Racing News
Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

 Local students and their families will get an exclusive look at careers in Automotive Technology and CNC Machining as part of a Technician Career Expo and Open House hosted by Universal Technical Institute's Mooresville campus, NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech).

Guests will tour UTI's state-of the-industry labs, experience live demonstrations such as engine power dyno runs, CNC Machining, and technology demonstrations highlighting our Mopar TEC and Ford FACT advanced training courses. They can meet with local companies - including Sonic Automotive, AAA, Crown Automotive, Penske Automotive, G&W Equipment, Ryder, and Crown Lift Trucks - who employ UTI graduates and offer many hiring incentives. In addition, instructors will share information about UTI's industry-aligned core training programs, as well as the advanced courses that train students in specific manufacturers' products and technologies. At NASCAR Tech, students can study Ford FACT, Mopar TEC, NASCAR Technology, and Nissan NATT.

NASCAR Tech is one of 13 UTI campuses hosting Technician Career Expo and Open Houses nationwide.

"In North Carolina, and across the nation, demand for well-trained technicians is high and the opportunities are nearly limitless," said Jennifer Bergeron, campus president at NASCAR Technical Institute. "This event is a chance for local students to learn more about these rewarding, high-tech careers, and for employers to share their growing need for skilled technicians and the great jobs they have available."

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that, by 2026, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries.1 To help reach that total, the transportation industry will need to fill more than 120,000 technician job openings annually, on average. According to Bergeron, UTI students can complete their training and be ready to fill those jobs in as little as 11 months.
 
UTI PR

NASCAR has named industry veteran Jay Fabian as its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director.

A respected leader within the garage area, Fabian previously served as the managing director of technical integration at NASCAR, where he oversaw post-race technical inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. A consistent presence in all three NASCAR national series garages, Fabian’s versatile career has included roles as an over-the-wall crew member, a crew chief and, now, the managing director of NASCAR’s premier series.

“With his vast experience across the industry, Jay Fabian is uniquely suited for this position,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “Jay’s steady leadership and depth of knowledge are tremendous assets that will greatly benefit the series and all of NASCAR.”

Prior to joining NASCAR in April 2016, the Everett, Penn., native worked at Michael Waltrip Racing. During his 10-year tenure, MWR teams qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

“This is a fast-paced sport that is constantly evolving, and I’m thankful for this opportunity and eager to take on the challenge,” Fabian said. “Racing has been my passion for as long as I can remember. There is growing anticipation for the 2019 season, and I’m looking forward to being a part of an outstanding team that will help build our sport.”

Fabian, with more than 25 years of motorsports experience, and NASCAR’s two other national series managing directors – Wayne Auton (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and Brad Moran (NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series) – will report directly to Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition.

 NASCAR PR

Michigan native Erik Jones enjoys the hot, slick racing surface at Michigan International Speedway for NASCAR racing in the summer. On Tuesday, the surface was icy and slick when Jones visited the Detroit Red Wings.

Jones, driver of the #20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, was in town to promote the two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Races at Michigan International Speedway. The FireKeepers Casino 400 is June 9 and the Consumers Energy 400 is Aug. 11.

When the Red Wings looked to the bench for instruction from head coach Jeff Blashill during morning skate, he was not there. Instead they saw Jones and Michigan International Speedway President Rick Brenner. Jones watched morning skate and tried to pick up a few pointers that he can carry over to racing.

“Every sport is different and it’s neat to see how each one operates,” Jones said. “I’ve had a chance to be around some football teams and had a chance to meet some baseball players, but never hockey. It’s cool to see their process and how they prepare. It’s cool to see that the preparation starts so early for a game.”

After the morning skate, Jones presented a helmet to all the Michigan-born Red Wings players. Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser, Luke Glendening, Dylan Larkin and Luke Witkowski all received an autographed racing helmet. The Red Wings presented Jones his very own personalized jersey with his name and number on the back.

Jones held his post morning skate press conference right in the Red Wings locker room. Surrounded by numerous media members, Jones talked about racing at MIS and in front of his hometown fans. At the end Blashill walked in to show him how it is done. The head coach gave Jones his own Red Wings hat and Jones gave Blashill a signed helmet.

The Red Wings fan came back to the game to watch his beloved team beat the Anaheim Ducks.

Jones and Michigan International Speedway partnered to create a special ticket package for the hometown driver.

The Erik Jones Ticket Package includes a grandstand ticket to the Consumers Energy 400 and a Pit/Paddock and Driver Introduction Pass. And on Sunday morning, Jones will host a special question and answer session for fans who bought this package. Fans can get this ticket package starting at $76 for adults and only $38 for children.

The Byron, MI native started racing at the short tracks around the state and is now a rising star in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. NASCAR’s Most Entertaining Track is excited to create the Erik Jones Ticket Package to salute its hometown driver.

Tickets and campsites for two great weekends of racing at Michigan International Speedway are on sale. Don’t miss your chance to purchase tickets and reserve a campsite for all the non-stop racing action and the week-long entertainment at NASCAR’s Most Entertaining Track in 2019.

It has never been easier to purchase tickets and reserve a campsite at Michigan International Speedway in 2019. Fans can visit www.mispeedway.com or call 888-905-7223 to get the best deals. Grandstand tickets start at $39 and week-long camping starts at $135.

Michigan International Speedway will continue to be a premier racing facility in 2019 when it hosts a pair of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. NASCAR’s most entertaining track will host the Monster Energy Series on June 9 and Aug. 11.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 is on June 9. The series will return on Aug. 11 for the Consumers Energy 400.

The XFINITY Series LTi Printing 250 is June 8 while the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Corrigan Oil 200 is scheduled for Aug. 10.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will feature a new aerodynamic racing package in 2019 to bolster the competition. It will be similar to what was used in the 2018 All-Star race. The Gander Outdoors Truck Series Corrigan Oil 200 will serve as the cutoff race for the regular season. Drivers will have one final opportunity to make the playoffs in the truck series, adding even more intensity and intrigue to the already thrilling race at MIS.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is NASCAR’s fastest racetrack. It has been the love of NASCAR racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike for 50 years.

MIS PR

MBM Motorsports is proud to announce they have signed Iowa native Joey Gase to pilot the No. 35 entry for the full 2019 NASCAR XFINITY Series season PLUS pilot the No. 66 car in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series part time starting with the Daytona 500.
 
“I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity Carl and MBM Motorsports is giving me this year,” said Gase. “Every off season is stressful when you don’t know what your plans for the following season will be. This off season by far has been the most stressful of my career with some unforeseen things happening. One evening I was sitting in my office trying to figure out what my next move should be and then out of the blue Carl gave me a call and we talked for about two hours over the phone and now here we are. MBM Motorsports has grown and improved their program a lot over the last two years, especially the end of last season. I am very excited to be a part of that growth in 2019.”
 
“Having an experienced driver in Joey Gase to start our season is a huge blessing,” said MBM team owner Carl Long. “He has worked hard to bring sponsorship to MBM. Today’s driver has to be gifted in handling a car and promotions. Lucky for us Joey is one of the best in all of NASCAR at doing both. Look for us to turn heads this year!”
 
You will see the Eternal Fan logo and colors frequently on Gase’s No. 66 and No. 35 throughout the season. “We are extremely excited to partner with Joey Gase and MBM Motorsports for this upcoming racing season!  We look forward to expanding our footprint at other great Venues, in addition to the current programs already in place at Richmond and Watkins Glen thru this partnership with Joey.  Our Fan Memories program will allow Fans to create their own personal legacy at the places they love.  This should be a fun ride for 2019 and beyond,” said Eternal Fan President Matt Linn.
 
“I can’t thank the great people at Eternal Fan and Matt Linn enough for taking their sponsorship and their Fan Memories program to the next level this year,” said Gase. “It is so cool to see the opportunities Eternal Fan is giving NASCAR fans with their Fan Memories program through the different NASCAR tracks and watching that grow. It is also very cool that Eternal Fan is now even taking the Fan Memories program to our car and giving NASCAR fans the chance to either have their own name or photo or one of their loved one’s name or photo on our Daytona 500 car.” If you would like to participate in this Fan Memories program please click the following links below for more information… http://store.jesterapparel.com/joeygase/shop/product-detail/293142
http://store.jesterapparel.com/joeygase/shop/product-detail/293141
 
Gase is elated to welcome back many of his long-standing partners and several new ones. These partners include his Donate Life partners, Medline, Agri Supply, Pro Master, Page Construction. Gase will announce the rest at a later date.  “I feel very lucky and fortunate to have so many great partners stick with me and it’s exciting to have some new partners joining the party with us this year as well! They are all passionate about raising awareness for organ, eye, and tissue donation, which is something that is very important to me.” said Gase.

Joey Gase PR

Ryan Truex will pilot the No. 71 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season opener, DAYTONA 500, at Daytona International Speedway. 

Taking after family history, Ryan Truex has ascended to the top of the motorsports ladder in just a few short years competing throughout the top tiers of the sport. Driving for several well-acclaimed teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing, Pastrana Waltrip Racing, BK Racing, Biagi Denbeste Racing and Hattori Racing Enterprises, Truex has made starts in all three top NASCAR series. This will mark Truex's second attempt at qualifying for The DAYTONA 500. 

"I am very thankful to TBR and Tommy Baldwin for this opportunity and can't wait to get to Daytona and back in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car," commented Ryan Truex. "The pressure is on to make it into the race, but Tommy is a true racer, and I know he will put everything into the car to give us a great shot."

"I'm excited to have Ryan back in a Tommy Baldwin Racing car," team owner Tommy Baldwin said. "We had success at Daytona in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, in the past. I've known the Truex family a very long time, and it's special that we'll be able to compete in The DAYTONA 500 together, and hopefully more races as the year goes on. We are still in search of a primary sponsor that we're hoping to put together in time to give TBR a great run this year!"
 
Be sure to stay up to date on new driver and sponsor announcements coming soon by following TBR on social media (Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram). For more information on Tommy Baldwin Racing, visit www.tommybaldwinracing.com. For interest in sponsorship opportunities, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TBR PR

Pocono Raceway announced today an upgrade to a popular camping area, now referred to as ‘50-Amp Family Grandstand Camping,’ to include electricity and water. These improvements were made one year after the Raceway added power and water hook ups to the Trackside and 50-Amp Infield Camping areas. All camping spots, including the new 50-Amp Family Grandstand Camping locations, are now available for purchase for the 2019 Pocono 400, Gander Outdoors 400 and ABC Supply 500 race weekends. As a reminder, kids camp for free at ‘The Tricky Triangle.’

The 50-Amp Family Grandstand Camping spots are located along the fence line on the backside of Turn 3 and adjacent to the Trackside Camping area along the fence line that borders Long Pond Road. These enhanced camping spots will include 50-Amp power hook up powered by the Raceway’s 25-acre, three-megawatt solar farm, water hook up, complimentary daily ice delivery, complimentary sewage service, voucher for a souvenir program with diecast car and two Pit/Paddock Passes.

“We are thrilled to be offering more upgraded camping locations for the 2019 season,” said Ben May, Pocono Raceway President. “As in 2018, our renewal guests were given the first opportunity to purchase these upgraded camping spots and the initial feedback has been very positive. The remaining spots are now available for purchase and, based on the success of improved Trackside and 50-Amp Infield Camping areas last year, we strongly believe they will sell out quickly.”

Camping guests attending Pocono Raceway’s NASCAR and INDYCAR race weekends receive several perks. Kids, ages 12 and under, can camp for the entire race weekend for free. Camping guests will also receive four-day access to the Raceway, starting on Thursday, free access to the Grandstand on Friday and Saturday, free access to the Bark (dog) Park and complimentary access to the #POCONOMTNS Inclusive Playground.

All Family Grandstand Camping guests, regardless of age and including children, are required to have a Sunday Grandstand ticket. All Sunday Grandstand tickets are reserved. Sunday tickets for kids, ages 12 and under, in the 100 and 200 Levels of the Grandstand can be selected or requested, free of charge, when purchasing online or over the phone.

For more information about the Raceway’s camping options and additional details, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/camping or call our ticket office at 1-800-722-3929.

Pocono Raceway PR

Orange County New York is home to one of racing’s hidden gems and a true historic site, a ⅝ mile dirt track located in the heart of the Town of Wallkill that has been continuously operated since 1919, making it the oldest in the nation.  While New York state plays host to a number of dirt short tracks, none have as rich or interesting a history as what has long been known as “The Orange County Fair Speedway.”

At the time of the first automobile race on August 16, 1919, “OCFS” was known as “The Harry Clay Oval.”  It had been constructed in 1857 at the Orange County Fairgrounds as a horse racing track. Despite the existence of older horse tracks, The Harry Clay Oval/OCFS may be the oldest continuously operated racing facility in the world.  Starting in 1913, auto racing enthusiast, George Martin lobbied to bring cars to the track, eventually succeeding in 1919 assembling a field of drivers for a crowd of 5,000.

That first race, run mostly by cars with Duesenberg motors, was won by James Benedict of Katonah, NY, driving the “Benedict Special”.  To Martin’s relief, the races were a huge success, with fair directors admitting that by next year, they’d need to accommodate a much larger crowd.

 

Auto racing at OCFS would continue regularly for the next 100 years, excluding a short government mandated break during WWII due to metal and gasoline conservation efforts.  In 1946, full time racing returned to the newly dubbed “Victory Speedway,” now officially an auto racing track featuring “American Racing Drivers Club” sanctioned Midget Car racing.  Stock car racing officially began at the speedway on September 18, 1948 as Rocky Dinatale is credited with the first-ever stock car win. The first fully contested championship season began on April 16, 1950 and the first race of the season was won by Tex Enright driving the no. 407 Modified coupe.  Eventually, Victory Speedway would transition into being known as “The Orange County Fair Speedway” as it is still today.

 

Now, in 2019, the track referred to by some as “The Hard Clay” or “The House of Power” features some of the most exciting racing action you’ll see in the country.  Many racing legends like Mario Andretti competed in Middletown early in their careers.  Even Nascar stars like Tony Stewart are known to make yearly appearances, but all season long, local grassroots stock car teams can be seen giving their all in 850+ HP V8 powered Dirt Modified race cars, battling for the OCFS Championship.  For around the same price as a night at the movies, your family can witness this spectacle that has captivated fans for 100 Years.

 

Orange Motorsports and Entertainment, the new managing company at OCFS as of 2018, will celebrate this hundredth season with a special 3-day Centennial event in August as well as specially curated, year-long tributes to OCFS’ history and legendary cast of drivers, car owners, car builders and track personalities.  Weekly events will feature live music at “The 31st Lap Tavern” the track bar where fans and racers meet for drinks, delicious food and of course some racing talk after the night’s events. Fans of racing, history, Americana, car culture, classic cars or just those looking for a fun night out with the family will be treated to a season steeped in nostalgia, local history and the finest racing you’ll see at this newly upgraded facility.  

 

2018 saw the restoration of OCFS’ half covered grandstand, the addition of party deck seating with high top tables for four, new turn 4 bleachers, new restrooms, new VIP areas, new official merchandise store, the return of the “Super DIRTcar Series” and more. With last year’s upgrades, OCFS offers a more comfortable experience for all in this unprecedented anniversary season.  It all starts the first weekend in April, 2019 with The Short Track Super Series’ “Hard Clay Open,” followed by the OCFS 100th Anniversary Season Opener on Saturday, April 13th.  For a preview of the season to come, fans are encouraged to attend our 2019 Motorsports Show on March 23rd - 24th where they can get up close and personal with the cars, drivers and teams.

 

For a full schedule of speedway events and news, visit the official site at orangecountyfairspeedway.com and follow @ocfsracing on Instagram and Facebook for daily posts, giveaways, breaking news and exciting video content.

Orange County Fair Speedway PR

 For the first time since the historic .363-mile track opened in 1951 Hickory, N.C., native, GMS President and former HMS competitor Mike Beam - along with racing historian Phil Combs - have joined forces to host the inaugural 2019 Hickory Motor Speedway Reunion on Saturday, January 19 at the GMS Racing shop located on West Aviation Drive in Statesville, N.C.

Drivers, crew members, and track officials from every decade of the track's existence are expected to attend the event. Over 100 former drivers are expected to attend headlined by former track champions such at Tommy Houston and NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers Ned Jarrett and Jack Ingram.

VIP guests will be allowed to enter at 10 a.m. with doors opening at 11 a.m. for the general public. A limited number of Hickory Motor Speedway posters courtesy of Hickory Motor Speedway and hero cards will be available. Fans will receive a ticket upon admission that can be redeemed for a poster or hero card during the event. Tickets will be distributed on a first come-first served basis only.

Highlighting the day's activities will be an unveiling of a car driven by the late Butch Lindley which Beam served on the crew for in the 1970s at HMS. A memorial service for former HMS competitor Clarence Ogle will also be held. Food vendors will be on site, and a driver autograph session will be held during the day. 

Media outlets who wish for more details on the event can contact Sara Beam at 828-381-0310, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Tim Southers at 828-449-5722, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit https://hickorymotorspeedwaymemories.com.

 

Schedule of events:

10 a.m. VIP/Media Meeting 

11 a.m. Doors open for fans and the general public 

11:20 a.m. Opening remarks from Mike Beam and Phil Combs 

11:25 a.m. Invocation by HMS chaplain John Abernathy & National Anthem 

11:30 a.m. Remarks from HMS Promoter Kevin Piercy 

11:35 a.m. Unveiling of Butch Lindley car 

Noon  Clarence Ogle Memorial Service 

12:30 p.m. HMS Organized Pictures 

                    A.     HMS Past Late Model Track Champions

                    B.     All past HMS track champions             

                    C.     All former Busch Series/Late Model Sportsman Drivers     

                    D.     Current & Former Miss HMS Beauty Queens         

                    E.     All previous HMS officials and employees     

1 p.m. Autograph Session (Collect tickets & distribute Posters & Hero Cards in front of line)

Hickory Motor Speedway PR

The United States Auto Club (USAC) announced its USAC.25 Series (quarter midgets) has retained the services of seasoned motorsports official John Darby to oversee the technical and safety processes of USAC.25 effective immediately.

Darby, the former Managing Director of Competition at NASCAR, brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to USAC.25, most notably from his more than 30-year career span at NASCAR. In 1998 he was named the Series Director for the NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity Series). Three years later, Darby was promoted to Director of Competition for the Winston Cup Series (now Monster Energy Cup Series).

“The USAC.25 Series is a proven starting ground for so many that want to get more competitive in racing and maybe even have a shot at making racing a career option,” said the Rockford, Ill., native. “Youth involvement in motorsports is more important than ever to ensure a healthy future for the sport. I want to be able to use some of my experience to continue making racing quarter-midgets fun, yet safe and competitive for all kids and families involved.”

Darby will work closely with quarter-midget engine and chassis manufacturers, in addition to working with USAC.25’s technical officials at national events.

“We are very fortunate to be able to utilize all that John has to offer and share it with our USAC.25 members,” said Kevin Miller, President of USAC. “The sport of quarter-midget racing has grown, and we need to insure we are doing our job of keeping up with technical and safety advances that are available, all while keeping the sport af-fordable for all involved.”

There are over 45 USAC.25 clubs located nationwide. Thousands of kids ages 5 and up and their families participate in the USAC-sanctioned quarter midget series. Some notable quarter midget graduates include NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Alex Bowman along with IndyCar drivers Sarah Fisher, Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt.

Since 1956, United States Auto Club (USAC) has proven itself as being the most diversified motorsports sanctioning body in the world. It is the official sanctioning body of many of today’s largest racing series including its own suite of circle track series in Sprint, Silver Crown, Midget, Micro and .25 Midget racing (quarter midgets), Pirelli World Challenge, American Rally Association, International Snowmobile Racing, Robby Gordon Stadium Trucks, Radical Racing, Ultra 4 Racing, Formula Race Promotions and Karting. USAC has over 15,000 competitors racing at more than 500 sanctioned events globally.

USAC PR

Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has renewed its partnership with Alsco, the premier linen and uniform rental business, into the 2019 NASCAR season. Alsco will serve as an associate partner for the full year on both No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, piloted by Daniel Hemric in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Tyler Reddick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
 
In addition to an associate partnership, Alsco will serve as the co-primary partner on Hemric's Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, in conjunction with Alsco's and RCR's shared relationship with uniform supplier VF Workwear. Alsco will also appear as the primary partner on Reddick's Camaro during the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway later this year. 
 
"When you look at Richard Childress and his organization, it's an easy decision to partner with a NASCAR icon who shares the same business philosophies as Alsco does," said Jim Divers, Alsco Director of Sales and Marketing. "The value proposition of being a part of RCR is unparalleled. Over the last several years, our relationship with Daniel has developed into something very special. We look forward to having that same relationship and shared success with Tyler in 2019 and beyond."
 
2019 will mark the third year of the partnership between RCR and Alsco, the official uniform service company of the race team. Alsco's uniform and linen services are valuable to the everyday operations of the championship winning organization.
 
"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Alsco for the 2019 season," said Torrey Galida, President of Richard Childress Racing. "Alsco has been a valued partner of RCR, and we are grateful for their continued support. With RCR and Alsco being family-owned and operated businesses with shared values, it is easy to see how the relationship has grown into what it is today. We look forward to continuing to work together in the future."
 
The 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Daytona International Speedway, followed by the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb.17.
 
For additional information on today's announcement, and all that's happening at RCR, please visit rcrracing.com.
 
RCR PR