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Five individuals with mobility challenges, including three U.S. Paralympians were on the fast track Wednesday (April 10), riding and driving the adaptive Bass Pro Shops/Toyota Camry at Richmond Raceway. The event served as a prelude to this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 and ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR races at the historic .75-mile short track.

It was the second event of the year for the Falci Adaptive Motorsports team, whose NASCAR Cup race car includes special components which allow those with mobility challenges to drive the car hands-and-feet free with only slight movements of the head and mouth.

Before driving on their own, the participants took a few laps as a passenger in the race car with NASCAR Xfinity Series Toyota driver Christopher Bell behind the wheel. The thrill and excitement to ride along with Bell at speeds ranging up to 130 miles per hour and nearly hugging Richmond’s Raceway’s concrete wall was indeed an exhilarating experience for the participants.

Steve Serio, a Team Toyota athlete and co-captain of the U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team when they won the gold medal during the Paralympic Games Rio 2016, exited the adaptive race car eyes wide open with an euphoric smile.

“That was a surreal experience to be a rider and driver of a NASCAR race car,” said Serio, who was paralyzed after undergoing surgery at 11 months old to have a spinal tumor removed. “Coming from New York City we don’t get the chance to go that fast. That first moment when Chris took off, it was a feeling I have never experienced before.

“If Chris pulled up as my Uber driver, I would be really excited to get there quickly but I would definitely strap my seatbelt and hold on. He would drive circles around any New York City cab driver. This event with Falci Adaptive Motorsports is a perfect example of how dedication to innovation can bring freedom of movement to everybody with different ability levels.”

Trevon Jenifer (two-time Paralympian) and Will Waller (four-time Paralympian), also members of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, echoed the same feelings as Serio.

“I felt like I was in a rocket ship,” said Jenifer, who has no legs as a result of being born with congenital amputation. “Chris was awesome. While it was like another day at the office for him my heart was jumping out of my chest. Being a passenger and then driving the car definitely superseded what my expectations were. Didn’t expect to go that fast.

“This is an example of making things more adaptive to the disabled community. It’s awesome because I never thought I would be able to adapt to NASCAR. But there are people out there like members of the Falci Adaptive Motorsports team finding a way to make things more adaptive for the disabled. It’s all about inclusion.”

Waller, who sustained a spinal cord injury after being a victim of an inner city shooting in 1992, elaborated on his version of the experience.

“I’ve gone fast on highways, but never that fast,” said Waller in his booming voice. “The acceleration of the race car was really, really cool. I used to work for Goodyear and going around the track on Goodyear tires had a very special meaning for me because I’ve been in the plant where those tires are built. An awesome day and an amazing experience.”

Along with the U.S. Paralympians, quadriplegic individuals – Ethan Thompson and Jake Walter -- also took part in the ride along and drive.

“It was everything I expected and more,” said Thompson. “I’ve been a NASCAR fan my entire life and this is a dream come true.”

Walter said after his ride and drive, “The ride was fabulous and pretty powerful. Driving on my own was something else. I would love to take it on the street. That would be so much fun.”

Dr. Scott Falci, a Denver-based neurosurgeon, who founded Falci Adaptive Motorsports, said he was excited about how the event turned out and looked forward to the future with more technology for the mobility-challenged.

“This was our sixth overall event and gets better each time,” said Falci. “With the adaptive technologies we keep honing I think the car will become more user friendly and hopefully the adaptive technologies that we develop will shoot out to the real world and help those with disabilities. We have a mission, and the good news is we’re off to a great start.”

Joe Garone, who oversees the operations and fundraising for Falci Adaptive Motorsports, said the adaptive program is moving forward and felt the Richmond event was a total success.

“Everyone at Falci Adaptive Motorsports extends a sincere thank you to Toyota and Bass Pro Shops for their sponsorship of the Richmond event and we also send a great deal of gratitude to the folks at Richmond Raceway for the support and enthusiasm about our program. It was such an electric atmosphere with all the participants beaming with excitement as they rode and drove the adaptive Bass Pro Shops/Toyota Camry.

“Christopher Bell also did a tremendous job as our Cup driver. He was very well received by the participants. We’re looking at additional venues to showcase our adaptive program. Personally, it’s been a wonderful experience and I look forward with great enthusiasm in growing the program that will lead to developing more mobility to the mobility-challenged community.”

Falci Adaptive Motorsports PR

Three-time NWES champion Ander Vilarino (#48 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang) and his teammate, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 2018 Rookie of the Year Myatt Snider (#48 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang), topped the charts in the opening practice sessions of the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

The duo’s performance marked a perfect debut for the Racing Engineering team in the European NASCAR Series at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.

In the ELITE 1 Division, Vilarino lapped the 4-km long track in 1:40.629, edging defending NWES champion Alon Day (#54 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) by 0.268 seconds. Loris Hezemans (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) was third with a gap of 0.622 seconds. Returning driver Nicolò Rocca (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) and his PK Carsport teammate Stienes Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) closed the top-5.

ELITE 1: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE

Alex Sedgwick (#90 Braxx Racing Chevrolet Camaro) was sixth ahead of last year’s championship runner-up Frederic Gabillon (#3 RDV Competition Chevrolet SS), Romain Iannetta (#88 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang), Alexander Graff (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Francesco Sini (#12 Solaris Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro).

Snider fastest in the ELITE 2

A rookie in the European NASCAR Series, Myatt Snider laid down a 1:42.079 lap which put him ahead of NWES veteran Bert Longin (#11 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) by 0.497 seconds. Last year’s ELITE 2 Division runner-up Florian Venturi (#32 Go Fas Racing Chevrolet Camaro) ended up third ahead of rookie Giorgio Maggi (#50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang) and returning Eric De Doncker (#98 Motorsport 98 Ford Mustang).

ELITE 2: FIRST PRACTICE | FINAL PRACTICE

Rookie Andre Castro (#24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro) drove his PK Carsport Chevy to sixth place ahead of Nicholas Risitano (#8 Racers Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro), Vittorio Ghirelli (#9 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang), Freddie Hemborg (#77 Memphis Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and NWES veteran Martin Doubek (#7 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang).

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will hit the track again on Saturday starting with qualifying at 9:50 CEST, While the first ELITE 1 race of the season will take place at 13:15 CEST and ELITE 2 Division will open the 2019 championship at 16:45 CEST. All races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NWES Youtube channel and Facebook page, Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.

NASCAR Euro Series PR

For eighteen-year-old Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota), his first two seasons in the ARCA Menards Series were fraught with frustration. Coming to the ARCA after a brief but successful career in super late models, Eckes expected to find similar success in the heavier, full-bodied ARCA machinery.

An eighth-place finish in his debut at Nashville in 2016 was his only top-ten run in a limited four-race inaugural season. Eckes found success in late models that year, winning the famed Snowball Derby and the Myrtle Beach 400. Coming off two major wins, Eckes came back to ARCA for a busier schedule in 2017. In ten starts, Eckes finished in the top ten nine times and was in the top five in four of those starts.

But victory lane eluded him.

Even though that first victory hadn’t come, Eckes and his Venturini Motorsports team were building the foundation for success.

“It wasn’t so much helpful in the aspect of the success I had, but helpful in the way of just getting laps,” Eckes said of those early days of his ARCA career. “I was very fortunate early in my career to get in great equipment and learn a lot, which then translated to the ARCA car when I finally got my first opportunity at Nashville.”

With a solid foundation built in limited runs in 2016 and 2017, Eckes scored his first career ARCA Menards Series win at Salem Speedway in April of 2018 by holding off a furious charge from his Venturini Motorsports teammate Chandler Smith over the final 50 laps. The win gave Eckes added confidence, and despite four finishes outside the top ten in the next six starts, Eckes found victory lane again on the one-mile dirt track at Springfield. From there, Eckes closed the season with a dominant win from the pole in the final short track race of the season at Lucas Oil Raceway.

“It meant a lot to finally just get an ARCA win, no matter the race track,” Eckes said. “It was a rough year and a half after the Snowball Derby where there was a lot of things but not one thing that was important to me - wins. I really put all my effort forward over the 2017 off season and realized I needed to be better. The spring race at Salem was where it all paid off and was definitely one of the best feeling wins in my career for sure.”

Not yet 18, and therefore not eligible to compete on tracks longer than one mile, Eckes was back for another partial season in 2018. A total of 13 starts were on the docket, and he again started with another eighth-place run at Nashville.

“The past few years have absolutely been crucial not only in my development but getting familiar with the cars and tracks of the ARCA Menards Series,” Eckes said. “It helps a lot to go back to places that I’ve been two or three times, and I’m lucky to have those past opportunities that are going to help this year especially.”

Eckes, now eligible to race on all tracks, returns to the ARCA Menards Series in 2019 for his first full season. He started the year off with a fourth-place finish at Daytona after winning the General Tire Pole Award in qualifying. He followed that with a third-place finish in the season’s first short track race at Five Flags Speedway. Two races in to the season, Eckes leads the series championship standings for the first time in his career and he’s heading back to Salem, where he earned that elusive first career win just one year ago.

“We won there in the spring, and our teammate won there in the fall,” Eckes said. “We know we should have a good setup. The Venturini team has had a lot of success there over the years and it would be a great place to get our first win of 2019.”

Eckes and the rest of the ARCA Menards Series return to action in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem on Sunday, April 14. Practice is set for 11 am ET on Saturday, April 13 with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 3 pm ET that afternoon. The green flag for round three of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season will drop shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday. The race will be televised live on MAVTV and ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates at ARCARacing.com. New members can register for free at ARCARacing.com/login.

ARCA Racing PR

Charlotte-area students and their families will get an exclusive look at high-tech, in-demand careers as automotive, diesel, collision repair and welding technicians as part of a Technicians and Technology Career Expo & Open House on Wednesday, April 17. The open house is hosted by Universal Technical Institute's Mooresville campus, NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech).
 
Centered around the theme of "Technicians and Technology," this event will showcase the high-tech, sophisticated and STEM-based nature of today's transportation industry and workforce.
"Many people are unaware of the high-tech and computer-driven nature of transportation careers, and the advanced set of technical skills it takes work on today's vehicles," said Jennifer Bergeron, campus president at NASCAR Technical Institute. "These are not the wrench-wielding mechanic jobs we used to know. Technicians today are more like digital diagnosticians, and actually spend more time in front of a laptop than they do under the hood. This Open House is a great opportunity for people considering a UTI education to tour our state-of-the-industry labs, meet with employers and get a firsthand look at what it means to be a transportation technician today."
 
Attendees will tour NASCAR Tech's state-of the-industry labs and experience live demonstrations such as engine power and performance, virtual welding, interactive STEM activities and more, as well as learn how UTI's advanced courses are aligned with manufacturers' products and specifications. Premier employers from Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions and Crown Equipment Corporation will be on-site and available to discuss tuition reimbursement plans and hiring incentives.
 
Demand for trained technicians is high. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that, by 2026, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings nationally across the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries. 1 To accommodate this demand, the transportation industry will need to fill - on average - 120,000 positions each year. As part of the Technicians and Technology Career Expo & Open House, attendees will learn how they can be trained to help fill these jobs in as little as 11 months.
UTI PR

Rising star Chandler Smith will grab the wheel of his Venturini Motorsports’ No.20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota on Sunday (April 14) when the ARCA Menards Series returns to historic Salem Speedway for the annual spring Kentuckian Ford Dealers ARCA 200.

Winning last year’s fall race at Salem Speedway nearly wire-to-wire, Smith, 16, now takes aim at repeating his dominant performance on the famed southern Indiana high-banked, half-mile. 

“We were so close in the spring to our first win, and then we came back and led every lap but one and won the race,” Smith said. “It’s hard to follow that up but we can. Our plan this time is to win the pole and lead every lap.”

Developing a reputation as a short track ace, Smith has impressed onlookers throughout his brief ARCA career. Since making his series debut with VMS last season, the Georgia native has consistently shown speed during each of his 10 ARCA starts. 

Already a two-time series winner, Smith has led over 800-laps during his brief time on tour. With seven top-5 finishes supporting his 4.3 average finish, he’s yet to finish outside the top-10. 

Out of the gate Smith made his presence known setting a modern era record by starting from the pole in each of his first four series appearances – adding a fifth General Tire pole award last month in his first start of the 2019 season at Pensacola. 

“Overall my 2018 season was amazing,” said Smith. “You don’t really see many drivers and teams do that good in the first season together. Especially as a rookie. We had four poles, two wins and never finished outside the top ten. We he a great run at Pensacola to start our short track season. I’m looking forward to this year, and getting back to Salem.” 

Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 is set for 11 am ET on Saturday, April 13 with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 3 pm ET that afternoon. The green flag on round three of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season will drop shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, April 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. 

ARCA Racing PR

After a relaxing time at the river with his wife Tailor last weekend, USAC/CRA and Southwest Series point leader Brody Roa begins a busy stretch of the season this Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway.  All told, the veteran driver will be racing his #91R sprint car nine straight Saturday nights through June 8th. 

The nine races will be contested on six different tracks.  Three of the races will be in Roa’s home state of California and three will be in Arizona.   The four races in California will be USAC/CRA events and the five in Arizona will be in the USAC Southwest Series.

Roa heads into Saturday’s race on a roll.  Two weeks ago, in front of a packed house, the 28-year-old scored a hard-earned, convincing win at Perris.  The victory allowed Roa to extend his advantage to 14-points in the championship standings heading into this Saturday’s race.

Saturday’s event at the famous Riverside County clay oval will be the “Sokola Shootout” and will honor past CRA car owner and president Gary Sokola and his son Mark.  Gary Sokola had a long history with the Roa family as his car’s competed against Roa’s cousin Tom Roa Jr.  In addition, the senior Sokola was also named president of the CRA when Tom and Brody’s father Brett raced in that series.

After Saturday’s battle at the base of the Lake Perris Dam, Roa and crew will spend the following two weekends in Arizona at the Arizona Speedway and Canyon Speedway Park as they try to maintain their lofty position at the top of the season-long Southwest Series title chase.  Going into the first Arizona race on April 20th, the Garden Grove, California driver has one second-place finish and two third-place outings in the series first three races.  He will head into the first of the back-to-back weekends in the Copper State with a 12-point lead in the standings.

Colorful Brody Roa hoodies are available through this Sunday, April 14th.  If you would like to order one (the design is below) please use the following link https://www.brodyroa.com/?post_type=product.  Team t-shirts will go on sale Monday.

Fans who would like to see Roa in action this week can find Perris Auto Speedway at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris (92571).  The Spectator gates will open at 5:00 P.M. and the first race is at 7:00.  The track website is http://perrisautospeedway.com/ and the office phone number is (951) 940-0134.

Roa fans from out of town can see all the action live or on demand at https://www.floracing.com/ (subscription required).

Car owners, if you are looking for someone to shoe your car during the 2019 season, look at Roa’s schedule below.  He is available to race on any night not already on his racing calendar.  Contact him at the phone number and E-mail address in this release.

Fans wishing to stay completely up to date with Brody Roa and the BR Performance squad can do so on the team’s website http://www.brodyroa.com/ and Facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/br91r/

The BR Performance team would also like to thank the sponsors that make the regular season possible. HD Industries, Burris Racing, “Biker” Bruce Fisher, Molecule, K-1 Race Gear, Norma Leonard, Lee Leonard, NGK Spark Plugs, Baldwin Filters, Driven Racing Oil and Coffman Racing Graphics.  If you or your company would like to join BR Performance’s team for a championship run in 2019, please call 714-932-7994.

2019 Schedule

1/15/19       Tulsa Expo Raceway                           Chili Bowl                        13th A

1/19/19       Tulsa Expo Raceway                           Chili Bowl                        12th C

2/27/19       Las Vegas Motor Speedway                 USAC West Coast            1st A

2/28/19       Las Vegas Motor Speedway                 USAC West Coast            4TH A

3/2/19         Central Arizona Speedway (AZ)           USAC Southwest             3rd A

3/8/19        Canyon Speedway (AZ)                        USAC/CRA & Southwest   2nd A

3/9/19        Canyon Speedway (AZ)                       UASC/CRA & Southwest   3rd A

3/30/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA (with WoO)     1st A  

4/13/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA

4/20/19       Arizona Speedway (AZ)                       USAC Southwest

4/27/19       Canyon Speedway (AZ)                      USAC Southwest

5/4/19        Ventura Raceway (CA)                        USAC/CRA

5/11/19       Bakersfield Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA

5/18/19       Central Arizona Speedway (AZ)           USAC Southwest

5/25/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA

6/1/19        Arizona Speedway (AZ)                      USAC Southwest

6/8/19        Canyon Speedway (AZ)                       USAC Southwest

6/29/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA  

7/5/19        Knoxville Raceway (IA)                       USAC National ***

7/6/19        Knoxville Raceway (IA)                       USAC National ***

7/6/19        Santa Maria Raceway (CA)                  USAC/CRA ***

7/13/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA & Southwest

7/18/19       I-69 Speedway (IN)                            USAC National

7/19/19       Plymouth Speedway (IN)                    USAC National

7/20/19       Kokomo Speedway (IN)                       USAC National

7/21/19       Lawrenceburg Speedway (IN)              USAC National

7/24/19       Terre Haute Action Track (IN)              USAC National

7/25/19       Lincoln Park Speedway (IN)                USAC National

7/26/19       Bloomington Speedway (IN)                USAC National

7/27/19       Tri-State Speedway (IN)                     USAC National

8/17/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA & Southwest  

8/31/19       Calistoga Speedway (CA)                    USAC/CRA

9/1/19        Calistoga Speedway (CA)                    USAC/CRA

9/2/19        Petaluma Speedway (CA)                    USAC/CRA

9/5/29        Merced Speedway (CA)                       USAC/CRA

9/6/19        Ocean Speedway (CA)                        USAC/CRA

9/7/19        Santa Maria Speedway (CA)                USAC/CRA

9/14/19       Canyon Speedway (AZ)                       USAC Southwest

9/21/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA

9/28/19       Arizona Speedway (AZ)                       USAC/CRA & Southwest

10/26/19     Central Arizona Speedway (AZ)           USAC Southwest

11/7/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA/Southwest/National

11/8/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA/Southwest/National

11/9/19       Perris Auto Speedway (CA)                 USAC/CRA/Southwest/National

11/15/19     Arizona Speedway (AZ)                       USAC/CRA/Southwest/National

11/16/19     Arizona Speedway (AZ)                       USAC/CRA/Southwest/National

*** Tentative

Roa Racing PR

The first 2019 ELITE Club Division timed sessions are in the books and Robert Schönau (#70  Mishumotors Chevrolet SS) was the most consistent driver at the famous Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. The German driver grabbed his second career win in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series regularity-based division.

“It was an awesome ride today here at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo,” said Schönau, who went just 0.057 seconds from the reference time in Session 3. “The car was great and I am so happy to be able to take the win here in the first round. Mishumotors did a great job and gave me a great race car. I want to thank all mechanics and team members for the good work. I’m happy to be on top of the podium today.”

2017 ELITE Club Division Champion Andreas Kuchelbacher (#64 Speedhouse 64 Chevrolet SS) was second in his first outing with the new Speedhouse 64 at the wheel of the #64 Chevy SS. The Austrian set the goal for himself to win the championship again in 2019 and was aiming for a place on the podium at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Giovanni Trione (#31 CAAL Racing Chevrolet SS) was third. The Italian brought his streak of podium finishes up to three consecutive events and bested Alessio Bacci (#9 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) by setting a closer time to the benchmark in Session 3.

Alain Mosqueron (#99 Dexwet-Df1 Racing Chevrolet Camaro), completed the top-5. Racing Engineering team owner Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon (#48 Racing Engineering)  ended up sixth ahead of Thomas Krasonis (#1 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang), Nadine Vollekier (#10 Racing-Total Chevrolet Camaro), Alessandro Brigatti (#19 Racers Motorsport Ford Mustang) and Callum Cripps (#27 Alex Caffi Motorsport Ford Mustang), who rounded out the top-10.

The ELITE Club Division will hit the track again in Italy at the challenging Autodromo di Franciacorta on May 9th 2019 with Schönau leading the points standings by 21 markers on Kuchelbacher.

NASCAR Euro Series PR

Former ARCA/CRA Super Series late model champion Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) started his ARCA Menards Series career with a victory in his series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in 2015. Driving a family-owned car on a tight budget, Braden finished second in his second series start at Kentucky later that season.

Despite impressive performances, his small team couldn’t secure the funding to run a full season in the ARCA Menards Series so Braden, then a student at West Virginia University, ran a handful of races while staying active in super late models.

But by the end of 2015, Braden’s career was at a crossroads. Braden’s father Don is a towing service operator in their hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia. Despite owning a successful business, the family’s ability to keep Braden on track was waning. Braden had thought ahead, earning a dual degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering from WVU, but wasn’t yet ready to give up on his dream to be a racecar driver.

"Through all the ups and downs of my young career in racing, I've tried to always keep my mindset positive and tell myself it can be done,” Braden said. “And I think that's gotten me through the lows, and I've always come out better on the other side. Every time I've been kicked way down, for some reason, a huge opportunity has presented itself very shortly thereafter. It's been quite a rollercoaster, but I've loved it all."

Braden made the move to another late model team in 2016. He scored an impressive last-lap win at the 2016 Winchester 400 at the ultra high-banked half-mile in eastern Indiana, which put him back in the national spotlight. Opportunity knocked when RFMS Racing owner Don Fike was looking for a driver to evaluate his racecars in 2017, notably at the very same Winchester Speedway where Braden had found success in the late model.

“The 2017 season was a great example of those ups and downs for me,” he said. “I was coming off the two best years of my career in '15 and '16. I was getting a lot of attention. My following was growing rapidly. Yet all of the sudden, I was kind of getting pushed out it felt like. It was getting harder rather than easier to get sponsorship and support. We did everything we could in '17 and, honestly, in mid-summer I thought that 2017 would end up being my last season racing at this level. It was only a few weeks after I started having those thoughts that I was asked by Don Fike and RFMS Racing to test their car at Lucas Oil Raceway, and then wound up racing at Winchester shortly after. That eventually grew into the final three races of '17 and then a full season in 2018. I have never felt more grateful for an opportunity than this one.”

Braden qualified tenth and ran up front all day long in that race at Winchester, finishing fourth. It was his fourth top-five finish in seven ARCA Menards Series starts to that point in his career, and it opened the door for three more races at the end of the season.

Braden fit in with the small RFMS Racing group, led by long-time ARCA crew chief Dan Glauz. When the 2018 season opened, Braden had been selected as the team’s full-time driver. He relocated to the Indianapolis area to work in the shop full time with the team and despite a budget a fraction of the teams he was competing against, Braden scored four top-five finishes and eleven top-ten finishes, including back-to-back top-four runs at Springfield and Berlin. Despite virtually no experience on dirt, he was in contention to win at DuQuoin before contact late in the race while leading relegated him to 15th at the finish.

The “little team that could” started 2019 off with a renewed commitment from their sponsors, new uniforms for the crew members, and a renewed attitude. It has paid off handsomely as Braden is one of only two drivers with top-ten finishes in both ARCA Menards Series races so far, an eighth at Daytona and a tenth at Five Flags.

“The deal for last year came together pretty last minute,” he said. “We wanted to be more prepared and do more but ran out of time in my opinion. But in the end, we slowly progressed all season and really positioned ourselves for a breakout 2019 season. We haven't proven it yet but only two races in I picture us as sort of laying in the weeds. We've worked really hard on our equipment and it's going to shine through during the busy summer stretch.”

As the series heads to Salem Speedway for the third event of the season, Braden is optimistic for a chance to run for the team’s first top-five finish of the season. Salem is a sister track to Winchester, where so much of Braden’s success over the years has happened. And despite a 14th-place finish there last April, Braden rebounded to finish fifth on the high-banks at Salem last September.

“We finished in the top five at Salem last fall after struggling there in the spring,” he said. “We were realistically an eighth-place car that day, but I see us as a true top-five car for this year's show. Everything we learned from our struggles last year is finally coming full-circle.”

While the season has started with numerous positives, the RFMS Racing team was touched by tragedy on March 14 when long-time crew member Jason “Red” Morris lost his life in a traffic accident in Ohio. Braden and his teammates will be racing in Morris’s memory at Salem and throughout the 2019 season.

“I can honestly say that I have never wanted to win a race more than I want to win this race at Salem. You will have to claw it away from me this time,” he said.” Of course, we have been after our first win with determination but this one is going to be a bit more personal. Our first race without Red, at one of his favorite races. He had been talking a lot about how excited he was for Salem and felt it was our time to shine. He was a guy who understood what was going on. He knew. And so now it's my job to go get it done for him. I feel a lot of pressure, personally, to make this happen for him. It will be an emotional day.”

Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 is set for 11 am ET on Saturday, April 13 with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 3 pm ET that afternoon. The green flag on round three of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season will drop shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, April 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV and ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates at ARCARacing.com. New members can register for free at ARCARacing.com/login.

ARCA Racing PR

Roush Yates Engines announced today a multi-year partnership extension agreement with CNC Software, Inc. for Mastercam to continue as the official CAD/CAM software of Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions. After starting the partnership in 2015, this extension will partner these two innovative companies together until 2025.

Mastercam, an industry leader for more than 35 years in CAD/CAM software, delivers CNC programing solutions in 75 countries around the world. Their strategy of combining superior software programming with continuous development and support makes their product the best in the industry. This is why Roush Yates Engines selected Mastercam as their CAD/CAM software to program more than 50 CNC machines in a newly renovated, climate controlled, 88,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, North Carolina.

“With a shared commitment of quality and objective to deliver the best products to our engine programs, partnering with Mastercam ensures us a continued level of excellence,” said Mitch Miller, General Manager, Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions. “Their software and continued collaboration are vital to our success on the race track and we look forward to expanding this valued partnership into the future.”

Mastercam software is invaluable to the production of more than 40% of the engine components that power the Ford NASCAR FR9 EFI and IMSA Ford EcoBoost race engines. Thousands of components are milled and drilled with the use of Mastercam software programming. It is critical that these parts meet the tightest of tolerances to support our engine designs and development process.

To deliver the best on the race track and compete globally, you need to partner with the best. That’s why Roush Yates Engines and Roush Yates Manufacturing Solutions partner with Mastercam.

Stas Mylek, Partnership Program Manager at CNC Software, Inc., says “We are privileged to have Roush Yates Engines as a valued partner for the next five years. They not only push their engines but have been instrumental in driving Mastercam to new levels of performance through the ongoing collaboration between the two companies. It’s exciting to witness the significant growth in their shop, the product and services they provide, and their use of Mastercam.”

RYE PR

Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, will offer an enviable selection of Japanese performance cars during the 17th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 11-13, all at No Reserve. Highlighting this import segment of the collector car market at Palm Beach will be a 2012 Lexus LFA (Lot #742), one of only 500 built, and one of only 170 of these naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V10 juggernauts allocated to the U.S. market.

 

“The increasing popularity of performance imports is one of the hottest trends in collecting,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Earlier this year in Scottsdale, the first production 2020 Toyota Supra sold for a staggering $2.1 million for charity, followed up with a 2012 Lexus LFA that sold well into the six figures. The demand for imports is largely being driven by bidders who were born in the 1960s and ʼ70s and now have the means to afford the vehicles of their youth. For those in the market to relive their childhood, we’ll have an incredible selection of imports in Palm Beach.”

 

Lot 742 -2012 Lexus LFA_rear34

A “thoroughbred supercar” ready to sell during the Palm Beach Auction at No Reserve: 2012 Lexus LFA (Lot #742).

Two Toyota Supras are among the most anticipated exports that will cross the block during this year’s Palm Beach Auction. The first, a 1993 Toyota Supra Liftback (Lot #353) is powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter inline-6 engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission originally sold in Japan. The second is a 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo Liftback (Lot #680.1), which is a two-owner, all-original MK.IV twin-turbo version. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine backed by a 4-speed automatic transmission and only has 45,127 original miles.

 

“We build our dockets to reflect the demands of our buyers,” noted Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “The desire for import collector cars is stronger than ever, which is why our team is including more performance imports, like the Toyota Supra and Mitsubishi 3000GT. These cars represented a rebirth of performance in the 1990s and were the postercar for so many young enthusiasts.”

 

Other 1990s Japanese powerhouses crossing the block include this 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Spyder Convertible (Lot #336). Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, it is one of only 1,034 3000GT VR4 Spyders produced, and one of only 84 manufactured in 1996. Also on the Palm Beach docket is a 1992 Mazda RX7 Custom Coupe (Lot #52). A right-hand-drive RX7 Type R, this Mazda was imported into the U.S. from Japan with just over 5,000 actual miles. Rounding out the ʼ90s Japanese lineup is a 1996 Acura NSX (Lot #650) powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

 

300zx

This unrestored 1984 Datsun 300ZX (Lot #82) Anniversary Edition is one of only 5,000 produced.

Original and unrestored Datsuns will also make an appearance in Palm Beach, including this 1984 Datsun 300ZX Turbo Anniversary Edition (Lot #82). One of 5,000 produced, this California car has its original books and window sticker, and is powered by a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine backed by a 5-speed manual transmission. Also on the docket is this unrestored 1975 Datsun 280Z (Lot #335), which is powered by a 2.8-liter 6-cylinder engine and has only 20,000 actual miles since new.

 

Click here to view the complete 2019 Palm Beach Auction docket. For more information on becoming a bidder for the 2019 Palm Beach Auction, follow the link to www.Barrett-Jackson.com/bid.

 As the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger said long ago, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” 

That sentiment carried the day for ProX Racing Parts and Pro Circuit Racing Saturday when Monster Energy AMA Supercross visited Nissan Stadium for the inaugural Nashville Supercross. 

After his teammate and Eastern Regional 250SX Class points leader Austin Forkner went down and was sidleined with an injury he sustained in practice earlier in the day, it was up to Martin Davalos to shoulder the weight for Pro Circuit and to minimize the damage to his teammate’s point lead.

Davalos, a savy 32-year-old veteran, was up to the challenge and rode a smart, clean race to collect his fifth-career 250SX Class victory. The rider of the ProX-sponsored No. 73 Kawasaki KX250, who also picked up his first heat race win of the year earlier in the day, hung with the top five out of the starting gate and when the top two got together, taking themselves out of contention, Davalos took over the point and never looked back. 

The Tallahasee, Fla., resident and native Ecudorian led all 19 laps and took home top honors with a little more than three seconds to spare. Davalos is currently fourth in points after picking up one spot in the standings following the win.

  “It has been a long road to get back here with my neck and knee injuries last year,” commented Davalos, who spent most of 2018 recovering from injuries suffered at a trio of races (Anaheim, Atlanta and Saint Louis).

“The journey has not been easy, so to be up here (on the podium) tonight just means the world to me. My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX 250 was ripping all night. Some of my competitors decided to take each other out in the main event, which left me with a clear track to do my thing and I just rode a consistent race from start to finish.”

While Davalos was confident in his riding and his ability to close out his fifth-career victory, he still made his mechanic, Kyle Defoe, a little nervous in the waning moments after rolling his way through the demanding whoop section before taking the checkered flag. 

“Everyone is talking about that,” explained Davalos. “The whoops were sketchy. It was a challenge to hit them just right every lap, and I like that. It was technical for all of us. I was managing my gap and I saw Chase (Sexton) moved up to second. I saw the white flag and I knew there wasn’t any reason to risk it. When I won my first race in Atlanta, I almost crashed on the last lap so I was like ‘I can’t do that’ so I rolled it and my mechanic was freaking out. When I came off the track he was like dude, you almost got passed. I’m like ‘calm down dude’ (laughs). So, it was alright.” 

Unfortunately, much of the day’s conversation centered around Forkner, who went down earlier in the afternoon after losing the handle on his machine during the first 250SX Class timed practice. As of press time, the extent of Forkner’s injuries had yet to be revealed, but the rider of the No. 24 Kawasaki was on crutches and in the pits when the starting gate dropped for the main event.  While the Richards, Mo., native was out for the night, he still holds a three-point advantage with two races left to determine a champion.


“I am absolutely gutted right now,” lamented Forkner. “I should have been out there racing, but a mistake in practice caused me to crash. We tried to give it a go in the third practice and everything felt fine until I over jumped one of the sections, which aggravated the issue. We still are chasing the championship and the team and I decided to play it safe and take the night off to make sure I am ready to go for the last two rounds.” 

Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads for the Mile High City this weekend where the series will wrap up a 15-week swing that began in January in Anaheim, Calif. The 15th of 17 races on the 2019 supercross championship calendar will be televised live on NBCSN Saturday, April 13 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 5:30 p.m. Pacific

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