Speedway Digest Staff
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The battle for the ASA Member Track National Championship is starting to get intense. Shelby Stroebel remains undefeated while Lance Gatlin saw his win streak end last Saturday night. The other track leaders are starting to catch the top two in the national standings.
Stroebel won his twelfth ASA Modified feature of the year last Saturday night at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, ID. Going back to last season, he is on a 14-win streak. He has an overall average of 4.0929.
Gatlin had his streak stopped by two-time track champion Nate Monteith last Saturday night at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn, VA. Gatlin finished second in the Limited Late Model feature event. Even though his win streak came to an end, he still is not far behind Stroebel with an average of 3.8680.
Wayne Webb continues to lead the Late Model Sportsman standings at Newport Motor Speedway in Newport, TN. He is not that far behind Gatlin in the national standings as he has an average of 3.8336.
Mike Slone picked up another feature win in the ASA Late Model division at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, MO. He had a rough month of July but has turned that around in August. He has an average of 3.7320.
Dustin Rumley finished second to Barry Beggarly last Friday night in the Late Model feature at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, NC. He still holds on to the points lead in a tight battle over Rodney Cook and Beggarly. He is also in the hunt for the national title with an average of 3.2591.
ASA Racing PR
Michael Hale’s sixth place finish helps maintain a healthy point lead in the Maverik Modified standings over Mark Ith Jr. and Lynn Hardy. He is sixth overall in the national standings with an average of 3.0446. Hale is slowly catching the top-five.
Mark Mackesy holds a four-point lead over Mark Eswein in the Super Late Model standings at State Park Speedway in Wausau, WI. He has a national average of 2.6826 with some big events coming up at the Wimmer owned facility.
Kyle Borden and his fellow ASA Modified drivers will be in action at the end of the month at Shasta Speedway in Anderson, CA. He has a national average of 1.3704.
“Many of our ASA Member Tracks have tight point battles that could change the landscape for the National Championship,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said. “Many will want to focus on chasing down Shelby Stroebel for the national title, but they need to keep their eye close to home and win their track championship first. The next few weeks are going to be stressful for those in contention. It can also create some great racing at all of our ASA Member Tracks.”
Throughout the season, drivers competing in the premiere divisions at eligible ASA Member Tracks are in the running for the 2012 ASA Member Track National Championship. In order to have a chance for the national title, a driver must first win their 2012 track championship.
Three nights of NASCAR night racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway can be a family event at an affordable price this Labor Day weekend with special offers for students and youths under the age of 12.
While adult tickets start at just $39, students can gain access to the Elliott Grandstand for just $19 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 2. A valid student ID must be presented at the grandstand gate.
The Elliott Grandstand sits high above turn three, giving fans an amazing view of the 1.54-mile speedway, illuminated under the track’s lights, while the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series chase a victory in the AdvoCare 500. The Elliott Grandstand will also offer a great vantage point of the post-race fireworks, moments after the checkered flag falls.
The great value is not only for Sunday’s racing, as youths 12 and under will be admitted free to both Friday and Saturday night’s races with a paying adult in the General Admission seating areas, located on the speedway’s fronstretch. There is no limit to the number of children that each adult can bring. The Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will run on Friday, Aug. 31 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series NRA American Warrior 300 will take place on Saturday, Sept. 1.
It's been 11 years since Kurt Busch's last NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start, but he's hopeful that his return to NASCAR's third division will be 'like riding a bike.' His bike for Saturday's VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn will be the No. 18 Shore Lodge Tundra, fielded by his brother's Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team.
Although it will take some laps to get readjusted to the feel of a truck, Busch believes that having two races already under his belt on the repaved two-mile oval will give him a leg up on the competition when practice begins Friday morning. The elder Busch, who shares the driving duties behind the wheel of KBM's No. 54 Monster Energy Camry with younger brother Kyle, finished third in the Nationwide Series race at MIS earlier this year. He will be looking to improve on that finish Saturday, as he bids to add a Truck Series victory to his two Cup Series wins at the track nestled in the Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan.
Quickly adapting to the feel of a truck shouldn't be a problem for the veteran driver, who proved to be a quick learner when he burst onto the NASCAR scene in 2000. As a 21-year-old driver, making his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start, Busch registered a second-place finish in the Truck Series opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The talented wheelman made an immediate impact on NASCAR's third division that season, collecting four wins, four poles, 14 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes en route to a second-place finish in the final point standings and Rookie of the Year honors.
His success in the Truck Series earned him a promotion to the Sprint Cup Series for the final seven races of 2000 and he has been a full-time competitor in NASCAR's premier division ever since. The Las Vegas native's Cup Series resume includes a Sprint Cup Series championship (2004), 24 wins, 15 poles, 89 top-five and 171 top-10 finishes over 421 career starts to date.
Coincidentally, as Busch gets back to 'riding a bike' this weekend, a bike will be riding onboard the tailgate of his Shore Lodge Tundra. The tailgate will be promoting "Win Kyle's Custom Made Chopper," the latest Kyle Busch Foundation fundraising campaign. Deadwood Choppers, based in Middle Island, N.Y., designed and built a custom chopper that features the logos of the Kyle Busch Foundation's largest supporters. Fans can go to kbfchopperraffle.com and purchase two chances to "Win Kyle's Custom Made Chopper" for $54.
Fans Experience On-Track Activity From Pit Road With Richmond International Raceway's Pre-Race Pit Passes
Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes prior to the upcomingVirginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, September 7. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce.
Individual Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes, $50 per person, are the only way fans can gain access to pit road this season. Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes are available online byclicking here or calling 866-455-7223.
Friday’s events include Gatorade Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series.In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the September 7, Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. Parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children under 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes.
Again this year, shorts, short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts and blouses and open-toed shoes are permitted. Shoes, shirts and pants or shorts, dresses and/or skirts and blouses are required. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield.
In what was most likely both the first and last victory lane celebration to feature iconic super heroes The Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, Roush Fenway Racing flexed its collective muscle, scoring its seventh Sprint Cup Series win in a dominating performance that saw Greg Biffle drive his No. 16 “Flash” Ford to victory lane. Biffle bested RFR teammate Mark Martin in his equally daunting No. 6 “Batman” Ford, in a race that saw Roush Fenway place five Fords in the top 10.
“It’s been tough at times this season, but I knew we could be in Victory Lane this year,” said Biffle. “We’ve got this 16 car ironed out.”
Biffle would go on to win again in the season finale at Homestead.
The race is also noted as the Sprint Cup Series debut of Carl Edwards, who drove his No. 99 “Green Lantern” Ford to a 10th-place finish, in one of the strongest Cup debuts in NASCAR history.
Roush Fenway’s Fords were indeed ‘faster than a speeding bullet’ on this day. Biffle led a race-high 73 laps, while Martin, who led 46 laps on the day was unable to overcome a late-race pit road penalty. Biffle scored the second Sprint Cup victory of his career and his first at Michigan. The race also featured a Kurt Busch driven No. 97 Man of Steel “Superman” Ford (finishing sixth) and the Wood Brothers No. 21 “Wonder Woman” entry driven by Ricky Rudd.
Matt Kenseth, who piloted a No. 17 “Martian Manhunter” Ford in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event, finished eighth in Sunday’s race.
Martin finished second the day before in yet another “Batman” entry in the Nationwide Series race, with Biffle’s win putting a “Wham, BAM, Whop” and exclamation point on one of the most super – pun intended – weekends in Roush Fenway’s “25 Winning Year” history.
Promotion for the event went so far as to feature a press conference with Roush Fenway drivers and their matched super heroes, as well as a Roush Fenway/Justice League collector’s edition DC Comic book.
Roush Fenway will look for yet another ‘super’ outing this weekend its two-mile ‘home track’ where Jack Roush and his team the team boasts 11 wins in the Sprint Cup Series.
“Yes, Michigan” became a famous tourism slogan when the Great Lakes State produced a commercial around the theme in 1986 for its 150th birthday.
Fast-forward to some 26 years later and Michigan’s tourism board, Travel Michigan, has flourished with its most recent memorable campaign, “Pure Michigan,” which also happens to be the title sponsor of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
What does this have to do with Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR)? Well, the talented 27-year-old hopes he’ll be saying, “Yes, Michigan,” by weekend’s end and that his chances of making this year’s edition of the 10-race, 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship are much more solidified.
After a heartbreaking end to last weekend’s race on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, where Busch got spun from behind while leading on the last lap, the Las Vegas native is looking ahead to Sunday’s 400-miler on the Michigan oval, for which he is the defending race-winner. He’s currently in a five-driver battle for two precious wild-card berths into this year’s Chase with four events remaining before the Chase starts Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The top-10 drivers in the point standings are locked into the Chase. Kasey Kahne currently holds the 11th-place wild-card spot thanks to his two victories this season, the most of any driver outside the top-10. Ryan Newman assumed the 12th-place wild-card spot last weekend by virtue of his April 1 victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway combined with his 13th position in the standings, which is higher than his fellow single-race winners in the top-20 in points –Busch, Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano.
Busch’s win in the Pure Michigan 400 last August was his first Sprint Cup win at the 2-mile oval. He also finished third in the June 2011 race, and led a total of 81 laps in the two events last year. By contrast, in his previous 12 Sprint Cup starts at Michigan, he had no wins, one top-five finish and led a total of 88 laps. So, recent history certainly bodes well for Busch’s outlook this weekend.
Including this weekend’s race at Michigan, Busch’s record at the four tracks that comprise the remainder of the Sprint Cup “regular season” is quite impressive. He has a whopping 11 career wins at those four tracks with at least one race win at each. Busch has five career wins at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and four wins at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway to go with his one win apiece at Michigan and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
So, as Busch heads back to Michigan for the second of two Sprint Cup stops this season, he’ll hope to resurrect the old “Yes, Michigan” tagline as his fate with regard to the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship stays very much alive.
No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet News and Notes
Taking on the Truck Series at Michigan International Speedway... Cale Gale will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday afternoon, August 18. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender currently has two NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and two Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Racing Series starts at the two-mile oval. Most recently, Gale competed in the ARCA Racing Series event at Michigan International Speedway in July 2011. After starting from the pole, the Mobile, Ala. native led 64 laps but suffered a flat tire with four laps remaining in the 100-lap event relegating him to a 19th-place finish.
Taking a Trip Home for ESR Crew Member... The NCWTS' annual stop at Michigan International Speedway will give Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) team member, Jeff Keller, a chance to race near his old stomping grounds. Keller, who joined ESR in August 2011, was raised just 35 miles from Michigan International Speedway in Lyons, Ohio, and later lived in Ann Arbor, Mich. Keller is ESR's shock specialist and helps on the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet team of Gale during race weekends.
Meet Cale Gale... The NCWTS will feature an open garage at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, August 17th. At 4:00 p.m., NASCAR fans will be invited into the garage to get a first-hand look at what goes on during a NASCAR race weekend. At the same time, the series' will host an autograph session in the garage near gate 55c. Wristbands are required to receive an autograph. Following the autograph session, Gale will join teammate Justin Lofton for a question and answer session at the Chevy Stage. Come out to meet ESR's driver lineup at 5:15 p.m. in the fan zone.
Rheem Crew Members Goes to the Movies... Greg Powell, the front tire carrier for Cale Gale and the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet team, made his Hollywood debut on Wednesday, August 8, in Nitro Circus The Movie 3D. Powell, a graduate of the University of Maryland, has been riding bikes and doing stunts with his cousin, Travis Pastrana, since they were young. By 2004, the Nitro Circus crew was putting on live shows across the country and on MTV. For more information about Nitro Circus The Movie 3D, or to find a theater near you, visit: http://nitrocircus.com/go/the-nitro-circus-3d-movie/.
Battling for Points... Gale picked up two positions in the NCWTS championship points battle following the Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway earlier this month. With three top-10 finishes this season, Gale is solidly within the top 15 in drivers points, ranking 12th, and ranks 14th in the owner points standings. Currently second in the Rookie of the Year point standings, Gale is chasing down leader Ty Dillon.
Follow Cale... Follow Cale Gale, driver of the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet Silverado, on twitter @CaleGale and Facebook (facebook.com/CaleGale), and check out CaleGale.com for the latest news and updates.
Get the Inside Scoop... Follow Eddie Sharp Racing on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook to get real-time updates and behind-the-scenes information: @TeamESR or facebook.com/teamesr.
Watch and Listen... The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make its annual stop at Michigan International Speedway this Saturday, August 18. SPEED will broadcast final practice (2:00 p.m. ET, Friday) and qualifying (9:30 a.m. ET, Saturday) from Brooklyn, Mich. Live coverage of the VFW 200 will be aired on SPEED, MRN & SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET.
From the Driver's Seat
Cale Gale Quotes... On racing at Michigan International Speedway: "I'm really excited about racing at Michigan International Speedway this weekend with the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet. It should be a pretty interesting weekend with the new pavement. I expect the new surface will allow for multiple grooves of racing and a lot of side-by-side action. We have three practices this weekend, which will give us plenty of time to run through changes and set up options on our Rheem Chevrolet. Jerry [Baxter, crew chief] and the guys have worked really hard to get our Silverado ready; we are all looking forward to getting on the track in Michigan."
From the Pit Box
Jerry Baxter Quotes... On getting ready to race at Michigan International Speedway: "We're really looking forward to getting to Michigan International Speedway with the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet. Our team participated in a tire test there two weeks ago. The track seems to be more aerodynamic than mechanical; we were able to run wide open all the way around the track for 70 laps. We only had two trucks at the tire test, so it will be interesting to see what it's like with a bunch of trucks. Cale has raced at Michigan before, and has run well there in the past. We're taking the truck that we raced at Chicagoland Speedway last month when we finished in the top 10, and hope to follow that up with another strong run."
Race tickets are on sale today for the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19 at Daytona International Speedway, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013.
The UNOH Battle At The Beach will feature two days of short-track racing headlined by three non-points special events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Ticket options for the UNOH Battle At The Beach are:
· Single-day general admission grandstand tickets are available for $25 and two-day general admission grandstand tickets are $40.
· Single-day pit passes are available for $25 and two-day pit passes are $35.
· Kids 12 and under are free in the general admission grandstands.
· A four-day ticket package, which includes admission to the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200/Daytona Shootout doubleheader on Feb. 16 and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Feb. 17, as well as a general admission grandstand ticket and pit pass for the UNOH Battle At The Beach, is available for $99.
· Camping spots (not including race tickets) are also on sale for the UNOH Battle At The Beach. Two-day infield packages are $75 and four-day infield packages are $100. GEICO Park West camping, which is located outside Turns 1 and 2 and is open Feb. 12 through Feb. 24, is $585.
Tickets for the UNOH Battle At The Beach can be purchased online atwww.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
A .4-mile oval on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway will showcase all the racing action during the UNOH Battle At The Beach.
On Monday, Feb. 18, the 150-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 150-lap race is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and will be followed by the 150-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at 8:30 p.m.
A complete UNOH Battle At The Beach schedule, including gate opening times, practice and qualifying race times for both days, is available at the UNOH Battle At The Beach event page.
No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet News and Notes
Racing at Michigan International Speedway... Justin Lofton will race at Michigan International Speedway for the third time in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) career this weekend in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet Silverado. In addition to his NCWTS experience on the 2.0-mile oval, Lofton has one NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start and two starts in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) Racing Series. Lofton has one pole (2009) and one race win (2008) at Michigan International Speedway in ARCA competition. In his NNS debut at the speedway, Lofton started 19th and raced to a 16th-place finish.
Top-Ten Finish at Pocono Raceway... Lofton continued to pursue his championship hopes with a ninth-place finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. As a result of posting lap times inside the top five throughout the three-hour practice session, Lofton was one of the final drivers to make his qualifying attempt. On his first lap, the track snapped loose in the tunnel turn backing in to the outside wall. Without time to spare, the No. 6 Millennium Private Jet Services crew worked tirelessly to prepare the back-up Chevrolet before the start of the race. With only minutes left, the ESR team was able to get the No. 6 Millennium Private Jet Services Chevrolet through technical inspection and ready for the race. After starting in 35th position at the back of the field, Lofton managed to maneuver his truck to an impressive ninth-place finish in the brief 50 lap race. Lofton left Pocono Raceway fourth in the championship points race, just 18 points out of first place.
Meet Justin Lofton... The NCWTS will feature an open garage at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, August 17th. At 4:00 p.m., NASCAR fans will be invited into the garage to get a first-hand look at what goes on during a NASCAR race weekend. At the same time, the series' will host an autograph session in the garage near gate 55c. Wristbands are required to receive an autograph. Following the autograph session, Lofton will join teammate Cale Gale for a question and answer session at the Chevy Stage. Come out to meet ESR's driver lineup at 5:15 p.m. in the fan zone.
Battling it Out for Points... With the 2012 NCWTS season just past the halfway point, Lofton continues to battle his competition for the championship. With 11 races complete and 11 races to go, Lofton currently ranks fourth in the NCWTS point standings, just three points behind third and 18 points out of the lead.
Follow Justin... Follow Justin Lofton, driver of the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet Silverado, on twitter (@jlracing) and facebook (facebook.com/jlracing), and check out loftonracing.com for the latest news and updates.
Get the Inside Scoop... Follow Eddie Sharp Racing on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook to get real-time updates and behind-the-scenes information: @TeamESR or facebook.com/teamesr.
Watch and Listen... The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will make its annual stop at Michigan International Speedway this Saturday, August 18. SPEED will have broadcast final practice (2:00 p.m. ET, Friday) and qualifying (9:30 a.m. ET, Saturday) from Brooklyn, Mich. Live coverage of the VFW 200 will be aired on SPEED, MRN & SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET.
From the Driver's Seat
Justin Lofton Quotes... On the speed of Michigan International Speedway: "Michigan [International Speedway] is fast. We were a part of the tire test here a few weeks ago and it seems like the track is a lot faster with the smooth new surface. I've always enjoyed racing here; I got my first ARCA win with Eddie [Sharp, team owner] at Michigan International Speedway. We hope to have another great race this weekend in the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet to tighten up the championship points battle."
From the Pit Box
Dan Bormann Quotes... On looking forward to Michigan International Speedway with the No. 6 Lofton Cattle / Eddie Sharp Racing team: "The whole Lofton Cattle / Eddie Sharp Racing team is really looking forward to this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. It's crunch-time in the [championship] points race, so we all have been working hard to give Justin everything that he needs to go out there and contend for race wins and ultimately the championship. Michigan is a fast track, and we believe whole-heartedly in Justin's ability to put the Lofton Cattle Chevrolet where it needs to be."