Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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GMS Racing announced today the addition of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson to the lineup of the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Elliott will compete at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March and Kansas Speedway in May. Larson will compete at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March.

Atlanta will mark Elliott’s 13th Gander Trucks start. The Dawsonville, GA. native has two previous starts for GMS Racing including a top-five finish at Atlanta in 2017 and a win from the pole at Martinsville in 2017. Elliott’s No. 24 Silverado will sport Hooters brand colors for Atlanta.

“Once the word got out about the challenge, we were able to put this together with Mike Beam at GMS in just a couple of days,” said Elliott. “Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks, so I’m really looking forward to getting back into a GMS truck there with Hooters on the truck and make a run for a win.” 

The Team Chevy duo answered the challenge from Kevin Harvick after he tweeted “I’ll put up a $50,000 bounty for any full-time Cup driver who races a truck and can beat Kyle Busch in his next four races.”

Homestead’s Gander Trucks event will be Larson’s 14th series start. Larson has three previous starts with GMS Racing in 2016 including a win at Eldora and a top-five finish at Homestead.

“When I heard about the $100,000 bounty I wanted in!” said Larson. “I’m thankful for GMS and Chevy giving me this opportunity, Homestead is one of my favorite tracks so looking for to the challenge!”

GMS Racing currently fields four full-time Gander Trucks entries in addition to the No. 24 as a scheduled part-time entry with long-time GMS Racing engineer Charles Denike atop the pit box.

“We are blessed with this opportunity. To have an owner that is up for the challenge and a manufacturer that will support the extra effort necessary is really special,” said Mike Beam, President of GMS Racing. “It’s great to have these two talented young men back behind the wheel for us and to have the extra attention on the truck series is great.”

Sponsorship for Larson’s Homestead entry and Elliott’s Kansas entry to be announced at a later date. 

GMS Racing PR

NASCAR and Blue-Emu have announced a multi-year agreement designating the company as an Official Partner of NASCAR, Martinsville Speedway and Motor Racing Network (MRN). As part of the agreement, Blue-Emu will serve as the entitlement sponsor of NASCAR Cup Series™ spring events at Martinsville Speedway, with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 debuting under the lights on Saturday, May 9.

“Blue-Emu’s integrated NASCAR approach will take center stage at Martinsville Speedway under the lights,” said Frank Kelleher, senior vice president and chief sales officer, NASCAR. “Combining the massive reach of NASCAR with fan sponsor loyalty provides partners an attractive platform to grow their brands.”

In addition to the Martinsville Speedway race entitlement, Blue-Emu will actively engage fans at NASCAR tracks across the country by providing product sampling opportunities. The pain relief company is no stranger to NASCAR. They currently work with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace and have sponsored multiple teams dating back to 2014.

“NFI Consumer Products has been a fan and friend of NASCAR for a number of years, so this sponsorship is a natural expansion of that partnership. The NASCAR fan base has been a strong and loyal customer of Blue-Emu and we believe they will help us continue to grow as a national brand,” said Susan Gregory, CEO, Blue-Emu. “The highly anticipated Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, debuting under the lights, will highlight our track partnership and provide a new opportunity to showcase our products and engage with consumers.”

The Blue-Emu product line is the No.1 selling emu oil brand in the United States and recently announced a multi-year partnership with the MLB, which included exclusive deals with 13 of its clubs. As part of the NASCAR agreement, Blue-Emu’s Original Super Strength will serve as an Official Partner of NASCAR, Blue-Emu’s Maximum Pain Relief Cream is the “Official Pain Relief Cream of NASCAR®”, Blue-Emu’s Continuous Spray is the “Official Pain Relief Spray of NASCAR®,” and Blue-Emu’s Patch is the “Official Pain Patch of NASCAR®”.

The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 will be held on Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM. Tickets for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at NASCAR.com/tickets.

NASCAR PR

Today, Bojangles' and Speedway Motorsports are officially unveiling a new relationship that will engage fans during the NASCAR races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bojangles' is revving its engines by giving fans the chance to win a VIP experience to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on March 15.

"Race fans have always been important to Bojangles', and we look forward to shaking and biscuit baking our way through this season with them in Atlanta and Charlotte," said Jackie Woodward, chief marketing officer of Bojangles'. "This giveaway is just the first way we'll use this partnership to invite fans to join us as we Bo racing!"

Fans can register to win the VIP experience at www.bojangles.com/ams, and the one-of-a-kind prize package includes:

  • Four race tickets;
  • Hot Passes and Victory lane access;
  • AMS and Bojangles' swag bag, featuring a $50 Bojangles' gift card; and
  • Pace car rides.

The lucky winner will be notified by email on March 9.

The agreement between Bojangles' and Speedway Motorsports is a three-year deal, extending through the 2022 season.

"With a significant presence in Atlanta and Charlotte, Bojangles' is an important neighbor to both our tracks and a staple among NASCAR fans, so we're thrilled to extend our relationship with them for the next three seasons," said Kevin Camper, chief sales officer of Speedway Motorsports.

SMLLC PR

Texas Motor Speedway and Vankor have agreed to a multi-year partnership extension for the independent energy and commodities company to continue its title partnership of both the Vankor 350 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race and Tony Stewart presents the Vankor Sprint Car Nationals.
 
The 2020 season marks the third consecutive year Vankor has been involved at No Limits, Texas. In 2018, the North Texas-based oil and gas trade and distribution company was named the title sponsor of the Tony Stewart presents the Vankor Texas Sprint Car Nationals at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Their involvement expanded last year with the naming rights for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350 that kicked off the NASCAR's spring race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
 
"We're excited to extend our reach farther into the consumer sector of our industry by participating in the value chain that supports motorsports. Partnering with the Texas Motor Speedway allows Vankor to be involved in a great sport and see energy at work," said Ken Goggans, President of Vankor. "We're pleased to continue building our strong relationship with Texas Motor Speedway in 2020."
 
The Vankor 350 is scheduled for Friday, March 27, and will kick off a NASCAR tripleheader weekend that also features the Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 on Saturday, March 28, and NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 29.
 
"Vankor jumped in with both feet two years ago and have become a great and valued partner," said Eddie Gossage, president and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway. "We appreciate the value they bring to Texas Motor Speedway as an industry leader as well as being a Texas-based company and look forward to continued success with their events."
 
For ticket information on the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend and all Texas Motor Speedway events, contact the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500 or online at.
 
TMS PR

Current INDYCAR driver for Andretti Autosport and fan-favorite James Hinchcliffe has joined NBC Sports as a motorsports analyst for 2020. He will serve as a driver analyst for a majority of NBC Sports’ 2020 INDYCAR race coverage, providing reports from pit road and will make his debut at the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., the weekend of March 13-15.

Hinchcliffe’s on-air schedule will include the Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.; his home race, the Honda Indy Toronto on the streets of Toronto; and the season finale at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. He will also be part of NBC Sports’ comprehensive coverage in the week prior to competing in the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC.

In addition to his role on INDYCAR coverage, Hinchcliffe will provide analysis during NBC Sports’ NASCAR coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Fourth of July weekend. He will also serve as an analyst for select IMSA races, beginning with Sebring on March 20-21, and will contribute to Indy Lights coverage on NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR Pass throughout the year.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports team and covering so many awesome racing series in 2020,” said Hinchcliffe. “NBC Sports has covered INDYCAR for more than a decade and I’ve gotten to know Diff really well over that time. I used to bang wheels with PT and Townsend, so our relationships go way back and it will be great getting to work them, and all the behind the scenes staff at NBC Sports, throughout the season. I’ve always loved educating people on the finer points of INDYCAR racing and I’m excited to jump in and share my expertise and perspective as a current driver with all of the fans and viewers.”

“James Hinchcliffe is one of the most dynamic personalities in motorsports and we’re excited to bring The Mayor of Hinchtown to the NBC Sports team for 2020,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “James’ engaging personality, combined with his unique perspective of what these drivers are experiencing in real time, will be a great addition to our motorsports coverage.”

Last week, it was announced that Hinchcliffe would run three races for Andretti Autosport – the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indy 500, and the Genesys 600 – in the 2020 season. Hinchcliffe is a six-time INDYCAR race-winner and made his debut in 2011 when he was named the INDYCAR rookie of the year. He recorded eight top-10 finishes in 2019, including a third-place finish at Iowa Speedway where he won in 2018.

NBC Sports PR

Matt DiBenedetto and his Wood Brothers team, fresh off a second-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, are headed to Auto Club Speedway with their iconic No. 21 Mustang carrying the green colors of Menards and Quaker State for the first time this season.

 And DiBenedetto, who enters the weekend 10th in the Cup Series point standings, carries with him the confidence that comes from having a fast Ford at Las Vegas.
 
“Daytona is really its own animal,” DiBenedetto said. “Las Vegas was our first of what I’d call a normal weekend and a pretty good indicator of how we’ll be going forward.”
He said there was good communication between him, crew chief Greg Erwin, spotter Doug Campbell and the rest of the Menards team at Las Vegas throughout the weekend.
 
“We kept getting our cars better and got ourselves a second-place finish,” he said.
 That result, coupled with his Daytona finish of 19th, put him in the top 10 in points for the first time in his Cup career. 

 “It’s always important to get a good points position firing off,” he said.
 
DiBenedetto, who scored his Cup-career-first top 10 on an intermediate track at Las Vegas, said the speed of his Menards Mustang had a lot to do with that and should be a plus this weekend as well.
 
“With my previous teams, my strength was usually on the short tracks and road courses,” he said “Now we have speed every week.”
 
The Grass Valley, Calif., native will be racing on one of his home-state tracks this weekend and says he enjoys driving on the D-shaped, two-mile track that has been hosting races since 1997.

 “It’s a big track, but it’s unique in that there’s a lot of sliding around,” he said. “It’s more fun to drive when the lap times fall off.”
 
He said the back straightaway also is different than other tracks.
 
“Turns Three and Four are bumpy, but the back straightaway is like going over jumps,” he said.
 
Qualifying for the Auto Club 400 is set for Saturday at 11:35 a.m. (2:35 p.m. Eastern Time) and the race is scheduled to start just after 12:30 p.m. on Sunday (3:30 Eastern) with TV coverage on FOX.

WBR PR

INDYCAR unveiled its brand campaign - "A Different Breed" - for the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season that showcases the extraordinary mindset of its athletes and features narration by Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon.

"A Different Breed" was created in partnership with Chicago-based agency Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) to convey the distinctive mental, emotional and physical strength required to excel as an INDYCAR driver. These athletes - whether 39-year-old, five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon or 19-year-old rising star Colton Herta - have the ambition and drive to harness a carbon-fiber rocket at speeds that can reach 240 miles per hour while always aware that the smallest miscue can change everything.

"Fearless and aggressive by nature, our athletes push the limits of speed and possibility every single lap of every single race," INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. "This campaign reflects both the skills and intangibles that set them apart, giving fans an up-close and personal look at what it takes to be an INDYCAR driver."

Video content for "A Different Breed" focuses on the athletes' unique skill set and mentality as described by Damon, the 2019 Indianapolis 500 honorary starter. He witnessed the breath-taking capabilities and fearlessness of INDYCAR athletes while standing atop the flagstand for nearly 40 of the 200 laps of one of the world's most iconic races.

The video features several NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers, including Dixon, Herta, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, 2019 Indy 500 winner and former series champ Simon Pagenaud, 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi and 20-year-old emerging talent Patricio O'Ward. Click here to view A Different Breed.

In addition to narration by Damon, DJ/producer MAKJ lends an original song - "Green Light" - to the campaign. MAKJ, a fan of the sport and former professional racer, has collaborated with some of today's most talented artists, including Steve Aoki, Tinashe, O.T. Genesis and Lil Jon. He also has played some of the most prestigious music festivals including Coachella, Voodoo, Electric Zoo and Ultra.

"INDYCAR racing is the ultimate expression of audacious athleticism," said David Selby, Co-Chairman of SCC. "The drivers are among the most courageous and committed athletes in the world - a different breed for sure... our goal was to celebrate them and introduce them to new fans."

The campaign's video content is complemented by dramatic still images energized with a shock of color to contrast the black-and-white heroic images. The campaign style and multiple-driver approach provides the flexibility to seamlessly tailor the creative to the needs of various stakeholders and partners in the sport.

INDYCAR tasked SCC with identifying a young, rising director to capture the true voice of the campaign and selected Logan Cascia. As the founder, director and DP of Los Angeles-based Cascia Films, he has produced work that includes Emmy and Peabody award-winning television features, commercials and film festival premieres.

Check out the amazing athletes of "A Different Breed" when the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opens Sunday, March 15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. (3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).

NTT IndyCare Series PR

Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) will showcase its ROXOR off-road vehicles at Texas Motor Speedway as the title sponsor of the ROXOR Loud and Proud Pre-Race Show with Sam Riggs leading up to the March 29 NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500.
 
The multi-year program between the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company and No Limits, Texas! puts the ROXOR brand in front of the always-enthusiastic NASCAR pre-race crowds, with this year's event showcasing Texas singer/songwriter Sam Riggs.
 
"NASCAR fans and ROXOR fans are cut from the same cloth," stated Richard Ansell, Vice President of Marketing for Mahindra Automotive North America. "They appreciate steel, power and durability - especially in Texas, one of our largest markets so partnering with TMS fits perfectly into our marketing strategy for ROXOR. Race fans that visit our huge display in the fan zone will see first-hand the workhorse capabilities that are creating a whole new category in the side X side segment."
 
The ROXOR is a reliable, and economical off roader that comes stock with a 2.5L 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine, 4WD to help take you off the beaten path. The sturdy boxed steel frame and the rock-solid reliable drivetrain with truck inspired 5 speed manual transmission, using no belts, or optional 6-speed automatic transmission, is ready to bypass well-trodden paved roads. The modern innovation, along with customization capabilities, enable the ROXOR to take on almost anything a rugged stretch of terrain throws at it.
 
"Adding a company like Mahindra Automotive North America and a product like the ROXOR to our spring race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway is a win for us and an even bigger win for our fans," said Eddie Gossage, President and General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway. "Putting the ROXOR name on our pre-race show adds credence to that popular part of our event, and it'll introduce parts of our fan base to a vehicle that's right up their alley."
 
ROXOR vehicles will be on display at the Texas Motor Speedway Fan Zone (Gates 2-7) throughout the weekend.
 
The Texas Motor Speedway season opens March 27-29 with the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR tripleheader. The race weekend features the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Vankor 350 on Friday, March 27; the Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 on Saturday, March 28; and the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 29.
 
For ticket information, contact the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500 or online at https://www.texasmotorspeedway.com/tickets/.
 
TMS PR
 

NASCAR and Elgin Sweeper announced today a multi-year partnership renewal, continuing the designation of the leading manufacturer of street sweepers, special industrial, and airport applications as the “Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green®.”

“Considering our dealers’ dedication to – and passion for – NASCAR Green’s goal of protecting the environment through sustainable practices, and our own involvement in the NASCAR culture for more than a decade, it was a logical progression to renew our partnership,” said Mike Higgins, vice president and general manager, Elgin Sweeper. “We are immensely proud of the fact that NASCAR continues to rely on Elgin Sweeper to be present at the tracks every race season to shorten rain delays and cautionary events.”

As the “Official Sweeper of NASCAR Green,” Elgin Sweeper administers a team of 17 trained, NASCAR-certified driver operators throughout the 36-week race season to help support the NASCAR Toyota Tundra Track Drying Team in drying rain-soaked tracks while saving jet fuel and reducing the sport’s overall carbon footprint.

In addition to its drying efforts, the revolutionary Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper assists in maintaining safe racing surfaces for competitors. Designed by Elgin Sweeper exclusively for steep-banked racetracks in need of routine maintenance, race event sweeping and emergency response cleaning, the Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper has passed the most rigorous tilt tests required. Used for high-speed sweeping during NASCAR races across the country, the machine effectively removes track debris and oil absorbent material and assists in drying wet track areas.

“Throughout our partnership, Elgin Sweeper has consistently proven to be reliable, dependable, and uniquely capable of maintaining green flag racing conditions,” said Scott Miller, senior vice president, competition, NASCAR. “Elgin Sweeper has assisted our sport in putting on numerous events after unfavorable odds and we’re happy to have them remain a part of our weekend stable.”

Elgin Sweeper’s exclusively designed Shared Power technology, the EcoInfused platform, diverts the formerly wasted energy from the sweeper’s chassis engine back to the power of the sweeper itself, which helps reduce the carbon footprint during NASCAR Cup Series™ race weekends.

The Elgin Sweeper made its NASCAR debut in 2001 at Kansas Speedway. The sweeper picks up 50 gallons of water per minute while saving roughly one gallon of diesel fuel per hour. The sweeper’s 10-foot sweep path covers the width of 1.5 race cars, helping officials get cars back on the track in record time.

For more information on the Elgin Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper, or on Elgin Sweeper’s entire line of street sweepers, please visit www.elginsweeper.com. NASCAR fans can follow along with the Track Sweeper throughout the 2020 NASCAR season by visiting Elgin Sweeper’s Facebook page.

NASCAR PR

Nolan Pope is set for a busy weekend of competition by competing in the super late model and late model stock portions of the rescheduled Solid Rock Carriers Thanksgiving Classic this weekend at Southern National Motorsports Park.

The Thanksgiving Classic was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend last year, but Mother Nature intervened and forced track officials to postpone the event to this weekend.
 
“Two races means two chances to take home a trophy,” said Pope. “Southern National is a tough track, but my guys at Lee Faulk Racing always bring me good race cars so I think we’ve got a good chance to be competitive in both races.
 
“Competing this weekend also gets us a little ahead of the game for the CARS Tour race next week, so that’ll help us as we chase a championship there.”
 
The doubleheader Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park will be Pope’s second and third races of the season. He kicked off the year by competing in the annual Ice Breaker at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway, finishing eighth in his debut at the track.
 
“Any chance you get to make some extra laps is a good thing,” said Michael Faulk of Lee Faulk Racing and Development. “The Thanksgiving Classic gives us 250 laps of racing between the super late model and the late model stock, so Nolan will have lots of chances to learn and gain experience at Southern National.”

Pope’s Thanksgiving Classic experience will begin on Saturday, Feb. 29 when he competes in the 125-lap super late model event, which will be sanctioned by the PRA Tours. He’ll return to Southern National the following day on Sunday, March 1 for the 125-lap late model stock car portion of the Thanksgiving Classic.
 
Following the Thanksgiving Classic, Pope’s focus will shift to the CARS Solid Rock Carriers Tour opener, the Solid Rock Carriers 300, scheduled for March 7 at Southern National Motorsports Park.
 
MPM PR
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