Speedway News (9691)
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For the final race of the 2019 season for the Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models, the fans were entertained with back-and-forth motion for the lead by front row mates Dakota Ewing and Jake Little. Ewing, who had busted out early to the lead started to get slowed by the top side of the track and Jake Little working the bottom of the track moved his way to the front and with the flags started to wave, Little got the pass for the lead and Ewing could not rebound enough to contend for the win. For Little, the checkered flag was a good thing but it also locked up the 2019 Midwest Big Ten Series for the Pro Late Models. Ewing, however, got the last laugh as he won his first track championship in what was a grueling season.
Ewing, not even racing his own car, was in Jose Parga's 6P for the evening's division finale. Surprise wins and losses will reflect on Ewing's first Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Model championship at Macon Speedway. For Little, the same could be said at Macon. However, the multi-track, ten-race circuit was good to him as he bested the field and will take the top prize and trophy for the year.
While his father watched from the stands, Rodney Standerfer raced solidly and strong to go from fourth to second to the lead position during the BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds feature. Standerfer was glued to the bottom of the 1/5th mile track as he closed in on Cory Daugherty. Standerfer tested the waters on the top groove and would take over the lead as the race laps closed to the finish. Tim Hancock, Sr. was a story for the race as he blasted off from the top of the track from the fifth row outside spot, tenth place, and locked up second place as he got by Daugherty and Trevor Neville in the race's final laps.
Earlier in the night, Hancock moved by Rob Timmons to take the lead and drive away with the Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modified feature race. Hancock's lock on the track championship will be finalized next week in what has been another stellar season for the Mt. Olive native.
Josh Griffith won at Macon Speedway for the first time and relished in the moment after 15 laps in the Archer's Alley Street Stocks race. The veteran driver from Charleston has been coming to Macon Speedway for many seasons and has been racing in some of the track's biggest Street Stock events. Griffith took advantage of his pole position to lead him to the winner's circle as he got out to the lead and kept enough distance from the runner-up spot. Nick Macklin rallied from third place to move into second with a late pass on Jeff Reed, Jr.
Trevin Littleton from Jacksonville was once again on his A-game as he took away with the Micro Sprint feature presented by Bailey Chassis.
Adam Webb returned to victory lane in the Hornets division as he started last and took off on the drop of the green flag to grab the checkered flag once again.
In a special attraction, the Vintage Racing Series of Illinois made a stop in Macon and Justin Rutledge of Princeton was the best of 11 cars in the 15 laps. Rutledge raced a 1968 Mustang and received the lead on a gift from a flat tire that doomed Matt Ramer midway through the race. Decatur's James Landis took second while racing in a 1972 Javelin.
Macon Speedway hosted a special driver reunion among some of the long time fan favorites at the track such as Jim Ater, Roger Drake, Butch Garner, Jim Rarick, Pickles Standerfer and former track photographer Gene Sowers. One more week remains in 2019 for Macon Speedway and the final night of points will be had for the Billingsley Rewards.com Modifieds, Archer's Alley Street Stocks, Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modifieds, Sportsman, Hornets and Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis. There will be a special attraction for the ladies with a powder puff race and the mechanics will get to race cars instead of just work on them. Many fan giveaways will take place over the course of the evening, too. The evening was sponsored by Decatur Building Trades, who also sponsors the Pro Late Model division at Macon Speedway.
Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models--1. Jake Little (Springfield), 2. Dakota Ewing (Warrensburg), 3. Logan Moody (Catlin), 4. Blaze Burwell (Mt. Vernon), 5. Cody Maguire (Carlinville), 6. Colby Sheppard (Williamsville), 7. Roben Huffman (Midland City), 8. Blake Damery (Blue Mound), 9. Donny Koehler (Macon), 10. Devin McLean (Mt. Vernon)
BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds--1. Rodney Standerfer (Summerfield), 2. Tim Hancock, Sr. (Mt. Olive), 3. Cory Daugherty (Blue Mound), 4. Trevor Neville (Mackinaw), 5. Jeff Graham (Stonington), 6. Steve Phillips (Neoga), 7. Alan Crowder (Elwin), 8. Billy Knebel (Pocahontas), 9. Jeremiah Hoadley (Decatur), 10. Josh Thomas (Edinburg)
Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modifieds--1. Tim Hancock, Sr. (Mt. Olive), 2. Rob Timmons (Centralia), 3. Billy Knebel (Pocahontas), 4. Tim Hancock, Jr. (Mt. Olive), 5. Steve Phillips (Neoga), 6. Willy Myers (Collinsville), 7. Ryan Timmons (Centralia), 8. Tim Riech (Petersburg), 9. Josh Robb (Mt. Zion), 10. Billy Adams (Shelbyville)
Archer's Alley Street Stocks--1. Josh Griffith (Charleston), 2. Nick Macklin (Argenta), 3. Jeff Reed, Jr. (Blue Mound), 4. Darrell Dick (Monticello), 5. Jason Maier (Thomasboro), 6. Rudy Zaragoza (Jacksonville), 7. Terry Reed (Cerro Gordo), 8. Jaret Duff (Maroa), 9. Tommy Pickering (Cerro Gordo), 10. Larry Russell, Jr. (Decatur)
Vintage Racing of Illinois--1. Justin Rutledge (Princeton), 2. James Landis (Decatur), 3. Eric Rebholz (Peru), 4. Austin Lipe (Mendota), 5. Mark Davis (Mendota), 6. Wally Stodgehill (Buda), 7. Matt Ramer (Mendota), 8. Jason Abens (Ottawa), 9. Kyle Davis (Leland), 10. Tyler Sebby (Mendota)
Micro Sprints Presented by Bailey Chassis--1. Trevin Littleton (Jacksonville), 2. Molly Day (Atwood), 3. Daryn Stark (Springfield), 4. Chad Baldwin (Lincoln), 5. Steve Finn (Collinsville), 6. Jeff Beasley (Urbana), 7. James Koenigseein (New Athens), 8. Jacob Tipton (Decatur), 9. Hayden Harvey (Warrensburg), 10. John Barnard (Sherman)
Hornets--1. Adam Webb (Decatur), 2. Brady Reed (Decatur), 3. Blake West (Maroa), 4. Steve Stine (Stonington), 5. Ken Reed (Decatur), 6. Carson Dart (Springfield), 7. Cook Crawford (Lincoln), 8. David Stukins, Jr. (Edmond, OK), 9. Bill Basso (Athens), 10. Joe Reed (Decatur)
Macon Speedway PR
Bobby Santos III pushed the No. 36 Dodge to the front of the field when it counted on Saturday, winning the longest mileage and richest purse race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Santos landed in victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the sixth time in his career; this time after winning the Musket 250 presented by Whelen, the highlight of Full Throttle Fall Weekend.
“I saw the front, and I knew if I could put myself in position to be leading this thing and fight for the lead from the top two spots, we’d have a shot at it,” said Franklin, Mass. native Santos.
Santos hung around the bottom of the top 10 with Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore bouncing back and forth between the top two positions for most of the race, but worked his way through the pack to the front of the field, earning the top spot and playing defense for the final laps to capture the checkered flag.
“This is awesome,” said Santos. “As far as race wins and competition in this series, it doesn’t get much better. I’d put the top 10 in this race up against anybody anywhere, so to win here against these guys means a lot.”
After receiving a big hug and congratulations in victory lane from team owner Dave Sapienza who injured his back in a race earlier this season, Santos was presented with a custom musket, traditional Revolutionary War-era tricorn hat and a minuteman trophy from David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The handmade flintlock musket was built by Edwin Parry of Black Hart Long Arms out of Eastford, Conn. Using a blend of tiger maple and brass, Parry hand engraved the Revolutionary War-style musket with the race logo, a checkered flag, the profile of the state of New Hampshire and a spot for Santos’s name. Taking on its New England roots, the trophy is a replica of the Minuteman statue in Concord, Mass., weighing 30 pounds and measuring 32 inches tall.
For ticket information for all events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the June 13-21, 2020 Motorcycle Week at NHMS and the July 17-19, 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.
For the second time, the Bettenhausen 100 presented by BRANDT, has been canceled due to weather. The USAC Silver Crown Series and the DIRTcar Modifieds were scheduled to race Sunday afternoon, September 22.
After consulting with USAC, a number of team owners and drivers, weather forecasters, and with the rain the Springfield area received on Saturday, many felt it would be best to cancel a day in advance. Sunday’s forecast is unfavorable with a number of models showing a near 100% chance of rain.
The cancellation marks the second time the event has been scratched due to weather. It was originally scheduled to be part of the Illinois State Fair on Saturday, August 17.
For any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the office of Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200.
Track Enterprises PR
After knocking on the door of victory lane four times this season, Ty Gibbs, driver of the No. 54 Toyota, finally broke through and drove his way to the win after his first visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday after taking the checkered flag for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Apple Barrel 125 during the second annual Full Throttle Fall Weekend.
“It was just like going on a Sunday drive the car was so good,” said Gibbs, who started the race from the third position. “We led a lot of laps, and we got a little tight halfway through the race, but the guys fixed it up, and we went back out there and won.”
Gibbs led a majority of the race with Chase Cabre, who won at Loudon in July, Sam Mayer and Tanner Gray close behind. Gibbs lost his cushion after a late-race caution, but pulled away after bumping Gray, securing the first place position for the remainder of the race. Gray, Josh Berry, Spencer Davis and Mayer rounded out the top five at the conclusion after a four-car battle for second place.
Racing is in his blood, so it’s no surprise the grandson of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series team owner Joe Gibbs landed in victory lane during his rookie season after only 11 starts.
With his 17th birthday only two weeks away, today’s victory lane celebration served as an early birthday present for the Charlotte, N.C. native.
For ticket information for all events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the September 20-21, 2019 Full Throttle Fall Weekend, the June 13-21, 2020 Motorcycle Week at NHMS and the July 17-19, 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.
Kevin Lacroix may have dominated the first 92 laps of the Visit New Hampshire 100, but it was Andrew Ranger, driver of the No. 27 Dodge, who stole the lead and held it straight to victory lane as the tripleheader Saturday kicked off during the second annual Full Throttle Fall Weekend.
“My car was just fantastic,” said Ranger, who started the race from the third position. “The crew pushed really hard when I came into the pits and sent me back out with a little adjustment, and little by little we gained and I could see the race leader. It was a great race, and I hope we can finish and maybe win a third title.”
Capping off a sweet victory, Ranger took a swig from a gallon jug of pure New Hampshire maple syrup, creating a new victory lane tradition for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series at “The Magic Mile.”
Lacroix, who won the inaugural Visit New Hampshire 100 in 2018, repeated a dominant 90-lap performance in today’s race, however, he was unable to win the battle to the checkered flag. In the final lap, Alex Labbe, driver of the No. 36 Ford, spun Lacroix at the exit of turn four, propelling him into pit wall, ultimately ending Lacroix’s day only 20 feet from the finish line.
This race, being only the second time the NASCAR Pinty’s Series has raced outside of Canada, was full of battles throughout the field providing plenty of intense side-by-side racing action for the fans at NHMS.
For ticket information for all events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the September 20-21, 2019 Full Throttle Fall Weekend, the June 13-21, 2020 Motorcycle Week at NHMS and the July 17-19, 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.
Christopher Bell Wins Go Bowling 250 to Start the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs at Richmond Raceway21 Sep 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, captured the checkered flag in the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Playoff race at Richmond Raceway (Richmond). The victory was the first race of the NXS Playoffs and seventh win of the NXS season, which moves him to the Round of Eight in the NXS Playoffs.
“That one was pretty special. Going 92 laps straight here is really difficult,” said Bell. “We were sliding all around. I felt like if I could get to traffic I was going to be in good shape because my car could move around really good.”
With the victory, Bell has now won three of his four career starts at America’s Premier Short Track. He is now tied for third with Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin with the most wins of active drivers at Richmond.
Bell dominated the Go Bowling 250 leading a career-high 238 of 250 laps and winning by 1.700 seconds over second place finisher Austin Cindric of Team Penske. Cindric won the Go Bowling 250 pole with a lap of almost 119 miles per hour. This was his fourth pole of the 2019 NXS season.
The race featured four lead changes among Bell, Cindric, and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones just missed out on his fourth straight top-10 result by finishing 11th. Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Go Bowling car for Stewart-Haas Racing, finished third followed by Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe to complete the top five.
“I want to say thanks to the fans for coming out,” said Bell. “It’s an honor to run in front of you guys. If you don’t come out, we have no one to race for. Thank you to all the fans for coming out.”
Regular season NXS champion Tyler Reddick finished in tenth place. The rest of the NXS Playoff field finishes included: Noah Gragson in seventh, Michael Annett in ninth, Ryan Sieg in 12th, John Hunter Nemechek in 15th, and Justin Haley in 17th.
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, earned his third career top-10 finish in his fourth career NXS start.
Richmond Raceway PR
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival lights up the night this weekend down the parkway from Bristol Motor Speedway21 Sep 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
The sounds of music and entertainment are echoing from downtown Bristol this weekend as the ever-popular Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival welcomes the likes of Wynonna & The Big Noise, Patty Griffin and Matt Maeson to the Appalachian Highlands region. As music enthusiasts create their own schedules around their favorite featured artists this weekend, Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) is encouraging motorsports fans and festivalgoers to make plans to return next year for the ultimate 10-day fan experience.
Announced earlier this year, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and the BMS September race weekend will open and close an exciting week-and-a-half for fans, Sept. 10-19. BMS and the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) have joined forces for the ultimate offer: the Rhythm & Racing Super Ticket, which will give music and race fans the opportunity to experience 10 days of music, racing and entertainment. Add in the Race Week Parties in Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol (Food City Family Race Night) and there will literally not be a single day without fun for everyone.
“As visitors flock to downtown Bristol for this weekend’s Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, it reminds us of the excitement coming next year when both of our major events are held on back-to-back weekends,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager at Bristol Motor Speedway. “The Rhythm & Racing Super Ticket will give guests the chance to see the spectacle that is our region’s largest music festival while also witnessing all three NASCAR National Series races under the lights in the Playoffs for the first time at BMS. There is nowhere else where you can experience a more-packed 10-day NASCAR and concert experience than Bristol, Sept. 10-19, 2020.”
The Super Ticket includes a weekend wristband to the Festival (Sept. 10-13) and a NASCAR ticket to all playoff races at Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 17-19), including the headlining Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. The cost of the ticket package begins at $150 per ticket and is available as an add-on option for BMS season ticket holders.
The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion opened yesterday and continues through tomorrow, Sept. 22. Wynonna & The Big Noise will hit the stage tonight while The Black Lillies will close the festival on Sunday. To purchase one-day tickets to the final two days of the 2019 Rhythm & Roots Reunion, visit https://www.
For more information about Rhythm & Racing, visit RhythmandRacing2020.com.
Brad Brightbill and Kevin Hirthler thrilled the fans in the stands Friday night at Grandview Speedway with a spirited battle for the top spot in-and-out of heavy lapped traffic over the final dozen laps or so in the sixth annual “Night Before The Sixer” Freedom 38’er, with Brightbill coming out on top to earn the $2,000 payday at the checkered.
For Brightbill, who just a week earlier earned his first career Sportsman track championship at the Bechtelsville, PA dirt track, it was career win number 10 and Brightbill’s fifth win of the 2019 racing season. The popular triumph was his first since August 17 of this season. The Sinking Spring, PA second-generation chauffeur became the sixth different winner in six Freedom 38’er events overall to date at the high-banked third-mile oval.
Brightbill captured checkered flags in his heat race and the feature to give him a clean sweep for the evening.
Also on the card were the Delaware Auto Exchange Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series winged 305 Sprint Cars, with Dublin, PA based self-employed electrician Joe Kay powering out on top with the drop of the green after starting from the pole position and leading every lap in the 25-lap feature to earn his first career MASS victory by a safe margin. Kay was never seriously challenged in the fray, leading by nearly a full straightaway through much of the event.
“I can’t really put it into words,” revealed Brightbill afterwards. “I am so thankful for all the guys who helped me this season. To go out on a high note like this, it really means a lot.”
Nate Brinker, 24, of Allentown, PA started on the pole in the 38-lap Sportsman main event as the 26-car starting field took the green and was the race leader until Kenny Bock, who started outside row one, grabbed the top spot on lap 4.
By lap 8, Brightbill, who started from fifth by the luck of the draw, climbed into the runner-up role, followed by Brian Hirthler and Brinker. The 26-year-old Birdsboro, PA resident, Bock, remained out in from as the laps clicked off, with Brightbill closing the gap by lap 14.
Laps 15 and 16 saw Bock and Brightbill in a fan-pleasing battle, with Brightbill exiting turn 4 on lap 17, driving under Bock to become the new race leader.
“Kenny was running me pretty good there and I just couldn’t shake him on the outside,” explained Brightbill. “As the track started to get slicker our car just started to come around and we were lucky to prevail there at the end.”
Kevin Hirthler, 39, of Boyertown, PA, who won the event in 2018, started from eleventh-place and hustled his way up to fourth-place by lap 9. Ten circuits later, Hirthler advanced into second-place and lap 20 saw the only caution of the night as Ryan Beltz spun out in turn 2.
When racing resumed it was Brightbill rocketing out in front of Kevin Hirthler, as Bock battled wheel-to-wheel with 27-year-old Jared Umbenhauer for third for a lap, prior to Umbenhauer eventually taking the spot on lap 22.
With 26 tours complete, Kevin Hirthler closed in on the rear of Brightbill’s homebuilt mount and the battle for first was on. Hirthler challenged Brightbill racing in-and-out of lapped traffic, but Brightbill fought off every challenge with ease.
“I didn’t know how close anyone was,” Brightbill was saying. “I just tried to pick and choose very carefully where I went without getting tangled up with anyone else in lapped traffic. Things just turned out in our favor.”
“It was a tough track, being so narrow,” offered Kevin Hirthler. “I understand the lapped cars are out there racing for position too and I wished we could have had some good side-by-side racing for the lead, but that’s not how it turned out. Everyone was running clean and it is what it is.”
Brightbill brought home the victory over Kevin Hirthler, who earned an additional $100 as the first Crate powered car to cross the line, with Jared Umbenhauer finishing third, after starting thirteenth, with 37-year-old Brian Hirthler of Perkiomenville, PA fourth, after starting from eighth, and Bock rounding out the top five finishers in that order.
“We were fighting the car all night and finally figured it out before the feature,” announced the third-place finisher from Richland, PA, Umbenhauer. “I couldn’t tell who the race leader was racing in all that lapped traffic. I had to look up at the leader’s board to see just who was where at one point. It feels good to finally finish a feature race for once.”
Heat race victories with a total of 42 Sportsman on hand went out to Brightbill, Jesse Leiby, Brad Grim and Brian Hirthler, with consolation wins earned by Brad Arnold and Mike Toth.
In the MASS Sprint Car feature, Kay started on the pole and immediately jumped out on top over 29-year-old Eddie Wagner, of Franklinville, N.J., who started outside of row one. Dominic Melair of Jamison, PA followed as the third-place car.
Christian Rumsey, 21, of Middletown, N.Y. advanced to fifth-place on lap 10, just behind 36-year-old Jon Haegele out of Rockledge, PA, and climbed to fourth at the halfway point, just prior to Wagner spinning out all alone in turn 2, bringing out the only caution of the event that started 20 cars.
With the new green Kay again powered out in front and by lap 17 he was nearly a full straightaway out in front over Melair, Rumsey, Haegele and recently crowned champion Bordentown, N.J. veteran racer Larry McVay, who’ll turn 56-years-old on September 28, in that order. That’s how the race finished, as Kay authored his first-ever MASS 305 Sprint Car feature win.
“Damn, this feels good,” announced Kay, who also races 600 wingless micro sprints throughout the season. “I tried not to worry and not make any mistakes while I was running out in front. I tried to be consistent and just hit my marks each lap. I did my best to not get tangled up with any of the lapped cars. Tonight we just had all our ducks in a row.
“I’ve got to thank Brian Carber and my good friend Tim Tanner Jr. They both helped me out and Tanner Jr. is always there if I need something. This is just totally awesome. It feels great,” Kay pointed out.
Heat victories for 20 MASS 305 Sprint Cars went to Daniel Leaper and Dominic Melair. No consolation was needed.
Some 43 358 Modified campaigners showed up for a night of practice sessions throughout the night preparing for the Freedom 76 scheduled for Saturday night. In all the pits were packed with a grand total of 105 race cars for the evening of competition.
Next on the agenda is the $25,000 to win 49th Annual Freedom 76 for Modifieds. Racing will get the green for the first qualifying event at 7 p.m. Adult admission is $40, with youngsters 6 through 11 paying $10 and kids under 6 admitted free. Advance ticket holders are admitted at 3 p.m. with general admission tickets on sale at 3:30 p.m.
For additional information check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com, Facebook or telephone 610.754.7688.
MASS 305 Sprints 25-laps – 1) Joe Kay, 2) Dominic Melair, 3) Christian Rumsey, 4) Jon Haegele, 5) Larry McVay, 6) Scott Frack, 7) Tim Tanner Jr. 8) Tom Carberry, 9) Jeff Geiges, 10) Keith Prutzman, 11) Logan Diehl, 12) Ricky Dieva, 13) Dylan Smith, 14) Johnny Yanek, 15) Daniel Leaper, 16) Josh Bricker, 17) Marie McVay, 18) Kevin Nagy, 19) Eddie Wagner, 20) Dave Bonner (DNS).
Sportsman 38-laps – 1) Brad Brightbill, 2) Kevin Hirthler, 3) Jared Umbenhauer, 4) Brian Hirthler, 5) Kenny Bock, 6) Kyle Lilick, 7) Dean Bachman, 8) Mike Mammana, 9) Tim Buckwalter, 10) Jesse Leiby, 11) Brad Grim, 12) Brad Arnold, 13) Jesse Landis, 14) Matt Peck, 15) Brandon Edgar, 16) Mark Kemmerer, 17) Nate Brinker, 18) Dakota Kohler, 19) Tyler Peet, 20) Jimmy Leiby, 21) Josh Adams, 22) Matt Clay, 23) Mike Toth, 24) Ryan Beltz, 25) Jack Butler, 26) Doug Snyder.
Grandview Speedway PR
Gettin’ ‘DIRT’Y at ’Dega! Transformation Infield Project Presented by Graybar Construction Progress Report20 Sep 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
Dirt here, dirt there, dirt EVERYWHERE! Convoys of excavators, diggers and dump trucks have invaded Talladega Superspeedway as crews are working on a major part of the Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar – the Alabama Gang Superstretch RV area. It will be ready for fans’ arrival for the upcoming doubleheader NASCAR Playoffs weekend (Oct. 11-13) featuring the 1000Bulbs.com 500 and the Sugarlands Shine 250.
Along the majority of the length of the Alabama Gang Superstrech construction workers are using heavy machinery to dig, level and then add gravel to the all-new RV area, which will add nearly 200 reserved camping spots and offer fans an incredible view of the wild backstretch racing, plus electrical and water hookups.
On the opposite side of the mammoth infield, much of the detailed work is being done throughout the Talladega Garage Experience, the focal point of the Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar. It will allow fans to be immersed into the sport like never before at the famous 2.66-mile venue that is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year.
Inside the Talladega Garage Experience’s centerpiece – the Open Air Social Club – work continues on the 74-foot Sugarlands Shine Bar that stretches across the backside of the massive 35,000 square foot building and is an added attraction for fans. Another bonus for fans will be a huge 41-foot diagonal video screen high above the bar that will feature the on-track action as well as other visuals for fans to see.
The Open Air Social Club will offer an array of comfortable seating and will be lined on both sides by two garages that will house the top 22 drivers (11 in each) in the premier series. Fans who purchase a Garage Experience admission will receive “up-close” access inside each garage bay via the fan viewing walkway where they will be just feet away from where the race cars are being prepped by the race teams.
Earlier in the week, NASCAR Hall of Famer and team owner Richard Childress seemed to be in his natural element when he hopped in a Caterpillar front end loader and helped bring in some dirt to one of the many landscaped areas throughout the 140,000 square foot Garage Experience social space. While he was here, Childress and track officials announced that prior to the 1000Bulbs.com 500, Childress will lead the field to the green flag in the authentic black No. 3 Chevrolet that carried Dale Earnhardt to his final career win in 2000.
Railing is also going up around the new “old-school” style winner’s circle, where fans will get an up-close view of all the victor’s celebrations in Gatorade Victory Lane in Celebration Plaza. A lot of pressure washing and cleaning the exterior of the buildings are also taking place.
Other buildings showing advancement include the Pit Road Club, concession and restroom complexes, two other garages (not affixed to the Open Air Social Club), and Guest Services. Work is also progressing on the Race Operations building that sits high above the Tri-Oval that will house NASCAR Race Control, LIVE Network Television and Radio, as well as public address announcers.
The Talladega Garage Experience will stretch from the center of the Tri-Oval down near the start-finish line and will also have FREE Wi-Fi. Other items fans can enjoy include incredible $4 or less Value-Priced Concessions, an entertainment stage for local music, Driver Q&A’s and other interviews, and social areas including a Watch Zone, Kids Zone and the Clyde May’s Courtyard. Guests with a Talladega Garage Experience pass will also have access to Sunday’s pre-race ceremonies and Driver Introductions at the Start-Finish line!
The Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar is part of International Speedway Corporation’s (Talladega’s parent company) long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. DLR Group is the architect of the entire project while Hoar Construction leads Phase II. GT Grandstands (Plant City, FL) is constructing the Race Operations tower, as well as the Pit Road Club that will house 600 guests who will get a birds-eye view of team pit stops from behind pit road, along with food and beverages.
Fans can learn more about the project and view the progress 24/7 via the construction cam by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.
Without a Hitch! Bill France Sr. Conducts First Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Premier Series Race in 1969 Without Issues, Despite Driver Walkout20 Sep 2019 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
It was a day that will never be forgotten, and was one where Talladega Superspeedway creator Big Bill France Sr., never flinched.
On Saturday, September 13, 1969, the day before the first-ever Talladega 500 at the brand-new Alabama International Motor Speedway (today known as Talladega Superspeedway), more than 30 of the top drivers in NASCAR’s premier series decided to withdraw over “supposed” tire safety concerns at France’s 2.66-mile palace of speed. France, the then-president of NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation, was adamant the race would go on.
And, it did, without a hitch.
While NASCAR Grand National Series (today known as Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) drivers with recognizable names like Petty, Pearson, Allison, Baker and Yarborough – all a part of the Professional Drivers Association – decided to exit, it left the door open for newcomers who were competing in Saturday’s Bama 400 NASCAR Grand Touring event, a race that featured smaller cars (like a Camaro, Mustang, Firebird, Javelin, Cougar, Dart) with much less horsepower.
“Bill France Sr. asked us to come down to a building in the infield, and he climbed on a bench to speak to us that Saturday,” said NASCAR and International Motorsports Hall of Famer Richard Childress, who was at Talladega that weekend to compete in the Bama 400 in his 1968 No. 13 Chevrolet Camaro. “There was a ’69 Mercury race car sitting there that Mr. France had taken out on the track himself to show the Cup guys the track was safe to race on, but they (premier series drivers) still left.
“He said to us, ‘I want you guys to race here, and I will give you X-amount of dollars (just to compete), plus you’ll get the purse money.’ So, the next day, I think more than 20 of us stayed and raced the 500. It was a big break for Richard Childress as I left with more money than I’d ever seen in my life. It was so important for Bill Sr. to run the race that day. No matter what, he was going to run it, and he had enough of us guys who stayed over.”
In fact, there were only 12 of the cars which had originally been scheduled to compete on Sunday that started that first Talladega 500. A total of 24 drivers from the Saturday Grand Touring race came back to compete Sunday. Names of some of those drivers included Vaughan, Ward, Sessoms, Pickett and Gwyn – not household names. And, then there was Childress, who finished 17th on Saturday and 23rd on Sunday.
“Talladega is always going to hold a special place in my heart,” said Childress, who later in his career gave up driving and became only a team owner (has 12 wins at Talladega). “We went back home after that first weekend and incorporated Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, which was our start. A few days later, I got a letter in the mail from Bill France Sr., and I still have it. It said that if ‘You ever need anything, take the letter and give it to any member of my family.’ That is what you call history. Talladega is a special place….always has been.”
While letters were written to all the competitors who stayed to make up that first field of cars at Talladega, France also had the race fan at the top of his list. He issued the following statement Saturday afternoon - dated 9-13-69 - after the driver walkout:
“I am very much surprised that some of our drivers and car owners would wait until the last day prior to a major event and withdraw their automobiles from a race. Track officials and NASCAR officials worked until the last moment to get drivers to fulfill their obligations to the fans who traveled from some distance to the event. When the drivers qualified for the event, everyone expected they would race.
It would be unfair to the spectators who traveled to Talladega to see a race to postpone it. It would also be unfair to the drivers and car owners who wish to compete.
Therefore, we will start the first annual Talladega 500 at 1:00 P.M. Sunday, as scheduled, lining up the Grand National cars in the order they qualified. We will allow the Grand Touring cars to start in the back of the field in the order that they finished in the ‘Bama 400. We will pay the purse of $120,000 as advertised.
Persons who attend the race, and those holding reserved seat tickets for the Talladega 500 and who do not attend, will be allowed to exchange them for tickets to a race at Daytona Speedway or for a future event at Alabama International Motor Speedway.
They can see two races for the price of one. This does not apply to press tickets, complimentary tickets or credentials.”
Richard Brickhouse would place his name in the history book, taking his winged No. 99 Dodge Daytona to his first and only career triumph by seven seconds over Jim Vandiver, with Ramo Stott, Bobby Isaac and Dick Brooks completing the top five. Brickhouse averaged 153.778 mph for the race that had seven cautions for 38 laps, but there were no major incidents as a result of tires. The highest finishing driver from the Saturday event? None other than Jimmy Vaughan, who placed seventh, the only car from the Bama 400 to place in the top 10.
Now, 50 years later, the races still go on – just different drivers, who will try their hand at the 33-degree of banking in the Sugarlands Shine 250 for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on Saturday, Oct. 12, and the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, Oct. 13 – both crucial NASCAR Playoff events. For ticket information and to learn more about the Talladega Garage Experience where fans can be immersed into the sport and track like never before, log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).
NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) and recognize the numerous contributions from Sandra Torres, the Healthy Cabarrus Latino Outreach Coordinator at Cabarrus Health Alliance, to the Hispanic community of Cabarrus County.
The Hispanic Heritage Award recognizes the commitment of Hispanic leaders to their communities and promotes their efforts by honoring them in their local race market. As part of the recognition, each honoree receives a $2,500 donation for a non-profit organization of their choice. This year, Torres chose El Puente Hispano, whose mission is to connect and integrate the Hispanic community with available information and resources to foster self-sufficiency and productivity.
Torres will be honored on stage during the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 on Sunday, Sept. 29, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to her job at CHA, Torres is a co-founder and vice-president of El Puente Hispano, a local nonprofit organization that aims to better the lives of the Hispanic population in Cabarrus County. Torres also serves as the chair of the Family Support and Social Services Committee for El Puente Hispano.
Through her roles at CHA and El Puente, Torres has used her managerial experience to identify gaps in services for the Latino community and assists with the development and implementation of programs that address those needs. Sandra is able to advocate and help be a part of the necessary change as she engages local agencies to create programs in Spanish.
She worked with local parks and rec departments, to create Spanish exercise programs including Zumba classes, and ensured that materials were available in Spanish. She developed a partnership with the Concord Police Department to offer programs historically offered only in English in Spanish, such as Coffee with a Cop, the Crime and Safety Briefing and a CommUNITY Conversation on opioids. She also established a partnership with the Concord Fire Department to offer hands-only CPR classes in Spanish. More than 70 people have been trained, understanding that they can make the difference between life and death.
With mental health as one of the community priorities, she implemented a monthly program named “Entre Amigas” or “Among Girlfriends.” This is a women’s group led by a volunteer therapist to discuss topics such as depression, self-esteem, and goal setting.
Torres partners with different organizations to volunteer their services to inform the Latino community about pressing topics. Programs include presentations from Present Age on trafficking, workshops by Cano Family Services on girl empowerment, and classes from CHA on parent-child communication. She has also developed a partnership with the Cabarrus Art Council to promote some of their activities among the Latino Community, utilizing Spanish material and enlisting bilingual volunteers. Sandra created and manages a Facebook page in Spanish for CHA.
A proud native of Colombia, Torres moved to New York City in the 1990s, where she held a managerial position at the citywide public school's nutrition department. Ten years ago, she moved to Concord, where she lives with her husband and twin boys. Torres holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Communication Management from Baruch College in New York City.
Torres belongs to various local organizations such as Cabarrus Arts Council Board of Directors, Concord Rotary, Project Baseline Advisory Board and Steering Committee, Leadership Cabarrus Class of 2019 and CHA Ethics Committee. She makes sure that wherever she goes the voice of the Latino population is heard, further developing her commitment to the advancement of the Latino community and promoting inclusion and diversity throughout Cabarrus County.
“Sandra has an unwavering commitment to the Hispanic community of Cabarrus County,” said Greg Walter, the executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Her endless contributions to organizations like the Cabarrus Health Alliance and El Puente demonstrate her considerable passion for serving others. We are proud to salute her many achievements by bestowing Sandra with this prestigious honor.”
Past Charlotte Motor Speedway award recipients include Stefan LaTorre, president of LeTorre Law Firm, Norberto Sanchez, founder and CEO of Norsan Media and Pastor Rusty Price of Camino Church.
Celebrating years of partnership, Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR are proud to celebrate outstanding Latino leaders who are making an impact in their communities.