Monster Energy Cup Series News (13236)
This weekend Roush Fenway Racing rolls into “Thunder Valley” for what looks to be a wild weekend at the world’s most frenzied half-mile track. Perhaps the most intense track on the circuit, some have gone as far as to describe Bristol as the equivalent of ‘a squadron of jet fighters storming around a football stadium.’
Roush’s teams have totaled 18 wins at the ‘last great colosseum;’ leading over 5,300 laps and scoring 129 top-10 finishes.
Bristol has been one of the most successful tracks on the circuit for NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Jack Roush and his NASCAR team. But, the 30-year NASCAR owner is quick to point out his history of success at Bristol carries even beyond his three decades in NASCAR.
“I went to Bristol for the first time (with NASCAR) in 1988,” said Roush. “But I had had a great deal of success there and won on the drag strip at Bristol with the Fastbacks years before that.
“Bristol has always been a place that had two complexes,” added Roush, whose NASCAR teams have now made 254 starts at the half-mile oval track. “It had a drag strip up in between the hills and it had an oval track.
“I’ve had the chance to race on both of them and whenever I go to Bristol, it ties my drag racing in with my stock car racing. I have fond memories of the drag racing that preceded the stock car racing and I have fond memories of the stock car racing as well.”
Just as with the drag racing, success on the oval at Bristol would soon follow and Roush and his then startup operation could not wait to hit the pavement.
“Mark (Martin) was so enthused when he had a chance to go to Bristol,” recalled Roush. “It was fast and high-banked and he was able to get in the gas and not worry about a lot of finesse, and it was one of his favorite places. He had a good feel for it and a great enthusiasm, and eventually we realized the kind of success on the oval track that I had on the drag strip before that.”
Roush Fenway finished second in its first NASCAR Cup start at Bristol in the spring of 1988. Martin and Roush won at Bristol from the pole in the fall of 1993, opening the floodgates for the organization’s unparalleled success at the track.
All-in-all Roush Fenway has won at Bristol in all three of NASCAR’s major series for a total of 18 victories (including 11 in the Cup series), with the victories spread out over six drivers.
This weekend Roush Fenway will vie for two victories with four combined entries in the XFINITY and Cup races. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been stellar at Bristol and carries the highest average finish of any driver in the last eight races at BMS, where he has scored two runner-up finishes and four top 10’s in his last six starts at Bristol. Hometown favorite Trevor Bayne will look to build on his fifth-place finish at this event last season.
On the XFINITY front both Ryan Reed and Bubba Wallace will look to maintain their top five positions in the season point standings. Wallace, who comes into the race having finished sixth in the last five races, earned a Bristol career-high finish of seventh at BMS last fall.
This week’s XFNITY Series race is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 and will be televised live on FS1. Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is set for 2 p.m. and will be televised live on FOX.
Following the first off weekend of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500.
As Patrick enters the weekend with only one top-20 result to her credit thus far, she and the No. 10 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford team will be looking to revisit their past success in the annual spring race at the .533-mile oval.
While Patrick’s overall record at Bristol has proven how challenging it is to race there, her best finishes at the track have been in her first trip to the “Last Great Colosseum” each season. In Patrick’s nine NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol, her average finish is 23.7, while her average result in the spring race is 20.5. That average includes one top-10 finish and two top-20s.
In April 2014, Patrick earned an 18th-place finish in the Food City 500, which marked her first top-20 result at the short track.
The following spring, she started 26th and overcame a number of hurdles during the race to score a ninth-place finish. That effort marked the sixth top-10 of her career and set the record for the most top-10 finishes by a female in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
When Patrick gets to Bristol this weekend, her No. 10 Ford will sport the colors of Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which is part of ExxonMobil’s new high-performance, low-environmental-impact product line that provides exceptional performance benefits and convenience. Mobil 1 Annual Protection helps to safely reduce the amount of used oil generated through regular oil changes. More than 2 billion quarts of oil would be saved each year if every driver in the United States switched to Mobil 1 Annual Protection.
With a fresh new Mobil 1 Annual Protection paint scheme, Patrick and the No. 10 team will be ready to “spring” into action at Bristol and try to score another top-20 result.
For Martin Truex Jr. it’s been too long – five years to be exact -- since he left Bristol Motor Speedway with a good feeling.
The last time the Furniture Row Racing driver walked out of the half-mile, high-banked oval with a top-10 finish in the NASCAR Cup Series was April 2012 when he posted a third-place result.
Since that top-five posting, Truex has experienced all the bad luck that one can endure at a racing venue, including a fractured wrist during the August 2013 night race.
Though many drivers can claim hard luck at Bristol, Truex seems to have had more than his share there, especially in the last nine races.
“Bristol is Bristol and you’re rarely going to beat the house,” said Truex. “The track is known for its wild races and it seems that I have been a magnet for trouble. Our recent record might not show it, but we do have a car that can compete and contend at the Bristol short track. We just need to be patient and stay out of the wrecks.”
Truex and his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota Camry will be looking for a Bristol Motor Speedway reversal in Sunday’s Food City 500.
“This is our second short track race of the year and we sort of missed it at Martinsville (Speedway) a few weeks ago (finished 16th),” said Truex. “We started off strong at Martinsville, winning the first stage, but didn’t finish strong. The next two weeks (Bristol and Richmond) will give us a good gauge on where we stand with our short track program.”
Though Martinsville was a hiccup, Truex has had a solid start to the 2017 season in his No. 78 Toyota. After seven races, he is positioned in third place in points. He has one win (Las Vegas), two top-fives, four top-10s and has led 316 laps. He also leads the Cup Series with four stage wins and has garnered 73 stage points along with nine playoff bonus points.
His average start through the first seven races of the season is 10.9 and average finish is 8.7.
“So far, pretty good,” said Truex. “But we want to get into a consistent rhythm with all the different types of tracks. We had a variety of things happen to us this year – good breaks, bad breaks – but overall we have come out of the gate with a decent start. It was sure nice to get that win early in the season.”
Truex’s overall record at Bristol includes 22 starts, two top-fives and two top-10s. His average start is 16.9 and average finish 20.9.
We’ll take it from here, Safety Sam. As The Official Booking Parter of NASCAR, Hotels for Hope will donate up to $2 from each room night towards The NASCAR Foundation®, our newest RoomFunding™ partner. This nonprofit aims to impact children’s lives through two programs: The Speediatrics Children’s Fund and the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.
We’re working directly with the Speediatrics fund, which gives back to local hospitals, specialty clinics, kids’ camps and organizations that provide medical and health care services to little ones who might not get help otherwise. Over 500,000 children have been served so far, and we’re really excited to send RoomFunding dollars for each booking made at nascar.com/hotels to this awesome nonprofit.
Want to be a part of this cause? Help us spread the word. If you or any of your friends, family, or coworkers are interested in racing, remind them to check out Raceday Hotels™ by Hotels for Hope at nascar.com/hotels. As always, we have the guaranteed lowest rates for each NASCAR race across the USA. And, we make it easy to book when you can hold your rooms at no cost, you’ll be able to earn your hotel rewards points, and there are no hidden fees. You can even get on the waiting list for 2018 NASCAR hotels!
We’ll leave you with the rest of the story from Safety Sam, NASCAR Foundation Mascot:
Hotels for Hope PR
If Harvick Wins, You Win: Busch Announces Million-Dollar Giveaway Tied To All-Star Race At Charlotte17 Apr 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing, will be holding more than just the steering wheel when he competes in the May 20 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. He'll also hold the financial fate of one consumer who will have the chance to take home a life-changing amount of cash.
In conjunction with the launch of the brand's Busch Bucks loyalty program, one race fan will have the chance to win a cool million bucks – matching the first-place prize taken home by the All-Star Race winner – but only if it's Harvick who takes the checkered flag.
Consumers must enter for their chance to take home the grand prize by enrolling in the Busch Bucks platform on BuschBucks.com between April 17 and May 6. The winner will receive a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway the weekend of the All-Star Race to watch the race from trackside and find out if they're taking home the million dollars. Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Bucks Ford Fusion with a special paint scheme featuring a million-dollar look…literally. If Harvick wins, the consumer winner will receive a million dollars, matching Harvick's winnings1.
"Loyalty is one of the defining characteristics of the Busch beer drinker; he's loyal both to his friends and family, as well as the beer he drinks," said Chelsea Phillips, VP of Value Brands at Anheuser Busch. "Busch Bucks allows us to reciprocate and reward our loyal drinkers, and there's no better way to kick off the program than by giving away a million bucks!"
By enrolling in the Busch Bucks loyalty platform between now and May 6, consumers will be automatically entered for a chance to win the trip and the chance to win the million-dollar grand prize.
Busch Bucks is simple. Consumers purchase Busch products and accumulate points, allowing them to take home awesome Busch-themed prizes. Here's how it works2:
- Register at BuschBucks.com
- Purchase eligible Busch products
- Collect points by snapping a picture of your receipt and uploading it to BuschBucks.com, or by submitting a non-purchase mail-in request or entering on social media
- Redeem your points for Busch prizes ranging in point values. Prizes include everything from hats and t-shirts to coolers and tents.
"While we want to win every single week, the Busch Bucks million-dollar giveaway definitely ups the ante and adds some serious pressure to the No. 4 team in the All-Star Race," Harvick said. "Even though it's a non-points exhibition race, the stakes are going to be about as high as they can possibly be on May 20."
After returning to racing in 2016 with a winning team in Stewart-Haas Racing to sponsor Harvick and the No. 4 car for 12 races, Busch expanded its partnership in 2017 to serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 team for 16 races. Busch has a storied history in racing over the past four decades, first becoming involved in NASCAR in 1978 when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award. The brand has been engrained in the sport ever since, including introducing the Busch Clash in 1979, serving as the title sponsor of NASCAR's stepping-stone division to the Cup Series from 1984 through 2007, as well as being the "Official Beer of NASCAR" from 1988 through 1997.
1 BUSCH® BUCKS ALL-STAR SWEEPSTAKES: No Purchase Necessary. Open to US residents (except CA, HI, NJ, OR, PA, TX, UT & VA) 21+. Ends 5/6/17. See Official Rules at www.buschbucks.com for entry, prizes and details. Void where prohibited.
2 BUSCH BUCKS PROMOTION: No Purchase Necessary. Open to US residents (except CA, HI, NJ, OR, PA, TX, UT & VA) 21+. Ends 12/31/17. See program Terms & Conditions at BuschBucks.com for complete details. Void where prohibited.
Leavine Family Racing (LFR) is excited to announce the return of CAMP 95, a unique summer camp for high school aged kids. The camp is designed to give kids an exclusive behind the scenes look at different types of careers in NASCAR by giving them hands-on experience in different areas of the industry.
CAMP 95 launched in 2015 as a one-day camp and was so successful, LFR expanded it to two days in 2016. This year, the two-day format will continue and will include presentations and appearances from top people in the NASCAR community.
“We are excited to bring back CAMP 95 for a third year,” said LFR VP, Jeremy Lange. “Hearing the feedback and seeing the faces of the high school students who have experienced the event is all it took to want to continue this program. Not sure how we can top last year’s CAMP 95 but we are sure going to try. The main goal of the event is to provide a broader look at the NASCAR industry and this year will not disappoint.”
LFR driver, Michael McDowell is looking forward to being a part of the summer camp for the third year in a row.
“CAMP 95 is a really cool opportunity our team gives kids,” said McDowell. “It is definitely something I would have loved to have been a part of when I was younger. There is no other camp like this that gives kids an inside look at different careers in this sport. I am definitely proud to be a part of CAMP 95.”
Past CAMP 95 attendants have continued working towards a career in motorsports by attending universities such as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke University.
LFR is also excited to announce a partnership with Hotels for Hope to provide free hotel rooms for campers and their families while in town for the camp.
“Hotels for Hope is excited to provide hotel rooms for this year’s CAMP 95,” said CEO and Founder of Hotels for Hope, Neil Goldman. “Allowing youth to get unique access into NASCAR is a platform we are honored to support.”
CAMP 95 will take place on Tuesday, June 27 through Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Applications for Camp will be posted on LFR’s website starting May 1 and will close May 31.
When it comes to winning races, Kyle Busch has always been about the numbers.
So as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series comes out of the Easter off weekend and heads to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500, the number of the week for Busch will be six.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has a stellar record at the .533-mile high-banked bullring with five Cup Series wins to his credit there. In fact, there will only be one other driver in the 40-car field Sunday afternoon who has the same number of Bristol wins – his brother Kurt Busch.
After coming so close to winning races earlier this year at Phoenix International Raceway and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, not only would Busch like nothing more than to bring home his first Cup Series win of the season, he’d love to sit alone atop the list of active drivers with six career Bristol wins.
In addition to his five wins, Busch has notched eight top-fives and 13 top-10s in 23 career starts at Northeast Tennessee’s “Thunder Valley.” Amazingly enough, three of Busch’s wins there came over a four-race span at the .533-mile short track in 2009 and 2010.
While he is a factor any time he travels to Bristol, it’s interesting to note Busch didn’t immediately take to the place. During his rookie year in 2005, he posted finishes of 28th and 33rd, but his record since then has been impressive, to say the least. After bringing home finishes of eighth and second in 2006, Busch captured his first Bristol Cup Series win in March 2007. The track was resurfaced after that race and, from 2008 to 2011, nobody has been better at the concrete short track than Busch. He scored four wins and six top-10s from 2008 until another change to the track surface prior to the August 2012 race weekend. Busch is looking to recapture the magic from his four years of dominance there on the current surface.
As Busch chases his first win of the season, a quick look at the back-to-back short-track races at Bristol and Richmond (Va.) International Raceway the following weekend give the 2015 Cup Series champion plenty of optimism that wins are on the horizon. So as Busch and the M&M’S team head to Northeast Tennessee this weekend, they’ll be focused on the number six in hopes of taking yet another checkered flag at a Bristol track that has treated him quite well over the years.
When Kurt Busch takes to the track at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, his No. 41 Ford Fusion will sport a bit of a different look as Haas Automation, the largest CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine-tool builder in North America, will highlight Demo Day 2017 that will be held May 10 at local Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs) nationwide.
The annual event provides HFOs an opportunity to feature the latest CNC machines, innovations, and technology from Haas Automation. Showcased will be machine-cutting demonstrations and educational seminars to explain how the latest Haas machines and options can help make current Haas users, potential customers, and anyone in the manufacturing industry learn how the latest Haas machines can help a business be more productive, efficient, and profitable.
Fittingly, Busch will begin his promotion of Demo Days at one of the smallest racetracks on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tour, where races tend to include numerous accidents and have, at times, resembled a different kind of demo day. It’s been one of the best tracks on the circuit for the veteran driver over his career, having won there five times. But it’s also been a place that has seen Busch struggle to reclaim some of his past successes in his return trips.
Busch earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at Bristol in March 2002. It came in only his third outing there, making him the driver with the fewest starts at “Thunder Valley” to record his first win at the high-banked, concrete oval.
But his Bristol success didn’t stop there. He went on to win in three of his next four visits by sweeping both the March and August Cup Series races in 2003, and winning again in March 2004.
His incredible three-race win streak made him one of just four drivers to have accomplished the feat at Thunder Valley. Fred Lorenzen was the first, winning the fall race in 1963 and following that with a season sweep in 1964. Cale Yarborough is the second driver to record three straight wins – and he added a fourth for good measure – sweeping both the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Darrell Waltrip became the third to win three or more races in a row when he reeled off seven consecutive wins, sweeping the 1981, 1982 and 1983 seasons, and also winning the spring race in 1984.
Busch’s most recent win at Bristol came in March 2006 and he’s had runs since that could have given him his sixth victory there, but circumstances have prevented him from sealing the deal. In fact, since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, Busch has found himself on more than one occasion in position to return to his winning ways at Bristol.
In the 2015 running of the Food City 500, Busch led six times for 98 laps. But when the caution flag flew for a five-car incident on lap 482, Busch headed for pit road while most of the others up front at that point in the race did not. Busch restarted sixth but, barely a dozen laps later, was collected in a multicar accident.
In his most-recent Bristol start, Busch lined up second for a lap-372 restart. Coming off turn two, he passed Joey Logano for the lead. However, Busch got loose in front of Logano, and contact between the two set off an 11-car incident that would see the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion’s race end early.
Busch heads to Thunder Valley looking to return to the form to which he is so accustomed. Despite a string of bad luck since winning this year’s season-opening Daytona 500, Busch and his No. 41 team have scored three top-10 finishes in the first seven races. Their goals remain the same – scoring another early season victory, accumulating playoff points and returning to victory lane at Bristol.
As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to the high-banks of Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500, Kevin Harvick will be looking to capture his second straight Cup Series win at Bristol and his second consecutive top-five finish of 2017.
The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion scored his first NASCAR Cup Series top-five finish of 2017 on April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He took Jimmy John’s “Freaky Fast” motto and put it to the test early in the weekend when he captured the pole position with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph in the third round of knockout qualifying to score his second pole of 2017. He followed that up by leading 77 laps on Sunday afternoon en route to a fourth-place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
It also helps that Harvick is no stranger to victory lane at Bristol. In fact, he has won there in each of NASCAR’s three touring series.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup champion has two wins at Bristol in NASCAR’s top series. In addition to his win at Bristol in August 2016, he scored his first win at the .533-mile oval in April 2005, when he started 13th and led 109 of 500 laps and beat Elliott Sadler to the finish line by 4.652 seconds. He has five NASCAR Xfinity Series wins there with his most recent coming in March 2009, when he started 13th and led 46 laps to beat runner-up Carl Edwards by .798 of a second. He also visited Bristol’s victory lane in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in August 2011, when he started sixth, led 103 of 200 laps and beat Johnny Sauter by .434 of a second.
Harvick would like to add his first NASCAR Cup Series win of the year at Bristol on Sunday afternoon.
The best news for Harvick coming into this weekend may be crew chief Rodney Childers’ record at the .533-mile bullring. He’s led four different NASCAR Cup Series drivers to top-five finishes at Bristol. In addition to Harvick’s NASCAR Cup Series win in August 2016, Childers has led Scott Riggs, David Reutimann and Brian Vickers to top-five finishes at the track affectionately known as “Thunder Valley.” Childers led Riggs to a fourth-place finish in August 2006 while both worked for Evernham Motorsports. While at Michael Waltrip Racing, Childers led Reutimann to a runner-up finish in August 2010 and Brian Vickers to a fifth-place finish in March 2012, as well as fourth-place finishes in August 2012 and 2013.
Seven races into 2017, Harvick is ranked 10th in the championship driver standings with 198 points. While he has continued to show speed, the team has struggled to find the consistent finishes it has to start the previous three seasons. Since joining SHR prior to the start of the 2014 season, Harvick has never gone to Bristol Motor Speedway in April without a win to his credit. The string of tough luck has included a pit-road speeding penalty at Atlanta that cost the No. 4 team a win; a cut tire at Las Vegas resulting in a 38th-place finish; and a damaged nose coming to the green flag at the start of the race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, followed by a cut tire in the same race, which forced Harvick to battle back from two laps down to finish 13th.
Harvick and the No. 4 Jimmy John’s team hope to make it two straight on Sunday afternoon at Bristol – a second straight NASCAR Cup Series win at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile,” and a second straight top-five finish to build momentum for a charge towards the NASCAR playoffs.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Sunday for the Food City 500 – one of its most popular stops on the circuit.
History has proven that jamming 40 drivers and cars on a .533-mile, high-banked oval with lap speeds at 130 mph leads to an exciting show for race fans and television viewers. It’s the type of short-track racing Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) No. 14 Haas Automation Ford driver Clint Bowyer prefers as a driver and as someone who has long been a NASCAR fan.
“You would have to really sell hard for me not to believe that short-track racing is our best product,” Bowyer said. “It just is, and the reason I say that is because it’s so much fun, so demanding inside the car. The workload is through the roof for the driver and the excitement is there for the fans.”
One of the by-products of short-track racing is the short tempers it often exposes among the competitors. Bowyer admits, during his 404 NASCAR Cup Series starts, he has been on both sides of arguments with fellow drivers when tempers boil over on short tracks. He says each driver is prepared to accept some beating and banging during the race, but the line of what is appropriate racing conduct can be blurry at times.
In fact, that line usually depends on the outcome.
“There’s nothing acceptable on a racetrack if you’re on the losing, short end of that stick,” Bowyer said with a laugh.
Bowyer said when you cross that line with another driver, then it’s up to you to fix it any way you can, even if there isn’t much hope for forgiveness.
“If you wrong somebody on any racetrack, you try your best to right that wrong immediately,” he said. “First thing, you push that push-to-talk button and have your spotter go down there and take the butt-chewing for you and apologize on your behalf. But that doesn’t work. You just hope that if something happens, he’s not going to be able to get it fixed and get back out there and repay you before you have a chance for him to think about it and get over it, maybe, until next week.”
Often more steps are required.
“You try to reach out to him and do all the cheesy stuff you hear us talk about,” he said. “You know that he doesn’t care, doesn’t want to talk to you. The hardest part is calling to apologize to somebody on a Monday morning, knowing damn well he either isn’t going to answer you or could care less what you say. He just really wants to punch you in the face and get it over with.”
Bowyer hopes after 500 laps around Bristol Sunday afternoon, he’ll be holding the winner’s trophy in victory lane instead of worrying about making or taking apology phone calls. He has raced well at Bristol in his career, posting six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s while leading 137 laps in his 22 races.
He and his SHR team arrive in Tennessee on a hot streak. The No. 14 Ford has posted six consecutive top-13 finishes and climbed to ninth in the standings. This season, Bowyer replaced three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired from NASCAR competition.
Bowyer said he appreciates the early success his new team has enjoyed, but quickly points out there is room for improvement.
“There is nothing in this sport at this level that comes easy,” Bowyer said. “It doesn’t matter the racetrack or circumstances, it is always hard because there is always the next guy working every bit as hard to accomplish the same goal.”
Officials from Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced today that Richfield, Wisc. native Josh Bilicki has joined their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) team for this summer’s two road course races.
Bilicki, 21, will drive the team’s No. 51 Chevrolet at Sonoma (Calf.) Raceway on June 25 and complete the road course sweep at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International six weeks later on Aug 6.
Before leaping to the NASCAR XFINITY Series last season with Obaika Racing, Bilicki honed his skills on road courses throughout the country successfully building a resume in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), TA2 Series, NASA Pro Racing, among others.
In addition to his XFINITY Series efforts last season, the Trans Am Series competitor also continued to race in several road racing sanctions at his home track of Road America (Wisc.) in Elkhart Lake producing several podium finishes.
Shifting his concentration to stock cars this season, Bilicki remains a part of the Obaika Racing organization, but hopes to showcase his capabilities in the Cup Series with the growing Rick Ware Racing team.
"Words can't describe how excited I am to be making my NASCAR Monster Energy Cup debut with Rick Ware Racing,” said Bilicki. “First, I can't thank Rick enough for giving me this opportunity to get behind the wheel of the No. 51 RWR Chevrolet. Rick, like myself, comes from a road course background, so I feel like this is a very natural fit.
“I've been around the team for several of this season's Cup races and the team is very impressive and are improving every week. I hope to earn some respect from my competitors and turn heads in the process.”
Bilicki, also an occasional competitor in the IMSA Continental Tire Series says competing at the sport’s pinnacle level is a humbling opportunity, but with the goal of finishing Sonoma and Watkins Glen the primary objective, he hopes a good showing will earn him other opportunities in the sport.
“I’ve worked a long time with the dream to compete in NASCAR,” Bilicki added. “We have some reasonable goals and expectations. If we’re able to accomplish those, we’ll leave the track feeling like we scored the victory. I’m still learning a lot about these stock cars, but I’m hoping my road course instincts will allow us a chance to exceed our hopes.”
Team principal Rick Ware said Bilicki’s focus and attention to details in his transition to NASCAR has paid off with the chance to race for the team.
“I’ve been around a lot of road course drivers and you either have it or you don’t,” Ware said. “He does. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch Josh compete on occasion and I think he’s going to impress people with not only his patience, but his car control and for getting an extra position or two from a performance standpoint.
“We’re hoping Josh can help give us a solid overview of our road course program and makes us better for 2018 and beyond.”
Marketing partners for Bilicki’s Cup Series attempts will be announced at a later date.
Outside of racing, Bilicki is an avid road racing instructor at Road America.