Racing News (9774)
Racing News from around the World
Tickets for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The 96th edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, 2012.
Race Day ticket prices start at just $30, and fans have three ways to purchase tickets:
•Online: Visit the Tickets section of www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
•Phone: Call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.
•In person: Visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street.
Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.
Many interesting storylines surround the 2012 Indianapolis 500:
•Helio Castroneves will attempt to become just the fourth driver to win the race four times.
•2011 victor Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti each will try to join the prestigious club of three-time winners.
•The unique sound of turbocharged engines will return to the race for the first time since 1996 as part of a new engine-chassis package debuting in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012.
•The new Dallara chassis and aero kits also will give the cars a fresh, bold look.
•Popular annual fan attractions also are being planned, such as Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 25, Legends Day on Saturday, May 26 and the Celebration of Automobiles on May 12-13.
Portraying the thrill of speed, explosion of color, and his love of NASCAR racing through his work since the early 1980's, Sam Bass will celebrate 30 years of his art history in the sport this month as the racing world 's focus turns to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Designated NASCAR's First Officially Licensed Artist in 1997, the artist is referred to as "The Picasso of NASCAR", by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and credited by many as "The man who brought Technicolor to a black and white sport", Bass has grown his involvement in NASCAR from a single painting he presented to Bobby Allison in 1981, into the role as owner of a successful art and design business recognized by corporations and motorsports collectors around the world.
Among the artist's most successful and longest standing relationships, is the bond Bass has with Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dating back to the first program cover the artist designed and painted for the speedway in 1985, Bass has created every program cover since that date, totaling 67 consecutive cover paintings, with this year's "OKTOBERFAST!" being his latest.
"It is always so much fun, yet very challenging to design the cover art for Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fun, because they always have so much going on for the fans here. Challenging, because I always want to give each cover a different look, and after 67 covers, that really takes some planning and thought. This cover showcases the exciting Chase for the Sprint Cup competitors, set against all the great music, food, and fun event experiences the track is offering up this race. It is one of my most colorful paintings ever I think."
Charlotte race weekend is always a busy time for Bass and the home for the Sam Bass Gallery, located directly across the street from Charlotte Motor Speedway, behind Turn two. Opened in October 2000, the Sam Bass Gallery hosts the artist's collection of artwork, car designs, sheet metal, guitars and music memorabilia, along with his collectible designs and merchandise. Fans are always welcome to stop by and take a tour of the gallery and gift shop.
Looking through the gallery displays and record books of Bass' career, one will note some of his most prized accomplishments include the Gibson guitars he has designed as trophies for Nashville Superspeedway since 2002. The guitars have since become an icon in the sport, and were recently named among the top-10 trophies in all of sports by Sports Illustrated magazine. Bass has created Jeff Gordon's DuPont paint schemes for his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports entry since 1992, and was the art designer for the cars, transporters, and uniforms seen in the feature film "Talladega Nights", starring Will Ferrell. One of his most recent creations was the five stainless steel mural sculpture panels on the outside wall of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which offer up a visual history lesson about the sport. In addition, the artist has done numerous works through the years for charitable organizations within NASCAR, such as the NASCAR Foundation, Speedway Children's Charities, The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, and Victory Junction Gang Camp.
"I am really proud to have been working and creating in the sport of NASCAR for 30 years. It literally seems like yesterday that I began this dream and I'm still as enthusiastic about my work and the projects I get to do for the drivers, sponsors, officials, and most importantly the fans, as I have ever been. I hope I can keep doing it for at least 30 more years."
Sam Bass PR
Roush Yates was hard at work this weekend providing engines, parts, and tuning services to drivers in all racing series. The FR9s led the speed charts at Kansas Speedway, Scott Bloomquist picked up his 15th win of the season in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Zach Monette clinched the SCCA Southeast U.S. GT1 Championship, Steve Matusek set a record for Roush Yates' drag racing engine program, and Ronnie Davis blew away the competition in the drag racing circuit.
Ronnie Davis was crowned king of the Top Sportsman VP Racing Fuels Shootout during last Saturday's opening day action at the 37th annual NHRA Doorslammer National Open at Ohio Valley Dragway (Louisville, KY). Davis recorded a 4.332 on his 4.33 dial-in at 162.58 mph with his '63 Corvette. He runs a top sportsman engine Big Block Chevy engine built by the engineers at Roush Yates Engines.
Steve Matusek broke the NMCA mph record by 16mph in Indianapolis, IN this weekend by posting a 6.070 time, or 250 mph. This is the fastest Matusek has ever gone with his drag car and the fastest time Roush Yates Engines' drag racing program has ever posted.
Scott Bloomquist found victory lane once again this weekend at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA. His Roush Yates DLM 436 engine powered him to his 15th win of the season and his sixth career Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout victory. Bloomquist walked away Saturday night leading Jimmy Owens by 65 points in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series but fell to second in the standings after Owens won on Sunday night in Rome, GA.
Zach Monette won the SCCA Southeast U.S. GT1 Championship at the SARRC Southeastern Invitational Challenge at Roebling Road Raceway in Savannah, GA on Saturday. Monette has posted ten wins this season in his Roush Yates powered mustang. All top three finishers in the race were powered by Roush Yates with Zach Monette finishing first, Dave Machavern finishing second, and Bob Monette coming in third.
Roush Yates' FR9 Fords were extremely fast in Kansas this weekend with an all Ford front row in qualifying at Kansas Speedway for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400. Carl Edwards was also fast in the Nationwide Series, taking the top starting spot for the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday. Kenseth, Edwards, and Biffle finished fourth, fifth, and seventh respectively on Sunday and Edwards now leads the Sprint Cup Series point Championship by one point over Kevin Harvick.
Roush Yates Engines PR
It was a 10-lap, 10-mile racing event at the Detroit Driving Club in Grosse Pointe, Mich., and billed at the time as “the largest affair of its kind” that attracted the top drivers of the day, generating national attention.
One hundred and ten years later, it has become known as “the race that changed the world.”
Henry Ford’s stunning upset of the heavily-favored Alexander Winton was the catalyst that allowed Ford to attract investors and, less than two years later, launch the Ford Motor Company. The rest, as they say, is history.
Thanks to this race, Ford could take his vision of an automobile that could be a mass-produced, inexpensive, reliable mode of transportation that a majority of people could afford, and make it a reality.
On the 110th anniversary of Ford’s unlikely triumph in “Sweepstakes”, a car he built himself, Ford Racing carries on the spirit of Henry Ford on the track and in showcasing the products of Ford Motor Company.
“When Edsel [Ford] recounts the story of Henry Ford and Sweepstakes, I find myself imagining that day at Grosse Pointe,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The context of Henry’s attempt as he gathered attention for what he was about to make, and used racing to prove out the products are the very same drivers for Ford continuing to race today. I truly feel that we continue to represent the spirit of what Henry did back then in our passion for racing and the benefits we get from racing as a company.”
For his triumph, Ford won the $1,000 prize and the cut-glass punch bowl trophy that was earmarked for Winton’s home in Cleveland. More importantly, though, Ford won the attention of the financial backers who would help him start the Henry Ford Company and, ultimately, Ford Motor Company in June 1903.
“Every company, through its founder, has key moments, and our moment is back in 1901 which predates the formation of Ford as a business,” said Allison. “When we say that racing is in the DNA of Ford Motor Company, it is true. For everyone at Ford Racing, for Ford employees, and for Ford race fans, it is very exciting and emotional to be able to make that direct link between our racing program and the moment that our founder Henry Ford created what we now know as the Ford Motor Company.”
Over the ensuing 110 years, Ford cars and engines have won thousands of races around the world, and some of the greatest driving personalities to walk the planet have seen great success behind the wheel of a Ford.
In fact, Ford is the only car manufacturer that can claim victories in all the world’s greatest races, including the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Heures du Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona, the U.S. Nationals in NHRA, the Baja 1,000, Rally Great Britain, the Bathhurst 1,000 and even the X Games Rallycross competition.
“What Ford has been able to accomplish in motorsports over the last 110 years is remarkable,” said Allison. “We are a company with a very rich tradition and legacy in racing that has been evident throughout our history since Henry started what we all believe is the spirit of Ford Racing.”
Even with success the program, like Ford Motor Company itself, has evolved. Over the years different forms of racing have stepped to the forefront of the Ford Racing program. Key programs like World Rally Championship, NASCAR, Drifting, RallyCross and NHRA Funny Car were decades away from existence when Henry recorded his historic win.
“There has been an evolution of the program in racing,” said Allison, “but Bob Tasca Sr.’s old adage is unequivocally true –‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.’ It all starts by going out and connecting with the fans and going out on the track and winning. There have been different forms of motorsports over the 110 years. If you look back over the last 40 to 50 years you see NASCAR, NHRA and rallying in the last few decades, but we at Ford Racing are taking that to the next frontier whether it is RallyCross or Drifting – all forms of exciting racing.
“All of our programs are still reinforced by the same principle: to go out and showcase our great products and technologies, and connect with fans who love to support winners. And when we win, that bright moment of light shines upon Ford and allows us to showcase those great products to our fans and customers, encouraging them to go out and buy from us.”
After reflecting back on the triumphs of the past 110 years, Allison knows that the future is bright for Ford Motor Company and Ford Racing.
“What sets Ford apart from many companies is the direct link we attribute to a lot of the programs within the company,” said Allison. “Specifically let’s talk about racing. We are here to support Ford Motor Company. As Ford Motor Company looks down the road 10, 20 and even 30 years from now, we see that a new technology like electrification is becoming more prominent. It affects the industry; it affects the environment, it affects the future of our company going forward.
“We, Ford Racing, are interlinked to that future. So, of course, we are talking about using motorsports to advance technologies and showcase advanced technology, whether it is electric power or any other kind of exciting innovation. As the industry and Ford itself advance, I can assure you that Ford Racing is literally linked to that progression – pushing the boundaries of technology in motorsports and at the same time using motorsports to make even better new products and showcase these to the multitude of loyal fans and enthusiasts around the world.
“We think Henry would be very proud.”
Ford Racing PR
At a track known for wild finishes, Sunday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 produced one of the wildest ever in the 64-year history of Martinsville Speedway.
In a race filled with 17 caution periods, a next-to-the-last-lap bumping incident between eventual winner Lee Pulliam and leader Matt McCall had fans on their feet and tempers running wild in the pits. Pulliam made contact with McCall as they went into Turn 3 to make the pass and take home the $25,000 first-place check and the legendary grandfather clock trophy.
McCall retaliated by spinning Pulliam in the third turn on the cool-down lap after the race.
"This is breathtaking and the biggest win of my career," Pulliam said. "I can't think of a bigger stage to be on and get it (win). This is our Daytona 500."
Pulliam, who finished third in the final NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national point standings, made the pass after running in the top five during the entire race.
“He got into me going into Turn 1 on the final restart and I just paid him back going into Turn 3,” Pulliam said of the finish.
Brandon Butler took advantage of the action up front to finish second and Stacy Puryear finished third. Dexter Canipe Jr. rebounded from an earlier spin to come home fourth. McCall was able to save his car and collect a fifth-place showing.
McCall visited the post-race stage to have a few words with Pulliam.
“I went up to him and told him I will see him around,” McCall said. “I have got too much going for me on my other career in racing but I will remember this and I will see him again.”
Davin Scites finished sixth and Greg Edwards seventh. Jeb Burton finished an impressive eighth, followed by Coleman Pressley and Mike Darne.
Philip Morris, the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion and defending race winner, battled mechanical issues all day after winning the pole in Saturday's qualifying and finished a disappointing 22.
Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway on October 28-30 with the Tums Fast Relief 500 weekend.
A 17-year-old who has helped more than 3,000 area youth become involved in various service opportunities … a New Jersey women who delivers hope for underprivileged children by providing them with books … an avid NASCAR fan who provides emotional healing for at-risk youth and families through animal-assisted activities … and an 83-year old Talladega, Ala.-native known across the region as “The Ice Cream Man” because of the many treats he delivers to deaf, blind and multi-disabled students.
And we thought the competition on the track was fierce in 2011.
The NASCAR Foundation announced today that the four individuals described above – Jake Bernstein, Patty Aber, Brenda Doner and Robert Weaver, respectively – are the four finalists for the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which recognizes outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of selfless NASCAR fans.
Finalists’ volunteer resumes will be showcased on a national scale as fellow NASCAR fans across the country vote to determine who should receive a 2012 Ford Explorer from Ford and $100,000 for the children’s charity of their choice from The NASCAR Foundation. Voting begins today and will run through midnight on Dec. 1 on NASCAR.COM. Betty Jane France will announce the winner during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 2 (SPEED and MRN Radio, 9 p.m. ET), culminating the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week celebration in Las Vegas.
The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will honor the passionate commitment The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman Betty Jane France has demonstrated on behalf of charities and community works throughout her life. France, the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, is credited with creating the “Speediatrics” concept, a pediatric unit with a racing-themed décor at both the Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., and the Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Fla.
“I love the age range in this finalist foursome – from 17-year-old Jake to 83-year-old Robert,” said Betty Jane France. “To see several generations of NASCAR fans represented here really honors our past, while also boosting our optimism for the future. Their good, meaningful work has benefited their respective communities greatly. And the fact that they also are NASCAR fans is something our entire industry can look to with pride.”
Bernstein, referred to as “The NASCAR boy” by his high school librarian, spends his time outside the classroom volunteering with Autism Speaks. Completing an astounding 100 volunteer hours per month, Bernstein is involved in everything from tutoring and coaching to organizing and directing free summer tennis clinics for youth with autism. To encourage his peers to get involved within the St. Louis community, Bernstein and his sister launched a website to help recruit youth to volunteer on projects throughout the area. President Obama recently recognized Bernstein’s devotion to community service for young people in a back-to-school address at a local high school in Washington, D.C. Bernstein considers Rusty Wallace and Kasey Kahne his favorite drivers, even carrying a photo of Wallace in his wallet.
Aber, a Middletown, N.J. resident, has devoted the last 30 years of her life to serving others, with more than 1,700 total volunteer hours served. Most recently, Aber has focused her time and efforts on the Bridge of Books Foundation, an organization that shares the world and all its possibilities with at-risk children through books. Aber also attends a number of NASCAR races each year, where she spends her time volunteering with The NASCAR Foundation and cheering on her favorite driver, Kasey Kahne.
Doner, a Columbus, Ohio native, contributes time to NASCAR charities such as The Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, in addition to working tirelessly for PBJ Connections, a non-profit organization she developed that provides emotional healing for at-risk youths with animal-assisted activities. Her innovative approach helps to improve self-esteem and foster healthy relationships with family and peers. Also an avid NASCAR memorabilia collector, Doner’s entire apartment is outfitted in NASCAR décor.
Weaver has been volunteering with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation (AIDB) for more than 50 years. In addition to his monthly charitable endeavors, the 83-year-old dedicates 30 hours a week to helping children in the organization. His many contributions range from creating intramural basketball teams and bowling programs to teaching students how to ride tricycles. Also a passionate NASCAR fan, Weaver was once able to pair his hobby and his volunteer work when his favorite driver, Darrell Waltrip, hosted the AIDB’s annual fundraiser in 1986 – thanks to a request from Weaver himself.
All four finalists were determined by The NASCAR Foundation Board of Directors, from hundreds of applicants whom all made a significant impact on the lives of children through volunteerism or charitable work during the last five years. They received expense-paid trips to Kansas Speedway this weekend. The winner of the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will receive an expense-paid trip to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, in addition to the Ford Explorer and $100,000 to donate. The other three finalists will receive a $25,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to a children’s charity of their choice, as well as expense-paid trips to Las Vegas for Champion’s Week.
For more information about The NASCAR Foundation and the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, please visit NASCAR.COM/Unites.
- Age: 17
- Hometown: St. Louis, MO
- Charity: Autism Speaks
- Favorite Drivers: Rusty Wallace and Kasey Kahne
While most high school students spend their free time at the local movie theater or the mall, 17-year-old Jake Bernstein chooses to devote his time to Autism Speaks. Averaging an impressive 100 volunteer hours per month, Jake is involved in everything from tutoring and coaching to organizing and directing free summer clinics for St. Louis youth with autism. Jake’s drive to support the organization came after his family experienced an outpouring of support from the local community when Jake’s dad was deployed to North Carolina at Cherry Point on military reserves duty with the Marines. In an attempt to “pay it forward,” Jake began searching for volunteer opportunities for youth under the age of 18 in the St. Louis vicinity. Due to security, safety and liability concerns, many organizations were unable to welcome Jake and take him up on his generous offer to give back to the community. But that didn’t stop Jake; he was determined to help.
Recognizing a need for a youth volunteer database, and also hoping to empower his peers, Jake and his sister designed a regional website to help point local teens in the right direction. After meeting with St. Louis Mayor, Francis Slay, a host of non-profit agencies, museums, religious institutions and educational leaders, Jake launched www.stlouisvolunteen.com. In addition to his time spent each week populating the website, Jake is responsible for promoting volunteer opportunities and recruiting youth volunteers for projects throughout the region. Now averaging more than 1,000 visitors per day, www.stlouisvolunteen.com has become a valuable resource for youth seeking volunteer opportunities and those non-profit organizations hoping to fill vacancies. News about the website spread quickly and numerous cities have since asked for Jake’s help with similar websites. Jake has his sights set on his next project, www.volunteennation.com.
In addition to his success in the social media space, Jake organized the annual St. Louis Youth and Family Volunteer Fair, the nation’s only youth-coordinated volunteer fair. More than 35 non-profit organizations have participated and more than 3,000 youth have walked away with volunteer opportunities. From this volunteer networking event, Jake managed to inspire several youth on the autism spectrum to help with www.stlouisvolunteen.com events such as park cleanups, volunteer fairs and an annual tennis clinic for children with autism. Additionally, Jake spearheaded a 9/11 “Serve to Remember” park cleanup and community walk that honored those individuals that died in the September 11 attacks.
Even President Obama is aware of what Jake is doing for his peers. The President recently highlighted Jake’s accomplishments in a back-to-school address at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C. Emphasizing America’s need for young people’s passion and ideas, President Obama praised Jake for his devotion to community service for young people.
While volunteerism is a huge part of his everyday life, Jake also highlights NASCAR as one of his greatest passions. Jake counts Rusty Wallace and Kasey Kahne as favorite drivers, even carrying a photo of Rusty Wallace in his wallet. Jake also credits Kasey Kahne for being his original inspiration for volunteering in the community. Kahne’s commitment to national service encouraged Jake to become involved. If Jake wins the Betty Jane France Humanitarian award, he will donate the $100,000 to Autism Speaks.
- Age: 44
- Hometown: Middletown, NJ
- Charity: Bridge of Books Foundation
- Favorite Driver: Kasey Kahne
Patty Aber’s love of volunteerism began more than 30 years ago, and her resume of service is proof enough. With more than 1,700 hours volunteered and thousands of children served within the last five years, Patty’s contributions are hard to put into perspective.
Patty’s passion lies with the Bridge of Books Foundation, an organization that helps bring the world and all its possibilities to underprivileged children in New Jersey through books. In the past two years alone, Patty has devoted more than 1,000 hours of service to help the volunteer-based foundation raise nearly $20,000 and collect approximately 50,000 books for donation to underprivileged children. Patty’s responsibilities include but are not limited to organizing book drives, maintaining databases to help track donations, serving as Foundation representative at community events, soliciting gift-in-kind donations and developing a successful volunteer program. According to her husband, Tom, “Patty is an inspirational humanitarian in every sense of the word.” Patty works nonstop to help the Bridge of Books Foundation achieve its mission of helping as many disadvantaged children as possible.
The Bridge of Books Foundation is a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to Patty’s volunteer repertoire. A selfless, dedicated and passionate volunteer for The NASCAR Foundation, Patty has provided more than 370 hours of volunteer service to the sport’s charitable arm. She currently holds the position of The NASCAR Foundation Lead Fan Ambassador for the Dover, Pocono and Watkins Glen regions. From selling NASCAR Day pins locally to organizing large-scale donation projects for The NASCAR Foundation, Patty’s work with the sport goes well beyond the call-of-duty.
Further illustrating her love of volunteerism and NASCAR, Patty has served as an active volunteer for the Kasey Kahne Foundation for more than three years. With approximately 130 hours of volunteer service, Patty has helped raise more than $500,000. The pinnacle of her accomplishments with the Kasey Kahne Foundation is a charity walk she organized in October 2010 in her local community in New Jersey. Raising more than $1,400 for the Foundation from the walk alone, Patty helped Ronald McDonald House Charities purchase a children’s mobile medical unit to be used in underserved communities throughout the United States.
Patty strives to attend five to ten NASCAR races per year, where she spends most of her time at the track volunteering with The NASCAR Foundation and cheering for her favorite driver, Kasey Kahne. If she wins the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, Patty will donate the $100,000 to the Bridge of Books Foundation, allowing the organization to expand and help children across the United States.
- Age: 52
- Hometown: Columbus, OH
- Charity: PBJ Connections
- Favorite Drivers: Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Burton, Max Papis
Brenda Doner, an avid NASCAR fan from Columbus, Ohio, has a volunteer resume that reads like Richard Petty’s driver stat sheet. But that’s not her only connection to the iconic NASCAR driver. Brenda devotes a great deal of her time to the The Victory Junction Gang Camp, a facility in Randleman, North Carolina that was built by Richard and Linda Petty to help terminally ill and chronically ill children. Additionally, Brenda supports the Foundations of some of her favorite NASCAR drivers, such as Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle, by devoting her time and resources to help further their causes.
While NASCAR is a theme on Brenda’s long list of volunteer accomplishments, her efforts stretch well beyond the world of racing. She helped build PBJ Connections from the ground up, which is an organization that is dedicated to help children cope with emotional and behavioral disturbances through equine-assisted activities. This innovative approach uses non-riding activities to help teach the children and their families how to control behaviors, improve self-esteem, gain insight into their issues and communicate more effectively. PBJ Dressage (named after a favorite horse) was the original horse training business run by the founders of PBJ Connections. When the therapy organization was developed, it was important to the founders to keep “PBJ” in the name. PBJ Connections became the natural name as the program works to help clients draw “connections” about how their behavior impacts those around them.
From a “Horsepower for Kids” campaign to an “Eddie’s Easter Brunch,” Brenda has done it all with PBJ Connections. Brenda helped create a unique summer program in 2011 called “Rocky’s Reading Room,” where kids were encouraged to read to horses and donkeys in a relaxed outdoor environment. By encouraging the children to read in this casual environment, Brenda hoped to inspire an interest in reading with the kids, an interest that she did not develop until her adult years. When asked why she has chosen to focus much of her attention on this particular organization, Brenda simply says, “It has been great experience to work with an organization at the ground level and in the ‘early days’ to help chart the course for the future and see ideas become reality.” The reality is that without Brenda, PBJ Connections would not be where it is today and would not have the same level of impact on hundreds of local children.
Brenda, who has been volunteering here, there and everywhere for much of the last nine years, says that she has been a tried and true NASCAR fan since the early 1980’s. She is a longtime member of the Richard Petty fan club and an avid NASCAR memorabilia collector. So much so that her entire apartment is completely outfitted in NASCAR décor. Should Brenda win the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, she will donate the $100,000 to PBJ Connections in an effort to further fund and support a host of programs currently in the works.
- Age: 83
- Hometown: Talladega, AL
- Charity: Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation (AIDB)
- Favorite Driver: Darrell Waltrip
Affectionately known by thousands of deaf students in Alabama as “The Ice Cream Man,” Robert Weaver has been delivering treats to children in need for 50 years. What originally started with a request to assist with weight training classes at the Alabama School for the Blind in 1960 has since blossomed into a five-decade relationship that is as strong as ever. At 83-years-old, and with more than 12,000 estimated campus visits under his belt, Weaver’s contributions to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) have been life-changing to the organization’s deaf, blind, deaf-blind and multi-disabled students between the ages of three and 21-years-old. With such a widespread influence, even the best mathematicians would have a hard time estimating the vast number of lives Robert Weaver has touched. Even today, just seven years shy of his 90th birthday, Robert still manages to contribute more than 30 hours per week to his many charitable endeavors.
Robert’s dedication to volunteerism is as diverse as it is expansive. From creating intramural basketball at the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) and bowling programs at the Alabama School for the Blind (ASB) to teaching deaf-blind students at the Helen Keller School of Alabama how to ride tricycles, Robert truly is a jack of all trades. Once featured in Newsweek magazine’s “In Search for Outstanding Good Neighbor in America” series, Robert was instrumental in the construction of both a track and field facility and a prayer center for the AIDB. The Hawkins Chapel, the Institute’s center for prayer, worship, study and spiritual counseling, was completed with the help of Robert and his efforts to raise more than $200,000 to assist with the construction. To further complement his fundraising efforts, Robert organized an annual summer camp for deaf children, which this year alone, served more than 50 deaf children between the ages of eight and 18.
Robert has also created an endowment to help support preschoolers with special needs at Samford University’s Children’s Learning Center, which serves children ages six weeks through four-years-old. He provides clothes for children within the Alabama Baptist Children Home ministry, supports the Samaritan House of Talladega by donating food and provides scholarships for two Talladega High School athletes to attend the Gerald Wallace Basketball Camp. As a result of his dedication to the deaf community and a monetary donation that funded the construction of a 4,600 square foot chapel at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, the chapel was named the Robert C. Weaver Chapel. Designed to meet the particular needs of the deaf, which includes special stadium seating with unobstructed views of the programs being presented in American Sign Language, the chapel was used by more than 700 youth for worship, music, mission endeavors and talent shows in its first three months of operation.
In addition to his charitable efforts, Robert is a well-known NASCAR fan and Darrell Waltrip supporter. He has been a loyal fan of the sport since 1969, when he attended the first-ever race at what is today Talladega Superspeedway. Robert has also shared his love of NASCAR with his friends at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. A chance meeting with his favorite driver, Darrell Waltrip, resulted in the NASCAR legend hosting AIDB’s annual RACE FEVER fundraiser in 1986. If Robert wins the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, he will donate the $100,000 to the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation to further support their schools and students.
NASCAR announced today that the No. 32 team that competes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed Friday, Sept. 30, at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
The car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing), Section 12-4:I (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules), Section 20C-12.3T (The right front shock absorber would not extend to the specified distance within the specified period of time). The violations occurred during post-race inspection on Sept. 30.
Driver and car owner of No. 32, Dale Quarterley, has been penalized with the loss of 50 driver championship points and 50 owner championship points. Crew chief of car No. 32, Christopher Wright, has been fined $2,500 and suspended from NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events until the fine is paid.
Even though it was just practice, Philip Morris continued his torrid season Friday afternoon, leading two practice sessions for Sunday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
Morris, who recently claimed his fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, never relinquished the top of the leader board through two hours of practice Friday afternoon. His time of 20.245 seconds (93.534 mph) around the .526-mile oval led the more than 80 Late Model Stock Car competitors who practiced Friday.
Even with a practice time that was very close to Davin Scites’ track record of 20.216 (93.668 mph), Morris said his team was still searching for a little more speed.
“We need maybe two more practices,” said Morris, who is the defending champion of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 Late Model Stock Car race. “There’s a lot of sliding going on, not just me, but I think a lot of the guys are sliding quite a bid. I think we are looking for a little more grip, a little more control.
Morris will get that chance Saturday morning when the track opens at 9 a.m. for two hours of practice before time trials begin at 2 p.m.
Matt McCall of Denver, NC, was second fastest on the day at 20.320, followed by track-record holder Scites at 20.332. B.J. Mackey of Rock Hill, SC, was fourth fastest at 20.377, while former national champion Peyton Sellers of Danville was fifth on the day at 20.381.
Practice and time trials are scheduled for Saturday. Only the fastest 22 cars will make the field through qualifying with the remainder of the 42-car field decided through four 25-lap heat races beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. The top five finishers from each heat race will transfer to the 200-lap feature.
Tickets are $20 for adults and children 12-and-under are free for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300. Tickets for qualifying Saturday are $5. Tickets for qualifying day are on sale at the ticket office only.
Fan gates will open at 9 a.m. both days.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Another great weekend of ASA Racing is on the schedule for this weekend. Two ASA Series will determine their 2011 champions while some ASA Member Tracks will be in action with special events.
Here is a look at what is happening this weekend.
ASA SANCTIONED SERIES
ASA MIDWEST TOUR (SUPER LATE MODELS, TRUCKS)
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway (West Salem, WI)
The 2011 Championship will be decided this weekend at the 42nd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. Mathematically, the top-eight drivers are still eligible to win the championship. Andrew Morrissey holds a 68-point lead over Nathan Haseleu and a 71-point lead over Jacob Goede. A 100-lap feature event on Sunday will determine the championship.
The ASA Midwest Truck Tour will close out their 2011 season on Sunday with a 40-lap feature event. Their championship could go down to the final lap. Defending champion Jerry Wood has a three-point lead over Austin Luedtke going into the finale. John Wood is only 54 points back and Rick Corso is only 56 points behind.
ASA TRUCK SERIES
Havasu 95 Speedway (Lake Havasu City, AZ)
The fastest trucks in the Southwest will be back in action this Saturday night at the ASA Member Track in Lake Havasu City, AZ. They will be part of an action packed full racing program. Taylor Miinch holds a two-point lead over Jeff Catlin and a 26-point lead over Jason Black. Mike Herda, who won the last event at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is only 34 points behind Miinch.
ASA MEMBER TRACKS
ACE SPEEDWAY (Altamahaw, NC)
Don’t miss the return of The Southeast Limited Late Model Tour to Ace Speedway on Saturday, October 8th. For more information on the tour, visit SoutheastLimiteds.com. In action this week will be the SELLM Pro’s, the SELLM Challengers, Extreme Selects and the USAC. Admission this week will be $12 for Adults, $8 for Students & Seniors with ID and free for kids 12 and under. Grandstands open at 3pm and there will be an open practice on Friday evening.
BIG COUNTRY SPEEDWAY (Cheyenne, WY)
The racing program will start at 4pm this Saturday. The Late Models, Sportsman, Super Stocks, Mod 4’s, Warriors, Super Lite Trucks, Bombers and Trailer Race are on the schedule.
CORPUS CHRISTI SPEEDWAY (Corpus Christi, TX)
The second annual Speedfest is this Friday and Saturday night with seven classes of racing and an Enduro race. On Friday, there will be time trials, qualifying heat races, and the exciting Enduro race. On Saturday, there will be last chance heats and features for the Lonestar Legacy Cars, Dwarf Cars, Texas Pro Sedans, Front Runners, Bombers, Super Streets, and Sport Mods. Gates open at 6:00pm with Racing at 8:00pm.
DESOTO SUPER SPEEDWAY (Bradenton, FL)
The 11th Annual Seafest is this Saturday night. The Florida United Promoters Late Model 100 will highlight a night of busy racing action. The Flyin 4’s, Bombers, Magic 4’s, Fall 6-Pack Pure Stock Series, Mini Stocks, and Pro Challenge Series will also be in action. Normal weekly admission and times are: Ages 13 & up is $15.00, ages 12 & under are FREE! Racing gets underway at 7:00pm SHARP!
DILLON MOTOR SPEEDWAY (Dillon, SC)
Fall Spectacular, October 28, 29 and 30. All Classes will be racing, practice will be Friday the 28th, qualifying on Saturday the 29th and racing will be on the 30th.
EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK (Tampa, FL)
ASA sanctioned racing returns to East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday, October 8, 2011. The program will include the Top Gun Sprints making their return for their second race of the year. Along with them will be the Florida Mini Sprints, Gagel’s Open Wheel Modifieds, Street Stocks and the Motorstats.com 4 Cylinder Bombers. Weekly admission is: Adults are $12, Seniors 55 & up are $10.00, Teens 13-17 with ID is $7.00, and kids 12 & under are FREE with paying adult! Racing starts at 6:30pm.
HAVASU 95 SPEEDWAY (Lake Havasu City, AZ)
The racing action returns this Saturday night with the Legends, Bandoleros, ASA Street Stocks, ASA Truck Series, Factory Stocks and Team Factory Stocks. Gates open at 5:00pm with Racing at 7pm.
INDE MOTORSPORTS RANCH (Wilcox, AZ)
The SCCA Arizona Region will be competing on October 15-16.
LONESOME PINE RACEWAY (Coeburn, VA)
The season finale has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 15. The Late Models, Chargers, Pure 4’s, Street Stocks, Legends, Renegades, and Powder Puff will be in action. Gates open at 4pm. If you come with your Crash-A-Rama ticket, you will receive half-price admission. Regular admission is Adults $10, Children 12 & Under are FREE with a paying adult. Seniors 62+ & military are $7.
MERIDIAN SPEEDWAY (Meridian, ID)
Round three of the Idaho Amateur Supercross is this Sunday. Gates open at 8am with practice starting at 10am. Racing starts at 11am. More info at www.idahosupercross.com.
NEWPORT MOTOR SPEEDWAY (Newport, TN)
Newport Motor Speedway will be back in action this Saturday with the First Annual Davey Crockett LMS Championship Race featuring a 200-lap feature in four 50-lap segments. The Street Stocks, FWD, Mod-4, Legends, and Mini Cups will also be in action.
ORANGE SHOW SPEEDWAY (San Bernardino, CA)
Orange Show Speedway will be back in action on Saturday, October 22.
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You can find them at every short track around the country, drivers who work full-time jobs, then work on their race cars in their spare time. Most of the drivers in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour do just that. This week, they’ll be preparing their cars to race on the frontstretch quarter-mile at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of Bank of America 500 Race Week in the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on Oct. 13.
George Brunnhoelzl III is a third-generation racer dominating the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour this season. He’s no stranger to racing while holding a full-time job.
“Racing is getting really expensive and it’s harder to find sponsors, so it’s to the point now that I think a lot of guys are doing it solely as a hobby, where before they might have been able to work on their race cars full time and prepare them during the week,” Brunnhoelzl said. “Now everybody pretty much has a full-time job and then works on the cars at night and during the weekends, just as a hobby.”
A modified car is the oldest type of car used in NASCAR. The cars weigh only 2,645 pounds including the driver's weight, while a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car weighs 3,450 pounds without the driver. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified car is powered by a V8 engine producing 625 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 150 mph. The modifieds have a unique open-wheel design and use the largest tire of any NASCAR touring series with a tread width of 83.75 inches due to the extra wide right-side tires.
Brunnhoelzl hails from West Babylon, N.Y., but now resides in Mooresville, N.C. He started racing at the age of 12, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.
He and teammate Andy Seuss, also from the northeast, have dominated the series in 2011. Brunnhoelzl has won four of the 12 events so far, while Seuss has racked up three wins.
“Both the 09 and the 11 teams have had a really good year and put us both first and second in points with seven wins between the two teams from Ideal Racing,” said Brunnhoelzl.
If things go his way, Brunnhoelzl could clinch the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the second-to-last event of the season. He’s never raced on the quarter-mile at the famed superspeedway, but he’s not worried.
“As far as the championship and the points go, I try not to even concern myself with it and just try and go out and win each race,” Brunnhoelzl said. “If we win most of them or have good finishes in all of them, we don’t have to worry about the points.”
The modifieds will take to the track during Bojangles’ Pole Night, after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session to decide the lineup for the Bank of America 500.
“It’s cool to be in the environment and at the race track at the same time as those guys,” said Brunnhoelzl. “Hopefully it catches their eye and they watch it, but we’re hoping some eyes look at it and experience a good race.”
The Brunnhoelzl name might be enough to catch some eyes. Brunnhoelzl’s father, George Jr., is the innovator of the one-pump jack used in many professional racing series.
On Bojangles’ Pole Night on Thursday night, Oct. 13, fans can meet the stars of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour during an autograph session at 7:30 p.m. on the frontstretch concourse near Gate 5A before they race in the UNOH Southern Slam 150 at 9:10 p.m. All drivers participating in the race, including Brunnhoelzl, Burt Myers and Seuss, will greet fans during the autograph session.
It may not be a world record, but Martinsville Speedway will be hosting a pretty large autograph session Sunday morning prior to the running of the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.
And it’s not an ordinary, sitting-behind-a-table autograph session. It will held be on the front stretch of the historic half-mile oval, and every driver, somewhere between 85 and 100, will be standing beside their cars, greeting fans and signing autographs.
“We tried this for the first time before last year’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 and it was an amazing success,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “An hour before the first heat race, the front stretch looked like rush hour in Los Angeles, just covered up with cars and people.
“Ever since drivers and fans alike have told us how much they enjoyed it so it’s something we had to do again. It should be a lot of fun for everyone.”
The flag-stand gate on the front stretch will be opened at 11:30 Sunday morning to allow fans onto the track for the autograph session. Drivers will be lined up along the inside front-stretch wall to sign autographs, pose for photographs and chat with fans. The track will be cleared at 12:15 in time for the start of the first 25-lap heat race, which will start at 12:30 p.m.
BUSY WEEKEND: The infield will start filling with haulers on Thursday as teams have the opportunity to get their rigs parked and tires purchased and mounted.
The official business begins Friday morning when the nearly 100 cars will have to go through inspection, which is a long and tedious process. As soon as all cars have finished the inspection process, practice will begin. In past years, cars have been on the track by 3 p.m. on Friday.
Practice and time trials are scheduled for Saturday, October 8. Only the fastest 22 cars will make the field through qualifying with the remainder of the 42-car field filled through four 25-lap heat races beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 9. The top five finishers from each heat race will transfer to the 200-lap feature.
Martinsville Speedway PR