Speedway Digest Staff
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The bright green and yellow colors of Peanut Patch will shine brightly under the lights of Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway this weekend when David Ragan brings the South's Favorite Snack to the biggest night race of the year.
Peanut Patch returns to the No. 34 team for its third race of the season, Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race, one of the hottest tickets of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The weekend will also include a stop at Food City Race Night, where Ragan will sign autographs on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. during the annual race festival in Bristol.
Ragan is familiar with Victory Lane at Bristol. He won at the track in the Nationwide Series in 2009. On the Sprint Cup level, the 27-year-old driver has one top-10 and two top-15 finishes at the half-mile oval. Saturday night's race will be broadcast live on ABC at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Comments from Peanut Patch team driver David Ragan heading to Bristol:
"The Bristol night race is one of the premier races of our season. It draws the most fans and probably has the most hype around that race weekend. The excitement factor at Bristol alone is great. But you have a combination of it being a few races before the Chase starts and it's a night race, and those factors make it one of the more exciting races of our season.
"We have had a pretty good track record at Bristol over the years. David Gilliland gets around that track pretty good, so we can lean on those guys some. And it's one of the racetracks where mechanical grip is really important, and you're not going fast enough for your aero package to be everything. So you have an opportunity to have fast cars and we can certainly have a strong run there. Five hundred laps is a very long race at that place and you have to have a good night on pit road and avoid all the wrecks. If we have a good-handling car, that can be a race weekend that we have a big day for us.
"To have Peanut Patch back on the car at Bristol is a lot of fun. We'll be down at Food City Race Night on Thursday night with them. There's always a big crowd and it's always one of the bigger events of any NASCAR race weekend. Having Peanut Patch on our car for the night race with the nice bright colors will be cool to see. It'll definitely look good under the lights."
Carson-Newman University is ready to make some noise this semester -- at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with an 850-horsepower Sprint Cup car. The Jefferson City, Tenn., school will make its NASCAR debut on the No. 35 Ford of Josh Wise at the half-mile oval in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race.
The Front Row car will also highlight area C-N supporters Ted Russell Automotive Group, Premier Building Maintenance Corporation and Aramark.
To kick off the Bristol race week, the university will play host to a NASCAR celebrity roast benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley. The Tuesday night event will feature a panel consisting of NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and current drivers David Ragan, David Gilliland, Wise and Michael McDowell. Tickets can be purchased at http://ow.ly/nL4Yf.
Wise will appear at the speedway's Welcome Village stage on race day at 3:45 p.m. Carson-Newman students attending the race are encouraged to stop by to see the driver representing the Eagles in Saturday night's must-see race, which will air live on ABC at 7:30 p.m.
Comments from Carson-Newman University team driver Josh Wise heading to Bristol:
"It's cool that Carson-Newman University is going to be on our car. A local school, and not a real big school, to be getting involved in NASCAR is great. We're going to be having some of the students there at the track. We're actually going there the week of the race to do an event there and spend some time at the school. It's pretty exciting. It's nice just to have a good local sponsor on the car and hopefully we'll do well for them.
"Bristol Motor Speedway now is definitely closer to 'old Bristol' now. I never went to 'old Bristol,' but I've watched a lot of races there. When they repaved it, you had that line that developed right on the fence on the outside of the track where you could really get a big run. And it made it kind of hard to pass because it made it hard to clear guys when you'd get on the bottom of the track.
"Now since they've ground that top portion of the banking there, it's made it a little more challenging to get as high as you could before. I feel like it's probably made the track a little more racy because not everyone's stuck in that high line running for momentum.
"The first race at Bristol this year was really my first race there. I just learned a lot about what I felt I needed the car to do. You don't really know beforehand. You learn a ton through the race. And you always feel after the race, especially your first one there, that you could go back and do a lot better job dialing the car in during practice. So I have a better idea of what I'm looking for as far as how the car drives in practice and I think we've got some good ideas for things to try set-up wise, so I'm excited."
Short tracks like Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway are among the race venues that David Gilliland circles on his calendar. The Front Row Motorsports driver has shown that his team can be competitive at the high-banked, action-packed track, and he expects no different for this week's Irwin Tools Night Race.
Gilliland will take Dockside Logistics along for the ride on his No. 38 Ford Fusion for Saturday night's race, his 15th career start at Bristol. His top finish at the half-mile oval is ninth (2008).
As Gilliland prepares for one of the biggest races of the season, he's also preparing for a new stage in his job as a dad. His 13-year-old son, Todd, tested his first late-model stock car last week, a moment that the elder Gilliland compared to watching his son take his first steps as a baby. Todd wrapped up a successful quarter midget racing career this summer and is now following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Butch, into the world of stock car racing. He's expected to compete in his first race in September.
Comments from Dockside Logistics team driver David Gilliland about Bristol and his son's first time in a stock car:
"Bristol is a great racetrack. I really enjoy going there, and I've enjoyed all the configurations, no one more than the next. The last race went well, even though I don't think they got exactly what they were looking for when they ground it. It's just a fun place to race.
"We feel confident going back as a team. It's one of our better racetracks as a team and as an organization. I feel like with the cars we have to take there, we have a very good chance of going there and being very competitive. (Crew chief) Frank (Kerr) and I and everyone at Front Row Motorsports are really looking forward to going to Bristol.
"For us, it seems like our cars run better on the higher-banked tracks. They're kind of an equalizer for us. We've always seemed to run well there, and it's a racetrack that reminds me of a track I had a lot of success on out in California, Mesa Marin Raceway, which is not there anymore. I always think of that track when we go to Bristol, and I look forward to going there every time.
"Racing under the lights at Bristol, to me, is like no other place we go. Just because all the fans, with the stands the way they are, everybody is just right on top of you. It's just an experience that is second to none.
"My son, Todd, just did his first late model test last week. He's moving up from quarter midgets. He's only 13, but we've been practicing in my car up and down the driveway. We tested a late-model stock car last Wednesday at Hickory Motor Speedway, and he did incredible. I can't believe it. He ran basically the same speeds that I ran shaking it down, and it was his first time ever in a stock car. It was a little scary.
"I don't know how he picked it up so fast. But he did a great job, and I'm proud of him. We're going to go test some more and hopefully have his first race around September 28 at Hickory.
"When he first got in the car and took off and let the clutch out and grabbed second gear, I felt like when he was a baby, watching him take his first steps and walking away. It was weird. I was a hundred times more nervous than (wife) Michelle. She was at ease because she felt like he was hundreds times safer in the stock car than the quarter midget. He did a great job."
Georgia-based Farm Rich is revving up its engines with Unadilla, Ga., native David Ragan for September's premier short track scene at the Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race.
The Sept. 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race is the second time this season Farm Rich has served as the primary sponsor of Ragan and his No. 34 Ford. In May 2013, the frozen snacks and appetizers brand teamed up with him at Talladega for the Aaron's 499 race weekend, where Ragan won his second Sprint Cup victory in an exhilarating 1-2 finish for Front Row Motorsports.
"After David's incredible race at Talladega, we're especially excited to partner with him and the No. 34 team again," said Shannon Gilreath, senior brand manager for Farm Rich. "Not only is he a great driver, but he's also a great guy who our consumers relate to as part of Farm Rich's wholesome, family brand."
For the Sept. 7 race, Farm Rich has extended the partnership to include The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Kroger will be included on the No. 34 car as well as host Farm Rich product demonstrations at more than 650 stores nationwide on race day. Ragan will also make a special appearance at the Kroger store located at 9351 Atlee Road in Mechanicsville, Va., on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to greet fans and sign autographs.
"Farm Rich fans are huge supporters of NASCAR so this is an ideal sponsorship for us," Gilreath added. "We're hoping to see David and the Farm Rich No. 34 car in another victory lap, but either way, we'll all be cheering for him in September."
Ragan holds three career top-five finishes at Richmond International Raceway, with a best result of third place.
"We're happy to welcome Farm Rich back to the No. 34 car in Richmond," said Bob Jenkins, Front Row Motorsports team owner. "NASCAR has, for years, established itself as a leading platform for companies to build their brands with fans who are savvy, brand-loyal consumers. We think this is a great fit for Farm Rich."
Comments from Farm Rich team driver David Ragan on returning to Richmond:
"It's great to have Farm Rich back on our car for Richmond. They went with us to Victory Lane in Talladega for Front Row Motorsports' first win, so they hold a very unique place in our team's history. That's a special day that none of us will ever forget and we're glad they were with us for that big moment."
"My dad was a racer and racing is definitely something that continues to bring the Ragan family together to this day. It was a huge moment to celebrate my win at Talladega with my family in victory lane. I'm glad to be back in the No. 34 Farm Rich Ford for Richmond."
"Richmond is a cool track, and a fun track to race on, and a place where we can do well. We had a top-20 finish in the spring race, which was a pretty good night for us. And I think we can go back and do even better. We learned some things that we can take back and get to work in our favor and get us a top-10 or top-15 finish for Farm Rich."
"NASCAR is a great place for Farm Rich to be. It's a family-oriented sport and Farm Rich products are great for families and the perfect snack during a race. Jacquelyn and I don't have kids yet, but we enjoy their products just for the two of us, and we've heard from a lot of our fans who like them, too."
Three nights of exciting night racing highlight the AdvoCare 500 Labor Day race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but there are more activities and events leading up to the race for fans to experience as part of the Biggest Labor Day Party in the USA.
“There is more to the AdvoCare 500 Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway than just racing,” said Ed Clark, President and General Manager of AMS. “There are opportunities for fans to meet drivers, get behind the scenes and take part in unique activities leading up to the race.”
Among the activities beyond the race include the Reed Sorensen Charity Golf Classic at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Hampton on Thursday, August 29th. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and golfers tee off with a shotgun start at 10:00 a.m. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with over a half dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series drivers who have volunteered to participate in the tournament to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities.
The first NASCAR Hauler Parade in conjunction with the AdvoCare 500 will be held by the City of Hampton on Thursday, August 29th at 7 p.m. The parade will begin on Speedway Boulevard outside of Atlanta Motor Speedway and will continue through downtown Hampton. In addition, the City of Hampton will recognize Fayetteville resident and the 1960 NASCAR Grand National Series Champion Rex White at 4:30 p.m. as part of Hampton’s Speed Lane dedication.
The NRA David Ragan Shootout will take place on Friday, August 30th at Cherokee Rose Sporting Resort. Registration begins at 10 a.m. followed by a meet & greet with participating drivers while on-course shooting will begin at 11 a.m. The Shootout benefits Speedway Children’s Charities and the awards presentation will take place at 2 p.m.
Take the first lap of race day and enjoy some active, family fun at the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk benefiting Speedway Children’s Charities on Sunday, Sept. 1 beginning at 11:30 a.m. Enter the track through Gate 15 beginning at 11 a.m. and follow the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk signs leading to the start/finish line. Admission is free for all race fans with an AdvoCare 500 race ticket. Coca-Cola Family Track Walks is a program that encourages health and happiness and brings the community together. This is your chance to celebrate healthy living at the track and experience its 24-degree turn banking before your favorite drivers fire up their engines. Special driver appearances by Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers, plus free Coca-Cola refreshments.
Fans can take home a piece of NASCAR history or get the ride of a life time as part of the Speedway Children’s Charities memorabilia auction on Sunday. The auction begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Bruton Smith Park located in front of the Speedway and includes a plethora of NASCAR memorabilia as well as rides with NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers that will take place during introductions prior to the AdvoCare 500.
Country Music fans will not want to miss the Fast Cars and Guitars pre-race concert featuring Georgia native Billy Currington presented by Bad Boy Buggies. The performance starts at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 1 and stagefront access is $49 – and includes stagefront access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver introductions.
Plus, fans can check out the Fan Zone with interactive NASCAR displays, sponsors and souvenir stands or check out the Coca-Cola Fan Stage throughout the weekend with performances and entertaining acts. Or fans can spend time with family and friends camping and tailgating on the grounds of Atlanta Motor Speedway. All these events along with three great races help make the AdvoCare 500 race weekend the Biggest Labor Day Party in the USA.
When it comes to winning at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway the last 10 years, one name comes to mind - Kyle Busch. "Rowdy" tops all NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers (NCWTS) at the Tennessee track with three career wins, is tied with Kevin Harvick with five career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) wins and his five career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins are tied with his brother Kurt and boyhood idol Jeff Gordon for the most among active drivers. The Las Vegas native will take aim at his 14th career National Series victory at the half-mile oval driving the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra in Wednesday night's UNOH 200.
Three of Busch's 13 career National Series wins at the concrete track came on one historic weekend in August of 2010. "Rowdy" made NASCAR history when he became the first driver to sweep all three National Series divisions (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NNS and NCWTS) at the same track on the same weekend. Not only did he win, he did so in impressive fashion, leading 515 of the 956 (54%) laps combined between the three races.
The 28-year-old driver hasn't lucked into his wins in "Thunder Valley," you can usually find him at the front of the pack in all three series. He is approaching 3,000 laps led at Bristol between the three National divisions, leading 343 circuits in the Truck Series, 1,170 in the NNS and 1,431 in Sprint Cup Series action for a total of 2,994 laps across NASCAR's top three divisions. All 343 of his Truck Series laps led came during his three consecutive victories from 2008 to 2010, where he led 56% (343 of 609) of the total laps.
After coming up just short last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn with a fast ToyotaCare Tundra, you can bet that Busch will take no mercy on the field in the UNOH 200 Wednesday night. There is a pretty good chance you'll find him at the front of the field and when the checkered flag flies, once again Rowdy will be on top in Tennessee.
The Encierro, or bull run, is the event at the heart of the fiestas of San Fermin in the city of Pamplona that involves hundreds of people running in front of six bulls and another six steers down a half-mile stretch of narrow streets before ending in Pamplona’s bullring.
It’s a spectacle that would be almost unimaginable in any other place in the world. The Encierro starts at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo, when the clock on the church of San Cernin strikes eight o’clock in the morning. After the launching of two rockets, the bulls charge behind the runners for the distance between the corral and the bullring.
Finishing the run oftentimes involves more luck than skill, as a runner’s fate can be determined by those who run alongside.
If there’s a race – and a racetrack – on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit that can mimic some of the conditions and intensity of The Encierro, it’s the night race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
History has shown that any race around the high-banked, concrete Bristol oval is one of survival. The annual running of the race has long been filled with beating, banging, rooting and gouging. “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” has been a fan favorite for years, and for good reason. Drivers often lose their patience first, immediately followed by their tempers. Fans have long called it one of the best races of the year, as an unrivaled excitement and intensity fill the air from the first lap to the last.
The Tennessee bullring has also been a favorite for Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). In nine previous starts with the No. 39 team at Bristol, Newman has one pole position, an outside pole position, and he’s posted six top-10 finishes.
Until this race last year, Newman’s worst result at the .533-mile track since joining SHR was a 16th-place effort in March 2010. But that all changed when a flat left-rear tire on lap 189 sent the No. 39 Chevrolet spinning off of turn four and into the outside retaining wall before being hit by another car as it came back across the racetrack. Newman was able to walk away from the incident unharmed, but the racecar and the team’s chances of earning a third berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in four seasons were both effectively over.
Newman’s 13th-place finish at Michigan international Speedway in Brooklyn last week saw him fall one spot to 15th place in the championship standings, 27 points behind 10th-place Greg Biffle. With three races remaining before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Newman finds himself not only outside the top-10, but also outside of the wild-card scenario.
However, Bristol could be the track that propels Newman back into a wild-card position, if not into the top-10 in points. While there’s no doubt any race around the high-banked, concrete oval is one of survival, this race could be one of opportunity, as well. A top-five at Bristol would go a long way toward solidifying Newman’s presence in the 2013 Chase field, and it would mean five more mortgages paid for a month. Thanks to Quicken Loans’ season-long “Bring It Home” promotion, fans who have already registered will want Newman to continue that trend. Those who have not simply need to visit www.qlracing.com to register. All are encouraged to increase their chances of winning a month-long vacation from their mortgage by entering weekly. Participants also can win additional entries by inviting their friends and family to participate.
With a seventh-place finish at Bristol in March, and a history of solid performances on their side, Newman and the No. 39 team are without a doubt looking forward to running at the bullring Saturday night.
Eric Maycroft, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.
On Aug. 16, Maycroft 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.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) heads to one of the most anticipated events of the year, the night race on the high-banked, short track Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
With three top-10s (2012, 2011, 2009) at the half-mile track, Annett has come close to scoring his first top-five at "The Last Great Colosseum." In eight starts, his average finish is 14.4, his best start of 13th came in the summer of 2009 and his best finish of sixth came in the summer of 2011. Annett, with the help of the No. 43 team, will go for his eighth career top-five finish in the NNS.
As if the excitement of Bristol isn't enough, Jack Link's will make its debut on the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford this weekend. Jack Link's Beef Jerky is perfect for the race fan looking to "Feed their Wild Side." It is high in protein and low in fat, which makes it the perfect, on-the-go snack. Fans can stock up right now at Pilot Flying J stores as Jack Link's Jerky and Tender Bites 3.25oz. bags are on sale - buy one bag at regular price, get the second for just $3. A great deal for a great snack at the track.
Comments from the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Jack Link's Ford Mustang driver Michael Annett:
"I think everyone looks forward to the night race at Bristol. The fans love it, and it always turns out to be a good race. I didn't get to race there are the beginning of the year, so I'm ready to strap in and see what our team can do. I've gotten pretty close to a top-five there several times and I think we can pull one off this weekend.
"Pilot Flying J has some pretty great partners that have been on the car this year and in past years, this weekend Jack Link's will be on the car for the first time. It will be fun to have them at the track and show them what it's like to be a part of Richard Petty Motorsports. Hopefully, we will have a strong showing for them. The rest of the competition better watch out for the Sasquatch coming through the field on Friday night."
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Bristol:
"A lot of people don't like Bristol because of all of the carnage, but I like Bristol. A lot of people will bring their worst car to Bristol because they just know they're going to wreck, but I feel like you bring your best stuff and you have your driver drive a smart race and you will finish well. It's entertaining for the fans, there's a lot of energy and there's not a bad seat in the house. If you have a fast car and can qualify well, it's a lot easier to maintain position so you can race at the end. Track position and keeping the nose clean will be key, and then once you get to the last 50 laps, you can let er' rip. It should be a good night."
"The March Bristol race was pretty much the way we ran the car last year for both races. We were having a very good race with Reed (Sorenson) and then got caught up in a late wreck. I don't anticipate doing anything different because of the way the day is set up; everything is really quick because it's a one-day show. We'll unload the way we were and tweak on it a bit, but I'm anticipating being pretty close to where we need to be when we unload."
Elliott Sadler and OneMain Financial Team to Honor NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Jack Ingram at Richmond
Elliott Sadler and the No. 11 OneMain Financial team will run a special paint scheme at the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6, 2013. The throwback paint scheme will honor NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Jack Ingram, two-time Nationwide Series champion and commemorate the 1,000th Nationwide Series event.
"I am honored to be part of such a great initiative," said Sadler. "I view this as a tribute to a legend, Jack Ingram. This brings together so many things. The history of the sport, past and current drivers, the importance of the car number to fans and sponsors, and above all, one of the highest honors a driver can have: to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame."
The No. 11 OneMain Financial paint scheme will pay tribute to the No. 11 car Ingram drove to two Nationwide Series championships in 1982 and 1985. Sadler will also sport a fire suit to pay homage to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee.
"I am really looking forward to having Jack [Ingram] at the track at Richmond, and I'm hoping he will bring this No. 11 team some good luck. We have such a great sponsor in OneMain Financial to want to honor this momentous occasion with the 1,000th Nationwide Series event and Jack's invitation to join the Hall of Fame. It should be a great weekend."
One Main Racing PR