Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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No. 99 CommScope Chevrolet driver Daniel Suárez is a little more excited than normal for this weekend's visit to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Not only will the NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday and Sunday in the season's only scheduled doubleheader, but the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track is one of his favorites.

Suárez's first of two career poles came at Pocono in July 2018, the same weekend he finished in second-place for his best career finish.

He also owns three top-10 finishes.

He will call on that experience this weekend because drivers and teams will start Saturday's and Sunday's races with no practice or qualifying.

Suárez arrives in Pocono after a seventh-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway. It was his second best finish of the season.

NBCSN will broadcast Saturday's race at 3 p.m. and Sunday's race at 3:30 p.m.

Trackhouse Racing PR

When the NASCAR Cup Series returns to Kansas Speedway October 24 for the second race in the round of eight, many drivers will be looking to grab the spotlight as the season winds down.
 
Spire Motorsports announced today that Circle B Diecast will be the primary sponsor on Corey LaJoie’s No.7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in the Hollywood Casino 400.
 
LaJoie's car will feature a throwback paint scheme paying tribute to the 1983 film “Stroker Ace” starring Burt Reynolds, who plays a NASCAR driver at odds with his unscrupulous car owner. Reynolds was joined by Jim Neighbors, Ned Beatty, Loni Anderson and Bubba Smith in the 1983 comedy directed by Hal Needham.
 
“We have worked with Corey for years and have enjoyed being a part of his career,” said Brent Powell, President of Circle B Diecast. “Having sponsored both of his races at Kansas last year, when it was announced that he would be joining Spire for 2021, we knew we wanted to be a part of it.
 
“When thinking about schemes for the No.7 we wanted to come up with something fans would enjoy.  As a teenager in the 1980s, Stroker Ace was always a favorite of mine. The team at Spire really knocked this scheme out of the park, and we really hope the fans enjoy it!”
 
LaJoie currently sits 29th in the Cup Series standings following a 15th-place finish in Sunday’s Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. The spirited effort was LaJoie’s fourth consecutive top-20 finish. 
 
In nine previous Cup Series starts at the Kansas City (Kan.) oval, LaJoie has logged four top-25 finishes, including a career-best 21st-place effort in July 2020. The Concord, N.C., native also has one NASCAR Xfinity Series’ and one ARCA Menards Series’ start at Kansas Speedway, dating back to 2011. 
 
“As one of my all-time favorite movies, it’s pretty cool Circle B Diecast has come up with a paint scheme to honor ‘Stroker Ace’,” said LaJoie. “Ned Beatty, who played Clyde Torkle in the film, passed away recently and had a terrific career. This is a great opportunity to honor not just Ned, but also Hal Needham, Burt Reynolds, Jim Neighbors, Loni Anderson and Bubba Smith. I’m really looking forward to giving Brent and Ladonna’s Circle B Diecast Special a good run when we get back to Kansas in October. And remember, Circle B Diecast has the fastest shipping in the south!”

Spire Motorsports PR

The Report on 'Rowdy':
 
  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch will make his fifth and final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of 2021 behind the wheel of the No. 51 Cessna Tundra at Pocono Raceway. ‘Rowdy’ picked up his 61st career victory in May at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in his most recent start and also was victorious at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., in March. In his other two starts, Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and Richmond (Va.) Raceway, he finished runner-up to Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) driver John Hunter Nemechek.
 
  • Busch, the winningest driver in series history, enters Saturday’s event having won 38.3% (61/159) of the Truck Series races he has entered and finished first or second in 56.6% (90/159). Since the start of the 2018 season, ‘Rowdy’ has finished first (12) or second (five) in 17 of 19 Truck Series starts, resulting in average finish of 3.37 over that span.
 
  • The 36-year-old driver has two wins (2015 and 2018), three top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 7.3 across four Camping World Trucks starts at Pocono. In addition to his pair of truck wins, Busch has three NASCAR Cup Series victories (2017, 2018 and 2019) and one NASCAR Xfinity Series triumph (2018).
 
  • After 12 events, the No. 51 sits fourth in the Camping World Truck Series owner standings, 126 tallies behind KBM’s No. 4 team. With four races remaining in the regular season, they are 88 points above the cutoff line for making the owner’s portion of the Truck Series playoffs. The No. 51 team ranks second in the series with three victories. Busch collected victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, while Martin Truex Jr. picked up first-ever Truck Series victory at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
 
  • Mardy Lindley is in his first season as a crew chief at KBM. Before arriving at KBM, Lindley guided his drivers to 32 wins and four ARCA Menards Series East championships since 2013, including back-to-back titles with Sam Mayer the last two seasons. Additionally, he earned the ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown championship with Mayer in 2020. Behind the wheel, the second-generation driver won 11 races on the Pro Cup Series from 2000 to 2006 and was crowned the series champion in 2001. Lindley was atop the pit box for one ARCA Menards Series event at Pocono, a third-place finish with Sam Mayer last June.
 
  • Since Textron Aviation became a partner in 2017, Busch has recorded 14 victories, 1,553 laps led and an average finish of 5.0 in 24 starts with the Cessna and Beechcraft brands adorning his Tundra.
 
  • For more than 90 years, Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has empowered our collective talent across the Beechcraft, Cessna, and Hawker brands to design and deliver the best aviation experience for our customers. With a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products, Textron Aviation has the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolio in the world and a workforce that has produced more than half of all general aviation aircraft worldwide. Customers in more than 170 countries rely on our legendary performance, reliability, and versatility, along with our trusted global customer service network, for affordable and flexible flight. For more information, visit www.txtav.com
 
  • Rowdy Energy, the enhanced hydration formula energy drink created by Busch, and vendor partner Gopuff will adorn the bedtop of the No. 51 Tundra for Saturday’s race. Gopuff is the go-to solution for consumers’ everyday needs, fulfilling customer orders of cleaning and home products, over-the-counter medications, baby and pet products, food, drinks, and in some markets, alcohol - in just minutes. Gopuff currently carries two flavors of Rowdy Energy; Strawberry Lemonade and Chisled Ice. The company operates in more than 650 U.S. cities, to see if Gopuff delivers in your area, go to https://gopuff.com/go/delivery/cities
 
Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A:
 
You have 12 wins and 17 top-two finishes across your last 19 Truck Series starts. How tough is that to accomplish at any level of motorsports?
“Good numbers are good numbers and bad numbers are bad numbers. It feels good. Obviously, it’s a testament to what we’re doing. How many of those slipped through our fingers and could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been wins? Overall, that’s pretty awesome. I feel like it justifies what I’ve been telling people all along – KBM is a great place to race, we’ve got good stuff, we’ve got great people and John Hunter being able to add into our win total this year already and have good, solid top-five finishes is nice as well.”
 
How has the success of John Hunter Nemechek and Eric Phillips matched up with your expectations of them coming into the season?
“It’s matched up really well. Did I expect them to do what they’ve been doing? Absolutely. This was kind of the idea and the reason why we did what we did. Did I think they would have this many Playoff points by this point? Probably not that, but did I think that they would have three wins? Certainly. Did I think they would beat me twice? No. So we’ve got one more, I told them don’t screw it up. I got to win Pocono and then he can have the rest of the year. It’s all his.” 
 
Kyle Busch Camping World Truck Series Career Highlights:
 
  • Busch has a total of 159 Camping World Trucks starts and is ranked first all-time in wins (61) and average finish (6.7)
  • The 36-year-old driver has won 38.4% (61/159) of the NCWTS races he has entered and finished first or second in 56.6% (90/159).
  • Busch has a total of 106 top-five and 127 top-10 finishes.
  • Busch stands alone as the leader in all-time career wins in NASCAR’s national touring series with 219 total victories. He has earned 58 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 100 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins, and 61 NCWTS wins.
  • In August of 2010, Busch made history when he won the NCWTS, NXS and NCS races at Bristol Motor Speedway, becoming the only driver to sweep all three of NASCAR’s top three series at one track on the same weekend. He then repeated the feat in August of 2017.
 
Kyle Busch's No. 51 Cessna Tundra:
 
KBM-054: The No. 51 Cessna team will race KBM-054 for Saturday’s CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono Raceway. Busch has won both of his starts driving this Tundra, including its maiden voyage at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. in July of 2018. Rowdy was victorious with it again in his most recent Camping World Trucks outing this year in May at Kansas Speedway.
 
 
 
KBM Notes of Interest:
 
  • Across 26 starts at Pocono Raceway, KBM drivers have earned five wins, two poles, 244 laps led, 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 8.1 and an average finish of 9.1.
  • Brandon Jones picked up his first career Truck Series victory in last year’s race. Busch won in 2015 and 2018, William Byron was victorious in 2016, and Christopher Bell brought home the hardware in 2017.
  • KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (87) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Martin Truex Jr. became the 16th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner's Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
  • With 37 victories, the No. 51 is the winningest number in KBM’s Truck Series fleet.

KBM PR

NBC Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series’ return to Nashville and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES at Road America delivered viewership milestones on Saturday and Sunday on NBCSN.

NASCAR

  • NBC Sports began its coverage of the 2021 NASCAR season with the Cup Series’ return to Nashville. Sunday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway (4:02-7:40 p.m. ET) averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 2.619 million viewers, up 8% vs. the last time NBC Sports’ season coverage opened in June (Chicagoland, 2.428 million TAD).
  • Viewership was up 22% compared to last year’s weekend Cup Series average viewership on NBCSN (2.152 million viewers TAD).
  • NBCSN ranked as the No. 1 cable network across all key demos during the race window.
  • Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway on NBCSN (3:50-6:13 p.m. ET) produced a TAD of 1.069 million viewers, up 30% and 26% vs. NBCSN’s average Xfinity Series viewership in 2020 and 2019, respectively. This ranks as NBCSN’s most-watched Xfinity Series race since Homestead in 2019 (1.211 million TAD).

 

NTT INDYCAR SERIES

  • Sunday’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES REV Group Grand Prix at Road America produced a TAD of 807,000 viewers, making it the most-watched INDYCAR race on cable since Mid-Ohio in 2016 (NBCSN/CNBC simulcast, 934,000 TAD).
  • Overall, Sunday’s race is NBCSN’s third most-watched INDYCAR race on record, behind Mid-Ohio in 2016 and the championship race at Sonoma in 2015.
  • NBC Sports is off to its best-ever season of INDYCAR viewership on NBCSN, averaging a TAD of 530,000 viewers across the first three races, up 59% vs. 2020 and 38% vs. 2019.

 

NBC Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series continues this weekend from Pocono Raceway on NBCSN, while the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to action as part of a motorsports Fourth of July weekend celebration live on NBC that will feature both INDYCAR at Mid-Ohio and the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series at Road America.

NTT IndyCar Series PR

Five races down, 30 to go. Week Two of the 2021 DIRTcar Summer Nationals and Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals hits five tracks in five nights, starting Wednesday night, June 23, at the quarter-mile bullring of LaSalle Speedway.

 

With last Sunday’s event at Plymouth Speedway lost to rain, Bobby Pierce, of Oakwood, IL, has clinched the Week #1 championship and the first $2,000 weekly points fund check of the season. The three-time Hell Tour champion is scheduled to race most of Week #2 and will carry a 15-point lead into Wednesday night.

 

Nick Hoffman carries a 125-point lead into Week #2 of DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals action on the back of five consecutive wins in five starts. The rest of the UMP Modified world will attempt to stop his run, going up against the three-time champion Wednesday night at LaSalle – a place where he won last year.

 

Week #2 Schedule

Wednesday, June 23 | LaSalle Speedway | LaSalle, IL

Thursday, June 24 | Spoon River Speedway | Canton, IL

Friday, June 25 | Sycamore Speedway | Maple Park, IL

Saturday, June 26 | Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, MO

Sunday, June 27 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, IL

 

If you can’t get in on the action at the racetrack, watch every lap of competition live from wherever you are on DIRTVision presented by Drydene. Monthly or yearly FAST PASS subscriptions are available.

 

Here are the storylines to follow and drivers to watch for this week…

 

TIRE RULE AMENDMENT – With the current shortage of Hoosier Racing Tires, a temporary tire rule has been implemented.

 

All Late Model teams competing in this week’s races will be required to run Hoosier LM20 tires on the left-front, right-front and left-rear corners with an LM40 on the right-rear. Each driver will be given a receipt at the registration table, which can be redeemed at the tire truck for a set number of tires each day.

 

The number of tires that a team is allowed to purchase may fluctuate daily, depending on the inventory of the dealer at each track.

 

BABB IS BACK – Fairbury Speedway witnessed a real treat last Saturday night, watching four-time champion Shannon Babb climb through the top-10 en route to his 99th career Summer Nationals victory and first since June of 2019.

 

It was only his second appearance with the tour this season, but he’s got more going on his plate this week. Babb, of Moweaqua, IL, has the first four races of Week #2 on his schedule and has won a Summer Nationals race at all of them.

 

He’s now shooting for career Hell Tour victory #100, which, if achieved, would tie him with six-time champion Billy Moyer for #1 on the all-time wins list. Armed with his Team Zero Race Car and a ton of experience on each of the tracks he faces this week, Babb and his crew have a great shot ahead of them this week to make history.

 

SUMMIT MOD STREAK – Five tracks. Five wins. All 130 Feature laps led. Nick Hoffman is on one of the most dominant winning streaks the Dirt Modified world has seen in the past several seasons.

 

This Wednesday, he looks to make it six-in-a-row at LaSalle – the site of one of his 13 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature wins last year. He escaped the clutches of his biggest competition this past week in the six-time champion Mike Harrison, who chased him down both Friday and Saturday night but was unable to catch the Elite Chassis #2.

 

Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, is now only nine wins away from tying Harrison for most Summit Modified wins all-time at 52. He’s also chasing his own single-season wins record of 13, which he set in 2019, and is well on his way to breaking it with only nine more wins required over the next 30 races.

 

POINTS BATTLE – Through the first five races, it’s been a close points battle between Bobby Pierce and Tanner English.

 

Pierce has led since the start, winning the first two races at Brownstown Speedway and Peoria Speedway. But English has kept pace with five-straight top-five finishes and a win Friday night at Tri-City Speedway – the second of his Summer Nationals career.

 

Fifteen points is now all that separates the two young guns. Pierce, a three-time champion, has 39 Summer Nationals wins in his career, while English, of Benton, KY, looks for #3 this week.

 

SQUIRREL STILL SEARCHING – With four top-10 finishes in five starts last week, defending Summer Nationals champion Brian Shirley has yet to reach Victory Lane, but has been building momentum.

 

After being disqualified on Thursday night at Kankakee County Speedway for failing to report to the scales after the checkered, Shirley, of Chatham, IL, and the Bob Cullen Racing team regrouped the next day at Tri-City Speedway and earned one of their best finishes of the week – a third-place to Tanner English and Bobby Pierce.

 

Squirrel comes into Week #2 sitting 81 points back of leader Bobby Pierce in the championship standings. He’s the defending winner at LaSalle and also had some success there earlier this year – leading over half of the Thaw Brawl DIRTcar Late Model special in May.

 

DIRTcar Series PR

Eric Winslow’s road to success has been a long one. Sure, there has been some success for the Pelham, North Carolina resident along the way in both Late Model Stock Car Division and Limited Sportsman Division competition. Only over the course of the last two to three years has that success been more sustained.

Winslow drove to victory in South Boston Speedway’s pre-Fourth of July 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division event in 2019. It was Winslow’s only victory among his five Top-Five finishes at South Boston Speedway that season. The 28 laps he led in that race were the only laps he led in his six starts at “America’s Hometown Track” that year.

Winslow will have an opportunity to back up his 2019 pre-Fourth of July race victory when South Boston Speedway hosts its biggest event of the season, the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 Presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort racing program on Saturday night, July 3.

Based on his record at South Boston Speedway this season, Winslow could be considered as one of the top contenders entering the 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race that will be part of this year’s pre-Fourth of July event.

Thus far in 2021, Winslow has won two of his four starts in the Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway, has finished in the Top Five in all four starts, and has led 77 laps, more than double what he tallied at South Boston Speedway in 2019.

“It’s been year-after-year trying to make this happen, and this year it has just clicked,” Winslow pointed out.

“I couldn’t do it without everybody that helps me. It’s not just me. I couldn’t do it without the help.”

Winslow pointed out that while he is running a limited schedule of races at South Boston Speedway this season, he is well-prepared when he shows up at the track.

“We’re not running a lot of races, but the races we’re running we’re trying to come fully loaded to win,” said Winslow.

“I’ve raced here at South Boston a lot of years running junk and it is so nice to be in good equipment now. I’ve been able to drive some of Matt Bowling’s cars and some of Peyton Sellers’ cars. I always knew I had the ability, but I needed to figure out a way to get the funding to do it.”

Winslow points out that being able to win races and be successful at South Boston Speedway is special.

“I’ve had good years at other places,” he noted.

“I won three or four races at Wake County Speedway in North Carolina a couple of years ago and a championship. I wanted to win here at South Boston Speedway. This is home to me.”

The North Carolina resident credits changes made to South Boston Speedway’s Limited Sportsman Division rules package as part of his ability to succeed at the .4-mile oval.

“The Limited Sportsman rules package they came up with this year is a great opportunity for me,” Winslow said.

“The rules get the expense down a little bit, get some of the knowledge with the bump stops gone and gets it back to old school racing where driving matters. It’s a big feather in our hat to win and make it happen at South Boston Speedway.”

The July 3 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 Presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort racing program is the biggest event of the season at South Boston Speedway. A 200-lap race for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division competitors, the first race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown series, headlines the action.

A 50-lap race for the Limited Sportsman Division, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets Division will round out the night’s racing action.

The July 3 Thunder Road Harley-Davidson 200 Presented by Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort racing program will conclude South Boston Speedway’s Celebrate America Campaign. There will be patriotic pre-race ceremonies and fans will be treated to a dazzling Fourth of July fireworks show following the conclusion of the night’s final race.

Fans will also be treated to a pre-race driver autograph session on the track at 5:15 p.m., giving them the opportunity to meet the drivers and get an up-close look at the cars that will be in action during the event.  

Grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. and qualifying will begin at 4:30 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies will start at 6:35 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.

Advance adult general admission tickets for the July 3 event are priced at $15 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, through Friday night, July 2.

Adult general admission tickets at the gate on race day are priced at $20 each. Kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Seniors ages 65 and older, military personnel, first responders, healthcare workers and students, with ID, will be admitted for $15 on race day.

The latest news and updates about South Boston Speedway and its racing events can be found on the South Boston Speedway website and through the speedway’s social media channels.

SBS PR

Through the first 8 weeks of the 2021 season at Stafford Motor Speedway, drivers in the track’s premier SK Modified® division have been paid out over $115,000 in purse and contingency awards.  35 different drivers have each taken home a share of over $107,000 in purse money and over $8,000 in contingency awards.  Stafford’s contingency partners for the 2021 season include NAPA Auto Parts, TickMike.com, Maybury Material Handling, North East Race Cars, Manley Performance Parts, North American Motor Car, New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand, and FloRacing.

“The SK’s are definitely in a good place,” said Stephen Kopcik, driver of the #21 AirGas sponsored SK Modified®.  “The championship this year will pay $5,000 to win.  That kind of money is awesome.  It takes a lot to do what we do and the track makes sure it takes really good care of us as drivers.  It’s great to have the marketing partners that the track does with the SK Modified® division and hopefully it can continue to keep growing year after year.”

“Stafford does a lot with the contingency program,” said Michael Christopher, Jr., driver of the #82 Eastport Feeds / PT Watts SK Modified®.  “Usually if you get a top-5 finish, you leave the track with a gain on the night and if you can win a race, it’s even better.  It’s thanks to FloRacing, NAPA, Sunoco, Maybury, and all the companies who pay out bonus money for us. Shout out to them and a shout out to Stafford for getting those partners on board so we can have some pretty nice bonuses to go racing for.”

Christopher was the winner of the June 12 TickMike.com SK Modified® All-Star Shoot Out, which paid $4,000 for the win.  Christopher also won stage 2 of the All-Star race to win a $1,000 bonus which brought his total winnings to $5,000.  That winner’s check will be second to only this Friday night’s NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k winner, who will take home over $5,000 in purse and contingency bonuses.

“[The All-Star Race] was pretty awesome,” said Christopher.  “Obviously it was a lot of money to win and we race for money but we don’t really race to make money, we race to put on a show.  For local short track racing, it is pretty awesome to have the TickMike.com All-Star race as well as the NAPA SK 5k that pays out $5,000 to win on the schedule.”

In 6 career NAPA SK 5k starts, Christopher has posted 3 top-5 finishes, including a career best finish of 3rd last season.  Christopher will be looking to add a second $5,000 payday to his 2021 resume and he is looking forward to the 100-lap extra distance NAPA SK 5k.

“I feel like I’m more suited to longer distance races so hopefully we can come out of that race with another big paycheck,” said Christopher.

The 8th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K is set for this Friday, June 25.  Tickets for the NAPA SK 5K are available online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and will also be available at the gates day of show.  General Admission tickets are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2021 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license.  If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Stafford Speedway PR

Break out the calendar, a new date for the Horsepower 100 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway has been established. Super DIRTcar and Albany-Saratoga Speedway officials have rescheduled the event (originally scheduled for June 22) for Tuesday, July 13, to bring the Big Blocks back to the famous Malta, NY race track. 

The stars and cars of the Super DIRTcar Series will need to top the hometown heroes of Kenny Tremont Jr., Marc Johnson and more to claim the $7,500 top prize.

"In looking at the schedules, Lyle Devore, promoter of Albany-Saratoga Speedway and I were fortunate to find a rain date to bring back the Horsepower 100 in rapid time,” Super DIRTcar Series Director Dean Reynolds said. "The Eastern Part of NY has always been popular with big blocks and several series followers call Albany-Saratoga home. So we are glad we can still give them a show."

Series star Jack Lehner won his first Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship DIRTcar Big Block Feature last Friday night. He’ll look to keep that momentum going on July 13. 

Mike Mahaney was the 2020 Albany-Saratoga Speedway track champion but he’s still looking for his first Series win. Is July 13 the day?

Matt Sheppard, Billy Decker, Jimmy Phelps, and the rest of the elite Super DIRTcar Series drivers will be eager to claim a key win at the Horsepower 100. 

Follow long for news and more on SuperDIRTcarSeries.com and on social media.

Super DIRTcar Series PR

Notes of Interest

 

●  History at Pocono: Almirola will make his 18th start in the NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway this weekend. Almirola will race for his third consecutive top-five finish at Pocono. Last year, the Smithfield Ford driver earned third- and fifth-place finishes, respectively, to add to his four career top-10s at the 2.5-mile triangle.

 

●  Almirola has one start at the “Tricky Triangle” in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in June 2016, which resulted in an 11th-place finish. He’s also made one start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in July 2010 and earned a fourth-place finish.

  

●  Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz grew up just 25 miles south of Pocono Raceway in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. In 10 starts at his home track, he’s earned an impressive four top-five finishes. Only three of his finishes were outside of the top-11.

 

●  At last weekend’s inaugural Cup Series race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Almirola won the pole position and raced to a fourth-place finish. It was his best performance of 2021 and his first top-five.

 

●  Almirola’s season has been mired by bad luck and unfortunate finishes. The Tampa, Florida, native started the year off with a win in his Duel qualifying race to start on the front row of the Daytona 500. Since then, Almirola has been dealt five DNF’s (did not finish) due to contact by other cars, cut tires, or involvement in multicar accidents. In 17 races, he has two top-10 finishes and one top-five. However, his luck seemed to turn around when he won the All-Star Open two weekends ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He went on to finish eighth in the All-Star Race. With another solid result at Nashville, Almirola and the No. 10 team feel they are gaining momentum quickly. 

 

●  Almirola’s 2020 season proved successful when he earned a career-high 18 top-10 finishes, six top-fives and led 305 laps. During the season, Almirola went on a five-race streak of top-five finishes and earned nine consecutive top-10s. 

 

●  Career Stats: Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 25 top-five finishes, 81 top-10s and 843 laps led in 369 NASCAR Cup Series starts.

 

●  Smithfield Foods celebrates 10 years of partnership with Almirola this season with a special campaign called Taste Victory.As one of the most active partners in NASCAR, Smithfield plans to engage fans all year long by hosting a microsite that provides the opportunity to win when Almirola wins or finishes inside the top-10. When Almirola wins, one fan wins $10,000, and 10 fans win a gift card for each top-10 finish. The microsite also doubles as an Aric Almirola fan page and entertainment source where fans can get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with a custom racing game, and learn more about Almirola with fast facts, favorite recipes and custom content about his life on and off the track. Visit www.tastevictory.com to learn more. Thanks to Almirola’s Feb. 11 win in his Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500, one lucky fan has already won $10,000. 

 

●  Beyond the 10 YouTube Series: In 2021, Almirola continues to share his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and it gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.

 

●  After the season’s first 16 points-paying events, the Smithfield Ford team sits 28th in the championship with 240 points, 444 behind leader Denny Hamlin. 

 

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

All four Stewart-Haas Racing cars finished in the top-12 at Nashville. What does this say about the organization’s progress?

 

“It means we’re working hard. We’ve had a lot of races where the No. 4 has been a 10th-place car and the other three of us have run 25th, it seems like, so we’ve been working hard. When you run bad, it’s 10 times as much work because you’re going down every single different avenue trying to figure out what’s going to make speed in the racecars, and when you have fast racecars it’s easy because you just massage on it and polish it and keep going to the racetrack with what you know is fast. We’ve been working so hard. I’m proud of everybody back at the shop and specifically this No. 10 Smithfield team. We’ve been off and it’s been nice to get it back and go on here in the right direction after two weeks in a row of running up front.”

 

What does this do for your confidence level after such a challenging first half of the season?

 

“It just feels good. It’s been such a tough year and it’s easy to get down on yourself and not have a lot of confidence. Confidence is something that comes with results. You can’t fake it, so it’s been nice to have two good weeks now and it certainly makes everybody have a little pep in their step and things are going in the right direction.”

 

What are your thoughts on bringing this momentum to Pocono? Is it a good track to bring momentum to for you? 

 

“Basing off of last year’s performance, you almost can’t think of a better track to come to than Pocono after finding speed the last few weekends. Last year, we had such an incredible run at Pocono on back-to-back days. Pocono is historically a track I wasn’t super confident in and now I’m heading there with a completely different mindset. We don’t have practice or qualifying, so we’ll have to unload fast again but, after finishing well at Nashville, we’ll have a better starting spot than in recent weeks, which will give us an opportunity to massage the car in cleaner air and see what we’ve got. I’d say Pocono is a great place for us to bring this momentum.” 

 

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