 per package (plus the cost of a grandstand ticket), fans receive a pre-race cold pit pass (shirt and shoes required), full meal and snacks, unlimited non-alcohol beverage service until the scheduled race start, four beer coupons to guests 21 years of age and older, a Darlington-branded gift, event program and live entertainment. Combine that with scheduled driver appearances by Harvick, Burton and Labonte and it’s the perfect package for a race fan.

“Our Darlington Stripe Zone hospitality packages are very popular with fans,” Darlington Raceway Director of Corporate Sales Jeff Taylor said. “Having drivers like Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte make appearances really adds to the already tremendous value of the Stripe Zone package, while giving the fans a great all-inclusive experience for their race day.”

In addition to the Stripe Zone, Darlington Raceway also offers a hospitality option for race fans on Friday, May 10, prior to the Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200. The T4 Zone hospitality package offers a similar all-inclusive experience with scheduled driver appearances by Turner Scott Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Nelson Piquet Jr. Larson and Piquet Jr. will both be making their Nationwide Series debuts at Darlington.

Each T4 Zone package consists of limited pre-race cold pit pass access, full meal and snacks, unlimited non-alcohol beverages until the scheduled race start time, two beer coupons for guests 21 years of age or older, Darlington-branded gift and souvenir program, all for $75 per package (plus the cost of a grandstand ticket).

“Larson and Piquet Jr. are very entertaining drivers who enjoy participating in question and answer sessions for fans,” Taylor said. “We’re excited that they are visiting our T4 Zone that day and will be great for the fans to see.”

All hospitality packages and tickets can be purchased by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.

Times and appearances are subject to change.

Darlington Raceway PR

Toyota Care 250 QUOTES & NOTES: Richmond Int’l Raceway

Eric McClure Quotes

You had the stomach flu in Texas, which forced you from the car, how are you feeling?

“I feel ok. I'm not sure I've ever been that sick before outside of the Epstein Barr virus.  The kids appear to be going through round two of this bug, so hopefully we won't have any problems. For whatever reason, there seems to be a divine reason I can't finish the spring race at Texas, so I'm sure we will be fine at Richmond.”

The team has struggled in recent weeks, what are your thoughts on this?

“We've had a lot of bad luck this year.  We had good speed in the first four races, but lost two engines and broke a sway bar at Bristol.  The last two weeks we have struggled but battled a variety of things. It's disappointing because we feel we gave good finishes away earlier.  We need to keep our expectations realistic and work hard to overcome this. There’s a lot of racing left. “

Hefty®/Reynolds® Racing NOTES

24th in Owners’ Points:  Heading into race seven of the Nationwide Series season, Eric McClure and his TriStar Motorsports team find themselves in the 24th position in owners’ standings, 17 points out of the 20th spot. After his 8th-place, career-best finish in Daytona, the team has had two engine failures and has struggled to find the right set-up combination in the other events.  McClure has failed to post a top-20 finish in six races, but he did however get close when posting a 21st-place finish in Bristol. 

Ready for Redemption: This weekend’s Toyota Care 250 marks the Virginia native’s 206th Nationwide Series start and his 12th at the 3/4-mile facility.  In 11 starts, McClure has completed 81.7% of the total laps attempted and has an average finish of 31.9.  One year ago, the team posted a disappointing 31st-place finish after battling a car that seemed unresponsive to adjustments. 

Chassis No. 7 :  McClure will pilot chassis No. 7 in this weekend’s NNS event at Richmond Int’l Raceway, its first event of the 2013 season.  It was however raced during last year’s fall event at RIR where McClure posted a track-best finish of 26th.

Hilton Garden Inn-Richmond Downtown Returns as Associate Sponsor:  Team McClure, Inc. is pleased to announce that Hilton Garden Inn-Richmond Downtown will continue their partnership with McClure and the TriStar Motorsports organization for the 2013 season.  This will mark the hotel’s fourth consecutive year as an associate sponsor of McClure and their third of TriStar Motorsports.

TMI PR

In an effort to better connect with its fans on a more personal level, Swan Racing, in conjunction with Wheelhouse Media, is set to launch Swan Racing TV this week leading into the upcoming Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Richmond International Raceway. 

Swan Racing TV will feature the cast and characters of Swan Racing and consist of 32 weeks of high quality, entertaining, fun and informative "reality show style" original content edited down to three to six minutes in length per weekly video. The videos' purposes are to help raise the profile of Swan Racing and keep its fans up to speed on the weekly happenings of the team away from the track back at the shop as well as cast the team members as personable characters so that Swan Racing's fans will feel an immediate connection to them. The first video out of the 32-week series will be rolled out this Thursday, April 25. 
 
For a quick look at what's to come with Swan Racing TV please click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciTAGUu43Gk&feature=youtu.be Be sure to follow @SwanRacingTV, @SwanRacingCo, @DavidStremme, & @SwanEnergyInc on Twitter to catch the weekly webisodes. 
 
"Swan Racing is old school racing. Racing hard, every lap, every race," said Swan Racing team owner Brandon Davis. "We are a team with an all hands on deck approach and understand many of our fans are just like us - old school racers at heart. So we want to give our fans the opportunity to be able to connect with our race team on a more personal level and open up our shop doors to allow them to see all that goes down behind the scenes through Swan Racing TV. At the end of the day we are just a bunch of "good ol boys" who grew up grass roots racing like a majority of our fans and we don't want to lose sight of that." 
 
Swan Racing has hired Wheelhouse Media to produce the 32 weeks of original content for Swan Racing TV. Wheelhouse Media is a full service video production shop that specializes in creating original content for film, television, commercials, and marketing campaigns and is best known for their award winning cinematography, clever narrative, inventive scripting, creative post-production and high quality motion graphics. The Charlotte, N.C. based group is no stranger to the racing world having covered hundreds of racing events and produced video content for clients such as Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Petty Holdings, Dodge, Valvoline, Bank of America, Performance Racing Network and General Motors.
 
Swan Racing PR

No matter where Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr. or Clint Bowyer finish Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, Michael Waltrip Racing fans and fans of all NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will win with the Michael Waltrip Racing Insider Program.

Text “MWR” to 42828 on a smartphone to get the free Insider card

The program requires no personal information and offers significant discounts on tickets to several upcoming races including:

MWR INSIDER PROGRAM BENEFITS

  • Talladega Speedway: Save $15 on tickets to the Aaron’s 499 race. Anniston grandstand tickets for $55.
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway: 30% off selected grandstand seats for the All-Star and Coca 600 weekends. Plus 20% off pit pass.
  • Pocono Raceway: Three-day ticket package for $56 and includes a Q&A session on race day morning with Martin Truex Jr. $5 from every package will go towards to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.
  • Quicken Loans: $500 cash back after closing
  • Kentucky Speedway: Up to 20% off Sprint Cup race tickets
  • Free headset with rental of a FanVision unit ($19.99 value)
  • COMING SOON: Fatheads: 25%off NASCAR Fatheads at fathead.com
  • COMING SOON Georgia Boots: 20% off any pair of boots

MARK MARTIN ON MWR INSIDER PROGRAM: “This is a pretty cool program. It seems like all of us spend time on our smartphones these days. So this is a quick and easy way to be part of the MWR race team and get some really cool discounts. Heck, this is a great program for all NASCAR fans. It’s free and it will save you a lot of money. Plus, it’s not like you have to go on there and give your social security number or anything like that. You just text and download the card and you are good to go. Quick and easy.”

MARK MARTIN TO MAKE 55TH RICHMOND START

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No.55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Driver Mark Martin will make his 55th Sprint Cup start at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night in the Toyota Owners 400. The 54-year-old future Hall of Famer won the pole for this race in 2012 and will likely be at the front of the field Saturday night. Martin’s No. 55 is 11th in owner points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series holds its ninth points race of the 2013 season. Martin owns 18 top-five finishes in 54 Richmond starts.

RICHMOND: “This is my 55th race at Richmond and I am driving the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine plus Toyota is sponsoring the race so we have all that going for us. We were fortunate enough to win the pole here last year and MWR has done really well here of late. Clint won this race in the fall and we finished third. Martin Truex has been on fire the last two weeks. So, we are pretty optimistic Saturday night is going to be a lot of fun. Richmond is one of the best places we race and it seems like it’s always a great show for the fans.”

MWR PR

Every year in late April across the United States, signs of spring begin to appear all around. Flowers and trees start to come into bloom, the grass begins to grow, the weather becomes warmer – and, of course, Kyle Busch posts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) returns to Richmond for Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 looking for his fifth consecutive spring event win at the .75-mile oval. Last April, the Las Vegas native brought home his fourth straight spring victory at Richmond to go with four runner-up finishes and an amazing 12 top-fives in just 16 career Sprint Cup starts in Virginia’s capital city.

Busch’s average finishing position of just 5.4 is tops among all active drivers at Richmond, including JGR teammate Denny Hamlin, whose average finish there is 8.1. Busch has completed all but one of the 6,410 laps available to him in his 16 career Richmond starts. Of those laps completed, Busch has run in the top-15 for 6,607 (87.5 percent) of them – second-most among active drivers at the track.

While he has always had strong runs at Richmond since joining the Sprint Cup ranks in 2005, Busch’s first Sprint Cup victory didn’t come until May 2009, when he became only the second driver in Sprint Cup history to celebrate a victory on his birthday, a feat first accomplished by Cale Yarborough, who did it twice. Yarborough won on his March 27 birthday at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway in 1977 and at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1983. Since his first Richmond victory in 2009, Busch has finished out of the top-five just once, coming home fifth, second, sixth, and 16th, respectively, in the fall races the past four seasons after winning the spring race each year.

While his May 2 birthday isn’t until five days later this year, the soon-to-be 28-year-old would like nothing more than to add another Richmond win to his resume and celebrate his birthday a little early in victory lane Saturday night in the “Capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia” – and, yes, continue this very special rite of spring.

TSC PR

Full Stable...For the first time since Bristol Motor Speedway, Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) will have all five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) entries in competition at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). TSM will have all five entries again at Iowa Speedway on June 7th.

 

Quick Start...TSM is off to a fast start this season, with Kwasniewski winning the season-opener at Bristol and Ruston scoring back-to-back top-five finishes in the last two NKNPSE races. Kwasniewski and Ruston currently sit inside the top five in the point standings, in second and fourth, respectively.

 

Now Appearing...TSM drivers Austin Dyne, Ben Rhodes, Brandon Jones, Dylan Kwasniewski and Kenzie Ruston will be at the NKNPSE autograph session on Thursday afternoon in the fan midway at 3:00 pm EDT. Stop by to say hello and get an autograph from the stars of tomorrow.

 

Austin Dyne...Two weeks ago, Dyne traveled to the half-mile oval at Five Flags for his first ever visit to the Speedway. After suffering a broke radio antenna early in the race, Dyne had to rely on his skills to get through the 150 laps. Dyne will cut his teeth at another new track this week as he makes his first visit to the .75-mile Richmond International Raceway on Thursday.

 

"After a weekend off, I am glad to be getting back to the track with my Turner Scott Motorsports team. I have never raced at Richmond, but I have heard it is a really fun track, so I am looking forward to hitting in the track in our No. 99 KMC Wheels Chevrolet."

 

Ben Rhodes...Only running a partial season in the NKNPSE, Rhodes will make his second start of the season this week at Richmond International Raceway. Rhodes is the lone driver in the TSM stable that has previously turned laps around the .75-mile oval. Although this weekend is only Rhode's second start in the NKNPSE, he has been staying busy racing in the UARA series, where in Rockingham he finished in the runner up spot. After competing in the Blue Ox 100, Rhodes will jump in a late model to run in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.

 

"The Turner Scott Motorsports team has been working hard since Bristol to get our primary car fixed and ready for Richmond," said Rhodes. "I really wish we had that car for the Bristol race because we think we could have been up front at the end. But, things happen and that was then. We are focused on being up front at Richmond."

 

Brandon Jones...Jones will make his second of seven starts of the NKNPSE season this week at the short track. The last time out for Jones resulted in a disppointing finish when he got tangled up in a accident just past the half-way mark in Bristol. Jones will make his first start at Richmond this week. In addition to his NKNPSE races, Jones will also run full time in the UARA series for Turner Scott Motorsports.

 

"I'm really excited for my return to the K&N series this weekend. Our team has been having some success in the late model ranks that I feel like we can translate to over to the K&N series. We had a great run at Rockingham a couple weeks ago, and I feel like I learned a lot that I can use what I learned from running there and translate it over to Richmond."

 

Dylan Kwasniewski...Dylan Kwasniewski headed into Five Flags Speedway with never turning any laps at the track until the open test session on the day before the race. After a less than stellar qualifying effort, Kwasniewski made a charge to the front of the field and captured his second top 10 of the 2013 season.

 

"Like most of my teammates, I've never raced at Richmond. However, I feel confident that my Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink team and I will be able to quickly learn the track and be a contender in Thursday night's race."

 

Kenzie Ruston...After a stellar start to her rookie season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series ranks, Ruston went to a track that she was familiar with, Five Flags Speedway. With a great qualifying effort, Ruston saved her tires until late in the race and made a run to the front of the pack. In the process, Ruston was able to pick up her second top-five finish of the early 2013 season. Ruston will head into Richmond this weekend and will turn her first laps around the .75-mile oval.

"I'm really looking forward to Richmond this coming weekend. I've seen it on TV, and I'm looking forward to being able to drive it. Our team has been on a roll, and I feel like we are really close to getting our first win of the season. I have a lot of confidence in our AccuDoc Solutions team."

TSM PR

The Toyota Care 250 on Friday, April 26th will mark the second start for Landon Cassill with JD Motorsports. After an inspiring run that was cut short due to engine failure at Texas, the team is looking to rebound at Richmond. Cassill will again drive the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet as he hopes to lock the team back into the all important top-35 in owner’s points.

This race will be the fifth start for Cassill at Richmond in the Nationwide Series, but the young driver also has five starts in the Sprint Cup Series to draw from. His experience coupled with the same racecar from Texas should leave the team at the top of the charts for the second weekend in a row.

Bringing chassis JDM 014 from Texas will help Cassill and the team transition their equipment from the 1.5 mile speedway to the .75 mile short track in Virginia. Cassill provided great feedback on the car, leading to the decision by the crew to bring it back after being refreshed between races.

Although suffering from a blown motor at Texas, Cassill piloted the car into the top-15 early on, and remained there until the cockpit filled with smoke requiring him to take the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevy behind the wall.

Landon Cassill Quotes: “After a encouraging weekend at Texas, I can’t wait to jump back in the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevy at Richmond. We had good speed all week, but the motor blowing was a real bummer. Hopefully we can repeat our good run and make it to the finish here. Richmond is a fun track; it is a short track with a lot of speed. I think we can run up towards the front again.”

JD Motorsports PR

Following another off-week for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Mike Wallace and the No. 01 S.B. Ballard Construction Team return to action this Friday, April 26th. After a good run in Texas, the team will look to finish in the top-25 for the fourth weekend in a row at Richmond.

The Marc Browning led team will utilize chassis JDM 009, which last competed at Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year. At Phoenix, the car immediately moved into the top-20 at the start of the race, but was caught up in a wreck suffering front end damage. Although the crash ended any hope for a good run, the car itself has been refreshed and repaired for Richmond.

The .75 mile track is equally fast as it is tight and often considered to have both short track and intermediate track qualities. In 2012, the team finished both races in the top-25. In addition to the fast speeds and sharp corners, the race will be run under the lights, adding intensity as the Nationwide Series regulars fight for positions against a large field of Sprint Cup drivers.

After success at Texas, the team has locked itself into the race at Richmond, allowing the team the entire practice session to work on race trim. With another good run at Richmond, the veteran Wallace will look to move up in the driver’s points standings, breaking into the top 20.

Joining the team will be SB Ballard Construction, a commercial builder with offices in Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va. who has been in business for 34 years. Today, S.B. Ballard provides pre-construction services, general contracting, construction management, design build, and concrete contracting services to an extensive list of clients throughout the Southeast.

Mike Wallace Quotes: “Richmond is always a fun race. The track is fast, but also short, and running under the lights adds excitement. We have put together a couple good runs now so I hope we can continue with that momentum at Richmond. The key is to make clean stops and stay on the lead lap. I know this team can continue to get better, especially after some bad luck early in the year. I am thankful to have my friend Steve Ballard supporting us again, and hope to run well.”

JD Motorsports PR

 

 

 

There aren't many tracks as dynamic as Richmond International Raceway. The .75-mile oval has everything a race fan wants. Whether it's short-track bumping and banging, or high-speed, side-by-side racing, Richmond has it all. It's no wonder that fans and drivers alike look forward to racing at the .75-mile oval. Michael McDowell, driver of the No. 00 Toyota, is excited to go racing again with SR2 Motorsports and compete under the lights in Friday's ToyotaCare 250.

McDowell has four Nationwide Series starts at Richmond. He's started inside the top 25 three times and posted two top-20 finishes. His best finish is eighth place, which he scored in 2008.
 

Michael McDowell discusses racing at Richmond:

"Richmond is such a cool place. It's tough to beat it. It may be a short track, but it's got lots of speed on the straightaways. There's also a lot of room to move around and find the right line for your car. You'll see guys moving all over the track to find the groove that works best. Some will be riding high, some will be riding down low.

"It's under the lights, too, which is always cool. I can see why the fans like night races so much. The action just looks so much cooler when the lights are shining down. As a driver, the night conditions mean more consistency in the track temperature. Once the sun sets, things don't change too much and it's a little easier to make adjustments on the car.

"It's not hard to get into trouble at Richmond. Things happen pretty quick there. It's when you aren't paying attention or you start bumping and banging, that's when accidents happen. You have to stay focused and keep a cool head if you want to make to the checkered flag."

SR2 Motorsports PR

 

 

 

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