Speedway Digest Staff
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For the third consecutive season, Boot Barn, the largest western and work wear retailer in the nation, will partner with Front Row Motorsports (FRM). Expanding their partnership, Boot Barn will be the primary partner of the No. 38 Ford Mustang team for four races in the NASCAR Cup Series and will continue their partnership with the No. 38 Ford F-150 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship team. New in 2023, Boot Barn will add various elements to bring fans closer to the FRM drivers and connect them with the Boot Barn brand.
Fans will be welcomed to the newly named Boot Barn garage when they visit FRM in May for Boot Barn Fan Day. Fans will be greeted by the Boot Barn mobile unit to shop. A date, time, and details of the Boot Barn Fan Day will be announced later. Boot Barn Fan Day will highlight the various lifestyles that comprise Boot Barn’s nationwide community as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes its long-awaited return to the North Wilkesboro Speedway. Boot Barn will also be the primary partner of Todd Gilliland in the NASCAR All-Star Open as he races to advance into the All-Star race at the North Wilkesboro Speedway.
A week later, Boot Barn will return to the Charlotte Motor Speedway as the primary partner on the No. 38 Ford Mustang to end an exciting month of racing and activities. They will again join the team at the Daytona International Speedway in August, the Kansas Speedway in September, and the season finale at the Phoenix Raceway.
“We are fortunate to have such a great partnership with Boot Barn because they really engage with the fans and our team,” said Gilliland. “I am just a huge fan of everyone behind Boot Barn and how great the cars always look. Hopefully, we can deliver impressive results in 2023 with Boot Barn on the sides and hood this season.”
Boot Barn will also serve as the primary partner of Zane Smith and the No. 38 Ford F-150 team for three races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as they chase their second championship. They will join Smith at Martinsville Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, and Lucas Oil Raceway Park.
“Boot Barn was a huge part of our success last season,” stated Smith. “We never finished outside the top three when we raced with their scheme. This year, I want to put Boot Barn in Victory Lane. I also love what they are doing with our race shop and getting more fans involved, too. That’s pretty cool.”
“We are thrilled to continue growing our partnership with Front Row Motorsports into 2023,” said Stephen Loscko, Director of Marketing and Media at Boot Barn. “Todd and Zane really represented the Boot Barn brand well, both on and off the track. They are enthusiastic about our partnership, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish in this new season.”
For more information about Boot Barn, visit www.bootbarn.com.
Zeigler Auto Group, Live Fast Motorsports, and Josh Bilicki Launch #LiveZeiglerFast Fan Engagement Campaign
Zeigler Auto Group today announced its season-long #LiveZeiglerFast fan engagement initiative in partnership with Live Fast Motorsports and Josh Bilicki. The major giveaway for the campaign will be two VIP tickets to the highly coveted Chicago Street Race in July with details on how to enter to be released at a later date.
"Our fans are the most important element of our sport and without them, we would not be racing on the weekends. Most fans see the action on track but do not have the chance to see what happens behind the scenes. Thanks to Zeigler, we have the opportunity to share this unique experience with a few very lucky individuals!,” said Bilicki who will be behind the wheel of Live Fast Motorsports’ flagship No. 78 Camaro after Zeigler announced its 2023 multi-race partnership with the driver and team.
Starting today, fans can enter for a chance to win two all-access VIP passes for Zeigler’s upcoming 2023 NASCAR Cup Series debut race on Sunday, March 26 at the Circuit of Americas (COTA).
Following @zeigler_racing on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
Upload a picture of how you #LiveZeiglerFast using the hashtag
The contest, now open, will run through Saturday, February 28 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Additional information and contest rules can be found at zeiglerracing.com/
"Being able to partner with Zeigler Auto Group and give back to our fans is an opportunity we are really excited about,” said Co-owner of Live Fast Motorsports, Matt Tifft. “Going to experience a NASCAR race live and in a VIP fashion is an experience people never forget.”
Besides VIP tickets to the upcoming Circuit of Americas race in March and the widely-coveted Chicago street race in July, the 2023 #LiveZeiglerFast Fan Engagement Campaign will also include VIP tickets to Charlotte ROVAL in October. Winners for these three major races will receive VIP access for two guests, signed memorabilia, an in-person meet-and-greet with Bilicki and more.
Other opportunities to win all season-long will include exclusive swag, special offers and incentives, and virtual meet-and-greets with Bilicki and more.
"NASCAR fans are some of the most passionate sports fans out there, which is exactly why we entered the world of NASCAR sponsorship to begin with,” said Aaron Zeigler, president and owner of Zeigler Auto Group, a Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work award-winning company.
“We’re thrilled about our 2023 NASCAR Cup Series partnership with Josh and Live Fast Motorsports, and look forward to having the opportunity to interact with race fans on a much closer level than we ever have before.”
Zeigler’s Driving Vision Podcast interviewed Live Fast Motorsports owners Tiff and BJ McLeod shortly after their partnership announcement with Zeigler and Bilicki.
Get ready for some high-octane virtual racing action, as fgrACCEL, a full-service sports marketing and management agency, launches their official eRacing team - fgrACCEL eRacing! The team will be participating in the entire 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series with a two-car team, starting with the virtual season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 14, 2023.
This move into the booming world of eRacing is just the latest venture for fgrACCEL as they continue to expand their Motorsports portfolio, which includes athlete management and representation, as well as marketing partnership procurements across all three of NASCAR’s top-three national divisions.
“We’re thrilled to be taking this step and entering the competitive and exciting world of eSports,” said Joseph Graf Sr., fgrACCEL managing partner.
“We’ve been testing the waters for a couple of years and now we’re ready to take the plunge and offer our current and potential marketing partners a wave of opportunities to promote their products. We have an amazing team of talented drivers, and we know they’ll represent the fgrACCEL brand with integrity and class.”
Leading the team is veteran eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacer, Garret Manes, who will be piloting the team’s No. 12 fgrACCEL Ford Mustang.
With over 2,300 victories, Manes is a professional sim racer who is ready to make 2023 his best year yet. He'll be joined by returning marketing partners Lennox and MCU Body on his Ford Mustang.
“This is my fifth year of professional sim racing and my third in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and I feel it will be my best yet,” said Manes. “I have won at every level of oval racing up until the Coca-Cola iRacing Series, but with the support of fgrACCEL, I believe 2023 will be the year we make the real highlights.”
Joining Manes is Joey Brown, who will be driving the No. 14 fgrACCEL Ford Mustang. A native of New Caney, Texas and a US Navy veteran, Brown won the 2022 eNASCAR Contender Series championship and is determined to make his return to the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season a memorable one.
“I am very thankful for this opportunity to be a part of fgrACCEL’s inaugural eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season,” added Brown. “I am determined to make my season a memorable one and not only be a great teammate to Garret but work hard to fulfill our goals and responsibilities for not only my team but our marketing partners too.”
fgrACCEL eRacing will be managed by NASCAR driver Joe Graf Jr. Keep an eye out for fgrACCEL eRacing as they take on the competition in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series!
For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, please visit iracing.com/enascar
For more on Garret Manes, please like him on Facebook (Garrett Manes Racing), follow him on Twitter (@GarrettManes) and Instagram (@garrettmanes1) and Twitch (@garrettmanes1).
For more on Joey Brown, follow him on Twitter (@joebrosef14).
For the third consecutive season, Call Before You Dig will present the CBYD Open 81 at Stafford Speedway. The May 19th race will be the second of five open modified races scheduled at the Connecticut half-mile facility during the 2023 season and will follow the 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® on April 29-30.
“Call Before You Dig is happy to continue working with Stafford Speedway,” said Derek Brown, President of Call Before You Dig in Connecticut. “Again this year we’ll be sponsoring the Open 81 race and CBYD recognizes that the race fans at Stafford are a great fit for our target audience of users of CBYD. Teaming up with Stafford is a great opportunity for us to promote CBYD and to remind everyone about the importance of using the CBYD service before putting a shovel into the ground.”
In addition to presenting the 5th Annual CBYD Open Modified 81, CBYD will provide the open modified field with some extra motivation to win the race in the form of a $1,000 bonus. Last year’s CBYD 81 saw a pair of Stafford SK Modified® veterans fighting for the win with Ronnie Williams outlasting Woody Pitkat to claim the checkered flag.
“We’re always looking forward to exciting racing at Stafford,” continued Brown. “Whenever you’re able to offer additional money for winning a race, it’s always fun to watch the drivers and teams compete for the trophy and the win.”
CBYD’s title sponsorship of the CBYD Open 81 continues a relationship with Stafford Speedway that dates back to the 2007 season. Over the past 16 seasons, CBYD has partnered with Stafford in a wide variety of ways, including options such as advertising partner, contingency sponsor, and race sponsor. CBYD has also offered several special contingency programs such as the CBYD 811 Challenge from 2013-2018 and the CBYD Modified Challenge for the 2021 season.
“Because Stafford is a premier racing venue in New England, there’s always big crowds at the races and it gives us a great outreach for public education about CBYD,” said Brown. “Our sponsorship allows us to be visible all season long at Stafford on the backstretch billboards, the technical inspection area, social media advertising and other marketing avenues such as the Stafford website. With the audience expanding thanks to the FloRacing coverage, partnering with Stafford is even more desirable and helps our reach extend far beyond the New England region.”
Stafford Speedway PR
NASCAR Legend and American Icon Richard Petty to Serve as Grand Marshal for Trans Am’s Sebring Season Opener
Ryan Ellis and Alpha Prime Racing are proud to announce that ShineWater will debut as the primary sponsor of the No. 43 Chevrolet in the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 4th. This will mark the brand’s first endeavor into NASCAR, as they team up with Ellis and Alpha Prime Racing to take on the 1.5-mile tri-oval located just outside of Las Vegas’ infamous city lights. Last year, Ellis made his debut with Alpha Prime Racing in the same event, finishing 13th after a chaotic and exciting 300 mile race.
ShineWater is the only ready-to-drink hydration beverage on the market with 100% of the daily recommended vitamin D dosage in a single bottle. Founded by a former FDA physician, they made their start in Michigan, and have now expanded to all 50 states.
ShineWater can be found in select retail locations across America in chains like Food Lion, Meijer, Walmart, Target, CVS, HyVee, QT, 7-11, and many more.
Nearly half of the US population battles vitamin D deficiency. ShineWater’s wide variety of flavors such as Strawberry Lemon, Mixed Berry Acai, Fruit Punch, and more, gives consumers a great way to stay hydrated and get their vitamin D with zero added sugar.
“ShineWater is a brand built from the heartland with a mission to bring vitamins and nutrients to Americans in an all-natural, good-for-you beverage. For us, a partnership with Ryan Ellis and Alpha Prime Racing just made perfect sense to help us spread the word about the importance of vitamin D,” said Ryan Coon, Chief Marketing Officer, of ShineWater.
“I’m so excited to announce this partnership with ShineWater. I found ShineWater very recently at a local Food Lion near my house and immediately fell in love with the taste and everything that the brand stands for,” said Ryan Ellis, driver of the No.43
ShineWater Chevy. “Like many others during the pandemic, I did a lot of research on the benefits of vitamin D and I have been taking daily supplements to make sure that I get my daily dose of sunshine even on days I am mostly inside. As a new parent, I’ve been focusing on keeping my immune system strong so I have the energy to chase my daughter around the house and obviously, train for the racing season. It’s great to partner with another brand that I truly believe in. I really hope that we can grow this partnership into more races in 2023 and future years.”
“We’re very proud to welcome ShineWater to the Alpha Prime Racing family. As the season gets busy and we get on the road more, it can be easy to forget to take care of your body. The folks at ShineWater developed a great way to provide an essential vitamin inside of an amazing beverage and we want to be part of their exponential growth as a brand however we can. We’re really looking forward to having their group out in Las Vegas and hope that fans head out and grab a few bottles to support our newest partner,” said Tommy Joe Martins, President of Alpha Prime Racing.
The Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway takes place on Saturday, March 4th, 2023. It will be broadcasted live on FS1 beginning at 4:30pm ET.
Practice will take place on Friday, March 3rd at 6:30pm ET (3:30 pm local) with qualifying at 7:00pm ET (4:00 pm local). Practice and qualifying coverage TBA.
Radio coverage will be on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM. The full weekend schedule, including practice and qualifying schedule and other specific tune-in information will be announced in the coming weeks.
LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Adds Veteran Crew Chief Todd Gordon, Signs No. 43 Crew Chief Dave Elenz to Contract Extension
LEGACY MOTOR CLUB today announced NASCAR veteran Todd Gordon to crew chief seven-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson’s limited racing schedule in the No. 84 Chevrolet. Additionally, the team announced a contract extension with Dave Elenz, to remain as crew chief for Erik Jones and the No. 43 Chevrolet through 2025. Elenz and Gordon will work alongside NASCAR Rookie of the Year candidate Noah Gragson, crew chief Luke Lambert and the No. 42 team.
As with many professionals in the motorsports industry, Gordon, 53, started out as a driver, racing limited supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway near his hometown of Camden, N.Y. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University and after hanging up the helmet, pursued a career in NASCAR. Gordon began working in the Busch (now Xfinity) Series as a fabricator and mechanic in 1998. From 2004 to 2011, Gordon worked as a crew chief for multiple teams in the Xfinity Series accumulating seven pole positions, seven wins, 18-top five and 43 top-10 finishes joining Team Penske in 2011.
At the start of the 2013 season, Gordon was matched with driver Joey Logano, leading the team to 21 wins, a NASCAR All-Star race win in 2017 and the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship. In the final two seasons of his career as a crew chief, Gordon was paired with Ryan Blaney, winning four races, before announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Throughout his successful career at NASCAR’s highest level, he is credited with 18 pole positions, 25 race wins, 123 top-five and 199 top-10 finishes. Gordon currently works as a radio sportscaster on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and is a co-host of “Late Shift” on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel. Once fierce competitors on the track, Gordon and Johnson will navigate the limited racing schedule starting with the DAYTONA 500.
“I’m really looking forward to working with another champion that still has the desire to compete and win at the highest level,” said Gordon. “In my conversations with Jimmie, I found we both miss the competition – but don’t want the grind of a full-time schedule – so this is a great opportunity for us to still race and help LEGACY MOTOR CLUB build on the success they saw in 2022.”
“Having the pressure of ‘making the race’ through qualifying and the Duel races is going to be a little stressful with a car that Jimmie and I haven’t worked with yet,” Gordon continued. “But the team had really good cars on superspeedways last season, so we have great resources, great teammates and a good starting point.”
Johnson echoes Gordon’s excitement and anticipation of the season ahead.
“I’m thrilled to have Todd come on board as my crew chief,” said Johnson. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him over the last few weeks. I have known and respected him as a competitor for many years and have always appreciated his professionalism, work ethic and results. His wisdom and experience will be beneficial to LEGACY M.C. as a whole. I believe he will work very well with Dave, Luke and the entire team.”
The 2023 season marks the sophomore year for the pairing of Erik Jones and Dave Elenz under the banner of the No. 43 made famous by Richard Petty. In their first season together, the duo racked up one win at Darlington in the Southern 500, three top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.
Elenz, 41, is a native of Gaylord, Mich., and graduate of Clemson University. He began his career in 2001 as an engineer. Elenz worked at Jasper Racing, Ginn Racing and Red Bull Racing Team before joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. While at Hendrick, Elenz was Johnson’s team engineer on the No. 48 team and together they won the 2013 NASCAR Cup Series title. In 2015, Elenz joined JR Motorsports’ Xfinity Series team as a crew chief. There, Elenz found much success winning 15 races with six different drivers and back-to-back Xfinity Series titles with William Byron in 2017 and Tyler Reddick in 2018. After leading the No. 9 car driven by (Noah) Gragson for three seasons, Elenz joined LEGACY M.C. to crew chief Jones at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
“I’m excited to continue my career for 2023 and beyond at LEGACY M.C.,” said Elenz. “We had a great season last year thanks to Erik and everyone at the team. There is a lot of excitement and opportunity right now at LEGACY M.C. and I’m really looking forward to getting back to the track.”
“The amount of talent and pedigree of people we have at LEGACY M.C. is really impressive,” remarked Team President Mike Beam. “I really can’t wait to get to the track and see what we can accomplish together. Maury (Gallagher), Jimmie, Joey Cohen and I have been working really hard over the off-season to put the right people in place. The experience that comes with these championship-winning crew chiefs and drivers will help us continue the legacy that Maury and I built with GMS Racing and Richard (Petty) and Dale (Inman) built with Richard Petty Motorsports and will move LECACY M.C. forward.”
LEGACY M.C. is participating in a two-day NASCAR sanctioned test at Phoenix Raceway on Jan. 24-25 with Jones and Johnson. This is the first time Johnson and Gordon will experience the Next Gen car before hitting the track in Daytona next month.
The NASCAR Cup Series season will begin in Los Angeles, California at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 5th, for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. Tune-in to FOX at 8:00 PM ET as LEGACY MOTOR CLUB makes its highly anticipated official on-track debut in the exhibition race ahead of the 65th-annual DAYTONA 500.
Big Bounce America attractions set for Dover Motor Speedway’s FanZone April 28-30 during NASCAR tripleheader weekend
Big Bounce America, the world’s largest bounce house experience, will be a centerpiece of Dover Motor Speedway’s FanZone when NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile April 28-30.
Certified by Guinness World Records, Big Bounce America’s bounce house, 12,000-plus square feet of colors, inflatables and adventure is the world’s largest bounce house. Along with “The Giant,” a 900-foot long course containing more than 50 obstacles to pass through, the Big Bounce America experience will be FREE for race fans before the Sunday, April 30 NASCAR Cup Series race as well as before and after Dover’s Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 races.
Operating hours are as follows:
- Friday, April 28: Noon to 9 p.m.
- Saturday, April 29: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; 3-9 p.m.
- Sunday, April 30: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Friday and Saturday tickets are FREE for kids 12 and under (with a paying adult) at the Monster Mile and just $10 on Sunday.
“The world’s biggest bounce house and ‘The Giant’ really get your blood pumping, which is the perfect way for Dover Motor Speedway’s adrenaline-junkie fans to warm up for the big race,” said Cameron Craig, co-founder of XL Event Lab.
“We're thrilled to bring these inflatables to Dover's FanZone as they're designed to deliver fun for all ages. Whether you’re 6 or 60, we invite you to kick those shoes off and let loose for a while. We even have a live DJ inside the bounce house who turns up the party with games, confetti, and rockin’ music.”
Dover’s race weekend will be the first visit to a NASCAR event for Big Bounce America attractions.
“The incredible Big Bounce America displays will be part of the most exciting FanZone experience in our long history – and we have more amazing attractions we will be announcing soon,” said Mike Tatoian, Dover Motor Speedway’s president.
“We look forward to Monster Mile fans of all ages enjoying this magnificent interactive attraction and enjoying all the fun around the track when America’s best drivers return to Dover in April.”
Dover Motor Speedway’s 2023 race schedule includes:
- Sunday, April 30, 2 p.m.: NASCAR Cup Series race (FS1)
- Saturday, April 29, 1:30 p.m.: A-GAME 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race (FS1)
- Friday, April 28, 5:30 p.m.: General Tire 125 ARCA Menards Series East race
Call 800-441-RACE to discuss your options with an account representative or visit DoverMotorSpeedway.com.
The April 30 NASCAR Cup Series race is the Monster Mile’s 105th NASCAR Cup Series race. Dover Motor Speedway is one of only 10 tracks in the country to host 100 or more NASCAR Cup Series events.
NASCAR and NMPA Hall of Fame member Waddell Wilson received another jewel in his career crown Sunday when he was named the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Wood Brothers Award of Excellence.
The award was determined by members of the beloved Wood family and presented during the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the Great Wolf Lodge. It honors crew members, crew chiefs, engine builders and race engineers that offer outstanding contributions to NASCAR through on-track success. Previous recipients are eight-time NASCAR Cup championship crew chief Dale Inman, NASCAR innovator Leonard Wood and NASCAR Cup championship crew chief Harry Hyde.
A Western North Carolina native, Wilson graduated from Nashville (Tenn.) Auto Diesel College before joining the famed Holman-Moody racing operation in Charlotte, N.C. He initially gained recognition for building the engine Fireball Roberts used to win the 1963 Southern 500. His potent engines were favored by Fred Lorenzen and the drivers they powered to victory included David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Darrell Waltrip.
Wilson’s engines recorded 109 victories and 123 poles. While in the dual role of engine builder and crew chief, Wilson guided three cars to victory lane in the Daytona 500: 1980 with Baker and 1983-84 with Yarborough. The Oldsmobile known as the “Grey Ghost” that Wilson assembled for Baker still possesses the record for the fastest ever Daytona 500 with an average speed of 177.602 mph.
In 1982, an engine built by Wilson allowed Benny Parsons to become the first NASCAR Cup driver to break the 200-mph barrier in qualifying when he posted a 200.176-mph lap during Winston 500-time trials at Talladega.
During Wilson’s years as a crew chief, he directed his drivers to 22 victories and 32 poles.
Wilson retired from racing full time in 2000, but remained active in the sport in various capacities, including serving as a consultant for Jerico Performance Products.
Wilson and his wife, Barbara, have four children – Gary, Greg, Lisa, and Freddie – who all followed in their father’s footsteps by working in motorsports.
Kurt Busch, who was twice voted a quarter winner, was announced Sunday as the overall National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award for 2022.
Busch accepted the honor during the NMPA awards luncheon at the Great Wolf Lodge.
The NMPA press membership recognized the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion by being voted the first quarter winner for his work with the nonprofit program Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix). Busch began donating race tickets in 2019 and encourages others in the industry to allow military service members and veterans to attend NASCAR races.
In the fourth quarter, Busch was selected for his spirit and leadership through a concussion that ended his full-time NASCAR career and work with the “Window of Hope” program.
Busch was injured at Pocono Raceway in July and did not return to competition in 2022. But he continued to support his team, 23XI Racing, and show others the importance of making your health a priority.
The “Window of Hope” program came to life in 2019 after Busch received a fan letter. In Oct., NASCAR drivers in the Xfinity Series and Cup Series ran pink window nets at the Charlotte Roval to bring awareness to breast cancer. Afterward, the window nets were autographed and auctioned off through the NASCAR Foundation, with proceeds benefiting Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute’s Project PINK.
Other quarterly winners were NHRA competitor Dom Lagana and IMSA competitor Robert Wickens.
Established in 1992 and supported by Pocono Raceway, the NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motor sports. It is also meant to acknowledge competitors who have overcome illness or tragedy to return to racing.