Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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After three consecutive weekends in Florida to begin the season, the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series are off to Nevada and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 
It will be the first of two consecutive weekends on the west coast for Front Row Motorsports (FRM). The goal is simple and clear- continue the momentum that Michael McDowell and the No. 34 Ford team has built while trying to lock Todd Gilliland into the Truck Series Playoffs. For Anthony Alfredo, it is to record his best finish of the season.
 
Gilliland and his No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 team will begin the weekend Friday with a 134-lap battle televised live on FS1 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
 
McDowell and Alfredo will hit the track on Sunday afternoon for a 267-lap main event. The Cup race will be televised on FOX at 3:30 p.m. ET.
 
 
It's hard to find a driver with more success on the west coast race scene than Todd Gilliland- especially just a few short years ago. Gilliland found his footing and plenty of checkered flags while competing in the former NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Series. The same series that his father and grandfather also had wins in.
 
Winning the 2016 and 2017 championships in the development series, Gilliland has been to Victory Lane 14 times in states Iowa and west. The young, 20-year-old driver, who now lives in Mooresville, N.C., knows that he'll never lose the memories where his family grew up.
 
"For me, Las Vegas, Phoenix and most of California, that is where my family lived and started racing," said Gilliland. "I may not live on the west coast, but most of the time it feels like my home. And when we go there, I'm just comfortable. I've spent much of my life racing there and seeing my family, it's just a good place for me. I really love it."
 
Nothing will make the trip better for Gilliland than taking a win Friday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gilliland has five previous starts at the mile-and-a-half oval with three top-10 and one top-five finish.
 
"I've finished fifth at Las Vegas, but I know we can win Friday," continued Gilliland. "I like the track and I just think we have a good plan going into the weekend. Having no practice, the team spends a lot of time at the shop in prep. I know the guys spent a lot of time working late to get it right. That gives me a lot of confidence."
 
Gilliland also wants to lock himself into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs with a win racing the Speedco Ford F-150.
 
"Speedco and Love's Travel Stops already have a big win this year with Michael (McDowell) and that team is in the playoffs," continued Gilliland. "I really want to put the Speedco Ford F-150 into the playoffs, too. The people at Speedco and Love's Travel Stops have been great to myself and FRM. I want to give back and get them another win."
 
 
For the second time this season, Alfredo brings the colors of Speedy Cash to the track. The No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford Mustang had a little makeover since Daytona. The black, green and red scheme now features larger flames and an enhanced logo placement on the upper and lower rear quarter panels for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.
 
"It's funny," said Alfredo. "Fans are so into the sponsor schemes and when you make a small change, they notice. They get excited and love it. Personally, I think our Speedy Cash colors really stand out on the track. If you're sitting in the stands, like sometimes my family does, they can't miss where we are running. So, for me, that's cool."
 
Alfredo brings the Speedy Cash Ford Mustang to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking for his best Cup finish to date. With back-to-back Top-25 finishes, Alfredo is building his confidence.
 
"I think so," added Alfredo. "We really can't count the Daytona 500 because we were caught in that wreck so early. But, the Daytona Road Course and last week at Homestead, I felt that I got better. We use the first Stage of the race to feel it out. Then, we just want to pick off spots. Our goal is pretty clear this weekend. Let's get our new best finish. I'm feeling good heading into Sunday that we can do that."
 
 
Earlier this week, Michael McDowell joined the Ford Performance media teleconference. Below is the transcript from Ford Performance.
 
Michael McDowell, driver of the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stop Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Cup Series, goes into this weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway fourth in the point standings. The Daytona 500 winner is also on a season-opening streak that has seen him post a top-10 finish in all three events, one of only two drivers to do that. McDowell was this week’s guest on the Ford Zoom call and talked about a variety of topics.
 
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 34 Love’s Travel Stop Ford Mustang -- DO YOU HAVE BETTER CARS, BETTER ENGINES OR BETTER CONFIDENCE? “None of the above. I think that it’s a combination of different things and one of those things is that we ran fairly well last year at Homestead. We kind of had a top-15 car and were able to come back with something very similar with a few adjustments. I think the competition has actually come back towards us. My guys have done a great job. We’ve made our cars a little bit lighter, a little bit more downforce and we’ve made some small gains, but I don’t feel like we’ve done anything different or special as far as engines and chassis and all those things. We’re still getting the same equipment that we got last year. I feel like we’re executing better and I feel like starting up front helps a tremendous amount. When you start 25th or 30th it’s just hard to dig yourself out of that hole, so I think that the track position helped us early on. Obviously, we had a car capable of it, but I think there’s a lot of factors to it. We didn’t go out and buy new chassis and buy new cars and have a bunch of new parts and pieces. We’re running the same stuff we ran last year, it’s just our guys have done a good job of making it a little bit faster, a little bit better and feel like cracking down on some of the shenanigans going on has helped close the gap for us.”
 
DO YOU FEEL BRINGING BACK THE WHEEL WELL TEMPLATE HELPED YOU GUYS? “Yeah, there are a few other things too that definitely contributed I think to bringing the field closer together, not just the wheel openings, but just how you go through inspection and how you’re blocked up in the left-rear and how you’re not now, I think, has eliminated some other opportunities too.”
 
THE FIRST THREE RACES HAVE BEEN ALL DIFFERENT TRACKS. DOES THAT GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE COMING TO PHOENIX, A FLAT ONE-MILE OVAL?  “Yes and no. So, this year has been going well and we sort of hit the setup at all three places, in particular the Daytona road course and Homestead with no practice, but Phoenix is a track that is one that we have circled that we really struggled at last year, not just our Front Row cars but Roush cars in general. We haven’t had what needed at that particular track and not just Phoenix but probably Loudon and Richmond as well. Hopefully, we’ve made gains. We’re definitely going back to those racetracks with a completely different approach from a setup standpoint, just because they were such a struggle, where Miami we sort of had something to build on from last year and Daytona road course we had something to build on from last year. Those races have been a struggle, in particular the shorter flat tracks, so we definitely need to improve and hopefully we did, but you just don’t know until you get out on the racetrack and see what you’ve got.”
 
GENERALLY SPEAKING, DO YOU HAVE A DEFAULT PREFERENCE WITH THE CHOOSE RULE OR ARE YOU LITERALLY MAKING THE DECISION ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS? “It is very case-by-case. There’s a lot of data and information to go through to look at history and what lane kind of is preferred and not preferred, but it is an ongoing process and it’s different at every track. It’s not super cut-and-dried. I hate having the option, to be honest with you. I just hate choosing and having to make that decision because you’re just like, ‘Oh, man. Did I make the right move? Did I not make the right move?’ So, it’s added a variable and another level of thinking that I don’t want.”
 
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO RUN UP FRONT? “It feels great. It’s very rewarding, in particular last week at Homestead. It was, overall, an awesome team performance, not just on-track, but even our pit stops were good. We came in in the top 10 and left in the top 10 and even gained a couple spots, so there’s so much to having good on-track performance and it was just nice to have one of those days where it was all there. We had a fast car. We executed well. The strategy was good. The pit stops were good. Not that it was easy, but it was a pretty smooth day altogether and it was a special day for me. I know coming off the 500 it’s hard to compare to that, but to run how we ran at Homestead it was a very rewarding race for us.”
 
IS THE RACING ANY DIFFERENT UP THERE? “No, not for me yet. I think that there’s a couple different elements to it, but guys aren’t used to necessarily me being up there all the time, and so that made it a little bit different racing a lot of the guys that typically don’t race the 34 and I don’t typically race. There was some getting used to each other, let’s just say that, but, for me, the race was kind of the same. You’re trying to get every spot that you can, whether it’s the 2 that you’re trying to pass or the 43. It doesn’t matter which car it is, you’re just trying to get around them and next car, next car, next car, you just keep pushing.”
 
HOW DO YOUR KIDS VIEW DAD NOW THAT HE’S A DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION? “I don’t think they view dad any different. I don’t think so. You’d have to ask them, but they were excited for the win, but kids, not that they don’t care, but it’s not gonna change their lives immediately and for them it’s a fun moment but you’re still back to school work and chores and everything else the very next minute.”
 
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW THAT A LOT OF YOUR GOALS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MET? “I’m processing all of that too, trying to figure out what that is. I haven’t been in this spot before, so you’re trying to process that. You always want to have goals and you always want to have something that you’re trying to achieve and we have. We have achieved that already, so what does it look like next? I’m not exactly sure what the expectation looks like, but I think the approach and the mentality stays the same, and our approach has always just been to fight hard, give it everything you have and if that’s 20th, then you fight as hard as you can to make sure you get a 20th or better. And if you’ve got a 15th-place car, you fight as hard as you can to run 15th or better, so I don’t know how we’ll be at Vegas and I don’t know how we’ll be at Phoenix. I would love to be the guy that comes on here that I think sort of everybody wants to be like, ‘Yeah, we’re legit. We’re gonna win five races this year and we’re gonna contend for the championship.’ I don’t know that to be true, but I do know we’re gonna fight our guts out and we’ll see where we end up because I don’t know. We don’t know what it looks like going to Vegas. We don’t know whether we’ll have the speed that we did at Homestead or if we’re gonna run 20th, but we’re gonna fight hard and we’re gonna keep pushing at the shop, at the track and keep trying to move in a good direction, and I think that will pay off, but I really can’t tell you where I think we’re at or what the expectations are.”
 
ARE THE GUYS RACING YOU DIFFERENTLY. MAYBE WITH MORE RESPECT OR MAYBE HARDER BECAUSE YOU ARE NOW A THREAT? “I’m not really sure. I think that at Homestead I felt like I was there racing pretty hard. What I can just tell you, I won’t throw out names because I don’t want to turn it into that, but I literally saw a driver wave another driver by and then race me for the next seven laps like it was the last lap, so there are two things that I think about with that. One is there are top guys that don’t want to be passed by the 34 and I get it, I understand that because they think that they’re having a really bad day of the 34 is going around them. On the flip side, I somewhat deserve it because I race the guts out of everybody and always have. Even when I was in bad cars I never made it easy on anybody, so I don’t expect them to make it easy on me, if that makes sense. There are guys out there that race each other really well and they’re always up front. I think of Martin Truex. He is a fair racer. He races hard. He knows when to push it. He knows when not to push it, and I think that out of everybody out there he’s one of the guys that will cut you a break and he expects you to cut him a break, and he does. He has that mutual respect. I’ve raced everybody so hard that I don’t think that I’m gonna get cut breaks, and honestly I don’t expect it (laughing). So, my feelings are not hurt when they guys are racing me really hard.”
 
HAS THE RECENT SUCCESS INCREASED THE AMOUNT OF FIGHT FOR YOUR TEAM? “Yeah, definitely. And I think momentum is a big part of our sport. Momentum and confidence is hard to fabricate. You can’t just make it up. You either have it or you don’t and you only have it with results and performance, so I do think that. I do think that we have more confidence and, like I said, it affects every area from the shop to the pit stops to myself. All of those things are definitely important, but I feel like at the same time we’ve taken a very similar approach that we have in the last few years and we’ve been making steady gains and I think that’s why we’re at where we’re at, so we don’t want to change too much because you don’t want to overthink it and you don’t want to get outside of what’s been working for you, but definitely everybody has confidence and a little pep in their step and it affects every area.”
 
HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS? “That’s such a tough question to answer. I’ve had it several times. You think that I would have done a better job of being prepared for it. I hate to say it like this, but my life hasn’t changed a whole lot since winning the 500. I mean, it’s been very exciting and it’s been busy and very thankful to win the race and to have all the things that come with it, but as far as your actual life it doesn’t change. I think that’s the thing that is hard to describe. I’m still taking my kids to school and I’m still doing all the things I do and still going to the Ford simulator every week and still working out -- still doing all the things you normally do it’s just that you’ve got a win sticker on your car, you’re locked into the playoffs and you’ve got an awesome trophy at the house. Those things are great and I don’t want to downplay it, but as far as changing my life I feel like we just keep pushing away like we’ve always done.”
 
A FEW DRIVERS HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE BRISTOL DIRT NATIONALS. ARE YOU PLANNING TO RACE IN THAT THE WEEK BEFORE THE CUP EVENT AND WILL IT BE AN ADVANTAGE? “I agree with everybody. I agree with Kurt that the cars are so different and the style is so different that it’s not gonna be a huge learning experience from the driving style and how you need to approach it, but I think that any track time in any race is good to do. I think that anytime that you can be in a race car and you’re working all those sensors and learning new things that it’s always gonna help. It doesn’t matter what you do, so I agree with both. Yes, I do have a couple tests lined up and I am working on being in that race as well. We’re trying to hammer out the details. We’re getting pretty close, but trying to put it all together. Like I said, I do agree with Kurt, it’s not the same. I was fortunate to run the ARCA race at Springfield and DuQuoin and in big, heavy stock cars like ours with a lot of power you are not slinging them in there sideways and running on the right-rear, yaw it out all the way up against the cushion. Our cars just don’t do that as well, so I think that you can learn some bad habits as well as gain some track knowledge.”
 
IS THIS RACE BIG IN THE SENSE THAT IT’S ALSO A PLAYOFF TRACK LATER IN THE YEAR? “I think that it’s important because you go there twice, and I think any racetrack that we go to twice is important because of that reason. Every race counts and every point counts, but the playoff situation makes it even maybe an asterisk mark next to it. As far as us trying a lot of crazy, wild things this weekend to get prepared for it, we’re not. We felt like we had a pretty decent car there the last couple times, so we just want to keep improving upon that and see if what happened at Homestead will happen again at Vegas, where we make a little bit of a gain and the competition kind of comes back our direction and, all of a sudden, we’re in the fight. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we do know it’s important with it having two races, for sure.”
 
HOW HAS YOUR FAITH GOTTEN YOU TO THIS POINT AND WHAT ROLE HAS IT PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS? “For me, my faith is the foundation of who I am, so it affects every aspect of my life every single day, and it’s what’s most important to me. As far as my career goes, I could see very easily how God has provided opportunities for me to stay in this sport and, honestly, I think you all could probably see it too. There are a lot of great drivers right now that are no longer in our sport that are more marketable, more talented, younger and better-looking and could attract sponsors and all those things, so I’ve seen God continue to provide opportunities and it’s also been a struggle, too. The struggle, I think, is where your faith really comes into play. Mountain top experiences are great, but it’s in the ditches and it’s in the trenches is where God is really shaping and molding you and so I feel, for me, as far as my faith and the win, I’m not a prosperity, gospel kind of guy. I was serving Jesus before the win and I didn’t need the win for me to know that He’s good and that I was gonna do that the rest of my life. The fact that I got to experience the win, I feel like is incredible and I never had that feeling that I did it. I never crossed the line and I was like, ‘I did it. I finally won. I did all this hard work.’ I literally felt like God allowed me to experience this and be a part of something way bigger and cooler than I could dream up.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE R&D AND MANUFACTURING FREEZE THAT’S BEEN GOING ON. WHY THAT’S HAPPENING AND WHAT DIFFERENCE IT HAS MADE? “I’m probably not the best versed on it, but I’ll do my best job, just don’t take these as facts but as how I understand them is when the new car was on schedule to get rolled out there was sort of a development freeze in certain areas and certain parts couldn’t be re-designed and there’s the submittal process and all that. And then obviously with that being delayed a year and with COVID there were even more freezes put in place as far as development goes, on what you could submit, parts you’ve already submitted. Like I said, I’m not as versed as some of our competition guys here, but what I’ve seen is that a few years ago every week or every month you have all new suspension, all new chassis-designs for one little gain. One little aero gain underneath the car required all-new spindles, all-new brake ducts, all-new suspensions. I mean, we’re talking about $50,000, $60, 000, $70,000 a week in updates, and so when you had to submit what you had, and there’s some wiggle room in there and you can still make things better and stronger, but you’re not completely redesigning components and chassis and everything that goes along with it, I believe, has allowed us to catch up in the sense that we’ve always had quality people that knew that they were doing, we just were always so far behind that we were scrambling. Well, now that we have the same bits and pieces week after week, month after month and now year after year, we’ve just been able to make everything a little bit better, a little bit faster, a little bit stronger and be more efficient with what he have and not have to be so far behind chasing our tails trying to figure out what’s the next big chunk and what’s the next big spend we have to do to try to keep up.”
 
WHAT IS THE ATMOSPHERE AT THE 34 SHOP? “It’s been fun. Everybody is excited and got pep in their step, just enjoying it. We know that these things don’t always last forever. We would love for them to, but we’ve been enjoying these weeks that we’ve had and running well, and I think too that there’s a level of intensity right now to keep it going and to keep it rolling, so it’s fun. It’s a fun time to be at Front Row Motorsports. We’re all enjoying it and it’s a tremendous team effort, and everybody has worked really hard here in all the departments in all the areas to get us to where we’re at.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CELEBRATION WHEN YOU ARRIVED AT THE AIRPORT AND BACK AT THE SHOP? “It’s obviously been very enjoyable and fun, but it’s also different. It’s different than your normal Daytona 500 victory and tour and flying all around and all the different things that come with it because of COVID and just trying to do everything we can to be socially responsible and safe as we can. At the shop, it looks very different. The celebration is different. The celebration with your friends and family looks a little bit different, but I’m not complaining. I’m thankful that my family is healthy and happy and everyone is doing well, but it definitely is a challenge to try to fully embrace and enjoy it all, but it’s been fun. That lasts about four or five days and it was right back to the racetrack and back to work, and I like that. I like the rhythm of our sport. I like every week is a new week and a new opportunity, but I’m still enjoying the victory and still enjoying the win and just trying to take it all in.”
 
IS IT TRUE YOU DRIVE YOUR OWN BUS? “I did, and I do. There’s been years where I haven’t, but a majority of my career I’ve been on the road with my family and we did that for about eight years and then it got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t doing anything well. I wasn’t doing my job as a race car driver well. I wasn’t doing my job as a motorcoach driver well, or trying to get my kids back to school on Monday after racing all day on Sunday and I was just wore out. So, thankfully, my in-laws came and drove the bus for a couple years and it was great to have family with us and for my kids to have their grandparents there, and that took a big burden off of me because it was very challenging to keep up with everything, especially when I went back full-time. This year I’ve been driving it, but with the one-day shows and the restrictions and protocols it’s not as necessary to bring it to every race, so I’m not really sure what the future holds with that, but I enjoy windshield time. I enjoy spending time on the road and it just lets you think and it kind of helps me decompress a little bit.”

FRM PR

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube

The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, March 7

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400.5 miles (267 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 80),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 160), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 267)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Alsco Uniforms 300

The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, March 6

The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 4 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Bucked Up 200

The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, March 5

The Time: 9 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

 

 

Special Spotlight: Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Nominations Are Open

Nominations opened this week for The NASCAR Foundation’s 11th annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, a recognition that honors the philanthropic ideals and vision of Betty Jane France, The NASCAR Foundation’s late founder and chairperson.

 

The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a NASCAR fan who is a dedicated volunteer working on behalf of children’s causes. Since its inception, the award has given $1.8 million in donations to charities representing 40 finalists, impacting the lives of 354,647 children in need.

 

The nomination process includes an independent selection committee of NASCAR industry leaders who help identify the nominees to be voted on by The NASCAR Foundation’s Board of Directors. The four finalists are ultimately selected by the Board and set forth to an online fan vote in the fall. Each finalist will be guaranteed a $25,000 donation to the children’s charity they represent, with the overall winner receiving a $100,000 donation.

 

Nominations will close on Friday, March 19, at midnight. The nomination form and award rules can be accessed online at NASCARfoundation.org/Award. Completed forms can be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via mail.

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Different Winners Aplenty To Start The Season

The NASCAR Cup Series 2021 season has started off with three different winners in as many races with Michael McDowell (Daytona 500), Christopher Bell (Daytona Road Course) and William Byron (Homestead-Miami) all celebrating in Victory Lane. Now the chances for the premier series to see its fourth different winner are pretty good as it heads out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 7 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Of the 50 seasons in the Modern Era (1972-2021), the NASCAR Cup Series has started the schedule with three different winners in the first three races 33 different times (66%); including 2021. If the series were to produce a fourth different winner this weekend it would be the 23rd different season in the Modern Era to start with four different winners through the first four races. 

 

There are 13 different NASCAR national series Las Vegas Motor Speedway winners entered this weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series race. None of which have won yet this season.

 

Sunday’s event, the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube, will be the 27th NASCAR Cup Series race held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The previous 26 series races have produced 14 different winners all-time, led by recently retired Jimmie Johnson with four victories (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010). Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in wins at Las Vegas with three victories (2014, 2016, 2018). Keselowski also won at Vegas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2010.

 

Of the 14 all-time Cup Las Vegas winners, six are entered this weekend and four of the six have multiple wins; including defending race winner and Brad Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, who has grabbed the checkered flag the last two Spring visits to Sin City (2019, 2020). Logano also won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Las Vegas in 2017.

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick make up the rest of the quartet of Cup Vegas multiple winners entered this weekend. Truex earned his Victory Lane hardware at Las Vegas in the Spring race of 2017 and the Playoff race of 2019. While Harvick secured his two wins at Las Vegas in the Spring of 2015 and the Playoff race of 2018. Harvick also collected a pair of NASCAR Xfinity Series victories at Las Vegas in 2004 and 2010.

 

Las Vegas native and Joe Gibbs Racing’s driver, Kyle Busch, is the only former Cup Las Vegas winner to grab victories in all three NASCAR national series. Busch scored his Cup win in the 2009 race; the only driver to win from the pole at Las Vegas in the series. He also has two victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2016, 2019). Plus, he has won the last three consecutive spring NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at the 1.5-mile track (2018, 2019, 2020).

 

Kyle Busch’s brother, Kurt, also a fellow Las Vegas native, is the most recent NASCAR Cup Series winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway driving his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet to Victory Lane in last season’s Playoff race. It was his first and only victory at his home track.

 

Richard Childress Racing teammates, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick, have each won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Dillon posted his Xfinity win in 2015 and his Camping World Truck win in 2010. Reddick captured his Xfinity win in 2019 and his Truck Series win in 2016.

 

Four more drivers have won in just the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Las Vegas including Stewart-Haas Racing’s rookie, Chase Briscoe, who swept both Las Vegas NASCAR Xfinity Series races last season becoming the first driver to win consecutive races at the 1.5-mile track in the series. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ross Chastain collected his first career NASCAR national series victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Playoff race of 2018. Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Kyle Larson also won in the Xfinity Series at Las Vegas in the Spring race of 2018. And JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won at Las Vegas in 2012 en route to his second consecutive Xfinity Series title (2011-2012).

 

Finally, Richard Petty Motorsport’s Erik Jones won in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Las Vegas in 2014.

 

Points Leader Denny Hamlin looking to achieve a couple of firsts at Las Vegas

Heading to Las Vegas this weekend, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin sits atop the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings looking to get his first win of 2021 and his first career win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

Hamlin has yet to win this season, but has been in contention almost every week, and now holds a 20-point lead over Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick in second in the driver standings. In three starts this year, Hamlin has put up two top fives and an average finish of 6.3.

 

Hamlin will look to keep the momentum going this Sunday at Las Vegas, a track he has made 18 series starts at posting three top fives and eight top 10s; including a best finish of third twice, most recently last September. 

 

McDowell takes hot streak to Vegas

Front Row Motorsport’s driver and 2021 Daytona 500 champion, Michael McDowell, is having the best start to a season in his career. And now the 36-year-old, Glendale, Arizona native is taking his hot streak Las Vegas to try his luck. McDowell and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick are the only two drivers this season to finish in the top-10 in all three of the opening races of the year.

 

McDowell is currently fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, just 33 points back from Denny Hamlin in the standings lead. This season McDowell has leveled-up and it is showing, in the first three starts of the year he has finished first (Daytona 500), eighth (Daytona RC) and sixth (Homestead-Miami).

 

Now the 2021 standout is looking to keep the success going at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. McDowell has made 14 series starts at Las Vegas posting a best finish 18th back in 2017. He finished 36th in last season’s Las Vegas spring race and 21st in the Playoff event.

 

Byron adds his name to the postseason list

Last weekend Hendrick Motorsport’s driver William Byron grabbed his second NASCAR Cup Series career win (Daytona, Homestead) and as a result added his name to the list of drivers locked into the Playoffs for 2021; joining Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell.

 

Byron is currently 13th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings through three races. The North Carolina native has posted an average finish of 20.0 so far this season, making the win last weekend that much more important to his title hopes.

 

Looking ahead to this weekend, Byron has made six series starts at Las Vegas posting one top-10 finish (seventh) in 2019. 

 

NASCAR Tests the Circuit of The Americas

For the first time at the Circuit of The Americas, three former NASCAR Cup Series champions – Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. - shook down the 20-turn, 3.41-mile-long course in stock cars as part of a Goodyear tire test in preparation for the inaugural EchoPark Texas Grand Prix on May 23.

 

“The track’s fun,” said Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Chase Elliott. “It has a lot of character to it, I feel like. I’ve never been here, never seen it in person before today and really haven’t watched a ton of races here, so it’s really been a pretty steep learning curve for me, trying to piece together all the different parts of the track and understand where you need to be good and how to make it flow. I’m trying to learn, but it’s been fun. I hope people (fans) will come out and give it a chance. It’s a different type of racing.”

 

Elliott currently leads all active drivers in road course wins in the NASCAR Cup Series with five victories.

 

“One of the things about this track here in Austin, it’s got a couple of key action spots,” said Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski. “Turn 1 is designed as though a fan said, ‘how can I have the most calamity in that corner on the start?’ So, there’s a couple of things – first off, it’s up hill, which helps the car stop, so it encourages the driver to try to out-brake another driver, which is big on a restart or a start because all of the cars are already so close together. Second thing is, it’s really wide on entry, so it’s almost impossible to block because there’s just a lot more racetrack. And then, of course, the third part is it’s a super slow corner meaning you have to use a lot of brakes to get through there. So, like I said, almost like it was intentional – I’m sure it was intentional – to create some epic starts. I think you’ll see that here.”

 

Keselowski has yet to win on a road course in the series but has put up seven top-five finishes including finishing fifth at the Daytona Road Course just two weeks ago.

 

“I feel like this is kind of part Sonoma, part Watkins Glen,” said Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. “There’s some fast sections, some slow sections. It’s got the older asphalt, wearing tires out more like Sonoma, but it’s got the really high-speed straights and the really hard braking zone like Watkins Glen going down the backstretch. It’s a mix of both. It’s got a little bit of a blind corner, up-and-down elevation change like Sonoma. It’s a pretty unique place … It’s all about markers and points on the track and when you turn in and what gear you’re in and how much speed you’re carrying and finding the brake points and all those things. It takes over two minutes to get around here, so if you make a mistake, you’ve got to wait two minutes to correct it, and you can’t forget it when you come back around. It was interesting to do that and a lot of fun to do that.”

 

Truex is tied with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch for the second-most road course victories in the NASCAR Cup Series among active drivers with four each.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Etc.

Sunoco Rookie Update – Through first three races the NASCAR Cup Series season, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe has held the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings lead and following his 18th-place finish at Homestead-Miami he has extended his lead to nine points over Front Row Motorsport’s Anthony Alfredo in second.

 

Looking to this weekend, expect Briscoe to keep building on his early success. The 26-year-old will be making his series track debut at Las Vegas this weekend, but he has won the last two consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series races at the track sweeping the races last season – the first driver in Xfinity history to win consecutive races at Las Vegas. While Alfredo has not garnered the same amount of success Briscoe has at the 1.5-mile track, he did make his Xfinity Series debut there last season and finished in the top-10 (eighth).  

 

Las Vegas Raiders QB David Carr headlines Grand Marshals at Vegas - There will be quite the professional sports flair when the commands to start engines are given at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr headlines the trio as he will deliver the most famous words in motorsports just moments prior to the start of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. Carr’s command will top off a weekend that will see Buffalo Bills running back Antonio Williams announce engines for Friday’s Bucked Up 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Utah Jazz star forward Joe Ingles deliver the message for Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

 

“This will be such a thrill to have the chance to bring the NASCAR Cup Series cars to life,” Carr said. “I know there have been a long list on luminaries who have served in this role, and it’s pretty cool to join them. I’m sure it’s going to be exhilarating once those cars fire up.”

 

Carr joins rap star Pit Bull, TV star and comedian Kevin James and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as grand marshals for Cup races so far this season.

 

Spectators welcome but tickets going fast - The March 7 Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is sold out. Due to a limited-capacity requirement imposed by the Southern Nevada Health District, the speedway has reached its allowable threshold and no longer can sell tickets to the NASCAR Cup Series event.

 

Tickets do remain for both the Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series races on Saturday, March 6 as well as the Bucked Up 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, March 5.

 

“This is the first time I can ever remember being disappointed to announce a sellout,” said LVMS President Chris Powell. “While we appreciate that Gov. Sisolak has provided sports and entertainment venues an opportunity to get fans back in the stands, we’re disappointed that the local health district has not allowed us to reach the 20-percent capacity recommended by the governor. Nonetheless, we know it will be three great days of racing for those who are able to attend, and we hope to welcome a full house in September for the South Point 400.”

 

The speedway estimates 12,500 fans will be in attendance for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. That number represents grandstand seating as well as suites and clubs.

 

Race fans still can get their speed fix on Friday and Saturday as good seats remain for both races. Saturday tickets are $29 and Friday tickets are $19. Kids 12 and under are free on both Friday and Saturday with a ticketed adult. Visit lvms.com for tickets, RV camping and race weekend information.

 

Thunderbirds to perform flyover at Las Vegas - The world-renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform the flyover for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 7.

The "America’s Ambassadors in Blue" – officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron – will electrify the crowd with their signature "Delta" formation over the speedway at the end of the national anthem for the NASCAR Cup Series race.

 

"We’re honored to have the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds take to the sky during the Pennzoil 400 pre-race ceremonies," LVMS President Chris Powell said. "For both our fans in the stands as well as those tuning in from home, the sight of the Thunderbirds flying above the speedway will get us ready for the excitement of NASCAR racing.”

 

The Thunderbirds, stationed at Nellis Air Force Base located adjacent to the speedway, feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter aircraft. Created 68 years ago in 1953, the USAF Thunderbirds are the third-oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world. The Thunderbirds have performed at over 4,000 airshows worldwide, including more than a dozen times at LVMS, accumulating millions of miles in hundreds of different airframes over the course of their more than 54 years of service.

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Another One: Myatt Snider gets first win at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Richard Childress Racing’s Myatt Snider got his first career victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, while JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson was left with another heartbreak at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

Snider held off a hard-charging Tyler Reddick to win Saturday’s race during the second NASCAR overtime to become the second first-time winner of the 2021 season joining Ty Gibbs (Daytona RC).

 

For the third-straight race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Noah Gragson was so close to victory until there were only two laps to go and he was involved in an incident. Once the dust settled, Gragson finished 33rd.

 

Reddick’s No. 23 Chevrolet that crossed the finish line in second was disqualified for failing post-race inspection and a height requirement. The result was a 40th-place finish. With Reddick disqualified, Brandon Jones ended up finishing second, Daniel Hemric took third, Jeb Burton finished fourth and Austin Cindric rounded out the top five.

 

Looking ahead to all the great action lined up this weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Alsco Uniforms 300 (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Snider will start from the pole with Cindric next to him on the front row. Saturday’s race will be 300 miles and 200 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 45 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 90.

 

Viva Las Vegas Fast Facts
There have been 27 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and 17 different pole winners and 19 different race winners. Only six races in history have been won from the pole.

 

The inaugural race was on March 16, 1997 and won by Jeff Green from the pole position. Most recently, Chase Briscoe won at Las Vegas on September 26, 2020 from the first starting spot.

 

Cole Custer holds the record for the youngest pole winner in 2018 at 20 years, seven months, 23 days. Mark Martin holds the record for the oldest pole winner in 1999 at 40 years, one month, 25 days.

 

Tyler Reddick became the youngest winner in 2019 at 23 years, eight months, three days and Martin also holds the record for the oldest race winner in 2011 at 52 years, one month, 24 days.

 

Kyle Busch holds the race record at 145.415 mph in 2016. He also holds the qualifying record from 2017 at 185.58 mph.

 

Joe Nemechek has run the most Xfinity Series races at Las Vegas (17). Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Martin and Cole Custer are all tied with two pole awards. Martin has the most wins at the track (four).

 

Justin Allgaier, Kevin Harvick and Martin are all tied for the most top fives (six) and Allgaier holds the record for the most top 10s (11).

 

Eleven races were won by drivers who started on the front row. Chevrolet has the most wins at the track with 13 but Ford is the most recent winner, sweeping both races in 2020 with Chase Briscoe.

 

Gragson heads to home track looking to rebound

Las Vegas native and JR Motorsport’s driver, Noah Gragson, is heading back to his roots this weekend looking to rebound after another heartbreak ending to last Saturday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

It was the third consecutive race at the 1.5-mile oval that Gragson could have won. But, with two laps remaining and a big lead, Gragson got into the back of the No. 13 MBM Motorsports Toyota when the driver experienced a tire issue that sent him up the track. As a result, Gragson was relegated to a 33rd-place finish.

 

Now the 22-year-old has to regroup and no better place to find his focus than home. Gragson has never finished worse than sixth in the Xfinity Series at his home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

In two starts in 2020, Gragson finished fourth and second. In all, at race tracks that are between one and two miles in length, he holds an average finish of 9.9 and has led 75 percent of his career total laps at those tracks.

 

Gragson has an average finish of 3.8 at Las Vegas and that number is the second-best of his Xfinity Series career so far at tracks that he’s been to more than once. The only track that he has a better average finish at is the Charlotte ROVAL (3.5).

 

All in on Allgaier

The numbers that Justin Allgaier has accumulated in his 13 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway are extremely impressive.

 

Although he hasn’t been able to close the deal and get the win, the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet is consistently a favorite when the series heads to the Nevada track.

 

Allgaier’s first start at the track was in 2009 and he started 11th and finished eighth. In his 13 starts, he finished in the top five six times and has 11 top-10 finishes.

 

He’s completed 2,527 of 2,622 laps attempted, which is 96.4 percent of the laps and has led 111 total.

 

He has an average start of 8.3 and an average finish of 8.2. There was only one race in Allgaier’s history at Las Vegas that he did not finish and that was in 2019 due to an engine problem.

 

In 2011 and 2018, Allgaier finished runner-up and most recently, he finished fourth at the 1.5-mile track.

 

The start of Allgaier’s 2021 season has not been ideal and the veteran JR Motorsport’s driver is hoping that changes this weekend. He was involved in two incidents in the first three races of the season and only finished on the lead lap at the Daytona Road Course. He hasn’t finished better than 26th so far this season but if there’s a place for him to redeem himself, it could certainly be Las Vegas.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Homestead-Miami Speedway:

 

Rank

Driver

Points

Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Austin Cindric

147

1

2

7

In On Wins

2

Myatt Snider

118

1

0

5

In On Wins

3

Daniel Hemric

117

0

0

0

59

4

Jeb Burton

106

0

0

0

48

5

Brandon Jones

93

0

1

1

35

6

Justin Haley

90

0

0

0

32

7

Harrison Burton

89

0

0

0

31

8

Jeremy Clements

87

0

0

0

29

9

Brandon Brown

75

0

0

0

17

10

AJ Allmendinger

70

0

1

1

12

11

Riley Herbst

62

0

0

0

4

12

Landon Cassill

58

0

0

0

0

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series 2021 season has started out with three different winners and two of them were first-timers and maybe a little bit unexpected to kick off the season. Austin Cindric continued his winning ways as the reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, winning the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway and securing his spot in the Playoffs.

 

Ty Gibbs went on to win at the Daytona Road Course in his first ever Xfinity Series start, adding his name to the history books. Gibbs’ win doesn’t guarantee his spot in the postseason however due to him only running a partial schedule this year.

 

Next, Myatt Snider won last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, securing his spot in the Playoffs and grabbing his first career win.

 

With the start of the season bringing new winners, the Playoff outlook has shuffled the driver standings. Although it’s only three races in, there are already a couple new faces in the top 12.

 

Jeremy Clements is sitting eighth right now in driver points. He has two top-10 finishes so far this season. Landon Cassill is sitting in 12th in the standings currently. Cassill hasn’t even run a full season in the Xfinity Series since 2014 and is already showing good potential in his No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet.

 

Daniel Hemric is in third in the standings, the highest ranked driver without a win. He’s kicked off 2021 on a new team, Joe Gibbs Racing, with really impressive numbers. He finished ninth in the opener and third in the last two races.

 

All three of Kaulig Racing’s drivers are in the top 12 in points right now. Their newest driver in the lineup, Jeb Burton, is in fourth with Justin Haley in sixth and AJ Allmendinger in 10th.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Rookie update: Ty Gibbs is still in the lead for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors with 50 points. Josh Berry has worked his way up to second in the standings with 41 points. Ryan Vargas has two awards to his name and is in third with 33 points.

 

Manufacturer update: Each OEM has a victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series so far this season. Toyota is leading the manufacturer championship standings with 109 points while Chevrolet and Ford are tied with 107.

 

Dogecoin returning to NASCAR in Vegas: Stefan Parsons and BJ McLeod Motorsports announced that Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency company, will be the primary sponsor along with Springrates for Parsons on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The hood of Parson’s No. 99 Chevrolet will have the Dogecoin dog with the word “wow” on it.

 

Brandon Brown finds Vegas sponsor: Brandon Brown took to Twitter last week saying how much he dislikes blank cars on the racetrack and hoping a company would come through with sponsorship. On Tuesday, he announced that GreenTech Energy will be the primary sponsor for his No. 68 in Vegas.

 

Mike Harmon Racing partners with PORAC: Mike Harmon Racing is known for their support of law enforcement and that will continue this weekend at Las Vegas. The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) is California’s largest law enforcement associated and the largest statewide law enforcement association in the country. They are teaming up with Wolfpack Racing to sponsor the No. 47 of Kyle Weatherman.

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Camping World steps up to fill sponsorship void in Vegas

With a single tweet Monday night, Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis sent NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series teams’ graphics departments into high gear.

 

He simply said, “Which @NASCAR_Trucks are unsponsored this weekend? Respond here if you are and if you know of someone get their attention quick." 

 

And respond they did.

 

So far, more than five entries in Friday night’s Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (9 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will sport the familiar blue and yellow of Camping World including No. 2 Sheldon CreedNo. 3 Jordan AndersonNo. 9 Grant EnfingerNo. 24 Raphael LessardNo. 33 Jesse Iwuji; and the No. 41 of Dawson Cram

 

The Camping World sponsorship offers teams a sliding scale based on performance. If the truck wins with the Camping World paint scheme, it would increase the sponsorship payout.

 

This week’s sponsorship bonanza comes on the heels of an announcement made by Lemonis prior to the start of the season in Daytona that added $500,000 in bonus money and prizes for the Camping World Truck Series participants this year. That included a total of $50,000 ($25,000 driver bonus and $25,000 road crew bonus) that went to the No. 99 ThorSport Racing team of Ben Rhodes after taking the checkered flag in the season opener.

 

Where they will start

Series points leader, and 2017 Las Vegas race winner, Ben Rhodes will start on the pole for Friday night’s Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (9 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) by virtue of Metric Qualifying to determine starting order while we race under COVID-19 protocols.

 

Another former Vegas race winner, Grant Enfinger (2018 fall race), will start 18th. And multi-time Las Vegas race winners Kyle Busch (2018, 2019 and 2020 spring races) and Austin Hill (2019, 2020 fall races) will start much further back. Busch will be 29th while Hill starts 31st.

 

Sheldon Creed, who was the runner-up to Rhodes on the Daytona Road Course two weeks ago, will start alongside him on the front row. John Hunter Nemechek, Matt Crafton and Christian Eckes will make up the remainder of the top five. 

 

Rowdy returns to race at home

Las Vegas native Kyle Busch returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this weekend, making his season debut at his home track in his own No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

 

Busch has raced four times in a truck at Vegas – the first was in 2001, driving for Jack Roush. He finished ninth.

 

After a long hiatus, he returned in 2018 for this spring race…and won it. He then won the spring race in 2019 and again last year. He started on the pole in 2018 and 2019, and all the way from third in his other two races in the trucks.

 

This year, he will be starting in 29th due to the lineup matrix used to determine starting position while we race without qualifying due to COVID-19 protocols.

 

Busch has also found success in other series at Las Vegas. He has a win in the NASCAR Cup Series at the track (2009) and a pair of wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (2016, 2019).

 

Ben Rhodes opens season with sweep

After thrice tallying one win in a season (2017, 2018, 2020), Ben Rhodes has come out of the chute on fire this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – sweeping the opening two races of the year on the pair of Daytona International Speedway configurations.

 

He narrowly edged out Cory Roper in the tri-oval during overtime on the superspeedway’s oval configuration in the season-opener, then took a triple-overtime victory over reigning series champion Sheldon Creed on the road course two weeks ago.

 

Rhodes’ first NASCAR national series win came on the 1.5-mile desert circuit (Las Vegas) in 2017, and he followed that up in 2018 with a win on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway.

 

Overall at Las Vegas, Rhodes has a win, three top fives and five top 10s in his eight starts – meaning he’ll surely be a threat to continue his winning ways this season.

 

Austin Hill looks to rebound at Las Vegas

The start of the 2021 season hasn’t been exceptionally generous to Austin Hill, who finished 22nd on the oval and 33rd on the road course at Daytona International Speedway over the past two weeks. So, he’s definitely one driver that took the off-weekend to regroup before heading out west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

But he should be very happy that’s the next stop on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, as he won the most recent race there last September, and also won the same race a year prior.

 

In fact, four of Hill’s six career wins in the series have come at 1.5-mile tracks (Las Vegas – 2019, 2020; Homestead-Miami – 2019; Kansas – 2020). And in six races at Las Vegas, he has recorded a pair of wins as part of three top-five and four top-10 finishes.

 

Chandler Smith maintains early Sunoco Rookie of the Year lead

Chandler Smith holds an early lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the year standings following a pair of races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.

 

Smith was the highest-finishing Sunoco Rookie contender in the Daytona Road Course race and now sits 15 points ahead of Carson Hocevar in second.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Rookies

Points

Awards

Chandler Smith

70

1

Carson Hocevar

55

1

Hailie Deegan

26

0

Kris Wright

25

0

Chase Purdy

25

0

Tim Viens

0

0

 

Smith finished 12th on the road course, while Hocevar was 14th. Chase Purdy was 22nd and Hailie Deegan placed 28th.

NASCAR PR

Not a single ticket remains for this weekend’s Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube NASCAR race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In addition to the Feb. 25 announcement of the NASCAR Cup Series Sunday sellout, tickets also are sold out for Friday’s Bucked Up 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

Due to a limited-capacity requirement imposed by the Southern Nevada Health District, the speedway has reached its allowable threshold for all three days of NASCAR racing.

“We’re proud to announce a sellout of all three NASCAR races, but we’re disappointed we couldn’t host more great NASCAR fans throughout the weekend,” said LVMS President Chris Powell. “It’ll be an incredible tripleheader race weekend, and we hope to host more fans in September at the South Point 400. Without knowing capacity limits for our fall tripleheader, fans should be sure to get their tickets now for the NASCAR playoff weekend. They’re already on sale.”

The speedway estimates 12,500 fans will be in attendance each day throughout the weekend. That number represents grandstand seating as well as suites and clubs.

Race fans can tune in to FS1 on Friday, March 5 at 6 p.m. PST for the Bucked up 200 and on Saturday, March 6 at 1 p.m. for the Alsco Uniforms 300. Sunday’s FOX coverage of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube begins at noon. To secure tickets and RV camping for the South Point 400 NASCAR playoff weekend, Sept. 24-26, visit www.lvms.com. For up-to-date race weekend information, click here to visit the speedway’s Virtual Fan Garage.

LVMS PR

Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced today the return of Texas based Trophy Tractor as the primary sponsor of the No. 53 Chevrolet for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. In addition, Trophy Tractor will serve as the primary sponsor of the RWR No. 17 Chevrolet in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) event. Both cars will run a special “Texas Strong” paint scheme and be piloted by Garrett Smithley.
 
Smithley put on an impressive performance in BlueGreen Vacations Duel No. 2, nearly racing his way into the Daytona 500, driving the No. 13 Trophy Tractor entry in a joint effort between RWR and MBM Motorsports.
 
Just days after that race, much of the United States, including Texas was hit hard with extreme winter storms. Trophy Tractor, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Rick Ware Racing saw an opportunity to give back by running a “Texas Strong” paint scheme and giving fans a chance to donate to those in need. 
 
“Trophy Tractor has been a great partner of Garrett (Smithley) and Rick Ware Racing for a number of years now,” said Rick Ware. “This deal came together quickly and we’re thankful for the opportunity to partner with Trophy Tractor and give back to those affected by the storms in Texas, especially with Lisa and I being from The Lonestar State.”
 
To donate and support families that were impacted by the storms, the team has set up a Go Fund Me. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, Smithley and team have a goal of $15,000, that the team is hoping to exceed through the support of the NASCAR community.
 
“Having family in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I know how hard the last few weeks have been for many of the residents in Texas,” said Garrett Smithley. “The opportunity to use our platform in NASCAR and have this idea supported by Jeff Miller at Trophy Tractor, speaks to the type of people that work there. I can’t thank them enough for continued partnership.”
 
Saturday’s NXS race is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and Sunday’s NCS race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
 
For more information about Rick Ware Racing, please visit www.WareRacing.com.

RWR PR
 

This week the South Carolina General Assembly adopted a resolution on the Senate and House floors congratulating NASCAR and Darlington Raceway on the addition of a second NASCAR Cup Series race weekend on May 7-9. The resolution was adopted on the Senate floor yesterday and the House floor today.

“Darlington Raceway represents a rich legacy in NASCAR and continues to be a highly-anticipated venue on our schedule,” stated Lesa Kennedy, Executive Vice Chair, NASCAR. “We appreciate the continued support from the State of South Carolina, Governor McMaster, the South Carolina General Assembly and the entire PeeDee region as NASCAR proudly hosts two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends at Darlington Raceway this year.”

“Thanks to the South Carolina General Assembly for sharing this resolution to congratulate the return of our second NASCAR Cup Series race weekend at Darlington Raceway,” said Darlington President Kerry Tharp. “We are also grateful to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and his administration for their leadership and support for the track. As Darlington Raceway becomes a mass vaccination site this weekend, rest assured we will continue to support our community each and every day.”

The adopted S 0632 Concurrent Resolution states the following:

TO CONGRATULATE DARLINGTON RACEWAY FOR ANNOUNCING A SECOND NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE, THEREBY DOUBLING THE ECONOMIC IMPACT TO THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND HIGHLIGHTING THE RICH HISTORY OF THIS TREASURED ATTRACTION IN THE STATE, TO ACKNOWLEDGE NASCAR RACING AS AN INTEGRAL AND VITAL PART OF THE STATE AND ITS ECONOMY, AND TO RECOGNIZE THE WEEKS OF MAY 2ND THROUGH MAY 9TH, 2021, AND AUGUST 29TH THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5TH, 2021, AS “DARLINGTON RACEWAY WEEK” IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

Whereas, Darlington Raceway opened on September 4, 1950, with the inaugural running of the Southern 500, the first stock car race on a paved track; and

Whereas, since 1950, Darlington Raceway has served as a cornerstone in the development of stock car racing, one of the fastest-growing and most popular spectator sports in the country; and

Whereas, Darlington Raceway is celebrating its seventy-second season of racing; and

Whereas, in addition to hosting its annual NASCAR Cup Series race during the week of August 29th, 2021, Darlington Raceway has announced a second NASCAR Cup Series race to be held during the week of May 2nd, 2021; and

Whereas, South Carolina lays claim to many of the legends of NASCAR racing, including Rex White, David Pearson, Bud Moore, James Hylton, Tiny Lund, and Cale Yarborough; and

Whereas, the State of South Carolina is rich in historical references to the sport of stock car racing, as evidenced by the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway, in addition to dirt raceways across the State of South Carolina that served as home to the fledgling sport of NASCAR racing in the 1950s; and

Whereas, each year, the NASCAR events at Darlington Raceway focus our nation’s attention and the attention of the world upon our great State as a sport and tourism destination; and

Whereas, with one race weekend, NASCAR racing’s annual economic impact on South Carolina is in excess of sixty-four million dollars, and with the announcement of a second race weekend, that economic impact will double, as NASCAR fans from across the country and around the world visit the State to attend racing events and vacation in communities throughout the State; and

Whereas, Darlington Raceway participates as a good corporate citizen at the local, regional, and state levels and is an active contributor, through numerous community and charitable efforts, in improvements benefiting the people and the State of South Carolina.  Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:

That the members of the General Assembly, by this resolution, congratulate Darlington Raceway for announcing a second NASCAR Cup Series race, thereby doubling the economic impact to the State of South Carolina and highlighting the rich history of this treasured attraction in the State, acknowledge NASCAR racing as an integral and vital part of the State and its economy, and recognize the weeks of May 2nd through May 9th, 2021, and August 29th through September 5th, 2021, as “Darlington Raceway Week” in South Carolina.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to NASCAR and Darlington Raceway.

Darlington Raceway first hosted the Southern 500® Cup race on Labor Day weekend on Sept. 4, 1950. The track added the NASCAR Convertible Series to its spring schedule in 1957-59; the series eventually became a part of the Cup Series. From 1960 to 2004, Darlington annually hosted two Cup Series race weekends – one in the spring and one on Labor Day weekend. In 2015, the Southern 500® returned to its traditional date on Labor Day weekend.

Last year, the track hosted three Cup Series races as part of NASCAR’s revised schedule on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this year’s NASCAR schedule, the track Too Tough To Tame returns to its traditional home for two Cup Series race weekends.

Darlington Raceway PR

As NASCAR Cup Series teams travel to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the fourth points race of the season, Matt Wood announced that he’s betting on his veteran sprint car driver, Shane Golobic, when the series takes to the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway later this month.

Matt Wood Racing has partnered with NASCAR Charter Team, Live Fast Motorsports, to enter Golobic in the Food City Dirt Race on Sunday, March 28th. The event will be the first time that the NASCAR Cup Series has raced on dirt since 1970. Although racing on dirt will be new for a lot of the drivers entered in the race, dirt racing veteran, Golobic, sees it as another opportunity to continue building on his already impressive career, this time in one of NASCAR’s most highly anticipated events of the year.

“I believe every racer has dreamed of the opportunity to race in the NASCAR Cup Series, and the fact that it’s going to happen on dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway only makes it sweeter,” Golobic said. “This opportunity honestly fell into our lap out of nowhere, and it’s something you just can’t pass up. I am so thankful for everyone involved in making this happen, as well as everyone who has had a hand in helping me get to this point in my career. I hope to represent all of our supporters to the best of my ability, and I can’t wait to see what we can do on the dirt at Bristol!”

Matt Wood, President of Matt Wood Racing & Promotions, echoed Golobic’s comments. “Sometimes something falls in your lap that's just too good to be true,” Wood said. “Partnering with Matt Tifft and BJ McLeod of Live Fast Motorsports to run Shane in the NASCAR Cup Series is one of those deals. I think it's every person's dream that's ever owned a race team to be a part of a NASCAR Cup race. This is definitely one of those items you put in your bucket that you think you will never check off the list.” 

“We are thrilled to have Shane Golobic join Live Fast Motorsports at the Bristol dirt race,” Matt Tifft, co-owner of Live Fast Motorsports said. “This is such a historic event for the Cup cars to race on dirt once again and for the first time at Bristol. We couldn’t have thought of anyone better to join our team with all of Shane’s background in the dirt racing world, and we can’t wait to see the show that he and the NASCAR Cup Series puts on in just a few weeks.”

Golobic, a 29 year-old Fremont, California native, is an accomplished winged/non-winged sprint car and midget racer with 83 career feature wins. Dirt racing fans are used to seeing his No. 17w NOS Energy Drink sponsored car up front and in Victory Lane at tracks across the country. Some of his major accomplishments include, being a two-time World of Outlaws Feature Winner, a USAC National Midget Feature Winner, eight time Chili Bowl A-Main starter, 2015 and 2016 Trophy Cup Champion, 2014 Civil War Series Champion, 2012 and 2014 Ocean Speedway Champion, and 2009 Calistoga Speedway Champion. In 2013, Golobic also made three NASCAR K&N Pro Series West starts for Bill McAnally Racing at Roseville, Bakersfield and Phoenix, finishing a career best 8th place twice.

“I'm very excited for Shane… obviously, he knows his way around dirt,” said Wood. “I think this will be an opportunity for him to showcase that talent on one of the World's biggest stages. I'm very proud of what we have accomplished with our Sprint Car and Midget program. This will be completely new experience for us. Hopefully we can do more in the future with Matt, BJ and Live Fast Motorsports.”

Live Fast Motorsports co-owner, BJ McLeod, added, “We are so excited to work with Matt Wood and have Shane in the car at the Bristol dirt race. The race itself is going to be nothing short of entertaining, so to have Shane behind the wheel of our car makes it even more special for us as a new NASCAR Cup Series team.”

Race coverage for the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 28th starts at 3:30 p.m. ET live on FOX and PRN Radio.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available on the LFM No. 78 for the NASCAR Cup Series dirt race at the World’s Fastest Half-mile. For more information, send inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LFR PR

  • Heat Race Starting Lineup – Random draw determines heat race designation and starting position for the heat race. The draw will be in order of current owner points.
  • Qualifying Heat Races – Four qualifying races held at 15 laps each with only green flag laps counted – no overtime rule. Free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect.
  • Passing Points – Drivers will accumulate points in the heat races based on finishing position and passing points. The points total determines the starting position for the feature event.
    • Passing Points = The difference between assigned starting position and finishing position
      • Go forward – accumulate passing points
      • Go backward or finish where you started – zero passing points
      • Tiebreaker - Owner Points                                            
  • Feature – Lineup based on combined points of Heat Race finishing position and passing points.  Feature race will be 250 laps (NCWTS: 150 laps) divided into three stages (NCS: 75/150/250) / (NCWTS: 40/90/150). Running order will be frozen at the conclusion of each stage. During the stage breaks, teams can change tires, add fuel and make adjustments to their cars/trucks. These non-competitive pit stops must be completed in a time designated by NASCAR (TBD). No fuel or tires except at stage breaks. (Note: Teams will not be required to pit during the stage breaks. Teams that elect not to pit will re-start ahead of teams that pitted. Re-start order determined by the freeze at the conclusion of the preceding stage)
  • Additional Event Highlights – Choose rule will not be in effect for the Bristol Dirt race. The overtime rules, free pass and wave around procedures will be in effect. 

NASCAR PR

World Wide Technology Raceway, the home of NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis-Metro East region, today introduced its new kids club for children under 12. The WWTR Kids Club Presented By T-Mobile will offer free tickets, food, discounts, and premiums and programs to members at the speedway’s INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA events in 2021.

Membership cost is $25 for the first child. Use the promo code WWTRKIDS to save $5 on each additional child  in the same family. Members will receive free tickets, discounts and exclusive benefits.  For more information on benefits received and to sign up your child, please visit http://bit.ly/kidsclubwwtr.

“One of our primary goals at World Wide Technology Raceway is to engage the next generation of racing fans and include them in our numerous forms of racing and events,” said WWTR Executive Vice President and General Manager Chris Blair. “This partnership with T-Mobile provides a platform for us to showcase how family-friendly a day at the races can be. In addition, our club will include special offers and off-season engagement to promote the love of the sport and the club 365 days per year.”

For additional information on World Wide Technology Raceway, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.WWTRaceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

WWTR PR

Riley Herbst Notes of Interest

 

•  Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts the fourth race of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300. It’s also the hometown race for Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 South Point Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. The recently minted 22-year-old (Herbst’s birthday was Feb. 24) is a third-generation racer from Las Vegas. His grandfather, Jerry, and uncles Tim and Ed, and father Troy, are all Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame inductees for being championship-winning off-road racers.

 

•  Furthering the hometown connection is Herbst’s South Point Ford Mustang. Featuring more than 2,100 guestrooms, the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa overlooks the famous Las Vegas Strip and the serenity of the surrounding mountainscape. Each oversized guestroom features state-of-the-art LED televisions as well as WiFi with high-speed internet connections. Guests visiting South Point Hotel will experience affordable luxury through a casino offering top-of-the-line gaming technology, more than 60 table games and a separate race and sports book area, 11 restaurants, world-class Costa Del Sur Spa and Salon, a 400-seat showroom featuring headliner entertainment, a 700-seat Bingo room, a 16-screen Cinemark movie complex, a 64-lane bowling center, a 52,000-square foot Conference Center and an 80,000-square foot Exhibit Hall. The venue is the “Official Hotel and Casino of Las Vegas Motor Speedway” and sponsor of the September 2021 Las Vegas NASCAR Cup Series race, South Point 400. Connect with them on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, and Instagram.

 

•  Herbst was an Xfinity Series rookie last year, and in his last two visits to Las Vegas he finished ninth and 12th, respectively, in the February and September races. However, that February race in 2020 was not the first time Herbst raced an Xfinity Series car at the 1.5-mile oval. As part of a nine-race Xfinity Series schedule in 2019, Herbst competed at Las Vegas on Sept. 14 and acquitted himself well, starting 15th and finishing ninth for what was his fourth career Xfinity Series top-10. Herbst now has 21 career top-10s as he heads into the Alsco Uniforms 300.

 

•  In last week’s Xfinity Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Herbst endured an up-and-down day. He started 29th and climbed to as high as fourth, where he started the final stage. Herbst was poised to race with the leaders and potentially contend for the win, but on lap 99, Justin Allgaier came off turn two and pinched Herbst into the outside wall. This damaged the front end of Herbst’s No. 98 Ford and forced a prolonged pit stop for repairs. Herbst restarted 30th and rallied his way into the top-15 by lap 109. He ultimately finished 11th, one spot shy of his third consecutive top-10 at Homestead.

 

Riley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 South Point Ford Mustang

 

You’re heading to your hometrack – Las Vegas Motor Speedway. What are your expectations for the race?

“I’m really looking forward to heading back to Vegas. I think we’ll be really, really fast and have some good success – at least that’s what we’re planning for. The No. 98 won that race last year, so I’m looking forward to going back home to race that one. I just think we kind of need to work through the first four or five races and see where we are because it’s a new team for me. For the first five races, we’re just kind of judging everything and, hopefully, after that and after the first quarter of the season, we can be in contention for wins and be racing up front.”

 

With the success the No. 98 team had last year with Chase Briscoe, particularly at tracks like Homestead and Las Vegas, are you talking with him to get advice?

“A lot of it comes from my crew chief, Richard Boswell. I lean on him a lot. I’ve also talked to Chase a few times – especially before the (Daytona) road course. He’s in a new position himself in the NASCAR Cup Series and trying to get his grips around him, but he’s helped me out quite a bit by telling me to take my time and trust in Richard. He said to know that the No. 98 South Point Ford is fast and to have some fun.”

 

How much fun are you going to have when you go back to your hometown of Las Vegas?

“I haven’t been back home since the holidays, so it’ll be cool to see some people and I’m really excited that our governor decided to allow some people in the stands. Honestly, I’m excited to be racing in front of a hometown crowd. Man, the No. 98 team was fast and swept both races last year – so, no pressure there (laughs). But I’m looking forward to a good run and having some fun back home.”

 

TSC PR

Kaulig Racing announced today the addition of uniform rental company, Alsco Uniforms, as a partner on its No. 10 Chevrolet driven by Jeb Burton at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
 
Alsco Uniforms, the leading supplier of employee uniforms, towels, first aid kits, floor mats and mops, has been a long-time partner of both Kaulig Racing and Burton, having supplied many of its products and services to the team. Kaulig Racing is now excited to take their relationship to the next level and welcome the uniform industry’s best kept secret onboard the No. 10 Chevrolet.
 
“Alsco Uniforms couldn’t be more thrilled for our new alignment with Kaulig Racing and driver Jeb Burton as a supplier and sponsor” said Ben Fox, director of sales and marketing at Alsco. “In addition to our sponsorship, we provide uniforms, towels, floor mats, sanitizers and first aid to the team.”
 
“Having Alsco on the No. 10 car is really exciting for Kaulig Racing, as they have been a valued partner of ours for a couple years now,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “We're so happy Alsco has partnered with us as a sponsor and supplier, so we can help showcase their products to the motorsports industry.”
 
In addition to their primary race, Alsco also serves as an associate partner on the No. 10 for the entire 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season.
 
“I’m really looking forward to having Alsco on our No. 10 Chevrolet in Las Vegas,” said Burton. “They’ve been a great partner of mine the last couple years. This is the first time they will be a primary partner for me so I’m excited about that. Hopefully we can keep up the momentum we’ve had the last three weeks and make Alsco proud.”
 
Not only will Alsco act as the primary partner on the No. 10 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it will also serve as the title sponsor for the NXS event, the Alsco Uniforms 300 on Saturday, March 6 at 4:30PM ET on FS1.
 
Kaulig Racing PR
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