Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Preparations for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge will accelerate during an NTT INDYCAR SERIES oval test on Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Drivers testing include six-time and 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing, two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, one-time series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, three-time Indianapolis 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing and 2020 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP.

Newgarden and Sato will test Wednesday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (ET). All six drivers are scheduled to test Thursday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The only media availability with the drivers will be Thursday at the conclusion of the session.

Also, Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske is expected to receive time Wednesday to complete the Rookie Orientation Program.

Fans are welcome to watch testing for free both days from the Turn 2 viewing mounds. Face coverings must be worn at all times and proper social distancing must be adhered to. No food or drinks will be allowed on the mounds. The Turn 2 viewing mounds will be the only part of the facility open to spectators.

All visitors to IMS must enter via Gate 2 off 16th Street and will be subject to temperature screening. Fans are encouraged to follow the IMS social media accounts for weather updates on Wednesday and Thursday.

NTT IndyCar Series PR

During the summer months, Front Row Motorsports (FRM) teamed up with partner Death Wish Coffee for a new cause marketing campaign aimed at showing appreciation for truck drivers on the front lines who are working hard to deliver goods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The winning truck driver's name will be featured on John Hunter Nemechek's No. 38 Ford Mustang this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
 
After receiving over 3,000 entries as part of the "Thank A Trucker" contest, FRM and Death Wish Coffee chose Jason Griffith as the winner. Based in Las Vegas, Nev., Griffith is on the road full-time, spending just a few days each month at home with his wife and twin six-year-old girls.
 
"It was a lot of fun to be involved in this campaign," said Nemechek. "We received a lot of entries and our team really loved Jason's story. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to Jason and all other truck drivers across the country who are working hard and making difficult sacrifices - not just for their families, but for us as a nation as we grapple with the pandemic."
 
"We could not be more thrilled with our winner and this contest," said Mike Brown, CEO of Death Wish Coffee. "Jason is a model driver and we are proud to honor him on the No. 38 Death Wish Coffee car. We are also excited to give a nod to 100 other drivers who entered the contest whom will be receiving a pound of Death Wish Coffee and a $100 visa gift card from us as a thank you for being on the front lines during this pandemic. We are very grateful to all of our truckers and haulers for keeping the country moving during this time!"
 
The No. 38 Death Wish Coffee "Thank A Trucker" Ford Mustang will make its debut at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, November 1 for the "Xfinity 500." The race will be broadcast on NBC and MRN at 2 p.m. ET.
 
FRM PR
Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance F-150
 
Tanner Gray returns to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway where he made his first career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series start last year in the fall race. He finished 20th in his first start at the paper clip-shaped oval and completed every lap. This time around with a year of truck racing under his belt, he's hoping for a more competitive finish in the No. 15 Ford Performance F-150.
 
Gray scored a top-10 finish last weekend at Texas, despite damage to his truck from an incident earlier in the race. It was a bit of redemption following unavoidable accidents which took him out of contention at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway earlier this month.
 
In 21 Truck Series races to date this year, Gray has four top-five, eight top-10 finishes, has led four laps and sits 13th in the driver point standings. Of his four top-five finishes, three of them have been third-place finishes all within the last few months.
 
The NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 from Martinsville Speedway will be run on Friday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on FS1. The 200-lap race will be broken into three segments with stage-ending cautions on laps 50 and 100.
 
Gray on Martinsville: "I like racing at Martinsville, but it's a tough track. We had a good run going last year and got wrecked coming to the line. I've learned a lot about the trucks and racing in this series since then, so I'm looking forward to going back again this Friday. It will be challenging, but fun."
 
DGR Crosley PR
Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Black's Tire Ford F-150
 
Todd Gilliland returns to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the site of his first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series victory in the fall race last year. He is hoping to defend his race-winning title Friday night in the No. 38 Black's Tire Ford F-150.
 
Gilliland has a solid record in the Truck Series at the paper clip-shaped oval. In five starts he has one win, two top-five, two top-10 finishes, one pole and has led 51 laps. Last year with 10 laps to go, Gilliland took the lead and never looked back, despite a caution which triggered a green-white-checkered overtime finish. Gilliland earned his first career win in the Truck Series in his 46th start.
 
In 21 starts this season, Gilliland has four top-five, nine top-10 finishes and has led 92 laps in the No. 38 Ford F-150 for Front Row Motorsports. He is 10th in the driver point standings.
 
Gilliland's No. 38 Ford F-150 will be sponsored by Black's Tire at Martinsville Friday. With over 50 retail locations and wholesale distribution throughout North and South Carolina and Virginia, their 800-plus employees have kept the Carolina's rolling for the past 90 years.
 
The NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 from Martinsville Speedway will be run on Friday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on FS1. The 200-lap race will be broken into three segments with stage-ending cautions on laps 50 and 100.
 
Quick Facts:
Number of Truck Series Starts at Martinsville: 5
Best Start: 1st (10/27/18)
Best Finish: 1st (10/26/19)
2020 Driver Point Standings: 10th
 
Gilliland on Martinsville: "I have had this race circled on my calendar all season. Martinsville will always be special to me since I got my first win there, and hopefully Friday I can get my second win as well. My Front Row Motorsports team is bringing a fast Black's Tire Ford F-150. It's a tough track and hard to get a win there. A lot of things have to go your way, not just a fast truck. Last year I got caught in an accident late in the race, was leaking water and somehow still managed to win in an overtime restart. Patience is key, and a little luck goes a long way too."
 
FRM PR
JR Motorsports has added a key component to its future, announcing today an extension with Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, refreshments, home and personal care products. The new deal includes primary paint schemes on JR Motorsports cars for seven NASCAR Xfinity Series events in 2021, one of which will be driven by team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. As well, the two-time NXS champion and 2021 NASCAR Hall-of-Famer will enter his 13th consecutive year as a Unilever spokesperson and brand ambassador.
 
“My partnership with Unilever has grown so much over the years, and I’m proud to say they’ve been a huge part of what we’ve built at JRM,” said Earnhardt Jr. “Unilever’s commitment to our team and the series has been unwavering, and we’re prepared to take that success even further.”
 
Unilever is JRM’s longest-tenured partner dating back to 2009, and Earnhardt Jr.’s company has carried Unilever brands on its cars for more than 100 races. Unilever also holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running active sponsors in the NXS.
 
As it has done since the beginning, Unilever will use its racing partnership to market multiple consumer brands across several JRM teams. Details on schedule, track locations and featured brands will be announced at a later date, including details on Earnhardt Jr.’s return to the driver’s seat for one race. Earnhardt Jr. has raced at least one NXS race with Unilever every year since 2009, most recently in the Hellmann’s No. 8 Chevrolet at Homestead-Miami Speedway this year. He has 24 career NXS victories, his last coming in 2016 at Richmond International Raceway in a Hellmann’s-branded car.
 
“We’re immensely appreciative of the relationship we’ve cultivated with Unilever,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. “Together, we’ve had the opportunity to do great things on and off the track, most recently focusing efforts toward Unilever’s United for America initiative.”
 
United for America is an expansive, Unilever-led movement that aims to unite with retail partners and nonprofits to help communities recover, rebuild, and reimagine their futures, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Unilever has collaborated with frontline relief organizations like Feeding America and Direct Relief to provide critical support to Americans where it’s needed most, at a time when it’s needed most. The program provides essential products and supplies for millions of Americans, and Unilever is a purpose-driven company engaged in promoting cleanliness and sustainable living to help Americans thrive now and in the future.

“Unilever is so proud to work with Dale and all the folks at JR Motorsports; a relationship founded on bringing together some of America’s most loved brands with one of America’s most popular sports and one of its most admired and respected personalities,” said Head of Channel & Customer Development for Unilever, George Hamilton. “But it is our collective charitable efforts that truly cements a relationship of shared values.”

 
Unilever offers products in multiple categories, including mayonnaise, dijonnaise, and white spoonable dressings products, ketchup, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and frozen confectionery dessert; personal care products, including men’s hair shampoo, men’s hair conditioner, men’s hair styling products, men’s body wash and men’s deodorant.
 
JRM PR

The “Race to Freedom” truck is back. Jordan Anderson Racing and A.E. Engine are thrilled to reveal the No. 3 “Race to Freedom II” Chevrolet Silverado that Anderson will drive in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series’ NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 on Friday, Oct. 30, at Martinsville Speedway.

Anderson, one of NASCAR’s most dynamic personalities and a rising star in the sport, will have U.S. LawShield, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s #GUNVOTE voter registration project and GAT Marketing adorning Anderson’s vibrant black, white and red Chevrolet Silverado.

“Martinsville is a place where anyone can win if they make the right moves,” Anderson said.  “You’ve got to be good at defending your position on the track. U.S. LawShield specializes in defending the rights of responsible gun owners across the country, so it’s a perfect fit to bring the ‘Gun Truck’ back this weekend. With the race being so close to election time, it’s going to be cool to drive a truck with #GUNVOTE on the hood. We are proud to partner with hard-working companies like GAT Marketing. Like me, they are in the fight to support our rights and protect our freedoms. They like to work hard and win big.”

With more than 80,000 fans across his engaging social media platforms, Anderson provides a fascinating level of access and delivers his sponsors millions of impressions every month from compelling social media content.

The “Race to Freedom II” truck allows all three partners to leverage their social media to expand the program’s online footprint. Each sponsor will be included in a comprehensive A.E. Engine content activation program including print, digital, YouTube and social media.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s #GUNVOTE project will adorn the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado’s hood, while the U.S. LawShield logo will appear on the truck’s rear quarter panels. GAT Marketing can be found on the truck’s tailgate.

Live coverage of the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 will be on Fox Sports 1(FS1), and on the radio at Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM Channel 90 at 8 p.m. ET.

SPONSOR QUOTES

U.S. LawShield

“U.S. LawShield® is very pleased to continue our partnership with Jordan Anderson Racing as part of a sponsorship package and support for the NASCAR Truck Series. We have great respect for what Jordan Anderson Racing has accomplished building a team from the ground up, pursuing excellence, never giving up, and of course, driving the ‘Race to Freedom Truck’. We look forward to celebrating his success on the track.”

Larry Keane, Senior V.P. and General Counsel, National Shooting Sports Foundation:

“With the 2020 election right around the corner, the resources provided by GUNVOTE and promoted on Jordan’s #3 hood during the Martinsville race are more important than ever. Anyone who supports our constitutional freedoms should follow Jordan’s lead and visit GUNVOTE.org, then cast an informed GUNVOTE on or before Election Day.

“GUNVOTE is a comprehensive voter registration program that we are excited to have prominently featured on Jordan Anderson’s #3 hood at the Martinsville Raceway. Anderson is a longtime advocate for our right to keep and bear arms, and the GUNVOTE logo on his hood sends a strong message to NASCAR fans to make sure they are informed voters who are ready to GUNVOTE on or before Election Day.”

Charles Anderson, CEO and Founder, GAT Marketing:

“We are excited for the opportunity to co-sponsor Jordan and the 2nd amendment truck alongside industry icons like US LawShield and the NSSF. At GAT Marketing, we have seen firsthand how our conservative pro-gun message will be affected in the future if we don’t take action now. We need to bring greater awareness to the significance of each and every vote within this election cycle. #gunvote 

I’ve been a longtime fan of NASCAR and have learned to appreciate the hard work that goes into their daily grind. Like Jordan, I too have a team that backs me and supports our shared goals for success. Part of our strength stems from our belief in this country and the American dream. It’s an honor to be a part of this Freedom truck and to work with organizations that support our rights. We are proud to be part of this effort to raise awareness and encourage everyone to VOTE on Election Day. #gunvote.”

Jordan Anderson Racing PR

AJ Allmendinger and Nutrien Ag Solutions will team up at Martinsville Speedway for the penultimate race of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season.
 
The Nutrien Ag Solutions Digital Hub, an innovative platform that provides access to field-level insights, local weather stories, invoices and payments, and the latest product information, will don the No. 16 Chevrolet for the Draft Top 250 on Halloween day. On track, he will join teammate Ross Chastain, who will be piloting the No. 10 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet.
 
The primary role of the Digital Hub is to create a center of collaboration between Nutrien Ag Solutions employees and their customers, allowing them to provide support whenever and wherever it’s needed. The Digital Hub also provides a centralized location for customers to access the agronomic and product information they need to run a successful farming operation year-after-year.
 
“We’re thrilled to have two cars featuring Nutrien Ag Solutions on the track this weekend and are very grateful to our partners at Kaulig Racing,” said Brent Smith, Vice President of Marketing, Sustainability and Proprietary Products. “The Nutrien Ag Solutions Digital Hub is an integral part of our innovation story in becoming the ag retailer of the future. It’s one of the many ways growers can work with their crop consultants in leading the field and leveraging the best agronomic information available to impact their acres. We know AJ is going to look great in Nutrien Ag Solutions green at Martinsville.”
 
A race not originally on his 2020 schedule with Kaulig Racing, Allmendinger will pilot the No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions Digital Hub in his final race of the 2020 NXS season at Martinsville Speedway.
 
“I’m excited for this partnership with Nutrien Ag Solutions, and I’m honored to be able to showcase their Digital Hub!” Said Allmendinger. “I was not originally scheduled to race at Martinsville this year, but we were able to get one more on my schedule with Nutrien Ag Solutions before the 2020 season ends. I’m looking forward to driving this beautiful, bright green No. 16 car at one of my favorite tracks!”
 
The Draft Top 250 at Martinsville Speedway will take place on Saturday, October 31 at 3:30pm ET on NBC.
 
Kaulig Racing PR

The excitement is building as it is now officially race week for the 36th running of the All American 400 presented by Freeman Webb, Big Machine Vodka, Sunoco Race Fuels and a great number of others. It all begins on Friday, October 30 with three straight action packed days at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, culminating with the 36th All American 400 on Sunday, November 1. Preliminary estimates show over 200 drivers heading toward the Music City, representing over 20 different states.

The weekend features a mix of local classes and traveling series, bringing in top notch drivers from all across the country. Friday’s festivities begin with Super Late Model and Pro Late Model practice at 12 noon, followed by a night of local division racing on the ¼-mile. Bandoleros, Street Stocks, Front Runners, Pure Stocks, Legends, and Limited Late Models will all race their final event of the season, crowning the champions for 2020.

Team Construction’s Halloween Saturday of racing and family fun, will see Late Model competitors take center stage at 5:30 for All American 400 qualifying. Following the all important single car qualifying runs, a racing program of Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks, Vores Compact Touring Series, and All American Showdowns for the Supers and the Pros will take to the 5/8-mile oval.

Sunday’s running of the All American 400 will bring together four top tier Super Late Model Series in addition to the JEGS/CRA All Stars Tour for the Pro Late Model portion of the event. At last glance, well over 30 drivers are set to compete for starting spots in each race. Green will drop at 1:00 on one of the biggest days in motorsports.

Adding to the fun of the weekend, will be all the great activities for families and kids, as part of the Team Construction Halloween Extravanganza. A pair of trunk or treats will be held with drivers giving out candy at 6:00 Friday night and 4:45 Saturday afternoon. Bikes will be given away in addition to a free TV giveaway. Race fans, kids and adults alike, are asked to wear their Halloween costumes to join in on the fun.

Plenty of tickets are available for each night of the race weekend. Fans can purchase them online at www.nashvillefairgroundsspeedway.racing or at the gates on raceday. A three day ticket is also available, saving fans $10 to see all of this weekend’s entertainment.

More information and advance sale tickets for the event are available at www.nashvillefairgroundsspeedway.racing and www.trackenterprises.com .

Track Enterprises PR

Hendrick Motorsports has named Rudy Fugle as the crew chief for William Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. He will join the organization in mid-November.

The 36-year-old Fugle is one of the most successful crew chiefs at the NASCAR national series level. He has won two driver championships and five owner titles in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series. As a crew chief for Kyle Busch Motorsports since 2013, he has recorded 28 truck victories, which tie him for the second-most in series history.

Fugle will replace current No. 24 crew chief Chad Knaus, who was recently named Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of competition effective at the completion of the 2020 racing season.

“We’re pleased to welcome Rudy,” said Jeff Andrews, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His teams have consistently performed at a championship level for many years. We believe he’s an excellent fit for our culture and will mesh extremely well with our other crew chiefs and competition personnel. In addition, Rudy and William have proven to be a successful combination with a high level of communication and trust in one another.”

A native of Livonia, New York, Fugle holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 2006, he began his NASCAR career with Robert Yates Racing before joining Germain Racing in 2008. With KBM, he has won truck races with six different drivers: Byron, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, Greg Biffle, and Noah Gragson.

“The opportunity to join Hendrick Motorsports is incredible for me and my family,” Fugle said. “The No. 24 has always been one of the premier teams in racing. We have the owner, the driver, the people and the resources to continue that tradition. William is a great talent, and we have a very strong working relationship. I’m confident in what this team can accomplish and look forward to the challenge of competing at the Cup level.”

In 2016, Fugle and then-rookie Byron won seven truck races in 23 starts. That season, the pair led 21% of all possible laps and earned the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series owner championship. Byron, 22, is closing out a 2020 season in which he won his first career NASCAR Cup Series race (Daytona) and made his second consecutive playoff appearance.

“I’m excited to work with Rudy again,” Byron said. “We have a great team in place, and I know he will be the right leader to keep moving us forward. I’ve seen first-hand what he’s capable of, his competitive nature and the high standards he has. With Rudy, I believe we’ll have a chance to win every single time we go to the racetrack, which is what both of us expect.”

Hendrick Motorsports PR

Stockton’s Alex Panella and Watsonville’s Rickey Sanders put on a thrilling show over the closing laps to help finish off the season at Delta Speedway on Saturday. In the end it was Panella prevailing at the checkered flag to scoop up the $2,000 grand prize with the Super 600s at Turkey Bowl XX. 

Raisin City, California’s Mitchell Moles performed a dominating drive to win the $2,000 feature for the Non-Wing division, while Hanford’s Dalton Parreira and Rancho Murieta’s Lucas Mauldin brought home $1,000 apiece by winning the Restricted and Junior Sprint main events respectively. 

The box score will show Panella captured the Super 600 A-main from the pole however, it was anything but easy for the driver of the Panella Trucking No. 12 machine. “It was a great race at the end with Rickey Sanders and I’m pumped to be standing up here right now,” he commented in victory lane. “I really don’t know what to say. I just can’t believe we pulled it off. It’s awesome to win the Turkey Bowl and I want to thank all of our sponsors and everyone that helps us out.” 

Panella had his way with things out front early in the 40-lapper but soon felt pressure in the form of Fresno’s Caden Steele, who ran the bottom side of the speedway to perfection. At one point Steele made a beautiful move to snag the lead in traffic, but a caution at that same time negated the pass. A well-prepared surface lent itself to some fantastic racing throughout the field with numerous sliders and bold moves taking place. 

As the laps wound down Sanders picked off cars and moved in on Panella in heavy duty lapped traffic. The duo proceeded to trade the lead numerous times with close slide jobs in every corner. At the checkered it was Panella narrowly beating out Sanders for the breathtaking victory. Nikko Panella came home in third with B-main winner and 17th starter Jake Hagopian in fourth. Steele rounded out the top-five. 

Opening night heat race wins for the Super 600s on Friday were claimed by Caeden Steele, Alex Panella and John Bordenave. Qualifying race wins went to Alex Panella, Nate Matherly and Caeden Steele. The Pole Shuffle went to Alex Panella. 

The Non-Wing feature was all about Mitchell Moles who checked out from the field and worked lapped traffic like a magician. The Micro stud captured the 40-lap finale by over 6 seconds to win the Turkey Bowl for the second consecutive season. Behind him though, the action was hot and heavy with Fresno’s Tyler Smith coming out on top of an excellent battle with Madero Ranchos driver Dalton Hill to earn a runner up finish. 

Hill crossed the stripe in third with Robbie Lewis and Brandon Carey completing the top-five. B-main wins during the night went to Katey Syra and Brody Petrie.  

Non-Wing heat races on Friday were picked off by Robbie Lewis, Austin Stone, Joe Silva, Kyle Mentch and Tyler Smith. Qualifying races were claimed by Austin Stone, Mitchel Moles, Tyler Smith, Nikko Panella and Kyle Mentch. The Pole Shuffle was captured by Mitchel Moles. A total of 46 Non-Wing 600s competed at the Turkey Bowl. 

The 30-lap Restricted main event was a back and forth duel that ended with Dalton Parreira bringing home the big triumph. Tracy’s Brandon Riveira had battled his way to the lead at the halfway point but encountered issues that left him parked in the infield towards the waning circuits. After that Parreira ran smooth and consistent laps to cross the Tyler Carey checkered for the win. Colin Kirby came home in second, followed by Arizona racer Corbin Rueschenberg in third, 16th starter Austin Wood in fourth and Broedy Graham in fifth. 

Claiming Restricted heat races on opening night Friday were Dominic Carter, Destry Miller and Corbin Rueschenberg. Qualifying race victories were garnered by Teagan Moles, Colin Kirby and Dominic Carters. The Knock Out Race went to Reilee Phillips. 

Delta Speedway track champion Lucas Mauldin picked up a closely contested Junior Sprint victory on Saturday night. Mauldin felt heat from Manteca’s Brody Rubio over the duration of the 25 lapper, in what was an entertaining feature. At the line the official margin of victory for Mauldin over Rubio read as 0.185 seconds. Tracy’s Kyle Fernandez earned the final spot on the podium with Pleasanton’s Kellan Harper and Bakersfield’s Blayden Graham completing the top-five. 

Junior heat races on opening night Friday went to Kyle Fernandez, Brody Rubio, Lucas Mauldin and Jonathan Andrichuk. 

Delta Speedway presented by Financial Center Credit Union thanks Interstate Truck Center, Lovotti Air, Van De Pol Petroleum, Kludt Oil, Hoosier Racing Tire, Starr Property Management, Performance Electronics, Genova Bakery, Bruno's Peppers, Motion Media, and Panella Trucking for their support.

Delta Speedway PR

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