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Fenton, Missouri’s Ken Schrader, a retired NASCAR Cup star, will be a busy man this weekend, playing the part of a few different roles during the Illinois State Fair race weekend. Schrader will not only be racing a couple of different cars this weekend, he will also play the role of car owner and track owner.
Schrader’s weekend will start much like everyone else’s in the area on Friday at Lincoln Speedway, in Lincoln, IL. Schrader will be piloting his Federated Auto Parts/Hunt Brothers Pizza #9 Modified along with the rest of the highly talented competitors at the ¼-mile dirt track. Schrader typically makes a couple appearances a year at the speedway.
On Saturday afternoon, the racing veteran will get back behind the wheel of a USAC Silver Crown car at the world’s fastest 1-mile dirt oval, the Springfield Mile, at the Illinois State Fair. It will be Schrader’s first Silver Crown start at Springfield since 1985. He will be piloting the McQuinn #14, which he also drove at Du Quoin in 2017 and at this year’s Hoosier Hundred.
Saturday night, he will wear the hat of a race track owner/promoter. Schrader is one of four owners at Macon Speedway in Macon, IL, along with Kenny Wallace, Tony Stewart, and Bob Sargent. Schrader will be watching as the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets and Speedway Motors Micros race at the track for their final visit of the season. Schrader stays very much in tune with happenings at the 1/5-mile dirt track as well as Federated Auto Parts Raceway, in Pevely, Missouri, which he is also part owner.
Rounding out the weekend, Schrader will pop on the car owner hat for the #52 race team. This week, Munford, Alabama driver, Bret Holmes, will be behind the wheel of the Holmes II Excavating/Southern States Bank car. Holmes has a good amount of dirt racing experience, which should make for a good combination with the team that won the ARCA championship one year ago.
Full information on the four racing events can be found at www.trackenterprises.com, www.lincolnspeedwayil.com, or www.maconracing.com. For information on Ken Schrader and his team, visit www.schraderracing.com.
Track Enterprises PR
There are only a few short tracks across Canada that Pete Shepherd III has not visited behind the wheel of a NASCAR Pinty’s Series car. Oddly enough his first two oval starts of the season came at places where he didn’t have Pinty’s Series set up notes. That changes this weekend when Shepherd visits Antigonish for the third time in his career
“I’m excited to roll into a place where we’ve ran well in the past. We made several changes to the car after testing last week and I believe we found a level of comfort which is critical. Now it’s time to work on finding speed and as long I can communicate what I need to our team we should be able to get there too.”
Pete Shepherd will be back in the Province of Nova Scotia for the second straight weekend after running in the Toromont CAT 250 at Scotia Speedworld.
“I can’t say enough positive things about the level of passion for racing in the Maritimes. Everybody was welcoming, helpful, and really fun to be around. The event was virtually a sell out and I can’t thank Cecil Vance, Stevie Henderson, Chad Henderson, and Shawn Turple enough for the opportunity. I am happy to be back this coming weekend.”
You can catch Pete Shepherd and his #79 National Exhaust/VRX Simulators Ford in action at Riverside Speedway in the Bumper to Bumper 300. Racing starts at 8pm sharp on Saturday, August 18th.
Pete Shepherd’s 2018 racing season would not be possible without the following marketing partners;
National Exhaust Systems Inc, VRX Simulators, VRX ESports, driven4commucations, Lou’s Barbeque Company, Northern Friction, CTI, BioX Performance Nutrition, Schultz Manufacturing, Thrustmaster, Connell’s Construction, Epic Racewear, Gates, USMW, Cipra Design, Fierce Wraps, and Transbec.
To keep up to date with Pete Shepherd’s racing events this upcoming season please visit: www.peteshepherdmotorsports.com
CMT Revs Up Programming Slate With Series Greenlight For "Racing Wives" and Season Two Renewal of "Music City" Debuting Early 201915 Aug 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Fresh off its best year since 2014, CMT today announced a series order for “Racing Wives”. The eight-episode, hour-long unscripted series from Executive Producer Jenny Daly and T Group Productions follows the never-before-seen private lives of captivating women who are married to world famous race car drivers. CMT has also renewed “Music City,” hit docuseries from “The Hills” creator Adam DiVello and Lionsgate, for a ten-episode second season. Both shows will premiere early next year.
A stone’s throw away from the high-octane race tracks where legends rise and sometimes fall, the “Racing Wives” offers a rare glimpse inside the opulent eye-popping mansions and private planes that regally decorate the banks of Lake Norman, North Carolina. The cast features sisters-in-law Ashley and SamanthaBusch, married to Kurt and Kyle Busch who are each balancing family life with their own ambitions. Looking to take her rightful spot in the wives’ club is Whitney Ward Dillon, former cheerleader and now wife of Austin Dillon, who is torn between fitting in with her fellow wives while staying true to her best friend and cheerleader ride-or-die Mariel Lane. Also featured is Amber Balcaen, an aspiring NASCAR driver who is new to the racing community and left everything, including her boyfriend, back home in Canada to come to North Carolina to pursue her dream.
The series will be paired with “Music City,” which has been renewed for a ten-episode second season. The hit docuseries from “The Hills” creator Adam DiVello and Lionsgate follows a group of young adults entering the next chapter of their lives while chasing dream of success, fame and romance in Nashville. Season two will feature a shocking break-up, a wedding, a cutthroat Miss USA competition, unexpected friendships and new explosive rivalries. Returning are fledgling musician Kerry, and his wife, Rachyl, personal trainer Jackson, and his cousin, pageant queen Alexandra, as well as musicians Jessica and Alisa, who are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to their love lives. New faces this season include Rachyl and Kerry’s old friend Jeremiah, Kerry’s new manager Tori, and Jackson’s childhood friend Stephen, who helps him navigate his relationships with girlfriend Baylee and Alexandra. Also entering the mix this season is Molly, Alexandra’s friend and instigator who voices a strong and loud opinion on everything and everyone she encounters.
The news comes on the heels of strong growth. CMT is on track to earn its highest rated year since 2014. In F3Q’18, CMT was one of just 10 channels in the Top 50 to show YOY growth in P18-49. CMT has notched 6 consecutive quarters of YOY growth among P18-49.
“Racing Wives” is produced by T Group with executive producers Jenny Daly, Rob Lobl, and Ben DeNoble.
“Music City” is produced by Done and Done Productions in association with Lionsgate. Adam DiVello serves as creator and executive producer, along with executive producers Kris Lindquist and Andrew Perry.
Kelly Kovski will return to racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards in Sunday's Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. It will be the first ARCA Racing Series appearance for Kovski since he was injured at a sprint car race at Volusia County Speedway in February, 2017.
Kovski, a Springfield native, will pilot Mike Allgaier's No. 16 Schluckebier Farm/Billingsley Member Rewards Chevrolet, the same car he crew chiefed to victory with Grant Enfinger behind the wheel in 2017.
“I told Grant last year when we were getting ready for this race that it would probably work out that we'd win the year I wasn't driving and that's exactly what happened,” Kovski said. “So I told him this year we need to make it happen for me.”
Kovski has a long association with the Allgaier family, having worked with Justin Allgaier both during his ARCA days as a driver and on his short track equipment now that he has become a full-time competitor in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Kovski also worked as crew chief in 2011 and 2012 when Enfinger drove for Allgaier Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series.
As a driver, Kovski has 26 career ARCA starts with four top-five finishes and 15 top-ten finishes. He finished second, a career best, in his last series start at DuQuoin in 2016. After spending the entire season out of the cockpit while recuperating in 2017, Kovski has made a handful of dirt modified starts in 2018. He has already finished among the top five, including a fourth-place finish at Lincoln Speedway two weeks ago.
“I still want to get that ARCA win,” Kovski said. “It's something that has been very important to me over the years and might be even more important after all that has happened. I know I am not going to be able to do this forever. I have kids who are wanting to get out and race quarter midgets and karts, and we're going to eventually give that all of our attention. It would be a great way to make my comeback, and besides, Grant owes me after last year.”
Discounted tickets for the Allen Crowe 100 are available at the eleven participating local Springfield Menards stores. Practice is scheduled for 10 am ET/9 am CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying slated for 12 noon ET/11 am CT, and the green flag will fly at 2:30 pm ET/1:30 pm CT. MAVTV will have live coverage of the race, while ARCARacing.com will have live timing, scoring, track updates, and scanner audio of all on-track activity for registered users.
ARCA Racing PR
The dog days of summer are a solid reminder of one thing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the triumphed return of dirt racing to the annual tour schedule. A long standing series tradition, the next stop on the season features the Springfield State Fairgrounds dirt mile for the 56th running of the Allen Crowe 100 on Sunday, August 19.
Eagerly awaiting his next ARCA shot, Christian Eckes returns to the seat of his No.15 JBL Audio Toyota Camry set to make his second career start on the historic Illinois 1-mile dirt track. Last season, in just his first ever dirt race, the 17-year old turned in an impressive outing leading laps in his Toyota Camry before a late race pit stop shuffled him back before crossing the stripe at the checkered flag in the sixth position.
"I had a lot of fun last year racing at Springfield," said Eckes. "This will be my second dirt race ever. I really started to figure it out at the end of the race so hoping to put forward that experience into this year. ARCA dirt is kinda strange in comparison to real dirt, almost turns into a pavement track at the end of the race and I feel that’s really where I’ll thrive. Thankfully it only matters who leads that last lap! Really excited to get back with JBL Audio guys this weekend."
In addition to strong showings in his first two career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, the Middletown, New York native claimed his first career ARCA victory at Salem Speedway in May and picked up his first General Tire Pole award last month at Elko Speedway.
Splitting seat time this season behind the wheel of the fifteen-car with Venturini Motorsports’ teammate Michael Self, Eckes goes back to work with crew chief Kevin Reed looking their second victory of the season together. Reed has collected 16 ARCA (12 with VMS) wins throughout his ARCA career on the pit box including all four of Venturini Motorsports’ victories in 2018.
With 22-career ARCA starts to his credit, Sunday’s matinee will mark the teen’s ninth series appearance of the 2018 campaign. Eckes has led 146-laps on the season and 420 overall since making his ARCA debut at Nashville in 2016.
ARCA considered the most versatile and leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country, has run 357 dirt races since the series’ inception in 1953. Of Venturini Motorsports’ 48-series victories, the longtime series team has earned four wins on dirt, two each at Springfield and DuQuoin since 2010 – Steve Arpin (DuQuoin ’10), Brennan Poole (Springfield ’13), Kevin Swindell (Springfield ’14) and Tom Hessert (DuQuoin ’16).
The Allen Crowe 100 is coming Sunday, August 19th. The grandstands will open at 8:30 AM, followed by practice at 9:00 AM, qualifying at 11:00 AM and an on-track autograph session starting at 12:15 PM. MAVTV will broadcast the race live starting at 1:30 PM. All times local.
“He’s back”! That simple phrase would be selling short the story of Springfield, Illinois race driver Kelly Kovski. Kovski’s racing career, put on hold last February due to injuries from an accident, has re-started and according to the Automobile Racing Club of America today, the Springfield pilot will return to the ARCA series this Sunday in the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Kovski is a man with two victories on the Springfield mile as part of a crew and he will be undoubtedly one of the most popular drivers in the field.
Kelly Kovski’s career in auto racing has been both as a driver and a crew member/crew chief. He’s been the crew chief for Mike Allgaier’s ARCA racing team for over a decade helping Mike’s son Justin to a wildly popular victory in the 2006 Allen Crowe 100 at Springfield. Kovski put ARCA champion Grant Enfinger behind the wheel of his own Allgaier ARCA car last year and all Enfinger did was start second and score another popular victory in the Allen Crowe 100 for the home town team.
As a driver, Kovski’s driven modifieds and stock cars at several local short tracks in central Illinois for well over ten seasons. He made his first ARCA start on the dirt at Springfield in August of 2005 and finished a respectable 14th completing all 100 miles. The next year he finished 11th behind teammate Allgaier. Since 2006 he has 7 top 10 finishes on his home fairground race track with the best a third in 2015. In 12 starts he’s only failed to finish one race and completed an impressive 1214 out of a possible 1226 miles in that span.
Perhaps most impressive have been his drives from the back of the field. In 2007 he started 29th and finished 6th. When rain forced the field to be set by points in 2014 he drove from 27th to 6th at the end, and when rain came back in 2015 he went from 30th to the career best 3rd on the Springfield mile.
Kovski’s streak of 12 consecutive starts in the Allen Crowe 100 came to a sudden halt February of 2017, when he was struck in the pits of a Florida short track by a flipping sprint car. Serious injuries forced him to remain in a Florida hospital until he was able to be transported closer to home. Driving a race car was out of the question but by summer’s end Kovski was well enough to return to the Allgaier race shop and joined Enfinger in an emotional celebration in victory lane last year. Simply returning to run in the Illinois State Fair stock car race for the partisan crowd is a significant step, Kovski winning the Crowe 100 as a driver could set off a celebration that would top Allgaier’s in 2006!
ARCA practice begins at 9:00, ARCA qualifying at 11:00, Sportsman feature at 12:00 noon, an ARCA autograph session at 12:15, and the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 will take the green at 1:35. It's all part of the State Fair race weekend which will have the USAC Silver Crown Series on Saturday afternoon as well as racing at Lincoln Speedway on Friday night and Macon Speedway on Saturday evening.
Track Enterprises PR
Each year the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program along with its competition arm, Rev Racing, seeks to obtain the highest quality of applicants representing diverse backgrounds and develop them into successful NASCAR drivers. This selection process begins with the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Combine. Drivers will have the opportunity to submit a digital application on RevRacing.net, highlighting racing experience, references and historical success. Ethnically diverse and female drivers have until September 7, 2018 to be considered for the 2019 NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. Youth program participants, ages 12-17, are required to apply by October 30, 2018.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
• Be a female or member of one or more of the following ethnic minority classifications:
American Indian, Alaskan Native or of native/indigenous descent; Asian or Pacific Islander;
Black or African-American; Latino or Hispanic
• Be at least 15 years of age but no older than 26 years of age as of October 15th of the present year
• Be legally eligible to work in the United States. Drivers from foreign countries are welcome to apply, however, if the applicant is not already a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien, the applicant must be legally capable of traveling to the designated location in the United States to participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Combine. Applicants must also be able to obtain necessary authorization to accept employment in the United States if selected to participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program.
NASCAR Drive for Diversity aligns its drivers with a team of executives, athletic trainers, crew chiefs and mentors helping them achieve professional success, and thus improving their likelihood of reaching one of the three NASCAR national series. Selected drivers will compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series or Bojangles’ Summer Shootout Series.
Rev Racing has continued to find success with its current drivers and alumni. In 2018, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program made a major impact, seeing three of its graduates (Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace) compete at the sport’s highest level in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Since the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program’s inception, Rev Racing has earned 17 wins, 85 top 5s, and 168 top 10 finishes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, with drivers finishing in the top 10 in points every season. Current NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Ruben Garcia Jr. made his first trip to victory lane at Memphis International Raceway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in June.
To find more information about the 2018 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine or submit an application, please visit https://revracing.net/combine-
Rev Racing PR
Ferris wheels, elephant ears and race cars will take center stage this weekend when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards returns to the glorious Illinois Springfield State Fairgrounds dirt mile for the 56th running of the Allen Crowe 100 on Sunday, August 19.
Closing in on the final stretch of her first full season of ARCA competition, 21-year old Natalie Decker will fill the seat of her familiar No.25 N29 Capital Partners Toyota for her first ever start on Springfield’s historic dirt mile.
“This is one of the races I’ve been looking forward to all season long,” said Decker. “This is what makes the ARCA Series so cool. Going to Springfield is definitely exciting. I don’t have much experience on dirt but I look at it and prepare just like any other race. My goals are the same. I'm here to learn and get as much experience as I can."
Decker, who will become just the 10th female to compete in ARCA’s late summer dirt classic, will have plenty of help in her corner with the recent addition of crew chief Frank Kimmel calling the shots. Not surprising, Kimmel is the all-time series leader with 80-victories, also holds the series modern day record for ARCA wins on dirt with 14 – collecting eight checkered flags at Springfield. Kimmel made 503 starts during his decorated ARCA driving career.
“I’ll spend a lot of time reviewing film to prepare for Sunday’s race but I’ll also go to Frank (Kimmel) for some pointers. He’s been really good offering advice all season long. Even when he wasn’t crew chiefing for me he’s always been there helping me along. He’s had so much success driving at Springfield and on the dirt – I’m hoping to pick up on it fast and have a solid race."
The driver / crew chief combination of Decker and Kimmel debuted last month at Elko Speedway. Decker finished fifth.
Springfield will mark Decker's second start on dirt of her racing career. In 2016 she won driving a super stock truck event in her home state at Tomahawk Speedway.
The Eagle River, WI native is currently sixth in the ARCA driver point standings. In fifteen season starts she’s earned two top-5’s and five top-10 finishes. Decker made headlines winning the General Tire Pole and finishing a career high fifth during this year's season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Performing on racing’s biggest stage, she added her name to the record books becoming just the third woman in ARCA’s history and fourth in Daytona’s 59-year track history to start a race from the pole position.
ARCA, considered the most versatile and leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country, has run 357 dirt races since the series’ inception in 1953. Of Venturini Motorsports’ 48 series victories, the longtime series team has earned four wins on dirt, two each at Springfield and DuQuoin since 2010 – Steve Arpin (DuQuoin ’10), Brennan Poole (Springfield ’13), Kevin Swindell (Springfield ’14) and Tom Hessert (DuQuoin ’16).
Noteworthy, the best finishing position for a female driver in the Allen Crowe 100 goes to Taylor Ferns who was just 17 years old when she posted that ninth place finish in 2013 driving for Venturini Motorsports. Ferns also has the best starting position of any female driver in ARCA at the Illinois State Fair, starting fifth in 2013.
The Allen Crowe 100 is coming Sunday, August 19th. The grandstands will open at 8:30 AM, followed by practice at 9:00 AM, qualifying at 11:00 AM and an on-track autograph session scheduled for 12:15 PM. MAVTV will broadcast the race live starting at 1:30 PM. All times local.
A field of 40-plus USAC Silver Crown Champ Car drivers are expected to compete in this Saturday’s “Bettenhausen 100” at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
From top-to-bottom, the list includes seven Silver Crown championships, 13 “Bettenhausen 100” victories and 97 total Silver Crown wins, with 15 states represented.
One of those past race winners includes reigning “Bettenhausen 100” winner Justin Grant. The Ione, California native led 79 laps and staved off a hard-charge by Kody Swanson in the final laps, including a green-white-checkered finish, to capture his first career Silver Crown victory. In the process, he became the first driver to get his first series win at the Springfield Mile since fellow Californian Cole Whitt in 2009.
Two-time “Bettenhausen 100” winner Kody Swanson arrives as the white-hot talent, one who’s been undefeated in Silver Crown competition since the beginning of May, earning a Silver Crown record five consecutive victories over that span. Along the way, the Kingsburg, Calif. driver has constructed a 126-point lead over Grant in the standings. His victory on the paved high banks of Indiana’s Salem Speedway last Saturday was the 24th of his Silver Crown career, breaking Jack Hewitt’s 30-year old record as the winningest Silver Crown driver of all-time.
Brian Tyler owns four “Bettenhausen 100” wins. In last year’s race, the Pleasant Garden, N.C. driver shot to the front in a hurry and led 21 laps through the middle portion of the race before a gear issue halted his spectacular ride. In the last mile dirt race at the “Hoosier Hundred” on the Indy Mile, Tyler led 27 laps, and was leading, before a massive accident in turn one ended their night.
Lincoln, Indiana’s Dave Darland, a three-time winner on the Springfield Mile, has teamed up with Illinois car owner Gene Kazmark to compete in the “Bettenhausen 100.” Darland leads all drivers in series history with 198 career starts entering the event and has made five starts in 2018 with a best finish of 9th in May’s “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds after charging from the 28th starting spot.
Peru, Indiana’s Russ Gamester, the 1998 victor, aims to make his 25th “Bettenhausen 100” start. The 1989 USAC National Midget champ owns victories in all three USAC national divisions throughout his decorated racing career as he guns for Springfield win number two in the familiar red No. 51.
A.J. Fike is a familiar face in Illinois State Fairgrounds’ victory lane, earning back-to-back Silver Crown victories in 2012 and 2013 as well as an ARCA Stock Car triumph in 2015. The Galesburg, Illinois driver makes his return to Springfield behind the wheel of Dave and Dennis McQuinn’s No. 41 alongside teammate and 1982 Silver Crown champ Ken Schrader of Fenton, Missouri, who’s among five past Silver Crown titlists in the field, including Dave Darland (1997), 2017 pole sitter Jerry Coons, Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. (2008), Swanson (2014-15-17) and Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. (2016). Two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon is looking for Silver Crown victory number one.
Drivers who’ve broken into victory lane in year’s past, but are seeking to get their first triumph at Springfield include C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind., who will debut Mickey Meyer’s new hand-lettered No. 10. Germantown, Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell charged from 28th to 3rd last year at Springfield will be joined by David Byrne (Shullsburg, Wisc.), Shane Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) and Tyler Courtney (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Windom and Fike are among the nine Illini entered to run along with two-time Du Quoin Silver Crown winner Shane Cockrum (Benton), one-time Du Quoin winner Shane Cottle (Kansas), Patrick Lawson (Edwardsville), J.C. Bland (Springfield), Joey Moughan (Springfield), Terry Babb (Decatur), Chris Urish (Elkhart) and Korey Weyant (Springfield).
Weyant is one of 11 series Rookies entered, along with leading series Rookie Travis Welpott (Pendleton, Ind.), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) Neil Shepherd (Warsaw, Ind), Kyle Robbins (New Castle, Ind.), Johnny Petrozelle (Denton, N.C.), Chris Dyson (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.), Keith Burch (Farmington, MO), Dave Berkheimer (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Austin Mundie (Dallas, Texas) and Mike Haggenbottom (Levittown, Pa.).
The Rookie crop is complemented by a competitive group of veterans racing into Springfield such as Jacob Wilson (Crawfordsville, Ind.), Joe Liguori (Tampa, Fla.), Austin Nemire (Sylvania, Ohio), Jackie Burke (Houston, Texas), Matt Goodnight (Winchester, Ind.), Steve Buckwalter (Royersford, Pa.), Casey Shuman (Tempe, Ariz.), Bill Rose (Plainfield, Ind.), Chris Fetter (Troy, Mo.) and Danny Long (Bonne Terre, Mo.).
On Saturday, registration and pits will open at 7am, grandstands and ticket office at 9pm, Silver Crown practice at 10am, two-lap qualifying at 11:30am, Sportsman hot laps at noon, Silver Crown semi at 12:30pm, Sportsman heats at 1pm and the “Bettenhausen 100” at 2pm.
Advanced adult tickets are $25. Day of Race Adult 12 and older tickets are $30. Children 11 and under are $10. Pit passes are $35. Children pit passes (11 and under) are $20. Infield tickets for adults are $20.00. Children 6-11 are $5. Children under 5 are FREE!
Track Enterprises PR