Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Just in time for the holidays, the one-of-a-kind tee, featuring the “Hall of Fame” logo used by the IMS Museum until it was renamed and rebranded in 2016, is now available, only through The Shop Cares, a special collection designed to support nonprofit organizations.
 
To purchase the Hall of Fame shirt, click here: https://theshopindy.com/collections/indianapolis-motor-speedway-museum.
 
Act now, because the Hall of Fame Museum tee is on sale only through Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25. Proceeds will benefit the IMS Museum’s exhibits, care of its collection and educational programming.
 
The Shop offers vintage-inspired sports & hometown apparel, plus cool retro gear supporting great Indiana destinations and causes. Check out their creations online or visit their Indy-area brick and mortar stores in Broad Ripple and Carmel’s Clay Terrace.
 
IMS Museum PR

Garrett Smith will wrap up a busy 2020 campaign by competing during Gobbler 100 weekend this Friday and Saturday at Georgia’s Cochran Motor Speedway.

 
Smith will be competing in the crate late model portion of the event, which pays $3,000 to the winner following a 40-lap feature on Saturday evening at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval.
 
Should he manage to pull his car into victory lane at the conclusion of the event, it would be Smith’s fourth victory of the season overall and his third of the year at Cochran Motor Speedway.
 
“We’ve been really good at Cochran all year,” said Smith, a Barry Wright Race Cars developmental driver. “The last race we won there we won our heat and led every lap of the feature, so I know we can do it again this weekend. This race is going to draw a lot of good cars, so we’ll have to be on our game, but I know my team will bring me a good car and we’re going to try and be up front when it counts.”
 
Smith, who also has a victory at Georgia’s Boyd’s Speedway this year, said that the chance to race at Cochran wouldn’t be possible without his fans, family and sponsors.
 
“I love going to Cochran because the fans are great there. They really make me feel at home,” said Smith. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the fans or without our sponsors like Atlanta Paving and Concrete, Wiley X, TMC, BKP Art, Dirt Car Lift or MPM Marketing. My parents are really supportive of me and I hope I can bring them a trophy as a post-Thanksgiving present this weekend.”
 
MPM PR

There aren’t many things in life as exciting and exhilarating as watching NASCAR. This high-speed sport is not only the fastest circuit racing event in the circuit format, but it also has the highest level of fan interaction and engagement in the world. And it's for this reason that even viewers who are unfamiliar with it often become devoted enthusiasts and develop a strong interest in this stock car racing event.

This brings us to the greatest challenge that many fans face: access. After all, a lot of broadcasters and networks often have region restrictions that render those outside of the country unable to watch the streams of the races. The good news is that there is a way to get around this hurdle and stay updated with everything about the sport, from the races to next-generation tests, and that’s through the utilization of a virtual private network.

With a VPN, users can get past the geo-limitations and watch their favorite shows by routing their network traffic in the location where the broadcast is taking place. Apart from this benefit, it also provides better security and anonymity for safe internet use, remote access, and better performance. Even businesses make use of it. And to choose the right VPN, there are few things that you need to consider apart from checking sites such as  top10.com/vpn/reviews/purevpn.

Make sure that the desired location is covered

There are many reasons why people use virtual private networks, and each service will come with its own area where it excels at the most. And because you’ll primarily be using it to unblock content that otherwise wouldn’t have access to due to regional restrictions, it makes sense to check first that the desired locations and servers are covered by the virtual private network. After all, there’s little reason to pay for a VPN if it’s unable to deliver on what you need it for which, in this case, is getting your racing fix and staying on top of the NASCAR cup series.

Make sure it has reliable customer support

While it might be generally overlooked, reliable customer support is essential when it comes to any kind of product and service, and VPNs are no exception. If you encounter any potential problems that you’re unable to resolve on your own, you’ll want an expert that can immediately address your concerns instead of spending time waiting to be connected to the company.

Consider the price

Cost is a factor that you’ll need to consider before choosing a VPN. After all, virtual private networks can differ greatly from each other on price, and this can depend on the features and length of subscription that they offer. And the more time you take in comparing all available options and their respective prices, the better your chances of securing a favorable deal.

Choosing the right VPN for your needs isn’t difficult, but it does require a little time and patience. And by making sure that your factor in locations, customer support, and price of the service before deciding, you’ll have a much better experience than you would have otherwise.

The 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will culminate in the first week of december with a unique Super Speedweek of NASCAR road course racing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. 

With the Valencia Super Speedweek, for the first time in the history of NASCAR in Europe, two back-to-back NWES events – the NASCAR GP Spain and the EuroNASCAR Finals – will take place at the same track, delivering four days of non-stop action. The EuroNASCAR competitors’ strengths will be tested with a completely new challenge. The NASCAR GP Spain will take place on December 3-4 and the double-points awarding EuroNASCAR Finals will take center stage on December 5-6. 

“We are delighted to offer our competitors and our fans this unique new challenge with two events and four consecutive days of NASCAR action at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. With our fantastic track partner in Valencia and our competitors we are ready to crown the 2020 champions and we look forward to a week of racing that will reward the best of the best,” said NWES President - CEO Jerome Galpin. “We will offer an extensive live coverage from Spain and we are sure fans will love the Super Speedweek!”

Champions and Trophy winners will be crowned at the end of the Valencia Super Speedweek. Fans from all over the world will be able to watch all races live on the EuroNASCAR social media profiles – Youtube, Facebook and Twitch – as well as on Motorsport.tv.

NASCAR GP SPAIN SCHEDULE | EURONASCAR FINALS SCHEDULE

December 3-4: NASCAR GP Spain

On December 3-4, the first leg of the Super Speedweek – the NASCAR GP Spain – will assign the regularity-based Club Challenge title on Thursday morning, while the EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 championships will hit the track for the first time with two practice sessions and an afternoon Qualifying session. 

On Friday, action will start early with the first EuroNASCAR 2 race of the Super Speedweek scheduled to take the green flag at 9:00 CET, followed by the EuroNASCAR PRO Round 7 at 13:00 CET and by the last round of the EuroNASCAR 2 regular season at 16:15 CET. The EuroNASCAR PRO regular season will conclude on Saturday morning at 9:00 with Round 8 and close the NASCAR GP Spain.

December 5-6: EuroNASCAR Finals

Tension will ramp up on Saturday at 13:00 CET when EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 Qualifying will kick off the EuroNASCAR Finals. Double points will be on the line later at 16:15 CET in the first EuroNASCAR 2 Finals round and on Sunday, December 6, when three races will decide who will wear the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship ring. 

The EuroNASCAR 2 champion will be crowned with the Final 2 race at 9:00 CET and the NWES title will be on the line in the last EuroNASCAR PRO races of the season at 13:00 CET and 16:15 CET.

NWES PR

 

This season has been a tough one for Scott Phillips. The Halifax, Virginia resident had looked forward to racing in the Pure Stock Division at South Boston Speedway in 2020 only to see the COVID-19 pandemic crush that hope.

Phillips attempted to race at other speedways from time to time, but misfortune struck virtually every time.

“2020 has been rough,” Phillips said with a sigh.

“I got tired of waiting for some racing to start (at South Boston Speedway) and started going to some other tracks and had problems with one thing or another every time.”

Phillips made his first attempt to race in 2020 at Orange County Speedway in North Carolina and immediately suffered misfortune.

“I ended up getting into an accident during practice and it twisted the car,” Phillips explained during a break in a recent testing session at South Boston Speedway.

“It pushed the roll cage and door pillar in really bad. I straightened it (the car’s chassis) up, but it’s not right. I’ve been doing things with the (chassis) setup to compensate. It (the car) is good, but it’s not like it should be.”

After the mishap in his first attempt to go racing in 2020, Phillips encountered some form of misfortune every time he attempted to compete. Phillips worked on his car during his recent test session at South Boston Speedway to prepare for an event at a nearby track. Unfortunately, he had issues yet another time.

The combination of not being able to race at his home track, South Boston Speedway, combining with the misfortune in his few attempts to race this season have made 2020 very frustrating for Phillips.

“Last year (2019) I finished the season off strong and had the car set up right,” Phillips said.

“I ran up front really well in the last race of the season, led a lot of laps at Orange County Speedway and finished second in one of their races last year. This year everything just seemed to fall apart.”

With the 2020 season behind him, Phillips is looking ahead to 2021with hopes of much better future fortunes.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to South Boston Speedway for a full season 2021,” Phillips noted, “and hopefully, with some things I have learned and a new car, maybe I will be able to get back up front.”

The new car Phillips plans to bring to South Boston Speedway in 2021 will be another Nissan.

“I plan on having a brand-new car for next year, and maybe turn this car into a backup car if I can cut some stuff apart during the winter,” Phillips explained.

“I definitely will be in a different car next year for the primary car.”

Not only does Phillips have plans to bring out a new primary car for 2021, he has additional plans in the works as well.

“I’ve also got a Nissan 240 hatchback that used to be raced at Orange County Speedway,” noted Phillips.

“That car will be turned into a second car for a back-up car next year. I may have somebody running that car for me. I’ve got a couple of guys who want to drive it, so we’ll see. I know if something happens to my car I will have something to fall back on.”

While weather temperatures have fallen some over the past few weeks with the arrival of fall there are still a lot of good days ahead for drivers and race teams wishing to schedule test sessions to work on their cars and begin preparations for the 2021 season.  

South Boston Speedway is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. for teams wishing to schedule testing sessions. The track is available for testing from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day. Teams wishing to schedule a test at South Boston Speedway should contact the speedway office at 434-572-4947 at least a day ahead to schedule a test session.

The 2021 season at “America’s Hometown Track” kicks off on Saturday, March 20, 2021 with twin races for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Cars, twin races for the track’s Limited Sportsman Division and races for the Pure Stock and Hornets Divisions.

SBS PR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Kinser will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame class of 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, the induction ceremony will take place concurrently with the Class of 2022 on a date to be announced later. 

The inductees’ stories of accomplishment are quite interesting.

Earnhardt Jr. is a third-generation driver, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt and his father, seven-time Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt. During his 19-year career in the Cup Series, Earnhardt Jr. collected 26 victories (including two Daytona 500 wins), 149 top fives, 260 top 10s and 15 pole positions in 631 starts. He also has 24 Xfinity Series wins along with 70 top fives, 94 top 10s and 10 pole positions.

He has been voted NMPA Most Popular Driver 16 times. He is currently co-owner of JR Motorsports and has won Xfinity Series championships in 2014, 2017 and 2018 with drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron and Tyler Reddick.

Kinser won 20 championships in the World of Outlaws (WOO) Series during a long and successful career. He collected 577 feature victories in World of Outlaws competition as well as a record 12 victories at the Knoxville Nationals, considered the equivalent in the series to NASCAR's Daytona 500.  Kinser logged a record 56 feature wins in 1987, including 46 of 69 World of Outlaw events. All told, he has 755 victories to his credit in Sprint Car competition. Kinser also made five Cup Series starts in 1995 with team owner Kenny Bernstein.

Earnhardt Jr. and Kinser were selected on more than 65 percent of ballots cast by the National Motorsports Press Association membership, the percentage necessary for inclusion in the NMPA Hall of Fame.

The NMPA Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway and has been in operation since 1965.

NMPA PR

 

Eldora Speedway officials, following up on the declaration they were doubling-down in 2021, have announced the legendary high-banked .500-mile clay oval will host two Kings Royals in July.
 
The events are a part of a blockbuster four-day event offering the superstars of the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series two opportunities at a winner’s purse of $175,000-to-win. The first coming on Thursday, July 15 and the second on Saturday, July 17.
 
As a result of the loss of Eldora’s complete 2020 spectator event season, speedway officials reshuffled the hand they were dealt to create the formidable 2021 Kings Royal Week.
 
It all begins Wednesday, July 14, with the rescheduled ‘Jokers Wild’ paying $10,000-to-win.
 
The 38th running of the Kings Royal, the only event of the week that was scheduled to be part of the 2021 event, will be held Thursday night, July 15 and offer the first epic $175,000-to-win bounty.
 
The traditional Friday “Knight Before the Kings Royal” preliminary event has been rescheduled from 2020 to Friday night, July 16, 2021, and the night’s winner will take home the $10,000 prize.
 
The 37th Kings Royal has been rescheduled to Saturday, July 17, and will be the second marquee event of the week to pay $175,000 to the winner.
 
The announcement also marks the beginning of a new multi-year sanction agreement for the Kings Royal between Eldora Speedway and World Racing Group, the parent company of the World of Outlaws, DIRTcar Racing, and DIRTVision.
 
In addition to July’s Kings Royal Week, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars and the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series will again share the spotlight on Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8 at the #LetsRaceTwo Doubleheader Weekend.
 
The Outlaws will make their final Eldora appearance of 2021 on Friday, September 24 at the opening night of the 4-Crown Nationals Weekend. The BeFour The Crowns Showdown will feature full programs for the World of Outlaws, the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship, and qualifying for the USAC Silver Crown Champ Cars.
 
The Kings Royal from Eldora, and all World of Outlaws events, are livestreamed exclusively on DIRTVision.com
 
The customer service team from the Eldora Speedway box office will be reaching out directly to those patron accounts making the original purchase of tickets, campsites and/or pit passes for the 2020 Kings Royal with details on the 2021 Kings Royal Week prior to tickets and campsites resuming public sale.
 
For more information, patrons can visit: https://www.eldoraspeedway.com/kings-royal-week/
 
Eldora Speedway PR

Today, Hendrick Motorsports learned that team member William “Rowdy” Harrell and his wife, Blakley, were tragically killed in an automobile accident in Florida last night. The newlyweds were traveling to celebrate their honeymoon after being married on Saturday.

Harrell, 30, was a stand-out tire carrier for Hendrick Motorsports for the last eight seasons, most recently with the No. 88 NASCAR Cup Series team of driver Alex Bowman. He was also a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion pit crew member with JR Motorsports.

“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” said Greg Ives, who was Harrell’s crew chief for the past six seasons. “They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match. Rowdy had an energetic and infectious personality. He was the heart and soul of our team and always kept us motivated, no matter the circumstance. Rowdy shared his love with the people around him and was loved in return. Although he will be greatly missed, his memory will continue to inspire us always. Our prayers are with Rowdy, Blakley and their wonderful family.”

Before his NASCAR career, Harrell won three national championships as a walk-on middle linebacker for the University of Alabama football team. The native of Moundville, Alabama, held a degree in human performance and exercise science from the school.

Memorial arrangements have not been made at this time.

HMS PR

ARCA and Talladega Superspeedway announced today that for the 59th time in series history, the ARCA Menards Series will compete at the biggest and baddest track on the planet – Talladega Superspeedway – on Saturday, April 24.

 

The event will be a part of a Saturday doubleheader with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and will take place the day before the Sunday, April 25, GEICO 500 where Ryan Blaney will seek to defend his victory earlier this year. Kids 12 and younger will be admitted free to Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series & NASCAR Xfinity Series races.

 

The ARCA Menards Series first competed at the 2.66-mile venue during the track’s inception year of 1969 in the Vulcan 500 where Jim Vandiver took the checkered flag. Except for a four-year stretch (1971-74), the ARCA Menards Series has been a staple at the iconic track. Drew Dollar became the 18th driver to earn his first victory in the ARCA Menards Series event on Talladega’s 33-degree banking this past summer while 2020 Series Champion Bret Holmes, from nearby Munford, AL, had his best finish at his home track with a third-place result.

 

Justin Haley, a former ARCA winner at Talladega, swept both of the Talladega Xfinity Series races held this past season, cementing his place in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. He wound up being a playoff contender for the title in the Championship four. NASCAR Hall of Famers Red Farmer, Davey Allison and Mark Martin won ARCA Menards Series races at Talladega while noted current motorsports competitors Ty Dillon, Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett have also gone to Gatorade Victory Lane at the world’s Most Competitive venue. 

 

Fans wishing to attend the GEICO 500 are urged to secure their tickets early which will provide economic savings with a host of advance-priced opportunities (for a limited time) for both grandstand seating and camping options. Multi-day grandstand seating packages start at just $60 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and younger. Fans can get information on how to claim their reserved spots by calling 877-462-3343 (Go2-DEGA) or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.

 

For the latest news and 2021 schedule information for the ARCA Menards Series, log onto www.ARCARacing.com. Start times and television networks for the NASCAR Cup, NASCAR Xfinity, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series will be announced at a later date.

 

Fans can keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

TSS PR

Raphael Lessard Racing announced today that the young Quebec driver will race in select races in the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). He will drive a Silverado prepared by the dominant GMS Racing organization that finished in the top three places in the championship in 2020. The agreement with GMS Racing covers 12 races to be determined over the season. In parallel, Raphael Lessard Racing team members are working to find the necessary financing to participate in all 22 events on the 2021 calendar.

The first race of the 2021 NCWTS season will be part of the traditional "Daytona Speed Week," and will be held on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021.

“We are very excited to have Raphael join GMS Racing for part of the 2021 season,” said Mike Beam, President of GMS Racing. “I believe Raphael will be a great addition to our GMS stable and I look forward to seeing him wheel one of our Chevrolets."

Review of the 2020 season and outlook for 2021

Raphael Lessard ended his 2020 season on a high note, accumulating in the second half of the season one win, four top-five and six top-10 finishes. In addition, he managed to improve from his starting to his finishing position in the incident-free races by 67 places, compared to 14 places in the first eight races of the season.

Q: Raphael, are you satisfied with the progress you made 2020? 

“I learned an incredible amount in all aspects of racing during the 2020 season, about pure driving skills, race strategies, aerodynamics, passing and legally making it difficult for others to pass me, adapting my driving to compensate for any handling issues and helping the team understand any issues to fix them at the next stop, focusing better on my driving despite any adversity. The win at Talladega certainly helped the team and myself gain confidence, and also convinced us that we were able to race with the best and win.”

Q: What does it mean to you to be at GMS Racing for 2021?

“Finding myself with the best team of the 2020 season is unbelievable. They won the championship! I can't wait to show what we can do aboard such great machines. The team knows how to bring potential winners at every race, a key to a great season. Our team will be great, and I can’t wait to be back on track.”

Q: What is your first goal for the 2021 season?

“To do as many races as possible. I would like to win races and above all finish in the top five in every race, as well as continue to improve my driving.”

GMS Racing PR

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