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World-renowned recording artists Daughtry and Frankie J aren’t used to opening for anybody, let alone a headliner this big. But there’s a first time for everything, as the duo will usher in a finale weekend that will see champions crowned in NASCAR’s three national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 
Before all the championship coronations, NASCAR® will race into the Miami Beach spotlight with the third-annual NASCAR Championship DriveTM festival featuring the Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert with performances by multi-platinum artist Daughtry and Universal Latino recording artist Frankie J.
 
NASCAR Championship Drive brings NASCAR fans and their families together to celebrate the finale of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 18 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). To set the stage, South Florida personality and radio host DJ Laz will help fans enjoy the perfect combination of sports, food and fun beachside with Daughtry and Frankie J on Thursday, Nov.15, along Miami Beach.
 
“NASCAR Championship Drive is packed with activities that will help build excitement for what is shaping up to be one of the tightest finales in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. “Launched in 2010, NASCAR Championship Drive strives to not only thank our core fans, but also engage new fans of all ages and cultural backgrounds with a great mix of live music, driver appearances, a race hauler parade and many more activities in anticipation of the last three races of the season.”
 
With engines grumbling and horns blaring, a parade in Miami Beach featuring race haulers from the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, plus other specialty and support vehicles will signal the unofficial start of the race weekend. The parade starts in downtown Miami and travels across the MacArthur Causeway and onto Ocean Drive before ending at Lummus Park.
 
NASCAR Championship Drive was created with the support of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, the Florida Sports Foundation, the YMCA and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
 
“The Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert event is the perfect way to open up the championship race weekend in Miami. Connecting NASCAR and its fans with South Beach for an evening of free live music is happiness that is uniquely Coca-Cola,” said Sharon Byers, Senior Vice President Sports and Entertainment Marketing Partnerships at The Coca-Cola Company.
 
Fans can enter for a chance to win a VIP trip for two to Miami Beach for NASCAR Championship Drive at NASCARChampionshipDrive.com. The prize package includes round-trip airfare, a four night hotel stay, tickets to the weekend races, VIP prize package provided by Ford, a meet-and-greet with Daughtry and more.
 
Among the many fan-friendly events:

SCHEDULE
Friday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 11:
§ NASCAR Pit Stop Tour at the Dolphin Mall: Noon-10 p.m.
 
Wednesday, Nov. 14:
§ Championship Taste: 5:30-10 p.m. Chalet Village at  Homestead-Miami Speedway
§ During Championship Taste, participants can sample fare from approximately 20 different South Florida restaurants at the track’s Chalet Village. The NASCAR Foundation and Homestead Hospital are teaming up for Championship Taste — a debut event benefiting The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics children’s care unit program at Homestead Hospital.
 
Thursday, Nov. 15:
§ Grand Arrival NASCAR Hauler Parade: 3:30 p.m.
   o   Starts in downtown Miami and travels across the MacArthur Causeway and onto Ocean Drive before ending at Lummus Park
§ Auto Showcase: Noon-10 p.m., Lummus Park, Miami Beach
§ Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert: 7-10 p.m., Beachside
   o   Daughtry and Frankie J; DJ Laz as emcee
 
For more information, visit NASCARChampionshipDrive.com.
 
NASCAR PR

Philip Morris held off Lee Pulliam in a final six-lap sprint to the finish to win the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, but it was a gutsy decision on a late restart that proved to be the difference in the race for the four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.

Morris took the high line and ran deep into Turn 1 on a restart on Lap 126 to get past race leader Matt Bowling. Morris started on the outside and drove deep into the corner to get past Bowling and he remained out front the rest of the afternoon.

For Morris, he was just glad the move worked.

“I didn’t think the car would go through the turn,” said Morris. “I should have wrecked but I didn’t and I got such a good run in to the Turn but I didn’t want to stay up there up high.”

Pulliam held on for second, B.J. Mackey was third with Ryan Wilson and Brandon Butler fourth and fifth, respectively.

Finishing sixth through 10th were C.E. Falk, Matt Bowling, Kris Bowen, Justin Boston and Adam Long.

With the victory, Morris became the first three-time winner of the annual late model stock race at the speedway and it was a great end to a frustrating season for the Ruckersville driver.

“You know it was really frustrating to find out just before the season began that I would not have a ride, but I just knew that meant bigger things were ahead for us,” Morris said. “We tested and ran as much as we could to get ready for this race.”

Pulliam, the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, finished one position short in his attempt to become the first repeat winner of the race.

“We had a really good car today and I tried to save my car in the first half of the race, but we weren’t quite where we needed to be in our set up,’ Pulliam said. “The car was a lot better in the second half but we just couldn’t get started on the restarts and I could get past him on the final run to the finish.”

The race was slowed 11 times by caution. A total of 23 cars out of the 42-car field finished the race.


Martinsville Speedway PR

NASCAR announced today two personnel moves within its Industry Services department designed to bolster its support of industry partners. Jeff Wohlschlaeger has been hired as managing director of event services and Chad Seigler has been promoted to managing director of team services.

 
Wohlschlaeger joins NASCAR from the Chicago Bulls, where for the past 18 years he served as senior director of game operations. Wohlschlaeger produced and directed all elements of Bulls events, overseeing the entire in-game experience,
 
In the newly developed role, Wohlschlaeger will work closely with track partners to design and implement a world-class and unmatched fan experience at all NASCAR events. He will manage the overall development of NASCAR resources for tracks and serve as a resource for track promoters in the development, execution and measurement of fan engagement initiatives.
 
Seigler will continue working closely with race teams within each of NASCAR’s national touring series, providing marketing tools, resources and counsel. With his oversight, his team works in concert with NASCAR Market and Media Research in order to provide consultation and research tailored for specific business objectives. Seigler also manages the group’s Industry Operations function.
 
Both Wohlschlaeger and Seigler will report to Jill Gregory, NASCAR vice president of Industry Services. That group is comprised of strong employee teams dedicated to providing services across the industry constituent groups - including teams, event promoters and drivers. Gregory also manages NASCAR’s Driver Services group, which is actively seeking high-performing candidates for its managing director position. NASCAR is partnering with professional recruitment agency Harvey Nash to secure a top talent for this important Charlotte-based position.
 
Seigler will remain in Charlotte and Wohlschlaeger will be based in NASCAR’s headquarters in Daytona Beach.
 
NASCAR PR

In a race that has a reputation for close competition, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when two drivers turned in identical times for the top starting spot for Sunday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

Lee Pulliam and Matt McCall turned in matching fast times of 20.301 seconds (93.276 mph) Saturday afternoon. Pulliam was awarded the top position in a tiebreaker, which was national points standings. Pulliam, defending champion of the race, also won this year’s national championship.

Under this year’s new all-heat race format, Pulliam will start on the pole of the first 25-lap heat race while McCall will start first in the second heat. Garrett Campbell will start on the pole in the third heat race while Mike Darne will be the pole-sitter in the fourth heat race.

Deac McCaskill had the fifth best speed of the day, followed by Matt Bowling, Dennis Setzer, Philip Morris, Josh Berry and Brandon Butler.

Sunday’s action begins at 12 p.m. with the first of the four 25-lap heat races. The top eight finishers in each heat race will advance to the 150-lap feature. After the fourth heat race there will be a 50-lap last-chance race for the cars not making the field in the heat races. The top 10 finishers in the last-chance race will advance.

Martinsville Speedway PR

Chris Buescher finished eighth in Friday night's Kansas Lottery 98.9 at Kansas Speedway to bring home the 2012 ARCA Racing Series Championship after an extraordinary season with his Roush Yates engine.

 

Buescher entered the final race of the season just 85 points ahead of former ARCA Champion Frank Kimmel and needed to finish 12 or more positions ahead of Kimmel to seal his title hopes. After 99 laps of dueling top competitors in the series, Buescher stayed in the top 10 most of the night to cross the finish line eighth and become the series' 30th different champion.

 

"This is absolutely amazing," said Buescher in Victory Lane. "So much work goes into this and we've had so much help. I'm very proud to get Ford back in Victory Lane. This really makes all the work worth it."

 

Buescher has finished in the top 12 on 45 occasions during his ARCA Racing Series career, a success rate of 84.9 percent in his 53 starts. He won four races in 2012 and has become the only driver in the history of the ARCA Racing Series to complete every single lap in a season. Gary and Rusty Roulo of Roulo Brother racing own the No. 17 Ford that Buescher drives and have been running Roush Yates engines for over 5 years.

 

"I'm so proud of this team," said Gary Roulo. "Chris Buescher has done an amazing job this season as our driver and everyone at Roush Yates engines have helped along the way. We couldn't be happier about this Championship." 

 

Nick Ramey, Manager of the ARCA engine program at Roush Yates, is excited to win the ARCA Championship at Roush Yates. Ramey has been building engines with the Yates family for many years and is very proud of the entire No. 17 team.  

 

"I'm very excited for Chris Buescher and the Roulo Brothers," said Ramey. "Chris is a great kid and to win an ARCA Championship at only 19 years old tells me he is going to have a future in racing. Roush Yates engines have performed well all year and it's great to bring home a championship."

 

RYE PR

Ten days of racing excitement at Martinsville Speedway began Friday when more than 80 cars rolled into the historic track for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 NASCAR Late Model Stock race.

The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, NASCAR’S premier Late Model race, is scheduled for Sunday. The TUMS Fast Relief 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, is set to take the green flag on Sunday, October 28. And in between lots of exciting things are happening at and around Martinsville Speedway.

“It’s a great time of the year to be in Martinsville, especially if you are a race fan,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “Over the next few days we’re going to have some of the greatest short-track racing you’ll ever see. The Late Model teams are truly weekend warriors. They do it out of their love for the sport, and the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 gives them the opportunity to race on a big stage.

“Next weekend with the Kroger 200 and the TUMS Fast Relief 500 we’ll have great short-track racing with two tight championship races in play. For the next few days, Martinsville is going to be the heart of the racing world.”

The Late Model teams will spend half of Saturday getting cars through inspection, and then it will be on-track action several hours of practice. Speeds from the final hour of practice, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., will be used to set the field for the four 25-lap heat races on Sunday. The top eight finishers in each heat race will advance to the 150-lap feature.

The final 10 spots in the 42-car feature will be filled through a 50-lap last chance race. This is the first year for the all-heat race format.

“The reaction to the change has been very good,” said Campbell. “Fans I’ve talked to are very excited about it and I think most of the drivers have come around, too.”

The first heat race will begin at noon Sunday and the 150-lap feature should begin around 3:30.

There will be a free on-track autograph session open to all fans at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Once the dust clears from the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300, fans will hardly have time to catch their breath before action picks up for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 and the Kroger 200.

Both series will load into the infield on Thursday afternoon. On-track action begins at 11 a.m. next Friday with Kroger 200 practice, followed by practice for the TUMS Fast Relief 500. Qualifying for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 is set for 3:40 p.m.

Kroger 200 time trials will be at 10:35 Saturday morning, sandwiched between two Sprint Cup practice sessions. The Kroger 200 will take the green flag at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The TUMS Fast Relief 500 will start at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 28.

Fan gates open each day at 9 a.m.

Martinsville Speedway PR

The board of directors of Hulman & Company accepted the resignation of Anton H. "Tony" George from the board Friday, Oct. 19. The resignation is effective immediately.

"Tony George has made the difficult decision to resign from the board because of his involvement with a group that has recently expressed an interest in purchasing the Hulman & Company-owned INDYCAR organization," said Jeff Belskus, Hulman & Company president and CEO. "While the business is not for sale and no offers to sell it have been considered or are being considered, we applaud Tony's efforts to resolve the appearance of a conflict and appreciate the gravity of this decision."

George played an instrumental role in Hulman & Company over the last two decades, serving as president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from 1990-2004 and serving as IMS chief executive officer from 1990-2009. He also served as CEO of INDYCAR from 1994-2009 and previously served as president of Hulman & Company.

"I realize that my recent efforts to explore the possibility of acquiring INDYCAR represent the appearance of a conflict, and it is in everyone's best interest that I resign from the Hulman & Company board," George said. "It goes without saying that I want to do what is best for this organization."

Belskus indicated there is no immediate plan to fill the vacancy left by George's resignation and thanked George on behalf of the entire Hulman & Company board.

"Tony has been involved with our businesses for many years and has contributed significantly through his leadership role with IMS and INDYCAR and as a member of this board," Belskus said. "We wish Tony much success in the future."

The current composition of the Hulman & Company board is Mari Hulman George, Nancy L. George, M. Josephine George, Katherine M. George-Conforti, Andre B. Lacy, Michael L. Smith, John F. Ackerman, Jeffrey G. Belskus, Mark D. Miles and James T. Morris.

IMS PR

Now comes the hard part.

After three days of evaluations – the last two of which consisted of on-track testing at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. – Rev Racing personnel will pour over their notes from the 2012 NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine and pick their team for the 2013 racing season.

It won’t be an easy task, which for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity is a good thing.

“We saw a ton of talent – a lot more talent than ever before,” said Jefferson Hodges, Rev Racing’s director of competition. “And some of them were the same kids. I don’t know what they did between last year and this year, but they really stepped up their game. I was really happy about it.

“I think there are a lot more drivers that deserve an opportunity in our Late Model program than there are openings, so that part of is going to result in some tough decisions.”

“The success of that program is based on the fact that we’re able to really concentrate and develop these drivers.”

For drivers like Daniel Suarez, it’s Rev Racing’s reputation for development that makes a spot on the team so valuable. Suarez is leading the Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series in points and is a member of the Next9 initiative, an industry program that helps identify the next wave of NASCAR starts coming up through the ranks. In the past two years, he has run against Rev Racing drivers such as Kyle Larson, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Pena.

“It’s a really good experience being with all these drivers,” said Suarez of the Combine. “This is one of the best teams for development of young drivers who are in my position. I’m really excited to get the chance to get this opportunity to try out for Rev Racing.

“It’s a really important step for me and my career to be one of the 17 drivers [invited to the Combine], but that’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to be a member of the team and I’m working really hard for that.”

Thursday’s final session was a half-day, with a handful of drivers making additional runs as officials got a second look to help gather more information. All drivers are still in the running for spots on the 2013 Rev Racing team, which will be selected from among the 2012 Rev Racing drivers and the Combine participants.

That selection will take place following the completion of the 2012 season. Rev Racing still has a pair of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races on the schedule.

The first NASCAR race weekend of 2013 is the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the .4-mile oval on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway during February’s Speedweeks, which will feature both a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race as well as a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model event.

Headquartered in Concord, N.C., Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive For Diversity program, which is the industry's leading developmental program for multicultural and women drivers and pit crew members. Rev Racing fields cars in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

The Combine has been held the last two years at Langley, a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned track. The track’s characteristics help play a large role in evaluating drivers.

“The track is tough. It’s hard,” said Jefferson, who has more than 15 years experience with Late Models throughout the southeast. “Turns 3 and 4 are simple. It’s just a corner. But 1 and 2 is extremely difficult. So it really separates the great drivers from the good drivers.”

The drivers at the Combine boast a variety of backgrounds in racing, from open-wheel to stock car. Limited experience in full-fendered cars, though, did little to slow down the competitors. Collin Cabre, a Florida driver with extensive sprint car experience, said the challenges of those cars actually helps drivers to adapt quickly to their new surroundings.

“These two days have been an incredible experience,” said Collin Cabre. “Running from a sprint to a Late Model is totally different. They’re both fast in their own ways.

“What might spook another driver won’t spook a sprint car driver; what they say is out of shape and what I say is out of shape is totally different. They might say it’s totally sideways and it’s not really,” said Cabre. “The cars are very well set up. Rev Racing did a great job setting them up in the shop. They’re a pleasure to drive and I hope I’ll be driving them more.”

The NASCAR D4D program created in 2004 is now executed by Rev Racing. Currently the top two rookies in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Larson and Bryan Ortiz are in the 2012 D4D class, while Larson and Wallace, a Rev Racing graduate, made their national series debuts this year. Earlier this season, Wallace became the first African-American to win a pole award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, while Larson has been impressive in several NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

NASCAR PR

Farmland Foods and Richard Petty today presented $50,000 to Harvesters-The Community Food Network as a result of a summer-long campaign to raise awareness about hunger in the Kansas City area. During the "Bacon A Difference" campaign, which ran from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Farmland donated 4.3 cents to Harvesters for each bacon package purchased at participating grocery stores in Kansas City.

 

In addition, today Farmland Foods donated more than 5,000 packages of signature Hickory Smoked, Thick Sliced Hickory Smoked, Lower Sodium/Less Fat, and Re-sealable Applewood Bacon, helping to ensure families, children and seniors across the region have access to much-needed protein.

 

"On behalf of Farmland, I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of Kansas City for their exceptional support of our 'Bacon a Difference' campaign this summer," said Mike Brown, President and Chief Operating Officer of Farmland. "It is through your generosity that Farmland is able to provide a staggering 254,000 meals to families, children and seniors in need in our hometown this fall."

 

Beyond today's donation, Farmland also is raising awareness of Harvesters' mission by featuring the organization on the legendary No. 43 Ford at the Sprint Cup Series Race at the Kansas Speedway this weekend. If the No. 43 Ford wins Sunday's race, Farmland has pledged to double the donation to Harvesters for a total donation of $100,000.

 

"Through Farmland's partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports, we are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to spread the word about hunger relief efforts to a broad audience," said George Richter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smithfield Foods Pork Group.

 

"We are excited to kick off race weekend with Farmland's generous donation to Harvesters. Our team is proud that Farmland and Harvesters will appear on the No. 43 Ford at the Speedway this Sunday," said Richard Petty, legendary racecar driver and team owner.

 

In addition to cash and bacon donations, Farmland is committed to supporting Harvesters' hunger relief efforts through ongoing employee volunteering and activation. Since April 2012, Farmland employees have donated more than 400 hours of service to Harvesters. This month has been designated 'Fight Against Hunger' month at Farmland Foods. Employees are collecting canned goods and nonperishable items with the goal of overflowing the Harvesters barrels stationed through the Farmland offices in Kansas City.

 

"Farmland Foods has set a high standard for corporate involvement and demonstrated a company-wide commitment to Harvesters' mission of feeding hungry people today and working to end hunger tomorrow," remarked Karen Haren, President and CEO of Harvesters.

 

RPM PR

“After hearing from multiple people on our comments following announcing our campaign to reopen North Wilkesboro Speedway, we feel the comments seem to appear as they are being directed to the wrong people. The people of Wilkes County both in the Government and private citizens of the county are ardent supporters of the reopening of North Wilkesboro Speedway, notably many private citizens have worked extremely hard by putting their many talents to use to see something happen and we are most grateful for their help and sacrifice to see this project through.

While our comments may seem to be directed at them be assured this is not the case. As most might not be aware of earlier situations to revive and reopen North Wilkesboro Speedway, ideas of space needles with a spinning restaurant and stock car racing on ice have been floated by previous attempts to open the track. STS Motorsports came out against those efforts and our comments are directed at those ideas and groups solely, as we are questioned on many fronts about our involvement with previous attempts.”

All the information on the campaign can be found on STS Motorsports website at www.savethespeedway.net or following along on Twitter @savethespeedway and on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/northwilkesborospeedway.

STS Motorsports PR

The inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach will be a unique gathering of Late Model teams from across North America at the most hallowed of racing grounds. The event, expected to draw 75 to 100 entries from the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, will be competing on the .4-mile oval at Daytona International Speedway during the 2013 Speedweeks on Feb. 17-19.
 
Due to differing rules packages at tracks throughout the United States and Canada, the challenge for NASCAR’s Touring & Weekly competition division – led by Lynn Carroll, director of weekly racing, at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. – was to generate a set of rules and guidelines to allow as many teams to compete as possible.
 
“We surveyed tracks throughout all the regions to put this package together,” said Richard Buck, NASCAR director of touring series, competition. “This is a unique, one-of-a-kind showcase for the top Late Model drivers across the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Our specific purpose was to open the event to as many NASCAR competitors as possible regardless of where and how they compete on a week-to-week basis.”
 
The Late Model event is open to both sections – Late Model Stock Car Division and Mid-West/West Coast Late Model Division – outlined in the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rule Book. In order to insure fair competition there are specific adjustments that must be made to each division for this race, but they are the only small deviations from what is prescribed in each division’s normal rules package.
 
Both perimeter and straight-rail chassis will be permitted, as will compliant open/built and crate engines.
 
The top 10 in the final 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series point standings have earned protected starting positions in the Late Model race. The starting field will be determined by qualifying races.
 
The UNOH Battle At The Beach will also include feature races for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours.
 
All three feature races and additional on-track action at the UNOH Battle At The Beach will be telecast by SPEED as NASCAR racing kicks off the 2013 season at Speedweeks in Daytona Beach culminating with the running of ‘The Great American Race’ – the Daytona 500 – on Feb. 24.
 
NASCAR PR
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