Speedway Digest Staff
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Land of Corn...The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) returns to the .0875-mile Iowa Speedway for the second and final time this season. The June race was originally scheduled for a Saturday night race under the lights, but was postponed to Sunday morning due to rain. Allgaier qualified in the 11th position for the race and brought home an eighth-place finish in his No. 31 BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro. Allgaier will be making his eighth start at Iowa Speedway, which is approximately four hours from his hometown of Riverton, Ill. He is one of three drivers on the entry list who have raced in all seven NNS events at Iowa Speedway.
Driver Rating...Allgaier has an average driver rating of 100.5 at Iowa Speedway, the highest of all three drivers who are making their eighth start this weekend. (Driver Rating formula combines wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, laps led and lead-lap finishes.)
This Week's Camaro...This weekend the No. 31 BRANDT Chevrolet team will utilize chassis TSM-333. TSM-333 has been used five times this season: Phoenix International Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Iowa Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Recapping Indy...The NNS completed its only stop of the season at the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Allgaier's No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro sported a different paint scheme for the race. The car was a tribute to Jason Leffler and the Charles Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust fund with a flat black paint scheme. Allgaier qualified his No. 31 Jason Leffler Tribute Chevrolet Camaro 14th for the Indiana 250 on Saturday. Unfortunately, mechanical issues during the pace laps brought Allgaier to pit road for repairs. Allgaier spent 20 laps behind the wall while the team worked feverishly to try and diagnose the issue and make repairs. Allgaier ultimately finished the day in the 33rd position with the No. 31 Jason Leffler Tribute Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports. Allgaier is currently sixth in the NNS Driver Point Standings.
Meet Justin...Allgaier will sign autographs in the concourse under the Turn 4 end of the Iowa Speedway grandstands along with other NNS drivers from 2:30-3:10 p.m. CDT on Saturday, August 3. The session is open to fans first come, first served.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli on Iowa Speedway:
"It's our second time at Iowa [Speedway] this season. We missed the setup last time so we are bringing a few new things to try this race. Iowa is tricky because the practice groove and the race groove seem to be different sometimes. Also, the bumps in Turns 1 and 2 can be a nuisance if your car is struggling for grip. The track will also change from when we start the race as the sun is setting, to ending it under dark skies."
Justin Allgaier on Iowa Speedway:
This Week's Camaro...The No. 30 WORX team will have chassis TSM-319 for Saturday night's race at Iowa. TSM-319 has been used four times this year by Piquet Jr., most recently at Kentucky Speedway in June, where he came home with an eighth-place finish.
Indianapolis Recap...Making his first career NNS start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend, Nelson Piquet Jr. and his No. 30 WORX Yard Tools team looked to learn their way around the "Yard of Bricks" and gain momentum in the Indiana 250. Piquet Jr. started the weekend by earning a top-10 qualifying spot, placing the No. 30 WORX Yard Tools Chevrolet Camaro eighth on the starting grid. After battling a tight race car for much of the race, Piquet Jr. and his Turner Scott Motorsports team earned a 14th-place finish.
Yard Tools...Piquet Jr. will again display the WORX Yard Tools colors on the No. 30 this weekend in Iowa. Established in 1994, WORX Yard Tools USA, based in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the fastest growing companies serving the global power equipment market today. A diversified manufacturer and marketer of a complete range of electric-powered lawn and garden equipment and related products, WORX has over 4000 employees worldwide. The WORX line-up includes innovative grass trimmers, chainsaws, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, blowers and more. All WORX products are emission-free and feature intuitive functions, tool-less adjustments and best-of-industry ergonomics. You can find WORX yard tools at retailers such as Lowe's, Walmart, Sears, Amazon.com and local lawn & garden dealers. More information is available on the company's website, at www.WORX.com.
Come and See...Piquet Jr. will participate in the NNS autograph session on Saturday, August 3 from 2:30-3:10 p.m. CDT on the concourse under the Turn 4 grandstands.
Watch and Listen...The U.S. Cellular 250 can be seen live on Saturday, August 3 on ESPN2. Race coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Nelson Piquet Jr. on his return to Iowa:
"I am looking forward to getting back on the track and making my return to Iowa this weekend. We had some back luck and got caught up in an accident the last time we were there in June, so I am looking forward to redeeming myself on Saturday night. We are taking the same chassis this weekend we got a top-10 with in Kentucky. I think if we stay smart, patient and have a mistake free weekend we can duplicate that effort in Iowa. We have WORX back on board this weekend; they have been great partners for us this year and it would be really cool to get them the finish they deserve on Saturday night."
Empire Racing is prepping the #82 Ford F150 for Sean Corr to take the green flag at Pocono Raceway’s Tricky Triangle for the Pennsylvania Mountains 125 on Saturday August 3rd. Corr made his NCWTS debut at the same race last year, qualifying in 30th place. During the race, Sean was able to work his way up to 20th, but his day ended early when he got caught up in an accident with thirteen laps to go. Sean finished his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 25th position.
When asked about the preparations for his race weekend Corr commented “Jamie (Jones, crew chief for the #82) and the Empire Racing crew have been working hard at the shop updating the Pocono truck. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the truck, and Pocono is where I first ran in the series last year. I am pretty excited to return to the Tricky Triangle, it is going to be a busy weekend!”
Nesco Bus will join Empire Racing as a marketing partner on the #82 Ford F-150 for the Pennsylvania Mountains 125. Nesco Bus has been providing its customers with top quality workmanship that ranks among the finest in the country. Their outstanding reputation has been established by a growing list of satisfied customers that confidently recommend them to those who insist on having the job done right. For more information, please visit their website at www.nescobus.com.
The Pocono Mountains 125 will be broadcast live on SPEED August 3rd. Pre-race coverage begins at 12:30pm and the race will begin at 1pm. Fans may also listen live to the race on Motor Racing Network (MRN) or Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90.
Empire Racing PR
Last week’s race at Indianapolis and this weekend’s race at Pocono are more than just a test of drivers and their race cars. The 2.5-mile tracks with their long straight-aways are also challenges for each team’s spotters— the men high above the track in radio communication with their drivers.
No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine spotter Jeremy Brickhouse shared spotting duties with Nick Harvey at Indy, but this weekend he’ll handle the duties alone. He’ll stand atop the grandstand above the start-finish line providing guidance to Mark Martin as he races 400 miles on the tricky triangle. The angles going into turn one combined with the nearly mile distance between the spotters stand and the second turn make Pocono as challenging as any track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
“I’m always nervous,” joked Brickhouse, a Chesapeake, Va. native who joined Michael Waltrip Racing with Martin in 2012. He’s spotted for Martin for the last seven seasons. “Spotting is a huge responsibility. Mistakes get a lot of equipment torn up and drivers hurt.”
BRICKHOUSE ON POCONO: “Pocono and Indy are two of the toughest tracks for a spotter. We stand right above the start-finish line at Pocono and when you look down into turn one its pretty tough to see. On the restarts they always start to fan out and they are going away from us. Our job is to help the driver clear another car and that first turn at Pocono has some really tough angles for us.”
POCONO’S TURN TWO OR TUNNEL TURN: “That’s another tough place. The cars carry a lot of speed there. I don't know, but we are about a mile from the tunnel turn. Sometimes you get caught up worrying about getting them through the tunnel turn and they are wrecking down the track. I use binoculars but you always have to take a wide view as well so you can see up ahead to help Mark avoid trouble.”
THE JOB: “Spotting is all about angles, judging the momentum of other cars and just being another set of eyes for the driver. You only say something if you are confident. Guesswork will get your car messed up, your driver hurt or just get you chewed out over the radio.”
MARK MARTIN ON BRICKHOUSE: “Jeremy has been with me since 2007 and it’s been a great ride. He was already a good spotter with a lot of experience when we got together. You have to have a lot of trust in your spotter and I have that with Jeremy. He’ll have his work cut out for him at Pocono this weekend, but we’ve done it before and we will be fine.”
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Not only did Ryan Newman earn his first win of the 2013 season from the pole Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his native Indiana, it also came at a most critical time for the driver of the No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).
Newman, who jumped from 19th to 16th in the point standings after his win, finds himself only 25 points outside the all-important top-10. And, as one of only three drivers between 11th and 20th in points with a victory, he finds his chances of making the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship by way of a possible wild-card berth certainly within reach.
Newman heads to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, the site of Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 Sprint Cup race 20 points behind 12th-place Martin Truex Jr., who also has scored a win this season. While the points deficit is one that can be overcome by consistent finishes in the next six races, it can be erased completely by scoring a second win Sunday at the “Tricky Triangle” and vaulting Newman to the first wild-card berth.
Over the years, the triangular layout of Pocono has proven to be complicated and vexing to many drivers, but that has not been the case for Newman. In fact, the demanding dynamic and the unique shape of Pocono have made the famed triangle a favorite of the South Bend, Ind., native. And his history at the 2.5-mile track isn’t too shabby, either.
In 23 Sprint Cup starts at Pocono, Newman has finished outside the top-15 just five times. He has two poles, one win, eight top-five finishes and 11 top-10s.
Historically speaking, drivers who experience success at Indianapolis are likely to follow that up with a strong run at Pocono. Given some of the similarities between the facilities, it’s easy to understand how Newman has to be considered a favorite heading into this weekend’s race. And considering he will be behind the wheel of Chassis No. 39-733, the same Chevrolet SS he drove to victory lane at Indy, his odds would seem to be all the better.
So, Newman and his team led by crew chief Matt Borland head to Pocono with visions of repeating last weekend’s successes. They know what a second win would mean in their bid to make the Chase. And with Haas Automation – the world’s largest CNC machine tool builder in the Western world – behind him and on his racecar’s hood at Pocono, Newman knows he has the “tools” to put his No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet in victory lane for the second consecutive week.
Leavine Family Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) continues its strategic growth development with the addition of Jeremy Lange as vice president of marketing and partnerships. Lange will design activation programs for new and existing sponsors as well as marketing sales focused on landing new partners and fulfilling those sponsor contracts.
"Being a part of Leavine Family Racing is exciting for many reasons," Lange said. "I am looking forward to the opportunity of leading the marketing and sales department while building strong relationships with the team and our current and future partners."
A marketing and industry veteran, Lange boasts over 15 years of experience in strategic brand activation, creative marketing and advertising, most recently serving as national account manager in the business sales division at Best Buy. There, his responsibilities included the development of the strategic sales and marketing approach that delivered increased revenue within the automotive, communications and motorsports business verticals.
With the addition of Lange, Leavine Family Racing continues to advance its continued mission to be a growing and thriving team in NASCAR. Lange's guidance will help the third-year team to increase its marketing resources that are available to the team's partners, giving sponsors incremental and tangible participation benefits.
"Jeremy Lange makes a great addition to the Leavine Family Racing team" team owner Bob Leavine said. "We are proud to have him aboard and believe his extensive knowledge in the industry will help us to reach our goal of attaining sponsorship."
During his impressive career, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University graduate was an account director at GMR Marketing where he oversaw the motorsports strategic and activation plans for accounts including Best Buy, Jim Beam, as well as the strategic planning for HBO's college marketing platform.
He has led marketing efforts for Retail Sports Marketing, where he managed the development and execution of retail marketing programs for key accounts, including Miller Brewing Co., Top-Flite and Kroger's partnership with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
He's worked for Fanz Enterprises and was responsible for negotiating and managing all motorsports and consumer partnerships on behalf of the company.
Lange started his career at MediaCom, a division of Grey Advertising in New York City, where he managed, developed, and presented strategic media and marketing plans for Diageo and LVMH (Tanqueray, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Ruffino and Moet & Chandon).
Travis Kvapil and the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 31st at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Competing in the 20th Running of the Brickyard 400, Kvapil had a special paint scheme featuring the new Rib Sandwich available for a limited time at Burger King locations nationwide. After sustaining damage in final practice, Kvapil's team fought back to repair their primary car en route to a 31st-place finish.
With only two practice sessions to prepare for the 400 mile event at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kvapil worked closely with the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota team to fine-tune the handling of their Camry. Tight in practice, Kvapil brushed the wall during the final session and sustained damage to the right side of his Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry. The BK Racing team worked quickly to repair the damage and kept Kvapil in his primary car for Sunday's main event. With a repaired racecar and qualifying setup, Kvapil laid down a 48.734-second lap during time trials. Beating his fastest practice speed by three hundredths-of-a-second, Kvapil secured the 22nd starting position for Sunday's Brickyard 400.
With a long 60 lap green flag run to kick off the race, teams were forced to make two back-to-back green-flag pit stops. Kvapil reported a loose handling condition on his Toyota Camry and requested that the Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team tighten the balance of his racecar. By the second stop, Kvapil's Camry was handling much better, but the driver still noticed that the car became loose late in the run. The No. 93 BK Racing team continued to adjust their Camry to ensure the car wasn't too tight on the short run, but that it was capable of maintaining competitive lap times throughout the duration of a long green-flag run. By the end of the race, Kvapil's car was handling the best it had all day. Competing in his sixth Brickyard 400, Kvapil crossed the finish line in the 31st position.
"My No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team put in a lot of hard work this weekend," commented Kvapil. "Getting damage during final practice could have easily put us behind for qualifying and the start of the race, but the guys did a great job repairing the car and getting us just as good, if not better, than we were before the accident. I'm really proud of how well we qualified. Unfortunately, we were just too loose at the start of the race and we lost some valuable track position. With long green flag runs, the field easily gets strung out and passing becomes difficult at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I'm excited to get back in the car next week. We had a good run at Pocono Raceway last month, and I'm looking forward to going back with my No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team."
BK Racing PR
Walking through the garage this weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Danica Patrick will spot another driver in a GoDaddy firesuit.
And it won’t be because GoDaddy IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe took a wrong turn on his way to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.
It’s because Patrick’s boss and Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Tony Stewart has joined the GoDaddy team for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono and will drive the No. 14 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS.
While Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, will be behind the wheel of her iconic green car at Pocono, Stewart’s will be painted primarily black.
And both will attempt to figure out how to go fast around the one-of-a-kind 2.5-mile triangular racetrack at Pocono.
Designed by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Rodger Ward, Pocono has three different corners each modeled after a different track. Turn one, which is banked at 14 degrees, is modeled after the now-closed Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. Turn two, banked at 8 degrees, is a nod to the turns at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And turn three, banked a 6 degrees, is modeled after the corners at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.
Patrick made her first start of any kind at Pocono in the June Sprint Cup Series race, when she started 30th and finished 29th.
She’s hoping to improve in her second race at the “Tricky Triangle” as the long summer stretch marches on.
David Reuitmann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team finished in the 29th position on Sunday afternoon at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Faced with a broken gear within the opening 60 laps, the team persevered through the challenges to maintain track position and finish the race inside the top-30.
With only two practice sessions to prepare for both qualifying and the 400-mile race, Reutimann completed just 34 practice laps before recording the 31st-fastest lap of the day during time trials.
Marking the Sprint Cup Series' 20th Running of the Brickyard 400, Reutimann rolled off 31st in the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry on Sunday afternoon. The race started without incident as a long green flag run set the pace for the opening 60 laps. Reutimann worked on his line around the 2.5-mile track and worked with his BK Racing team to develop their strategy for the afternoon.
A few laps prior to the lap 60 caution, Reutimann brought the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry down pit road for a green-flag pit stop. In the exchange, Reutimann lost third gear on his Toyota Camry, which made both pit stops and restarts a bit more challenging throughout the afternoon. Despite that, Reutimann was able to compensate for the missing gear and continued to pick up positions on the track. Meanwhile, his Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team continued to improve their racecar with each pit stop. By the end of the day, they had what team members described as one of their "most competitive racecars" of the season.
"We had a really good No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry today," commented Reutimann. "We got a little behind with a broken gear, and it was really hard to regain track position with so many long green flag runs today. Our Burger King / Dr. Pepper team was working with a new crew chief [Doug Richert] this week, and I'm encouraged by how well we seemed to mesh. We have a test coming up at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway this week. I'm excited to continue working on the communication between Doug and myself during that test session, and then getting back on the track next weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway."
BK Racing PR
Just 50 miles separate the headquarters of Mars Chocolate North America and the site of Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
A pre-race visit to the Hackettstown, N.J., headquarters by driver Kyle Busch and his No. 18 M&M’s Toyota team for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) might be just the spark that will help them capture their first-ever win together at Pocono.
Busch will no doubt find plenty of encouragement during the pre-race visit to Mars Chocolate North America. There, the M&M’s driver and the entire No. 18 JGR team will have the opportunity to meet with hundreds of Mars associates, and many of those same associates will travel just down the road to Pocono Sunday to cheer for Busch.
The Las Vegas native has won at 17 of the 23 tracks at which the Sprint Cup Series competes. The only six tracks Busch has failed to reach victory lane in the Sprint Cup Series are: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and, of course, Pocono.
Busch makes it no secret that Pocono has given him fits over the years as he has six top-10 finishes in 17 previous starts there, along with eight finishes of 22nd or worse. But, three of his top-five finishes have come during his last seven outings at the 2.5-mile triangle, and some of his best finishes have come since he joined JGR at the start of the 2008 season.
The M&M’s team will hope to glean some positive vibes from the Mars associates to finally push the racing team over the top at Pocono. This week’s visit will help Busch & Company be “Better with M,” calling upon the latest integrated marketing campaign by M&M’s, which showcases how the company’s irresistible chocolate makes moments more fun and delicious.
So, as the series heads back to the Pocono Mountains for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400, Busch, crew chief Dave Rogers and the entire M&M’s team will hope they can use some extra motivation from a visit to “M” in order to find victory lane for the first time at Pocono.