Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Talk about making an entrance.

Former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean won the NTT P1 Award for the GMR Grand Prix on Friday afternoon on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, making ripples across the motorsports world by earning his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole in just his third start.

Rookie Grosjean turned a top lap of 1 minute, 9.4396 seconds in the No. 51 NURTEC ODT Honda during the Firestone Fast Six final round of qualifying. This was Grosjean's first open-wheel pole since he claimed the top spot in GP2 -- the final ladder series leading into Formula One -- in May 2011 at Istanbul, Turkey.

MEDIA LINKS: Official Qualifying Results | Driver Video Quotes

Frenchman Grosjean, 35, came to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this season with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR after 10 seasons in Formula One. His F1 career ended in a fiery crash last November in Bahrain in which he escaped an inferno with serious burns to his hands, endearing himself to fans around the world with his optimistic spirit during his recovery.

“Amazing,” Grosjean said. “When I saw the (first qualifying) group I was in, I was like, ‘Oh, dear, if we can get out of the first group, we’re going to be OK,’ and we did. That last few laps, we were on it. What a day for us.

“I’m happier than I have been in a very long time.”

Grosjean will lead the 25-car field to the green flag on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course Saturday afternoon. Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 2 p.m. (ET) on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden will join Grosjean on the front row after a top lap of 1:09.5665 in the No. 2 Snap-on Tools Team Penske Chevrolet. It’s Newgarden’s best starting position this season.

Jack Harvey continued his strong start to the season by qualifying third at 1:09.6528 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda. Season-opening race winner Alex Palou will start fourth after a lap of 1:09.7118 in the No. 10 The American Legion Honda.

Scott McLaughlin was the second rookie in the Firestone Fast Six, and he will start a season-best fifth after a lap of 1:09.7140 in the No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Conor Daly rounded out the top six at 1:09.8662 in the No. 20 MannKind Chevrolet, also his best qualifying performance this season.

This was the first INDYCAR pole for the Coyne team since 2018, when Sebastien Bourdais took the top spot at Phoenix Raceway.

“When you look at his resume and how great he was before he got into Formula One, and Formula One is such a team performance issue, we knew he could win races and we knew he could win poles,” team owner Dale Coyne said of Grosjean. “He’s proven it today.”

The Firestone Fast Six was almost as noteworthy for the drivers who didn’t make the cut as those who competed for the NTT P1 Award.

Four-time GMR Grand Prix pole winner Will Power didn’t advance to the final round after spinning between Turns 12 and 13 early during the second round of qualifying with a loose-handling No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet. 2014 series champion and three-time GMR Grand Prix winner Power will line up 12th, his lowest position in eight career starts in this event.

“At least we’re 12th – that’s better than St. Pete, 20th,” Power said. “It’s so crazy how the car can change so much from session to session. I made a mistake. I’m very frustrated at myself.”

A handful of other series heavyweights didn’t advance from the first round of qualifying, including the top two drivers in the championship standings, Scott Dixon and Pato O’Ward. Dixon will start 16th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, while O’Ward will line up 18th in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Also starting in the back half of the field are 2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Alexander Rossi (14th), reigning Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (17th), 2012 series champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (19th) and four-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Bourdais (20th).

NTT IndyCar Series PR

For the first time in the history of the spectacular Circuit of The Americas (COTA) near Austin, Texas, the most prolific racing organization in the United States – NASCAR – is bringing its premier brand of stock car racing to the demanding 3.41-mile road course that has hosted some of the most acclaimed racing leagues in the world, including the kingpin of them all, Formula 1.
 
For fans who may have watched Formula 1 or any other type of open wheel or road racing events at COTA, the three NASCAR events next weekend – the EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix NASCAR Cup Series race, the Pit Boss 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race and the Toyota Tundra 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race – will certainly be something new, bringing a unique brand of energy to the sprawling motorsports complex. Simply put, fans who have never experienced a NASCAR weekend are in for a thrilling ride.
 
First off, fans will need to get ready for a little more on-track action than they are accustomed to, so to speak, because drivers in NASCAR tend to use their bumpers just a little bit more than those in other circuits. With limited areas to pass at COTA, NASCAR drivers will try to obtain any advantage possible and if it means putting their nose where it doesn’t belong and gouging a little bit to overtake and advance, so be it. In the NASCAR world the age old saying still rings true today, “rubbin’ is racing.”
 
No matter the form of racing or the sanction, the overall mission remains the same -- the driver who takes the checkered flag while leading the final lap is declared the race winner and gets the money, the trophy and a guaranteed photo session with the trophy queen while wearing a million different hats in Victory Lane.
 
At a NASCAR race, reaching Victory Lane requires a series of conquests along the way. Each race is divided into stages to allow drivers to earn additional points. Each race in NASCAR’s COTA tripleheader will feature three stages. The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded points while the winner of either of the first two stages will receive one playoff point and the race winner will receive five playoff points. The conclusion of the first two stages of a race will be signified by the waving of a green checkered flag and followed by a caution period. Most of the time the entire field will pit for fuel and tires to prepare for the start of the next stage. The running order is based off any drivers who may have stayed out during the caution followed by those coming out of the pits the quickest.
 
Below is a breakdown of each NASCAR at COTA race:
EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix (Cup Series): Stage 1 – Laps 1-15 | Stage 2 – Laps 16-32 |Stage 3 – 33-68
Pit Boss 250 (Xfinity Series): Stage 1 – Laps 1-14 | Stage 2 – Laps 15-30 |Stage 3 – 31-46
Toyota Tundra 225 (Camping World Truck Series): Stage 1 – Laps 1-12 | Stage 2 – Laps 13-26 |Stage 3 – 27-42
 
The majority of NASCAR races are conducted on ovals, ranging from half-miles like Bristol and Martinsville all the way up to 2.5-mile superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega. For many years there were only two road courses featured on the NASCAR schedule, Watkins Glen in New York and Sonoma Raceway in California. This year, NASCAR has increased the total number of road courses on the NASCAR Cup Series to seven, the most in history. COTA is joined by Road America in Wisconsin, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and the Daytona Beach Road Course as the new kids on the block, with the traditional stops at the ROVAL in Charlotte, Watkins Glen and Sonoma giving the drivers a challenge like they’ve never had before.
 
While many NASCAR drivers may not be recognized as road course experts, they are still very, very good at turning right when necessary, especially given their limited opportunities to perfect the craft. A few of the drivers are better at road courses than the others, like defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. The driver of the No. 9 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports has earned five road course victories in his brief career, including four of the last five road course events. He will certainly be one to watch, along with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who both have earned four road course wins in their careers.
 
In a NASCAR race, once the green flag drops that’s when the fun starts. At that moment, 40 stock cars weighing in at 3,200 pounds each with high-revving V8 engines will roar into the first turn, which at COTA is its signature corner, “Big Red,” as they call it. The cars will rumble up the hill and hit the brakes hard as they work to navigate the hairpin corner and head back down the hill to attack the rest of the 20-turn course. From the start to the finish, the goal is to race under green flag conditions, but if there’s an incident the caution flag will wave. Drivers may elect to pit under caution and then after the track is clear the race will be restarted under green. Drivers can also pit under green-flag conditions. The number of pit stops in each race varies due to numerous factors including race length, caution flags, fuel mileage, tire wear and pit strategy. The timing and efficiency of pit stops usually plays a big role in the outcome of NASCAR races.
 
Unlike many other major racing series, NASCAR employs an “overtime” in all three national series to ensure that the race finishes under green conditions rather than a caution. It is commonly called a green-white-checkered finish, which is basically a dramatic two-lap shootout for the victory. If the field is unable to successfully complete the two-lap overtime due a reason such as a caution coming out before the leader passes the start/finish line on the first lap under green, NASCAR will conduct multiple attempts to achieve a finish under green-flag conditions. Once a valid attempt is achieved without incident, it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.
 
In addition to winning the race, another goal for drivers in all three national series competing this weekend at COTA is to earn as many championship points as possible to qualify for the NASCAR Playoffs. The NASCAR Playoffs, which feature elimination-style races that eventually culminates with a season champion being crowned among the final four drivers in the season’s final event, begin later in the year during the final 10 Cup Series races on the schedule.
 
Now that you are well versed in the action on the track during a NASCAR race, you will want to make sure to get up to speed on all that takes place off the track as well. During the COTA weekend, the facility will have available several entertainment attractions for fans to enjoy.  
 
There are 17 different amusement rides on COTA property, and six of those will be open during the NASCAR weekend. The rides will open one hour after gates open and will close a half-hour before the gates close on the Grand Plaza.
 
The rides that will be open include:

  • Super Shot Drop Tower – Takes guests to a height of nine stories and follows with an immediate free fall
  • Soaring Eagle – The ride holds guests at the top eight seconds before bringing them back to earth
  • COTA Karting Complex – Challenge friends and family to a race for bragging rights on the 15-turn karting track
  • Classic Star Wheel – COTA’s famous Ferris wheel takes guests up seven stories for some amazing views
  • Freak Out – On this wild ride, guests will swing up to 240 degrees and seven stories high all while spinning
  • The Skyscraper – This ride spins you in windmill fashion at 70 mph while rising to a height of 18 stories

 

Price range for the rides are $5-$20. Karting is $35 per person for a 10-minute race. Karting hours are noon-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
 
Once you’ve had your adrenaline pushed to the max by enjoying some of COTA’s famed rides, you’ll want to do some souvenir shopping to get your favorite NASCAR, COTA and driver team gear and apparel. There will be a variety of souvenir trailers positioned throughout the COTA property for convenient access.
 
There will also be an amazing variety of food options available all around the COTA property, with concession areas positioned throughout all of the grandstand areas and throughout the fan zone.
 
For your arrival to Circuit of The Americas, please refer to the following parking instructions as there are several parking options available.
 
Lot A parking: Use Texas 130 (Toll Road) of FM 973 to FM 812. Travel east for approximately one mile to Circuit of The Americas Boulevard. Lot A is the first right turn from COTA Boulevard. Make sure your Lot A parking pass is clearly displayed in the windshield.
 
Reserved parking (lots B, C and D): Use Texas 130 (Toll Road) of FM 973 to FM 812. Travel east for approximately one mile to Circuit of The Americas Boulevard. Lots B, C & D are located approximately a half-mile mile after turning. These lots are adjacent to the Grand Plaza. Make sure your parking pass is clearly displayed in the windshield. These lots are the quickest to egress.
 
Free parking in turns 12 & 15, Lots F and K: Preferred Route- Use Route 71 east or Pearce Lane to access Kellam Road. Travel south following the signs to COTA. Lots F & K will be on your right after entering the facility. Note: Do not use Elroy Road west of the facility, as it is closed for construction. Alternate Route- Use Texas 130 (Toll Road) to FM 812. Travel east for approximately one mile to Circuit of The Americas Boulevard. Lots F & K are located on your left approximately one mile after turning.
 
Lot T, free event parking for main grandstand and turn one seating: Preferred Route- Use Texas 130 (Toll Road) or FM 973 to FM 812. Travel east for approximately two miles to the entry gate at Lot T. Alternate Route- Use Route 71 east or Pearce Lane to access Kellam Road. Travel south following the signs to COTA. Turn left at Elroy Road (do not enter at COTA Boulevard). Follow Elroy Road for 2.5 miles to FM 812. Turn right at FM 812 & Lot T will be on your right.
 
To obtain more information about the NASCAR weekend, download facility and parking maps and check out a list of FAQ’s about the event, please click here.
 
Tickets are still available for the NASCAR at COTA weekend and can be purchased by visiting www.NASCARatCOTA.com

 

COTA PR

The four free practice sessions that opened the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at the iconic Circuit Ricardo Tormo in sunny Valencia are in the books. In EuroNASCAR PRO, 2019 NWES Champion Loris Hezemans topped the standings at the wheel of his #7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang while Vladimiros Tziortzis was the fastest driver in the combined results of EuroNASCAR 2 in his #1 Ford Mustang.

The Flying Dutchman in first place

Hezemans was on fire in both 30-minute free practice sessions on Friday in Spain. The Dutchman clocked a 1:41.640 lap in Final Practice which was fast enough to lead the standings. The 23-year-old beat his teammate and reigning EuroNASCAR 2 Champion Vittorio Ghirelli, who was 0.523 seconds slower at the wheel of the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang. Gianmarco Ercoli, wearing the colors of CAAL Racing, ended up third and led the Junior Trophy with a 0.723-second gap on Hezemans.

Returning Sebastiaan Bleekemolen showed that he never lost a bit of his pace after skipping the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Dutchman clocked a 1:42.842 lap to claim fourth place in the combined results and topped the Challenger Trophy standings. DF1 Racing’s Nicolo Rocca, another Italian title candidate, closed the top-5 with a solid rund and a margin of 0.931 seconds on Hezemans.

Another returnee ended up sixth: Frederic Gabillon, who’s back with RDV Competition in the #3 car. Former Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve was seventh with the newly formed Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport team. The Canadian was followed by 2019 EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up Giorgio Maggi and his teammate Thomas Ferrando from France in ninth. Solaris Motorsport’s Francesco Sini rounded out the top-10 with a 1:43.341-lap.

Reigning champion Alon Day was forced to skip both practice sessions due to the tense situation in Israel, but finally made it to the track. Given the exceptional circumstances, Day will be allowed 15 minutes on track on Saturday morning before Qualifying.

Fast, faster, Tziortzis

The first Cypriot to join the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2020, Tziortzis managed to top the combined Free Practice standings for the first time. The Academy Motorsport / Alex Caffi Motorsport driver clocked a 1:42.372-lap in the first of two 30-minute sessions. He was followed by 2020 EuroNASCAR 2 runner-up Tobias Dauenhauer who was just 0.222 seconds slower at the wheel of his #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang.

After having won his first two EuroNASCAR races in 2020, Martin Doubek is still on a roll. Dauenhauer’s teammate ended up third, 0.544 seconds shy of Tziortzis. The Club Motorsport’s Fabrizio Armetta showed a strong pace by closing practice fourth overall and first in the Legend Trophy rank. Pierluigi Veronesi maneuvered his #27 Double V Racing car to fifth place.

Belgian youngster Simon Pilate clocked the sixth fastest lap for DF1 Racing that put him ahead of CAAL Racing’s Max Lanza and returnee Advait Deodhar from India. 42 Racing’s Francesco Garisto and German NWES veteran Justin Kunz completed the top-10, while Alberto Panebianco was the fastest rookie in 15th at the wheel of the #89 Not Only Motorsport Camaro.

As for Alon Day, Naveh Talor also missed practice while traveling from Israel. The Not Only Motorsport driver will also get 15 minutes of practice on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo due to the exceptional circumstances before Saturday’s Qualifying.

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

In accordance with Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest executive order, grandstand seating limitations have been lifted, opening the door for thousands more race fans to enjoy an action-packed month of May at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including this weekend’s NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals and the Memorial Day Weekend Coca-Cola 600.

“We are thrilled with today’s news that will allow fans to return to America’s Home for Racing without limitation,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “From the outset of the pandemic, whether operating a drive-through testing clinic or hosting the state’s first mass vaccination event, this has been the ultimate goal – to get back to filling the grandstands for the biggest, most entertaining events in motorsports.”

Per the executive order announced today, fans will no longer be required to wear masks or socially distance in outdoor venues. Following state recommendations, fans who have not been vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask.

The order, which goes into effect immediately, lifts restrictions for race fans starting with Saturday’s NGK NKT NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, which had reached capacity under previous restrictions. Fans can visit www.zmaxdragway.com for tickets, which start at $40. Kids 13 and under get in free. With anticipated call volume, fans are encouraged to purchase online to avoid extended wait times.

On Memorial Day Weekend, Americas Home for Racing will host a bevy of fans for the iconic speedway’s first triple-header weekend featuring NASCAR’s top three premier series. The May 28 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), May 29 Alsco Uniforms 300 (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and 62nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 (NASCAR Cup Series) on May 30. Coca-Cola 600 tickets start at just $59. Tickets for kids 13 and under get in free for Friday and Saturday and for just $10 to Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. For complete schedule and ticket information, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

Fans attending either race weekend will have the opportunity to receive a Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccination on-site. Vaccines will be administered by Atrium Health to anyone 18 years of age or older at no cost. No appointment is necessary.

Ticket holders attending speedway events do so at their own risk and are encouraged not to come if feeling sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19. Those in attendance are encouraged to enjoy their experience responsibly.

TICKETS:

Tickets for all upcoming events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com for the fastest processing or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). High call volume is expected.

FOLLOW US:

Keep track of all of the latest news and information from zMAX Dragway by following on Twitter and Instagram or become a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.

CMS PR

Jesse Little is excited to announce that APEX Wireless is making its debut NASCAR partnership this weekend at Dover International Speedway with the No. 78 BJ McLeod/Jesse Little Chevrolet Camaro.
 
Bill Brunton, Owner, and President APEX Wireless said, "We are very excited to sponsor our first NASCAR event at the Dover Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 15th. We are honored to work with Jesse Little and the #78 car team. We look forward to an exciting race and meeting everyone for an incredible weekend. Apex Wireless is a Telecom Consulting firm based in Austin Texas since 1998. We represent all 3 major carriers and specialize in Wireless Phones, Mobile Broadband, Routers, Transportation and Education mobile solutions, and Asset Management. We have a presence in Texas, California, Virginia, and Colorado. We work with Several Enterprise/SMB accounts throughout the US and France as well as government agencies and educational institutions."
 
"NASCAR offers amazing opportunities for a company to partner with teams and really immerse themselves and their marketing in the sport," Jesse said. "To have the opportunity to welcome a first-time sponsor into the sport is both exciting and an honor. I am proud to announce that APEX Wireless will be riding along with me and the BJ McLeod team this weekend at Dover. I am looking forward to bringing home a solid finish for Bill and the rest of the APEX Wireless team."
 
Be sure to watch our social media pages this weekend as we debut the final version of our Shriners Hospitals for Children, Circuit of the Americas car with the names of all of the generous individuals and companies that have donated to Shriners. With these donations, the #GiveALittle campaign has raised over $50,000 to allow Shriners to continue to provide life-changing care to even more children in need.
 
Jesse Little Racing PR

Five ForeverLawn dealers are teaming up to sponsor Jeffrey Earnhardt in the Xfinity Series race in Dover, Delaware on May 15. ForeverLawn South Jersey, ForeverLawn Baltimore County, ForeverLawn by the Bay, ForeverLawn North Jersey, and ForeverLawn CTNY are sponsors of the JD Motorsports #0 Chevrolet Camaro, which will return to the track with the #BlackandGreenGrassMachine paint scheme at Dover International Speedway.

"We are extremely proud of our dealers in the Dover region who have stepped up to support Jeffrey for this race," said Dale Karmie, one of the owners of ForeverLawn. "Our NASCAR partnership with JD Motorsports has been a great way to support the great sport of racing, and we have truly enjoyed participating in this exciting tradition with all of the fans."

ForeverLawn dealers provide premium synthetic turf solutions in their markets, as well as expert consultation and installation services. The five dealers sponsoring the Dover race represent over 30 years combined experience providing quality, integrity, and innovation, the three core values of ForeverLawn. As leaders in the synthetic turf industry, ForeverLawn dealers offer durable, realistic surfacing solutions that are used everywhere from rooftops, to dog parks, to golf courses, to backyards. The innovative approach that ForeverLawn has taken to the marketplace has expanded how synthetic turf is used, and increased the quality level of the products and installation methods.

"The ForeverLawn dealers have been amazing," said Earnhardt. "Their support means everything to us, and I can't thank them enough. If you're a fan of racing, please support ForeverLawn by visiting their website and thanking them on social media. Not only have they been great partners to us, they have the best synthetic grass products and are just awesome people."

Tune in Saturday, May 15 at 1PM EDT, for the Xfinity Series at Dover International Speedway. This event will be televised on FS1 and broadcast on Motor Racing Network (MRN).

Forever Lawn PR

Stock car and road racing fans in the Midwest will have a convergence of sorts when the ARCA Menards Series returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the first time since 1965.  

Cincinnati-based brand Dawn Dish, America’s #1 dish liquid, will be the entitlement sponsor of the Dawn 150, scheduled for Friday evening, June 4, on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio. 

“We’re proud to join fans at the track and families at home for the Dawn 150 this year,” said Kristine Decker, Vice President of North America Dish Care at Procter & Gamble. “Our team at Dawn has spent decades making it faster and easier to get the dishes done, so you can spend less time at the sink, and more time enjoying American traditions like race day.” 

The Dawn 150 will be the first ARCA Menards Series race at Mid-Ohio in 55 years, 10 months, and 11 days – or 20,404 days – breaking the record for longest interval between races at a single track in series history.  The previous record was broken in 2020 when the series returned to Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for the first time since 1969, a gap of 51 years and 4 months, which translates to 18,751 days. 

“We are ecstatic to be back in central Ohio for the first time in many seasons,” said ARCA president Ron Drager. “We raced at the now-closed Mansfield Motorsports Park a couple of times about a decade ago, and we’ve had a lot of great conversations with the team at Mid-Ohio in recent years. Ohio is a great state for motorsports, and we have a lot of great fans in the central part of the state. We were all set to return last year before the pandemic put the brakes on our plans. It’s been a long time since our last visit there and we’re ready to go back and write another chapter in the history books to go with Jack Bowsher’s win there in 1965.” 

Series Title Sponsor Menards is also excited to have ARCA racing at Mid-Ohio.  

“Central Ohio is a huge market for Menards and all of the vendor partners that support the ARCA Menards Series,” said Jeff Abbott, promotions manager for Menards. “Stock cars have been putting on a great show there for the last several seasons and we’re looking forward to a full weekend of action now with the ARCA Menards Series on Friday and the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday. We encourage all of the fans in and around central Ohio to stop by their local Menards stores and “Save Big Money” on discounted tickets to both races.” 

The legendary Jack Bowsher won in the ARCA Menards Series’ only previous visit to the winding road course located Lexington, about an hour north of Columbus and about two hours south and east of ARCA’s home offices just north of Toledo. That race was a 250-mile affair that took over three hours to complete, with Bowsher eclipsing Les Snow, Jack Shanklin, Elmer Davis, and Benny Parsons at the finish. 

“We are thrilled to have the legendary ARCA Menards Series return to Mid-Ohio during our 60th season of racing in 2021 with the support of a great Ohio brand like Dawn,” said Craig Rust, president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “The Dawn 150 is going to provide some thrilling racing action featuring the future stars of NASCAR for our fans on Friday late afternoon, then we have the B&L Transport 170 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday to wrap up an exceptional weekend of racing.” 

The Dawn 150 will be televised live on FS1 and broadcast live on MRN Radio. The ARCA Menards Series Dawn 150 will serve as a prelude to the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, June 5. For updated event information, please visit ARCARacing.com and midohio.com

ARCA PR

Officials from Rette Jones Racing (RJR) announced today that former USAC Midget standout Adam Lemke has joined the team for select races in the ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown beginning at Toledo Speedway on May 22.

The Hollister, Calif. native joins the Mooresville, N.C.-based team on the heels of two years of CARS Late Model Stock competition where he earned a career-best third at Orange County (N.C.) Speedway in 2019.

Lemke has been winning championships for more than half his 18 years, starting in Quarter Midgets at age eight and rising through the Mini Cup ranks. In 2017, he graduated to the USAC Western Midget Series and finished second in overall points and clinched the Rookie of the Year award.

In 2018, he won both the pavement and overall championships in the USAC Western Midget Series, as well as Rookie of the Year honors in the RPM Pro Late Model Series at Madera (Calif.) Speedway.

He graduated to the immensely popular and competitive CARS Tour where he joined JR Motorsports and competed in nine of the 11 CARS Late Model Stock events and finished 11th in the championship standings.

Most of Lemke’s racing efforts for 2020 were sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he did compete in a few CARS Tour races, as well as competed for Hawk McCall Motorsports in the NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series.

This year in addition to running the ARCA Menards Series Chief Showdown Series and select ARCA East and West event for RJR, he will continue a modest presence on the West Coast in Pro Late Model races with Naake-Klauer Motorsports.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to join Rette Jones Racing and compete in the ARCA Menards Series this season,” said Lemke. “The team has already won this year, so it is a goal of mine to keep adding checkered flags to their year.

“I am going to be racing at tracks where I don’t have any experience, but I have confidence in Mark and the team and our ability to be successful right out of the box. I’m looking forward to Toledo and the rest of the races in 2021.”

Co-team owner and crew chief Mark Rette is looking forward to working with Lemke and putting results on the table.

“Rette Jones Racing is thrilled to welcome Adam to the team,” offered Rette. “He is focused on making his transition to ARCA a successful and we are honored that he has entrusted Rette Jones Racing to lead his career.

“Toledo has been a good track to Rette Jones Racing over the year and we look forward to continuing that same path in a few weeks – as well as the rest of the 2021 season.”

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

Additional details on Lemke’s 2021 program are forthcoming. For more on Adam Lemke, please visit like him on Facebook (Adam Lemke) or follow him on Twitter (@AdamLemkeRacing).

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

Today, on Unilever’s National Day of Service, the Earnhardt family and The Dale Jr. Foundation combined with longtime partner Unilever to help establish Mimi’s Garden in honor of Brenda Jackson, mother of both Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who passed away in 2019 following a battle with cancer. As part of the effort, a $300,000 donation to FeedNC, a food-focused resource that seeks to end the cycle of hunger and poverty with extensive programs and opportunities for those in need, was made earlier today by Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy.

Mimi’s Garden will be created as part of FeedNC’s expansion to a new location in Mooresville, not far from the JR Motorsports facility. The non-profit organization, which provides meals and food supplies to those who would otherwise go hungry, has outgrown its current location. A new 26,775-square-foot facility will be built on an 8.54-acre site and will include space for classrooms, parking, an in-house event space and a café, as well as other amenities. Mimi’s Garden, named for the matriarch of the Earnhardt family, will be included at the site.

“The opportunity to support FeedNC with this donation, alongside Unilever and The Dale Jr. Foundation is special to our family,” said Earnhardt Miller. “The garden we’re establishing in Brenda’s honor would mean a lot to her and is a great way to extend our mother’s legacy.

“FeedNC is a needed resource for many people, and being able to support them in their mission makes a big difference. We’re proud to join with Unilever on its National Day of Service to provide hope for the future.”

In addition to contributions from Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy, Earnhardt Miller and husband L.W. Miller and Jackson’s husband Willie, Unilever will donate as part of its National Day of Service. The Dale Jr. Foundation has made a contribution as well.

The National Day of Service will also see Unilever sharing joy at select vaccination sites around the country by delivering summer treats like Klondike Bars and Popsicles to newly vaccinated people, site workers and volunteers at selected sites in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Memphis, Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix. The event is the second annual National Day of Service from Unilever, a national volunteering effort designed to give back to communities most impacted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In conjunction with its 2020 National Day of Service, the company will donate $25 million in goods and services towards relief to bring the total donation over the two years to $50 million.

“Our second annual Day of Service is an opportunity for Unilever U.S. to use its size and scale as a catalyst to do good,” said Terry Thomas, EVP Customer Development US at Unilever. “There is still so much to be done to help people still feeling the impacts of the pandemic, and we are grateful to our partners like JR Motorsports and the Earnhardts that are making an impact alongside us and showing the country that together we can do so much good.”

For more information about FeedNC or to learn about volunteering or how to make a donation, please visit www.feednc.org.

Dale Jr Foundation PR

Atlanta Motor Speedway is reopening its tent campgrounds outside the track and welcoming tent campers back to the speedway for the July race weekend.

In conjunction with the return of tent and pop-up campers, AMS will also have its exterior restrooms and showerhouses open for the July 10-11 Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart weekend. These camping amenities, previously closed for the March weekend, enable the speedway to host tent and pop-up campers while complying with current health and safety guidelines.

“We’ve been working hard to be ready for the day we can welcome tent campers back to the track for a race weekend and we’re thrilled it’s finally here,” said AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison. “This year in NASCAR has been dubbed ‘the best season ever’; we’re shaping up to have the best summer ever here at AMS!”

In addition to the return of tent camping for the July NASCAR weekend, AMS recently announced its grandstands will be open to full capacity as well.

Tent and soft-sided pop-up camping for race weekend is available starting at $75 for an unreserved space. Reserved tent camping starts at $100.

Fans interested in camping during race weekend should call 877-9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

AMS PR

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