Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Few expected David Gilliland to win the NASCAR Nationwide

Series race on Saturday, June 17, 2006 at Kentucky Speedway.  However, on that historic evening, Gilliland took home a win that forever changed the course of his career.  This weekend, Gilliland returns to the site of that momentous victory, carrying the colors of the Taco Bell / Live Mas No. 38 Ford.


Gilliland finished 31st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' inaugural visit to Kentucky Speedway last season. His season-best finish on a mile-and-a-half track is 26th at Charlotte. He is coming off of a 26th-place finish at Sonoma last weekend.


David Gilliland on Kentucky:


"Obviously Kentucky Speedway will always hold a special place in my memory.  That win was a very big day for myself and my team at the time.  I feel I've always embraced the underdog role, which is a role I've carried throughout my career.  We had a decent run at Sonoma last weekend and our looking to see if some of the changes we've made to our intermediate package pay off Saturday night."


"It's great to be carrying the Taco Bell colors this weekend.  We're racing in YUM! Brands' home state of Kentucky, so we want to do well for them in their backyard.  Kentucky is a night race, so we may have to visit Taco Bell for Fourth Meal after we cross the finish line."



Following a successful first event in April, Richard Childress Racing announced the date for the second installment of the RCR Pit Crew Training Combine powered by AdvoCare. The session will be held on Thursday, July 12 from 1-5 p.m. Eastern Time at the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series facility in Welcome, N.C.


The event is open to: individuals with an experienced mechanical background, athletes with a serious passion for developing into full-time pit crew team members at the premier level, as well as individuals who participated in the inaugural combine. In addition a variety of rigorous agility and physically demanding workouts, participants' mechanical skills and knowledge will be assessed.


"After seeing positive results from the first two-day combine, we are ready to build on that success and find individuals with motorsports experience that are ready for the next step," said Eric Wilson, Director of Human Performance at RCR. "The second installment will be tailored toward the person that not only has superior athletic ability, but has a mechanical background and the necessary skills to become a full-time team member."


This most recent announcement comes on the heels of a successful inaugural event where more than 100 participants put their physical and mental abilities to the test in a rigorous two-day training camp. That session included mock training programs and real-time simulated pit stops in high-pressure scenarios, normally experienced on a weekly basis both on and off the track throughout the course of a full race season.


Qualified competitors who are interested should arrive at the RCR Sprint Cup Series facility dressed and ready to work out, and check in at the front desk for instruction. There are no fees associated with the event and it is open to the public. Registration begins at 1 p.m. ET.



Sam’s Club and its Member’s Mark Angus Beef and Castlewood Reserve brands will serve as the primary sponsor for three races during 2012 Nationwide season for the reigning 2011 NASCAR Nationwide champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and his No. 6 team. Sam’s Club logos will be featured prominently on the No. 6 Ford Mustang accented with Member’s Mark Angus Beef and Castlewood Reserve logos starting this weekend at Kentucky Speedway for the Feed the Children 300. The remaining two races of the sponsorship are slated for Indianapolis (July 28) and Kansas (October 20).

“I am thrilled to have Sam’s Club back on our Mustang this year,” said Stenhouse. “Cargill has been a huge supporter of our No. 6 team the past two years. We hope to bring recognition to Sam’s exclusive brands of Member’s Mark Angus Beef and Castlewood Reserve by putting them in victory lane.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with Sam’s Club again this year and increasing our commitment to three races in the Nationwide series” said Fred Sousa Assistant Vice President of Cargill Beef Marketing. “Nascar events provide a great venue to gain exposure for these two great brands available only at Sam’s Club. We are confident that the Roush Fenway No. 6 team will do everything they can to maximize that exposure by getting us to Victory lane.”


Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Red Cross Ford Fusion, is supporting the American Red Cross in its emergency call for blood and platelet donors.

Biffle is encouraging fans in small towns across the country to raise awareness about the need for lifesaving blood donations this summer. Small towns are big supporters of the blood supply, with almost 38 percent of Red Cross blood drives being held in small towns across the United States.

In honor of the many big hearts in these small towns, the No. 16 Red Cross Ford Fusion, driven by Biffle, will sport the #MyTownGives paint scheme during this weekend’s Quaker State 400.  The car will recognize the millions of whole blood donations made by small town America. It will feature a nighttime town landscape with the hashtag #MyTownGives and a reminder to “give blood” on the quarter panel

Biffle, a member of the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, is a regular blood donor.

“I give blood because I’m not a firefighter or an EMT, but I can help save a life – one hour of my time may save a life," said Biffle.  “I encourage everyone who is able to give blood to visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS and find a blood donation location.”

The call-to-action of “give blood” comes as the Red Cross faces an emergency need for blood and platelet donors of all types, particularly types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible whole blood donors can give blood once every 56 days at Red Cross blood drives and blood donation centers throughout the country.

The American Red Cross is celebrating the fifth year of its Red Cross Racing partnership with 3M and Roush Fenway Racing. A generous donation from 3M and support by Greg Biffle has made this special #MyTownGives paint scheme possible.

How to Donate Blood
All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of positive identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Visit redcrossblood.org for more information.


TMone, a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm and leader in driving new jobs in South Dakota and Iowa, is jumping on board with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) and the No. 10 Outsourcing in the USA @TMone Chevrolet driven by David Reutimann in this weekend’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. TMone’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) campaign will focus on driving jobs in America and highlight the difference between Outsourcing and Offshoring.
TMone, with locations in the Midwest and Northern Great Plains, delivers new jobs to America’s hometowns. American businesses, such as TMone, are the start-up success stories of job creation and are built upon a dream that owes its success to the energy and commitment of the employees who work at TMone. Outsourcing is a people business, and TMone is in the business of augmenting and supplementing other companies human capital needs. TMone has grown to over 500 employees and is on Inc. Magazine’s Honor Roll List of Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies for the last five years in America.
Most of TMone’s growth has been as a result of supporting companies that are driving forward with new initiatives in uncertain regulatory environments, therefore, not one of TMone’s new jobs has resulted in the loss of a job held elsewhere. TMone helps service and sell legacy and additional customers so our clients can focus their human capital on their core businesses, which in return drives jobs internally and externally.
“We drive sales, and we drive service by waking up and fighting for jobs every day,” said Anthony Marlowe, TMone’s President. “We are proud of our Outsourcing in the USA Company. The more than 500 employees of the TMone community find it intentionally misleading when people tie the outsourcing work we do in our Iowa and South Dakota call centers to negative connotations, some of greatest leaders and business people of America created value for millions of people and yes outsourcing is a part of the strategy.”
Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 will mark TMone’s fifth sponsorship of TBR and the 17th consecutive NSCS team sponsorship this season. Reutimann will pilot the No. 10 Outsourcing in the USA @TMone Chevrolet in the 17th race of the NSCS season.
“We are very happy to have Outsourcing in the USA come on board the No. 10 Chevrolet as primary sponsor and to have TMone expand their program with us,” explained Tommy Baldwin. “I went to TMone’s website, and they are hiring, sponsoring NASCAR teams and helping companies grow which means everyone is winning. TMone’s mission is ‘Our clients growth is our growth’ which aligns well with our team’s outlook, so it is a fitting partnership for all of us.”


While Sparta, Kentucky is not the same Sparta featured in the 2006 hit movie 300, and David Ragan is not Gerard Butler leading an army to battle the Persian King Xerxes, the No. 34 team is prepared to head into battle this Saturday night as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the running of the Quaker State 400.


Ragan finished eighth in last season's race at Kentucky Speedway and has three top-25 finishes at intermediate tracks this season. He is coming off of a 27th- place finish at Sonoma, after being caught up in the final wreck of the race.


David Ragan on Kentucky:

"I really like racing at Kentucky.  I ran well here last season.  Our intermediate program has hit on a few highlights this year.  Hopefully we can take everything we've learned thus far and put together a good run at Kentucky.


"The biggest challenge for us will be adjusting the car from practicing during the day, to racing at night. With the heat wave sweeping across the nation right now, it will be interesting to see how changes in track temperature affect the handling of our cars as we transition from early to late evening during the race.


"Nutrition will be important. Staying hydrated and drinking lots of fluids.  If it's hot outside, it's always hotter inside the car.  You can only imagine what it's going to be like. Luckily, it is a night race so we won't have the sun beating down too much during the actual race.  Still, it's going to be pretty hot."


As part of its commitment to building a best-in-class Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)  team, NASCAR today announced a number of key hires and changes in the areas of  competition, stakeholder and content communications.

“As our marketing communications and media relations needs evolve, NASCAR is committed to enhancing the Integrated Marketing Communications team through growth and adjustments in key areas,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer.
Sean Doherty joins NASCAR as its director, digital & content communications from partner Sprint. He created, launched and led Sprint’s Social Care program, served as primary manager of Sprint’s corporate Twitter presence, and managed Sprint’s corporate communications social analytics program. Prior to Sprint, Doherty held research and database positions with several Washington, D.C., companies after graduating from Tulane University in New Orleans.
Doherty now will oversee the IMC content communications division, previously known as sport services, and play a key role in the development and operation of NASCAR’s new Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC). IMC’s current director of sport services, Stu Hothem, has accepted a position as director, content within the newly formed NASCAR Digital Media. Hothem will work with IMC during a transition period as NASCAR Digital Media prepares to launch a new NASCAR.com on January 1, 2013.
Tracey Judd has been named director, racing operations communications; she will remain within the competition unit of Integrated Marketing Communications overseen by Senior Director, Competition Communications Kerry Tharp. In Judd’s new role, she will primarily support Senior Vice President, Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell and his team, which is leading many of NASCAR’s innovation and product relevance initiatives over the next several years. Racing operations also oversees team ownership development, sanctions, schedule and the substance abuse program.
IMC Senior Manager, Competition Communications Amanda Ellis, who has served as primary media liaison for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will assume Judd’s previous role with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Katey Hawbaker will join NASCAR in late July as manager, competition communications. Hawbaker will serve as the primary media liaison for the truck series, where she currently works for Red Horse Racing and previously at Kevin Harvick Inc. A graduate of Shippensburg (Pa.) University, she also has served as an account executive for Breaking Limits Marketing, a firm that represented NASCAR drivers Bobby Labonte, Aric Almirola and Jennifer Jo Cobb.
Stephanie Ackerman joins NASCAR as manager, stakeholder communications from her previous position as associate manager, brand public relations and communications for H.J. Heinz. Ackerman oversees production of the industry “B-Post” newsletter and leads other initiatives designed to more closely align NASCAR with its tracks, teams and other key stakeholders in the sport. Ackerman graduated from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University.
Ashley Mitchell, a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, joins NASCAR as coordinator, content communications. Mitchell worked as an editorial intern at Washington Life magazine and publishing assistant for Virginia Publishing during college, where she majored in comparative literature with a concentration in Spanish.
John Farrell, who has worked for NASCAR in licensing and publishing for five years, shifts to IMC content communications. Farrell will continue producing content for NASCAR’s licensed products as he adds editing and writing responsibilities within IMC.

The NASCAR HOTPASS lineup for the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta is as follows: 


DIRECTV Channel 795:

Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing


Denny Hamlin will make his 240th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his second at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta … Started 26th and finished 11th in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky last year … The 31-year-old Chesterfield, Va., native has 19 wins and 119 top-10 finishes in 239 Sprint Cup starts … 2012 marks Hamlin’s seventh full year in Sprint Cup with a career-best points finish of second in 2010 … Started 16th and finished 35th last week at the 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma, Calif. … Ranks eighth in Sprint Cup Series points with two wins and eight top-10 finishes.   


DIRECTV Channel 796:

Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet team of Stewart-Haas Racing


Tony Stewart will make his 481st career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his second at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta … Started ninth and finished 12th in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky last year … The 41-year-old Columbus, Ind., native has won 46 races and has 274 top-10 finishes in 480 Sprint Cup starts … 2012 marks Stewart’s 14th full year in Sprint Cup and he won the points championship in 2002, 2005 and 2011 … Started 24th and finished second last week at the 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma, Calif. … Ranks fifth in Sprint Cup Series points with two wins and eight top-10 finishes.


DIRECTV Channel 797:

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet team of Richard Childress Racing


Kevin Harvick will make his 411th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his second at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta … Started 19th and finished 16th in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky last year … The 36-year-old Bakersfield, Calif., native has 18 wins and 182 top-10 finishes in 410 Sprint Cup starts …Won 2001 and 2006 NASCAR Nationwide Series championships … 2012 marks Harvick’s 12th full year in Sprint Cup with a career-best points finish of third in 2010 … Started 26th and finished 16th last week at the 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma, Calif. … Ranks sixth in Sprint Cup Series points with eight top-10 finishes.      


DIRECTV Channel 798:

Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports


Dale Earnhardt Jr., will make his 452nd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his second at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta … Started 29th and finished 30th in the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky last year … The 37-year-old Kannapolis, N.C., native has won 18 races and has 174 top-10 finishes in 451 Sprint Cup starts … Won 1998 and 1999 NASCAR Nationwide Series championships … 2012 marks Earnhardt’s 13th full year in Sprint Cup with a career-best points finish of third in 2003 … Started 19th and finished 23rd last week at the 1.99-mile road course in Sonoma, Calif. … Ranks third in Sprint Cup Series points with 12 top-10 finishes.


NASCAR fans in Michigan can save on tickets to the upcoming Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 19 with the Walmart Family Track Pack. The $99 package gives families four race tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and one program – a total savings of more than $100.

"We are making races affordable and accessible for fans," said Rand Waddoups, senior director, Entertainment Properties and Brands, Walmart. "The Walmart Family Track Pack is a great value that gives local fans a way to take their whole family to the track together."

Michigan International Speedway, known for its D-shaped oval track, is the state's largest single-day, paid-admission sporting event.

The Walmart Family Track Pack is available online at www.walmart.com/NASCAR and in Ticketmaster kiosks in select stores.

Race Time 2012 at Walmart

In addition to the fan events happening in Walmart parking lots, area Walmart stores will feature savings on all the food and snacks you need to enjoy the race, plus authentic NASCAR merchandise such as T-shirts and racing flags, with an even bigger selection of exclusive products available at Walmart.com/NASCAR.

Beginning Aug. 15, select Walmart stores near the Michigan International Speedway will host NASCAR fan events featuring real show cars and simulators – perfect to safely get behind the wheel and feel the power of NASCAR. 

Additionally, Walmart stores will feature savings on authentic NASCAR merchandise such as T-shirts and racing flags, with even more items available on Walmart.com/NASCAR.

Participating stores near the Michigan International Speedway include:

Store #1593
800 E. Chicago St.
Coldwater, Mich.

Store #1809
701 Olds St.
Jonesville, Mich.

Store #5472
7000 E. Michigan Ave.
Saline, Mich.

Store #1836
1601 U.S. 223
Adrian, Mich.

Store #5160
1700 W. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, Mich.

Walmart PR

“International Speedway Corporation, parent company of Daytona International Speedway, has filed a Planned Master Development application with the City of Daytona Beach – the first step in the pursuit of potential redevelopment projects at the ‘World Center of Racing.’

This application process is necessary in order to establish the framework that would allow us to explore how to best shape the future of Daytona International Speedway.

While many aspects of the project are yet to be determined, such a project could include a complete overhaul of the entire frontstretch grandstand of the legendary speedway, creating a world class motorsports entertainment facility including features such as new seats, suites and guest amenities, as well as new entry points, improved fan conveyance, a modern exterior, first-class interior areas, and a redesigned midway for fans.

Our filing with the City of Daytona Beach is only the first step in a long process and there are still many unanswered questions that could impact or even derail this initiative.  Multiple internal and external factors will influence the economics and project feasibility, and construction design and costs must still be determined.  All these must be addressed before the project can be taken to the ISC Board of Directors for the green flag of final approval. 

While there is a long road ahead, we are very excited about the future of Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach and Volusia County.  We believe the approval of this application is the first step in expanding the economic development benefits that central Florida enjoys from major motorsports.  We will provide future updates as they become available.”