Four NASCAR Cup Series champions with a combined 10 titles highlight a list of 14 drivers tentatively scheduled to participate in a two-day test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Jan. 31-Feb.1.
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, Las Vegas-born titlists Kurt Busch (2004) and Kyle Busch (2015), as well as 2012 champ Brad Keselowski, will be on-hand for the test, which will be open to the public free of charge. Other NASCAR stars expected to participate in the data-gathering sessions include Ryan Newman, 2017 Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and Matt DiBenedetto.
The tire test will mark the first track activity for Kurt Busch in the No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as Newman’s first seat time in the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. It also will be the first time for drivers to use NASCAR’s new aerodynamic package –designed to reduce horsepower and foster tighter racing – at LVMS.
In addition, 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie Ryan Preece, veteran drivers Paul Menard and David Ragan, 2018 DC Solar 300 winner Ross Chastain, Landon Cassill and Drew Herring are scheduled to be at the 1.5-mile speedway for the two-day event. A section of the main grandstands and pit road will be open to fans at the test – which has tentatively been scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday – and food and beverage options will be provided for purchase at the track.
The track activity will come just more than a month before the speedway’s first NASCAR tripleheader weekend of the year, which will be preceded by two days of racing at the LVMS Dirt Track Feb. 27-28. The Strat 200 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race and Strat qualifying take place on Friday, March 1, with Saturday’s racing action is highlighted by the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube anchoring five consecutive days of racing at the 1,000-acre facility with a 12:30 p.m. start on Sunday.
Various ticket packages, fun extras and special-access passes for LVMS’s NASCAR weekends are available at www.lvms.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444.
GMS Racing announced today the team will part ways with driver Johnny Sauter effective immediately. Sauter has been with GMS since the 2016 season when he claimed the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship.
'We cannot thank Johnny enough for his contributions to the growth and success of GMS Racing,” said Mike Beam, team president. “He won the first championship for us and added a lot of trophies to our shop. We wish him all the best for his future endeavors, both in and out of racing.”
Future plans regarding the driver of the No. 21 team will be forthcoming.
GMS Racing PR
The 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule will kick off on the dirt of Las Vegas and culminate on the big stage in Phoenix, with a challenging mix of tracks in between that will test the top drivers and teams throughout the west.
The 14-race schedule will visit 13 different tracks in nine states from February to November. It will include two combination races with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and three companion races with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“This is one of the most dynamic and diverse schedules we’ve had, and it’s going to be a lot of fun for fans of the series to watch their favorite drivers compete at a variety of venues,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR managing director for regional racing. “You have a tremendous mix of a dirt track, road course, historic bullrings and speedways that is sure to produce an exciting season.”
The 66th season of the series, which traces its roots back to the Pacific Coast Late Model Series, will kickoff with a distinct old school feel: racing stock cars on dirt. The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the Star Nursery 100 on Thursday, Feb. 28, as part of the track’s Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube NASCAR race weekend.
The inaugural Star Nursery 100 was won by eventual ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Sheldon Creed and was the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series race on a dirt track since 1979.
The 2019 titlist will be crowned in a much-anticipated return to ISM Raceway as part of the track’s NASCAR Playoff weekend in November. The 1-mile track recently completed a $178 million renovation project and hosts the penultimate round of the NASCAR national series playoffs.
The K&N Pro Series West last ran in Phoenix in 2015, when Todd Gilliland scored his first career NASCAR win as a prelude to back-to-back West title campaigns. The track was also the site of 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano’s first NASCAR win in 2007 as well as Ryan Blaney’s first NASCAR win in 2011.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will also return to another popular stop: Irwindale Speedway, on Saturday, March 30. The graduated banking on the half-mile speedway outside of Los Angeles has produced thrilling racing since it first opened in 1999; it has hosted 26 events between 1999-2011, and from 2014-17.
Other schedule highlights include:
- Tucson Speedway in Arizona will again host twin 100-lap features, on Saturday, May 11. Kody Vanderwal scored the underdog sweep in the inaugural 2018 event.
- The series will race on the road course at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, June 22, as part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend. Will Rodgers scored the win over a trio of Cup drivers in 2018.
- Twice the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will go head-to-head with its East counterparts. The first is the annual stop at Iowa Speedway, on Friday, July 26, and the second as part of a doubleheader with the INDYCAR Series on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Gateway Motorsports Park, just outside of St. Louis.
- The series will make its traditional summer visits to Colorado National Speedway (Saturday, June 8), Washington's Evergreen Speedway (Saturday, Aug. 17) and Oregon's Douglas County Speedway. Colorado has hosted the West series each of the last 12 seasons. Evergreen has held 56 races since 1965, including the last eight seasons. Douglas has held 16 West races, bringing the series to the fairgrounds each of the last three years.
- Idaho's Meridian Speedway will bring the series back for the fifth consecutive year on Sept. 28, a run that included Hailie Deegan's historic first NASCAR win in 2018. It's followed by back-to-back California dates - first at the tight quarter-mile of All American Speedway in Roseville on Saturday, Oct. 12, and then the high-speed half-mile of Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield on Saturday, Oct. 26. All American has been part of the West series every season since 2008, while Kern will be hosting its 10th race since it opened in 2013.
2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Schedule
Thurs., Feb. 28
Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
Sat., March 30
Sat., May 11
Tucson Speedway *
Sat, June 8
Colorado National Speedway
Sat, June 22
Sat, June 29
Douglas County Speedway
Fri., July 26
Sat., Aug. 17
Sat., Aug. 24
Gateway Motorsports Park
Sat., Sept. 28
Sat., Oct. 12
All American Speedway
Sat., Oct. 26
Kern County Raceway Park
Sat., Nov. 9
* Twin 100-lap championship points races
Schedule subject to change
Two-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards winner Gus Dean (@GusDean) will join Young’s Motorsports full-time for the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season, the Mooresville, N.C.-based team announced this morning at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Dean, a native of Bluffton, S.C., will compete for Rookie of the Year honors in the No. 12 Chevrolet Silverado. 2018 ARCA Racing Series championship crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz will lead the team’s efforts this season.
LG Air Conditioning Technologies will join Dean in his leap to one of NASCAR’s national platforms. LG will support Dean in a primary role for a minimum of eight races, while serving as an associate partner for the entire 23-race schedule.
LG Air Conditioning Technologies is a leading player in the global air conditioning market with innovative commercial and residential air conditioners and building management solutions. With a robust lineup of ducted and duct-free products, LG enables contractors to develop the solution that’s perfectly suited for any project.
The partnership kicks off with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Friday, February 15.
“LG Air Conditioning Technologies is excited to sponsor Gus Dean and the Young’s Motorsports team during the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series with Baker Distributing,” said Kevin McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Air Conditioning Technologies, LG Electronics USA. “We wish the team the best of luck and look forward to a successful racing season.”
Longtime Dean supporter and Jacksonville, Fla.-based, Baker Distributing will continue their support and promote LG Air Conditioning Technologies’ introduction to the NASCAR industry.
“We are very happy to continue our longstanding relationship with Gus Dean – while helping facilitate and successfully bring LG Air Conditioning Technologies to NASCAR,” Baker Distributing president Matt Roth said.
“Gus is a talented race car driver and will continue to be a remarkable ambassador for Baker while establishing a new and winning relationship with LG Air Conditioning Technologies. It’s going to be a great season.”
“This is an unbelievable opportunity,” Dean said. “I’m psyched and very honored to represent LG Air Conditioning Technologies and Young’s Motorsports in my move to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Without them and the longtime support of Baker Distributing – my dream to be a full-time NASCAR driver would not be possible.
“I’m looking forward to the challenges this season will bring, but I feel confident that my relationship with Jeff (Stankiewicz), the support of Tyler (Young), Randy (Young) and the entire Young’s Motorsports team, we will have a successful season.”
Dean, 24, joins Young’s Motorsports on the heels of two full-time seasons in ARCA Racing Series competition competing for Win-Tron Racing. During the 2017-2018 seasons, the South Carolinian earned one win, two poles, 12 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes.
Additionally, he earned his first career ARCA Racing Series victory in his second series’ start in a nail-biting finish at the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2016 competing for Mason Mitchell Motorsports.
Young’s Motorsports team principal Tyler Young says the addition of Dean is destined to strengthen the team’s program in 2019.
“I have known Gus Dean for a long time,” sounded Young. “We were fellow competitors in the CARS Pro Cup division and I know his passion to succeed is something that fits well within our organization.
"As a team, we are very excited for Gus to climb behind-the-wheel of the No. 12 LG Air Conditioning Technologies Chevrolet Silverado.
“He has two full seasons of ARCA Racing Series competition under his belt and has done a very good job. We believe he will do very well in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series for Young’s Motorsports.”
In addition to competing in the season-opening Truck Series race, Dean will pull triple-duty during Speedweeks 2019 competing in the ARCA Racing Series season-opener at Daytona on February 9 with Win-Tron Racing aboard the No. 32 CAB Installers Chevrolet SS and running select nights during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in the No. 56 BakerDist.com Super Late Model for Dean Racing.
For more on Gus Dean, please visit his GusDean.com or like him on Facebook. Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.
To learn more about LG Air Conditioning Technologies, please visit lghvac.com.
For more on Baker Distributing Company, please visit bakerdist.com.
Gus Dean PR
ISM Raceway announced the return of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West to the Valley for the series’ championship event on Saturday, November 9, 2019. The 100-lap championship race in NASCAR’s top developmental series will take place later in the day, following the conclusion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series semifinal playoff race at ISM Raceway.
“We’re proud to bring the K&N Pro Series West and grassroots racing back here to the Valley of the Sun,” said Julie Giese, president of ISM Raceway. “With the completion of our modernized facility, we’re committed to providing the greatest motorsports experience for our fans. Four races in three days will deliver an action-packed November weekend schedule for everyone in attendance.”
The championship race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be the 45th running of the series at ISM Raceway, dating back to the inaugural event in 1977, and the first since 2015. The series is the top developmental series in NASCAR and fields many future stars in the sport, including some in the 2018 NASCAR NEXT class such as Hailie Deegan and Derek Kraus.
“Phoenix is a destination our fans and teams of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West have really wanted to get back to,” said Brandon Thompson, NASCAR managing director for regional racing. “With all the new and exciting changes with ISM Raceway, it’s a tremendous opportunity to return, and we are very excited to be part of their NASCAR Playoff Weekend. We want to say a huge thank you to International Speedway Corporation for underscoring their commitment to grassroots racers. To be able to crown our West champion on that stage means a lot for the series.”
Many of today’s biggest names in NASCAR have claimed victory at ISM Raceway in the K&N Pro Series West. Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano recorded his first NASCAR victory in the 2007 K&N Pro Series West race at ISM Raceway. Similarly in 2011, current Cup Series star Ryan Blaney recorded his first NASCAR victory in the K&N Pro Series West at ISM Raceway, a race that saw him beat the likes of Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez and NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Chase Elliott.
For more information about the entire 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal Playoff Weekend, November 8, 9 and 10, please visit ISMRaceway.com or call 1-866-408-RACE (7223).
ISM Raceway PR
Firing up the suspense of the release of FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE’s fourth studio album, CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY (BMLG Records), the GRAMMY nominees announced their 2019 CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY TOUR exclusively with Billboard today. The announcement included details for FGL Fest set to take place at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 7. FGL Fest is a multi-act music event produced by Live Nation and created to coincide with the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line race which takes place at IMS on September 8. FGL Fest features FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE plus DAN + SHAY, NELLY, MITCHELL TENPENNY, and more acts who will be announced soon.
After headlining high-profile festivals and fairs last year, in addition to their applauded FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS residency, the trek launches on June 13 at Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR. Billboard’s first-ever Trailblazer Award recipients will crisscross the country through September 28 at FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA.
With a “perfectly cheeky album title” (USA TODAY), FGL will perform songs from the 19-deep track list of their anticipated project, including their current chart-rising single, “Talk You Out of It.” Captained by longtime producer Joey Moi with FGL notching their first co-producer credit, CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY is now available for preorder and drops February 15, complete with heavy-hitting guest collaborations with JASON DERULO, JASON ALDEAN, and HARDY.
Pushing pedal to the metal, the global entertainers have also announced their lineup for this summer’s FGL Fest slated for September 7, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With additional details to follow, FGL is geared up to take the stage plus DAN + SHAY, NELLY, MITCHELL TENPENNY, and more. FGL’s fan club community, FGL Lifers, have first presale access to tickets beginning Monday (1/14), at 10 a.m. ET through Thursday (1/17), at 10 p.m. ET. Citi® card members gain entry starting Tuesday (1/15), at 10 a.m. ET through Thursday (1/17), at 10 p.m. ET with Citi’s Private Pass® program. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday (1/18), at 10 a.m. ET at Ticketmaster.com, LiveNation.com, and IMS.com.
The powerhouse duo front this month’s Nashville Lifestyle’s cover of “The Music Issue,” with the magazine praising, “In the country music industry, perhaps no star is rising — or business expanding — more rapidly than that of the Florida Georgia Line brand.”
FGL is nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st GRAMMY Awards (airs live on CBS on February 10) for 2018’s “chart-busting hit of the year” (The Associated Press) “Meant to Be.” The 4X PLATINUM-certified, #1 (with Bebe Rexha), reigned the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 50 weeks straight.
For more information about Florida Georgia Line and the CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY TOUR, please visit floridageorgialine.com and reach out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) today announced that Alsco will continue its relationship as an associate sponsor of the No. 43 team and driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. In addition, Alsco will continue to be the official linen and workwear uniform supplier for Petty's Garage, Victory Junction, and also be a partner of Thad Moffitt in the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Late Model competition.
Alsco is another long-term committed partner of RPM. They have provided the Petty companies with their premium linens and workwear rental for many years and have committed to supporting Wallace Jr. and the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team again in 2019. Alsco also supports Moffitt as he climbs the ranks into NASCAR. The relationship is tied through the shared belief of strong family values and excellent customer service.
"The Petty family is the first racing family of NASCAR and helped revolutionized the sport, just as we have in the linen and workwear rental business," stated Jim Divers, director of sales and marketing, Alsco. "We are proud to continue our relationship with the Petty family and it's business. We're looking forward to another successful season."
"Richard Petty Motorsports, and all the companies the Petty family are involved in, want to thank Alsco for their continued support," said Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer, Richard Petty Motorsports. "Alsco, like us, pride themselves on family values and exceptional service. We are thrilled to continue our partnership this season."
Alsco will join previously announced primary partners U.S. Air Force and World Wide Technology and major associate sponsor Pioneer Records Management as sponsors of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and of Wallace Jr. The season begins Sunday, February 17 with the Daytona 500 live on FOX.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is heading to Birmingham, UK for the world famous Autosport International exhibition this week. From January 10th to 13th the official NASCAR series in Europe will be featured in the NASCAR booth at the most important motorsports exhibition of the Old Continent.
NASCAR will have a dedicated area for the first time and two Euro NASCAR cars will be showcased at stand 1340 in Hall 1. One of the cars will feature a very special livery celebrating the new long term partnership with General Tire, the Official Tyre Supplier of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
NWES President-CEO Jerome Galpin and NWES COO Anne Galpin will be part of the US NASCAR International delegation present to welcome everyone interested in the championship. Several NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers will visit the booth during the four-day event.
“This will be the first time NASCAR is officially present at a car show in Europe and we are very proud to join them with our Euro NASCAR !” Jerome Galpin said. “This is a great opportunity to meet everyone interested in NASCAR and share our common passion. We are all pushing very hard with our friends from the NASCAR International Group to grow NASCAR worldwide. This is very exciting and there will be many great opportunities for our teams, drivers and partners in the coming months and years.”
Reaching its 29th edition in 2019, the Autosport International is the largest motorsports exhibition in Europe. Held in Birmingham, UK at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) it covers all aspects of motorsports and represents a unique occasion for stakeholders, insiders and fans to meet before the racing season officially begins.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Jarett Andretti continues to announce his plans for the 2019 race season. Andretti, who recently announced his intention to compete full-time in the GT4 America Series, will do so racing for Andretti Autosport with manufacturer McLaren Automotive. Endurance Auto Warranty, one of the largest providers of vehicle service contracts in the nation, will serve as a primary sponsor in the GT4 America Sprint events with more partners to be announced before the start of the season.
Jarett will lead Andretti Autosport into the GT4 America Series driving a new McLaren 570S GT4, supplied via McLaren Philadelphia – one of the recently confirmed Official Motorsport Retailers for McLaren Automotive. This announcement continues a relationship with McLaren and Andretti Autosport that started with two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso, who competed for Andretti Autosport in the 2017 Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport is a championship racing organization with wins in multiple professional series and is led by Michael Andretti, the Godfather of Jarett.
“We are happy to expand our organization for Jarett as he competes with McLaren and the 570S GT4 in the GT4 America Series,” said Michael Andretti, CEO, Andretti Autosport. “Jarett is family and, of course, we know the people at McLaren well. This is a natural partnership for us and Jarett as he continues his professional racing career. We look forward to a successful 2019 race season with McLaren, Endurance, and future partners.”
This new team comes after Jarett finished his rookie season in the Pirelli World Challenge TCR Class in 2018. He will now to compete in the McLaren 570S GT4, a car that is capable of a championship for Andretti Autosport.
“We are pleased to welcome Jarett and Andretti Autosport as part of the McLaren Customer Racing family in the 2019 GT4 America Series,” said Dan Walmsley, Motorsport Director, McLaren Automotive. “The 570S GT4 has already proven itself on grids around the world and has scored pole positions and race wins at circuits around the USA, so we are confident that the team can hit the ground running and challenge for race wins and for a championship. The GT4 America Series is one of the most competitive classes in American sports car racing and it is a significant moment for us to be working with Andretti Autosport, who are one of the biggest names in American racing.”
“I really want to thank Michael and McLaren for the opportunity to work with them as we build our race program for 2019,” said Jarett Andretti. “I want to compete for Andretti Autosport and Michael, and I believe we can win a lot of races together with McLaren. I feel this is the next step in my career and I’m doing it with proven winners.”
Andretti, a graduate of North Carolina State University, lives in Indianapolis and races full-time. The third-generation racer is the son of John Andretti, the grandson of Aldo Andretti and the great-nephew of Mario Andretti.
He has carried on the family racing tradition and has championships in go-karts, the USAC Eastern Ignite Pavement Midget Series, the 410 Sprint Car division at the Lawrenceburg Speedway and is also an Indiana Sprint Car Series champion. In addition, Andretti is the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of The Year and a former Rookie of The Year at the Oswego Speedway in the supermodified class. In 2018, Andretti competed as a rookie in the Pirelli World Challenge TCR Class.
Jeff Ward, a seven-time AMA Motocross champion, AMA Supermoto champion, IndyCar and NASCAR racer, Motorcycle Hall of Famer and one of the most versatile and successful competitors in the world of motorsports, will return to the racetrack to compete in American Flat Track events in 2019.
Ward will compete in the AFT Singles division at all five TT races – and maybe even a Short Track or two – aboard KTM 450 SX-F machinery with support from fellow racer and Moto Anatomy riding-school owner Johnny Lewis, Blackmore Ranch, KTM, Troy Lee Designs, Malcolm Smith Motorcycles, The W Training Facility and Monster Energy.
“Most folks probably don’t know this,” Ward said, “but I started racing flat tracks and TTs as a youngster, and then gradually moved to motocross, so I’ve got some pretty deep flat track roots. I’ve been riding lately at the Blackmore Ranch flat track facility in Southern California, and really enjoying it. I also watched all the AFT races on NBCSN in 2018, and I got to thinking, ‘Let’s try this...’ – and here we are!
“The plan,” continued Ward, “is to do the five TT events, and maybe catch a Short Track or two. I’ll be riding KTM 450s, with set-up, logistical and training help from Johnny Lewis. I’ll ride one of Johnny’s KTMs at Daytona in March, and one of my KTMs in Arizona in April, as it’s close to my So Cal base. After that we’ll figure out logistics for the rest of the rounds.
"I’m working on finalizing sponsors now," Ward added, "and we definitely have opportunities for companies to come aboard. We are going to have a lot of fun with this and stir things up a bit. I think we’ll be in contention for wins, too. I’m 57, but I’m still pretty fast on a motorcycle and in great shape thanks to all the motocross riding and mountain bike racing I’ve been doing. It will be a challenge, for sure, but I’m committed to this and plenty serious about the season.”
Ward, who's also a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, will have serious logistical and bike set-up support from Lewis, a top-level flat tracker in his own right.
“Jeff’s a master,” said Lewis, “and he’ll adapt quickly. He’s just so intuitive and has such a good feel for the motorcycle, what it needs, and how to extract maximum performance from it. I’m always amazed how good he is when I watch him. We’ll be working together and testing before the Daytona round on March 14, and afterward, too, so he’ll be ready. When you combine his world-class natural talent with the fact that he still wants to learn and pays attention to the smaller things I can help him with, he’s going to be tough to beat. He’s also going to be involved in my Moto Anatomy schools whenever possible, so I’m excited about our collaboration. We’re going to have some fun!”
Look for continued coverage of the Ward/Lewis/KTM 2019 effort, including in-depth interviews and features, in the coming weeks on the American Flat Track website (Americanflattrack.com).