Racing News (9762)
Racing News from around the World
Wauters Motorsports reunites with Bakersfield, CA native, Ryan Reed for the Fifth Annual SPEARS Manufacturing Winter Showdown 300 Super Late Model (SLM) event at Kern County Raceway Park (KCRP).
Reed made his NASCAR Top-Tier Series Debut in the NASCAR Gander Mountain Truck Series for team owner, Richie Wauters in 2012, finishing 17th.
The two will team up again for what is deemed the “Richest Short Track Race in the Nation” February 2nd.
“I’m so excited to race the Winter Showdown, Ryan Reed said. “It’s been a race I’ve wanted to run since the first year. It being in my hometown and being one of the biggest short track races of the year is really special. Obviously, going down there with Richie Wauters and his guys I know we will have a shot to win!”
This will be Wauters Motorsports third time racing at KCRP. In 2015, Dalton Sargeant piloted the No. 5 SLM qualifying and finishing in the second-place position on the high-banked paved half-mile oval track. Mason Mingus drove for Wauters Motorsports in 2018 finishing16th on the Bakersfield, CA race track.
“We are looking forward to having Ryan (Reed) in the No. 5 in the Winter Showdown,” team owner Richie Wauters said. “Ryan is an excellent driver as you’ve seen in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career. He is a wheelman and I know that we have a good shot to win.”
Practice and qualifying for the SLM division is set for Friday, February 1st with the Fifth Annual SPEARS Manufacturing Winter Showdown 300 slated to begin at 1pm PST on Saturday, February 2nd.
Follow Wauters Motorsports and Ryan Reed on Twitter and Facebook – @WautersMotors5 @driverRyanReed.
Wauters Motorsports PR
Sam Hunt Racing (SHR) announced today that the team will bring 18 year old driver Colin Garrett aboard to pilot their No.18 SHR Chevrolet. Garrett, who ran twelve of the fourteen races with Hunt-Sellers Racing in 2018 – posted a season best third place finish in his rookie season at South Boston, along with five more top -10 finishes throughout his partial season. The 18 year old has a limited late model championship at South Boston Speedway (2017), along with NASCAR NWAAS Late Model Victories.
The team hopes to run the full 2019 campaign, funding permitting. Veteran NASCAR Xfinity and K&N Crew Chief Clinton Cram will return to the No.18 team, along with much of 2018’s team roster. This will mark Garrett’s first points run in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, this year without rookie stripes. SHR Team Owner Sam Hunt is excited to bring back his young driver in 2019.
“Colin showed great potential and raw talent as a professional race car driver in 2018, and matured vastly throughout last year’s races both as a driver and a spokesperson for sponsors and teams. I’m excited for him to continue his growth with the entire SHR organization in 2019. Having Clinton (Cram) back calling the shots should make for exceptional communication between driver and crew chief.”
Garrett, after finishing inside the top 10 in 2018 points without running the full schedule, is excited to take off the rookie stripes in 2019 and get back in the car.
“I’m extremely stoked to get back in the seat of the 18 car. We all worked really well together last year so it should be interesting to see what can unfold throughout this year. I wasn’t sure if I would be
returning to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2019, which made getting this call extremely exciting. I’m looking forward to getting to work in my No.18 Chevrolet SS here in the next few weeks.”
Along with Garrett, the SHR Organization announced their switch from Toyota to Chevrolet as their primary manufacturer in 2019. The team will also operate inside a technical alliance with Rette Jones Racing. Previous New Smyrna race winner Ronnie Bassett Jr will join SHR for the season opener and serve as a coach for Garrett, as it will mark Garrett’s first K&N race at the half mile.
Sam Hunt Racing PR
“This afternoon NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they are imposing for actions that occurred during an ARCA Racing Series test on January 14. We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately. While the appeals process runs its course, we will move forward and keep our focus on the upcoming season.”
DGR Crosley PR
After a record setting season Venturini Motorsports is back primed and ready for another successful campaign leading into the team’s 37th ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season of competition.
Partnered with Toyota Racing Development (TRD), Venturini Motorsports returns the track in 2019 stacked with talent behind the wheel. After posting eight team victories last season and recording arguably its best statistical year on record, the long-time ARCA team is poised for another strong run.
Boasting the return of drivers Christian Eckes, Michael Self and Chandler Smith, VMS strengthened its upcoming season roster with the recent addition of 2-time ARCA race winner and former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion Harrison Burton. Set with a solid core of drivers each of these four ARCA tour winners have combined for 10-series victories and 10-poles since 2017.
VMS will field three full-time Toyota teams in 2019. Christian Eckes (No.15) and Michael Self (No.25) will both compete in the full-20 race schedule and each make their bid for a driver’s championship. And with Chandler Smith and Harrison Burton (No.20) will be paired in the team’s third full-time ride.
“Last year was a great season for our organization and with the unbelievable lineup driving for us this season I have high hopes for even greater accomplishments in 2019,” says team owner Billy Venturini.
“I’m proud of where Venturini Motorsports is for the season. Our shop is working efficiently and our quality of product right now is top notch. This year’s roster I believe without a doubt accumulatively across the board is the best in team history. Christian (Eckes) and Michael (Self) will both have outstanding chances to win the championship – and Chandler (Smith) and Harrison (Burton) I believe the twenty-car will be a contender for the owner’s point championship.”
Christian Eckes, 18, a three-time series winner, will pilot the No.15 JBL Audio Toyota with crew chief Kevin Reed at the controls as he get’s set to embark on his first full season which begins with the series’ season opener next week at Daytona International Speedway. Eckes, a native of Middletown, NY and member of Toyota Racing Development’s (TRD) successful TD2 program, joined the team at the age of 15 and epitomizes what being a VMS development driver is all about.
Since signing with VMS in 2016, Eckes has made 27 ARCA series starts, seeing limited action over each of the last three seasons. Achieving notable success, the former Snowball Derby winner had a breakout season in ’18, earning his first career ARCA win at Salem Speedway in April before going on to notch two more victories at Springfield’s dirt mile and at Lucas Oil Raceway. Earning two General Tire Pole Awards along the way, Eckes led 421-laps in just 13 starts last season.
Michael Self, 28, returns to the series for a full schedule slate set to pilot VMS’s iconic No.25 Toyota with sponsorship backing from Sinclair Oil. A native of Salt Lake City, UT, Self is a three-time ARCA Series winner. The championship contender driver will be paired with veteran crew chief Shannon Rursch for the upcoming 2019 campaign.
A former competitor in the NASCAR XFINITY and K&N Pro Series West, Self made his ARCA series debut with VMS back in 2014. Reuniting to VMS last season the veteran driver kicked off the year in grand fashion winning on racing’s biggest stage by capturing Daytona glory in the series season opener. Racing an abbreviated 10-race schedule in 2018, the Utah native also notched a victory at Chicagoland Speedway and picked up his first General Tire pole award at Talladega Superspeedway.
Throughout his limited ARCA career, the determined driver has recorded 19-starts - earning three wins to go along with 11 top-5’s and 11 top-10 finishes.
The team’s third full-time entry (No.20 Toyota Camry) in part will feature a pair of formidable teenage drivers led by 16-year old Chandler Smith and 18-year old Harrison Burton. Although Smith will carry the season load behind his eleven race schedule driving the CRAFTSMAN Toyota entry it will be team newcomer Burton making his season debut in the No.20 DEX Imaging Toyota during next week’s opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Chandler Smith, another standout member of TRD’s highly regarded driver development program, splashed onto the ARCA scene last season racking up two wins and settling a new series’ record winning four consecutive General Tire pole awards to start his career. Billy Venturini will crew chief Smith’s entry throughout the season.
Competing in just nine of the tour’s 20 races in 2018, the Georgia native was a dominant force tallying 763-laps led during his limited schedule - beating out all full-time drivers and winning the series’ season-long Valvoline Lap Leader Award. With victories coming at both Madison Int’l Speedway and Salem Speedway, Smith’s recorded an average finishing position of 4.3 to compliment his average starting position of 3.3.
Harrison Burton, a two-time ARCA Series winner and the son of former Monster Energy Cup Series standout driver Jeff Burton, will feature continue support from long time partners DEX Imaging, FIELDS, Morton Buildings and Rheem Heating, Cooling and Water Heating throughout his abbreviated series schedule driving for VMS.
A rising star in the sport, Burton a former NASCAR Next Alumnus, was crowned the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion and has won numerous Super Late Model victories throughout his young career including marquee events such as the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway and the ARCA/CRA Speedfest at Crisp Motorsports Park.
The North Carolina native has made 11-career ARCA starts since 2017. With ARCA victories at Toledo Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the talented teenager has recorded seven top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes throughout his brief series career.
A member of the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) family, Burton’s upcoming ARCA effort will coincide with his full-season NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) effort driving the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). Mike Hillman Jr. will crew chief Burton in both series.
VMS will make more announcements in the coming weeks detailing the additional driver lineup for the No. 20 and No.55 Toyota entries.
This year’s highly anticipated season opener will begin at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday February 9. The race will be aired live on FOX SPORTS 1 beginning with pre-race coverage starting at 4:30 pm ET.
|1/21/2019||New Smyrna||No. 17||L6||Section 12-5.3.7: Violations resulting in P6 Penalties, in general, represent the expressly forbidden areas of unauthorized activity such as violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy. Section 12-188.8.131.52.5 Violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy Conducting a private test with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series vehicle at a sanctioned track on the 2019 K&N Pro Series East Schedule, New Smyrna Speedway. Private race vehicle testing by any NASCAR K&N Pro Series race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associate, subsidiary or surrogate at any facility that appears on the Series Schedule or that has been granted a Touring Series sanction will be prohibited regardless of “rookie” or “veteran” status.||Car owner (David Gilliland) has been fined $5,000; a loss of 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship Car Owner points for the 2019 NKNPSE Season; has been suspended from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East until the completion of the third NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event; and placed on NASCAR Probation through December 31, 2019. Driver (Ty Gibbs) has been fined $5,000; a loss of 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship Driver points for the 2019 NKNPSE Season; has been suspended from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East until the completion of the third NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event; and placed on NASCAR Probation through December 31, 2019. Car chief (Seth Smith) has been fined $5,000; Suspended from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East indefinitely.|
Austrian team Dexwet-df1 Racing will field an international, star-studded lineup in the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season, with the ambition to challenge for championships and trophies in every division. Two motorsports legends – Christophe Bouchut and Ellen Lohr – will drive in the ELITE 1 Division for the team directed by Norbert Walchhofer and supported by Dexwet International, while Justin Kunz and ELITE Club champion Advait Deodhar will compete in ELITE 2. Alina Loibnegger will make her NASCAR debut in the ELITE Club Division.
The only woman to win a DTM race and a truly eclectic driver with a 31-year career in motorsports, spanning from driving to management, Lohr will return to full-time competition for the first time since 2016 to join the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on the #99 Camaro.
"In Zolder I took a look at the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Then pieces simply fitted. The racing gene and passion never die. When I saw how 30 cars with big V8 engines thundered past me at the flying start, it was actually clear that I wanted to do that,” said the Mönchengladbach, Germany native. "I also chose Euro NASCAR because the team convinced me that it really wanted me and I just like this kind of motorsport. Here you still have to work really hard in the car and I really like that. Our goal can only be to finish on the podium. I certainly won't be able to keep up with the front runners right from the start, that would be a miracle, but the ambition to be at the front is of course there. Otherwise I wouldn't do that. That's why a multi-year contract was signed."
Returning to contend for the Euro NASCAR championship on the #66 Camaro will be GT racing icon and Le Mans 24 Hours winner and GT racing icon Christophe Bouchut. The Frenchman features two podium finishes in his NASCAR palmares and will be poised to have his say in an ELITE 1 Division looking more competitive than ever.
A veteran of Euro NASCAR despite his 21 years of age, German driver Justin Kunz will join Dexwet-df1 Racing in the ELITE 2 Division and share the car with Lohr with the clear goal to contend for the ELITE 2 title. Kunz competed in both NWES divisions in 2018, finishing ninth in ELITE 2 after scoring his first podium finish at Tours Speedway.
"I'm sure I'll learn a lot from Ellen. She has a lot of experience and was very successful. But I'm also looking forward to work with the other drivers. Together we can achieve a lot," said Kunz, who also took part in his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last August.
Moving up full-time to the ELITE 2 Division on the #66 car will be 2018 ELITE Club champion Advait Deodhar. The Indian driver will take the next step in his NASCAR career after gaining some valuable experience in six races with the Austrian team last year.
After testing the Euro NASCAR car during the most recent NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Drivers Recruitment days at Franciacorta, Austrian driver Alina Loibnegger will make her NASCAR debut in the ELITE Club Division with the ambition to quickly climb up the NWES ranks.
The 2019 NWES season will kick off in Valencia, Spain on April 13-14 with the popular Valencia NASCAR Fest.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) welcomes Bryan Narducci, as the driver of the No. 7NY Chevrolet for the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80 at Stafford Motor Speedway on June 14th. Midstate Air Compressors, along with Compressed Air USA will be the primary sponsor on the No. 7NY.
Midstate Air Compressor, a Connecticut based company, provides high quality, fast and reliable air compressor sales and services at an affordable price. They are committed to providing timely, dependable and affordable service throughout the New England. Compressed Air USA, a sister company, is an online store, that provides an easy step-by-step process that allows compressed air to be shipped directly to the customer, at an affordable price. Midstate Air Compressors and Compressed Air USA will serve as a primary for Narducci, as well as select NASCAR Whelen Modified races throughout the year with TBR.
"We are extremely excited to be partnered with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the 2019 Modified season, and show everyone how simple it is to purchase compressed air! Our product applies to a lot of the modified fan base, and we couldn't think of a better way to show our support, than in the motorsports industry," commented Midstate Air Compressors owner, Sal Calvo.
"I'm excited to be given the opportunity to drive for such a prestigious team and that No. 7NY on the car," said Bryan Narducci. "It might take a little bit to get used to that much power, but I have a couple years of experience at Stafford Speedway. Tommy always brings a fast race car wherever he races, so I'm hoping to have a good run. Thanks to Midstate Air Compressors and Compressed Air USA for helping making this race possible."
Narducci, comes from an extensive line of race car drivers. Grandson to Ron Narducci, New York Stock Car Association Hall of Famer and NEAR Hall of Famer, as well as, long time modified driver, Jerry Pearl. In 2018, Bryan was named the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III National Champion, R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year and Stafford Motor Speedway Most Popular Driver.
"I’m excited to welcome Midstate Air Compressors and Compressed Air USA on board our No. 7NY Modified, commented team owner, Tommy Baldwin. "They have a lot of great ideas about their business model that will work well promoting within the short tracks in the Northeast. Watching Bryan over the years developing as a race car driver has been fun to watch. I can’t wait to see what he does in the No. 7NY. We need to give these young guns a chance to see what they have!"
For more information on Midstate Air Compressors and Compressed Air USA, click the on the links. 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 Inst
Ricky Craven, veteran NASCAR driver and longtime television analyst, joins the FOX NASCAR on-air team in 2019.
Craven, the 1991 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES champion and multi-race winner across NASCAR’s three national divisions, lends his well-regarded perspective to NASCAR RACE HUB: WEEKEND EDITION, NASCAR practice and qualifying shows, and other weekend programming emanating from FOX Sports’ new virtual studio in Charlotte.
“I’m honored to join FOX Sports and have always had great admiration and appreciation for the company’s dedication and commitment to our sport,” Craven said. “FOX has an amazing team I have felt a connection to since 2003, when they enthusiastically delivered the broadcast of our finish at Darlington. I eagerly await the start of our new season.”
Prior to joining FOX Sports, Craven spent 11 years at ESPN (2008-2018) as a NASCAR analyst, frequently appearing on “SportsCenter,” “NASCAR Now” and other news platforms, in addition to calling select Xfinity Series races through 2014.
The Maine native competed in the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES for 11 seasons following his runner-up finish in the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES point standings in 1993 and 1994.
His legendary 2003 win over Kurt Busch by .002 seconds at Darlington Raceway remains tied as the closest-recorded finish in NASCAR history.
“Ricky Craven is synonymous with credibility and wisdom in the NASCAR industry,” said Steve Craddock, SVP, NASCAR Production, FOX Sports. “He doesn’t shy away from candid analysis, even under difficult circumstances, and his reputation, vast experience and relationships in the sport command the respect of all.”
During his Cup Series career, Craven drove for Hendrick Motorsports, Larry Hedrick, SBIII Motorsports and Midwest Transit Racing. He cites finishing third in the 1997 DAYTONA 500 behind teammates Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte as one of his most memorable racing moments. Craven took the reins of the No. 32 PPI Motorsports Ford for owner Cal Wells in 2001 and scored his first career Cup Series victory that October at Martinsville Speedway following a last-lap battle with Dale Jarrett. Craven’s final full season of NASCAR competition was in 2005.
Craven’s hiring follows recent announcements FOX Sports has made, which include adding veteran motor sports journalist Bob Pockrass and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray to its team. The full FOX NASCAR on-air lineup for 2019, including additional new hires, is forthcoming. For more information, visit FOX Sports Press Pass.
FOX Sports PR
After a strong season racing limited late models last year, Brody Pope is making the step up to late model stocks.
Making waves during a nearly full-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule in 2018 which included his first career stock car win at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) will seek the series’ championship in 2019 after re-upping with Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) for the full 20-race schedule beginning with the Lucas Oil 200 presented by General Tire on Feb. 9, 2019 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Despite his inexperience in a heavier stock car, Graf burst onto the series’ tour last year competing for the potent Chad Bryant Racing and quickly went to work propelling himself into the headlines with strong finishes – which included the closest finish in ARCA history at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last April – which Graf finished second in the event by inches.
Overall, Graf, 20, competed in all but one race and delivered one win, six top-five and eight top-10 efforts en route to an eighth-place finish in the championship standings.
This year with team owner Chad Bryant serving as crew chief of his No. 77 Ford Fusion, the New York University (NYU) freshman is keen on winning more races and ultimately challenging for the series’ championship crown.
“I’m very excited to be returning to Chad Bryant Racing for the 2019 season,” said Graf. “The team allowed me to showcase my potential last year and we were able to get a win and have some strong finishes. This year though we have raised our expectations and with the support of Chad and my guys, we should be able to achieve our goals and contend for the championship.”
Before arriving on the stock car scene, Graf was no stranger to winning. Before ARCA, he won in the NASCAR Modified Series and earned Rookie of the Year honors at Stafford (Ct.) Motor Speedway.
Furthermore, he has over 50 wins in the INEX Legends Car Series, including several track championships and a prestigious win at the Battle of the Big Top at Texas Motor Speedway and Legendstock at Bethel Motor Speedway in White Lake, NY.
With his success in the northeast and his seamless transition to heavier cars, Graf is focused on continuing his learning curve for his intentions to move into the NASCAR Xfinity Series on a part-time basis later in 2019.
“I still have a lot to learn, I realize that,” added Graf. “I have surrounded myself with a good group of people in and outside of the race car who are giving me great advice as I take the next steps in my racing career. I’m working hard and look forward to a productive 2019 season.”
Bryant, an ARCA championship winning crew chief in 2016 says Graf has the potential to put the team back on the championship stage.
“Joe had to digest a lot last year – but did it pretty well,” he said. “This year, he has a fire beneath him to go out and win races and contend for the championship. They are going to be some heavy hitters running the full schedule, but we have a game plan and we plan to execute it well and give Joe the tools he needs to get the job done.
“We’re excited about the year and can’t wait to get to Daytona in a few weeks.”
In addition to his racing endeavors, Graf is a freshman at the University of New York majoring in business media and sports management.
A sponsorship lineup for Graf’s No. 77 Ford Fusion this season is forthcoming.
The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire is the first of 20 events on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series schedule. The season opener will air live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.
For more on Joe Graf Jr, please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.