Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Jeff Gordon, the four-time NASCAR champion, television broadcaster and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, has been named vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports, which will make him the second-ranking team official to chairman and majority owner Rick Hendrick.

As vice chairman and co-owner, Gordon will maintain a daily presence at Hendrick Motorsports with a focus on the organization’s competition and marketing groups. The Vallejo, California, native will report to Hendrick and work alongside president Marshall Carlson and general manager Jeff Andrews. In addition, he will join Hendrick on NASCAR’s team owner council and assume Hendrick Motorsports’ seat on the sanctioning body’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.

Gordon, 49, will formally assume the strategic executive management role on Jan. 1, 2022.

“I cannot put into words what Hendrick Motorsports means to me,” Gordon said. “In many ways, it’s my home and the people here are my family. I’ve never lost my passion for the organization, for our sport, and for the sheer challenge of racing and winning at the highest level. Being part of the competition is where I’m happiest and feel I can make the biggest contribution to the continued, long-term success of the team. Rick and I have a shared vision, which is based on the values he’s instilled, the culture he’s built and our desire to be the very best in all categories, on and off the track.”

In October 1999, Gordon became an equity owner of Hendrick Motorsports. He remains Hendrick’s only partner in the 13-time NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning organization, for which Gordon won 93 races and four titles as a driver from 1992 until his retirement from full-time racing in 2015.

“Jeff and I have talked about this for many years, and I feel it’s a natural evolution for him and our company,” said Hendrick, 71, who is also chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “I’ve always been impressed with his business instincts. On some level, he’s been involved in every major decision we’ve made over the last two decades, and his influence has continued to grow since he stopped driving. He understands our culture, our values, and the importance we place on our people and our partnerships.

“I love racing and competing, and Jeff is the only person I know who hates to lose as much as I do. I feel great physically and have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon, which is exactly why it’s the right time. In the years to come, I couldn’t be more energized about working arm-in-arm with him and cementing the future of Hendrick Motorsports together.”

Gordon joined FOX Sports as an analyst in 2016 and has been a mainstay of its NASCAR Cup Series race telecasts and other programming. He will continue to work as a FOX broadcaster through the end of the 2021 calendar year.

“I cannot thank the entire FOX Sports family enough for the incredible opportunity I’ve had over the past six seasons,” Gordon said. “I’ve come to truly appreciate the responsibility of bringing the sport to our fans and the tremendous work that goes into our broadcasts each and every week. I’m certainly going to miss it, but I will forever be grateful to FOX for the experience and for the trust they’ve placed in me. It’s been a privilege to work with such a talented group of people.”

HMS PR

2021 Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will sit down for a one-on-one interview with former Indianapolis Colts All-Pro punter Pat McAfee for a special “virtual” SiriusXM Town Hall event with an audience of SiriusXM listeners and race fans.

The hour-long broadcast event will air on Thursday, June 24 (6:00 pm ET) on SiriusXM’s NBC Sports Audio channel, available to subscribers nationwide in their car (SiriusXM channel 211) and on their phone and connected devices at home with the SXM App.  It will replay on Sunday, July 4 (11:00 am ET) on SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation (channel 205 in the car and on the SXM App), ahead of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race.  Subscribers can also hear the show anytime after the debut on the SXM App.

On May 30, 2021 Castroneves, driving for Meyer Shank Racing, won his fourth career Indianapolis 500, making him part of an exclusive club of four-time winners which includes open-wheel legends A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.  Annually the biggest event on the INDYCAR calendar, this year’s race set a record as the fastest Indianapolis 500 ever.  It was also the first NTT INDYCAR® SERIES win for Meyer Shank Racing.

Pat McAfee, who since his retirement in 2017 from his NFL career has become one of sports media’s most popular and compelling personalities, made SiriusXM the exclusive radio home of his daily show last fall.  The Pat McAfee Show airs every weekday from noon to 3:00 pm ET, live from Indianapolis, on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel.

“I’m so excited to join SiriusXM for its Town Hall event this week,” said Castroneves. “This Indianapolis 500 win was so different from the rest and in many ways meant a lot more and I couldn’t have done it without the support of SiriusXM and AutoNation. The race was the largest sporting event since the pandemic and to do it with Meyer Shank Racing was a dream come true. Now, I can’t wait to celebrate with SiriusXM fans and subscribers!”

“I’m pumped for the opportunity to be leading this free flowing chat with Helio, a certified legend in the racing world, who’s fourth Indy 500 Celebratory Milk Moment cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of all time,” said McAfee.  “Should be an absolute blast!”

SiriusXM has been a sponsor of Meyer Shank Racing since their INDYCAR debut in the 2017 Indianapolis 500.  The company has been on the No. 60 car driven by Jack Harvey every season since that time, including for Harvey’s breakout INDYCAR podium finish in 2018.  The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 was Castroneves’ first of six races with MSR.  While SiriusXM will continue to be a co-primary sponsor on the No. 60 car, SiriusXM is also sponsoring Castroneves’ No. 06 car in two additional races – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course race on August 14, and the Grand Prix of Portland on September 12.

SXM PR

NASCAR driver Joe Graf Jr.is adding his fourth new marketing partner to his sophomore season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with the addition of PowerWeld as the primary partner of his No. 07 Chevrolet Camaro for the upcoming race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21, 2021.

PowerWeld is a leading brand in the industrial welding products market across North America. Its core areas of focus include welding filler metals, arc, MIG and TIG welding accessories and equipment, gas welding and cutting accessories and equipment, and welding safety.

PowerWeld products are designed to withstand the daily rigors of industrial applications, including manufacturing, metalworking, oil and gas, construction, fabrication, shipyards, automotive repair, and more.

PowerWeld products are available at quality distributors and retailers in the United States and Canada.

“It’s awesome to welcome another new marketing partner to the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” said Graf Jr. “I cannot thank PowerWeld enough for not only believing in me but our program and expanding their marketing horizons.

“Michigan International Speedway is one of the fastest venues we race at in North America and I hope we are able to deliver PowerWeld a strong finish in their primary partnership debut.”

In addition to Michigan, PowerWeld will be an associate marketing partner on Graf’s No. 07 SS GreenLight Racing Chevrolet for the remainder of the Xfinity Series season.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Joe Graf Jr. and the SS GreenLight Racing team,” said PowerWeld manager Jeff Sinchak. “We know Joe and his team work hard on the track and in the garage and PowerWeld products work just as hard for welders across North America, so we couldn’t be happier to support them.

“It’s a thrill to join the NASCAR community and to be with Joe and his team throughout the remainder of the NASCAR Xfinity season.”

For more on Joe Graf Jr. visit JoeGrafRacing.com, like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.), follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and Instagram (@joegrafjr).

Visit PowerWeldinc.com to explore the full range of PowerWeld products.

The New Holland 250 is set for Saturday, Aug 21, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. live on NBCSN, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. All times are local (ET). About PowerWeld:

PowerWeld is a leading brand in the industrial welding products market across North America. Its core areas of focus include welding filler metals, arc, MIG and TIG welding accessories and equipment, gas welding and cutting accessories and equipment, and welding safety.

PowerWeld products are designed to withstand the daily rigors of industrial applications, including manufacturing, metalworking, oil and gas, construction, fabrication, shipyards, automotive repair, and more.

PowerWeld products are available at quality distributors and retailers in the United States and Canada.

Joe Graf Jr. PR

Perhaps one of the hottest names in the NASCAR garage right now is all-time CARS Late Model Stock Tour winner, Josh Berry. The late model driver, who has been competing for multiple years behind the wheel of a Late Model Stock for team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., finally got his big break to compete in the Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports in 2021.

Berry, the short track racer, made the most of the opportunity and scored his first NASCAR national series win at the half-mile track that is Martinsville Speedway on April 9th. The win couldn’t have come at a more perfect place. Martinsville hosts the largest attended Late Model Stock Car race annually, a race Berry won in 2019 which was the last time the race was held. 

Now Berry will turn his attention to winning at another short track.

The Mooresville, North Carolina driver will pilot the #96 Highlands Motorsports Super Late Model entry on July 3rd in the CARS Tour “American Freedom 300” at Jennerstown Speedway Complex in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania.

Berry and his team will compete in the series largest Super Late Model event of the season which will award $20,000 to the race winner. Super Late Model competitors will arrive from the west coast to the East coast. California competitor Jeremy Doss, along with eastern seaboard of New Hampshire competitor Derek Griffith, will be attendance. The diversity and talent level that will assemble for the 200 lap race will be just as tough - if not tougher to win than that of a NASCAR race, according to Berry.

“There’s no question about the talent that will be in the field for this race. I’ve raced against some strong fields with the CARS Tour Late Model Stocks, and this super field that will be at Jennerstown stacks up with one of the best. Racing at the short track level is hard to win races, especially when you show up to a big event like this one. I wouldn’t say one is harder than the other because each race presents its own challenges, but I know with this one I’ll have my work cut out for me if I’m going to run up front.”

Even though Berry holds the record for most all-time wins, monies earned, and poles in the Late Model Stock Car division, the Mooresville, North Carolina driver has made just three starts behind the wheel of a Super Late Model.

According to Berry, the lack of seat time behind the wheel of a Super Late Model doesn’t affect his chances of going up against a plethora of the best Super Late Model drivers in the country at a track he’s never even seen.

“Super Late Model racing is not something I have a lot of experience in, but I’m excited for the challenge. I’ve adapted to racing at a lot of tracks I haven’t seen this season, whether it was Daytona, or coming to a place like Jennerstown. I like our chances come July 3rd. I think we’ve got good team, and we plan on doing some testing beforehand, so I’m looking forward to getting back short track racing with these guys,” explained Berry.

Tickets for the American Freedom 300 at Jennerstown Speedway Complex are currently on sale by visiting www.carsracingtour.com. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate for adults thirteen and older. Fans can also take advantage of a ticket and event t-shirt combo for just $35 in advance only.

For those that cannot make it to see the event in person can always watch the live broadcast produced by our partners at Pit Row Media. For more information on the live broadcast, visit www.carstour.tv.

For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour, visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212. 

CARS PR

Neme'chek' the Facts:
 
  • John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Power Up team head into Pocono Raceway for the CRC Brakleen 150. So far in 2021, Nemechek leads the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series in wins (four), stage wins (eight), top fives (seven), and laps led (473). Nemechek continues to lead Ben Rhodes by 70 point standings.
 
  • Nemechek will be looking to accomplish Saturday what he has done twice already this season, beat KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch head-to-head. Nemechek bested his boss at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March and at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. Busch finished second to his pupil in both of those events. Busch was victorious at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in March and Kansas Speedway in May. Saturday’s 60-lap event at Pocono will be Busch’s fifth and final Truck Series start of 2021.
 
  • Across three career Camping World Trucks starts at The Tricky Triangle, Nemechek has collected one top five, two top 10s, nine laps led and an average finish of 8.7. Across two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, Nemechek has a best finish of seventh and an average finish of 9.5. Across two NASCAR Cup Series starts in 2020, Nemechek’s best finish was 19th.
 
  • Nemechek is a 10-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, and returning to victory lane this year with KBM. Across 114 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 1082 laps led, 35 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.6. The North Carolina native qualified for the Camping World Truck Series playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017. He was voted the series most popular driver in 2015.
 
  • Eric Phillips returns to KBM to lead the No. 4 team this season. Phillips led the No. 18 team at KBM in its debut season in 2010 and helped build the organization into one of the premier teams in all of NASCAR before departing at the end of the 2014 season. Under his guidance, the No. 18 team won eight races in its inaugural campaign and became the first team in Truck Series history to capture an owner’s championship in its first season of competition. In 2014, the Illinois native led the No. 51 team to an owner’s championship and his team’s 10 wins spearheaded KBM to a single-season Truck Series record of 14 wins. His 41 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 31 of those coming while at KBM. Across four starts at Pocono, Phillips has collected three top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 3.8. His driver’s have finished in the runner-up finish twice; Kasey Kahne (2010) and Kyle Busch (2011).
 
  • Saturday’s race will mark the 12th time that the Camping World Truck Series has raced at Pocono. Across 26 starts, KBM has collected five wins (Kyle Busch: 2015 & 2018; William Byron: 2016; Christopher Bell: 2017; Brandon Jones: 2020), 12 top fives, 20 top tens, 244 laps led and an average finish of 9.1.
 
  • The Power Up® Brand evolved out of the ethos of the Gourmet Nut company, which upholds that good health and great taste should always go hand-in-hand and be easily accessible. All of our mixes are crafted from carefully selected ingredients and packaged in premium, small batch blends that provide the nutrients your body needs to keep you going and feeling your best. Perfect for after an intense workout or when you’re racing the kids to soccer practice, Power Up Premium Trail Mixes provide real fuel for everyday life. Made using wholesome, simple ingredients, our unique blends provide the nutrition and satisfaction your body craves and elevates flavors your taste buds will love.
 
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
 
Pocono is known as The Tricky Triangle. What’s the trickiest part of Pocono?
 
“The trickiest part of the Tricky Triangle is getting your truck to handle in all three corners. What Turn 4? There is no Turn 4 there. Turn 1 is completely different from Turn 2 and Turn 2 is completely different from Turn 3 and Turn 3 completely different from Turn 1. There are a lot of differences, but you have to make your truck go around the racetrack and handle in all three in order for it to be fast. There are a lot of handling characteristics this weekend. There is a lot a driver can do as well in trying to manipulate what the truck can do handling wise trying to get speed out of it, especially for the long run.”
 
It's a short race this week. Do you think with your playoff spot solidified it will give you an advantage over those racing for points?
 
“I think being able to pull some different strategy with having four wins now and being the points leader. Obviously, we don’t want to lose a ton of points with three races left in the regular season. We want to go out and close on that regular season championship, but if it comes down to a strategy call, then I’m sure Eric will be on top of it, whether that’s pitting early, pitting late or whatever it may be. It opens the window of opportunity for us to gamble a little bit more and go out and get that race win. We want to go out and win stages and gain as many points as we possibly can, but we also want to win the race. Whatever it comes down to, winning the race is more important to us right now.”
 
Kyle is running his final truck race of 2021 this weekend. What would it mean for you to come out with three wins over Kyle’s two Saturday?
 
“Well, the series is tied 2-2. Hopefully I can end up on top. Out of five races, it would be really cool for us to bring home three of those victories and Kyle only two. I think before I came this year to KBM, Kyle had either finished first or second in 19 of the last 20 races out of what he’s run. I’m OK with him finishing second, but I need to beat him. It would be amazing to be able to accomplish that. I feel like we have the best team in the garage. We just have to continue to push through, work hard, keep our head down, and race the racetrack.”
 
John Hunter Nemechek Career Highlights:
 
  • Ten-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports. Across 114 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 1,082 laps led, 35 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.6.
  • Qualified for the Camping World Truck Series playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017.
  • Produced three top-10 finishes and an average result of 22.4 while competing for rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He recorded a career-best eighth-place finish twice, both coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award four times and finished 23rd in the championship standings.
  • Across 52 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled one win (Kansas Speedway, 10/20/18), one pole, 225 laps led, 12 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.0.
 
John Hunter Nemechek's No. 4 Power Up Tundra:
 
KBM-056: The No. 4 Power Up team will unload KBM-56 Saturday at Pocono for its maiden voyage in 2021. Last season, Raphael Lessard ran the chassis three times with a best finish of 11th at Homestead-Miami Speedway in June and again at Kansas Speedway in July. Overall, the chassis has been run eight times with an average finish of 12.9.
 
KBM Notes of Interest:
 

KBM PR

Pocono Raceway has announced a sellout of all camping sites for this weekend’s NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend. As a result, RV & Camping Registration and all camping areas will now open starting at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, June 24.

Grandstand tickets for Saturday and Sunday are still available. Kids, ages 12 and under, receive FREE admission to the 100 and 200 Level of the Grandstand all weekend long. Adult tickets start at $45 for Saturday and Sunday tickets. Each adult ticket purchasers can select up to four FREE kids’ tickets, each, during their purchase. Grandstand Parking is always free and coolers (max size is 12”x12”x12”) are welcome.

For tickets, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/tickets.

The 2021 NASCAR Doubleheader Weekend at Pocono Raceway will feature five NASCAR & ARCA races in three days, including two NASCAR Cup Series races taking place on back-to-back days. The jam-packed weekend starts with the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 ARCA Menards Series race on Friday, June 25th. The CRC Brakleen 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the first of two NASCAR Cup Series races will be held on Saturday, June 26th. The weekend ends with the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons NASCAR Xfinity Series race and the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 NASCAR Cup Series races on Sunday, June 27th.

For additional event details, schedule and important fan information, visit www.poconoraceway.com/eventguide.

Pocono Raceway PR

Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Toter Ford F-150

  • Deegan is making her 14th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start and her first in the series at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Without practice and qualifying this weekend, the Ford driver will start 19th based on NASCAR's metric qualifying system.
  • Deegan has two ARCA Series starts at Pocono Raceway, one in 2019 and one in 2020. She started inside the top-10 both times and finished seventh in each event.
  • Last Friday’s race at Nashville, Deegan qualified 14th for her first start at the 1.33-mile track. The Ford driver had a loose-handling truck and ultimately finished 21st in the Monster Energy F-150. 
  • Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has one win at Pocono, earned in 2018 with Kyle Busch behind the wheel. Busch started from the pole position and captured the victory with a 1.4 second lead over runner-up Erik Jones. 
  • After last Friday night’s race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superpeedway, Deegan went to Knoxville, Iowa, to participate in her first race in the SRX Racing Series on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway. She scored a second-place finish in her inaugural race.
  • Click here for Deegan's career statistics.
 

Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance F-150

  • Gray makes his 13th start of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at the Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He will start from the 17th position.
  • At Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway last Friday night, an uncontrolled tire penalty at the end of Stage 2 mired the No. 15 deep in the field and the Ford driver would ultimately finish 18th in the series return to the 1.33-mile oval.
  • The 22-year-old has one career start at the "Tricky Triangle" coming last season where he started 15th and finished 12th.
  • Seth Smith has called one previous race at Pocono with Hailie Deegan in the ARCA Menards Series in 2020 finishing seventh.
  • Click here for Gray's career statistics.
 

Ryan Preece, No. 17 Morton Buildings Ford F-150

  • Coming off of a win last Friday night at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Ryan Preece will return to the seat of the No. 17 F-150 with support from Morton Buildings. He will start from the eighth position.
  • Preece's Nashville victory was his third career NASCAR national series win and first in the Truck Series in his series debut. It also marked the second ever win in the series for David Gilliland Racing.
  • The Connecticut native has six career starts at Pocono: four in the Cup Series with a best finish of 20th and two in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of fourth.
  • Chad Johnston has been atop the pit box for eighteen races at the 2.5-mile track with three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. His best finish was a second with Kyle Larson in 2018.
  • Click here for Preece's career statistics.

DGR PR

Madera Speedway will honor America and the memory of Rev. Ron Spencer will Saturday’s Red, White, and Blue Classic for the Nut Up Pro Late Models, 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models, and Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros. The MAVTV-televised night of action in central California serves as round five for the competitive championship battles at the one-third mile oval.
 
Ticket information can be found at: http://racemadera.com/ticket-info.html with online sales available through MyRacePass. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate. Race fans can also view the live streaming coverage on Short Track TV on YouTube beginning at 6:20pm Pacific.
 
The 2021 Nut Up Pro Late Model Series has turned into a battle of champions across the top-five in the points. 2019 series champion Austin Herzog has a lead of 15 points on the strength of a win, a second place finish, and a third place finish through the four races this year. Multi-time champion Matt Erickson has clawed into the picture as the winner of the Military Tribute Night as part of three-podium finishes as well. Herzog’s qualifying success has been the difference maker at this stage of the battle.
 
2019 Madera Late Model non-televised champion Tyler Herzog ranks third with a pair of top-five finishes. 2020 Stockton 99 Speedway champion Eric Nascimento had a thrilling win on April 3rd as the highlight of a season where he is fourth in the championship. 2018 Madera Late Model Jason Aguirre rounds out the top-five. Aguirre has four wins this season in the non-televised races but has yet to score a MAVTV win in his career. Vancouver, Wash.’s Jadan Walbridge is just one point behind Aguirre in sixth as well.
 
The Nut Up Pro Late Models will race for 80-laps on Saturday including a 50-lap opening segment and a 30-lap race to the finish.
 
Jacob Smith of Eagle, Idaho has driven car no.11 to an eleven-point lead in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Model championship. Wimberly, Texas’ Barrett Polhemus is still angling for a win but has been a perfect four-for-four with top-five finishes throughout his rookie campaign. Ethan Nascimento rounds out the top-three in the championship – all three drivers running their first full-time seasons at Madera.
 
Brody Armtrout of Smartsville debuted a new car on May 22 and promptly charged to a convincing victory. The win also propelled Armtrout to fourth in the standings ahead of Colorado’s Brody Moore. Bakersfield’s Kercie Jung opened the season with a pair of fast-times in qualifying and sits in the sixth position. Opening night winner Kale McClenny – also of Bakersfield – is seventh in car no.07.
 
The 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models race for 70 fast and furious laps over a 40-lap opening segment and a 30-lap battle for the checkered flag.
 
Bakersfield’s Logan Chambers leads the Bandolero portion of the combined Mini Cup vs. Bandolero division with three victories. Joey Kennealy is the most recent winner in the division on May 22 with a clean sweep of qualifying, the heat race, and the main event. Caden Cordova of Bakersfield ranks third. The Mini Cup portion of the division is led by Kingsburg’s Sam Wedehase with three wins over Las Vegas’ Kellen Keller with one victory. been traded back-and-forth between Sam Wedehase of Kingsburg and Las Vegas’ Kellen Keller. Saturday’s combined main event will be a 20-lap race.
 
Action gets underway on Friday with practice from 5pm until 8:30pm with pit gates opening at 3pm. On Saturday, pit gates open at noon with practice at 2:30pm. Qualifying hits the track at 4:30pm followed by heat races. Short Track TV goes live at 6:20pm with all five features to follow.
 
For information about Madera Speedway, visit www.RaceMadera.com The 2021 season would not be possible without the support of Nut Up Industries, 51FIFTY LTM, Mission Foods, 805 Beer, Race 2B Drug Free, Competition Carburetion, Hoosier Tires, and Sunoco Race Fuel.
 
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Monday nights at 4:00pm Pacific. New 2021 episodes are being prepared for a summer release while the best of the 2020 season continues to air in rotation.

Madera Speedway PR

On the heels of his career-best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) finish two races ago at Texas Motor Speedway, rookie Howie DiSavino III returns to Jordan Anderson Racing (JAR) for Saturday afternoon’s CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Receiving an 11th-hour call from team owner Jordan Anderson days before his second career Truck Series start at Texas, DiSavino made most of the opportunity – finishing 23rd – a respectable finish for his intermediate track debut.

With confidence on his side, the 20-year-old treks to Pocono looking to dance with the track dubbed the “Tricky Triangle” and eager to deliver another solid result.

“Texas was an unbelievable opportunity and I’m thankful to have another chance to run for Jordan Anderson Racing this weekend at Pocono,” said DiSavino. “I learned a lot at Texas, especially when it comes to the handling of a truck at higher speeds – including side drafting.

“I honestly feel that should all be helpful for me at Pocono this weekend too. We’ve been planning to run this race since Texas and I’ve been focusing really hard, studying film, doing a lot of iRacing, and just talking to the team and some others close to me about what to expect and anticipate this weekend.

“It is a very short race, but I have the mindset to be methodical and do my best to have another clean, strong race together.”

To help DiSavino grasp Pocono’s monstrous layout, he will attend Thursday’s ARCA Menards Series open test session as a guest of Rette Jones Racing.

“I won’t be competing in the ARCA test at Pocono, but being able to be at Pocono with my manager Austin (Theriault) and be a guest of Rette Jones Racing will extremely be beneficial to me,” added DiSavino.

“I’ll be able to get on a radio and digest the feedback between the team, experience the test from different locations of the track and just put my head into the game even more by watching other cars compete on Thursday.

“You can truly learn a lot just by watching and I plan to do a lot of that on Thursday afternoon. Hopefully, it helps for Saturday too.”

Longtime DiSavino partner Bud’s Heating & Air Conditioning will serve as the primary marketing partner on the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado, while KEES Vacations will hold an associate partnership role in the quadruple weekend with two races for the NASCAR Cup Series, as well as Truck and Xfinity Series competition.

“I cannot thank my primary partners Bud’s Heating & Air Conditioning and KEES Vacations enough for this opportunity and I hope it continues to open the door to do some more Truck Series racing throughout the remainder of the 2021 season.”

In addition to KEES Vacations and Bud’s Heating & Air Conditioning, Azalea D Realty, Bommarito Automotive Group, Lucas Oil, MassMutual Greater Richmond, and Q Barbeque Richmond will serve as associate marketing partners on DiSavino’s No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado.

In addition to Texas, DiSavino made his NCWTS debut in April at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. He is also a six-time participant in the ARCA Menards Series where he earned two top-10 finishes for AM Racing.

Former winning NASCAR driver Reed Sorenson will continue to guide DiSavino from above this weekend as his spotter.

Based on the metrics set by NASCAR without practice or qualifying, DiSavino will start his Pocono Raceway debut from the 33rd position.

For more on Howie DiSavino III, please visit howiedisavino.com, like him on Facebook (Howie DiSavino III Racing), follow him on Twitter (@hdisavino) and Instagram (HowieDiSavino).

The CRC Brakleen 150 (60 laps | 150 miles) is the 13th of 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2021 schedule. The 40-truck field will take the green flag on Sat., Jun. 26, 2021, shortly after 12:00 p.m. ET with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio NASCAR Channel 90. All times are local (ET).

Howie DiSavino III PR

Notes of Interest

 

● Cole Custer has not one, but two shots at continuing the success he’s enjoyed during his career at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway when he and his No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head to the Pocono Mountains for a Saturday-Sunday NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader.

 

● The 23-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, will make career Cup Series starts 57 and 58 at the 2.5-mile triangular racetrack where he’s scored a victory and two pole positions in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and another victory in the ARCA Menards Series. In last year’s inaugural Pocono doubleheader weekend, Custer brought home finishes of 16th on Saturday and 17th on Sunday, in what were his second and third career Pocono outings in the Cup Series.

 

● Custer made three Xfinity Series starts in the No. 00 SHR Ford from 2017 through 2019, never starting worse than third, never finishing worse than seventh, and leading a total of 95 laps in the three events. He qualified third and finished seventh in 2017, then qualified on the pole in both the 2018 and 2019 races, finishing fifth in 2018 and scoring the victory by .228 of a second over Tyler Reddick in 2019 after leading a race-high 58 laps.

 

● In his lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series outing at Pocono, Custer drove the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry to a fifth-place finish in the 2016 race.

 

● Custer piloted the No. 00 JR Motorsports entry in both ARCA Menards Series events in 2015, leaving the June race after just 18 laps with a broken axle, but then returning with a vengeance in the August race, which he started fifth and won by a 4.991-second margin over Grant Enfinger after leading 18 laps.

 

● After soldiering to a 31st-place finish last Sunday in the inaugural Cup Series race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, where his crew spent more than 40 laps repairing a broken right-rear brake rotor, Custer is 27th in the Cup Series standings, 116 points behind the 16th and final playoff position.

 

● Returning to Custer’s No. 41 Ford Mustang for SHR is team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, which was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. HaasTooling.com products became available nationally last July, and the cutting tools available for purchase at HaasTooling.com have proven to be even more important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as CNC machines have become vital to producing personal protective equipment. Haas Automation, founded by Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

 

● As announced during the annual Coca-Cola 600 weekend Memorial Day weekend, Custer and the team encourage fans to join Wow Wow Classic Waffles in support of Feeding America®, the largest hunger relief organization in the United States with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Fans are encouraged to text HUNGER to 50555 to make a $5 donation to Feeding America®, by visiting the Feeding America® donation page on Facebook, or the donation page via the Feeding America® website. Each $1 donated helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.

 

Cole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

Last year’s Pocono doubleheader weekend was a groundbreaker for the Cup Series, and there were two more added to the schedule at Michigan and Dover. How does a doubleheader change the complexion of the weekend?

“It’s definitely different because you’re trying to make two plans for the same race weekend with how the track’s going to change from one day to the next, what you’re going to change with the car, and then you’re trying to adapt as much as you can right after the first race. It’s a lot of just trying to make sure you’re sticking with your notes and making good decisions from one day to the next.”

 

Does it make the weekend any more or less stressful?

“I think it’s made it a little more relaxed going into this kind of weekend where, before, it was going to be a lot of unknowns where we’d never raced two days in a row like this without much practice and everything like that. But raced multiple times a week last year and it’s not a huge curveball for us, anymore. It just feels like another week. It’s definitely going to be a little bit tough, a little bit different, preparing the cars for two days in a row, and getting yourself ready for that. At the same time, we’ve gotten used to doing races without any practice and I think we all know how to get into a good rhythm for it.”

 

How does the top-20 inversion for Sunday’s race affect strategy during the Saturday race?

“That’s going to be a nice position to be in if you’re fighting over that. You’re not going to try and finish 20th, but I think if you’re in that position where you’re 21st, you’re going to fight pretty hard to get that spot, so we might see some drama.”

 

What were your first impressions of Pocono, being one of the most unique layouts on the schedule?

“It was tough. It was tricky. The straightaways are so long, it gives you a lot of time to think about how you’re going to mess up the next corner (laughs). It’s a tough place to get around because all the corners are different. I think everybody loves it because it’s a challenge. With three different, really difficult corners, it’s one of those styles of tracks you haven’t seen a bunch before. It’s a triangle and you don’t ever race at other tracks shaped like that. There’s nothing like it.”

 

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