Sunday, Dec 05
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Brody Roa wrapped up his 2021 racing season in the USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series’ “80th Annual Turkey Night Grand Prix” at the Ventura Raceway last Saturday night. It will now be five weeks before the veteran driver opens his 2022 campaign at the “36th Chili Bowl Midget Nationals” in Tulsa, Oklahoma in January.

For one of the few times since the race began in 1934, “The Turkey Night Grand Prix” was not contested on Thanksgiving night. This year, in an effort to accommodate more fans, the finale of the race was switched to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The move worked to perfection as the race attracted a complete sellout crowd. In addition, it was shown live to fans around the world on Flo Racing.

Garden Grove, California based Roa was back behind the wheel of Jayson May’s new #8o sprint car for “Turkey Night.” The previous week, he steered the same car to a main event victory at the Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield.

The TNGP opened last Friday night and the sprint cars got in two nights of action on the track that is affectionately known as “The Best Little Dirt Track in America.” For the first night, Roa drew a pill that put him on the inside of the third row for the initial 10-lap heat race. He advanced one spot and finished fourth. Up next for the 31-year-old driver was a qualifier and that was to be followed by a 15-lap dash. Unfortunately for Roa, he never got to the dash. Starting 7th in his qualifier, he was fighting to get into the top five on the third lap. That is when the car in front of him got sideways in turn four and nearly came to a full stop. With nowhere to go, Roa clobbered the car. He was able to continue, but when he got to the next corner, he went to turn, and the car spun to the infield with front end damage. That knocked him out of the qualifier, eliminated him from the dash and meant he would have to race in Saturday’s B main just to get into the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” final.

The B main on the second night featured 16 cars. Fourteen of them would transfer into the 30-lap A main event. Garnering one of the transfer spots proved no problem for wily veteran Roa as he placed seventh.

For his last race of 2021, Roa started in the 16th spot, but he did not stay there for long. By the end of the second lap, he had passed six cars and was up to 10th. Racing in heavy, wild traffic most of the way, he was ninth by lap nine and moved as far forward as eighth on lap 16. The see-saw battle in the middle of the pack saw Roa slip back to the 11th spot on the 19th go around before advancing back to ninth at the finish.

After a quick vacation where the water is warm this week, Roa will begin preparing for January’s “Chili Bowl” that will take place in the SageNet Center, which is one of the largest free standing clearspan (no columns) buildings in the world. As was the case the last few years, he will be wheeling the Kevin Ramey/Taylor Courtney #7M in Tulsa. Squaring off with more than 300 other stars from all disciplines of racing, Roa will compete in one of the five qualifying nights and the Saturday finale in Tulsa. Fans from all over the world can look in on the action on https://www.floracing.com/.

In BR Performance team related news, congratulations are in order for Roa’s longtime crew chief Zac Bozanich and Lacie Price on their engagement earlier this week.

. Brody Roa merchandise is available online and will make great Christmas gifts for his fans. You can see it all in his online store that is packed with great items including t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, beanies, baby onesies, plush blankets, jigsaw puzzles, stickers, notebooks, tote bags, wine tumblers, mugs, bandana pet collars and more. To check it out, please visit the following website https://www.brodyroa.com/shop/.

Roa and the team would like to thank the following for being part of the 91R’s 2021 campaign. HD Industries, Biker Bruce Fischer, Inland Rigging, Burris Racing, Sander Engineering, ALR Virtual Services, Caltrol, Competition Suspension, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Baldwin Filters and Jambo BBQ Pits. In addition, the veteran driver offers thanks to Fastenal, Coopers Propane, Total Lubricants, Marina Pools, TJM Oilfield Distribution, Certex, and Biker Bruce for sponsoring the #8M.

If you or your company would like to jump on board and receive recognition throughout the 2022 racing season, please give the two-time USAC champion racer a phone call or drop him a note at the contact information at the top of this release. You can also contact him if you would like to put him in your car in a USAC National Series race when his west coast schedule permits.

To view Roa’s online portfolio and learn more about the team, please click on the following link https://www.teamwithbrody.com/. Fans can also check out the team website at https://www.brodyroa.com/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/br91r/. To keep up with May Motorsports, please check out and “like” its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MayMotorsports8M

BRP PR

RSS Racing has officially announced the signing of rising phenom Parker Retzlaff for a limited NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule throughout the 2022 season.

Retzlaff, 18, graduates to the Xfinity Series after spending the last two years competing in the ARCA Menards Series East tour where in 12 starts, the Rhinelander, Wisc. native delivered one top-five and nine top-10 finishes, including a career-best fourth place finish in June at Southern National Motorsports Park (SNMP).

Retzlaff is scheduled to compete in a minimum of 10 Xfinity Series events beginning with Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway on Sat., Mar. 12, 2022, as a teammate to RSS Racing mainstay driver Ryan Sieg.

Additionally, Retzlaff will drive a second RSS Racing as a teammate to Ryan Sieg at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Kansas Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the season finale at Phoenix on Sat., Nov. 5, 2022.

Current marketing partners Ponsse, Eco-Tracks and Iron Horse Loggers will also make the leap with Retzlaff to RSS Racing.

“This is an incredibly humbling opportunity for me next season,” said Retzlaff. “I realize this is a huge next step for my career, but I believe with the support of RSS Racing and the Sieg family, the transition can be seamless and I can help the organization build their second car into a top-notch program.

“I feel very confident in my ability as a race car driver and with the tracks that we have laid out for my rookie season. I believe that we can turn some heads and make significant gains start to finish that can help us build on hopefully a full-time program in 2023.” 

RSS Racing announced in late October that the team will remain a Ford Performance race team next season with horsepower from Roush-Yates Engines but will have enhanced support from Stewart Haas Racing providing technical support for the family-owned race team.

"We are excited to welcome Parker and his partners to the RSS Racing team in 2022,” offered RSS Racing team owner Rod Sieg. “We feel we have all the resources in place to run a competitive multi-car team in the Xfinity Series and look forward to building our program for the future."

Outside of the cockpit, Retzlaff is an accomplished iRacer with 1,589 poles, 1,633 wins, 3,251 top-five and more than 68,400 laps led.

Additional details on Retzlaff’s program with RSS Racing, including car number, crew chief and further marketing partners will be announced at a later date.

For more on Parker Retzlaff, please visit parkerretzlaff.com, like him on Facebook (Parker Retzlaff Racing), Instagram (@parkerRetzlaff) and follow him on Twitter (@Parker79p). 

RSS Racing PR

Stu Grant, general manager for global race tires at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, was awarded the 2021 Buddy Shuman Award by the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) at the organization’s annual awards celebration this week in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Buddy Shuman Award is one of the most prestigious honors in the sport, and it recognizes individuals whose efforts and contributions help advance the sport of stock-car racing.  In its 65th year, it is named for pioneering driver Louis Grier “Buddy” Shuman, who was a popular driver in the early days of NASCAR and an ardent promoter of the sport.  He died tragically in a hotel fire in 1955 and was honored by the creation of this award in 1957.

Grant has now led the Goodyear Racing program for 25 years.  He has overseen the company being named NASCAR’s official tire supplier for its top three national series (NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck) since 1997.  He is also leading the current project of moving the Cup Series to an 18-inch tire from the 15-inch tire it has run throughout its 60-plus year involvement in the sport.

“This prestigious award is well-deserved recognition for Stu.  He has done Goodyear proud in the racing world throughout his long career,” said Rich Kramer, Goodyear’s chairman, CEO and president.  “Stu loves NASCAR, and his dedication to both the sport and our company is unequalled – he bleeds Goodyear blue and gold.  The Shuman Award is an enormous honor for a remarkable person, and we’re thrilled that his contributions have been recognized with this award.”

Grant also serves as a member of the board of directors with the NASCAR Foundation, which is a leading charity that works to improve the lives of children in NASCAR communities.

Grant graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in chemical engineering and joined Goodyear in 1972.  After a year in aircraft tire development, he moved to Goodyear’s racing division as a race tire engineer in 1973.  He was elevated to chief compounder in 1978 and then to manager of racing tire development in 1983.  After a stint with passenger and light truck tires between 1991 and 1993, Grant returned to racing as Goodyear’s director of race tire sales in 1994, before being promoted to his current position in 1996.

Grant joins an impressive list of recipients of the annual Buddy Shuman Award, which includes NASCAR Hall of Fame members like NASCAR founders Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr.; driver Richard Petty; crew chief Dale Inman; track operator Bruton Smith; broadcaster Ken Squier; and team owners Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress and Jack Roush, among other top contributors to the sport.

Goodyear PR

Pioneering motorsports broadcaster Bob Jenkins is the posthumous winner of the 2021 National Motorsports Press Association’s Myers Brothers Award, the NMPA announced on Tuesday.

Presented annually since 1958, the award, named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers, recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Each year, the NMPA Myers Brothers Award winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership.

Jenkins, who passed away in August of 2021 at age 73 after a battle against brain cancer, was a fixture in ESPN’s NASCAR broadcast booth from 1979 through 2000, Initially, he teamed with Larry Nuber and later with NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons to form one of the sport’s most revered broadcast teams.

A native of Richmond, Indiana, Jenkins got his start in motorsports broadcasting as an IndyCar pit reporter on radio and television. When ESPN debuted in 1979, Jenkins was one of the first anchors for the new sports network, where he worked until 2003.

After leaving ESPN, Jenkins joined the staff at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, filling roles as a public address announcer and press conference emcee. Subsequently, he returned to the IndyCar broadcast booth with Versus and retained the role as chief IndyCar announcer when Versus was acquired by NBC Sports Group.

In 2019, Jenkins was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s Hall of Fame, along with driver Dan Wheldon.

 

Myers Brothers Award Winners

2021, Bob Jenkins; 2020, Jimmie Johnson; 2019, Darrell Waltrip; 2018, Jim France; 2017, Martin Truex Jr., Sherry Pollex; 2016, Betty Jane France; 2015, Darlington Raceway; 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr.; 2013, Tony Stewart; 2012, Jeff Gordon; 2011, Drs. Joseph & Rose Mattioli; 2010, Jim Hunter; 2009, Barney Hall; 2008, T. Taylor Warren;

2007, Bill France Jr.; 2006, Benny Parsons; 2005, Rusty Wallace; 2004, Kyle and Patti Petty; 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 2002, Mike Helton; 2001, Dale Earnhardt; 2000, Kyle Petty; 1999, Junie Donlavey; 1998, T. Wayne Robertson; 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1996, Rick Hendrick; 1995, TNN: The Nashville Network;

1994, Brickyard 400/Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 1993, Goody’s Manufacturing Co.; 1992, Richard and Lynda Petty; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990. Dick Beaty; 1989, Bill France Jr.; 1988 Richmond International Raceway; 1987, ESPN; 1986, Hayride 500; 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1984, Charlotte Motor Speedway;

1983, CBS-TV; 1982, MRN; 1981, Junior Johnson; 1980, STP & Champion Spark Plug Co.; 1979, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1978, Busch Beer; 1977, First National City Travelers Checks; 1976, Junior Johnson; 1975, Bill France Sr.; 1974, H. Clay Earles; 1973, Wood Brothers;

1972, Winston Cigarettes; 1971, Richard Petty; 1970, Richard Howard; 1969, David Pearson; 1968, Wood Brothers; 1967, Richard Petty; 1966, Norris Friel; 1965, Ned Jarrett; 1964, Richard Petty; 1963, Marvin Panch; 1962, Hank Schoolfield; 1961, Ned Jarrett; 1960, Russ Catlin; 1959, Lee Petty; 1958, Bob Colvin.

 NMPA PR

Chase Elliott continues to follow his family tradition, both on the race track and in the eyes of NASCAR Cup Series fans.

For the fourth straight year, Elliott has been named NMPA Most Popular Driver present by Hooters, the only major NASCAR award determined solely by the vote of race fans. Elliott easily outpolled the competition to win the 2021 honor.

Since 1990, drivers named Elliott or Earnhardt have monopolized the award. Chase’s father, Bill Elliott, won the honor a record 16 times, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. a close second as a 15-time NMPA Most Popular Driver.

Now Elliott is building his own tradition as the decisive winner of the award.

Historically, the NMPA Most Popular Driver presented by Hooters has honored the giants of the NASCAR Cup Series, from seven-time champion Richard Petty to David Pearson to Bobby Allison to Cale Yarborough to Darrell Waltrip—all Cup champions and all early selections to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The award was first presented in 1953, with Lee Petty earning the honor for the first of two consecutive years.

NMPA PR

With a new three-year contract, Hooters has extended its primary sponsorship of 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and his No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team fielded by Hendrick Motorsports.
 
Hooters, the iconic American restaurant brand with a deep history in NASCAR, will continue to be a primary sponsor of Elliott for three races each season through 2024. The company joined 14-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports as a two-race primary sponsor of Elliott in January 2017 and added a third race beginning in 2019.
 
In 2022, the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will appear June 5 at World Wide Technology Raceway and in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff races at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 17 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16.
 
“For five seasons, Chase has been a brand champion for Hooters both on and off the track, and we are thrilled to extend our partnership with him and Hendrick Motorsports,” said Hooters vice president of brand marketing Monica Fleury. “As the home of race fans, Hooters will continue to provide one-of-a-kind experiences fans can only get at our restaurants. Both Chase’s fan base and NASCAR fans are extremely loyal, and we plan to continue to feed this spirit and passion for years to come.”
 
Hooters, “The Official Home of Race Fans,” has made Elliott a cornerstone of its marketing efforts. The driver is consistently featured in the company’s national advertising with a variety of special offers and promotions tied to the No. 9 racing program.
 
“Hooters has been a fun partner to work with over the years,” Elliott said. “They’re a laid-back group that does a great job of promoting their brand and including our team as a big piece of their marketing. They do a lot with each of their three primary races but also make the most of the partnership throughout the entire season. The next several years will be exciting for our team and for the sport, and I’m glad to have Hooters back on board for the ride.”
 
Elliott, who turned 26 on Sunday, has never missed the Cup Series playoffs in his six full seasons at NASCAR’s top level. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native earned rookie of the year honors in 2016 and secured his first Cup championship in 2020. He has already won 13 career points-paying races, including two in 2021 when he appeared in the Championship 4 for the second consecutive season.
 
“Hooters does a terrific job maximizing the program with Chase and the No. 9 team,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “To see our partnership deliver valuable results for them is very rewarding. Chase is a champion driver and tremendous spokesperson for the brand, and we look forward to building on that success in the seasons to come.”

Hendrick Motorsports PR

On Monday, December 6, the Missouri Athletic Club in Downtown St. Louis will host the 52nd Jack Buck Sports Awards Banquet presented by Redbird Carriers.

World Wide Technology Raceway owner Curtis Francois will receive the Jack Buck Award in recognition of his contributions to local racing, including landing a coveted NASCAR Cup Series Race for St. Louis. Recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Isaac Bruce will receive the Stan “the Man” Award for his contributions to St. Louis on the field and in the community through his foundation. The newly named “Bob Plager Legends Award” will honor two St. Louis Blues greats, Gary Unger and David Backes. Cardinals Gold-glove first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will be honored as the Sports Personality of the Year. Saint Louis University men’s soccer coach Kevin Kalish will receive the Carl O. Bauer Award in recognition as a top local figure in amateur sports.

The annual banquet was established in 1970 by Missouri Athletic Club member Jack Buck to honor the top St. Louis sports figures. Some of the biggest names in sports history including Bob Gibson, Joe Torre, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Al MacInnis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Brett Hull, Marshall Faulk, Albert Pujols and Kurt Warner have been honored at the event. Every banquet since its inception has aired on KMOX Radio. This year’s banquet can be heard beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6.

The honorees will be available to the media during the VIP reception, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Go to the lobby elevators at the MAC and proceed to the fourth floor. Also, the media is welcome to record any part of the banquet, which will take place in the ballroom located on the 2nd floor, between 8-9:30 p.m.

WWTR PR

NBC Sports delivered significant viewership gains and milestones for the third consecutive year for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021, doubling the series’ viewership in three years and delivering the most-watched IMSA race in 13 years.

NBC Sports’ 2021 IMSA WeatherTech Championship coverage across NBC and NBCSN averaged 254,000 viewers, according to Nielsen. NBC Sports has doubled the viewership for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship in three years since acquiring the rights in 2018 (128,000 viewers on FOX/FS1/FS2).

Season-long IMSA viewership highlights were led by NBC Sports’ coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 31, which averaged 1.23 million viewers on NBC – up 24% vs. 2020 – to rank as the most-watched IMSA race since 2008 (Rolex 24 At Daytona; 1.27 million).

Additional 2021 NBC Sports IMSA viewership highlights:

  • Complete Rolex 24 At Daytona coverage on NBC (Jan. 30-31) averaged nearly 1.1 million viewers (1.096 million), up 30% vs. the two comparable telecasts on NBC last year (846,000);
  • Season-long viewership on NBC (four telecasts) averaged 679,000 viewers, up 6% vs. 2020 and up 52% vs. 2019;
  • The Rolex 24 delivered NBCSN’s most-watched IMSA telecast on record, averaging 398,000 viewers on Jan. 30;
  • Season-long viewership on NBCSN was up 3% vs. 2020, averaging 179,000 viewers.

NBC Sports’ IMSA coverage joins its NASCAR and INDYCAR presentations in producing viewership gains in 2021. The 2021 NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series produced year-over-year viewership increases and NBC Sports’ most-streamed seasons for both series on record. The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES delivered NBC Sports’ most-watched INDYCAR season on record and INDYCAR’s best combined broadcast/cable viewership for the series in five years.

NBC Sports PR

NASCAR and leading sports streaming service, FloSports, today announced a multi-year partnership that will make FloRacing, FloSports' dedicated motorsports platform, the home of NASCAR Roots properties including: the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, and NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series. The landmark partnership represents an alignment of two champions of live motorsports with a shared mission of delivering the best in grassroots racing to fans around the world.

The partnership will also deliver an unparalleled investment in grassroots racing, including additional funding for local tracks and increased purses for drivers that compete in NASCAR’s touring and weekly series events. The transformational agreement further cements NASCAR and FloSports as advocates of grassroots/developmental racing and ensures a healthy economic model that will bolster tracks and drivers for years to come.

NASCAR's grassroots properties, formerly housed within the NASCAR Roots vertical on TrackPass, will now join FloRacing’s comprehensive offering that includes USAC, All Star Circuit of Champions, Eldora Speedway, IRA Outlaw Sprints, Short Track Super Series, Chili Bowl, Gateway Dirt Nationals and more. Over 280 NASCAR Roots races annually will stream live and on-demand under the TrackPass banner on FloRacing, transforming the popular platform into the leading destination for grassroots motorsports.

FloRacing has experienced exponential growth during the past three years. Over the past 12 months alone, the service has seen an explosive 120% YOY subscriber growth as FloSports continues to bring together long-fragmented grassroots racing media rights on to one platform while also expanding into other motorsports categories. In 2019, FloRacing streamed just 141 races and has been able to quickly expand its offering to over 1,600 races in 2021, representing 151 million hours of live content streamed this year. Overall event viewership has soared 263% YOY in 2021 while per event viewership has increased 87%. Across FloRacing social media platforms, FloRacing generated over 70 million video views in 2021. In addition to grassroots motorsports, other categories of motorsports available on FloRacing include drag racing, motocross, supercross, snow mobile racing and more.

FloRacing's dedicated content team will bolster NASCAR's grassroots racing scene with new original programming including driver interviews, behind-the-scenes access, on-site race day coverage, analysis and more. The partnership will give fans access to more NASCAR Roots racing than previously available, including tentpole events at Bowman Gray Stadium, New Smyrna Raceway and Berlin Raceway.

“Our partnership with FloSports is a win for motorsports fans at all levels and doubles down on NASCAR’s commitment to grassroots racing – the foundation of our sport,” said Brian Herbst, NASCAR senior vice president, media and productions. “We look forward to bringing fans all the racing they crave and investing in the tracks that provide lifelong memories to motorsports fans each weekend.”

“NASCAR shares our mission to grow grassroots motorsports and bring these races and athletes to an even wider audience across America and the world," said Mark Floreani, CEO and Co-Founder, FloSports. “We are honored to align with NASCAR as we continue to invest in the future of this sport so that we build a home for fans to both watch and experience racing in completely new ways. We're excited for what's to come.”

Fans can subscribe via FloRacing gaining access to nearly 2,000 races annually for $150 a year, a value equaling less than $0.10 per race. The subscription also unlocks premium FloRacing content including exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes access with drivers, news, analysis as well as archived races and highlights that fans have come to expect from the FloRacing platform. Subscribers also receive complete access to the entire network of FloSports verticals ranging from hockey, wrestling, football, baseball, softball, grappling and more. Watch the races across all screens by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast.

NASCAR PR

Jake Griffin Fast Facts

Jake Griffin competes in the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES with a  best finish of 4th Place. Griffin became the youngest driver in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history to win a Feature race with a victory at Lebanon I-44Speedway (MO). Jake then added another milestone when he became the youngest driver in the history of Nashville's famed Fairgrounds Speedway to win a pole. 14 year-old Griffin out-qualified the 27car field in the Pro Late Models portion of the 29th Running of the All-American 400.

This will be Jake Griffin’s first time driving for the STATEWIDE SOLAR team in their #7 open wheeled modified.

STATEWIDE SOLAR has over 17+ years of experience in the solar industry.  Providing solar installation solutions that immediately reduce their energy costs. Visit STATE WIDE SOLAR AT STATEWIDESOLAR.COM  or by calling 314-455-8183.

The Castrol GATEWAY DIRT NATIONALS is an annual event held in St. Louis, MO at the Dome and will be televised live December 2-4th on FloRacing.  Indoor Dirt Racing at its finest featuring open wheeled modified and late model events.

Jake Griffin PR

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