On the heels of a solid top-10 finish in his most recent ARCA Menards Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) rookie Gus Dean will take advantage of an off weekend and compete in his third ARCA start of the season in Thursday night’s General Tire 150 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Dean will eye his third career ARCA victory in the 100-lap and believes the speed his Win-Tron Racing team showed at the series’ open test at the 1.5-mile speedway has them in a good position to be a contender in the seventh race of 2019.

“I’m so appreciative for this opportunity to run the ARCA race at Charlotte,” said Dean. “It wasn’t on my schedule, but things fell into place to make it happen and I’m extremely thankful. Jamie (Jones, crew chief) wants to go there and win and so do I.

"I believe we’ll have the car to do it on Thursday night.”

Dean, a native of Bluffton, S.C. made a splash in his Charlotte ARCA debut last May qualifying on the outside pole and contended for a strong finish before engine problems set in late in the race with Dean soldiering to a 14th place effort.

“Charlotte is a very fast place,” added Dean. “I like the track. It’s pretty cool. It’s important to make sure you get the car rotating through the corners and through the bumps. It’s a place where you need to carry the speed off the corner too.

“Even though our track time was limited during the test, I still feel like we are in a good place coming back for the race and look forward to Thursday night.”

Longtime Dean supporter CAB Installers will serve as the co-primary marketing partner for the May 23rd race, while Win-Tron Racing partner IceBox Helmet Coolers joins the organization to share the spotlight in the team’s third race of the year.

The IceBox by AirBox represents an innovative Air-Cooling Solution for personal and confined environment where space, weight and power consumption are critical considerations. Design applications include Aviation, Aerospace and Performance Racing industries.

IceBox incorporates advanced semiconductor component and application technology to create a thermoelectric heat pump that requires no moving parts and a minimal amount of electrical current to effect cooling.

“I can’t thank CAB Installers and IceBox by AirBox for making Charlotte possible,” added Dean. “Without them, I would haven’t this chance and I want to thank them personally with a celebration in Victory Lane. That would be perfect.”

Win-Tron Racing car owner Kevin Cywinski says the team is optimistic about their chances for Thursday night’s race – but believes his driver will step up to the plate and deliver a good showing.

“We should be pretty good,” said Cywinski. “Gus knows how to wheel his way around Charlotte and hopefully that will play into our hands. We had a setback that kept us off the track for most of the test a couple weeks ago, but I’m confident Jamie (Jones) and Gus will show their potential in practice and hopefully we can put this Win-Tron Racing team back in the winner’s circle.”

For more on Gus Dean, please visit his all new website at GusDean.com or like him on Facebook. Dean tweets too. Follow him on Twitter @GusDean.

Learn more at Win-TronRacing.com, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @WinTronRacing.

The General Tire 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the seventh of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., May 23 with a two-hour session planned from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The race in the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 9:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Eastern).

Win Tron Racing PR

Pocono Raceway announces more free amenities and two more reasons to get your tickets to the Pocono 400 race weekend. The Fan Stage and Free Carnival rides have been added to the Pocono 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Weekend, May 31 – June 2, 2019. 

The free Carnival, located in Fan Fair, will include five, fair-style fan favorites. The rides include thrillers such as the ‘Round-Up’, ‘Tornado’ and ‘Cobra,’ as well as, a giant slide and swing. These rides are free to all grandstand ticket holders over the three-days of race festivities. There will also be a few classic, fair-style pay-to-play games.

“Our staff continues to push in every imaginable way to ensure those attending the Pocono 400 weekend have an incredible time and the value of their $45 ticket is worth four-times that”, said Raceway President, Ben May. “We like to have fun and, without a doubt, the Fan Stage and Free Carnival add to an already incredible atmosphere on race weekend.” 

The Fan Stage, also located in Fan Fair, will host three days of non-stop entertainment and include Driver Appearances, Driver Selfie Sessions, Pre-Race Concerts and the ever-popular Sunday Tweet-Up. In addition to the on-stage talent, the stage will have a 16x9 screen showing live racing action, a Bud Light Bar and lounge seating. Guest appearances at the Fan Stage will include Jeff Gordon, Alex Bowman, Chris Buescher, Corey LaJoie, Matt Tifft, Tyler Reddick, Justin Allgaier and much more!

Three pre-race concerts will take place daily at the Fan Stage in Fan Fair. Kaleb Lee, rising country star and “The Voice” alum, will play prior to the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 ARCA Menards Series race on Friday. Local favorites, Porter & Sayles, will play before to the Pocono Green 250 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday. Lee will return to the stage, before Sunday’s Pocono 400, to perform his debut single, “Cooler Weather.”

For a complete list of events at the Fan Stage and Carnival, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/schedule.

Tickets to Sunday’s Pocono 400 start at $45 and kids, ages 12 and under, receive free gate admission all weekend long. Both the Fan Carnival and Fan Stage will be free to all grandstand ticket holders, for the entire race weekend. Visit www.poconoraceway.com/tickets or call 1-800-722-3929 to get your tickets today.

Pocono Raceway PR

The last time eighteen-year-old Harrison Burton (No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota) was scheduled to compete in an ARCA Menards Series race, the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona, he ended his night celebrating in victory lane. Following the tire tracks of his father Jeff, who won at Daytona in July 2000, Burton had won on the sport’s biggest stage just as he was to kick off his first full-time season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Burton dominated at Daytona, leading the final 48 laps on his way to his third career series win.

It was a night that Burton won’t soon forget.

“It was really cool to win Daytona, it’s something everyone dreams of,” Burton said. “I used to pretend I would win there when I was in grade school with my friends, so to come out and win there was really amazing. I haven’t won as many more after that as I would have liked, hopefully we’ll changed that this week.”

Heading into the May 23 General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Burton looks to again join his father as a winner at the 1.5-mile quad-oval. The elder Burton won three times at Charlotte, including his final Cup Series victory in October 2008.

Although he’s just 18 years old, Burton has been traveling all across the country driving racecars since he was in middle school. Racing close to home two weekends in a row is almost like an extended vacation. Not only is Burton preparing to race in front of him home crowd, his friends, and family, he is also graduating from nearby Cannon School on Friday.

“It’s a big week for me,” Burton said. “Racing at home and graduating from high school the next day makes it a big weekend. It would be great to get a win on Thursday and graduate the next day. Not many guys get to race on Thursday and graduated on Friday, and to win would make it even better. It would work out really good.”

There’s also another reason Burton wants to perform well on Thursday night. Running just a partial schedule in the ARCA Menards Series, he’s out to win races just like every other driver in the field. He’s also out to gain as much experience and build his knowledge base as much as possible as he chases the Truck Series title.

“It's a great bridge between late models and trucks,” he said. “It exposes you to different tracks, aero, a similar grip level. The level of perfection you need to win on a big track is high. Every mistake you pay for greatly because the high speeds magnifies everything. The level of competition in ARCA is really high right now too. If you win, you have to beat a dozen really good drivers and teams. It’s not easy by any means.”

Practice for the General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is at 11:30 am ET, with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 5 pm ET. The 100-lap, 150-mile race is set to follow at 9 pm ET and will be televised live on FS1. Tickets are available by visiting the track website at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 800-455-3267. ARCA for Me members can access free live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.

ARCA Menards Series PR

Officials from Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced today the signing of a new marketing partner that will debut with the team in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600, one of the series’ crown jewel events at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Enlisted Nine Fight Company will team with Rick Ware Racing’s third car for this weekend’s 60th annual Memorial Day event with veteran driver B.J. McLeod aboard the team’s third Cup Series entry, the No. 53 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Enlisted Nine Fight Company is an active-duty-owned clothing brand. It was founded in 2013 by two Senior NCO’s and a military spouse.
The trio embarked on the arduous task of developing a lifestyle brand that would not only give veterans, their families and patriotic Americans a way to express their love for our Armed Forces, Country and fighting, but also provide an affordable, high-quality product.
Enlisted Nine Fight Company along with Rick Ware Racing will honor two American heroes this weekend. RWR and Enlisted Nine Fight Company CEO and co-founder Dan O’Brien will also enshrine one of the most amazing paint schemes in recent memory.
O’Brien, a Gold Star family member lost his brother William who was killed in combat while serving in Iraq on March 15, 2008. O’Brien will memorialize his brother on the front and rear window of McLeod’s Chevrolet.
Additionally, the team and O’Brien will recognize LTC Robert Friend (RET), Tuskegee Airmen. Friend, a close acquittance to O’Brien is 99-years old and resides in Southern California.
McLeod’s Camaro will be wrapped as a replica P-51 Mustang (Red Tail) airplane, similar to what Friend flew during his tour in World War II.
“We are very honored to have such a great veteran-owned business represented on our No. 53 Chevrolet this weekend at Charlotte,” offered RWR team principal Rick Ware. “NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway do such a great job promoting this weekend’s race for Memorial Day – but also recognizing our heroes before the Coca-Cola 600.
“We unveiled the No. 53 Chevrolet last weekend during the Monster Open and the design received a huge response through the press and through social media – we’re proud to bring it back for another weekend.
"It has also been great hearing from Dan and his staff about the support and attention they’ve been receiving. Hopefully, we can have a solid 600 miles of night racing on Sunday.”
O’Brien says Enlisted Nine Fight Company has embraced the opportunity to enter NASCAR with RWR and is eager to expand the partnership following this weekend’s race.
“I’m very excited to have this amazing opportunity with RWR and B.J. McLeod this weekend at Charlotte,” he said. “We look forward to not only Sunday but also what the future holds for both companies.”
The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season continues with the 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 (400 laps | 600 miles) at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26 starting at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX, the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90.
To learn more about Enlisted Nine Fight Company, please visit their website, like them on Facebook, follow along on Instagram (@enlistedninefightcompany) and follow them on Twitter (@NineLineApparel).
For more on B.J. McLeod, please like his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter (@bjmcleod78). 
For more on Rick Ware Racing, please “like” them on Facebook (Facebook.com/rickwareracing) or visit WareRacing.com.
Rick Ware Racing is on Twitter. Follow them @RickWareRacing.
RWR PR

1091 announced today the acquisition of “BLINK OF AN EYE,” a NASCAR documentary produced and directed by multi Emmy-winning filmmaker Paul Taublieb, with Mitch Covington, Susan Cooper and Pam Miller also serving as producers. It will premiere with a private screening on Friday, May 24, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Theater in Charlotte, NC in front of an audience of NASCAR stars and motorsports industry insiders, just prior to the Coca-Cola 600 held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. “BLINK OF AN EYE” will be released nationally theatrically and On Demand this fall.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book, "BLINK OF AN EYE," focuses on Michael Waltrip and his star-crossed friendship with the iconic driver, Dale Earnhardt Sr. Over 462 races, Waltrip failed to notch a single win, the longest losing streak in NASCAR, and maybe in all professional sports, when he joined Earnhardt’s race team for the 2001 Daytona 500. On the last lap of the “Great American Race,” Waltrip held the lead with Earnhardt Jr. in second and “Sr.” in third. Instead of making his trademark, ruthless charge to the front, Earnhardt Sr. blocked the field of 40 cars to allow his friend to take his first checkered flag. Waltrip never had the opportunity to celebrate with Earnhardt Sr., as the legend was killed on that last lap in what was initially thought to be a minor crash.  Later, Waltrip would pay homage to “Sr.” on his return to Daytona in dramatic, unexpected fashion.

The film features interviews with Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. along with Ty Norris, the former Executive Vice President of Motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Richard Childress, and includes a special audio cameo by country music star, Trace Adkins.

“BLINK OF AN EYE touches a much wider audience than NASCAR fans, it is a story of perseverance and friendship that anyone can relate to,” said Danny Grant, Senior Vice President of Film and Strategic Partnerships. “Paul Taublieb does a fantastic, cinematic job with this long untold story and we are excited to partner with TAUBLIEB Films and Monster Energy, along with the support of NASCAR, in bringing this film to theaters and homes nation-wide.”

Producer-Director Taublieb reiterated the wide appeal of Waltrip’s story, stating, "I'm humbled Michael Waltrip placed his trust in me to tell his heartfelt and inspiring story in such intimate fashion, yet on the large canvass of cars going 200 miles an hour.  BLINK OF AN EYE is the most compelling sports story never told, and one that transcends sports.”

BLINK Producer Mitch Covington, also a senior executive at Monster Energy, added, “It’s a story for the ages, and myself and the company are thrilled to support and help bring to life, and we’re all fortunate to have a talent like Taublieb helming the project.  And it inspired me to write the theme song, In the Blink of an Eye which was recorded by legendary rock star, Bobby Capps of 38 Special.

The deal was negotiated by 1091’s Danny Grant and Taublieb on behalf of the filmmakers and Waltrip.  BLINK was produced by TAUBLIEB Films with support from Monster Energy and in association with NASCAR, with NASCAR’s Steve Phelps also serving as an Executive Producer.

Director-Writer-Producer Taublieb and his production company, TAUBLIEB Films, are two-time Emmy winners, having taken honors in 2014 for Best Sports Documentary Series with the ESPN 30 for 30 “Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau," and in 2017 in the Outstanding Long Documentary category with “UNCHAINED: The Untold Story of Freestyle Motocross,” with company principal and Producer Susan Cooper sharing in these awards, and BLINK Producer Mitch Covington also winning an Emmy for his role as a Producer.  Covington composed the title song for the film, “Blink of an Eye,” which will be released as a single by Cali-Bama Records.  BLINK was produced by TAUBLIEB Films with support from Monster Energy and in association with NASCAR.

BLINK OF AN EYE has also been acquired to be developed into a dramatic feature film by legendary Hollywood producer Roger Birnbaum, with whom Taublieb produced the hit film “THE VOW” in 2014, which grossed $200,000,000 at the box office. 

Upcoming 1091 releases include Werner Herzog’s documentary MEETING GORBACHEV (May 3), the fashion documentary HALSTON (May 24.), Hannah Pearl Utt’s feature directorial debut BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (second half of 2019) and the Sundance Film Festival documentary “MIDNIGHT FAMILY” (summer 2019). 1091’s roster boasts 150 award nominations and wins, including two Academy Award nominations for CARTEL LAND and LIFE, ANIMATED, 14 Independent Spirit nominations and over 75 Critics Circle awards. In addition, the company has acquired and distributed critically-acclaimed documentaries and theatricals including WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLEAMERICAN ANIMALSTHE HEROWE THE ANIMALSTHE OVERNIGHTBIRDS OF PASSAGENERUDA, EL ANGEL, BPM (Beats Per Minute), THE DAWN WALL, among many more.

1091 PR

Following a national talent search at universities across the country, NASCAR and Rev Racing have invited 12 collegiate athletes to compete for roles as tire changers, carriers and jackmen at the fourth annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine in Concord, N.C., on Friday, May 24.

The annual event will be held at the NASCAR Research and Development Center and features athletes from colleges and universities across the nation with aspirations of a professional career in NASCAR. This year’s competitors include football, soccer and baseball student-athletes.

Led by Phil Horton, Rev Racing director of athletic performance, the four-hour combine will test the athletes in a series of strength, agility and flexibility exercises to assess their fitness for a NASCAR pit crew. Additionally, each athlete will learn how to perform tasks required of over-the-wall crew members. 

“We’re excited to witness the impact this year’s competitors bring to NASCAR and the overall pit crew development program,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR director of racing operations and event management. “Each athlete possesses something special and has demonstrated the potential to work in a fast-paced, highly competitive environment. Rev Racing’s recruiting efforts have identified some phenomenal athletes who can translate what they’ve accomplished in their respective sports to success on pit road. We look forward to training those selected to the program and positioning them for successful NASCAR careers.”

Top performing athletes will earn a spot in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development program where they will spend six months training as pit crew members at Rev Racing, with hopes of one day pitting for a national series team.

We couldn’t be prouder of the journey both our pit crew development program and program graduates have taken from its inception," said Max Siegel, owner and CEO of Rev Racing. "With the expansion of our recruiting efforts across the country, the talent level rises, and our program continues to evolve and create more opportunities for advancement at a higher level. We’re energized by the opportunity to work with these talented athletes and foresee a very impactful future on pit road for those selected to participate in our program.”

Since the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program began, more than 100 athletes have participated, and 65 graduates are now working in NASCAR. Thirty-five crew members have reached and competed in the sport’s national series, including the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™.

Program alums include Raphael Diaz, rear tire changer for Roush Fenway Racing, and Jordan Paige, now a jackman for Richard Childress Racing. Earlier this season, Breanna O’Leary and Brehanna Daniels became the first female graduates of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program to go over the wall in the DAYTONA 500. Both women participated in the 2016 pit crew combine and now pit regularly across the national series.

As part of the recruiting process, NASCAR and Rev Racing traveled to host student-athlete workouts at Alabama A&M University, Alcorn State University, Arizona State University, Coppin State University, Virginia State University and the University of Miami. 

This year’s combine will feature Dalanda Ouendeno from Paris, France, a former University of Miami women’s soccer player.  Ouendeno played for the Paris St. Germain soccer club from 2009 to 2015, won the Gothia Youth World Cup and the IberCup Portugal, and was part of five Isles of France championship teams.

Dasmond Tautalatasi will join the pit crew combine from Arizona State where he played safety for the Sun Devils football team. Hadji Gaylord, an undefeated high school wrestler and defensive lineman at Norfolk State University, returns for his second combine with hopes of earning a spot in the development program.

The 2019 NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine participants include:

 

Name

Hometown

University

Primary Sport

Leishaun Ealey

Jacksonville, Fla.

Alcorn State University

Football

Hadji Gaylord

Norfolk, Va.

Norfolk State University

Football

Robin Loza

Charlotte, N.C.

Central Piedmont Community College

Football

Terry McCray

Pompano Beach, Fla.

University of Miami

Football

Dalanda Ouendeno

Paris, France

University of Miami

Soccer

Deonte Parker

Huntsville, Ala.

Alabama A&M University 

Baseball

Mequel Phillips

Chester, Va.

Virginia State University

Football

Josh Pokraka

Honolulu, Hawaii

Arizona State University

Football

Raynard Revels

Richmond, Va.

Norfolk State University

Football

Matthew Sawyer

Baltimore, Md.

Coppin State University

Football

Dasmond Tautalatasi

Concord, Calif. 

Arizona State University

Football

Alvin Wilson

Lexington, Miss.

Alcorn State University

Football

Following Friday’s event, the pit crew combine participants will attend the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 on Saturday, May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Drive for Diversity also offers a driver development program, operated by Rev Racing, and fields vehicles for six drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, as well as legend cars for four youth racers in the US Legend Car Series. Successful graduates now competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series include drivers Kyle Larson, Daniel Suárez and Bubba Wallace.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast live from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26 at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com

Rev Racing/NASCAR PR

IndyCar Series drivers Ed Carpenter (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet) and Charlie Kimball (No. 23 Carlin Motorsport Chevrolet) were in the Dallas/Fort Worth area Tuesday for a media day leading up to the May 26 Indianapolis 500 and eventually the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8.
 
The following is a partial transcript of the Q&A session that took place during the gathering with local media:
 
Was Monday's practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway useful to both of you?
 
EC: "Up until Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I think the majority of the field was working on race setup and then you go through Friday, Saturday and Sunday and you're doing nothing but focusing on qualifying, really, for everybody so it's nice to put downforce back on and get out. I think, in our case, we were kind of looking to validate some things that we felt like we learned over the first couple days of practice and put it in race types of situations and, clearly, that's what everyone wanted to do with the way the packs were forming up. So the only thing that could have been better about it as if conditions were a little more like what we are expecting on Sunday but it was still a good day."
 
CK: "I think, for us, very similar to Ed. We had some direction with different weather conditions last week in practice when we were working on the race car that we wanted to check. We had a couple of prospective insights over the course of qualifying weekend, I think really born out of the struggles from our teammates in making the race, a little bit. It changed our viewpoint a little bit on how to approach sort of more global perspective stuff just on setup. And so we wanted to do some work on that and so we did some running on our own just to make sure the car was as we wanted it, did some running in traffic, checked the boxes, did some pit stop practice, made sure the guys were looking at what they wanted to be working on over the course of the week. We built a little bit of a plan for Carb Day based on yesterday but we'll see what the weather does Friday and figure out what it's going to look like for Sunday."
 
 
Ed, ECR cars are lined up 2-3-4 on the starting grid for Sunday's Indianapolis 500. That has to be a great feeling for your team.
 
EC: "It's the tightest all three of our cars, or two of our cars, whatever we've run, have been together. I'm certainly really proud to have all of our cars that equal and starting toward the front. It definitely makes for an easier first stint, if nothing else. From there, 500 miles is a long time and there's a lot of things that can happen: you know, anywhere from five to eight pit stops that they've got to continue to execute. But, if we are able to execute and can maintain the performance out of the cars that we've had, there should be no reason we shouldn't be able to stay up towards the pointy end of the field barring any alternate strategies or getting caught out on a yellow. Hopefully, we'll be able to protect each other a little bit and stay towards the front and be well positioned for a fight in the end."
 
 
Charlie, you'll start 20th but with your teammates not qualifying, I guess you won't have any buddies out there.
 
CK: "It's tough. Sunday afternoon, with the last row shootout, was heartbreaking for the guys because I know how hard all of the mechanics work. All three cars that didn't make the race put huge efforts in, from drivers, from teams, from mechanics, from engineers. And for Max (Chilton) and Pato (O'Rourke), not being a part of the Indy 500 is ... I can only imagine the pain. Even yesterday, when we were doing race stuff, the car crews from the other two cars had the day off to just kind of catch their breath and process. A lot of the mechanics came in and one of them said to me, 'I just wanted to look at the car. I just wanted to think about what could have been and how we go forward from here.' For me, not having any friends, as you say, when it gets to Lap 190, 195, I don't know that anybody has any friends out there. And so, it is different but I have the full support of the whole Carlin organization and I know that we've had a really good week. My crew has done a great job and, frankly, I was really disappointed in qualifying because I felt we underperformed. There was a half to three-quarters of a mile an hour left in the car that we missed based on the conditions when we did our run. And then, with the challenges in the two garages next to us, we knew we were safely in the race and we weren't going to get pushed back very far or further than about 20th or 21st so we did everything we could, putting our energies into helping those other two car crews. So we didn't run again. Had we done another run I think we could've been somewhere between the 12th to 16th range honestly, starting grid-wise but it's 500 miles. I remember, was it 2012, Dario (Franchitti), was backwards in pit lane on his first pit stop and he won the thing. When Juan Montoya won it in 2015, he lost his whole rear wing and pod assembly under the first yellow. It's 500 miles. Good cars go forward over the course of the race. Lots of stuff can happen. You just have to be smart, take care of the car, take care of the guys on pit lane and then take advantage when the opportunity is there."
 
 
Could either of you walked into the McLaren garage last Sunday and done something to get it qualified for the Indianapolis 500?
 
EC: "I think it would have just depended on how much time you had. One thing that's hard is that you can't fake preparation and make it up. It's something that is a very long process. Really, it starts in the off-season getting prepared for this race. The amount of detail and attention that goes into the cars to make them quick and consistent and all the things you need at Indianapolis ... it's not something that happens overnight. For us, we started out team in 2012 and it's really been a constant evolution over that time of learning and improving and creating processes from scratch and perfecting them over time. So I don't know how you can really answer that question without having first-hand knowledge of what their car build really was or where they were lacking, specifically. Certainly, I think if I had the opportunity to help them or wanted to help them, I probably could have but how much time would actually be needed to make a difference is the big unknown in that equation."
 
CK: "Being a little closer (at Carlin), there was technical partnership. We had all their data and they had all of our data. There were discussions on setups all week. I think Ed's right. It comes down to Sunday morning was way too late. If you say, OK, try and get that car in the race Sunday morning, Saturday night ... honestly, I think probably Thursday was too late. You could see some of the writing on the wall then. They could have made the race if other teams didn't execute but this is the closest Indianapolis 500 field in history by mile an hour. The whole field, based on Simon's (pole winner Simon Pagenaud) pole average speed, was covered by two football field. Something like 608 feet. I did the math yesterday morning because I was so intrigued by it. It was a difference between first and last of 1.8 feet per car per mile. That is absurd and when you talk about percentages, rounding to the nearest percent, everybody ran 100%. It is shocking how close it was. So if someone else didn't execute, they were close enough to make the race. But everyone did their jobs, everyone executed, and I think some other maximized their potential. I think the preparation Ed talks about was way too late and maybe not as clearly directed as teams like Ed's that have been around since 2012 or even Carlin. We did so well last year, qualified 15th and 20th, and had good race cars and ran the whole season so we knew what it takes to be competitive on ovals so that was the mindset coming into this month.
 
"When you look at the six cars in that last-row shootout, four of them had crashes during the course of the week. The only car that crashed that made the race Saturday night was the 10 car (Hinchcliffe), and even then they had to run a second time to make the race. I think that's part of the week that's gotten so compacted that a mistake, even on Day 1 ... if you go out and knock a corner off at Indy on Tuesday, you're already seven hours behind of track time and full work time, you're probably a day behind. It's too competitive to end up that behind and still be successful."
 
EC: "It's different. When I started my career at the 500, my rookie year was still when it was a full month, two weekends of qualifying. Back then we would run our backup cars and practice with those for a while and eventually roll out the primary car so you could kind of protect yourself and save your equipment longer. To Charlie's point, with how condensed it is now, since the grand prix has been added even more so, not being on track until Tuesday, whether you get some weather or an accident or any type of setback, it immediately puts you at a disadvantage. And with that, everyone shows up with their best stuff now. No one holds anything back for waiting for qualifying because with the competition being so tight, you're constantly gauging yourself every session, every hour, every day to make sure you have what it takes. It is critical to not give anything up and to not make it harder than it already is. I feel for anybody that doesn't make the show, no matter how big the team or how small of a team. It happens. You look back at last year and James (Hinchcliffe) was on the outside looking in with an equally strong, INDYCAR championship-contending caliber team two years after he sat on the pole. Personally for me, I have major anxiety heading into the month of May ever year. We were on the pole last year and we're now second this year but, in my mind, if we chose the wrong things to focus leading up to the month of May and in our preparation and we were trying to improve from last year, you can easily be on the outside looking in if you did a poor job preparing. That happened to us in 2015. Josef (Newgarden) and I both ended upside down that month and wrote off two tubs. Fortunately, we were able to recover and get in the show but when you don't execute in your plans leading up to the month and show up with the wrong "solution," it can get out of control and spiral down very quickly."
 
 
Charlie, what would it mean for you to win the Indianapolis 500?
 
CK: "When you take that checkered flag first, it's transformative in that you become immortal in that moment. Your face is on a trophy that has over a hundred years of history. You're elevated in extremely rarified air. Qualifying for the Indy 500 is a pretty small club. Winning it ... that's atmospheric. As Ed said, dreaming of it, thinking about it, that's what wakes me up in the middle of the night, the middle of winter ... It gets a California kid out of bed in the middle of (and Indianapolis) winter to go to the gym. It's everything. I would give up everything, professionally, for a real viable opportunity to win the Indy 500. I'd give up every other win, every other trophy, every other success, every other opportunity, just for the chance to make the right call to pull into victory lane. That's how much it means."
 
 
Ed, what are your thoughts for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 as both a driver and team owner with your cars 2nd, 3rd, and 4th on the grid?
 
EC: "I'm very proud of the team on the ownership side. Our people put a lot of work into building our cars for the month of May and it shows. They deserve the credit for that consistency amongst the team. As it relates to the 500, we put ourselves in a very good position to make the first sting go well and now it's up to us in the seat, as drivers, to execute on our job and whatever our plan is. We've also got to execute all day long in the pits. So long as we execute, our cars have shown we have the speed to be up front. I know I can be up front and I know I have what it takes to win the race. So we just have to go out, run our game plan and have a clean 500 miles."
 
Tickets for the June 8 DXC Technology 600 INDYCAR Series race and June 7 SpeedyCash.com 400 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race are available HERE or by calling the Texas Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 817.215.8500.

TMS PR

After a frustrating finish at Toledo Speedway this past weekend, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) and his Chad Bryant Racing team are focused on a serious rebound in Thursday night’s General Tire 150 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Losing valuable championship points after being taken out by another competitor at Toledo, Graf fell to fifth in the championship standings and although the championship is still within reach with plenty of races remaining on the schedule, Graf realizes his team has to step up to the challenge and leave Charlotte with a proud finish.

“Have to go to Charlotte and recover, there’s not doubt about it,” said Graf Jr. “Toledo was frustrating, and I was aggravated for a lot of reasons, but I’m a professional race car driver. I’m making some mental notes and moving forward. The guys are prepared to go to Charlotte and have a good run and I’m ready to drive to the front.”

Graf joined his Chad Bryant Racing teammate Ty Majeski at an open-test at the 1.5-mile speedway a couple weeks ago and while the test wasn’t as successful as all had hoped, Graf Jr. knows he’s returning to the team’s hometown track better.

“That’s why tests are so important,” offered Graf Jr. “The test offered an opportunity to see where we were start to finish. We were OK, not great and everyone was determined to go back to the shop and be better. I think we will. We were pretty decent last year even though we didn’t get the finish we felt like we deserved.

“We’re focused and that’s important.”

For the seventh straight race, EAT SLEEP RACE, a racing lifestyle apparel company headquartered in New Jersey returns as the primary sponsor of Graf Jr.’s No. 77 Ford Fusion for the 200-lap race.

Since 2001, EAT SLEEP RACE has offered a full product line including accessories and apparel for men’s and ladies. As one of the pioneers of motorsports apparel, the brand has deep roots in the racing industry and was created to offer fresh designs for all racing enthusiasts.

“I’m really proud of how we’ve been able to get the EAT SLEEP RACE name out there in a short amount of time,” added Graf. “I’m really happy to be representing them as their brand really fits my lifestyle.

“We’ve done a lot when it comes to activation at the race track and on social media and it helped the bigger picture. Our plastic bag awareness campaign from Daytona was a monstrous success and we’ll look to do things like that throughout the season.”

Bryant says a good run on Thursday night would be the boost the team needs to put them right back on track for the upcoming stretch of races.

“As a team we just need to stay focused and get back in the saddle,” offered Bryant. “Toledo was super disappointing and frustrating but sometimes that’s just a part of the game, even if you end up on the wrong side of the stick.

“Joe knows what he needs to do this week at Charlotte and we’re going to work relentlessly to make sure we’re giving him the car he needs so he can go out there and his job to the best of his ability.”

To bring exclusivity to his No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford Fusion, Graf will carry the Fast Kids Club onboard camera for his second start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Fast Kids Club is the designated youth division of EAT SLEEP RACE. For more on Joe Graf Jr, please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.

The General Tire 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the seventh of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., May 23 with a two-hour session planned from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 5:00 p.m. The race in the 67th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 9:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Eastern).

CBR PR

On Memorial Day weekend, the No. 38 Select Blinds Ford Mustang of David Ragan will recognize Corporal William G. Taylor of the United States Marine Corps, who was killed in the line of duty while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
26-year-old Cpl. Taylor of Macon, Ga. was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, and based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was killed on Nov. 30, 2005 by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Fallujah, Iraq.
 
Taylor's name will be displayed on the windshield of Ragan's Select Blinds Ford for the "Coca-Cola 600" on May 26, where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will pay tribute to the fallen men and women of the U.S. Military. Ragan's car will also feature a red, white and blue patriotic paint scheme as part of the initiative.
 
"We are honored to have Corporal Taylor's name represented on our car," said Rick Steele, Founder & CMO of SelectBlinds.com. "NASCAR provides such a great platform to recognize our military and we are proud to do our part to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."
 
"It's always a very humbling experience to learn the background of the fallen soldier we honor for the Coca-Cola 600," said Ragan. "I'm looking forward to meeting Corporal Taylor's family and having them with us for the race. I'm thankful for the opportunity to show them how much we appreciate the sacrifices their family has made."
 
The No. 38 patriotic paint scheme will take to the track on Thursday, May 23 for practice and qualifying. The "Coca-Cola 600" Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will air Sunday, May 26 at 6:00 p.m. on FOX.
FRM PR

 

SiriusXM, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the NTT IndyCar® Series, will offer extensive coverage of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

SiriusXM listeners will have access to the live call of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26, on Sirius channel 219, XM channel 209 and on the SiriusXM app.

SiriusXM’s race-day coverage begins at 10:00 am ET.  Leading up to the green flag, listeners will hear expert commentary and analysis from the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcast team, plus interviews with drivers and others.  When the green flag drops shortly after 12:00 pm ET, SiriusXM will air the race live in its entirety, followed by a post-race recap and interviews.  The race broadcast will also air live on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel (channel 82).

In addition to the Indianapolis 500, SiriusXM will broadcast the Indy Lights Freedom 100 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 24 (12:30 pm ET on Sirius channel 214, XM channel 209).  The 100-mile race from the Road to Indy series features some of the world’s best young open-wheel drivers.

Also on Friday, former IndyCar driver A.J. Allmendinger and veteran motorsports broadcaster Jack Arute will host an Indy 500 Carb Day Special from outside the Pagoda at the speedway, featuring interviews with drivers and a preview of Sunday’s race.  Their show will air Friday night (6:00-8:00 pm ET) on the Dan Patrick Radio channel on SiriusXM (channel 211) and replay several times over the weekend.

SiriusXM personality Jason Ellis will also be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Carb Day to host a special edition of The Jason Ellis Show from the infield at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The Jason Ellis Show will air Friday (5:00-8:00 pm ET) on SiriusXM’s Faction Talk (channel 103).

On Saturday, May 25, listeners will hear a special Indianapolis 500 preview edition of The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour (8:00-10:00 am ET).  The weekly show, hosted by former open-wheel racing star and 1985 Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan and longtime journalist and racing insider Bill Armour, airs nationwide on the Dan Patrick Radio channel on SiriusXM (channel 211).

For more information, please visit www.siriusxm.com.

SXM PR

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