Saturday, Jun 10
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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When a deadly EF5 tornado roared through Moore, Okla., May 20, lives were shattered and property was destroyed. Amid the chaos immediately surrounding the tornado, families searched for loved ones.

Some of those loved ones were of the four-legged variety, ranging from beloved family pets to valuable farm animals. More than a week after the tornado cut a two-mile wide swath of destruction across Moore, children are being reunited with their pets and farmers are able to reclaim lost livestock. Reuniting people with their animals is Code 3 Associates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas.

Longmont, Colo.-based Code 3 Associates has been a partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since 2012, where the collaboration has led to increased recognition for the efforts of Code 3 Associates and, in turn, increased donations to the national response team that at the request of local government officials provides animal rescue and recovery during any kind of disaster.

That collaboration takes center stage this weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway when Tony Stewart carries Code 3 Associates on his No. 14 Chevrolet throughout the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Just a day after the tornado struck Moore, Code 3 Associates dispatched BART, the mobile command center that stands for Big Animal Rescue Truck, to Oklahoma where it was staged outside Oklahoma City before getting deployment orders to move into Moore. Since entering the city of more than 55,000 people, Code 3 Associates has assisted local animal control officers who have been inundated with stray, injured and displaced animals, a massive effort that is being coordinated by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

While human relief and recovery efforts always take precedence in a disaster, animal relief is also needed. Code 3 Associates has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to approximately 75 professional responders around the country, which includes animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada. While its focus is animals and their owners, Code 3 Associates trains its responders to the standards of human rescue, and Code 3 Associates also provides training to conduct thorough investigations into animal welfare, all of which is accredited by Colorado State University (CSU) and the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Code 3 Associates’ logo and slogan, “Riders On The Storm Animal Rescue Team,” is a familiar one to many, particularly in the Midwest. When a devastating tornado struck Joplin, Mo., in 2011, Code 3 Associates arrived shortly thereafter. Code 3 Associates remained in Joplin before being called to Pierre, N.D., where severe flooding from the Missouri River necessitated the specialty work of Code 3 Associates for nearly two months. The organization’s recent work in Moore is another example the group’s commitment to animal welfare.

Those wanting to learn more about Code 3 Associates and what they can do to support its mission can do so by visiting


As part of an all-new, multi-year partnership between ACME Markets and Dover International Speedway, the popular grocery store chain will bring a convenience tent store to the track as an amenity for fans beginning with the May 29-June 2, 2013 NASCAR race weekend.

The 2,500-square-foot tent store will provide fans coming to the Speedway for race weekend the convenience of not needing to pack or stock up on items prior to their trip, as just about anything they need or even forget to bring can be found in the convenience store. It will feature many items race fans could find in their local grocery store, including: meat, deli items, bakery items, fresh fruit and vegetables, chips, cookies, crackers, prepared foods, beverages, and more.

“ACME Markets is looking forward to offering fans the convenience of the great quality food that you find in our stores,” said Jim Perkins, ACME Markets president. “With the Acme Dover store next door to the Speedway, we can continue our commitment to be the full service supermarket and pharmacy for the Dover community and Speedway fans."

“With such a deep-rooted history in the area, ACME Markets is an ideal partner, and we’re excited to welcome them as the official grocery store of Dover International Speedway,” said Mike Tatoian, executive vice president and COO of the track. “This new tent store will be a major convenience that ACME will provide our fans on race weekend, enhancing their overall experience while at the track.”

The ACME Convenience Tent will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29 through Sunday, June 2, and is located just off the intersection of Leipsic Road and Persimmon Tree Lane, at the edge of RV Lot 10.

Dover Motorsports PR

Richmond Recap...Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) went into Richmond with their full stable of cars looking to continue their consistent rookie season. Unfortunately the promising night hit some bad luck, as an engine issue sidelined rookie Brandon Jones early in the Blue Ox 100 and a cracked oil pan forced part-time entry Ben Rhodes to the garage before the end of the 100-lap event. Austin Dyne had a stellar run coming through the field after starting in the 30th spot to finish in the 12th position. Dylan Kwasniewski received damage early in the race but rebounded for a 13th-place finish. Kenzie Ruston was making her way through the field and was running near the top five when she was collected in a large pile up in turn one. Damage sent Ruston into the pits as the race wound down, relinquishing her to a 19th-place finish.

Short Track Racing...A track that is known as the "Mad House" is next on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) schedule. All of TSM's drivers will be making their first start at the flat .25-mile oval this coming weekend; however, TSM did take advantage of a test session just a few weeks ago, which gave the drivers some valuable seat time on the Bowman Gray Stadium track.


Big Milestones...Dylan Kwasniewski will be celebrating his 18th birthday on Friday, May 31. The following week, while Dylan's classmates are walking across the stage for their high school graduation, Dylan will receive his diploma while competing in the NKNPSE race at Iowa Speedway.


Austin Dyne...Coming off a great run at Richmond International Raceway last month, Dyne is looking forward to carrying the momentum with him into this weekend's race at Bowman Gray Stadium. Along with his teammates, Dyne took advantage of the recent test session that allowed for some very valuable seat time around the tight .25-mile track.


"I've heard some great things about Bowman Gray. Having tested a couple weeks ago definitely prepared our Turner Scott Motorsports team, and we'll come back with a good baseline setup. I hope we can stay out of the trouble and bring home another solid run for our KMC Wheels team."


Dylan Kwasniewski...Last time out at Richmond, Kwasniewski suffered minor damage to his Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet early in the race. Kwasniewski battled back from deep in the pack to bring home a top-15 finish in his No. 98 machine. Much like his teammates, Kwasniewski will also make his first start at the "Mad House" this coming weekend.


"Bowman Gray is a very physical and right track. I have to constantly be on my toes and I need to be aggressive to get out front and out of trouble. The track has a ton of character to it, plus the intensity of the fans and the aggressive racing makes for a great show. I'm excited to race there and I'm confident we will be in contention for the win."


Kenzie Ruston...Despite looking like one of the cars to beat at Richmond, Ruston got caught up in the carnage on a late-race restart. Being forced to come to pit road to repair the damage, Ruston had to settle for a 19th-place finish. Ruston will head to Bowman Gray Stadium this coming weekend to make her first start at the .25-mile flat oval.

"I'm really looking forward to racing at the 'Mad House.' After testing there a couple weeks ago, I can see why it's got that nickname. I think I'll have to be a little more aggressive than normal. I'm very confident in my AccuDoc Solutions team after our test session here, and I think we will be able to escape with a solid finish, possibly a victory."


He may hail from the land down under, but this Sunday Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 DEWALT Racing Ford, will be racing to make special children feel on top of the world. As a part of the continued "Racing for a Miracle" program, if Ambrose takes his first oval checkered, Stanley and DEWALT will donate $1 million to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through the Ace Hardware Foundation to benefit sick and injured children. New this year, if Ambrose and his Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) team finish second or third, Stanley and DEWALT, through the Ace Hardware Foundation, will donate $500,000 and $250,000 respectively.


The opportunity for Ambrose to race for an additional donation continues to prove the dedication that Stanley, DEWALT and the Ace Hardware Foundation have towards the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the "Racing for a Miracle" program. As in years past, Stanley and DEWALT have already pledged $100,000 to the program this year. It brings the total to over half a million dollars since the program's inception.


Ambrose, who is eagerly awaiting his first oval win, feels that there is no better place to "Race for a Miracle" than the "Monster Mile." His at-track statistics show that he will again be a contender and can easily bring in an additional donation. He has a third-place finish along with two other top-10 finishes at the one-mile track. He knows there is no better time to break through to victory on an oval.


"There would be nothing more special than to win my first oval event and have $1 million donated to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through Stanley, DEWALT and the Ace Hardware Foundation," said Marcos Ambrose. "I'm not sure who would be more excited, but I do know though it would mean more to me to help the kids of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I am living my dream each week and we're hoping we can make some children's dreams come true at Dover. I can't thank Stanley, DEWALT and Ace enough for allowing our team to race for this opportunity."


Stanley, DEWALT, the Ace Hardware Foundation, Ambrose and the No. 9 RPM team will not only race for a miracle, but also take part in various activities leading into the race weekend. Thursday morning, the team will be guests of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the area's local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. While there, Ambrose and the team will visit the children and give them an inside look at the DEWALT race team, including pit stop demonstrations.


On Friday, Ambrose will join his teammate Aric Almirola and owner "The King" Richard Petty as they, along with representatives from Stanley and DEWALT present the $100,000 donation to the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Included in the check presentation, Ambrose, Almirola and Petty will unveil a special paint scheme that will run this weekend on the No. 9 Ford Fusion. The special scheme includes four very special children who will also serve as "Honorary Crew Members" of the No. 9 team throughout the weekend. Ambrose, Almirola and Petty will also sign autographs for fans by the car in front of "Miles the Monster" monument.


"We want to continue to grow the 'Racing for a Miracle' program each year," commented Tony Merritt, Director of Motorsports for Stanley Black and Decker. "These children really inspire all of us, and the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals are doing tremendous things on a daily basis. We hope that Marcos and his DEWALT race team can do something pretty special for them this weekend."



Mark Martin Dover Preview

Wednesday, May 29

Despite many asking, No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin doesn't have a favorite victory, car or racetrack. The 34-year veteran isn’t big on making lists, but if you push him a little he has trouble hiding his affection for Dover International Speedway where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this weekend.

Martin makes his 54th start Sunday at the concrete mile oval. His first came May 16, 1982 when the 23-year-old rookie finished fifth, only four laps behind race winner Bobby Allison who won by three laps. Martin has logged four victories and 24 top-five finishes at the “Monster Mile” including a third-place finish in September.

Martin said the first step toward a good finish Sunday at Dover is getting in a good qualifying lap on Friday. He set the track record of 132.719 mph in September 1997 and he won the pole at this race last year by trusting in his crew chief Rodney Childers. Martin said Childers installed a chassis setup right before qualifying that might have made the driver shudder had he known the full details.

That’s when the driver/crew chief trust produces results on the track.

MARTIN ON WINNING POLE RUN LAST YEAR: “I would never try that again (laughter). I anticipated the car being loose, but I didn’t ask Rodney (Childers, crew chief) if he tightened it up. I knew the conditions were looser than they were in our mock qualifying run and I didn’t want to ask him because I didn’t want to get concerned. I knew that I only had to make it one mile without wrecking and I was going to drive to the limit and slightly beyond and I felt like I did that. I certainly wouldn’t cheat it again that far. That’s how much trust we put in our crew. They listen to my input and I trust their judgment.”

MARTIN ON DOVER:“Ever since I started racing there in 1982 I have loved Dover. It’s hard to put into words, but from the first moments it just felt good. In the 1980s it was asphalt and you slipped all over the place, but it was a blast to drive. They put concrete down in the mid-1990s and like most drivers I haven’t been a big fan of concrete. I understand why track owners do that but as a driver I wish they had left it asphalt. Despite all that, Dover is still a good place to race even with concrete. Anywhere you have a shot to win you are going to be pumped up to go to the track and this weekend we’re pumped up for Dover. We had a rocket ship there in September. We fell down two laps because of a caution flag and then made them up and finished third.”


A quarter of the way through his sixteenth season behind the wheel in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series David Starr finds himself eighteenth in the NCWTS driver standings. Some unfortunate racing luck has detoured the veteran drivers push to the top of the rankings, although he is only twenty-four points from tenth in the very tight points race. Starr is looking for a turnaround as the tough trucks head to one of NASCAR’s toughest tracks, the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway. Striping Technology, L.P. will adorn the hood of the No. 81 Toyota Tundra in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200.

“We are excited to go to Dover, it is just an awesome racetrack,” explained Starr. “We had a flat right front tire at Charlotte and that kind of knocked us out of a decent finish. It’s just kind of bad luck to get a flat so we are looking to go to Dover and race again. Hopefully, we have some of that bad luck behind us.”

Backing Starr’s Toyota Tundra this Friday will be the Striping Technology L.P. of Tyler, Texas. The company provides safety services including highway striping, traffic signals, signage, pavement marking and installation to general contractors, business owners and government agencies.

“We’re excited to have Striping Technology on board with us for the entire season; this will be their first race on the hood as a primary sponsor. Linda Rudd, the owner is a great friend and a great person,” Starr explained. “Striping Technology paints the stripes on the highways, roads and bridges. I think they paint almost all the road stripes in the state of Texas. We are honored to have them on board and I’m just excited about everything this week.”

“We are just so excited to be part of the NASCAR Truck Series, David Starr and the SS Green Light team,” said Linda Rudd, owner of Striping Technology L.P. “We really just love David Starr, we want do to what we can to help the team. We enjoy the whole thing; the excitement of the Truck Series and being at the track and we just totally enjoy NASCAR. I love racing and since we met David we’ve just become huge supporters and great friends. He is a great young man; so friendly and great with the fans. We can’t wait to get to the track.”

“It will be a tough fought race for sure,” Starr concluded. “It’s always exciting at Dover; it’s such a fast track… It’s just an awesome place to race.”

The Lucas Oil 200 is the 298th consecutive NCWTS start for the SS Green Light Racing team and the 312th career start for Starr in the Truck Series. David has 4 victories, 47 top-five and 106 top-ten finishes over the previous fifteen Truck Series seasons. Dover has been one of Starr’s best tracks with one pole, three top-5 and seven top-10 finishes in eleven starts. David has an impressive 9.1 average finish at the Monster Mile.

Team owner and veteran crew chief Bobby Dotter will call the shots from atop the pit-box for Starr this weekend.

There are 35 entries for the Lucas Oil 200 which will kick-off a NASCAR triple header with the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the 5-Hour Energy 200 on Saturday and the NASCAR Sprint Cup FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks on Sunday at Dover international Speedway.

Delaware native and CJ Faison will make his NCWTS debut behind the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing No. 07 on Friday evening. Faison is a regular in the NASCAR K&N East Series and is currently ninth in the driver’s standings.

Practice for the Lucas Oil 200 will be Thursday, May 30th from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Friday, May 31st there will be two laps of qualifying at 10:05 a.m. and the green flag will fly in the Lucas Oil 200 at 5:00 p.m. All times Eastern. The race will be shown live on SPEED TV and will also be broadcast live via on the Motor Racing Network and on SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

SS Green Light Racing PR

Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Toyota Tundra, admits that his 32nd-place finish in last week's N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway was a set-back in his hunt for the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver's Championship. However, the 22-year-old Toyota Racing driver knows that a good poker player never shows their hand and although he may be down, he's definitely not out.


When you think about Dover International Speedway (DIS), you think of a unique dual-purpose facility designed to accommodate both motorsports events and horse racing. Since September of 2000, the NCWTS has made an annual stop at what is now known as the "Monster Mile." Although the one-mile oval may be intimidating to some, Coulter finds the high-banked concrete track and the high speeds it produces as a breath-taking thrill ride.


Making his third start at DIS this weekend, Coulter hopes to improve on his 2012 track-best finish of sixth and take a gamble on his odds in the sixth race on the 2013 NCWTS schedule - when you play big, you win big and the monster-sized trophy is worth the price to ride.



Cole Whitt will return to the wheel of a stock car this Saturday in the 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway, teamed up with the four-car NASCAR Nationwide Series team of TriStar Motorsports. Whitt, a former Red Bull Racing development driver who most recently drove for JR Motorsports, is expected to be behind the wheel of a TriStar Toyota for a number of races this year.

“I’m really excited to hop back in the seat of a race car; it feels like forever since last season,” said Whitt. “I’ve had success in my four starts at Dover and look forward to taking on ‘Miles the Monster’. I am grateful for the opportunity Mark (Smith) and TriStar have lined up for me and I hope to have success with the No. 44 crew.”

Whitt and TriStar Motorsports, owned by veteran team owner and engine builder, Mark Smith, already have a head start working together in 2013. The 21-year-old native of Alpine, CA has been working in the shop daily as a mechanic in TriStar’s research and development department.

“We are really excited to add Cole to our driver lineup,” Smith said. “We have been watching Cole since he made his debut in the NASCAR K&N Series and he has already shown that he has the talent to win at many different levels.”

Whitt joins TriStar after earning four top-five and 14 top-10’s while driving for JR Motorsports last year. As a rookie, Whitt ended his 2012 campaign sitting seventh in the Driver Points Standings. Without sponsorship, the third-generation driver from the outskirts of San Diego was left sidelined and looking for a ride.

Arguably one of the brightest young talents in racing, Whitt will drive the No. 44 Toyota at “The Monster Mile” with sponsorship from Lockton. The 2008 USAC National Midget Series champion has competed at the one-mile oval in four previous events with his best overall finish coming from the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Whitt battled door-to-door with Kyle Busch in the closing laps before settling for second after leading 23 laps.

Whitt hopes to top that performance on Saturday as the NASCAR Nationwide Series descends on Dover International Speedway. Watch for Whitt and his No. 44 Lockton Toyota when the field takes the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be seen on ESPN.


Charlotte was previously one of Mike Bliss’ favorite tracks but after Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, his opinion may differ. Bliss is happy the History 300 is just that, history. There was a lot of back and forth with car handling and track condition.

Bliss started the History 300 from the 15th position and uncharacteristically fell back in the field early in the race. “The car’s not handling bad, so I don’t know why we’re so slow,” exclaimed Bliss, who seemed slightly irritated. Shortly after, Bliss came back over the radio saying the car was “a little tight.”

At lap 39, a caution was thrown for debris, allowing Crew Chief Paul Clapprood and the No. 19 TriStar Motorsports crew an opportunity to free-up Bliss’ Toyota Camry. Doing so, they put on four fresh Goodyear tires, a full tank of Sunoco race fuel, added some tape to the grill, and made track bar and air pressure adjustments.

Restarting 20th, it took a few laps before Bliss came back over the radio stating, “I need it to roll a little better in one and two, you just can’t go anywhere out here.”

The second caution of the day was brought out on lap-45. Bliss from the 23rd position said, “I need more grip.” So, Clapprood and the crew put scuff tires back on Bliss’ Camry and took two rubbers out of the left rear.

Again, Bliss restarted 20th and set out to find balance with his race car. Bliss became silent over the radio for over 30 laps. At lap 140, Bliss expressed that “It’s tighter getting into one and two and I need more front grip.”

Clapprood instructed Bliss to “hang in there for six more laps and then we’ll come in for a green flag pit stop”. At lap 146, Bliss barreled down pit road for his second set of fresh Goodyear tires, air pressure adjustment, made a wedge adjustment and a full can of fuel.

Shortly after the green flag stop, a caution came out. At that point, Bliss came over the radio stating he had a “real bad vibration, the rear of the car feels like it is moving side to side, and I think something is broke.” Without a doubt, Clapprood quickly called Bliss to pit road so his TriStar crew could examine the left rear track bar bolt, put scuff tires on and slide a rubber in the right rear.

While making timely adjustments, Bliss restarted 22nd and one lap down leaving him racing for the ‘lucky dog’ position on the race track. Bliss earned the ‘lucky dog’ when a caution came out on lap 177. Still not happy with his car, Bliss brought the No. 19 TriStar Motorsports Camry to pit road for a single wedge adjustment.

With only a few laps to go, the field was brought under its final caution of the day. Bliss and crew knew the importance of track position at this point in the race, so they chose not to pit and hold down the 20th position. Upon the restart Bliss said “that’s the best it’s been today,” and moved up one position to close the History 300 in the 19th position.

“Aside from Kyle Busch, I think the whole field was running the same speed today, it was near impossible to gain any spots on track,” said Bliss.

With his finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bliss has earned nine top twenty finishes out of 10 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this year. Also, Bliss is 12th in the Driver Points Standings leading into this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway.



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