Saturday, Jun 10
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Construction began this week on new restroom and concession facilities along the concourse in the first and second-turn of Martinsville Speedway.

It is the third such project in three years at Martinsville Speedway.

“Fan comfort and convenience are extremely important to us. This new construction is part of an ongoing project to keep upgrading our facilities for fans,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “We want to make sure our facilities are equal to those at any sporting or entertainment venue our fans may attend.”

The new building, which is at ground level under the South Terrace, is approximately 3,000 square feet. It will have men’s and women’s restrooms and two family restrooms.

The building will also contain a concession stand with full cooking capabilities.

The structure is on an elevated platform built into the superstructure of the grandstands to tie into the existing concourse without interfering with flow of pedestrians under the grandstands.

“Our architects did a great job of planning a fairly large building without interfering with foot traffic,” said Campbell. “That was one of our biggest concerns going into the project and it turned out not to be a worry at all.”

The new building will be finished in time for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on October 27.

Tickets for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 begin at just $37 and are on sale now. Tickets for youth 12 and under are just $10 in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 15-52. Teen tickets (ages 13-17) in the same area are $25. Youth and teen ticket prices are good with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are $30 in advance with youth 12 and under admitted free. Tickets for Pole Day, Friday, Oct. 25, are $15 with youth 12 and under admitted free.

Martinsville Speedway PR

In the midst of a two-race primary sponsorship with Bicycle® Playing Cards, Circle Sport announced that Interstate Moving Services will also partner with driver Landon Cassill and the No. 33 Circle Sport Chevrolet this weekend as an associate sponsor for the FedEx 400 on Sunday, June 2, at Dover International Speedway.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Arthur Morrissette originally founded Interstate Moving Services in Washington, D.C., in 1943. The organization has seen tremendous change and evolution over seven decades of business, and during that time, one constant has remained a focus… to deliver quality “Top Hat Service” to each and every customer. Through three generations of family ownership and management, Interstate pledges to remain at the leading edge of training, methods and innovation while striving to deliver excellence to all of our customers without exception.

Now headquartered in Springfield, Va., Interstate Moving Services will be prominently displayed on the rear quarter panels of the No. 33 Bicycle NASCAR Playing Cards/Interstate Moving Services Chevrolet SS for Sunday’s 13th race of the 2103 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Circle Sport PR

After two-and-a-half hours of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice Thursday at Dover International Speedway preparing for Friday's Lucas Oil 200, ThorSport Racing's three trucks had plenty of room for improvement at the high-speed, high-banked concrete "Monster Mile."


ThorSport's trio battled alternately loose and tight handling throughout the day, particularly through the bumpy Turns 3 and 4, and while their race runs were decent, all three trucks were lacking sheer speed compared to the competition on Thursday.


Truck Series point leader Matt Crafton logged his best lap of the day on his 37th and final lap of Happy Hour, actually a 75-minute practice in the late afternoon. His No. 88 Goof Off / Menards Toyota turned a lap in 24 seconds, an average speed of 150 mph. That lap was good for 17th on the 36-truck speed chart. Crafton turned just nine laps in the first 75-minute practice, with a best lap of 24.103 seconds, 13th on the 35-truck chart.


His ThorSport teammate, Johnny Sauter, was 10th in the first practice in his No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota, with his fourth of 10 laps in 24.025 seconds, 149.844 mph. Sauter's best lap of the 13 he turned in Happy Hour was also his last, in 24.109 seconds / 149.322 mph, that was good for 19th in that practice.


Todd Bodine in the No. 13 SealMaster Toyota, the third ThorSport truck, was 18th in P1 with his best of 17 laps, 24.251 seconds, 148.447 mph. Bodine ended Happy Hour in 27th, after running 21 laps with his best in 24.422 seconds, 147.408 mph.


Overall on the day, Crafton's best lap was 18th-fastest, Sauter was 20th and Bodine, 23rd. Quick-study Chase Elliott continued to impress as, in his first Dover visit and his third Truck start overall he was fastest in 23.422 seconds, 153.702 mph in Happy Hour. Another quick youngster, rookie of the year candidate Jeb Burton, was second-best in 23.489 seconds, also in Happy Hour.


In qualifying Dover history is on the ThorSport drivers' side, particularly Sauter, who has a 4.5 average start in four Dover attempts. Crafton, who has a 22-point lead in the standings over Burton, has five consecutive top-10 finishes at Dover and has five consecutive top-10 finishes this season -- the only series driver who can make that claim.


Bodine, who will make his sixth start for ThorSport, all this season, is the defending champion of this event.


Pole qualifying for the Lucas Oil 200 is at 10:05 a.m. ET Friday, with live coverage on the SPEED Channel. Bodine is scheduled to run 14th of the 36 trucks entered -- all of which will start the race. Sauter will go out 17th and Crafton, 19th.


The series' sixth race goes green at 5 p.m., with live TV coverage on SPEED beginning with "The Setup" pre-race show at 4:30 p.m. MRN Radio has live coverage, also beginning at 4:30.


Thorsport PR

Viva Motorsports, which fields the #55 Chevy Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, is pleased to announce the addition of legendary racer, Frank Cicci, to the team.  The team will now operate under the name “Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci.”

Cicci brings over 25 years of experience at the helm of winning NASCAR race teams.  A force in the Nationwide Series, Frank Cicci racked up 752 starts and 19 victories during his tenure as a car owner and had a hand in beginning the careers of many drivers such as Jimmy Spencer and Todd Bodine.

Cicci also introduced high profile sponsorships in which many are still involved in the sport.   He will use his expertise to help guide Viva into the future by focusing on securing a long term sponsor.  “We are thrilled to have someone with the name recognition of Frank Cicci to come on board.  This only makes our team stronger going forward,” said Jamie Dick, Partner and Team Manager of Viva Motorsports. Cicci commented on his involvement, “I have been waiting for the right opportunity and Viva Motorsports has it all.  My marketing team will get the team sponsored so that we can build a competitive organization.”

For the remaining 2013 season, Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci will operate out of its China Grove headquarters and continue a partial schedule in the Nationwide Series with support from Viva Auto Group. The team looks forward to securing sponsorship that will enable them to run a full schedule in 2014.

Viva Motorsports PR

Darlington Raceway has always been known for its great racing, but on November 8-9, 2013, she will welcome some of the top BBQ teams in the southeast to the Pee Dee for the inaugural “Speed & Feed BBQ Cook-off and Car Show.”

The event, which will be sanctioned by the South Carolina BBQ Association, one of the premier BBQ organizations in the country, will feature top BBQ cook teams vying to win the coveted $2,500 first-place prize, while also earning a spot in the World Food Championships, held in Las Vegas, Nev. in November 2014.

The Friday and Saturday event will be open to the public with BBQ sampling taking place on Saturday, Nov. 9.

“The Speed & Feed BBQ Cook-off and Car Show will be a fun and unique event that is coming to Darlington Raceway on November 8-9,” track President Chris Browning said. “Because of the fact that teams are competing for a spot in the World Food Championships in Las Vegas and a $2,500 first-prize, you can expect to see cookers produce some of the top BBQ in the region that weekend.”

Additionally, the Car Show portion of the Speed & Feed event will feature an open show of cars, trucks and golf carts on display for enthusiasts, along with a swap meet.

The car show, golf cart show and swap meet are being organized by longtime enthusiasts, Fred and Nancy Turner, of Florence, S.C. The Turners have put together successful car shows in the region for decades. Participants in the car show and golf cart show will receive cruise laps around the famed Darlington Raceway.

“We’re excited to bring a car show and also introduce a golf cart show to Darlington Raceway for this event,” the Turners said. “To be able to cruise around the Lady in Black in a car, truck or golf cart will be a lot of fun for our participants.”

Approximately 100 total awards will be handed out for the car (75 awards) and golf cart (25) entries and a portion of the proceeds from the car show will benefit Toys for Tots.

Darlington Raceway PR

Sonoma Raceway, in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), will offer race fans a patriotic way to pay tribute to the brave men and women in our community through the “PG&E Heroes in Our Community” program. 

Through its Heroes in Our Community sponsorship, PG&E will partner with Operation: Care & Comfort and the American Red Cross to distribute tickets to Sonoma Raceway’s NASCAR and INDYCAR races to military families and veterans, as well as Red Cross volunteers and first responders throughout Northern California. In addition, PG&E will elect a special herofor recognition during pre-race ceremonies at the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 (June 23), the NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 28) and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Aug. 25).

“It is an honor to recognize those who serve and protect us both overseas and here in our local communities,” said Ezra Garrett, vice president of community relations and chief sustainability officer for PG&E. “PG&E is proud to join Sonoma Raceway for its third year in celebrating our local heroes.”

Hero Appreciation Day on Sunday, Aug. 25, will culminate this season-long tribute to our community heroes.  Pre-race ceremonies at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will feature a patriotic theme, including a 25-minute air show by the Patriots Jet Team, followed by a parade lap of emergency vehicles, on-stage recognition of PG&E and an honored hero, who will then ride in a PG&E vehicle during the pre-race parade lap. Fans will also enjoy an anthem singer from the Armed Forces, Honor Guard presentation of colors and a presentation of the raceway’s 50-foot American flag. 

Fans are encouraged to visit the PG&E Heroes in Our Community booth at the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event (June 21-23) and the NHRA  Sonoma Nationals (July 26-28). The booth will also be a hub where fans can sign banners thanking heroes for their service.  Both banners will be presented to Operation: Care & Comfort and the American Red Cross following Sonoma Raceway’s major event season.

In addition, race fans can say “thank you” to members of the Armed Forces, firefighters, police officers, sheriffs, California Highway Patrol members and first responders in a way they will never forget – by sending them to the races in Sonoma. For just $10, race fans can sponsor those who serve our communities and send them to the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 or Hero Appreciation Day at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

The “PG&E Heroes in Our Community” program is the perfect way for race fans to share their passion with the men and women serving our country. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this very special program. Visit or call 800-870-RACE (7223)today for tickets and to show your support. 

Sonoma Raceway PR

Accomplished sports car racer Johnny O’Connell will drive for JR Motorsports in the June 22NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America, general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced today.  O’Connell will make up a two-team contingent for JR Motorsports at Road America that includes Nationwide Series point leader Regan Smith.

O’Connell, a longtime GM factory driver and recent inductee into the Sebring Hall of Fame, will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet at Road America, the first of three road-course venues the Nationwide Series will visit in 2013.  This will mark O’Connell’s first-ever race in a NASCAR stock car. is a subset of Keen Parts Inc., a leading supplier of Corvette restoration parts.  It specializes in Corvette restoration parts ranging from vintage 1953 models to customized accessories for today’s Corvettes.  The company’s current inventory boasts more than 18,000 parts and accessories.
“Needless to say, I’m extremely excited about the opportunity Dale Jr. and Kelley have presented me,” O’Connell said.  “Over the years, competing in NASCAR is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I never thought I’d get the opportunity.  To be given that shot with JR Motorsports is something that I fully expect to dedicate 100% of my effort to, and I truly appreciate for stepping up to support our team.  I plan to give them all I have.”
A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but longtime resident of Flowery Branch, Ga., O’Connell is considered one of the most successful GM factory racecar drivers from the United States.  He is a three-time American Le Mans Series champion for Corvette Racing and current World Challenge champion for Cadillac.  He won the 2001 24 Hours of Daytona for Corvette Racing.  He has eight total wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring – more than any other driver – and an overall title in 1994.
Most recently O’Connell won the fourth round of the Pirelli World Challenge GT Cadillac Sports Car Challenge at Circuit of the Americas on May 18.  He is the defending series champion with Andy Pilgram.
O’Connell tested with JR Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway on Mon., May 27, and is scheduled for another test session prior to the June 22 race at Road America.

Rev Racing is headed to Bowman Gray Stadium this Saturday to race in The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at the track more commonly referred to as “The Madhouse”. The team found success at Bowman Gray last season, where Kyle Larson captured the pole and Bryan Ortiz had a career best finish of third, and is anxious to follow up on those results once again.

Ryan Gifford (No. 2 NASCAR Technical Institute/UTI Toyota Camry) – Gifford earned his first career win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (NKNPS) East at Richmond the last time out, and is feeling confident going into Bowman Gray. He’s currently second in points, and has three top-10s in four races this season.

Bryan Ortiz (No. 4 Rev Racing Toyota Camry) – Ortiz had a career best finish of third at Bowman Gray Stadium last season, his first time racing there, and also finished third at the Daytona International Speedway short track earlier this year. He’s currently 12th in points, with a season best result of sixth at Five Flags Speedway.

Daniel Suarez (No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota Camry) – Suarez is running in both the NKNPS East and the NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series (NTMS) this season. He has seven top-10s in 20 career NKNPS East starts, and three wins, eight poles, and 26 top-10s in the NTMS.

Mackena Bell (No. 21 Toyota Racing Development Toyota Camry) – Bell is having a spectacular rookie season, and is currently sitting 10th in points. She became she highest female qualifier in series history earlier this season with a seventh place qualifying effort at Greenville, and scored a career best fifth place finish at Richmond the last time out.

Qualifying is at 6:15 p.m. and the race will begin at 8 p.m. Follow @RevRacin on twitter for updates throughout the day.

Rev Racing PR

Nearly one-in-four (117) FORTUNE 500 companies use NASCAR as part of their marketing mix, according to an analysis of sponsors currently in the sport when compared to the magazine’s annual list released this month. For the second consecutive year, the number of FORTUNE500 companies involved in NASCAR increased; and is an eight percent improvement over 2008. The analysis encompassed companies currently involved as a sponsor of NASCAR’s sanctioning body, teams, tracks and/or as media partners.

“There’s a reason the number of FORTUNE 500 companies invested in NASCAR remains higher than any other sport,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief marketing officer. “Our fans are among the most brand loyal in all of sports. Some of the world’s biggest, most recognizable and profitable brands utilize NASCAR as a critical and powerful part of their marketing mix because it works for their business.”

Findings from a study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna prior to the start of the 2013 season show that approximately one out of four NASCAR fans strongly agree that they support NASCAR sponsors more than sponsors of other sports.

“The current sponsorship landscape is as competitive as it has ever been,” said Michael Waltrip, founder and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing. “Our partners continue to choose to use our team to drive their brands because we have had success demonstrating value in their investment, proven by our recent partnership renewals with NAPA Auto Parts and other major corporations.”

“Regardless of a company’s entry point into the sport, the demand for a quantifiable return on investment expands across all levels of sponsorship,” said Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway. “We take pride in delivering a best-in-class experience and valuable branding opportunities to a number of powerful companies on an annual basis.”

To be eligible for the FORTUNE 500, a company must be based in the U.S. and publicly traded. Though many companies on the FORTUNE 500 utilize NASCAR as part of their business-building strategy to develop their customer base, strengthen market share, and increase value for their shareholders, only industry partners, media partners, and licensees involved in the sport were counted in the analysis. Companies invested in the sport solely as advertisers were not counted.

Although being a FORTUNE 500 company is the gold standard of success for publicly-traded companies in the United States, there are several global corporations currently involved in NASCAR that were not included in the analysis because they do not meet FORTUNE’s criteria. A number of those blue-chip brands not qualifying, but are involved significantly in the sport, include MillerCoors, Mars, Toyota and McLaren.



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