Speedway Digest Staff
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Five-time CMA nominee, eight-time People’s Choice Country Award nominee and three-time CMT award winning artist Jelly Roll, the breakthrough singer/songwriter who burst upon the country music scene with his massive hit “Save Me” as well as back-to-back #1 singles “Son of a Sinner” and “Need A Favor,” will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race on Sunday, Sept. 24, at Texas Motor Speedway.
Originally from Antioch, Tenn., Jelly Roll (Jason DeFord) earned numerous milestones this year including a 44-date sold-out Backroad Baptism Tour, multi-week, multi-platinum, multi-genre #1 singles, and the biggest Country album debut in Billboard Consumption chart history with the release of his album “Whitsitt Chapel” in June, which debuted Top 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
In his honorary role, Jelly Roll will deliver the “Start your engines” command to the 36-driver field competing in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 (TV: USA, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM and 95.9 The Ranch-locally).
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Texas Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers, Chief Jason Taylor will serve as the Honorary Starter.
Taylor, who began the post in November 2022 after previously serving as Regional Director of DPS Region 2 in Houston since 2018, will have the opportunity to wave the green flag from the flag stand and officially start the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400.
Television personality Sage Steele will have an honorary position for the opening Round of 12 Cup Series Playoff race.
Steele is a former ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor who also hosted SportsCenter on the Road from marquee sporting events as well as NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC for four seasons. She will drive one of the Chevrolet Camaro pace cars that will lead the field to the green flag for the start of the race.
The military will round out the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 dignitaries with three roles.
Ret. Lt. Col. Caroline “Blaze” Jensen, a former combat fighter pilot who became the first female reservist to be selected for the elite USAF Thunderbirds demonstration squadron, will provide the invocation. Fort Worth resident Don Graves, a 98-year-old U.S. Marine and one of a special group of living American heroes who made the successful assault on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II, will sing God Bless America. The Fort Cavazos 1st Cavalry Band will perform the National Anthem.
Complete dignitaries list for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400:
- Grand Marshal: Three-time CMT Music Awards winner Jelly Roll.
- Honorary Starter: Texas Rangers Chief Jason Taylor.
- Official Pace Car Driver: Sports entertainment TV personality Sage Steele.
- National Anthem: Fort Cavazos 1st Calvary Band.
- God Bless America: U.S. Marine veteran Don Graves.
- Invocation: Ret. Lt. Col. Caroline “Blaze” Jensen.
- Flyover: USAF C-5M Super Galaxy - 433rd Airlift Wing from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Complete dignitaries list for Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 Xfinity Series Playoff race:
- Grand Marshal: Andy’s Frozen Custard Chief Executive Officer Andy Kuntz accompanied by his wife, Dana.
- Honorary Starter: Andy’s Frozen Custard’s newest franchisee from Iowa, Brandon Pratt.
- National Anthem: Country music singer Alex Hall.
- Flyover: one CH-47 Chinook and two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Fort Cavazos, Texas.
NASCAR Playoffs weekend will be highlighted by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 on Saturday, Sept. 23 (2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, and PRN), and the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 on Sunday, Sept. 24 (2:30 p.m. CT on USA Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, PRN, and 95.9 The Ranch-local).
Texas Motor Speedway’s always-busy events schedule is well under way. Upcoming events in 2023 include: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 NASCAR Playoffs weekend (Sept. 23-24), Goodguys’ Summit Racing Lone Start Nationals (Sept. 29-Oct. 1), Speedway Children’s Charities Smoke Show (Oct. 11) and Gordy’s Hwy 30 Music Fest (Oct. 19-22). The year wraps up with the family-favorite and speedway tradition Gift of Lights holiday light show.
Event: Andy’s Frozen Custard 300
Date: Saturday September 23, 2023
Time: 3:30 p.m. eastern
Location: Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth, Texas 76177
Layout: 1.5 mile quad oval with banked 20° in turns 1 and 2 and banked 24° in turns 3 and 4. The front straightaway juts outward slightly.
Stage Lengths: 45/90/200
TV: USA Network and the NBC Sports App
Radio: Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN. For the station near you click here.
Driver Points: 2012, ranked # 11
News and notes: "At Texas you have to favor turns one and two,” says Parker Kligerman. “That’s where you make or lose the most time. Because it’s so flat, it is hard to get the car to turn. And then from that point you go to turns 3 and 4 and you have to just hang on. I actually mentally tell myself to prepare that the car will wiggle. Let it move around. Let it have room to dance because it’s going to do that all day, every single lap. You’re just going to have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. And that is just the way this place is. But hey that’s why we’re race car drivers…"
The team has made the Playoffs in only their third season with 7 top 5 finishes and 14 top 10 finishes this year.
Parker will be won WLS-AM Chicago with Steve Cochran Thursday at 8:30a central.
See his interview on The Pace Lap Friday at noon on MAV TV.
NASCAR heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the first time this season, starting the Round of 12 of the Cup Series Playoffs. NHRA continues its Countdown to the Championship this weekend at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS
Round of 12 begins with strong Toyota presence … By the end of last weekend’s dramatic race at Bristol Motor Speedway, all five Toyota NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers advanced to the Round of 12, highlighted by Denny Hamlin’s victory at the famed half-mile track. The Virginia native, inching closer to his 50th career Toyota Cup Series win, is joined in the next round by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell, along with 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace. Toyota has more cars than any other manufacturer remaining in the playoffs as the championship push continues.
Reddick goes for three straight wins in the Lone Star State … Tyler Reddick is looking to keep his hot streak in the state of Texas going. The driver of the 23XI Racing No. 45 Camry TRD was the victor at Texas Motor Speedway in 2022 and captured his first win of 2023 at Circuit of the Americas just outside of Austin, Texas. Getting his third straight win in the state would secure Reddick a spot in the Round of 8.
Bell aims for fourth consecutive pole position … Christopher Bell has been unmatched in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying over the past month, earning three straight pole positions (Darlington, Kansas and Bristol). The driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry TRD for Joe Gibbs Racing, entering the Round of 12 seventh in points, has the most pole positions this season with five.
Toyota Xfinity playoff drivers atop the cutline going into Texas … John Hunter Nemechek and Sammy Smith both had successful outings at Bristol last weekend and are above the playoff cutline as the Xfinity Series playoffs continue in Texas. Nemechek is currently second in the playoff standings with a 65-point cushion, while Smith is five above the cutline with two races before the next elimination.
Nemechek returns to a favorable track … John Hunter Nemechek heads back to Texas Motor Speedway where he’s found success so far in his young career. The 26-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver, pushing for the Xfinity Series title, won the NXS race at Texas in 2021, along with the Truck Series race the night before. A win for Nemechek would be his seventh of the 2023 Xfinity Series season and secure him a spot in the Round of 8.
NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car
Kalitta earns milestone 50th career win … The extended event at Maple Grove Raceway last weekend finished with Doug Kalitta earning his 50th career victory, defeating Steve Torrence in an all-Toyota Top Fuel final. The win catapulted Kalitta up the Top Fuel standings as the Michigan-native aims for the season championship with five races to go in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.
Toyota’s Top Fuel win-streak continues… Kalitta’s Top Fuel victory secured the sixth consecutive in the category for Toyota drivers, which dates back to the event at Pacific Raceways in Seattle in July. Kalitta, along with Torrence, Antron Brown and Justin Ashley have all been victors over the stretch. Teams and drivers go for an astounding seventh consecutive Toyota win this weekend in Charlotte.
Brown and Capps aim for repeats in Charlotte … Returning to zMAX Dragway, Brown (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) will go for back-to-back wins in the Carolina Nationals to continue their championship pushes. Both have had success at the North Carolina drag strip over the course of their careers, whether it be the Carolina Nationals or Four-Wide Nationals, with Capps also claiming victories in Charlotte in 2017 and 2018, and Brown winning in 2016.
On Saturday after his work is done at Texas Motor Speedway, the No. 47 Kroger® / NOS® Energy Drink Camaro driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is appearing at Kroger located at 1653 Basswood Boulevard, Ft. Worth, Texas. The Olive Branch, Mississippi-native will be meeting fans and signing autographs starting at 3 PM Central, and there will be a parking lot filled full of fun activities for consumers to enjoy.
“I enjoy spending time in Texas, and I’ll be able to meet our fans at Kroger following qualifying on Saturday afternoon,” said Stenhouse Jr. “Thanks to Kroger and our Kroger Racing partners for making this possible for our fans.”
As mentioned earlier this season, the meaning behind these ongoing racing-themed parking lot events at The Kroger Co. store banners is to express gratitude to valued consumers who may also be NASCAR enthusiasts. This weekend, it’s a chance to celebrate our passionate NASCAR fans and foster a deeper connection with the racing community in and around Texas Motor Speedway.
“It’s about the consumers, but it’s also about recognizing Kroger associates’ hard work that goes into maintaining a top-notch store and the customer service behind it all,” said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter.
During the Kroger Racing event, shoppers will receive ample-sized samples from Mrs. Bairds®, Cottonelle®, Drumstick® and Cheez-It®. Additionally, there will be samples from Blue Buffalo™ for your pets and more.
While grabbing samples, consumers can sign up for Boost where they can save with free delivery and 2X Fuel Points when signing up for membership. They can try Boost for 30 days!
To keep fans smiling, the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® mobile dental van will be at the Ft. Worth store too. There’s really something for everyone. Stay tuned for more store events with Stenhouse Jr. and Kroger Racing. Also, visit https://www.kroger.com/f/
JTG Racing PR
As the 2023 NASCAR Playoffs moves into the second round, RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski will make an appearance Thursday morning on FOX & Friends promoting King’s Hawaiian’s popular Slider Sunday campaign.
As part of its ongoing partnership with the iconic brand King’s Hawaiian, Keselowski – along with wife, Paige, and daughter, Scarlett – will be in New York to take part in a pair of segments on the daily morning news and talk program that airs on FOX News.
America’s Weather First and FOX Weather will also feature the Keselowski’s and King’s Hawaiian around 8:15 a.m. ET, as Keselowski will give a sneak peek of how he spends his weekends at the race track, and speak to how weather plays a factor in racing. The segment will kick off FOX Weather Weekend Watch, which will feature King’s Hawaiian promotion throughout the weekend across the network.
The Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs opens this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, USA), where Keselowski has four-straight top-10 finishes.
Hutch, the renowned automotive mobile game developer behind hit titles such as F1 Clash and Top Drives, has announced a new partnership with NASCAR. The partnership will see Hutch develop a new standalone title for mobile, combining the studio's expertise in creating automotive games with NASCAR’s world renowned brand.
NASCAR, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is the sanctioning body for the No.1 form of motorsports in the United States and one of the most recognized motorsports organisations in the world. Offering fans high speed, side-by-side racing with thrilling passing and aggressive strategy, NASCAR has reached a diverse global audience. With millions of fans worldwide and a rich history of high- octane racing, NASCAR is a perfect match for Hutch’s game development pedigree.
Hutch will lead development of the new title in collaboration with NASCAR, working closely to build the ultimate mobile experience for fans around the globe. The new game, due to be fully revealed in due course, will leverage Hutch’s extensive development experience with licensed IPs to bring fans their dream game on mobile.
Peter Stott, Game Director at Hutch says: “The NASCAR brand is an ideal fit for Hutch. Our passion for motorsports and drive to create-genre defining experiences for mobile will enable us to deliver for the many global fans of the sport. That same passion forms the foundation of our relationship with NASCAR, which will fuel our ability to make another hit Hutch title. We’re proud to be able to work with another key automotive licensor, continuing our rich history of partnered game development.”
Nick Rend, Managing Director, Gaming and Esports at NASCAR says: “At NASCAR, our number one priority is engaging our fans and bringing them the best experiences possible whether they’re at the track or in digital spaces where they like to spend time. We want to deliver our fans around the world a unique, immersive mobile gaming experience. Hutch, with its expertise in the automotive genre and track record of creating fun and popular games, is the perfect partner to make this happen.”
MotoAmerica, North America’s premier motorcycle road racing series, is thrilled to announce that it will bring a round of the MotoAmerica Championship to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, August 16-18, for what will be the eighth round of the 2024 Medallia Superbike Championship.
The legendary Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a fan favorite since the first AMA Superbike Championship round was held there in 1983, hosted the AMA championship for 32 consecutive years. The venue first opened its doors in 1962.
The last time the AMA Superbike Championship visited Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was in 2014 with then-21-year-old Cameron Beaubier winning race one with his then-39-year-old teammate Josh Hayes emerging victorious in race two. Beaubier is now a five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion and Hayes, a four-time Superbike Champion, recently became the all-time win leader across all classes in AMA road racing.
“Since we started MotoAmerica in 2015, the one thing we consistently heard from our fans is ‘When is MotoAmerica coming to Mid-Ohio?’” said MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey. “It makes us extremely happy to be able to say that we will be bringing our series to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next year and we’re looking forward to seeing all those people at the track.”
“We are thrilled to announce the return of MotoAmerica and Superbike racing back to Mid-Ohio in 2024,” said Craig Rust, president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “The series has long been a fan favorite in Ohio, and its return has been much anticipated since they last ran in 2014. I know all the avid motorcycle fans throughout the Midwest will join me in welcoming the high-speed bikes back to Mid-Ohio next summer.”
Hayes, who has seven AMA Superbike wins at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, is excited to see the series return to the track located just outside the village of Lexington, 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland.
“From the time that I started racing, Mid-Ohio has been an iconic and regular stop on the calendar,” Hayes said. “All of us were sad to see such a cool racetrack not be a part of the series after 2014. The opportunity to bring that racetrack back into the fold is exciting and with any luck I will be back next year to so some more laps around the place myself.”
The entire 2024 MotoAmerica Championship calendar will be released shortly.
Mid Ohio PR
In a country where the IndyCar races echo with a roar, reverberating in the hearts of enthusiasts, the Canadian online casinos are just a little behind in catching the frenzy.
From the bustling streets of Toronto to the quiet corners of British Columbia, people gather physically and virtually, united by the exhilarating experience offered by the amalgamation of IndyCar races and gaming promotions.
But what draws the ardent IndyCar fans to try their luck on online betting platforms, and what attracts the iGaming aficionado to the race tracks?
This article drives you around the fascinating crossroads of speed and strategy, adrenaline and anticipation, as we explore the influence of IndyCar races on Canadian gaming promotions.
Background of IndyCar Racing in Canada
IndyCar races, a type of open-wheel car racing, have roots dating back to the early 1980s in Canada. The Molson Indy Toronto, initiated in 1986, is one such event that brought this high-speed sport to the limelight in the country. Over the years, it carved out a season of speed, etching notable moments in Canadian sports history, including mesmerizing victories and heart-wrenching losses.
Today, the races continue to grip the nation with events such as the Honda Indy Toronto, creating a vibrant and dynamic racing landscape. Circuits like the Streets of Toronto and the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve have become iconic venues, drawing crowds in droves and offering an electric atmosphere filled with excitement and anticipation for race enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
iGaming Promotions in Canada
Parallelly, the gaming landscape in Canada has been flourishing, with the Canadian online casinos spearheading a revolution of sorts in the gambling industry. The early 2000s marked the beginning of this digital transformation, which came with a wave of regulatory relaxations and a boom in online platforms offering various gaming and betting options.
From welcome bonuses to cashback, the promotions offered by gaming platforms are manifold. Leveraging the dynamic and exhilarating backdrop of IndyCar races, they craft promotions that enhance the gaming experience and encourage engagement with the racing events. We now delve into this symbiotic relationship, examining the intersection where speed meets strategy in a game of high stakes on and off the track.
The Intersection of IndyCar Races and iGaming Promotions
Over the years, the intertwining worlds of IndyCar races and iGaming have fostered numerous collaborations and sponsorships. It is not uncommon to see prominent iGaming platforms sponsor racing teams, advertising prominently on the race cars themselves. These partnerships benefit both parties — offering extensive exposure for the gaming platforms while providing the necessary financial backing for the racing teams.
Betting on IndyCar Races
But beyond sponsorships, the iGaming industry has tapped into the very essence of IndyCar races — the exhilaration of speed, the unpredictability of outcomes, and the strategic maneuvers on the racetrack. Today, betting on IndyCar races has become a significant facet of Canadian iGaming promotions.
Betting platforms offer various wagering options, from predicting the race winner to betting on the fastest lap and even the number of pit stops a driver would take. This array of betting avenues enhances the race-viewing experience and opens up a world of opportunities for enthusiasts to engage with the sport at a deeper level, adding a dimension of strategy and foresight to the adrenaline-fueled world of IndyCar racing.
Impact and Influence
The symbiotic relationship between IndyCar races and iGaming has increased audience engagement. Through cross-promotional activities, fans are offered a more immersive experience, blending the thrill of the race with the anticipation of a well-placed bet.
Take, for instance, the ‘Bet and Win’ promotions often seen during race seasons, where fans are encouraged to place bets on their favorite drivers and stand a chance to win exclusive race merchandise or even meet-and-greet opportunities with the racers themselves. This fosters a deeper connection between fans and racers and enhances the overall excitement surrounding the event.
It's undeniable that the collaboration between the worlds of racing and iGaming has created an economic powerhouse. The synergistic relationship has fostered opportunities for monetary growth for both sectors, creating a vibrant ecosystem that reverberates positively throughout the Canadian economy.
Moreover, the economic benefits extend beyond the entities directly involved, creating ripple effects in associated industries such as hospitality, tourism, and media. The blend of sports and gaming entertainment has effectively carved out a niche that is greater than the sum of its parts, promising exciting developments in the future.
Despite the blossoming synergy, it has not been without its challenges. Regulatory hurdles have often stalled the momentum, demanding continuous adaptations and innovations from both the IndyCar and iGaming sectors. The evolving landscape of online betting laws necessitates a careful and well-strategized approach to ensure a sustained and mutually beneficial relationship.
Yet, the sectors have shown resilience, navigating through the challenges with aplomb and forging paths that respect regulatory frameworks while offering exhilarating experiences to their audiences. Although peppered with hurdles, the journey paints a picture of a landscape ripe with potential, gradually steering towards a future of unprecedented growth and opportunities.
The synergy between the IndyCar circuits and the virtual arenas of iGaming platforms brings forth a dynamic playground where adrenaline meets strategy, offering a rich tapestry of thrilling and rewarding experiences.
As we look ahead, one can only anticipate the road unraveling with more collaboration opportunities, nurturing an ecosystem where the love for racing and gaming coalesce, promising an exhilarating journey for enthusiasts and stakeholders alike.
Sexton Gatlin Racing drivers Brent and Grant Sexton will be back on the track for the first time in over a month when they contest the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series Glenn Howard Classic this Saturday, September 23rd at Perris Auto Speedway. It will be their first race since the finale of the POWRi MinKota Summer Nationals at Minnesota’s Buffalo River Speedway on August 14th.
As he has done most of the year, 19-year-old Grant enters the race leading the USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year standings. The teen has steadily climbed the points ladder all year long and comes into Saturday’s race in seventh. The young driver has placed in the top ten four times in 2023. His best outing was a fifth-place result at the Bakersfield Speedway on June 24th. At Perris, a ninth-place finish at the prestigious Salute to Indy on May 27th, has been his best result at the famous Riverside County half-mile clay oval this year. Besides that, the track has been tough on the effervescent teen with a 12th, 15th, 16th, and 19th. He hopes to improve on all of his Perris finishes on Saturday.
Brent, who has been racing at Perris for over 20 years in lightning sprint cars, made his USAC/CRA debut on June 10th. The now 50-year-old shocked everyone by finishing seventh after starting near the back of the pack. His other start in the series came on July 15th at Perris. On that night he started 22nd in the main and moved forward to finish 18th.
In addition to his outings in the USAC/CRA Series, Brent, the defending POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series champion, has a win and a second-place finish in the two POWRi races at the track known as The PAS this year.
This week, Tennessee native Brent will be debuting a new XXX Chassis. In addition, he will be using an ex-Rico Abreau 360 engine that the team just purchased. The same engine is destined to see some action in the USAC West Coast Series with Grant pushing the pedals.
With plans on mostly sticking with USAC/CRA Sprint Cars in 2024, Sexton Gatlin Racing has two, top-of-the-line lightning sprint cars for sale. For prices or information, contact Brent Sexton via the phone number or email at the top of this release.
Spectator gates at Perris will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00 on Saturday. Adult tickets are $30.00. Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00. For kids 6-12 it is just $5.00 and children 5 and under are free. The fairgrounds charges $10.00 for parking. Advance tickets for every regular race at The PAS are available until 7:00 p.m. on race day online at https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7 or by calling 1-800-595-4849. For fans who do not wish to buy advance tickets, there will be plenty available for everyone at the ticket window on Saturday.
Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of the Southern California Fair), one hour east of Los Angeles and one hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, exit on the Ramona Expressway, and go three miles east to the fairgrounds. For directions online, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the zip code is 92571.
Sexton Gatlin Racing would like to thank the following companies for making the 2022 season possible. Keys Brothers, East County Electric Works, Maxima Oil, Automated Interiors, Sexton Fire Protection, BK Wings, Troy Dirt, Victory Graphix, and Swift Powdercoat.