Steven B. Wilson
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The 2018 Finals of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, the most anticipated weekend of the year, started today with two practice sessions for each NWES Division. Reigning champion and title contender Alon Day (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry), currently second in points, clocked the fastest lap in Final Practice at the iconic Circuit Zolder around the 4 km of the Belgian track in 1:38.927, just 0.071 seconds shy of his 2015 track record. Guillaume Dumarey (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) led the ELITE 2 field thanks to a lap in 1:39.762, set in the afternoon session.
ELITE 1: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE
Day edged championship contender and Junior Trophy leader Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) by 0.150 seconds. The Dutchman sits fourth in the ELITE 1 standings, only 12 points far from the leader. Another of the four contenders, Frederic Gabillon (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) finished third with a 3 tenths gap to fill in qualifying. Stienes Longin (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) and Thomas Ferrando (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) rounded out the top-5.
Christophe Bouchut (#66 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) returned to the wheel of the #66 Camaro and was sixth ahead of Alexander Graff (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and points leader Lucas Lasserre (#33 Mavi Mishumotors Chevrolet SS). Marc Goossens (#91 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Alex Sedgwick (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) completed the top-10.
ELITE 2: Dumarey fastest on his home track
On the day of his birthday, Dumarey set the fastest time in the ELITE 2 Division, clocking his best lap in 1:39.762. Currently second in points, Ulysse Delsaux (#3 Tepac RDV Competition Toyota Camry) ended up behind Dumarey by a margin of 0.303 seconds. Paul Guiod (#73 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) edged championship leader Guillaume Deflandre (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) for third. Kenko Miura (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry) rounded out the top-5.
ELITE 2: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE
Maciej Dreszer (#56 CAAL Racing Toyota Camry) was sixth in his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series comeback. The Polish edged Felipe Rabello (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro), Justin Kunz (#46 Racing Total Ford Mustang), Wilfried Boucenna (#37 Knauf Racing Team Ford Mustang) and Tom Boonen (#91 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) who closed the top-10. The Ford Mustang of championship contender Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Ford Mustang) suffered damage on the right front end in a contact with Dreszer. The Frenchman ended up eleventh quickest.
The great show of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will resume tomorrow with the qualifying session, scheduled at 9:50 am, and the Final 1 of both Divisions: the ELITE 1 will start at 2 pm while the green flag for the ELITE 2 will wave at 4:50 pm. The most anticipated races of the year at the iconic Circuit Zolder will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Joey Gase will add another Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race to his 2018 schedule as he will hop back in the #00 for StarCom Racing next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Gase returns to the #00 Chevy Camaro just two weeks after finishing 18th in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Speedway. The October 14th result was his best career Cup Series finish yet and matched StarCom’s best team finish.
Next weekend will only be Gase’s second ever start at Martinsville but that doesn’t deter any excitement. “I can’t wait to head to Martinsville next weekend,” said Gase. “It’s one of the most iconic tracks in NASCAR and the closest related track to Hawkeye Downs Speedway where I grew up racing. I can’t thank our great friends at Donate Life Virginia for helping make this weekend possible.”
“We are excited to have Joey back in the car and looking forward to see what he can do on the track at Martinsville,” said CEO of SCR, Michael Kohler. “More importantly, we are honored to work with Donate for Life and know how close this one is to Joey’s heart.”
Donate Life Virginia has been a partner of Gase’s for several years and partnered up with him on his XFINITY ride back in September. Next weekend the TV Panel of the #00 Donate Life Virginia Chevy will adorn the photo of Meredith Haga-Fox. Meredith received a kidney transplant in 2012 from her step father which jump started her passion and advocacy for organ donation. Her passion led her to a job at Donate Life Virginia as an Organ Recovery Coordinator. Sadly, on July 20th of this year Meredith passed away at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Although Meredith is greatly missed, her passion to help others still lives on as she was an organ donor in her passing. “Meredith was a good friend and we shared the passion of organ donation. I can honestly say I hadn’t met anyone more passionate about it until I met her,” Gase added. “Next weekend will be special having Meredith’s family with us at the track and I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Joey Gase Racing Pr
"Regarding the announcement of Spencer Gallagher’s retirement earlier today at Kansas Speedway, all of us at GMS Racing wish Spencer the best in his future endeavors. We look forward to what the future holds for this organization and we will continue to work to build our Xfinity Series program into a championship caliber team like our trucks." - Mike Beam President of GMS Racing
GMS Racing PR
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered an appeal of an L1 level penalty issued on Oct. 17 to Chad Johnston (crew chief), David Bryant (car chief), Kyle Larson (driver) and Chip Ganassi Racing (owner), relative to the No. 42 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team at Talladega Superspeedway.
The penalty concerns the following section in the 2018 NASCAR Rule Book: Section 10.9.9.d Damage Vehicle Policy/Mechanical Repair.
The original penalty assessed: Johnston was fined $25,000; Bryant was suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points Event; Chip Ganassi Racing was assessed with the loss of 10 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series owner points; Larson was assessed with the loss of 10 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver points.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
- That the Appellants violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
- That the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty assessed by NASCAR.
The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
- Mr. Chuck Deery
- Mr. Dixon Johnston
- Ms. Cathy Rice
The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, and the request must be made by noon CT on October 19, 2018.
National Motorsports Appeals Panel PR
On the heels of back-to-back top-10 finishes in his most recent ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards races at Chicagoland Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Codie Rohrbaugh and his Grant County Mulch Racing team head to Kansas Speedway hoping to close out their ARCA season with a top-five finish in Friday night’s Kansas ARCA 150.
From two strong performances in ARCA to a successful NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in Aug., the Mooresville, N.C. team returns to ARCA competition hoping to continue an impressive season fluid with speed and solid results.
In seven ARCA starts this season, Rohrbaugh has maneuvered four top-10 finishes in the last five starts including a season-high and career-best seventh-place result in the rain-shortened ModSpace 150 at Pocono.
Now, the 24-year-old returns to the 1.5-mile speedway of Kansas Speedway hoping to improve on his eighth-place result in last year’s season finale.
“Can’t wait to get to Kansas Speedway this weekend,” said Rohrbaugh. “It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve raced ARCA, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for us. It’s allowed us most of the mid-summer and fall to get ready for Kansas and attack.”
Rohrbaugh will make his third start at Kansas in his familiar No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet and while his family-owned team is expected to carry the speed through practice and qualifying, the Petersburg, West Virginia native knows it’s going to be important to stay relevant through the season-finale’s 100 laps.
“I think this is the coldest it will be at Kansas in two years and that will be a factor on Friday during practice, qualifying and the race,” he said.
“It’s going to be fun though. We have a lot to be proud of this season. We haven’t come to the track where we weren’t prepared to run competitively inside the top-10.
“We’re still hunting our first top-five finish together and I think we’re on the verge of that, we just need a little luck. This isn’t our last race of the season and it typically has been in the past.
“We still have a Truck Series race or two planned before the end of the year – so this race is good motivation to get back into a routine to get back towards the end of 2018 and focus ahead on 2019.”
As for next year, Rohrbaugh says they will be racing.
“It’s the plan to be back in ARCA next year, just how many races though is still be determined,” he explained. “We’ve bought some trucks and have expanded our horizons to NASCAR with some success to start. We’ll keep going in that direction, but (we) definitely know that the ARCA Series has some good races to offer and if we can make it work, we’ll be back in some capacity.”
In 17 career ARCA starts, Rohrbaugh has a best finish of seventh at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (July 2018) after starting a career-best seventh in the same event.
Codie Rohrbaugh PR
For Sheldon Creed, racing and winning has been a part of life from a very early age.
Creed, driver of the MDM Motorsports No. 28 United Rentals Toyota, clinched the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship when he took to the track for practice at the season finale at Kansas Speedway. Like many others who came before him, he started his racing career on two wheels. He started racing BMX when he was three, and he started winning championships when he was just eight. He's thrown in an X-Games gold medal along the way, too.
After dominating in BMX by the time he was six years old, and winning championships, he was ready for the next challenge. At eight, he had transitioned to four wheels, and to no one's surprise, was still winning races and championships.
Creed found inspiration by a driver who was from the same part of southern California, a driver who just happened to have had a family connection.
"I was a big Jimmie Johnson fan," Creed said. "Jimmie was from the same area I was, and my grandfather and his dad were really good friends. When Jimmie was winning the five championships in a row, I was a teenager and just thought it was super cool someone we talked about, who was a name in our house, was winning all those races and championships."
By the time he was 15, he was already an established star in the Speed Energy Formula Off-Road series, formerly known as the Robby Gordon Stadium Super Trucks. That year, he became the youngest ever winner in that form of racing, and the next season he finished second in the series championship with three wins and nine podium finishes. The following year, in 2015, he became the series' youngest ever champion with nine wins. He also won the gold medal at the X Games in Austin, Texas.
Creed spent a lot of time around former Cup Series driver Robby Gordon, the owner and promoter of the Formula Off-Road series.
"Robby is a great teacher. He teaches you all of the things you shouldn't do," Creed said with a big laugh. "It was a great few years racing with him and I did learn a lot. Being so competitive with him raised my expectations for the next step."
In 2016, Creed started to transition into full-fendered stock car competition. He competed in a diverse schedule of pro late model, ARCA, Trans Am, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck, and NASCAR XFINITY Series events.
The transition to stock car racing wasn't always smooth. Creed, who first tested an ARCA car at Kansas Speedway the day of his 18th birthday, struggled to find the balance on asphalt.
"On dirt, it's just you and the car," he said. "If the car isn't right, it's up to you to adjust to it. In stock cars, the car can be changed so it's up to the driver to learn what the car is doing and learn how to communicate that to the crew chief. I've learned a lot about that the past two years running in ARCA and I will keep learning that for years to come."
The success in the early part of his career raised his expectations for success in stock cars.
"I really thought coming into ARCA I would have the same kind of success I had elsewhere," Creed said. "I expected it. And when I didn't get it right away, it make me dislike stock cars a little bit. It's a lot harder than most people think it is."
In 2017, he joined MDM Motorsports for a limited ARCA and NKNSPE schedule. He finished a season-best third at both Iowa and Kentucky before reloading for a full run in 2018.
His 2018 season has been consistently solid. He picked up his first career ARCA win at Michigan in June, and then followed it in short order with wins at Gateway and Iowa. By mid-summer he had established himself as the driver to beat for the championship, and he entered the final event of the season needing just to make a lap in practice to clinch the series championship.
"I am not going to get emotional about it or anything like that," Creed said. "Right now, it's just the next goal that I need to accomplish. But I am sure that five or ten years down the road, I will look back on it and see my name listed with the other drivers who have won the ARCA championship and think to myself "that was pretty cool"."
Creed, like many ARCA champions before him, aspires to make the jump into NASCAR competition on a full-time basis in the near future. He will run the final four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races of 2018 for GMS Racing, the team that won the 2015 ARCA Racing Series championship with driver Grant Enfinger. Coincidentally, Creed's 2018 championship run was with crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, who was also at the helm of Enfinger's 2015 title run.
But becoming a successful stock car driver isn't without its compromises. Creed has been forced to give up one of his biggest passions.
"I started racing on dirt bikes, but I haven't been on one in two years," he said. "I had to give it up because no one wants me to get hurt doing it. Growing up, all of my heroes rode dirt bikes. Guys like (Travis) Pastrana and (Jeremy) McGrath. They were gnarly. As soon as they tell me I can ride again, I am going to."
ARCA Racing PR
Obaika Racing plans to finish the 2018 NASCAR season strong by competing in the final three races of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. The No. 97 Toyota Camry will enter the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway (Phoenix, AZ), and the season-closing Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The drivers and sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We are excited to end this season on a high note,” said team owner, Victor Obaika. “Everyone on this team has been working hard to prepare these cars for racing in the highest level of this sport. We’re going bring everything we have to these last three races.”
Space Grill will continue to be on board as an associate sponsor. As part of their partnership, Obaika Racing and Space Grill are offering fans the chance to join the team at any other upcoming NASCAR race of their choice. Fans of team can not only be able to purchase a Space Grill at a race team discount, but their purchase also includes an exclusive race weekend experience. The race weekend experience will include 2 HOT passes that will give them access to the garage and pit road at Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of their choice in 2018 or 2019, as well as lunch with the Obaika race team at the team hauler and a meet-and-greet with the driver. Visit the team website to purchase.
Obaika Racing PR
The Euro NASCAR Finals got started on Thursday with the ELITE Club Division and Advait Deodhar (#27 BVR Motorsport Ford Mustang) won the race and the championship at the legendary Circuit Zolder. The 28-year-old Indian was the most consistent driver throughout season and celebrated surrounded by fans in downtown Zolder after receiving the big trophy. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series parade brought over 30 cars in the heart of Heusden-Zolder as a traditional feature of the NWES Finals at the famous Belgian track.
“It’s pretty awesome, it doesn’t hit me yet, so I need to pinch myself,” said the second ever ELITE Club champion. “It’s unbelievable as I was coming back to racing after a break of three years. It’s the first time for me in European racing and I am the champion! It’s a dream come true. Zolder is one of the coolest tracks in the schedule of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. It has the ups and downs and it’s a really challenging.”
In 2019 Deodhar will take the next step as he plans to race the full ELITE 2 season with Dexwet-DF1 Racing. “I’m going to fight for the championship,” said the Indian. “Mark my words, I’m going to be in the top 3 in the ELITE 2 in 2019. Mark my words, I’m gonna make that happen. I’m back to racing and I’m not going to step back again. I race to win and that’s my goal next year.”
Clemens Sparowitz (#99 Dexwet-DF1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up second in the overall standings of the ELITE Club Division, which provides new drivers with the perfect way to take their first steps in Euro NASCAR in a friendly and controlled environment. The Austrian beat the former and inaugural ELITE Club Champion Andreas Kuchelbacher (#2 Alex Caffi Motorsport Toyota Camry), who finished third in 2018.
Deodhar also grabbed the race win at Circuit Zolder by leading both two timed sessions. Giovanni Trione (#31 Race Art Technology / Blu Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro), son of ELITE 1 driver Mauro Trione, ended up second in his second ever start in the ELITE Club Division while Pol van Pollaert (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) rounded out the top 3 in his first ever start.
It’s now time for the ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 Division to take the track. The most anticipated races of the year at the iconic Circuit Zolder will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter profile, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.
NASCAR Euro Series PR