Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Teenage standout Parker Retzlaff has certainly impressed so far in the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East (AMSE) season.

With three consecutive top-10 finishes to open the season and a solid seventh-place performance last weekend at Fairgrounds Speedway (Tenn.) Nashville, Retzlaff is focused on earning his first career top-five finish in Friday afternoon’s General Tire 125 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

The Rhinelander, Wisc. native has turned numerous laps at the 1.0-mile concrete oval on iRacing, he will experience the “Monster Mile” for a second dose during a combined practice and qualifying session Friday afternoon.

Touted as one of the best iRacers in the country, Retzlaff is hoping to take some of his Dover rhythm from the computer and apply it behind the wheel of his Cook Finley Racing No. 42 Ponsse | MMI Toyota Camry and better his seventh-place performance last August.

“This has been a race I have circled on the calendar all year,” said Retzlaff. “I’m excited to get back to Dover and have an opportunity to build my resume in the ARCA Menards Series East but also contend for a top-five finish on Friday afternoon for our partners and everyone at Cook Finley Racing.

“It’s always nice to go back to a track for a second time,” he continued. “This weekend will obviously be completely different than iRacing, but I’m ready for the challenge and I know that I have one of the best crew chiefs in the garage with Amber Slagle, not to mention the experience of my car owner Bruce Cook. Just like Nashville, Dover will be extremely competitive, and I just want to make sure I’m doing my part behind the wheel.”

Dover marks the halfway point of the 2021 ARCA East season and with an average finish of 7.3 in the first three races, Retzlaff remains focused on improving that average as the season marches on.

“I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the season, but there’s plenty of work still to be done,” added Retzlaff. “Our finishes have been solid this year, but I know everyone wants to be better and that is our goal not only for Dover but for the rest of the 2021 season.”

Set to make his 10th career ARCA East start this weekend, Retzlaff believes his team is capable of scoring their first career ARCA Menards Series East win this weekend if all the stars align.

“The sky is the limit for us at Dover this week,” he said. “We can win. This team is good enough to win. But, if the opportunity is not good enough to win, we’ll think big picture and focus on points and look ahead to Southern National next month.”

Ponsse, which manufactures and markets a range of forestry vehicles and machinery such as forwarders and harvesters will return as the primary partner of Retzlaff’s No. 42 Toyota.

MMI, GrilleAdz, Iron Horse Loggers, Eco-Tracks, Paul G. Senft & Sons Trenching LLC, Strike Force Energy, Sunwest Construction, Zamp, Absolute Realtors and HDFive | Horvath Design will all join as associate partners for the 125-lap race on May 14.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to have a stack of companies that believe in me and our Cook Finley Racing team,” added Retzlaff. “We earned them some time in the spotlight in the first two races of the season, it’s important to keep that going this weekend at Nashville.”

With five East races remaining this season, Retzlaff has climbed to fifth in the championship standings, tied with fellow driver Rajah Caruth but is 30 markers behind current points leader Sammy Smith.

Outside of the cockpit, Retzlaff is an accomplished iRacer with 1,222 poles, 1,569 wins, 3,139 top-five and more than 60,000 laps led.

For more on Parker Retzlaff, please visit parkerretzlaff.com, like him on Facebook (Parker Retzlaff Racing), Instagram (@parkerRetzlaff) and follow him on Twitter (@Parker79p).

The General Tire 125 (125 laps | 125 miles) is the fourth of eight races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East schedule. A combined practice and qualifying begins for the one-day show on Friday, May 14 from 1:45 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 5:00 p.m. with live television coverage on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and SiriusXM Channel 391 (Online and the SiriusXM App: Channel 981). All times are local (ET).

The event will be rebroadcasted on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN on Fri., May 21, 2021, at 12:30 a.m. ET.

Parker Retzlaff Racing PR

Finally, it’s May in Indianapolis!

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES has staged four races in 2021, the first held on a permanent road course (Barber Motorsports Park), the second on a temporary street circuit (St. Petersburg, Florida) and two same-weekend races on a high-speed oval track (Texas Motor Speedway).

The diversity of the series again will be on full display at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix will be held on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. Following that, IMS crews will quickly convert the facility to its original oval configuration for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30. Practice for the “500” begins at 10 a.m. (ET) Tuesday.

In between those two races will be the “500’s” NTT P1 Award qualifying sessions May 22-23, which includes the Fast Nine Shootout to determine the first nine starting positions and the Last Chance Qualifications to see which car-and-driver combinations will start on the 11th and final row – and which competitors will not earn a spot -- in the 33-car “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

But first things first – the GMR Grand Prix.

Twenty-six entries are set for Friday’s two 45-minute practice sessions (9:30 a.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET) along with NTT P1 Award qualifying at 4:30 p.m. ET. Each of these sessions can be viewed live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s streaming service available at www.peacocktv.com for $4.99 per month. NBCSN will replay the three qualifying rounds at 6 p.m. ET.

On Saturday, INDYCAR’s 30-minute warmup is set for 10:45 a.m., with NBC’s broadcast of the 85-lap race beginning at 2 p.m. The INDYCAR Radio Network also will have the call.

The presence of all three Road to Indy divisions will make for a busy IMS weekend. Two races for Indy Lights and three races apiece for Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 will be spread over Friday and Saturday.

Complete weekend information is available at www.ims.com/PlanAhead.

For now, here are five things to watch for in the GMR Grand Prix:

Additions to the Entry List

There are two additions to the regular entry list, with Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball added for the first of their two races this month.

Montoya will drive the No. 86 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet in his first race with the team. Kimball returns with AJ Foyt Racing in the No. 11 Tresiba Chevrolet.

Both drivers have considerable experience, both in the sport and on the IMS road course. Montoya made four starts in the GMR Grand Prix for Team Penske, finishing third in 2015. He also made six starts for the Williams and McLaren teams when Formula One raced on the circuit’s previous design. His best finish was fourth in 2002.

Last year was Kimball’s first season with A.J. Foyt’s team, and he competed in all three races here, finishing 13th in Race 1 of the INDYCAR Harvest GP on Oct. 2. Among his eight starts on this circuit are three consecutive fifth-place finishes for Chip Ganassi Racing (2014-16).

The Favorites

Start with any of the four drivers representing Team Penske’s organization. The team has won seven of the past eight races on the IMS road course, including both races last October.

Team Penske’s Will Power (No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet) has won four of the races and five of the poles, including both in the most recent event, the INDYCAR Harvest GP held Oct. 3. He led all 75 laps. Teammate Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Snap-On Team Penske Chevrolet) won the Oct. 2 race.

Team Penske’s other IMS road race winner is Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet), who won from the pole in 2016 and then from the eighth spot in 2019. The Frenchman also won the inaugural event driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing (No. 9 PNC Bank Gow Up Great Honda) is the only other driver to have won an INDYCAR race on the IMS road course, last July in the GMR Grand Prix. Dixon has finished second in this event on three consecutive occasions (2017-19).

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal (No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda) has had two second-place finishes on the IMS road course. Felix Rosenqvist (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet) and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay (No. 21 Sonax/Autogeek Chevrolet) are the other former IMS road course pole winners in this field. Rosenqvist took the top spot for the GMR Grand Prix in 2019, while VeeKay won the pole for the INDYCAR Harvest GP Race 1 last October.

The Defiant, Young Stars

Undeniably, INDYCAR’s Under-25 Club is gaining in stature this season.

There have been four different race winners this season, and three of them are among INDYCAR’s youngest drivers. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou (No. 10 The American Legion Honda) had only recently turned 24 when he won the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst at Barber Motorsports Park on April 18. Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda) was a fresh 21 years old when he captured the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 25.

Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet) continued the youth movement by winning the second race of the Texas doubleheader, known as the XPEL 375, on May 2. Four days later, O’Ward turned 22.

Dixon is the other race winner this season, having taken the trophy following the first Texas race, the Genesys 300, on May 1, but his recent birthday put him at a new age level. He is now 40.

VeeKay is another young driver hoping to add his name to the winner’s list this season. The Dutchman turns 21 in September.

These Drivers Deserve a Look, Too

This event marks the first INDYCAR race at IMS for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson of Chip Ganassi Racing (No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda). He has tested an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car on the road course and has experienced his share of success in Indianapolis, but all four of his NASCAR Cup Series race wins occurred on the oval, the most recent in 2012.

Romain Grosjean, who drives the No. 51 NURTEC ODT Honda of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, spent 10 seasons in Formula One, but the United States Grand Prix at IMS was off F1’s schedule before Grosjean joined the series. Therefore, this will be his debut at the Racing Capital of the World. Like Johnson, he is only competing on the non-ovals this season, which means he won’t compete in the “500.”

The newcomer to Team Penske’s stable is three-time Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet), whose IMS experience is comprised of two tests on the oval. He is the only INDYCAR rookie competing on both Speedway circuits this month. His season has been highlighted by a runner-up finish in Race 1 at Texas.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda) is off to a strong start this season, making his presence particularly felt during the Texas doubleheader. He finished seventh in Race 1 and was running fourth in Race 2 when a mechanical issue knocked him out of the race. Harvey’s best INDYCAR finish – third place – happened in the 2019 GMR Grand Prix.

Other Title Hopefuls Need Indy Resurgence

With the season at its first-quarter pole, several veterans with championship aspirations, including a pair of former series champions, need a lot to go right in the next couple of weeks at IMS.

AJ Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais (No. 14 ROKiT AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) needs to forget the recent doubleheader at Texas. Entering the weekend seventh in the standings, his car was knocked into the Turn 2 wall by Newgarden in Race 1 and got collected in the opening-lap accident in Race 2. Finishes of 23rd and 19th dropped him to 14th in the standings, 85 points out of the top spot.

Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi (No. 27 AutoNation/NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda) had almost as bad of a Texas trip. After finishing eighth in Race 1, he, too, was collected in the first-lap crash. He enters this weekend 15th in the standings, 88 points behind Dixon’s leading total.

Two other Andretti Autosport drivers are in a similar points hole. Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda) and James Hinchcliffe (No. 29 #ShiftToGreen Honda of Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport) are 17th and 19th in the standings, respectively. Like Bourdais, Hunter-Reay is a former series champion.

If these drivers can perform well in Saturday’s race, the “500” awards double points for its finishers.

NTT Indycar Series PR

Ahead of the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season opener at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, championship organiser Team FJ opted to maintain the 2020 points allocation and Qualifying rules. Bonus points for Qualifying and grid success handicaps will not be attributed. The decision came after an open meeting with team owners and team managers.

Therefore Qualifying will determine the starting grid of the first EuroNASCAR PRO and EuroNASCAR 2 races on Saturday. No bonus points will be awarded. There will be no success handicaps, so the fastest lap times of the Saturday races will determine the grid of the Sunday races – as in 2020. The points system and bonus points for the most positions gained will still be in effect as well as the tire allocation and the weekends format.

The 2021 NWES season will kick off on May 15-16 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. Qualifying and races will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Twitch – and Motorsport.tv.

NWES PR

The halfway mark of the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East season will shine on Rette Jones Racing and rookie driver Max Gutiérrez in Friday afternoon’s General Tire 125 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

And with one top-five and three top-10 finishes in the opening three races of the 2021 season, Gutiérrez and his Mark Rette-led team know they need a top-five finish in the fourth race of the year in order to keep their championship hopes alive.

In the series’ most recent race at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, Gutiérrez qualified 10th in his No. 30 TOUGHBUILT Ford Fusion and progressively got better throughout the 200-lap race to finish ninth.

While the effort was the team’s worst run of the 2021 season, Gutiérrez and Rette both believe they have what it takes to surge forward and land the Mexico City, Mex. driver back in Victory Lane.

“Nashville went OK, the tire issue really held us back from finishing better,” said Gutiérrez. “We made gains and finished better than what we started but I don’t think we left Nashville feeling good. We left there feeling motivated heading to Dover this weekend knowing we need to go there and have a performance as we did at New Smyrna.

“That’s not going to be easy though. I’ve been told that Dover is a beast. It will be like nothing that I have raced in my life – but I’m ready to accept the challenge and I’m just thankful I have Mark (Rette) and the Rette Jones Racing team on my side.”

To keep Gutiérrez fresh in the seat and continue to enhance his learning curve, he participated in the open test at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Monday night with the RJR team where he ended up sixth fastest overall.

“The Charlotte test was a good boost for me,” added Gutiérrez. “Mark and the RJR boys brought me a fast car and I liked the speed and finesse that Charlotte demands. Without a doubt, the faster speeds should help me get better prepared for Dover this week.”

Knowing track time is critical to his Dover success, the 18-year-old knows taking advantage of any track time prior to the green flag will be valuable.

“Track time is critical for any rookie driver like me,” he said. “I just have to trust the setup that Mark has put underneath and trust the guidance of him and my spotter and just believe that it will all work out. I’ll let you know what I think about Dover after practice,” he chuckled.

22 points behind championship points leader Sammy Smith in the ARCA Menards Series East champion standings, Gutiérrez realizes with a win in the bank, the bigger picture is still a priority.

“We want to win again, but if that opportunity doesn’t present itself, we don’t need to put ourselves in a spot where we give points away and take us out of the championship. Race four is on the table this weekend, but we are points racing. There is not room for error and a lot more to be lost than gained.

Hopefully, we leave Dover on Friday night in a much better place than when we left Nashville.”

Set for his fifth career ARCA East start, Gutiérrez knows without support, this weekend would not be possible.

“I cannot thank my partners TOUGHBUILT, TekNekk, Telcel (Jimmy Morales) and Avaya enough for this chance to fight for another win and of course for Rette Jones Racing for the opportunity to drive their race cars.

“Three races in, I know we have turned heads, but we cannot afford to get complacent and just have to remember what is at stake for everyone involved.” Rette says he’s proud of Gutiérrez’s initiatives and believes they can be in the hunt for the third career win for RJR.

“A rookie season is tough in the ARCA Menards Series, but Max has excelled and done a great job,” added Rette. “I know that Nashville wasn’t what we wanted but we still came out of there with the car in one piece and a lot of laps earned for him. Dover is called the “Monster Mile” for a reason, but I think we can go there and conquer the track and really put us back in this championship fight.”

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.

The General Tire 125 (125 laps | 125 miles) is the fourth of eight races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series East schedule. A combined practice and qualifying begins for the one-day show on Friday, May 14 from 1:45 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 5:00 p.m. with live television coverage on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and SiriusXM Channel 391 (Online and the SiriusXM App: Channel 981). All times are local (ET).

The event will be rebroadcasted on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN on Fri., May 21, 2021, at 12:30 a.m. ET.

For more on Max Gutiérrez, please visit maxgutierrez.com, like him on Facebook (Max Gutierrez Racing) or follow him on Instagram (@maxgutierrezmx).

For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@RetteJones30).

RJR PR

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Drydene 400

The Place: Dover International Speedway

The Date: Sunday, May 16

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400 miles (400 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 120),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 240), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Drydene 200

The Place: Dover International Speedway

The Date: Saturday, May 15

The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 200 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Toyota Tundra 225

The Place: Circuit of The Americas

The Date: Saturday, May 22

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 139.81 miles (41 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 12),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 26), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 41)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Monster of a good time ahead for the NASCAR Cup Series at Dover

Next up on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is Dover International Speedway and Sunday’s Drydene 400 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) the 13th race of the season.

 

Aptly named the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway is a 1-mile concrete paved oval located in Dover Delaware. Dover International Speedway, originally known as Dover Downs International Speedway, has hosted 102 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969. The first Dover race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty driving a Petty Enterprises Ford (115.772 mph, 02:35:28). Petty actually won the first two Cup events at the track (1969, 1970).

 

In total, the 102 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover have produced 42 different pole winners and 38 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Dover with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Ryan Newman (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007) and Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) lead all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four poles each. Recently retired driver, Jimmie Johnson holds the series record for the most wins at Dover with 11 victories (2002 sweep, 2005 Playoffs, 2009 sweep, 2010 Playoffs, Spring of 2012, 2013 Playoffs, Spring of 2014, Spring of 2015, and Spring of 2017).

Of the 38 different NASCAR Cup Series winners at Dover International Speedway, nine are active this weekend. Four drivers are tied for the most wins among active drivers at Dover – Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Ryan Newman – each have three wins.

 

Race Winners

Wins

Seasons

Kevin Harvick

3

2020, 2018, 2015

Martin Truex Jr

3

2019. 2016, 2007

Kyle Busch

3

2017, 2010, 2008

Ryan Newman

3

2004, 2003 sweep

Denny Hamlin

1

2020

Kyle Larson

1

2019

Chase Elliott

1

2018

Brad Keselowski

1

2012

Kurt Busch

1

2011

 

This weekend’s Drydene 400 race will be 400 laps (400 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 120 laps each and the final stage will be 160 laps. Since the inception of Stage racing in the Cup Series in 2017, six different drivers have won at least one stage at Dover, led by Kevin Harvick with six stage wins; followed by Martin Truex Jr. with four, Denny Hamlin with three and Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson each have one. Hamlin and Harvick swept both stages en route to their wins last season at Dover. 

 

Sunday’s Drydene 400 will set the starting lineup by Metric Qualifying and as a result Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. (pole) and Denny Hamlin (second) will start on the front row. Hamlin should feel quite fortuitous starting in the second position this weekend, as it is the most proficient starting position in the field producing (20) the most wins of any starting position – winning percentage 19.61%. And it’s the same starting position he won from last season.

 

Standings leader Denny Hamlin winless through first dozen races of the year

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin has become the first driver standings leader in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Era (2004-2021) to compete in the first 12 races of a season and not win a race.

Hamlin, the defending winner of this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway, is hoping to end his winless streak that has reached 17 events (dating back to Talladega on Oct. 4, 2020) and etch his name on the 2021 wins list.

 

Driver Points Standings Leader Following 12th Race of Playoff Era Seasons (2004-2021)

 

Season

Points Leader After 12th Race

Wins

Pts Lead Over 2nd

2021

Denny Hamlin

0

75

2020

Kevin Harvick

2

8

2019

Joey Logano

1

9

2018

Kyle Busch

3

12

2017

Martin Truex Jr.

2

5

2016

Kevin Harvick

1

21

2015

Kevin Harvick

2

41

2014

Jeff Gordon

1

11

2013

Jimmie Johnson

2

32

2012

Greg Biffle

1

10

2011

Carl Edwards

1

36

2010

Kevin Harvick

1

69

2009

Jeff Gordon

1

44

2008

Kyle Busch

3

94

2007

Jeff Gordon

3

132

2006

Jimmie Johnson

3

109

2005

Jimmie Johnson

2

71

2004

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

3

5

 

Though Hamlin has yet to win this season, he has been very consistent putting up nine top-five finishes in 12 starts. He currently holds a 75-point lead in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings on his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. in second.

 

Last season, Denny Hamlin put on a dominating performance at Dover leading a race-high 115 laps, winning both stages and grabbing his first career Monster Mile win. Hamlin has made 30 series starts at Dover collecting four poles, one win, six top fives and 13 top 10s.

 

If Hamlin happens to remain winless for the rest of the regular season, he will become the first NASCAR Cup Series driver standings points leader to make the postseason without a win.

 

Playoff Bubble: Points so tight a tiebreaker is needed along Playoff cutline

Twelve races into the NASCAR Cup Series regular season and the points around Playoff cutline are mighty close. So close, the NASCAR Cup Series needed a tiebreaker to decide who’s in and who’s out following Darlington.

 

When the checkered flag flew at Darlington Raceway last Sunday, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick and Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto ended up tied in points (268 points each) along the Playoff cutline in 16th and 17th, respectively. Reddick currently holds the tiebreaker of best finish with a runner-up back at Homestead-Miami Speedway compared to DiBenedetto’s best finish this season of fourth at Kansas Speedway.

 

Now the series turns its attention to Dover International Speedway, the halfway point of the regular season, and teams need to start considering a win might be their only option to make the postseason. With 13 races to go and several big names left without a win, time and Playoff spot availability are conspiring against the competitors still looking to seal their position in the Playoffs.

 

2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. added to his 2021 season wins total last weekend at Darlington Raceway getting his third victory of the year. Heading to Dover this weekend, 10 drivers have locked themselves into the Playoffs on wins, leaving one spot secured for the driver standings points leader (currently Denny Hamlin) and five additional spots up for grabs by virtue of a win or points position.

 

 

2021 Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 12 - Drivers Not Locked In

Rank

Driver

Points

Wins

Stages

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

11

Denny Hamlin

529

0

5

5

261

12

Kevin Harvick

385

0

0

0

117

13

Chase Elliott

382

0

1

1

114

14

Austin Dillon

316

0

0

0

48

15

Chris Buescher

287

0

1

1

19

16

Tyler Reddick

268

0

0

0

0

17

Matt DiBenedetto

268

0

1

1

0

18

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

249

0

0

0

-19

19

Ryan Newman

246

0

0

0

-22

20

Kurt Busch

240

0

0

0

-28

21

Bubba Wallace

223

0

1

1

-45

22

Ross Chastain

218

0

0

0

-50

23

Daniel Suarez

214

0

0

0

-54

24

* Ryan Preece

209

0

0

0

-59

25

Chase Briscoe #

198

0

0

0

-70

26

Cole Custer

192

0

0

0

-76

27

Erik Jones

188

0

0

0

-80

28

Aric Almirola

168

0

0

0

-100

29

Anthony Alfredo #

125

0

0

0

-143

30

Corey LaJoie

116

0

0

0

-152

 

Interestingly, the top three winners from last season in the NASCAR Cup Series, combining to win 21 of the 36 races (58.3%), Kevin Harvick (nine wins), Denny Hamlin (seven wins) and Chase Elliott (five wins) are all still looking for their first trip to Victory Lane this season. All three have won at Dover International Speedway; including last season when both Denny Hamlin (Race 1) and Kevin Harvick (Race 2) each won. Elliott grabbed his lone victory at the Monster Mile back in 2018.

 

Countdown to the NASCAR All-Star Race: Who’s name will be added next?

Time is ticking and June 13 will be here before we know it for this season’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. With the format announced and the current 17 eligible drivers already locked in, who will add their name to the list over the next four races (Dover, COTA, Charlotte, and Sonoma)? 

 

Those eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race include drivers who won a points event in either 2020 or 2021; drivers who won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full-time; and drivers who won a NASCAR Cup Series Championship and compete full-time. Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star Race spot this season are Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Cole Custer, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr.

 

This weekend at Dover International Speedway nine active former Monster Mile winners are entered and all nine have secured their eligibility to the All-Star Race.

 

But four former NASCAR Xfinity Series Dover winners entered this weekend are looking earn their way into the All-Star and Playoffs with a win this weekend – Chase Briscoe (2020), Chris Buescher (2015), Daniel Suarez (2016) and Eric Jones (2016). Plus, two former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dover winners are entered this weekend hungry for their first win of 2021 – Tyler Reddick (2015) and Aric Almirola (2010).

 

Only two NASCAR Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Dover International Speedway: Martin Truex Jr. (June 4, 2007) and Jody Ridley (May 17, 1981).

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

Coca-Cola Racing Family Driver Ryan Newman Visits Camp Lejeune, Trains with MARSOC – This week, as part of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Mission 600, Coca-Cola Family Racing driver Ryan Newman visited Camp Lejeune to learn from and train alongside members of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command (MARSOC). The day-long visit serves as a prelude to the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend and to highlight the shared connections between NASCAR and the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

“It’s special, just to be close and in contact and hear the stories of the Marines, that’s what’s really special to me,” Newman said. “What hit me the most was the emotional side of the canine unit and the memorial to the people and the dogs that didn’t make it – what happens when we fight for our freedom… It’s important for me to pay attention, to spread the word and to make people understand because I know that I have taken a lot for granted when it comes to how and what goes into fighting for our freedom.”

 

For entire release, b-roll, photos and additional information about Newman’s visit, select the following link: NASCARMedia

 

Reigning Rolex 24 LMP2 Champion Kyle Tilley to make NASCAR Cup Series debut with Live Fast Motorsports at COTA – Kyle Tilley, reigning Rolex 24 LMP2 Champion and Asian LeMans Series Pro/Am Champion, will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Circuit of The Americas on May 23, 2021 with Live Fast Motorsports. Tilley, who is currently competing in IMSA, the Asian LeMans Series and European LeMans Series and competes across the world in a multitude of different cars from current LMP prototypes to vintage Formula 1 cars, will add four NASCAR Cup Series races to his schedule in the 2021 season.

 

“The NASCAR Cup Series! To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I have always been a big fan of NASCAR and the close racing it provides,” Tilley said. “To have the opportunity to go up against the best at COTA is going to be both a huge challenge and learning curve, but one I am really looking forward to.” 

 

Tilley’s NASCAR Cup Series schedule is as follows: Circuit of The Americas (May 23), Road America (July 4), Watkins Glen International (August 8) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (August 15).

 

This weekend at Dover International Speedway the Live Fast Motorsports No. 78 Ford will be piloted by BJ McLeod. The 78 team will start 31st at Dover on Sunday.

 

NASCAR Salutes: Kurt Busch Dedication Ceremony at USS Dunham, Mayport Naval Station - This week, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kurt Busch, along with officials from the USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109), unveiled the name of fallen service member, U.S. Marine Corporal (Cpl.) Jason Dunham, whose name will be adorned on the windshield of the No. 1 GEARWRENCH Chevrolet as part of the NASCAR Salutes program. As a result of his selfless and heroic actions to save the lives of other Marines while serving in Iraq, Dunham was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush in 2004. He was 22 at the time of his death. The award was the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to a United States Marine since the Vietnam war.

 

Later this month, the No. 1 GEARWRENCH Chevrolet Camaro that Busch will pilot in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 30, will carry the name of Cpl. Dunham as part of NASCAR Salutes, 600 Miles of Remembrance. Through collaboration with CGR team partners GEARWRENCH and The American Legion, Dunham’s family gave the blessing to use this event to honor their son and brother, by caring his name on the No. 1 Chevy. Busch is a previous winner of NASCAR’s longest race, as he won the event in 2010.

 

For a link to video and photo assets of the event please select the following link: NASCARMedia

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Gearing up for the Monster Mile

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the Drydene 200 on Saturday, May 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for the 10th race of the season.

 

Last weekend, Justin Allgaier took home his second victory of 2021 at Darlington Raceway for Throwback Weekend, while his JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson grabbed the Dash 4 Cash prize; his third Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus in a row bringing his total to $300,000 this year.

 

As the series heads to Dover this weekend, look for Allgaier to keep the recent momentum on his side as he is the defending winner of this weekend’s race at the Monster Mile. 

 

It was a doubleheader event last season at Dover for the Xfinity Series. With Allgaier winning the first race, Austin Cindric finished second, Ross Chastain finished third, Gragson fourth and Harrison Burton finished fifth.

 

The race had six cautions for 27 laps and an average speed of 110.142 mph. There were six lead changes and Allgaier led a race-high 120 laps.

Rolling into this weekend at Dover, Cindric has the best pre-race driver rating at the Monster Mile with a 114.2 and Allgaier has the third-best at 106.0. Hemric is fourth on the list at 103.8 and Gragson is fifth at 101.9.

 

Allgaier holds the top spot in fastest laps run at the track with 246 fastest laps run. Cindric is behind him in second with 116 fastest laps.

 

There have been 74 Xfinity Series races at Dover International Speedway with 48 different pole winners.

 

Bubba Wallace is the youngest pole winner at the track from 2012 when he was 18 years, 11 months, 21 days old. The oldest pole winner is Dick Trickle in 1999 at 57 years, 7 months and 9 days.

 

Of the 74 races at Dover, there have been 50 different race winners and only eight races have been won from the pole or first starting position. The last race won from the pole was in 2017 by Kyle Larson.

 

Joey Logano holds the race record at 131.219 mph in 2013 and Erik Jones holds the qualifying record at 158.318 mph in 2016.

 

Kyle Busch has the most Xfinity Series wins at Dover with five and the most top 10s at 15. Allgaier has the most lead lap finishes (16) and Kyle Busch has the most laps led (1,349).

 

Hemric will start on the pole this weekend at Dover for the Drydene 200 with Allgaier next to him on the front row. Gragson, Jones and Burton will round out the top five. Berry, AJ Allmendinger, Jeremy Clements, Justin Haley and Brett Moffitt will occupy the first 10 starting spots.

 

Show Me The Money: Noah Gragson goes for first ever Dash 4 Cash season sweep
For the first time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program’s history a driver has a chance to sweep all four of the program’s rounds in a single season and win a total of $400,000 in bonus money. JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson, from Las Vegas Nevada, has won the last three Dash 4 Cash awards this season banking $300,000 already and now heads to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the final round and a chance at getting the first ever Dash 4 Cash sweep. 

 

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans and reward and recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.

 

Since going to a multi-round format in 2011, no driver has swept every round in a single season. Prior to Gragson winning three Dash 4 Cash rounds (Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington) in one season this year, only seven drivers had won multiple rounds in a single season: Reed Sorenson (2011: Daytona, Iowa), Elliott Sadler (2013: Daytona, Chicago), Regan Smith (2015: Dover, Indianapolis), Erik Jones (2016: Bristol, Dover), Justin Allgaier (2017: Phoenix, Richmond), Christopher Bell (2019: Bristol, Dover) and Ross Chastain (2020: Atlanta, Pocono). 

 

This year the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash is taking place at four tracks - Martinsville Speedway (April 9), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), Darlington Raceway (May 8) and Dover International Speedway (May 15). This weekend at Dover will mark the final installment of the program.

 

Gragson and the three highest finishing full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers from Darlington Raceway - Justin Allgaier (1st), Josh Berry (2nd), Brandon Jones (3rd) will compete at Dover for the final prize.

 

Dash 4 Cash Qualifiers at Dover:

Noah Gragson will make his sixth start this weekend at the Monster Mile. He has one top-five finish and four top 10s to his name with an average start of 6.4 and average finish of 8.6. His best finish came at this exact race last season after starting second and finishing fourth. He’s led 38 laps at Dover.

 

This weekend will be Justin Allgaier’s 21st Xfinity Series career start at Dover. He has two wins (2018, 2020), nine top fives and 13 top 10s at the track. He has also led 353 laps.

 

Brandon Jones will make his 11th start at Dover on Saturday. He has one top five and four top 10s at the track and has led 45 laps. His best finish came at the second race at Dover last season in fourth.

 

Rookie Josh Berry will make his Xfinity Series debut at Dover this weekend.

 

Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Update

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco rookie standings saw a little shakeup after Darlington.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year

 

Rookies

Points

Awards

Josh Berry

168

3

Ty Gibbs

149

2

Ryan Vargas

78

4

Jordan Anderson

0

0

Sam Mayer

0

0

 

JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry took the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after Darlington Raceway. His second-place finish last weekend bumped him ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs, who had been in the lead since his win at the Daytona Road Course early in the season.

 

In eight starts so far this year, Berry got his first-ever Xfinity Series win at Martinsville has had two top fives and four top 10s to his name. He’s also led 103 laps this season and has an average start of 16.0 and average finish of 19.0.

 

Ty Gibbs is running a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing this season and in his first-ever start at the Daytona Road Course, he won after starting 15th. He’s made four starts so far in 2021 and has three top-five finishes and three top 10s. His average finish is 6.0 and average start is 21.8. Last weekend at Darlington marked Gibbs’ worst finish of 17th so far this season.

 

JD Motorsport’s Ryan Vargas is still sitting in third in the rookie standings with 79 points. In nine starts so far this season for JD Motorsports, Vargas has a best finish of 18th from the season-opener at Daytona.

Xfinity Playoff Bubble: Who stacks up where?

Justin Allgaier became the second driver to win multiple races this season, joining points leader Austin Cindric, with his win last weekend at Darlington Raceway. Thankfully for the rest of the Playoff bubble drivers, another new winner didn’t take one of the Playoff spots that they’re in search of.

 

Two drivers without wins yet this season, that are pretty comfortable in the points right now are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton. Hemric continues to be the highest ranked driver without a win in sixth with a 143-point cushion ahead of the Playoff cutoff. And Harrison Burton is behind him in seventh with 115 points ahead of the cutline.

 

The next five drivers in the Playoff outlook are all within 100 points of the postseason cutoff - Justin Haley (+88 points), Noah Gragson (+64), Jeremy Clements (+48), Brandon Jones (+28) and Michael Annett (+6)

 

Gragson’s rough start to the 2021 season has come full circle after a couple strong finishes in a row and winning the three Dash 4 Cash installments so far. Clements has been in the Playoff standings for the entire season, showcasing the consistency and talent of his small family-owned race team. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones has had a roller coaster of a season so far with three DNFs of 30th or worst but has tamed the flames of those poor finishes with five top-five finishes; including a third-place finish last weekend at Darlington.

 

Along the Playoff cutline you will find Brandon Brown and Michael Annett battling hard for the final Playoff spot. Annett currently grasps on to a six-point lead over Brown and sits in the final Playoff transfer spot (12th). Brown will have his work cut out for him this weekend to continue to close that points gap as Annett has a better average finish (12.2) than Brown at Dover (18.3).

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Darlington Raceway-1:

 

Rank

Driver

Points

Starts

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Austin Cindric

386

9

2

5

15

In On Wins

2

Justin Allgaier

263

9

2

0

10

3

AJ Allmendinger

294

9

1

1

6

4

Jeb Burton

292

9

1

0

5

5

Myatt Snider

261

9

1

0

5

6

Daniel Hemric

347

9

0

3

3

143

7

Harrison Burton

319

9

0

1

1

115

8

Justin Haley

292

9

0

1

1

88

9

Noah Gragson

268

9

0

2

2

64

10

Jeremy Clements

252

9

0

0

0

48

11

Brandon Jones

232

9

0

1

1

28

12

Michael Annett

210

9

0

0

0

6

13

Brandon Brown

204

9

0

0

0

-6

14

Riley Herbst

185

9

0

0

0

-25

15

Tommy Joe Martins

168

9

0

0

0

-42

16

Ryan Sieg

165

9

0

0

0

-45

17

Landon Cassill

155

9

0

0

0

-55

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

JJ Yeley added to Our Motorsports driver lineup - Our Motorsports has announced that JJ Yeley will pilot the No. 23 Chevrolet for two races beginning this Saturday at Dover International Speedway.

 

Yeley made his NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2004 and has 339 starts in the Xfinity Series. Yeley, 44, will also pilot the No. 23 for Our Motorsports at the Charlotte ROVAL in October.

 

Saturday will be Yeley’s 22nd start at Dover. He has three top 10s to his name and a best finish of eighth in 2016. He made his first start at the Delaware track in 2004 starting 25th and finishing 26th for Joe Gibbs Racing.

 

Drydene sponsoring three JD Motorsports cars this weekend - JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced that Drydene Performance Products will sponsor three cars in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday.

 

Based out of Warminster, Pennsylvania, Drydene is sponsoring both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Dover International Speedway. In addition, the Nos. 4, 6 and 15 Chevrolet’s will also sport the Drydene high performance oils and lubricants.

 

This marks the second consecutive year that Drydene has served as the primary sponsor for the JDM cars.

 

Kyle Sieg making Xfinity debut at Dover - DGM Racing announced that Kyle Sieg, brother of NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran driver Ryan Sieg, will make his series debut in the No. 90 Ford this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

 

Kyle Sieg has made four ARCA Menards Series starts and one ARCA Menards Series West start in 2021. Of his four ARCA starts this season, Sieg has a best finish of fourth at Phoenix Raceway in March. The 20-year-old also has finishes of eighth or better in all of his starts.

Independent Metal Scrap will sponsor Sieg in the No. 90 this weekend.

 

Sieg will also compete in Friday night’s ARCA Menards Series East event at Dover in the No. 28 with sponsorship from Drydene.

 

Comcast opens new Lift Zone in Dover prior to Xfinity race - In September, Comcast vowed to open 1,000 new high-speed Wi-Fi Lift Zones throughout the United States by the conclusion of 2021.

 

So far, the company has already opened over 50 new zones this year.

 

Dover isn’t the first NASCAR market that has a Lift Zone in it, either. At Martinsville Speedway on April 9, Comcast announced the opening of a Wi-Fi-Connected Lift Zone in the Martinsville area.

 

It’s important for the racetracks to have the Lift Zones but it also benefits the communities during times when the races aren’t in town.

 

Having this weekend’s race be a Dash 4 Cash race for the Xfinity Series as well as the opening of the new Lift Zone, there is a lot of excitement around the race.

 

“I think it shows that, even as a big racetrack in a small community we, too, like Comcast, we’re concerned with our own community,” Dover International Speedway President Mike Tatoian explained in an interview. “For one of [the Lift Zones] to be located here in our community – because I think a lot of us, you take things for granted. ‘Well of course you have internet at home.’ Well, not everybody does, especially with the pandemic and where we are and the importance of education and getting access.”

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

2020 Series Champ Sheldon Creed and Chevrolet end Toyota’s 2021 dominance

Leading into last weekend’s race at Darlington Raceway, Toyota had dominated Victory Lane thus far in the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season – winning all seven races to date.

 

That all changed last Friday night when Sheldon Creed piloted his No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet to the win over ThorSport Racing’s No. 99 Toyota driven by Ben Rhodes at Darlington Raceway.

 

The win also ended a five-race win streak by Kyle Busch Motorsports that saw John Hunter Nemechek and Kyle Busch each win a pair of races while Martin Truex Jr. won on the Bristol dirt.

 

Darlington marked Creed’s first win of the season – and first since he won the season finale at Phoenix in November to win the season championship. He is just one race off the pace from when he earned his first victory of the title season – in the seventh race of the year at Kentucky.

 

Overall, Creed won five races last year; including a victory on the Daytona Road Course, which will serve him well when the series returns to action next week at Circuit of The Americas.

 

Taking a turn at Circuit of The Americas

After a week off, the Camping World Truck Series will be back in action next Saturday, May 22, for the Toyota Tundra 225 (1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).

 

This will mark the first time NASCAR has raced at COTA, which is a 3.41-mile road course located just outside Austin, Texas. The multi-elevational track has 20 scenic turns for the trucks to navigate.

 

Ben Rhodes (2021 – Daytona Road Course), Brett Moffitt (2019 – Canadian Tire), John Hunter Nemechek (2016 – Canadian Tire), and Sheldon Creed (2020 – Daytona Road Course) are the only active regular drivers in the Camping World Truck Series who have wins on road courses.

 

Matt Crafton, Nemechek and Creed each have a runner-up finishes on a road course and Crafton leads all regulars with four top-five finishes on a road courses. Nemechek and Creed each have three top fives.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Etc.

 

Triple Truck Challenge Presented by Womply: Sheldon Creed won the opening round of the Triple Truck Challenge this season at Darlington Raceway, netting a $50,000 bonus. This marked Creed’s second Triple Truck Challenge victory after winning the bonus last year at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Next weekend’s race at COTA will be the second leg of the Triple Truck Challenge, which will wrap up at Charlotte (5/22).

 

Jack Wood to make series debut at COTA: ARCA Menards Series driver Jack Wood will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut next weekend at COTA, driving the No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet, the team announced this week. Wood has one top-five and two top-10 finishes in four ARCA Menards Series starts this season.

 

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to get in a top-tier truck, especially at a racetrack like COTA,” said Wood. “It’s going to be a long day of learning for me, but I’m excited for the challenge. I can’t thank everybody at Chevrolet and GMS enough for giving me a shot.”

 NASCAR PR

The 2021 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Official Souvenir Program is on sale now and features one of the most unique covers in race history: A three-time Indy 500 winner drawing his friends and rivals, the race’s four-time winners.

Johnny Rutherford, winner of the 1974, ’76 and ’80 Indianapolis 500 and a passionate artist, used a pencil method to draw the cars of the winningest drivers in Indy 500 history who all share an anniversary in 2021 – A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears – for this year’s program cover.

Rutherford drew the roadster Foyt drove to his first Indy 500 victory 60 years ago, in 1961; Unser’s Johnny Lightning Special he earned his second Indy win with 50 years ago, in 1971; and Mears’ iconic red-and-white car he won his fourth Indy 500 with 30 years ago, in 1991.

“It’s an honor to be able to be a part of this project and to do this program cover,” Rutherford said. “I just hope the fans like it and everybody enjoys the fact that it was me, a three-time winner here, that drew that. Add this to what I’ve accomplished at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in my career, and it’s special.”

The program cover was an artistic collaboration between Rutherford and IMS graphic designer Amiah Mims. After Rutherford provided the drawings of the cars, Mims reimagined the 1980 INDYCAR SERIES champion’s artwork in a digital format and integrated it onto a digitally created background that highlights the cars Rutherford drew, as well as the world-famous Yard of Bricks.

Mims is also a freelance artist who has been involved in Indianapolis-area works such as Welcome Race Fans 2019, the Black Lives Matter Boarded Window Mural project, the Black Lives Matter Street Mural project and the Indianapolis Recorder building mural, among other projects.

“Designing, illustrating and painting has always been my passion, and I’m proud to be able to use my love for art to help tell the history of the Indianapolis 500,” Mims said. “It’s an honor to be one of many artists to have had a part in the Indianapolis 500 and to work alongside a legend like Johnny Rutherford.”

The Official Program was created with the help of three well-known printing organizations. The program cover was printed by Lake County Press, while the interior and binding of the program was printed by Hess Print Solutions. The customer loyalty poster insert was printed by Miles Printing, a woman-owned and local printing business.

The Official Program Cover features a four-color process with a metallic ink, tinted varnish and two reticulation plates.

The 208-page souvenir program is available now for $15 at shop.ims.com and at Official Trackside Gift Shops at IMS and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Many great feature stories about “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” are included in the program, covering topics such as:

  • The results of the Race for Equality & Change after just 10 months
  • A touching feature on retired IMS Historian Donald Davidson
  • Appreciation for the IMS Ticket Office and one of the Speedway’s hardest workers, Linda Price
  • Reliving Marco Andretti’s pole-sitting run last August and what it meant to him
  • A recap of the 2020 Indy 500 and the impact of its lack of fans by IMS President J. Douglas Boles
  • Defending Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Takuma Sato
  • The story of how Pato O’Ward went from failing to make the Indy 500 to becoming the race’s 2020 Rookie of the Year
  • The fast friendship of Rinus VeeKay and Alex Palou that formed out of quarantining together during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The bright future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
  • A celebration of Indy 500 anniversaries in 2021, including the 100-year anniversary of Tommy Milton’s first win

The Official Program also features biographies of drivers attempting to make the field of 33 for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 30.

IMS PR

Bimbo Bakeries USA and JTG Daugherty Racing continues to grow their partnership and announced today that Thomas® English Muffins and Bagels will join the team’s family of primary CPG brands sponsoring the No. 37 Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Ryan Preece. Thomas’ English Muffins and Bagels takes over the paint scheme for Dover International Speedway this weekend and the Pocono Raceway doubleheader in June.

“For more than 140 years, Thomas’ has proudly been a part of our fans’ lives and traditions as they zip around their busy schedules filled with family, friends and delicious moments shared together,” Eduardo Zarate, Senior Director of Marketing for Thomas'. “We’re honored to partner with JTG Daugherty Racing to become a part of another treasured American tradition as Thomas’ zips around the track on the No. 37 Chevrolet at three exciting NASCAR races. We can’t wait to cheer on Ryan as these two great brands join together!”

JTG Daugherty Racing proudly partners with the best brands in the CPG Industry that fuel the race team’s desire to win. The Thomas' brand dates back to 1880 when Samuel Bath Thomas created his original English Muffin in New York City using a secret process that included griddle baking to create a Nooks & Crannies® English Muffin. The company has since added bagels and breakfast breads, including a line of swirl breads, to its breakfast offerings. Today, Thomas’ sells the #1 English Muffin and #1 grocery bagel in the U.S. The brand is a household staple for JTG Daugherty Racing’s family and team members and now a primary sponsor of the No. 37 for three of Preece’s races.

“When you think of English muffins or bagels, Thomas’ is a brand that’s top of mind. In the bread aisle, you can’t miss Thomas’ iconic logo!” said Ryan Preece. “My wife Heather and I love stocking up on JTG’s CPG family of brands and we can’t wait to see Thomas’ branding on the hood of the No. 37. I feel like this relationship has the potential to grow bigger in the future and we look forward to more races together.”

Tune in to see the No. 37 Thomas’ Chevrolet in the Drydene 400 live from Dover on Sunday May 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET on FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and the Motor Racing Network.

For more information about Thomas’, visit www.thomasbreads.com.

JTG Racing PR

Macon Speedway is set to go back to green this coming Saturday, May 15 with seven divisions of racing on 95Q Armed Forces Night at the track. Active and retired Military Members will receive free grandstand admission if they show ID proof at the ticket window.

The BillingsleyRewards.com Modified division has seen strong car counts and great racing over its first two nights of the year and there is currently a tie for the point lead. Springfield, IL driving veteran, Guy Taylor, and many-time track champion, Tommy Sheppard, Jr. are atop the standings, each winning features this season. Billy Knebel, Alan Crowder, and Kyle Helmick round out the top five in this year’s points.

New Berlin, IL driver, Jose Parga, is off to a great start, winning both Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model features so far. Parga leads the DIRTcar National Standings by a sizable margin as well as the Macon points by 6 markers over Jake Little. Colby Sheppard, Donny Koehler, and Dakota Ewing are top five point competitors.

Arguably some of the best action this season has come from the DIRTcar Pro Mod class. Kyle Helmick leads the points by just four over last year’s champion, Billy Knebel, and Kevin Crowder. Nick Justice and Jake Montgomery are fourth and fifth of the 20 cars that have been on track so far.

Lovington, IL driver Jeremy Nichols has been behind the wheel of the Rudy Zaragoza owned Street Stock over the first couple of weeks but it’s the Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman standings that he currently leads. Nichols has dominated the two Sportsman races in the Street Stock car, claiming both victories. Scott Landers is second in points, while Jim Farley, III, Rick Roedel, and Dennis Vander Meersch complete the top five.

Argenta, IL’s Nick Macklin and Cerro Gordo, IL’s Terry Reed are atop the standings in the Archers Alley Street Stock class. Jaret Duff is third in the championship chase, while Guy Taylor and Jeremy Nichols round out the top five. Nichols and Bobby Beiler have claimed this year’s feature wins.

The DIRTcar Hornet division is led by Chatham, IL’s Allan Harris, who won the feature on opening night. Billy Mason has had two solid finishes and is second in points, while Shelby Beiler, Cook Crawford, and Jessica Lowe complete the top five.

Rounding out Saturday’s action will be the Micro By Bailey Chassis class. The division raced two weeks ago, had 25 cars in attendance, and put on a thrilling show for the fans in the stands. Aiden Purdue is the point leader after claiming the win, while Jacob Tipton, Alex Midkiff, John Barnard, and Hayden Harvey complete the top five.

In addition to the free admission for active and retired Military Members, Macon Speedway will also have an interactive Army display with activities.

Pits will open at 4:00, grandstands at 5:00, hotlaps are at 6:00, and racing will go green at 7:00. Grandstand admission is $15, while kids 11 and under are free.

Macon Speedway PR

Jeremy Clements Racing is excited to start the Summer of 2021 off right by welcoming the Coolest of new partners to the JCR family, Booze Pops.  Booze Pops out of Charleston, SC, will serve as the primary sponsor of the #51 machine for the Pocono Green 225 Sunday, June 27th at Pocono Raceway.

“Yeah, we were in Charleston earlier this year and we saw one of their trucks and had to try out.  I was like this is great!  From there I was able to get in touch with Woody the owner and we were able to work out a deal to bring Booze Pops into the NASCAR XFINITY Series here at Pocono.” Clements said. “Woody is a great guy and I really admired how he gives back to our Military members by putting Franchises in Veterans hands and I greatly appreciate his Service to our Country.  That gives us the Freedom to do this every week.” Clements went on to say.
 
Joining Booze Pops as associate sponsors will be:  WhiteTail SMokeless, Chalew Performance, ELITE Towing & Recovery LLC, Circle Body Shop, Mechanix Wear, Wix Filters, Carolina Driveline, Cometic and ZMAX

JCR PR

Stafford Motor Speedway and the Connecticut Department of Health have partnered to offer free Covid-19 vaccinations at the Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81 event scheduled for Friday, May 14th. Vaccinations will be available at the mobile unit located in the front parking lot from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on race day. All those who receive a vaccination prior to the event will be eligible for a free Hummel Brothers Hot Dog from the concession stand Friday night.

Race fans who have yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine are encouraged to take advantage of the convenience at the track. The CT DPH vaccine vans will return June 11th to provide the 2nd Covid-19 vaccine dose to eligible race fans.

What to know before receiving your vaccination

  • Vaccinations will start at 5:00pm and go through 7:00pm
  • No need to bring anything; ID or proof of insurance is not needed
  • Vaccination staff will fill out any necessary forms at the vaccination site
  • Anyone over the age of 12 will be eligible, regardless of state of residence
  • There is no cost, and no insurance requirement
  • For more information: https://portal.ct.gov/vaccine-portal/DPH-van-clinics

Six divisions of racing are on hand for the Friday, May 14th Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81, headlined by the Open Modifieds. Over 30 of the top modified drivers in the region are expected to be in attendance including NASCAR Cup driver Ryan Preece, Spring Sizzler winner Patrick Emerling, Modified Tour point leader Eric Goodale, multi-time SK Modified® champion Ronnie Williams, and many more. Full up to date entry-list is available on staffordspeedway.com.

General admission gates for the Friday, May 14th event open at 5:00pm with Open Modified qualifying set to begin at 6:00pm. Feature racing will roll off at approximately 6:30pm. Tickets are available online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and will also be available at the gates day of show. If you are unable to attend the event tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway. 

Stafford Speedway PR

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