Speedway Digest Staff
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Cannon McIntosh took the lead on lap three and went on to dominate the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship feature at the Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday night, leading the final 28 laps on the way to winning for the second time in the last three USAC events. It marked the third consecutive USAC win for the Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) Toyota team.
McIntosh has earned five national midget victories this season as the only driver to win features in USAC, POWRi and Chili Bowl Nationals competition. Overall, Toyota-powered drivers have registered 27 national midget car feature victories in 2020.
McIntosh’s KKM teammate Daison Pursley started from the pole and would go to the lead at the drop of the green flag, with McIntosh starting from the fourth position. McIntosh quickly began moving up in the field and by lap three, he would overtake Pursley for the top spot.
The Bixby, Oklahoma, native then quickly began to pull away from the field, stretching out a 2.3-second lead. As McIntosh opened up a healthy advantage, the action began to heat up behind him. Pursley remained in the second spot through the early going, but fellow Toyota driver Thomas Meseraull climbed from the seventh starting position to challenge Pursley. The two would eventually get together between turns one and two on lap 11, bringing out a caution as Meseraull would spin to a halt.
Heading into the restart, McIntosh would lead Pursley, Tyler Courtney, Kyle Cummins and Andrew Layer back to the flag.
Courtney would overtake Pursley for second by the mid-way point of the 30-lap event, but could do little in closing the gap with McIntosh, as he once again pulled out more than a two-second advantage.
As McIntosh maintained a comfortable lead, behind him the driver on the move was Tanner Thorson, who started the race from the 17th position. By lap 20, he would climb into the fifth position and then eventually overtake Pursley for fourth two laps later.
No one had an answer for McIntosh up front, though, who, despite coming up on heavy lapped traffic in the final 10 laps, would go on to win by 1.791 seconds over Courtney. Cummins would place third, while Thorson and Emerson Axsom made it three Toyotas in the top-five by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
“We weren’t that great in the heat race, but it was enough to put us in a decent spot for the feature,” said the 17-year-old McIntosh. “We made some changes and the car was killer in the feature. We got caught up a little in traffic at the end, but my car was just dialed in tonight. Thanks to my family and everyone on this KKM team. I couldn’t do it without Toyota, Mobil 1, JBL and everyone who supports us.”
Toyota-powered drivers also captured positions six through ten with Justin Grant, Buddy Kofoid, Pursley, Chris Windom and Tanner Carrick rounding out the top-10.
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Championship is back in action Saturday night at Kokomo Speedway.
DIRTcar OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision is an event featuring more than $300,000 in purse and prize money over six consecutive nights of racing, Oct. 6-11, at some of the most iconic dirt tracks across New York.
Starting Oct. 6 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, the Super DIRTcar Series and DIRTcar Racing will compete throughout the Empire State at tracks like Utica-Rome Speedway, Fulton Speedway, Can-Am Speedway, Land of Legends Raceway and Weedsport Speedway. In addition, since grandstands will be closed at these races, all of the action will be broadcast live around the world every night on DIRTVision.
One constant with the Super DIRTcar Series and October is a partnership with Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux. A longtime sponsor of NAPA Super DIRT Week — returning in 2021 at Oswego Speedway — Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux has carried over its partnership this year to OktoberFAST. All six nights of Super DIRTcar Series action is sponsored by Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux, including the huge $10,000-to-win finale Oct. 11 at Weedsport Speedway.
“We were disappointed we couldn’t have Super DIRT Week and the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 this year,” Billy Whittaker said. “But we are pleased DIRTcar came up with a great solution by creating OktoberFAST! Racing people are our people, so we had to be involved, that’s why we are sponsoring the premier division, the Big Blocks! Check us out all week long, and if you are looking for a new Ford or a quality pre-owned car, truck, or SUV, check out BillysCars.com.”
Bicknell Racing Products will sponsor the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, with Racing Electronics sponsoring the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds and COMP CAMS sponsoring the DIRTcar Pro Stocks.
The six nights of action look like this:
Oct. 6 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar Sportsman, and DIRTcar Pro Stocks.
Oct. 7 at Utica-Rome Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and Pro Stocks.
Oct. 8 at Fulton Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and DIRTcar Sportsman.
Oct. 9 at Can-Am Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, and DIRTcar Sportsman.
Oct. 10 at Land of Legends Raceway — Super DIRTcar Series Big Blocks and DIRTcar Sportsman.
Oct. 11 at Weedsport Speedway — Super DIRTcar Series, DIRTcar Sportsman, and DIRTcar Pro Stocks.
While no fans are allowed in the grandstands these days, all of the racing will air live on DIRTVision, the leader in dirt track broadcasting. All DIRTVision FAST PASS subscribers will have access to every night of racing from Albany-Saratoga to the big finale at Weedsport. So, six nights of racing for only a $39 DIRTVision FAST PASS subscription.
The registration deadline for drivers and crew is Wednesday, Sept. 30.
For detailed information, including driver registration, schedules, news and more, click SuperDIRTcarSeries.com/
Super DIRTcar Series PR
Officials from the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and American-Canadian Tour (ACT) announced today that the Big-Block Supermodifieds of ISMA will be returning to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the 58th Annual World Series Of Speedway Racing. The ISMA Supermodifieds are one of 19 divisions that will be racing at Thompson as part of the World Series from Friday, October 9th through Sunday, October 11th. The breathtaking Big-Block Supermods will compete for 50 laps and will join the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale, along with the PASS Super Late Models on the final day of racing.
“The ISMA Supermodifieds are one of the most exciting divisions in pavement racing and we are happy to bring them back for their traditional visit to Thompson as part of the World Series," said PASS President Tom Mayberry. "The World Series is one of the biggest weekends of racing in New England and we are really happy to provide such a great card of short track racing to our fans."
The first ISMA Supermodified race to be held at Thompson as part of the World Series was in 1975 and was won by 9-time NASCAR Modified Champion, Richie Evans. Since ISMA returned to the World Series at Thompson in 2010, legendary names like Chris Perley, Ben Seitz, Dave Shullick, Jr., and Jon McKennedy have taken their Supermodifieds to the hallowed frontstretch victory lane.
Action will begin at Thompson Speedway on Friday, October 9th and will showcase feature races at approximately 6 PM for the STAR Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds, Mini Stocks, STAR Modifieds, and Street Stock Open. On Saturday, October 10th, heat races for PASS Super Late Models and ACT Late Models will start at 2 PM, followed by qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and features for the North East Mini Stock Tour, Pro 4 Modified, NEMA Midgets, ACT Late Model Open, 350 Supermodifieds and Modified Open. On Sunday, October 11th, racing starts at 12:30PM featuring the Sunoco Modifieds, PASS Super Late Models, ISMA Supermodifieds, Limited Sportsman, NEMA Lites, SK Modifieds, and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
More information and the complete weekend schedule for the 58th Annual World Series can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com.
Nevada Donor Network and Joey Gase Team Up To Raise Awareness for Organ Donation and Honor 12 Individuals
This Sunday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway you will see the blue #51 Nevada Donor Network car, but this time it will look a little different. Thanks to Nevada Donor Network, you will see 12 individuals on the car. These are donor heroes, recipients, and induvial on the waitlist. Below is the list of our amazing honorees.
Angel & Jackie Velasquez (Heroic tissue & cornea donors)
Paul Fresquez (Heroic tissue & cornea donor)
Lauren Deschaine (Heroic organ donor)
Cliff Conedy (Heart recipient & donor dad)
Manny Gallegos (Kidney Recipient)
Amy Ortiz (Donor daughter & tissue recipient)
Jarin Fujii (Heroic cornea donor)
Traci Trout (Heroic cornea donor)
Chris Ruby (Heroic tissue donor)
Jarin Fujii (Heroic cornea donor)
Ann McDowell (Donor daughter)
Arlett Valencia (Kidney recipient & waiting list candidate)
Traci Trout (Heroic cornea donor)
Driver Joey Gase became connected to the cause at just 18-years-old when he lost his mother to a brain aneurysm. As the eldest in his family, Gase was faced with the responsibility of deciding whether to donate her organs and tissues. He made the courageous decision to donate, which healed and saved the lives of others. This experience sparked a fire in Gase to spread the word about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.
“I am so thankful to Nevada Donor Network for teaming up with us this weekend so we can not only race but more importantly raise awareness for organ, eye, and tissue donation and honoring all of these amazing people,” said Gase.
Jesse Little PR
The final night of the 75th season of racing is set for this Saturday, September 26 at Macon Speedway, in Macon, IL. Six divisions of racing will be on track with drivers racing for the BRANDT Season Championship Cup trophies in addition to the final night bragging rights. The event is also presented by Caterpillar and Phoenix Tile.
The top battle to watch will be in the BillingsleyRewards.com Modified class. Pocahontas, IL driver Billy Knebel leads the standings by just four points over New Berlin, IL’s Tommy Sheppard. Sheppard is looking for his third straight Modified championship at the track, while Knebel is trying to pull off the double with both the Modified and Pro Mod championships. Sheppard will need to finish ahead of Knebel by two spots or more in the feature to take the top spot away.
The next closest battle is in the Micros By Bailey Chassis division, where Sherman, IL’s John Barnard leads by four points over Jacob Tipton. Much like the Modifieds, the difference is a matter of two feature positions. Barnard has claimed one feature win this year, while Tipton is still looking for his first.
36 points currently separate Archers Alley Street Stock point leader Bobby Beiler, of Blue Mound, IL, and Maroa, IL’s Jaret Duff. Beiler has won five features this season, while Duff has claimed one. The class has had outstanding car counts and racing all year long.
The DIRTcar Pro Mod championship is all but wrapped up for Billy Knebel. All the Pocahontas, IL driver will have to do is be on property with his car and enter the event, as he has a 56 point lead on Dalton Ewing. Knebel has claimed seven feature wins, while Ewing has taken a feature win and nine top fives in his impressive rookie season.
Another driver just needing to show up and enter the car is Springfield, IL driver Jake Little. With six feature wins in the Pro Late Model class, Little has a 58 point lead on Brady Lynch. The Pro Late Models are coming off of one of their better races of the year, with 14 cars racing 30-laps in last week’s KerbyStrong event.
Rounding out Saturday’s action, Brady Reed of Decatur, IL already has the Hornet championship locked up. Reed leads by 80 points, which is insurmountable for the rest of the field. Athens, IL’s Bill Basso is second, while Billy Mason is third.
Pits to the Macon Speedway 75th season finale will open at 3:00, grandstands at 5:00, hotlaps start at 6:00, and racing will take the green at 7:00. Grandstand admission is $15, while kids 11 and under are free.
Macon Speedway PR
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials announced a plan Tuesday that outdoor sports venues with a capacity of more than 10,000 can host events with fans up to seven percent of their capacity, beginning Oct. 2. The news opens the door for a limited number of fans to be part of the action when NASCAR’s best return to America’s Home for Racing for the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 11 and the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina NASCAR Xfinity Series race and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCars GT Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 10.
“Throughout the summer, we’ve been working with local and state officials to bring fans to the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 weekend for what promises to be one of the season’s most anticipated events,” said Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter. “While we regret that we cannot accommodate every fan who would like to be part of this spectacular race weekend, we are committed to providing the best and safest experience possible for those who are able to attend.”
Based on the limited capacity allowed by the state, no additional tickets will be sold for the Oct. 11 Bank of America ROVAL™ 400. Remaining ticket holders will have the option to receive a 120 percent credit toward a 2021 event or a refund for the full purchase amount. Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office staff will reach out to existing ticket holders regarding their tickets.
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s racing double-header, highlighted by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina and the first-ever IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar GT Championship Series on the ROVAL. Adult tickets are $50 and available by calling 800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
State and local health officials have reviewed the speedway's plans to bring fans to the track safely. Race weekend fan protocols will include mandatory temperature checks at entry gates, contactless ticketing, socially distanced grandstand seating and cashless souvenir and concession purchases. Fans and staff will also be required to wear approved face coverings at all times, except while eating and drinking. Limited grandstand seating will be in groups of up to six people properly socially distant from any other group.
Charlotte Motor Speedway's modified race day protocols also include: social distancing in concession and bathroom lines; enhanced cleaning and sanitation in high-touch, high-traffic public areas; added hand-sanitizer stations; limited guests in suites; and infield admission for race team and operational personnel only.
Fans will be allowed to bring food and unopened beverages in a soft-sided clear bag no larger than 14 inches on its longest side. Standard coolers will be prohibited to limit interpersonal contact at security checkpoints. To limit contact, cash will not be accepted. Credit/debit cards and Apple Pay will be the accepted forms of payment at concession and souvenir locations.
“We’ve had some key learnings from our sister tracks including Bristol, New Hampshire and Texas, who have each successfully hosted fans during the pandemic. We look forward to implementing those ideas, among others, to be sure that fans can focus on fun while they’re here,” Walter said.
Keep track of all of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s events during its 60th anniversary season by following on Twitter and Instagram or become a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.
The last two NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway were intense for Ryan Blaney, but winning, even by just seven one thousandths of a second, easily calmed his nerves.
Now, with the upcoming Oct. 4 YellaWood 500 just over a week away, the pressure intensifies yet again for the driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford. With a third consecutive win, he can join an elite group of two iconic names at Talladega Superspeedway – Baker and Earnhardt.
Only two drivers have ever won three consecutive premier series races at storied Talladega. NASCAR Hall of Famer Buddy Baker pulled the rabbit out of the hat by sweeping both 1975 races, followed by a triumph in the spring event in 1976. He had to hold off the likes of runnerup finishers’ Richard Petty, David Pearson and Cale Yarborough, respectively, in each event. That record of three straight stood until 2001-03 when Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who will be inducted into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame next year, claimed an unprecedented four-in-row.
Currently, Blaney sits in the fine company of another group of NASCAR greats with the two straight triumphs at the 2.66-mile venue, NASCAR’s most competitive track. They include: Pete Hamilton (1970 sweep), Darrell Waltrip (1982 sweep), Ernie Irvan (1992-93), Sterling Marlin (1995-96), Jeff Gordon (2007 sweep) and Talladega Superspeedway all-time winner Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who won back-to-back on three different occasions (1990 sweep, 1993-94, 1999 sweep) as part of his 10 total victories.
How did those drivers fare in their attempt to get three Talladega wins in-a-row? Some came close:
- Hamilton – 4th in spring of 1971
- Waltrip – 33rd in spring of 1983
- Irvan – 2nd in summer of 1993
- Marlin – 29th in summer of 1996
- Gordon – 19th in spring of 2008
- Earnhardt, Sr.:
- 3rd in spring of 1991
- 34th in summer of 1994
- 3rd in spring of 2000
Now it’s Blaney’s turn. He made his pass on Ryan Newman coming through the tri-oval in last fall’s win, while in June for the GEICO 500, he traded paint with Erik Jones just feet from the finish line, sending the Joe Gibbs Racing driver into the outside wall, before fending off Ricky Stenhouse and Aric Almirola.
“The 20 (Jones) got to my outside and I tried to go up there to slow him down and I’m not sure, I don’t know three-wide, I hate that I hit him, but just kind of trying to beat and bang to the line and things like that,” said Blaney afterwards. “We just edged it out. It’s been a cool year so far and I’m really excited to get our first win of the year at a cool place. Thank you everybody (limited fans in grandstands) for coming. I appreciate you. That was a lot of fun.”
Blaney hopes the fun will continue, but he will have to earn it in the YellaWood 500. While his GEICO 500 victory placed him the Cup Series Playoffs, he was eliminated last week at the conclusion of the Bristol race. Who knows, maybe he will have a chip on his shoulder with even more incentive to play a spoiler role in capturing that third straight win at the high banks of Talladega.
Team Penske has won eight of the last 12 premier series race at Talladega with the three teammates’ Blaney (2 wins), Brad Keselowski (3 wins) and Joey Logano (3 wins).
The YellaWood 500 gets the green flag on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 1 p.m. CT. The full schedule for Oct. 3-4 Playoff Weekend for Talladega Superspeedway includes:
- Sat, Oct. 3 – Talladega 250 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at 12:00 p.m. CDT (FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 & MRN); 94 laps
- Sat, Oct. 3 – Ag-Pro 300 At TALLADEGA NASCAR Xfinity Series at 3:30 p.m. CDT (NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 & MRN); 113 laps
- Sun, Oct. 4 – YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series at 1:00 p.m. CDT (NBC, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90 & MRN); 188 laps
For further information on the YellaWood 500, including infield camping possibilities for the weekend, fans may learn more by calling the ticket office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am-6 pm CT, and 8 am-4 pm on the weekends.