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Making his first career Daytona International Speedway start in the ARCA Racing Series Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV America Real, Kyle Larson began his journey to receive NASCAR approval to compete on restrictor plate tracks with an 11th-place qualifying effort and very little practice prior to Saturday's main event. Fulfilling his goal to stay out of trouble and gain a solid finish in the 80-lap shootout, Larson veered away from turmoil and was credited with a second-place finish.
Moving up from his 11th-place starting position before the completion of lap one, Larson settled into a comfortable rhythm until the first caution on lap 10. Electing to bring his driver down pit road for the only stop of the day, crew chief Trent Owens made the call for fuel only to the Cessna Chevrolet team. Larson rejoined the field and remained in a holding pattern until breaking into the top five at the halfway point. Running single file on the final lap, Larson tried to use some lapped traffic to his advantage and break the draft to catch the leader. The move wasn't quite enough, but Larson was able to secure the second-place finish.
"My first restrictor plate experience wasn't too intense, but when I had to go three wide around lapped traffic a few times it got pretty exciting," Larson explained after climbing from the Cessna Impala. "I feel like I learned a lot about side drafting today, but that's about all I'll be able to carry over into the Nationwide race next week. If I'm approved to do that race, I'll have to do a lot of learning again, but hopefully I'll catch on quickly like today and we can get up front at the end to compete for the win."
Pending NASCAR approval, Kyle Larson's next event with Turner Scott Motorsports will be the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 on Saturday, February 23rd at Daytona International Speedway. ESPN and MRN affiliated radio stations will have live coverage.
John Wes Townley Goes to Victory Lane at Daytona; Gives Venturini Motorsports First Win at 'World Center of Racing'
Venturini Motorsports driver John Wes Townley took the checkered flag Saturday after an amazing sequence of events inside the finals 10 laps left him at the front of the Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real.
Townley won from the pole in what was the 50thannual ARCA Racing Series event at Daytona International Speedway.
"It's one thing to win your first race in ARCA, it's another to win at Daytona," Townley said after the first win in the 31-year history of Venturini Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway.
"This is just a great day for Venturini Motorsports," Townley said. "This is priceless. I almost wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. It's a real honor."
The final 49 laps were all under the green flag.
Kyle Larson finished second, Ricky Ehhrgot third and Frank Kimmel fourth. Sean Corr came in fifth.
Townley passed eight-time Daytona winner Bobby Gerhart with seven laps to go when Gerhart slowed.
"I don't really know what happened there," Townley said. "He checked up. We made a little contact."
After going green after the third caution at lap 22, Gerhart, Townley, Ehrgott and Larson broke away from the pack along with the lapped car of Chris Buescher, which tucked in right behind Gerhart and remained there for about 50 laps. The five cars created their own pack and coasted for nearly 40 laps while the second set of cars were much further back, but continued on the lead lap.
Things remained in that order until Buescher moved out of the way with just under 10 laps to go and Gerhart slowed, eventually rocketing down pit lane at high speed. He returned to the track before eventually pulling off the track and finishing 29th because of a fuel pump problem. Gerhart was attempting to win his ninth time at Daytona.
In the pre-race drivers meeting, ARCA officials stressed to the drivers to remain patient and be courteous to others. Townley, of Watkinsville, Ga. said that wasn't an easy thing to do.
"It's a tough thing to do," he said. "A few times I wanted to duck out and see what I could do. I'm glad that I didn't."
Larson, racing in the No. 4 Cessna Chevrolet, said he couldn't get any closer to the front. "The race went pretty smooth," he said. "But, I couldn't really make any moves. I was wide open. We'll take second."
Milka Duno was the early race leader until her car had troubles and she had to make repairs and ended up four laps down in 28th. Matt Kurzejewski and Josh Williams also led laps during the race.
The crash on lap 19 sent drivers Justin Boston, Darrell Wallace and Steve Kemp to the infield care center. They were treated and released. Julien Jousse caused the first caution when his motor blew up. The final caution came during a six-car crash that occurred after the green flag dropped and several cars never got up to speed.
There were only three cautions for 19 laps in the event and five different leaders. The race was completed in 1:29:18.
Billy Venturini, general manager for the VMS team, said the win meant everything for his family and team.
"This is the first time I cried in victory lane," he said. "This was definitely the highlight of our entire racing career. I think we've won at just about every other track we go to except here."
ARCA Racing PR
Danica Patrick made NASCAR history today during Coors Light Pole qualifying for the Daytona 500, becoming the first female driver to win a pole at NASCAR’s top level – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team kicked off the 2013 season by capturing a win in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 75-lap, three-segment event from the 17th position and survived a nine-car accident before the caution flag was displayed, signaling the completion of the first 30-lap segment. Following a speedy four-tire pit stop by the pit crew under caution, Harvick returned to the track in the lead for the beginning of the second segment, which consisted of 25 laps. The 37-year-old driver maintained a position within the top five, and regained the top spot prior to the end of the second segment. Under the direction of crew chief Gil Martin, the Budweiser pit crew executed a four-tire pit stop and added tape to the grille during a two-minute break. Harvick restarted in the lead for the final segment, a 20-lap shootout, and fought off the competition during the final laps, crossing the finish line a mere 0.149 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. The victory marks Harvick's third-career win of this non-points paying event, and Richard Childress Racing's eighth, the most of any NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization.
Start - 17 Finish - 1 Laps Led - 40 Points - N/A
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
"This Budweiser crew did a great job tonight. It was great to go back to Victory Lane and be the first one to win in the new Gen-6 car and the Chevrolet SS. There's a lot of politics behind everything going on with our team this season, but when we get to the race track it's about sitting in this race car and making it as fast as it'll go. Those guys don't care about anything but winning and wanting to do well. We owe it to them and everybody at Budweiser, Jimmy John's and Rheem to do the best we can. So, this was really an awesome day for us."
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, represented Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the Sprint Unlimited by finishing fourth in the non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Stewart started 15th and led twice for five laps. He was second in the closing laps of the 75-lap race but dropped to fourth on the final circuit around the 2.5-mile superspeedway after being passed by Greg Biffle and Joey Logano.
“I wasn’t quite sure exactly which move to make,” Stewart said. “I saw the No. 22 (Logano) coming on the bottom. I thought they were going fast enough that I needed to move down, but I should’ve stayed where I was.
“We’ve got a good car. Anybody that questions whether Mobil 1 is the best lubricant brand in the world, all they had to do was watch the first 20 laps of that race. We proved it by going to the back, going to the front, going to the back, going to the front. We’ve got really good racecars. I’m really proud of the Hendrick engine department and everybody at Stewart-Haas. To go through the winter these guys have gone through, trying to build cars at the last minute because of the shortage of parts and to bring two cars down here that are this fast, I’m really proud of our organization right now.”
Stewart earned entry into the exhibition race by virtue of his pole last August at Atlanta Motor Speedway and by being a two-time winner of the race (2001 and 2002), which was known as the Budweiser Shootout. Only 2012 pole winners and past winners of the Sprint Unlimited/Budweiser Shootout earned entry into the race, which this year consisted of 19 drivers.
This was Stewart’s 10th top-five finish in 14 career Sprint Unlimited starts. But it did not come without its challenges.
Stewart nearly had his night end early when on lap 15 he moved from the outside lane to the inside lane in an attempt to take second place from Marcos Ambrose and shoot into the lead. Unfortunately, the left-rear corner of Stewart’s Chevrolet clipped the right-front of Ambrose’s Ford, sending Stewart sideways through turn two. With sparks flying as the nose of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevy scraped across the apron while the rear dug into the banking, Stewart applied his dirt-track racing pedigree to quickly regain control.
But there was a ripple effect behind Stewart. Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin bounced off one another as they attempted to maneuver around what appeared to be an impending crash, and that set off a chain-reaction pileup that collected Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch.
“I got a big run on the No. 20 (Matt Kenseth), and I went to the bottom,” Stewart said. “I thought I was clear. The spotter did not clear me, so I went on my own. I made a move for the lead and probably was a little anxious too early. I thought I had a big enough run that I cleared second, but I obviously hadn’t, and I just barely nicked him. I just needed about two more inches.”
Stewart’s SHR teammates, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick, were not eligible for the race as neither driver won a pole during the 2012 Sprint Cup season nor are they past winners of the Sprint Unlimited.
Kevin Harvick won the Sprint Unlimited. It was his third win in the non-points race in the last five years, as he scored back-to-back wins in 2009 and 2010.
Biffle finished .149 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Logano, Stewart and Kenseth rounded out the top-five. Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Truex and Juan Pablo Montoya comprised the remainder of the top-10. There were three caution periods for four laps, with seven drivers failing to finish.
Next up for SHR is Daytona 500 qualifying, where Stewart, Newman and Patrick will be among 45 drivers going for the pole for the 55th annual Daytona 500. Qualifying is set to get underway at 1 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 17, with live coverage provided by FOX. The Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile races which will set the rest of the Daytona 500 field – take place at 1:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 with live coverage on SPEED. Speedweeks then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at noon.
Sean Corr moved up over a dozen spots during the course of the 200 mile ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opener on Saturday Feb 16th to earn a 5th place finish. In three laps of practice before the Florida weather moved in, Corr had little time to assess the handling of his car prior to qualifying. Qualifying in the same car he won the pole with last year, Sean was able to shave off three tenths of a second to earn the 18th starting position for the race. After a gas and go pitstop, Corr entered the top 10. Pairing up with Frank Kimmel, he continued his advance through the field.
“I am so glad to be able to have put the #82 Warriors In The Workplace/LBS South Ford Fusion in the top 5 here in Daytona. Ben Leslie and the Empire Racing crew worked hard and put together a really good car. RoushYates Engines and Nick Ramey gave us the power we needed to get to the front after starting 18th. We had several new marketing partners join us this week, CroftgateUSA and RageTank, and I am happy that we were able to give them a good experience here at Daytona. I also want to thank Frank Kimmel for working with us as our drafting partner today ”stated Corr after the race.
“Roush Yates worked hard on their engine package over the winter and we were looking to put them up front. We ended up 5th and the top finishing Ford in the field. We were lucky to just miss out on the big one. Crew chief Ben Leslie and our spotter, Timmy McKichan, did a great job calling the race, and we are so proud of Sean’s performance at Daytona ” explained Empire Team Manager, John Bellesfield.
Sean will return to Daytona next week as he takes to the high banks of Daytona again in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Feb 22nd. The Friday night race will be televised live on SPEED and broadcast on MRN Radio and Sirius XM Channel 90 starting at 7:30 pm.
Empire Racing PR
It's been a rough Daytona Speedweeks start for Kurt Busch. The Furniture Row Racing driver, who got collected in a practice accident Friday, didn't fare any better Saturday night in the Sprint Unlimited race.
The pilot Juan Carlos Blum tapatío made its expected announcement on the competition schedule.
You will be participating this year, which announced its entry into the American category called NASCAR Nationwide Series after reaching agreement even to be part of the team Rick Ware Racing, United Race Group throughout the 2013 season.
Juan Carlos Blum who has the age of 18 give a big leap to his sporting career since making his foray from the ranks of karting (at age eleven), after competing very successfully at the national championships plus some shares in the United States in the fastest 125cc Shifter, decided instead to lean to the cars stock cars, beginning his journey in the Super Stock V6 (support category to the NASCAR TOYOTA Series) in Mexico and also the skills to combine try your luck in the ARCA Series in 2012, making some appearances in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
The challenge we face Juan Carlos Blum will be the largest of its short racing career, because you will be contesting a total of 33 competitions being the first Mexican midfielder participate full-time in this competitive category in which pilots are also included large talent and who have succeeded in the main it is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which is his goal of winning the most important series in the United States.
The skills agenda Juan Carlos Blum member of the Rick Ware Racing team-United Race Group, who will be handling the Stock Car # 15 Chevrolet Monte Carlo will begin on February 23, 2013 was the first calendar day of the NASCAR Nationwide Series on the tri-oval 2.5 miles (4.0225 km) located on the premises of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and is also the support race at Daytona 500 (star of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series). the most important test of 2013.
"I'm excited, I still do not believe it, the power to run a full Nationwide season is a great challenge for me and a great opportunity that is giving me. To run the Daytona Superspeedway is a dream in my career, the first opportunity I had on this track was over a year ago and was one of the best experiences of my life, now that he has this time I have to make the most and learn all you can "
Juan Carlos Blum aims to end the powers besides going to give the best results as the season progresses, being a commitment to his team-Rick Ware Racing United Race Group the challenge will not be easy because you will have some rivals as Kevin Harvick , Joy Logano and Kyle Busch to continue also in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013.
Juan Carlos Blum Racing Media Press
John Wes Townley started on the pole and finished in Gatorade Victory Lane Saturday capturing the 50thannual Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway.
The race marked Townley’s eighth start at the “World Center of Racing,” and his first career pole and win in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. His previous best finish in the series also came at DIS when he finished third in 2010.
“It still hasn’t sunk all in,” said Townley of the win, which gave Venturini Motorsports their first, long-awaited victory on the high banks of Daytona. “It’s one thing to win your first race in ARCA; it’s another to win at Daytona.
“Personally, this is priceless,” Townley continued. “I almost wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world except my family. It’s a real honor to win at Daytona.”
Townley has raced well in the ARCA Series on the 2.5-mile tri-oval, logging four top-11 finishes in as many starts. Townley was a contender for the win right off of the truck, with the No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota posting the fastest laps during qualifying and practice. He then went on to lead nine laps during the race, including the last eight.
Leading a race-high 55 laps on the night was eight-time and defending race winner Bobby Gerhart, who holds the record for the most starts (26) and the most laps completed (1,781) in the kickoff event to the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks. In the lead with eight laps to go, Gerhart’s No. 5 Chevrolet slowed coming off Turn 4, allowing Townley to pass him for the lead. Two laps later, Gerhart’s car would come to a rest on the backstretch.
Rounding out the top five were Kyle Larson, Ricky Ehrgott, nine-time ARCA Series champion Frank Kimmel and 2012 race polesitter Sean Corr.
Drivers participating in the 80-lap opening act to the star-studded Sprint Unlimited included 20 drivers experiencing their first competitive laps at DIS; Martinsville Speedway track president Clay Campbell, who finished 14th; and 78-year-old James Hylton, who finished 26th. The race marks Hylton’s last at the prestigious track as he is retiring at the end of the season after 50 years of NASCAR racing.
SR² Motorsports announced today that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Canadian TireSeries driver Derek White has joined the Buford, Ga.-based Nationwide Series team as a partner.
White, a North American Indian from Kahnawake, Quebec brings a strong combination of racing passion and experience to SR² Motorsports. He began driving in racing’s top levels in 2009, making five starts as an owner/driver in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He followed the season up by winning the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. In 2012, he broke into the Nationwide Series, competing with SR² Motorsports in four events, finishing a season-best 18th-place at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. White is excited to return to the three-car team as a partner in 2013.
“I’m very excited to continue my relationship with SR² Motorsports,” said White. “I enjoyed working with them last year and was very impressed with what they achieved in their first season. They’ve made several improvements in the off season and I’m glad that I can continue to be a part of the organization as it goes forward.”
SR² Motorsports began as a two-car team in the Nationwide Series last season. They acquired McDonald Motorsports to become a three-car team for 2013. Sciavicco is pleased to have White remain with the team as it progresses.
“We’re very excited to have Derek White join our team in a larger role,” said Sciavicco. “His experience will be very valuable to our organization. We’re poised to have a terrific 2013 season and know that Derek will play a big part in that.”
SR² Motorsports PR