Tuesday, Aug 16
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Rock and Roll is coming to Michigan International Speedway, the fastest track in NASCAR.  Recording artist, and Michigan resident, Kid Rock has been named this year’s Pure Michigan 400 Grand Marshal.

Known for his award-winning music and philanthropic efforts, Kid Rock will say the most famous words in racing, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” in his role as the grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on August 19.

“Kid Rock is a tremendous ambassador for Michigan and a perfect fit to serve as Grand Marshal of the Pure Michigan 400,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  “He is a longtime supporter of Michigan – from featuring Pictured Rocks in his Born Free video to his work fundraising with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and all he has given back to our state through the Kid Rock Foundation.  We are thrilled to have him join the fans at MIS on August 19 for the Pure Michigan 400.”

Known around the world for his musical prowess, Kid Rock has sold more than 25 million records since his debut more than a decade ago.  The five-time Grammy nominee released his 8th studio album, “Born Free,” last November, featuring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, as well as Ortonville, Mich. in the music video for the title track off the album.

“We are honored to welcome Kid Rock to MIS to serve as the Grand Marshal for the Pure Michigan 400,” track President Roger Curtis said. “He has been a great ambassador for the state of Michigan and it is exciting to have him start the race at the fastest track in NASCAR. We are looking forward to an outstanding Pure Michigan 400.”

Kid Rock’s album “Rock ‘N Roll Jesus,” released in 2007, debuted at #1 and stayed in the charts for 100 weeks, becoming the biggest selling Rock album of 2008. His hit single “All Summer Long” hit #1 in eight countries.  He has performed at events ranging from the Grammy’s to the Country Music Awards to the Hip Hop Honors.

As an entrepreneur, Kid Rock opened the American BadAss Beer Company in Michigan in July 2009, and refueled and became the face of the Made in Detroit brand and clothing line.

Kid Rock brought his philanthropy efforts together when he established the Kid Rock Foundation to raise funds for and provides resources to other non-profit organizations across Michigan and around the country, especially those working to aid disadvantaged children, victims of war and natural disasters, and those suffering from illness.

In 2009, Kid Rock established the Made in Detroit Endowed Scholarship through Wayne State University to help offset tuition costs of students from throughout southeastern Michigan who are selected for their academic achievements and limited financial resources. He also works closely with The Rainbow Connection to help fulfill wishes of children in Michigan who have life-threatening illnesses, and the Detroit-based Karmanos Cancer Institute.

As one of the country's most ardent supporters of the United States military, Kid Rock works closely with Operation Homefront, the USO and Operation Happy Note, among other organizations, whose missions are to assist armed forces members and their families. He also regularly visits service members and has performed for troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Spain and Kosovo. 

MIS PR

Stewart Ready to go “Back to School” at Pocono – It took crewmen at Stewart-Haas Racing six hours to wrap the team’s No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet in a back-to-school paint schemethat will run this weekend in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

The special paint scheme sports a fun variety of school supplies and technology that one’s child needs to be successful in the classroom. 3M™, Lenovo®, Elmer’s® and Monster® Headphones & Speakers are Office Depot partners with products featured on the car, including everything from notebooks, a laptop and headphones, to pens, pencils and Post-It notes.

Stewart used many of these supplies during his time at Columbus (Ind.) North High School (Class of 1989), but it was a calculator that resonated with him the most.

“In high school, I liked physics and geometry,” Stewart said. “Those were probably the classes I liked the best. Obviously, I didn’t even realize at the time why I liked them so well, but after graduating high school and moving on, you realize how much you use all of that in racing. Those three subjects were very important, and still are.”

So, as an aspiring racecar driver, was Stewart one of the cool kids in high school?

“I slid under the radar,” he said. “I was a pretty down-to-earth and low-key kid. I was so busy racing on the weekends that I didn’t go out and do a lot of things with kids that I went to school with. My time on the weekends was spent racing. Everybody else was going to football and basketball games and I ended up going racing instead.”

Of course, all of the supplies featured on the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 “Back-to-School” Chevrolet can be found at Office Depot.

“We always get excited about sporting a new back-to-school paint scheme on our No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy,” Stewart said. “The paint scheme is a fun way to remind parents and students that Office Depot provides one-stop, back-to-school shopping. From elementary school to college, Office Depot has the supplies that will help students start the new school year off right.”





TSC

The roar of 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engines will fill the air as the green flag waves to start the 39thannual Pennsylvania 400 on Sunday, August 5. Prior to the start of the race, the sights and sounds of pre-race activities will feature a rising musical star and an aerial fly-over featuring military fighter planes from two separate eras.

Virginia native and newly signed RCA Recording Artist Alex Boyd will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Pennsylvania 400.  Boyd is gearing up to release his freshman album "Commit Me". The singles, "Light Up Tonight" and "I Wish I Knew" are sure to excite listeners of all types. The album, thoroughly steeped in classic soul roots, has influences from genres across the billboard. From pop, to R&B, to hip hop and rock, Boyd has found a way to incorporate all of his favorite sounds on one concise album.

A Heritage Air Force Foundation P-51 Mustang, World War Two fighter, and a modern day F-16 will provide a dramatic display of our nation’s air power, past and present, as they streak across the sky above Pocono Raceway at the conclusion of pre-race activities. The F-16 is part of the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, S.C.

Pocono Raceway PR

Roush Fenway has always been strong at Pocono Raceway. The team finished inside the top 10 in eight of its first 10 races at Pocono Raceway; making its debut with a fourth-place finish at the track in 1988. Mark Martin scored the team’s first runner up finish there in July of 1991; it would be the first of 11 second-place runs for RFR at Pocono, until Carl Edwards finally closed the deal in the June race of 2005.

Making his first career start at Pocono, Edwards led 45 of 201 laps in the race, taking the lead for the fourth and final time on lap 187 and going on to win the race under caution.

Ironically, Edwards credited his quick adaption to the ‘Tricky Triangle’ to a most unlikely source; a video game.

"It's a NASCAR game that you can buy on the shelf,'' said the young driver. “I’ve got a steering wheel and a clutch. Coming to a new track and spending time on one of those things really helps.''

Roush Fenway would go on to sweep Pocono in 2005, with Kurt Bush winning the July event on a day that saw RFR lead 157 of 203 laps, while placing three Ford inside the top five of the race.

This weekend Roush Fenway looks for its fifth win at Pocono Raceway. Greg Biffle is RFR’s latest winner at the track, doing the honors in the July event of 2010.

RFR PR

After a rough night at Columbus Motor Speedway, Rev Racing is ready to show that they have what it takes to be competitive in their return visit to Iowa Speedway Friday night for the Pork Be Inspired 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race.

 
Following up on his top-10 finish earlier this season, title contender, Kyle Larson said that he is looking forward to returning to this .875-mile, banked asphalt oval.
 
“We were quick at this track in the last combination race,” said Larson.  “Although we lost some ground in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points battle in Columbus, I believe that this team has worked hard to bounce back and get the No. 6 L&M Ethanol Maintenance Contracting Camry ready for competition.” 
 
Continuing on his strong run at Columbus Motor Speedway, current Rookie of the Year points leader and teammate, Bryan Ortiz is geared up for another strong run at Iowa Speedway.
 
“My No. 4 Toyota/ Toyota Racing Development Camry was strong here earlier this season until a late race incident caused me to fall out of the top five,” said Ortiz.  “Fortunately, we have continued to gain ground this season and I feel very positive about Friday night's race.”
 
Larson and Ortiz will join their NASCAR K&N Pro Series East teammates, Ryan Gifford and Jorge Arteaga in the lineup for the Pork Be Inspired 150 on Friday night, August 3.  Media opportunities are available. 
 
Rev Racing PR

The 73rd annual Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., tees off Aug. 13 with the third annual Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am Presented by Technology Concepts & Design, Inc., it was announced today.

 
The Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am is the first official event of the Wyndham Championship, the seventh-oldest event on the PGA TOUR, held Aug. 13-19 at Sedgefield Country Club.   The Wyndham is the PGA TOUR's final regular season event, and it sets the field for the FedExCup Playoffs which begin the following week at The Barclays in Farmingdale, N.Y.  

 

PGA TOUR professionals will join Harvick, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Kevin Harvick Foundation co-founder, and other amateur golfers on four-player teams Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. for the Pro-Am. Additionally, several local youth will be in attendance as special guests of the Kevin Harvick Foundation, whose mission is to positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States.

 

"We're so grateful that we can count on Wyndham Worldwide and Bill Johnson of Technology Concepts & Design for once again lending their support and dedication to this terrific effort to assist children in need," Harvick said.  "We always appreciate the generosity of the NASCAR world, but the golf community has been every bit as supportive of the Foundation's efforts."

 

In addition to the Pro-Am, the Kevin Harvick Foundation will host an expo tent throughout the week of North Carolina's oldest professional golf event, at which Harvick's No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet show car will be on display during the Pro-Am. Furthermore, expo attendees will have the opportunity to register to win Harvick's 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, on-site at the tent throughout the week, in the "Win Happy's Chevy" program (www.winhappyschevy.com).

 

"The Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am presented by Technology Concepts & Design is a great way to kick off Wyndham week," tournament director Mark Brazil said. "This year's event is sold out for the first time so we'll have a full field of amateurs playing with PGA TOUR professionals, and we're definitely looking forward to having Kevin at Sedgefield for the event. We really appreciated his extra effort to get to the pro-am last year when the race was rained out in Michigan, but we are really hoping for good weather at Watkins Glen on so Kevin can play in his tournament this year."

 

The Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am Presented by Technology Concepts & Design is one of several Foundation events scheduled throughout the year. Remaining on the 2012 calendar are two Kevin's Krew events (Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway), Happy's Classic golf tournament Nov. 7 in Bakersfield, Calif., and Happy's Birthday Bash in Bakersfield in December, in addition to the Christmas for Kids Concert just days later in Winston-Salem, N.C.

 

KHI PR

International Speedway Corporation ("ISC") (Nasdaq: ISCA), the leader in major motorsports entertainment, is workingwith American Tower Corporation ("American Tower") and Corning Cable Systems LLC ("Corning"), part of Corning Incorporated's (NYSE: GLW) Telecommunications segment, to design and install fiber optic cable networks supporting the deployment of distributed antenna systems ("DAS") at 12 of ISC's major motorsports facilities.

"We are committed to enhancing the fan experience at all of our major motorsports facilities to better grow ISC's business," stated ISC's Vice President, Multi-Channel Marketing and Chief Information Officer, Craig Neeb.  "Our customers want greater ability to communicate using their wireless devices when they attend our events.  We too want the ability to connect with these customers as they enter our motorsport facilities with timely information to enhance their event day experience." 

Under the terms of the agreement, American Tower will design and install DAS and other wireless infrastructure solutions at ISC's motorsports facilities to enhance wireless signal strength and distribute radio capacity for customer use and general track operations during events.  Corning will be responsible for designing and installing a state-of-the-art fiber optic cable network to support the DAS networks, as well as other facility requirements. 

Mr. Neeb continued, "To effectively do this, we must have the communication foundation capable of connecting with the hundreds of thousands of fans that attend our events and are in close proximity to each other.  Large venues, such as our major motorsports facilities, have a challenge in delivering the necessary radio frequency requirements.  American Tower has the experience and proven solutions to help us overcome these challenges and enhance the fan experience at our facilities."

American Tower was selected for its customized wireless infrastructure solutions that support wireless coverage and capacity.  Corning provides ISC the most cost-efficient and effective solution, and has a long-term relationship dating back to the 1980s through shared ownership of ISC's Watkins Glen International.

"American Tower is pleased with the opportunity to work with ISC," said Gerard Ainsztein, American Tower's Senior Vice President of Managed Networks.  "We look forward to deploying HetNet (Heterogeneous Network) solutions that incorporate macro, DAS, Wi-Fi and small-cell technologies. Our wireless infrastructure will help ISC keep their customers connected and provide an unparalleled fan experience." 

"Corning's approach to the deployment is the most effective and efficient due to its ability to provide not only the fiber optic cable but also to leverage its portfolio of preconnectorized cable and hardware solutions and uniquely integrate them into the design," stated Mr. Neeb.  "As well, Corning's Engineering Services can bring its experience in design and project management to ensure that the solution is efficient and cost effective."

"Corning's fiber optic connectivity solutions are an ideal fit for ISC's venues, adding future-proof reliability and nearly limitless bandwidth capacity," said Stuart Hoiness, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Networks, Corning Cable Systems.  "We are confident ISC's fans will be pleased with the improved wireless performance at the events, and we are thrilled that our products and Corning's Engineering Services are a critical component of this improvement.

ISC Motorsports PR

BK Racing is lending a hand in the search for Elizabeth Collins and her cousin Lyric Cook, who have been missing since Friday, July 13. The team will run a special decal on the deck lid of its No. 83 Toyota, driven by Landon Cassill, and No. 93 Toyota driven by Travis Kvapil. The decals will feature an image of the missing girls, along with a phone number to call for any information on their whereabouts. The decals will run this weekend during the Pennsylvania 400 at the Pocono (Penn.) Raceway.

Collins and Cook were last seen in the city of Evansdale, Iowa. Their bicycles and Elizabeth's purse were found near a trail at the edge of Meyers Lake after leaving their grandmother's house. Cassill, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is anxious to help bring attention to the case.

"The group leading the search efforts have been contacting as many people as possible about this case to help spread the word," Cassill said. "Being from Iowa, and having some other folks in the sport from Iowa, we're all pulling together to raise as much attention as possible to help locate the two missing girls. I really want to do as much as possible and this is one step. I can't thank the team enough for doing this."

Kvapil, a father of three kids, hopes his team's efforts will put a national spotlight on the investigation.

"As a parent, I want to do anything I can to help the families locate their children," Kvapil said. "I'm pleased that we have the special decals on our cars this weekend and I hope that this will aid in the search."

BK Racing, a first-year team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was glad to be able to help.

"Learning more about this case, and with Landon being from Iowa himself, I think it was important for us to help out," said team co-owner Ron Devine. "We have worked with our sponsors to make space on our cars to help raise awareness. Once learning more about the case we didn't hesitate in putting the wheels in motion to help where we can. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the girls' families during these difficult times."

If anyone has any information on the Collins and Cook, please contact 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678) or the local tip line at 1-319-232-6682.

BK Racing PR

Stewart Got Dirt?

Thursday, Aug 02

When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series left Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last August, crews immediately began ripping up the decades-old pavement so that fresh, new asphalt would greet drivers when the series returned to the quirky 2.5-mile triangle in June 2012.

Had one asked Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, if he wanted to see new pavement at the venerable facility, he probably would’ve said no and instead asked track officials to just rip up the old pavement and simply leave the dirt surface behind.

Stewart has thrived on dirt this year, especially of late. The three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion has offset his time in the fendered-world of stock cars by also competing in the rough-and-tumble open-wheel ranks of dirt Sprint Car racing. And just as Stewart has succeeded in NASCAR, which his 47 career Sprint Cup wins attest, he’s simultaneously succeeding in a totally different racing environment.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series boasts great drivers who compete on tight-and-fast bullrings with high-horsepower Sprint Cars that constantly slide on the track’s dirt surface. Three times in the span of four days, Stewart displayed his master of this discipline by winning in a Sprint Car.

On the eve of the Brickyard 400, Stewart won the National Racing Alliance (NRA) Sprint Invaders 360 Winged Sprint Car Series event at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. And after finishing 10th in last Sunday’s Brickyard 400, Stewart ventured into Canada and kept right on winning. He won a 360 Winged Sprint Car race Monday night at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario and then grabbed some more northern exposure for sponsors Office Depot and Mobil 1 by scoring his third career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature win Tuesday night at Ohsweken.

Stewart has six Sprint Car wins in all this season, dating back to early February before the NASCAR season even began. It started with an All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Winged Sprint Car race on Feb. 11 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga. Stewart then won an American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) Midwest Region 360 Winged Sprint Car race on April 21 at Eagle (Neb.) Raceway. And he scored his second career World of Outlaws win July 17 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.

That versatility will suit Stewart well at Pocono, despite its dirt having been covered with pavement. While new asphalt encompassing its 2.5-miles, Pocono’s triangular layout remains tricky.

The track, designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward, has three different corners, each modeled after a different track. Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the now-closed Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at eight degrees, is a nod to the turns at Indianapolis. And turn three, banked at six degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.

It’s a unique design that has always been a challenge for drivers and mechanics alike as they attempt to find the fastest way around the “Tricky Triangle” in search of victory lane.

But just as Stewart has found the right combination to win at tracks where the dirt surface changes by the minute, he has seemingly always adapted to Pocono’s nuances.

In 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono, Stewart has earned two poles, scored two wins and racked up eight top-threes, 10 top-fives and 19 top-10s while leading a total of 156 laps.

Stewart is obviously well-schooled at Pocono, which makes the paint scheme on his No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet even more appropriate. The signature red and black of his No. 14 machine has instead been replaced by white with a montage of back-to-school supplies – all of which can be found at Office Depot. 3M™, Lenovo®, Elmer’s® and Monster® Headphones & Speakers are Office Depot partners with products featured on the car, including everything from notebooks, a laptop and headphones, to pens, pencils and Post-It notes showcase the variety of school supplies and technology that one’s child needs to be successful in the classroom.

“We always get excited about sporting a new back-to-school paint scheme on our No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy,” Stewart said. “The paint scheme is a fun way to remind parents and students that Office Depot provides one-stop, back-to-school shopping. From elementary school to college, Office Depot has the supplies that will help students start the new school year off right.”

And as Stewart heads back to Pocono, three Sprint Car wins in the span of four days means that he’ll start the weekend off right, where in Sprint Cup, Stewart plans to improve upon the third-place finish he earned there just two months ago. 

TSC

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series reaches the halfway point in the 22-race season this Saturday in the Pocono Mountains 125 at the three-turn track know affectionately as the “Tricky Triangle.” Melon 1, one of the largest shippers of watermelons in the country will back Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ross Chastain and the SS Green Light Racing team for the Pocono Mountains 125 along with additional support from the South Carolina Watermelon Association.

“We’re real excited to have Melon 1 on board for the first time this year as the primary sponsor for our team,” Ross said. “We’re still looking for other agricultural-based businesses to come on board with us this year, I’m excited that Melon 1 will be on the hood an quarter panels and the South Carolina Association will be on the decklid and TV panel this week.”

“We’re doing a bunch of promoting in Delaware this week before the race, I’m having a great time meeting people, handing out samples and talking about the benefits of watermelon.”

Pocono will be another new experience for the nineteen-year old from South Florida; the 2.5-mile track has three distinctly different corners all with different banking and three different length straightaway’s making it one of the most unique tracks that the truck series will visit this season.

“I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m going to keep an open mind and try to make our Melon 1 and South Carolina Watermelon Association Toyota Tundra as fast as we can,” Ross explained. “Pocono is going to be an experience, that’s for sure,”

“I think there have been a few drivers that have raced on the new pavement but for a lot of us it will be our first time seeing the track with the new pavement and we’ll do just like we do every week and that is to get up to speed as fast as we can.”

“We’re bringing the same Tundra we ran at Dover, we had to put a new nose and side on it after that race and it doesn’t have the most down force; it’s one of our slicker-bodied trucks so we can get down that long straightaway, we need to get through the air. We felt this truck is our best option for Pocono because the truck handles real good; we need it to handle good down those straights is one of my biggest concerns.”

The Pocono Mountains 125 is the 281st consecutive NCWTS start for the SS Green Light Racing team and the sixteenth career start for Chastain in the Truck Series. Ross has three top fifteen finishes in 2012 including a career best seventh at Martinsville in March.

There are just 34 trucks on the entry list for the Pocono Mountains 125, which will prelude the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at the Pocono Raceway. Johnny Chapman is set to pilot the No. 07 for SS Green Light Racing.

SS Green Light Racing PR

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