Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum's Indiana "special recognition" license plate will have a new look in 2019, featuring the Museum's logo: The iconic Borg-Warner Trophy flagman and bold "IMS Museum" lettering.
 
The Special Recognition plates, distributed by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, are an excellent way for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and motorsports fans to financially support the IMS Museum's mission while sharing their passion for "The Racing Capital of the World."
 
As one of the most storied and recognizable symbols of the Indianapolis 500, the Borg-Warner Trophy was an easy choice to be the principal feature of the newly-rebranded IMS Museum, when it streamlined its name in 2016.
 
The name "IMS Hall of Fame Museum" was retired in order to distinguish the Museum from several other racing "Halls of Fame" and to reflect its mission, which is to celebrate more than a century of the innovation, thrill and adventure of motor racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
 
The Museum, which is operated by the IMS Foundation and is separate from the for-profit Indianapolis Motor Speedway, accomplishes its mission by preserving, interpreting and sharing the rich and thrilling cultural, technological and competitive history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its events.
 
The fee for an Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum license plate is $40 per year, of which $25 goes directly to support the Museum. ($15 goes to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles for processing and handling.) The process for ordering an IMS Museum Indiana motor vehicle license plate is extremely user-friendly; to contact the IMS Museum or access the BMV website, click here: http://bit.ly/IMSMLicensePlate .
 
IMS Museum PR

Families traveling during the holiday season now have a special treat just off I-20 in Alabama. The Ford Thunderbird that made history with a record speed of 212.577 mph around Talladega Superspeedway in 1988 with driver Lyn St. James behind the wheel, is now on display at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

During the final day of a two-day run at history on October 11, 1988, St. James, in the Ford prepared by two-time Talladega winner Bill Elliott and his family-run team at the time, surpassed her own closed-course women’s speed record that she set at the 2.66-mile venue three years earlier. In ‘85, she became the first woman to surpass 200 mph on a closed course in a Ford Mustang Probe GTP Prototype (204.233 mph).

The International Motorsports Hall of Fame, located just outside of Talladega Superspeedway’s fourth turn, is open daily from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. CT (will be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day). It is the home to countless historic vehicles from various worlds of racing that include: stock cars, open wheel, NHRA, road racing, modified, motorcycle and much more. Tours of both the Hall of Fame as well as Talladega Superspeedway are offered. For more information, log onto www.motorsportshalloffame.com.

The record-breaking 1989 Thunderbird is the newest addition to the collection. It is a special car built on a NASCAR chassis by Ernie Elliott, Bill’s brother. Instead of using a NASCAR 5.7 liter engine, the car was given a 377 CID V8 engine and an ultra-low ride height. Any changes to the rest of the vehicle, which included its rear roof, rear spoiler and frontal area, were made to “only look stock” and achieve aerodynamics that would minimize drag and maximize speed. The car was built specifically to set speed records at Talladega.

All told, St. James and her team set or broke 21 FIA international and national speed records, including 16 that could be held either by men or women. St. James made the record attempt in hopes of earning a NASCAR ride but it never materialized and she went into Indycar. She would also win two 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring races in her career.

While her career turned a different direction than she initially planned, her achievements at Alabama’s acclaimed superspeedway will always hold a distinguished place in her heart. And, the car that carried her to speeds like no other, is now in the appropriate place.

TSS PR

Following a quiet offseason the engines will finally roar to signal the start of the 2019 season on February 10 at Daytona International Speedway with a power-packed Sunday doubleheader.

It begins at noon with Busch Pole Award Qualifying for the 61st running of the DAYTONA 500 (FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The 2019 Advance Auto Parts Clash follows at 3 p.m. (FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and will feature the sport’s biggest stars battling side by side in a 75-lap showcase.

“There’s no better way to start the season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The close, door-to-door action you see in the Advance Auto Parts Clash is a precursor to the intense competition you’ll see in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series throughout 2019.”

The annual preseason race will run in two segments, separated by a competition caution at lap 25.

“It’s a tremendous day of racing for our fans,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “Having DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger followed by the Advance Auto Parts Clash makes for a sweet first Sunday of Speedweeks and will have fans fully tuned up for the 61st running of the ‘Great American Race’ on February 17.”   

The exclusive, star-studded field in the Advance Auto Parts Clash is limited to drivers who were 2018 Busch Pole Award winners, former Clash winners who competed full-time in 2018, former DAYTONA 500 champions who competed full-time in 2018, former DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2018 and drivers who qualified for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Tickets are available now at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Eligible drivers are as follows:

2018 Busch Pole Award Winners (13)

  • Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Daniel Suarez and Martin Truex Jr.

Former Daytona 500 Champions (2)

  • Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman

Former Daytona 500 Busch Pole Award Winners (2)

  • Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson

2018 Playoff Drivers (3)

  • Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski

NASCAR PR

The holiday shopping season is upon us and tickets to Darlington Raceway’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 race on September 1, 2019 and NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 on August 31, 2019, make the perfect stocking stuffer for the race fan in the family this year.

Fans who wish to purchase tickets to either race and experience Throwback Weekend first hand may do so by visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com or calling 866-459-7223.

The Darlington Raceway Museum and Gift Shop is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Race fans may purchase driver and Darlington Raceway merchandise at the gift shop as a great holiday gift.

“Tickets to Darlington Raceway events are an ideal gift for the race fan in the family,” track President Kerry Tharp said. “We also have a wide variety of Darlington Raceway and driver apparel in our gift shop, which make great Christmas gifts as well.”

Darlington Raceway’s award-winning throwback campaign is The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will race on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. Tickets are on sale now by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.

You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame. Fans are encouraged to post their Bojangles’ Southern 500 stories and memories at, #BojanglesSo500 and #SportClips200.

Darlington Raceway PR

Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), in a special grant distribution ceremony on Wednesday, announced that the nonprofit’s Charlotte Motor Speedway chapter distributed $1,040,350 in grants – a record annual amount – to 100 charitable organizations located throughout the Charlotte region.

More than 250 children were joined by Santa Claus and Lug Nut, the world’s fastest mascot, for the grant reception in the Speedway Christmas presented by Disconnect & Drive infield village at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Charlotte chapter’s 2018 contributions represent a sizable increase of more than $88,000 from last year’s mark. Since its inception in 1982, the Speedway Children’s Charities Charlotte chapter has raised more than $13 million through a variety of annual fundraising events to support children with everything from educational support to the basic need of a coat or meal.

“It’s a true privilege to distribute these funds to 100 local charities who work hard year-round to make a major impact on the lives of children in need,” Speedway Children’s Charities Vice Chairman and Charlotte Chapter President Marcus Smith said. “These area nonprofits are so dedicated to serving our community. We are proud to play a part in supporting their efforts with financial contributions for their programs.”

The Charlotte chapter of SCC is one of eight that are located at each of the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) racing facilities. Over the years, SCC has awarded in excess of $55.3 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the nation.

“With sincere thanks to our volunteers, donors, sponsors and board of trustees, Speedway Children’s Charities’ Charlotte chapter can lay claim to distributing more than $1 million to area charities,” said Lisa Starnes, the director of the Charlotte chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. “We’re honored to have so many supporters helping us make the holidays and 2019 more special for area youth in need.”

For more information on Speedway Children’s Charities or to learn how to volunteer or donate, visit www.speedwaycharities.org.

ABOUT SPEEDWAY CHILDREN’S CHARITIES:
The mission of Speedway Children's Charities remains true to the ideals it was founded upon in 1982: To care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. SCC provides funding for hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout the nation that meet the direct needs of children. Our vision is that every child has the same opportunities no matter what obstacle they are facing.

KEEP TRACK:
Fans can connect with Speedway Children’s Charities by following on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

CMS PR

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season will go down in history as one of our most memorable seasons while partnering with Ford to capture the drivers’, owners’, and manufacturers’ championship titles and winning the MAHLE Engine Builder of the Year award.

At the Wynn Las Vegas hotel, Joey Logano became the 33rd driver to be crowned the champion in NASCAR’s top division.

“Congratulations to Edsel, Mark, Joey, Roger, and the entire Ford organization on an outstanding year,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “It was an incredible season, to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers', Owners' and Manufacturers’ Championship titles in the same season is a remarkable accomplishment. Without the hard work and dedication of our 180 passionate employees, these championships would not have been possible. We're blessed to partner with Ford and provide the horsepower for Ford Performance teams. It's also, a great honor to be recognized by MAHLE as the engine builder of the year in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.”

Ford Performance and the combined efforts of six premier Ford NASCAR teams; Team Penske, Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Front Row Motorsports, and Go Fas won a combined record breaking 19 point races, 15 poles, and 3 championships. In addition, to winning the All-Star race and the Daytona Clash, these combined teams led over half the laps raced in the 2018 season. Leading a total 5,954 laps over 41 race events.

In case you missed any of the action, here’s a rewind of some of our most memorable moments.

Joey Logano’s first championship title was punctuated with becoming only the eighth driver to win a MENCS championship with Ford and win the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Kevin Harvick and the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford Fusion tied for the most wins during the 2018 season with eight. Harvick’s Playoff win at Texas Motor Speedway topped off his career best year.

Logano secured his place in the Championship Playoffs by winning his third race of the year at Martinsville Speedway.

We saw the Ford Fusions sweep Talladega in the 2018 season. Logano won the Spring race, while the No. 10 of Aric Almirola made a statement at Talladega Superspeedway in the Fall, by winning his first Talladega Cup race. This marked Ford’s seventh straight restrictor-plate race win at the coveted speedway and put a record fourth SHR driver into the playoffs.

Ryan Blaney won the inaugural running of the 2018 Charlotte Roval, marking his second career Cup win and first win since becoming a full-time driver at Team Penske.

It was a September to remember for Brad Keselowski and Roger Penske, winning three straight at Darlington Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then the Playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning Roger Penske's 500th career win.

Kurt Busch also had an award-winning year, winning the 2018 Pole Winner Award for a season high five poles, in addition to capturing his 30th career win at Bristol.

We saw SHR sweep the Michigan 400’s with Clint Bowyer winning the summer event and teammate Harvick sealing the deal in the fall to keep the famed Heritage trophy in Dearborn at Ford Motor Company headquarters.

Harvick would win his sixth points paying race of the season in Loudon, New Hampshire. In turn, Harvick dominated the month of May, winning the AAA 400 Drive for Autism in Dover, the KS Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway, and finished by winning a $1,000,000 in the Charlotte All-Star race.

Bowyer won his first race at Martinsville Speedway in the Spring, leading a race high 215 laps in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500.

But it was Harvick that launched the 2018 Championship season by winning three consecutive races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway.

The 2018 season marked the final year for the Ford Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and what a year it has been. The Fusion became Ford's flagship model for the series in 2006 and went on to win 108 races during its 13-year run.

In addition, the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season concluded with Stewart-Haas Racing winning the Xfinity Owners’ Championship title by Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and the No. 00 of Cole Custer.

RYE PR

Preparations for the Second Annual East Coast Dirt Nationals continued in earnest Wednesday morning inside Trenton, N.J.’s CURE Insurance Arena. Concrete barriers and catch fencing were erected on the arena floor starting at 7 am on Monday morning to create the outside wall.  On Tuesday over 60 dump truck loads of black New Jersey clay were trucked to and spread to form the track surface.

The Dirt Nationals for wingless 600 Sprints is set to begin this Thursday and Friday, December 13th and 14th with split group qualifying which includes 60 racers each day running in qualifying features events. On Saturday, December 15th, all 120 competitors will be competing for a spot in the $5,000 to win 50 lap A-Main. Racing starts at 7 PM on Thursday and Friday, 5 PM on Saturday.

Slingshots will run a complete program of racing on Thursday night culminating in a 20-car, 20-lap feature. On Friday, Champ Karts are the co-feature, with the same field, same distance feature on the docket.

The same clay that produced the dustless, multi-groove surface last year has been set in place once again. It was stockpiled in a sandpit since its first use and covered to prevent excess moisture from accumulating.

Inside the building on Tuesday, Ricky Grosso with help from Chuck Palmucci were spreading the clay with bulldozers and front end loaders. The track when finished will be 18 inches in depth on the straightaways and three feet in depth in the corners where considerable banking has been added.

Freiberger Excavating of Allentown, NJ, an event sponsor, provided the heavy equipment which will also be used for the removal of the clay and fence beginning moments after the checkered flag falls Saturday night.

The event will take place in an arena that has undergone a makeover from floor to ceiling to enhance the viewing experience for race fans at this year’s Nationals. The goal has been to make the arena one of finest in the state.

This year’s schedule calls for heat races with passing points and four A-qualifier feature races for split fields on both Thursday and Friday night. On Saturday, with all 120, 600 Sprints on hand, Alphabet mains are scheduled, with racers having the opportunity to advance from G, F, E, D, C, and B, will precede the 50 lap A-Main paying $5,000 to win.

Information, including a link for advanced tickets, is available at indoorautoracing.com.  Tickets are also available each day at the arena box office.

Indoor Auto Racing PR

Talladega Superspeedway is excited to announce that General Tire, which for over 100 years has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires, has extended its entitlement sponsorship of the General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series event (April 26) as part of a multi-year partnership.

 “We are proud to continue our relationship with Talladega Superspeedway for another two years,” said Travis Roffler, Director of Marketing for General Tire. “When we first partnered with the track, it was because the enthusiasm of the fans there is almost unmatched in any other sport. The relationship has done a lot to increase our awareness among those fans, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for that very reason.”

The 2.66-mile venue, which will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2019, has hosted the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since the track’s initial season in 1969. The series has seen its share of close, exciting finishes at the historic track, most recently in the 2018 General Tire 200 where victor Zane Smith edged Joe Graf Jr. at the line in an eventual photo finish – the closest finish in series history.

General Tire, also the official tire supplier of the ARCA Series, has been the entitlement sponsor of the General Tire 200 since 2016.

“General Tire has been an incredible partner and we are thrilled to have them with us as we head into an exciting future,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. “Not only will we celebrate our 50th Anniversary next year in which the ARCA Series has played a major part of our history, but we will also kick off our Transformation Infield Project. We are glad that General Tire will be a part of both.”   

The first aspect of the $50 million Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project that will allow fans to be immersed into motorsports at the mammoth venue like never before is the Oversized Vehicle Tunnel that is currently under construction. Scheduled for completion during the track’s spring tripleheader weekend, the tunnel will be open 24 hours.

In addition, there will be the new 67-spot Finish Line Premium RV area, as well as new Infield Shower Trailers for the weekend that will also feature the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Talladega 300 (Saturday, April 27) and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ GEICO 500 (Sunday, April 28). For ticket information, call 855-518-RACE (7223) or log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.

TSS PR

Veteran NASCAR driver and 2010 DAYTONA 500 champion Jamie McMurray has landed his next full-time ride. McMurray joins FOX Sports for the 2019 season as a NASCAR analyst for NASCAR RACE HUB, the sport’s most-watched daily show, and NASCAR RACEDAY, among other duties.

McMurray, who wrapped his 16th MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES season in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet last month, jumps from the race car to FOX NASCAR’s brand-new, state-of-the-art virtual studio in Charlotte.

“As FOX Sports built the new virtual studio in Charlotte, we were equally invested in hiring the right personalities for our NASCAR programming,” said Steve Craddock, SVP of NASCAR Production, FOX Sports. “Jamie McMurray brings a fresh-off-the-track perspective and a modest likeability everyone can relate to. He is a great addition to our team.”

McMurray tested the television waters with appearances on NASCAR RACE HUB as an analyst in late October and early November. Additionally, he offered analysis in the FOX Sports broadcast booth for NASCAR XFINITY SERIES races at Pocono Raceway (June 2018) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 2017).

“As my driving career got closer to the end, I thought about doing TV but wasn’t sure until I did a couple of NASCAR RACE HUB shows at the end of this year,” McMurray said. “I really enjoyed it more than I expected. It’s a whole new world, but that’s what I am most excited about – the new challenge and discomfort that comes with doing something completely out of my element.”

During his Cup career, the 2003 Rookie of the Year amassed seven wins, 63 top-five and 168 top-10 finishes, in addition to a victory in the 2014 NASCAR All-Star Race. McMurray is one of only three drivers to have won the DAYTONA 500 and the Brickyard 400 in a single season (2010). In addition, he and Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson formed the winning team for the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona. With the feat, McMurray etched his name in the record books as one of only four drivers to find Victory Lane for the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24. Racing legends A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon are the only other drivers to have won both races.

Announcements regarding the full FOX NASCAR broadcast team for 2019, including the lineup for studio shows airing from the new virtual studio, are forthcoming. For more information on FOX NASCAR, visit FOX Sports Press Pass. For more information on McMurray, visit www.JamieMcMurray.com.

Fox Sports PR

David Ragan announced today he will auction a 2018 race-used No. 38 Shriners Hospitals for Children Ford Fusion NASCAR racecar to benefit the children's hospitals. World renowned car auction house, Barrett-Jackson, will auction the ready-to-race car on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at WestWorld of Scottsdale in Arizona, with 100 percent of the hammer price benefiting the Shriners Hospitals.

The Ford Fusion is specifically built for Ragan and its design is to promote the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The car is Chassis No. 574 from Front Row Motorsports and raced in the Monster Energy Cup Series in multiple events throughout 2018. The NASCAR-sanctioned car comes complete with a Ford Performance Roush Yates Racing engine that produces 750 horsepower. It's also equipped with the original four-speed G-Force transmission, a 4.63 rear gear and Goodyear racing tires. The car is detailed to the specifications of Ragan, including one of his carbon-fiber seat shells, SFI-certified insert and a seven-point racing harness. In addition to the car itself, Ragan will also donate four garage passes to a race of the winning bidder's choice in 2019.
 
Ragan competed in three races in 2018 with the Shriners Hospital for Children scheme that is up on the block, including the prestigious 400-mile July race at the Daytona International Speedway. Ragan is a veteran of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and has two wins in America's premier auto racing series along with numerous top finishes that make him a household name across the country.

But, more importantly, Ragan has been a champion off the track for the patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children, a charity that he has supported since becoming a member of Shriners International in 2012 and serving as its NASCAR ambassador. Ragan visits Shriners Hospitals during the race season and invites patients to the track for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. He also raises awareness and funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children through various campaigns, public service announcements, donations and activities.

"I am excited to combine my two passions of competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and supporting the Shriners Hospitals for Children," said Ragan. "One lucky high bidder will not only have the opportunity to win an authentic Ford Fusion racecar, but also make a big difference for the patients and families of the Shriners Hospitals for Children. All the proceeds of the car are going to the hospitals and that's exciting because we're looking for a big bid. And, this car is the real deal. With a 750 horsepower Roush Yates racing engine, and prepared to hit the track, I am sure it will draw some attention in Scottsdale. I will be there to meet the winner and thank them personally."

"David continues to be a tremendous ambassador for the Shriners Hospitals for Children," said Jim Cain, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children. "Our partnership with David has increased awareness for our health care system and the work we do for our patients. This is now a unique way for us to raise the funds needed to continue to provide the excellent care given at each hospital. We're looking forward to the auction in January."

"Every auction gives us the chance to work with wonderful people, like David Ragan, who work tirelessly to help others," said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. "We're excited to team up with him in Scottsdale and help sell his race car so that kids across the nation can get better. When we work together, we effect greater change than working alone. And there are few things more important than coming together to help kids reach their greatest potential."

For more information on becoming a bidder, visit www.Barrett-Jackson.com/bidder. Also, follow David Ragan and Barrett-Jackson on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and information heading into the 2019 Scottsdale auction.

David Ragan PR