Racing News (9505)
Racing News from around the World
Justin Bonsignore enjoyed a career 2018 season winning the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels Three Quarter (TQ) Midget championships. The 30 year old driver from Holtsville, N.Y. is hoping to begin his 2019 season as he did this year with a victory inside Allentown, Pa.’s PPL Center on Friday and Saturday, January 4th and 5th.
Bonsignore would fail to win the other four Indoor TQ Midget events in the winter of 2018, but his consistency helped him clinch his first series championships.
When the outdoor season began in March, Bonsignore was already in mid-season form. He scored his first NASCAR Modified win of the season at the Thompson Icebreaker and would sweep all four events at the track, including the season ending World Series. The Long Island, N.Y. native also won two events close to home in Riverhead, N.Y. and solo races in Seekonk, Mass. and Bristol, Tenn. Winning eight of sixteen tour races earned him first NASCAR title.
Bonsignore’s TQ Midget, which like his Tour Modified is black and green and carries the number 51, is currently being prepared for his return to Allentown. The fourth annual Ironton Telephone races will again be held on the concrete floor inside the beautiful PPL Center in downtown Allentown. The headline TQ Midgets will be competing in a complete show Friday and Saturday night, January 4th and 5th. The Champ Karts will run a complete program as part of Friday’s show with the Slingshots joining Saturday’s event.
Three-time Indoor Auto Racing Series champion and former Allentown winner Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y. hopes to knock Bonsignore off his perch this winter. But first, Rudolph is chasing his own Modified championship on dirt. Currently ranked second on the Super DIRTcar big-block Modified series, Rudolph is seeking top finishes in the final two events of that series at the Dirt Track in Charlotte, N.C. on November 2nd and 3rd. Rudolph, like Bonsignore, hopes to end his outdoor season with a Modified series championship.
Rudolph will then go head-to-head against Bonsignore in Allentown in a clash between the dirt and asphalt super stars.
The Indoor series will then move inside historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. for a winner’s trophy Bonsignore has on his bucket list. The NAPA Know How Weekend on Friday and Saturday, January 25-26, 2019 includes the 17th annual running of the Gambler’s Classic. Ryan Flores, of Cornelius, N.C., the 2017 series champion won the 2018 Gambler’s Classic for TQ Midgets and Bonsignore hopes the tradition continues.
The Indoor Auto Racing Series comes to an end with a first stop at the New York State Fairgrounds Exposition Center in Syracuse, NY on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. The Syracuse program will include two complete programs with qualifying and feature events for the TQ Midgets, Slingshots and Champ Karts on both nights to decide the series championship for all three divisions.
Tickets for the Allentown races are available on-line through a link at the series web-site, indoorautoracing.com, by calling 610-347-TIXX, or stopping at the PPL Center box office at 7th & Hamilton Street in Allentown.
Tickets for Atlantic City are available at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Select tickets for Allentown and Atlantic City are available at the Area Auto Racing News/Len Sammons office at 609-888-3618 for tickets Monday through Friday from 9 to 4:30. Purchase your tickets together and pay only one shipping charge!
Advance tickets for the Syracuse event will be available in the coming weeks.
The three race Indoor Auto Racing Series season is preceded by the second annual East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals being held at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, NJ.
The event featuring the 600cc wingless Micro Sprints will again with racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night December 13th – 15th. Racing will start at 7 PM on Thursday and Friday, 5 PM on Saturday.
Information, including ticket and hotel links, is available at indoorautoracing.com or by calling the series office during regular workings at 609-888-3618.
Indoor Auto Racing PR
Hope For The Warriors partners with Waltrip Brothers' Charity Championship to restore self, family and hope for military families25 Oct 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Following the devastation of Hurricane Florence to the military-centric Jacksonville, N.C., community and the greater eastern North Carolina region, Hope For The Warriors, in conjunction with Waltrip Brothers' Charity Championship, Feed The Children and Motor Racing Outreach, sent two tractor trailers filled with pallets of non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and hygiene products to victims in the area. With two hurricane relief distributions already occurring immediately following the storm in late September, the Champions' Dinner raised funds to cover costs associated with those relief drives. "What meant the world to me when I distributed that food was the smiles on people's faces, along with the military guys who were there to help us give out the packages to the families in need," said Michael Waltrip, co-host of the Waltrip Brothers' Charity Championship, and who attended the hurricane relief distribution effort in Jacksonville, N.C. "To stand on the stage looking out at the crowd, knowing that the folks sitting at the tables and attending the Champion's Dinner were the reason that Darrell and I were able to give those trailers of food and supplies away; it means a lot. We're Americans. We love this country. We appreciate so much the freedoms that we have, and we don't take them for granted. Any time we can help any cause or initiative with the military, like Hope For The Warriors, we're standing out there with our hands up saying let us help."
The event also highlighted what a sense of restored self, family and hope can look like for a combat wounded veteran by showcasing the work of Corporal Christin Brown and his business, Hero Calls. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Cpl Brown's life changed on December 13, 2011 when he stepped on an IED during normal combat patrol on his second deployment to Afghanistan. Brown found himself in a drug-induced coma after sustaining multiple traumas to his hands and arms, amputations of his right leg below the hip joint and left leg above the knee, internal injuries and blast wounds to his upper left thigh. Working with the Gary Sinise Foundation and Hope For The Warriors, Brown has a custom smart home designed to his needs, as well as a fully-functioning workshop where he is able to run Hero Calls, making custom duck calls for hunters and also continue his lifelong passion of hunting. 2018 marks the second year of involvement for Hope For The Warriors at the Waltrip Brothers' Charity Championship. Last year, the group auctioned off a block of 200 backpacks filled with nonperishable food items and school supplies for families at Fort Campbell, as well as granting A Warriors Wish® and sending the family of Army Sergeant Jesse Jackson to Disneyland for an unforgettable family vacation. To learn more about Hope For The Warriors or find out how you can get involved, visit HopeForTheWarriors.org.
Hope for Warriors PR
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and General Tire announced today a six-year partnership that will make General Tire the Official Tyre Partner of Euro NASCAR. All the cars racing in the official European NASCAR championship will be equipped with General Tire’s brand new NWES GT slick and wet 11.5/ 27.5 R 15 tires.
The six-year agreement with General Tire – a unique feature in motorsports in the 2010’s – represents another step forward in Euro NASCAR’s exponential growth. Such an important commitment perfectly synthesizes the strong will both parts have to reach new heights and further develop the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series events, reaching new fans all over the world.
“We are very proud and happy of this long term partnership with General Tire. A six-year commitment is a huge demonstration of confidence in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and its potential. With General Tire we share the same strong willing to further develop Euro NASCAR reaching new heights and promote the General Tire brand across Europe. In less than 10 years, the NWES has become one of the most attractive series in Europe with more than 30 cars on the grid, tens of thousands of fans visiting our events and very strong partnerships with world-leading companies supporting Euro NASCAR. This is another huge step forward for the series and the sky is the limit!” said NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO Jerome Galpin.
Founded in 1915 and part of global leading Continental Group since 1987, General Tire choose the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as its very first motorsport partner outside North America and the best outlet to promote their products’ values: Performance, Reliability and American Heritage.
“NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and General Tire make ideal partners, not least because of the rich American heritage we share,” says a delighted Guy Frobisher, Senior Project Manager at General Tires in Europe. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our brand in this thrilling and fast-growing motorsport setting. What’s more, our engineers in the U.S. have developed a race tire that promises to meet the high expectations of the teams.”
After an intense program of Drivers Recruitment winter tests, the new partnership between NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and General Tire will officially hit the track in 2019 with the Euro NASCAR season opener in Valencia, Spain.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Maryland Resident Carl Dakes Named as One of Four National Finalist for Major NASCAR Humanitarian Award24 Oct 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
NASCAR announced the four national finalists for The NASCAR Foundation's Eighth Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award on Sunday at Kansas Speedway. Carl Dakes, a volunteer for the Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation based in Baltimore, Maryland, was named as one of the finalist. The award winner will be determined via an online fan vote now underway and running through Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. (ET) at NASCAR Foundation.org/Award. The winner will be announced on Nov. 29 in Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will donate $100,000 to the charity represented by the award finalist.
Carl Dakes was nominated by Believe In Tomorrow and was selected from among several thousand applicants by the NASCAR Foundation. Carl, aka, "Carl The Painter," owns the Dakes Company based in Crofton, Maryland, and has donated thousands of hours of painting services to Believe In Tomorrow's nine pediatric hospital and respite facilities that serve critically ill children and their families. The Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation is known as a national leader in the area of support housing services for critically ill children. If Carl receives the most online votes, Believe In Tomorrow has pledged to use the $100,000 prize to help expand the Believe In Tomorrow Children's House By The Sea in Ocean City, Maryland. The planned expansion of this pediatric respite facility will prioritize critically ill children of active U.S. military families.
Believe In Tomorrow is credited with establishing the first pediatric respite program in the United States in Ocean City Maryland in 1986. Since then, the Foundation's pediatric housing program has served thousands of critically ill children, often making what many parents describe as a positive "turning point" during their child's illness. Believe In Tomorrow respite housing allows patients and their families the opportunity to renew their energy, heal, and enjoy the gentle cadence of normal family life during their respite stays. The Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation is also the primary residential service provider of critically ill children being treated at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Anyone is eligible to vote by going to the NASCAR website, NASCARFoundation.org/Award, and voters are encouraged to vote each day during this four week period. "Carl is an incredible example of the very best in our community and the world we live in, said Brian Morrison Founder of Believe In Tomorrow. "He has an incredible heart and passion to help others, and I hope that everyone shows their support and recognition of Carl's extraordinary volunteerism by voting for him in this NASCAR contest," he added.
For more information on the Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation go to www.believeintomorrow.org.
Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation PR
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that Piers Phillips has stepped down from his General Manager post at SPM. After considerate and thoughtful discussions about the future of both the organization and Phillips’ involvement, his departure was a joint decision.
“Both Ric (Peterson) and I are very thankful to Piers for the impact he has had on the team for the last three years and for helping us to get to where we are today,” noted Sam Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. “We wish him nothing but the best in whatever he chooses to do next.”
With the position of General Manager open, team leadership has opted to promote from within in Team Manager Taylor Kiel. The 31-year-old will take on the bigger role at SPM, a team he has been with since 2008.
Ray Alfalla Wins His Fourth NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series Championship, Zack Novak Claims Inaugural eNASCAR Ignite Series Crown24 Oct 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
NASCAR and iRacing waved the checkered flag on an action-packed season with Ray Alfalla winning the 2018 NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series championship at the virtual Homestead Miami Speedway last night. The NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series, NASCAR’s highest-level eSports sanctioned series, features the world’s most elite oval sim-racers competing on virtual NASCAR tracks in Gen6 cars.
Ray Alfalla held off the field to earn his fourth NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series championship, the only multi-time champion in series history. With last night’s victory, Alfalla has won championships in 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2018 – and is the winningest driver in series history with a total of 25 series wins during his iRacing career. The Cuban-born champion, who moved to Florida at the age of six, earned a total of two wins (Richmond and Homestead) and nine top-five finishes this season.
Earlier this month, Zack Novak claimed the first eNASCAR Ignite Series Championship along with a $10,000 racing scholarship. The eNASCAR Ignite Series, the first-ever youth esports series on iRacing featuring drivers between the ages of 13-16, hosted its championship event at the virtual Martinsville Speedway. Novak’s dominant victory in the finale earned him additional prizes including a one-on-one driver instructional session with Max Papis, an introduction to NASCAR racing development personnel and he will be hosted at Martinsville Speedway this weekend.
“We’re thrilled to have completed one of the most competitive seasons in our history and congratulate both of our 2018 NASCAR-sanctioned iRacing champions on a job well done,” said Tony Gardner, President, iRacing. “Ray Alfalla had a tremendous season and is cementing his legacy as the best driver in series history by winning an unprecedented fourth championship. We’re also excited to celebrate Zack Novak as the first-ever eNASCAR Ignite Series champion, it's clear he has a promising future in iRacing.”
As part of NASCAR’s effort to increase visibility of its esports platforms, engage new fans and further utilize iRacing as a driver development tool, NASCAR and iRacing announced that Jusan Hamilton will serve as the Series Director for both the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series and eNASCAR Ignite Series beginning in 2019. Hamilton, who will continue to serve as a Senior Manager, Racing Operations at NASCAR, will expand upon his current responsibilities by combining his experience in real-world racing with the iRacing environment.
“As an iRacing subscriber for the past 10 years, I am a loyal supporter of the platform and believe it can be an effective tool to identify and cultivate emerging talent,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR. “I look forward to contributing to the growth of both series while working hand-in-hand with iRacing to help ensure that our esports series are closely aligned to the real-world product.”
NASCAR and iRacing have been at the forefront of competitive gaming since the inception of the series nine years ago. The NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series and eNASCAR Ignite Series are a product of NASCAR’s long-standing presence in esports and are the result of a successful partnership between NASCAR and iRacing.
A constant growing, race by race, kilometer by kilometer: we can describe in this way the Solaris Motorsport first season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. A podium grabbed in UK on the legendary track of Brands Hatch is probably the highest point of a season that started a new chapter for the Italian team history: in the 2018 Solaris has switched to NASCAR learning how big is the difference between a stock car and an European GT or Touring car. Many good races and some bad luck portrayed the 2018 of the Italian squad led by Roberto Sini, already at work for a 2019 on top.
"It was a kind a year 'zero' for the team and for me too, as a driver." commentend Francesco Sini, third in the NASCAR GP of UK. "I had to reset totally my driving style and adapt it to the characteristics of this car. I came from the GT3 world, I had to change everything: different the braking, different the speed in the corner, different the reactions to the setup changes. It's all very different from the GT world, probably closer to the Superstars era. The car is very responsive to the setup changes, it has no driving aids and over 450hp to face with a manual gearbox, only two new tyres per weekend. It's a type of racing very different from what we are used in Europe. Here the driver and the team can still made the difference. Sometimes it was easier and we had the chance to stay on top, sometimes it was more difficult but we managed the way to climb back during the weekend. And I think this is the most important thing. We adapted soon to the door to door battles on track, we love them, very Ringhio style. This season we matured a lot of experience and we want to take advantage of it next year. At Zolder Circuit we had the pace to reach the Top5 in the Final 2, we posted the 4th fastest time in the Sunday's warm up and we were ready for a full-attack race, but someone crashed into us at the first corner. What a pity!"
"New championship, new car, new tracks but the same passion and the same desire to work in a professional way as at the beginning of the Solaris history. We faced this season well knowing to need to learn everything and well knowing we had to confront with professional teams involved in the series by several years. When you have more than 15 cars in less than a second, details don't make the difference, they become fundamental. But I think we had a good season, we reached the podium already at the third event and we lost some good performance during the season due a race contacts." said Roberto Sini, Solaris Motorsport Team Principal. "We are back to race with the Camaro, it's like a emblem for our team. We have all the winter to prepare the 2019 and to remain loyal to our winning tradition with the most beautiful muscle car on the market. No one won with a Camaro in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series yet, once more we can be the first ones of the Chevrolet history!"
Solaris Motorsport PR
Venturini Motorsports (VMS) announces the return of driver Christian Eckes for a full-season effort during next year’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards campaign. The announcement, which comes on the heels of Eckes’ third ARCA victory of the season, cements the pairing for a series’ championship bid in 2019
Eckes, 17, a native of Middletown, NY and member of Toyota Racing Development’s successful TD2 program, returns to the ARCA series after three years of experience, ready to embark on his first full season which begins at Daytona international Speedway in February.
“This is an exciting and incredible opportunity,” said Eckes. “Coming back to Venturini Motorsports to compete for a championship and running under the Toyota banner is a dream come true and a result of a lot of hard work the last few years. It’s a proud moment.
“I have a ton of confidence in this organization to be able to come out next year and run at the highest level. We’ve already achieved a lot of success together, but I believe the best is yet to come. This is a tight group with a ton of heart and desire to succeed. I’m truly humbled. I can’t thank everyone enough who’s helped me get to this point in my career. Venturini Motorsports and Toyota have played significant roles the last few years. Chances like this don’t come along easily. My commitment level has never been higher.”
Receiving high praises from team owner Billy Venturini, Eckes’ forthcoming full-season schedule embodies everything it means and takes to be a successful development driver with VMS.
“Christian has been in the program since he was 15-yrs old. He epitomizes what being a VMS driver is all about with his tireless effort he puts in on and off the track,” stated Venturini. “We are really looking forward to another season with Christian. He’s been really exciting to watch this year. I think we’ll see a lot more of that in the future. It’s been a privilege to work with him and watch him mature as a person and driver.”
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 has led 421-laps in just 13 starts this season.
Over his three ARCA seasons, Eckes has tallied three wins, two poles, 10 top-5, 18 top-10 finishes and has led 695-laps during his time in the series.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Running the entire ARCA schedule next year is going to present a new set of challenges and opportunities because the last few years I’ve only been able to run partial schedules. But knowing what we’re capable of achieving together is exciting. If we continuing doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll hopefully keep winning races and having more success along the way.
“As far as our goals, we definitely have the championship circled. It would mean so much to provide Venturini Motorsports with their first ARCA championship since Big Bill (Venturini) won two during his career. They’ve been around a long time and supported so many drivers over the years. It’s really cool to be a part of this team and having a chance to make my mark,” added Eckes.
Tapped earlier in the season by Kyle Busch Motorsports to compete in four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, Eckes will return to action with for his final two appearances starting with this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway and concluding at ISM Raceway in Arizona on November 9. Already with two truck series starts this season, Eckes impressed with a top-10 finish during his debut at Iowa Speedway and getting a stage win at Gateway Motorsports Park during his second series start.
Additional information including sponsorship details and ARCA’s event schedule for the 2019 season will be released as it becomes available.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will wrap up its 2018 season under the lights Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park with the NAPA AUTO PARTS 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Bill McAnally Racing is aiming to add to the string of four consecutive wins the team has scored at the high-banked, half-mile track near Bakersfield, California.
Two-time series champion Todd Gilliland won twice there while driving for BMR and Derek Kraus also has two wins there, going to Victory Lane in last year’s season finale and in this year’s season opener.
His victory there to start the year – in which he edged Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick – is one of three wins Kraus has scored this season in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry. The 17-year-old driver from Stratford, Wisconsin leads the series this year in terms of wins, as well as having the most poles, with five, and has led the most laps. Overall, he has seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 13 starts, and is fourth in the championship standings.
Kraus faces plenty of tough competition in trying to win a third straight race at Kern. Two of his biggest challengers are his BMR teammates, Cole Rouse and Hailie Deegan.
Rouse has been on a hot streak in the No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota Camry. Coming off his first career series victory, the 21-year-old from Fort Smith, Arkansas has a win and three second-place finishes in the past five races. His average finish of 2.6 is best in the series during that span. His performance has propelled him to second in the championship standings – 26 points out of first.
Overall this season, Rouse has one win, seven top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes in 13 starts. He finished third at KCRP in his rookie season in 2016 and also came home third in this year’s season opener there in March, leading 26 laps.
Deegan, who drives the No. 19 Mobil 1 / NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry, is having a record-setting season, meanwhile. The 17-year-old – who hails from Temecula, California – made history this year in becoming the first female driver to win a series race and the first woman to win a pole award in the series. She leads the rookie points in the K&N West and is fifth in the overall standings – with one win, five top-five, and 11 top-10 finishes.
Deegan finished seventh at Kern County Raceway Park in March, while making her series debut.
Kraus and Deegan are both members of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars.
NAPA AUTO PARTS is expected to be well represented at KCRP, with plenty of guests in attendance. A VIP experience provided by BMR will include a special pit tour and an opportunity to attend the drivers meeting. Guests will also be treated to VIP Hospitality and viewing from a VIP Suite.
The race at KCRP is scheduled to be televised on NBCSN on Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. PT.
eBay and NASCAR Launch First Joint Charity Sale Featuring VIP Experiences and Autographed Memorabilia22 Oct 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
eBay and NASCAR today launched their first joint charity sale giving fans the opportunity to bid on autographed memorabilia and once-in-a-lifetime racing experiences.
Today, beginning at 3:30pm PT, through Nov. 1, fans can visit eBay.com/NASCAR and bid on 20 items including a chance to see who wins the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series live at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the chance to be a VIP at the 2019 Daytona 500.
In addition, fans can win meet and greets with seven-time NASCAR Champion Richard Petty, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano; as well as autographed memorabilia from Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon and much more.
"NASCAR is synonymous with a truly passionate fan base, and eBay fuels this passion while helping people come together to make an impact," said Suzy Deering, Chief Marketing Officer of eBay Americas. "We understand the apparel, memorabilia and merchandise are ways for fans to show allegiance for their favorite drivers - and show support for causes they believe in. In collaboration with the NASCAR community, eBay is now offering a wide-range of exclusive inventory that helps children finish first through programs of the NASCAR Foundation and our eBay for Charity platform. True to our mission of opportunity for all, eBay brings new ways for the racing community to give back to the next generation of fans."
One hundred percent of the proceeds from each item will benefit The NASCAR Foundation's programs for children.
The NASCAR Foundation believes every child should have a chance at a healthy life and deserves to get across the finish line. Through the Speediatrics Children's Fund and Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, the Foundation is making children's health and medical needs its top priority.
"We are thrilled to partner with eBay to provide these very unique items to their customers," The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director, Nichole Krieger said. "At the end of the day, it's all about the kids. Funds raised through this auction will help us provide much needed healthcare services to children in our racing communities across the country."
VIP experiences and signed racing memorabilia available include:
- 2019 Daytona 500 VIP Experience
- 2018 Homestead-Miami Speedway VIP Experience with NASCAR Suite Passes
- Richard Petty Meet and Greet Experience
- iRacing Experience with NASCAR Driver William Byron
- Meet and Greet with NASCAR Driver Chase Elliott
- NASCAR on NBC Sports Behind-the-Scenes Experience
- Meet and Greet with NASCAR Driver Joey Logano
- 2018 NASCAR Champion's Week Package in Las Vegas, NV
- American Ethanol Green Flag autographed by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers
- Martin Truex Jr. Autographed Side Panel Sheet Metal
- Joey Logano Autographed Hood
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Autographed Replica Full-Size Helmet
- Ty Dillon Autographed Race-Used Firesuit
- Helmet Visor signed by Richard Petty and Bubba Wallace
- Paralyzed Veterans of America Hat Autographed by Brad Keselowski
- Alex Bowman Autographed Diecast
- Jeff Gordon Autographed 24EVER Framed Photo
- NASCAR Replica Hood autographed by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers
- The Glass Case of Emotion autographed Poster
- Full Size Replica Helmet autographed by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers
Additionally, the autographed American Ethanol Green Flag and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Autographed Replica Helmet will be available to view at SEMA in Las Vegas from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 at booth no. 30219.
Venturini Motorsports Finishes-Off ARCA Season at Kansas with Strong Performances by Michael Self, Natalie Decker and Leilani Münter22 Oct 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
The 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season concluded over the weekend with the running of the Kansas 150 at Kansas Speedway. Capping off one of the most successful ARCA seasons in team history, Venturini Motorsports returned to America’s Heartland for the series’ finale with a trio of drivers led by Michael Self (No.15 Sinclair Oil Toyota), Leilani Münter (No.20 VeganStrong.com Toyota) and Natalie Decker (No.25 N29 Technologies Toyota).
Defending Kansas race winner, Michael Self, turned in another solid performance narrowly missing out on his third victory of the season finishing third in his Sinclair Oil Toyota behind race winner Sheldon Creed and second-place finisher Harrison Burton. Self, who led 15 of the event’s 100 laps, was in position on the final restart of the night but couldn’t hold the advantage during the short dash to the checkered flag.
“I’m disappointed we weren’t able to bring home the win after leading late but I’ll definitely take third after the rough couple of races I’ve had lately,” said Self. “Our No. 15 Sinclair Oil Toyota was awesome on long runs, but unfortunately we just didn’t get very many green flag laps to capitalize on that. The guys worked hard on the car all day and made a lot of progress on our balance, and the pit crew was spot on with their stops, so big thanks to those guys.”
The 27-year old’s Kansas finish was his sixth top-5 effort in ten starts on the year driving for Venturini Motorsports. He finishes the season notching two wins (Daytona and Chicago) along with capturing his first career General Tire pole award at Talladega. His overall effort along with teammates’ Christian Eckes and Chandler Smith behind the wheel of the No.15 helped VMS claim second place in this year’s ARCA Racing Series Team Owner Championship points standings.
Twenty-one-year-old rookie Natalie Decker, competing in her first full season, turned in a noteworthy performance earning a sixth-place finish at Kansas in her final ARCA start of the year.
Decker, arguably the most popular driver among fans on tour, delivered a thrilling late race performance as she took the lead after restarting second after a caution on lap-72. Battling Cory Rohrbaugh and teammate Michael Self to maintain the top spot they went three-wide coming out of turn four. With Rohrbaugh on the inside and unable to hold his line he clipped Decker’s rear quarter panel sending her spinning down the track across the infield grass. Undeterred and with the encouragement of her crew chief - ARCA legend Frank Kimmel on the radio, Decker regained her composure to collect a sixth-place finish – her best career finish on a 1.5-mile track.
“I’m really happy to come away with a sixth-place finish,” said Decker. “Mile and half-tracks have been such a struggle for me ever since we started. But having Frank and Frankie (Kimmel) on the radio helping me out was incredible – I learned so much – and coming away with sixth and running those last thirty laps up front felt so good to finally figure out.
“So we started second on that restart – my spotter Frankie Kimmel was awesome – the restart was perfect and then we just got spun by the seven and I got put three-wide, he gave me no room, it’s just a racing thing I guess. I don’t know, maybe he (Rohrbaugh) didn’t know we were three-wide. But it was really cool to be up there, I had old tires and stuff but it was a fun restart. And after that we drove back up through the field because I had to start last and we finished sixth. I’m really happy with the way things turned out.”
Decker ends her season with two top-5’s and nine top-10 finishes, securing the seventh spot in ARCA’s driver championship point standings for 2018.
Leilani Münter, driving her No.20 VeganStrong.com green machine, turned in her one of her best overall driving performances despite finishing 14th in ARCA’s season finale.
Making a bid to top-her career best finish of eighth earned in the season opener at Daytona, Leilani was running seventh on the final restart of the race on lap-85. However, with thirteen laps remaining in the race the No.18 of Riley Herbst got loose and ran up the track tagging the rear quarter panel of Leilani sending her hard into the outside wall coming out of turn-2. With significant damage to her Vegan Strong machine Leilani took it down pit road for repairs. After losing two laps she was able to rejoin the field and end her night with a heartbreaking 14th place finish.
“We had such a great run going at Kansas, it was heartbreaking to have it end the way it did with just thirteen laps to go,” said Leilani. “I will be forever grateful to A Well-Fed World, TryVeg.com and Venturini Motorsports for giving me this opportunity. I learned so much and I am thankful for every lap I got this season.”
With the racing season in the rear view mirror, the ARCA Racing Series looks ahead to the Championship Banquet in Indianapolis on December 9th. Stay tune in the coming weeks for driver announcements for the upcoming 2019 campaign.