Speedway Digest Staff
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Ross Chastain Dover Preview
Ross Chastain (@RossChastain), driver of the No. 19 Melon 1 Ford F-Series, will make his fourth start for Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) during the Lucas Oil 200 this Friday night at Dover International Speedway.
Melon 1 will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 19 BKR (@TeamBKR) entry this week for the third time this season. Melon 1 is on deck for two more entries this season as primary sponsor.
This Friday will be Chastain's second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Dover. Chastain's first start at Dover came last June in the Lucas Oil 200, where he started 12th and finished 15th.
Chad Kendrick will lead the No. 19 Ford F-Series team as crew chief in Dover.
The No. 19 BKR team now sits 11th in NCWTS owner point standings, 51 points back from first.
"This race is one I've been looking forward to all year, especially since Melon 1 has a great group of farmers in the Delaware region who are on our Truck for the race. I raced here last year and didn't get the result I had hoped for. It has certainly motivated me for this weekend's race and we look forward to showing some speed out there on the track" - Ross Chastain
Justin Marks to Make NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Debut
Justin Marks will make his NASCAR SprintCup Series debut in next month’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Marks will continue his long-standing relationship with GoPro, piloting the No. 7 GoPro Chevrolet SS in the road course race for Tommy Baldwin Racing.
Marks has previous NASCAR stock car experience, competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as the ARCA Racing Series, earning a total of one win, five poles, 12 top fives and 30 top-10 finishes across the three series.
Marks, a former factory BMW driver, has extensive road course racing experiencing, having participated in the NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Marks scored eight wins, including the coveted Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2009. Marks also earned a total of 15 podium finishes and five poles while maintaining an average start of 7.1 and an average finish of 8.1 throughout his Grand-Am career. In his one full season of competition, in 2004, Marks finished the season ranked third in the final point standings.
Marks, a native of Northern California, is looking forward to making his Cup Series debut at the NASCAR track closest to his hometown, Los Altos.
“It’s really the culmination of a dream to be able to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” explained Marks. “It’s fitting that it’s going to happen at Sonoma Raceway, where I kind of grew up racing and cut my teeth. I know Tommy and all the guys at TBR are going to bring a well-prepared GoPro Chevrolet to the track, so it’s just going to be a matter of getting to know the Gen-6 car and getting reacquainted with the racetrack. My goal for the weekend is to run a clean, competitive race and keep that 7 car up in the points.”
“We’re really excited to have Justin in our car,” said Tommy Baldwin, owner of Tommy Baldwin Racing. “He is a really great young man and with all his road course experience, I think he can definitely be successful in his Cup Series debut at Sonoma.”
Spire Sports and Entertainment PR
Kyle Busch: Unfinished Business at Dover
Despite the fact Kyle Busch is a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series winner at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, he still feels like he has some unfinished business at the aptly named “Monster Mile”.
Last September, Busch led an astounding 302 of the 400-lap race at Dover. But, a long, green-flag run at the end changed the race into one of fuel strategy, and he found himself having to come to pit road for a splash of fuel with less than 10 laps to go, foiling a truly dominant performance.
Looking for a little more luck this time around, the driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is ready to feast again at Dover, where in the lead-up to Sunday’s Sprint Cup race he’ll begin the weekend competing in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. But the main focus is on the FedEx 400, where Busch will be looking to deliver his 27th career Sprint Cup victory.
Dover, the site of Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks, is one of a pair of concrete tracks that hosts NASCAR’s top three divisions – Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway being the other.
Busch has 20 wins at the two concrete-clad ovals during his nine-year career – a run that includes drives in the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Truck Series.
At Dover, he has two Sprint Cup wins, three Nationwide Series wins and two Truck Series wins. As for Bristol, Busch has five Sprint Cup and five Nationwide Series wins, along with three Truck Series wins.
While 20 is a lofty number of wins on just two racetracks, Busch, the winner of two Sprint Cup races already this season is hungry for more.
He’s led 827 laps in the12 Sprint Cup races contested thus far this season, and 750 laps in his career at Dover, all of which bodes well for Busch’s chances at the Monster Mile this weekend. Still, he can’t help but look back on the 302 laps led at Dover that went all for naught. Yes, there is unfinished business to take care of.
56th Annual Daytona 500 Tickets Go On Sale Thursday, May 30
Tickets to the 56thannual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 23 – NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – will go on sale Thursday, May 30 at 9 a.m. (ET). Tickets for the Daytona 500, which was won earlier this year for a second time by Jimmie Johnson, will start at $65.
“The tradition, excitement and drama of the Daytona 500 are unmatched in motorsports,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “From the pageantry of kicking off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season to the classic nail-biting finishes, the Daytona 500 is an event that all race fans should experience in person.”
The Speedway will once again offer special youth pricing for the 56th annual Daytona 500. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last.
In addition to the 56th annual Daytona 500, tickets for Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 events will be available for purchase including the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the inaugural nighttime running of the Budweiser Duel, The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona and Lucas Oil 200 Presented By MAV TV American Real doubleheader and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger.
New for 2014, the Speedway is expanding youth pricing with the races leading up to the Daytona 500. Children 12 and under are now $10 in reserved grandstands and will continue to be free in general admission areas. In addition, children 12 and under are also free in the Sprint FANZONE throughout Budweiser Speedweeks.
Race fans have three different ways to purchase tickets.
· Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
· Calling 1-800-PITSHOP
· Visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office
Also available for purchase through www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or 1-800-PITSHOP are:
· Hospitality packages and Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE passes for all Budweiser Speedweeks 2014 events.
· Tickets for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend on July 5-6, including the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 6 and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, July 5
. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $45 and kids 12 and under are $10 in all grandstands.
Seth Gold will drive the 2013 Ford Fusion Energi pace car at the 2013 Quicken Loans 400 on June 16.
Gold will lead the field to the green flag for the Quicken Loans 400, which begins at 1 p.m.
MIS President Roger Curtis drove the pace car to American Jewelry and Loan to give to give Gold a sneak peek of the car and walk him through his driving duties. Fans can see more about that visit at http://bit.ly/1434btH.
“Being born and raised in Michigan, I’m absolutely thrilled to be driving this Ford at the Quicken Loans 400. Roger and his staff have been great and I cannot wait to see be a part of the great NASCAR tradition at Michigan International Speedway, it’s going be an awesome event!“
Gold, his father Les Gold and sister Ashley Broad are the stars of ‘Hardcore Pawn’, a show about the family-owned pawn business located on Detroit’s Eight Mile Road. The show gives an inside look at the operations of American Jewelry and Loan, a pawn shop that first opened in 1978.
The Quicken Loans 400 is on Father’s Day, so the entire Gold family will be at MIS to celebrate.
“It was fun meeting the Gold family and we’re pleased they’ll be our guests at MIS for the NASCAR weekend,” Curtis said. “While our businesses aren’t exactly the same, the Golds have a customer-focused and family-first philosophy that resonates with us at MIS. And Seth has a great marketing mind and he understands the power of NASCAR.”
Gold is a 2003 graduate of the University of Michigan and has worked at American Jewelry and Loan since earning his degree. Despite initially pursuing a career in the medical field, he decided to change his focus to the family business. Although respectful of the business his father has perfected over the past 40 years, Gold never hesitates to point out to Les where there's room for improvement.
Seth Gold prides himself on bringing a modern, corporate structure to this family business, which often drives Les crazy. Seth Gold is meticulous and pragmatic, whereas Les Gold is spontaneous and shoots from the hip.
Fans of the show and the speedway will be in for an even bigger treat. One lucky NASCAR fan will be driving home from the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS on Sunday, August 18, in the official pace car. The plug-in hybrid is part of a partnership between four awesome Michigan-based companies: Michigan International Speedway, Quicken Loans, Pure Michigan and Ford.
Visit www.mipacecar.com for your chance to win the MIS pace car. Online entries can be submitted until July 18. One winner will be drawn monthly as a finalist.
MI Speedway PR
Beaugard M. (Beau) Wilkes, 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 May 23, Wilkes 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.
Almirola Heads to Favorite Track Aiming for the Winner's Circle
Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team look to bounce back after bad luck in Charlotte last weekend. Still in the hunt for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Almirola and team are confident they can contend for the win this weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Almirola is a winner at the one-mile concrete track, winning the truck race in 2010. Almirola showed speed in his two Sprint Cup starts at the 'Monster Mile' and finished sixth in his track debut last season in the spring race. Last fall, the Todd Parrott-led team had a strong car during the race, but untimely yellow flags marred the team laps down. Parrott also found success at the Delaware track. He won there in 1998 with Dale Jarrett and racked up 15 top-10 finishes in his 31 starts as a crew chief.
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Driver Aric Almirola:
"I'm really excited to go to Dover this weekend. Last weekend, we struggled a bit with the handling but never gave up. By the end, Todd (Parrott) and the guys got the car really good. Unfortunately, our day ended early. That just makes us hungrier at Dover. I expect us to run really well. Dover is my favorite race track on the circuit. I always enjoy going to there, and I feel really good about going there with what we have been doing the past few weeks. I have that race circled on my calendar as a race that we have a legitimate shot to win.
"We ran sixth at the spring race last year. At the fall race, we had an even better car. We had some tire issues and some troubles on pit road. Everything stacked up against us, and we kept loosing laps throughout the race with stuff that had nothing to do with the handling of our car. We had an incredibly fast car there last fall. Hopefully, we can go back there with the same amount of speed that we had there the last two races. I feel really good about it."
Comments from Smithfield Ford Fusion Crew Chief Todd Parrott:
"Dover is a good track for our organization. Both teams showed really strong cars last season, and Aric really showed he can drive the track they call a monster. Pit road is tricky because it comes up on the driver really fast. Aric will need to make sure he hits his marks on pit road and doesn't miss the commitment mark. Pit road is tight and track position is everything at Dover. It's a one-mile track and the cleaner the air is, the better the Smithfield Ford will run this weekend."
Segio Pena Top Ten at BIR
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West teams went to Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) for the NAPA Know-How “125”. Sergio Pena, who pilots the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry for Bill McAnally Racing, goal of recording the first win was hampered two flat left rear tires at the 2.5-mile road course.
Practice had the No. 16 NAPA Toyota sixth on the timing charts. Pena would qualify on the inside of row two, with a time of 1:33.450.
The field took the green with the series point leader taking the lead before lap one was even complete. After the first 15 laps of the 50 lap race, Pena was now in seventh. There was another lead change at lap 17. The first of two cautions came out at lap 20 as a car dropped oil on the track with Pena making a pit stop for fuel shortly before the caution flag was displayed. He reentered the race in eighth. By lap 29, the NAPA Toyota was up to fifth. The second caution came out at lap 32 resulting in the race being red flagged for cleanup of the track.
At lap 35, Pena radioed in to the team that he had a left rear tire going down. He would finish the race in ninth. He is now fifth in the chase for the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship and only seven points out of the top three.
“It was kind of a disappointing weekend,” said Pena. “I really had high hopes going into this weekend because of my road course racing background. It took a while to figure out the track because I had never been there.”
“I was really happy with qualifying 3rd. Our chances were looking good but I made a mistake going into turn 1 and lost some ground. Then we ended up getting two flat left rears under green which put us a lap down. We were able to bring the No. 16 NAPA Toyota Camry home in 9th after a long frustrating race.”
The NAPA team from BMR would like to thank NAPA Otawana and Minneapolis for their great support this weekend.
Next up for the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota team will be at Iowa Speedway for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West combination race and on the same weekend the teams will head to Lebanon I-44 Speedway on June 7th – 9th.
Ken Schrader, fresh off wins on Indy mile dirt, ARCA race at Toledo, preps for ARCA's Akona 250 at Elko Speedway
The victory came on the heels of his historic win in the Menards 200 ARCA Racing Series event recently at Toledo Speedway. His next stop - Elko (Minn.) Speedway for ARCA's Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care Saturday, June 1.
"Thought we were going to have a real busy week racing last week, but we rained out most everywhere," Schrader said. "We got two out of six (races) in."
In addition to his win in the Indy mile Friday, Schrader finished second in his modified at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois Sunday night.
"Other than the mile and Granite City, everything rained out. Terre Haute rained out Wednesday night. The Indy mile got rained out Thursday, so they moved it to Friday. Got rained out at Pevely Saturday night, raced Sunday in Granite City, and got rained out tonight (Monday) at Macon."
Attempting to run six races in six nights would wear most people out, but apparently not Schrader, who's been doing it this way for the last 40-plus years. The NASCAR/ARCA veteran racer will turn 58 Tuesday, May 29, ahead of this Saturday's Akona 250 at Elko. He's also on track to compete in more than 80 races by year's end. A combination of ARCA races, dirt modified races, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series will keep Schrader plenty busy for the year.
His ARCA win at Toledo earlier this month distinguished Schrader as the oldest winner in ARCA Racing Series history.
"We got caught off guard with all the publicity we got from that. For one, it was the only Sunday race, so that helped a lot. But ARCA did such a great job with the promotion of that event, and it was live on SPEED, so it opened it up to an even bigger audience. But I was quite surprised."
His ARCA triumphs are a stark reminder of his versatile driving skills, with wins at Toledo, the Topeka, Kansas road course, the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt, DuQuoin, the Hagerstown Speedway half-mile dirt, Nashville Superspeedway, and other short tracks at Salem, South Boston Speedway, and Anderson Speedway.
In 61 career ARCA starts, he's earned 16 wins among 40 top-five finishes and 48 top-10s, with 15 Menards Pole Awards presented by Ansell. Through it all, he's led an impressive 2,226 laps in 35 races.
Schrader was also the 1999 ARCA Racing Series car owner champion with Bill Baird driving, and a back-to-back car owner winner at Daytona with Mike Wallace and Andy Hillenburg.
His NASCAR career includes four Sprint Cup Series wins at Charlotte, Dover, Talladega, and Atlanta, two wins in the Bud Shootout at Daytona, three poles in the Daytona 500, and eight top-10 Cup championship points finishes.
Prior to his stock car career, Schrader first made a name for himself in USAC where he earned the USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 1982 and the USAC Sprint Car championship in 1983. He has 33 career USAC victories overall in Silver Crown, Sprints and Midgets.
Not surprisingly, Schrader has already raced on the three-eighths-mile Elko track a few years back when track officials created a dirt surface over the asphalt.
"We raced up there a few years ago, but that was on the dirt. Either way, it's a great little track. I like it either way."
Raceday at Elko starts with ARCA Racing Series practice from 2-2:45 p.m., with final practice following from 3:15-4. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell starts at 5:30 with the Akona 250 set to take the green flag at 8.
ARCA Racing PR
As NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie driver Timmy Hill entered his first 600 mile race he knew a long night was ahead of him. What he didn't expect was the crazy events that would unfold during the longest race of the season. However, the mature 20-year old driver kept his composure and with his FAS Lane Racing team behind him brought his No. 32 OXYwater Ford home to a solid 27th place finish in the running of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"That was a solid and clean race for our OXYwater team and one that we really needed," stated Hill. "Like everyone else we did our best to adjust our No. 32 OXYwater Ford as the track conditions changed from daylight to night. My FAS Lane Racing team stayed on top of that and we had a solid race car all night. That was some crazy stuff with the TV cable and I hope that all of the fans are OK. We had some minor damage on the roof of our car from it but from the looks of some of the other cars it could have been worse."
Hill will be back behind the wheel of the No. 32 OXYwater Ford next week as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the "Monster Mile" of Dover International Speedway.
"We definitely needed a solid run like we had tonight," said FAS Lane Racing team owner Frank Stoddard. "Timmy did a good job in staying patient with the handling of the car and in a long race we were able to keep up with the changing track conditions fairly well. We still have some work to do to get better and up to speed a little quicker into the race weekend but this was a solid outing for our OXYwater team and one that we needed at this time. Now we will need to build on it and get some momentum going."