Speedway Digest Staff
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This weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Live Fast Motorsports honors NASCAR Hall of Famer Red Farmer, adorning the No. 78 in Farmer’s Long-Lewis Ford paint scheme.
“Racing and Red Farmer have been a part of the Long-Lewis heritage for more than 50 years and so has the strong friendship between Vaughn Burrell and Red,” said Todd Ouellette, Owner and President of Long-Lewis Auto Group. “To have these two legends actually at the Talladega race on Sunday watching our Cup Series car run in honor of that relationship, will be a day I will never forget! I cannot wait!”
Long-Lewis started sponsoring Farmer in 1962, and the iconic gold and white paint scheme will hit the high banks at the superspeedway once again for Sunday’s race in the Geico 500.
“It’s nice to have Long-Lewis on the 78 car this weekend,” said Charles ‘Red’ Farmer. “I’ve had that gold and white car since 1955 and Long-Lewis started sponsoring me in ’62 and have been on my car ever since. Talladega is a great place for me, I call it my home-town track. I won two Arca 500’s on that track and a bunch of others. Glad to see a cup team running my colors again there.”
“It’s so important to look back and reflect on the history of our sport, especially as being one of the newest teams in NASCAR,” said team owner Matt Tifft. “There are no more legendary than that of Red Farmer and his dedication to this sport that put NASCAR on the map.”
“Bringing a partner like Long-Lewis and their partners together on this Mustang gives a great sense of pride, and with our consistent runs over the last few months and speed we are finding, we are ready to push towards our best finish of the year. Talladega is a wildcard race, and always of excitement and survival, so we are ready to take on that challenge!”
Live Fast Motorsports PR
Panini America is breaking from its primary Panini Trading Cards paint scheme that has been a constant on Xfinity Series races the last three years and planning to pack a punch at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ag-Pro 250 with a bold, new paint scheme for Gray Gaulding and his No. 52 Camaro (Jimmy Means Racing). The new paint scheme celebrates Panini America’s exclusive partnership with UFC®, and the upcoming release of the 2021 UFC Prizm trading card product that arrives in hobby shops and online at www.paniniamerica.net on April 28 and at Walmart and Target in early May. The Talladega unveiling also coincides with the highly anticipated UFC® 261: USMAN vs. MASVIDAL 2, which takes place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., that afternoon.
The new paint scheme features the trading card industry’s most popular brand – PRIZM and includes imagery of several key trading cards from the upcoming UFC Prizm release. This marks the second time that Panini America has utilized its primary sponsorship of Gaulding to showcase Panini’s popular trading cards across all sports with a special paint scheme. In August of 2019, Panini America painted Gaulding’s No. 08 Chevrolet with a 2019 Donruss Football scheme featuring NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes who went on to win the Super Bowl that year.
“Timing could not have been better for this unique marketing activation,” said Jason Howarth, Panini America Vice President of Marketing. “The Talladega Xfinity race happening on the same day as UFC 261 and just a few days before the hobby release of our first UFC trading card product presented an opportunity to celebrate the partnership in a compelling way. We’re excited to partner with Gray to showcase our UFC relationship to passionate NASCAR fans.”
“Panini has been an incredible partner over the last three seasons, and I cannot wait for Saturday to climb into the Talladega ring with our No. 52 Panini America UFC PRIZM Camaro,” Gaulding said. “Just like in 2019 at Bristol when Panini ran Patrick Mahomes on my hood, I think fans will appreciate this amazing new PRIZM design that has become so popular with sports fans and trading card fans in all sports.”
Gray Gaulding PR
As the ARCA Menards Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the third race of the season, Eric Caudell and CCM Racing are preparing to return to the track for the first time since the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway in February.
Following a 16th-place run in the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire, Caudell is hoping to improve upon that by earning his third career top-10 finish in this weekend’s General Tire 150.
“Superspeedways are 50/50 getting out undamaged but I am confident going to ‘Dega because we had a good car at Daytona, and almost finished top 10,” said Caudell, who will be competing in the No. 7 Doug Design Ford this weekend. “We came back and immediately began improving the car for Talladega. We are going there to run as hard as we can and try to be in the top 10 at the end.”
Caudell, who is both the owner and the driver for the No. 7 team, has raced at Talladega Superspeedway three previous times in the ARCA Menards Series, with a best finish of 14th in March of 2020.
The No. 7 CCM team is also looking ahead to the remainder of the 2021 season. As in previous years, the team will be running a limited schedule with a tentative plan including both races at Kansas Speedway (May 1st and October 23rd); Elko Speedway (July 10th); Iowa Speedway (July 24); Winchester Speedway (July 31st); Illinois State Fairgrounds (August 22); the Milwaukee Mile (August 29th); DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (September 5th); and Bristol Motor Speedway (September 16th).
“We have improved the program every year and now we are trying to run in the top 10 so we can set our sights on some top 5 finishes,” said Caudell.
Calling the shots on the pit box for the No. 7 team this season will be Jeremy Petty, who has served as crew chief for the team the last two seasons, including earlier this year in Daytona, and has 26 starts of his own as a driver in the ARCA Menards Series.
“Our goal this year is to be cautiously aggressive,” said Petty. “We have a limited inventory of cars, so it doesn’t make sense to put ourselves in a precarious position, so we will have to choose our battles.”
When it comes to Talladega, Petty says one of the main challenges is managing the draft and knowing when to call Caudell in for pit stops.
“We want to try and pit with some of the guys we are racing around,” said Petty. “If we pit with cars that are faster than us, we will lose the draft and our day is hosed. So I will have to be mindful of that as the race progresses.”
The team competed in seven races on the ARCA schedule last season, posting two top 10s, including a career best 8th for Caudell at Winchester Speedway.
The General Tire 200 will run this weekend on Saturday, April 24th at 1:00 PM ET. The race can be viewed on FS1 and Fox Sports Go. Radio coverage will also be provided by the Motor Racing Network.
Our Motorsports announces today the addition of Natalie Decker to its driver roster for the No. 23 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Decker will pilot the entry for four races, starting with this weekend’s Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Mark Lusk, President/General Manager, commented: “This partnership really is a perfect match.
Spencer Boyd announced today that Angry Brew will be a 2021 sponsor of the No. 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team highlighted with a primary paint scheme at Kansas Raceway. Angry Brew Coffee is a highly caffeinated coffee brand roasted by Michigan-based Five Lakes Coffee Company.
“My day starts early,” said Spencer Boyd. “I’m up at 6am to work out before I start my work day. I need to be clear-headed quickly so I was searching for a coffee that would kick-start my day even before the first cup finished. Angry Brew is the coffee for me because it wakes me up quickly without feeling weird. It just so happens that they have a cool brand that looks amazing on a race truck.”
Five Lakes Coffee co-founders and brothers Paul & Jared have been asked for 'coffee with a punch' many times over the years. If you’re getting a cup of coffee at one of their cafes, the quick fix is to add a shot of espresso to your coffee but what about brewing highly caffeinated coffee at home? Angry Brew is the solution! Angry Brew is a dark roast, started with Fair Trade Certified Organically Grown green coffee beans and blended with Robusta coffee beans to achieve a high caffeine content naturally, then roasted in a custom blend to produce a well-balanced and delicious coffee.
Co-Owner of Five Lakes Coffee, Paul Smith, commented on the partnership with Spencer Boyd, “We love NASCAR and know the fans will love Angry Brew right back. We have developed a ‘Coffee with a Punch’ for the men and women that provide for their families day in and day out. Spencer embodies the hard-working mentality of our customers and has the authentic social media that we were looking for in a partner. There is a quote from a movie... ‘Don’t Drive Angry’, well in this case we want Spencer to drive Angry!”
Having grown up outside of St. Louis, Spencer Boyd calls Kansas Speedway his second home track. The No. 20 Angry Brew Chevrolet Silverado out of the Youngs Motorsports stable will be ready to do battle when the trucks head to the Midwest on May 1.
Spencer Boyd PR
AutoTempest.com, an aggregator of online classified advertisements specifically for cars, has joined Roush Fenway Racing and will serve as a primary partner for Chris Buescher in two races this season.
Their debut comes May 2nd at Kansas Speedway when Buescher makes his 11th start at the 1.5-mile track. The brand will return to the No. 17 machine for NASCAR’s historical event at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) during the May 23rd weekend in Austin, Texas.
“We’re excited to partner with a brand like AutoTempest that falls right into our wheelhouse when talking about cars,” Buescher said. “Any time we can welcome a new partner to the sport, it brings an extra element of excitement for the team. We can’t wait to put the AutoTempest Ford Mustang on track in a couple weeks in Kansas, and then again down the road when we visit a new track in my home state.”
Since 2008, AutoTempest.com has helped consumers find their ideal cars online. The site streamlines the car buying process by gathering search results from top used car websites to take effort and guesswork out of the equation.
"We've never really done a lot of traditional advertising," said AutoTempest CEO Nathan Stretch. "When people hear there's a site where you can basically search everywhere at once for used cars, it kind of sells itself. Instead, we've focused on supporting the automotive and motorsports communities, which helps get the word out about what we do but also lets us give back at the same time. As fans ourselves, having the opportunity to sponsor Chris and the team is really incredible."
Kansas is the site of two top-10s for Buescher, including a career-best sixth-place run in 2017. He also finished 10th in the 2019 spring event. Through nine races, the 28-year-old has the 17 team sitting 16th in the standings with an average finish of 16.9.
COTA serves as one of the highlights of NASCAR’s revamped schedule in 2021, which features a record six road courses. The May 23rd weekend, which will feature both practice and qualifying sessions, serves as NASCAR’s first-ever visit to the facility, which routinely hosts both Formula 1 and MotoGP races. It will mark one of three visits to Buescher’s home state in 2021, with Texas Motor Speedway set to host the All-Star Race in June, and its annual playoff race in October.
Buescher has a road course win to his credit at the NASCAR National Series level with a win at Mid-Ohio back in 2014 in a Roush Fenway Xfinity entry. The Prosper, Texas, native has been impressive at road courses as of late, running 10th at the Daytona Road Course this February, just a year after finishing fifth there last summer.
First Timers! Could We See Yet Another Driver Get That Initial Career NASCAR Cup Series Victory at Talladega Superspeedway in Sunday’s GEICO 500?
As the NASCAR Cup Series head to the Most Competitive race track on the planet – Talladega Superspeedway – for the running of the GEICO 500 this Sunday (April 25), one of the top storylines will beg the question: Will we see another first-time Cup winner in the track’s iconic Victory Lane?
Michael McDowell started off the season by winning his first in grand style, capturing the DAYTONA 500 to claim his initial premier series triumph, and a week later during the DAYTONA Road Course event, Christopher Bell pulled the rabbit out of the hat for his first NASCAR Cup Series victory. With parity highly seen thus far in the first nine races (8 winners – only Martin Truex, Jr., has two wins), the season shifts to the unpredictable 2.66-mile, 33-degree-banked venue that has produced 11 first-time winners.
Since Talladega Superspeedway opened its doors in 1969, going to Victory Lane at marked the beginning of several successful careers with the likes of Davey Allison (1987), Ken Schrader (1988), Brian Vickers (2006) and Brad Keselowski (2009). Allison’s career tallied 19 career triumphs (three at TSS) while Schrader and Vickers finished with four and three total wins respectively. Keselowski, the 2012 premier series champion, currently has 34 (five of which have come at Talladega). Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.is the latest to pull off the feat, going to the winner’s circle in the 2017 GEICO 500. He now has two career victories.
The first – and lone – victory for others at Talladega have been the benchmark of their career, and they all came in dramatic fashion at the “Greatest Race Track in the World,” as it was termed by NASCAR founder and track creator Bill France, Sr. They include Richard Brickhouse (1969), Dick Brooks (1973), Lennie Pond (1978), Ron Bouchard (1981), Bobby Hillin, Jr. (1986) and Phil Parsons (1988).
Interestingly enough, 1988 saw back-to-back first-time winners at Talladega – Parsons in the spring and Schrader later that summer. The most first-time victors in a year during the modern era? Five, and it has happened three times - 2001, 2002, 2011.
There are a host of drivers who have shown the ability to run up front and lead, but are still looking for that first career Cup win. Could Talladega be the place for Matt DiBenedetto, Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain, Ryan Preece or Corey LaJoie? What about Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Briscoe, who could join the likes of Allison, Bouchard and Keselowski, who were rookies when they were victorious at ’Dega.
As history has proven, anything can happen at Talladega and we just might see a newcomer etch their name in the Talladega Superspeedway record book and take home the coveted Vulcan Trophy.
The GEICO 500 is set for a 1:00 p.m. CDT start on Sunday (April 25), but the action-packed weekend begins on Saturday (April 24) with a doubleheader consisting of with the General Tire 200 at 12:00 p.m. CDT and the Ag-Pro 300 at 3:00 p.m. CDT.
Limited admission options remain for the GEICO 500 and fans are encouraged to log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA for details. Tickets are available for Saturday’s races, with kids 12 and younger admitted free (with a paying adult) to grandstands/towers.
To learn more about the spring NASCAR event weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and its safety protocols, visit https://www.
Permatex®, a leading innovator in chemical technology for automotive maintenance and repair, has announced that the company will continue its sponsorship of the StarCom Racing Team for two key races during the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. This marks the third consecutive season that Permatex will be a primary sponsor for the Permatex StarCom 00 Camaro, helmed for the second straight year by driver Quin Houff.
Dan Clarke, Permatex Director of Marketing, noted, “Permatex is thrilled to continue its partnership with StarCom Racing. This sponsorship allows Permatex to showcase our brand and the exciting new product innovations that we have in the works, while supporting Quin Houff and the Permatex StarCom Racing 00’s goal for scoring top finishes! We look forward to a successful season ahead.”
Permatex will sponsor the StarCom Racing team for the first race of the year during the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25, 2021. The second fight for the checkered flag will be during the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2021. The race at New Hampshire represents a special milestone in the track’s history, serving as the 50th visit by NASCAR’s premier series to “The Magic Mile”.
“Like its products, our relationship with Permatex is long lasting as we continue into the 2021 season partnering for Talladega and New Hampshire,” said Michael Kohler, StarCom Racing CEO. “As someone who chooses Permatex products for my own truck, I'm pumped to showcase the brand on our 00.”
StarCom Racing PR
After a solid 2020 campaign, CAAL Racing extended the contract with Gianmarco Ercoli for the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. The Italian will drive the #54 Chevrolet Camaro in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship and aim at the EuroNASCAR title.
In 2020, the Rome native won the second race of the season at his home track Vallelunga but some bad luck in the following events threw Ercoli down the order in the EuroNASCAR PRO standings. The Italian finished 6th in points despite 7 top-5s and 8 top-10s in 10 races.
2021 will mark the third season with CAAL Racing for Ercoli. He joined the team for the first time in 2014 in his debut season and after five years racing for Double T and Racers Motorsport, he returned with the Canneori family in 2020.
“I am very happy to announce my deal with CAAL Racing for the 2021 EuroNASCAR Championship. It’s my second consecutive year with the team and our aim is to improve. I thank my loyal partners SCM Medical, 3P Plastic Production and Levante for the great support in the upcoming season,” said Ercoli. “After the Final in Valencia we immediately worked hard with the whole team to improve our pace. Our goal is to do better than last season. We had our ups and downs but we proved to be very fast.”
CAAL Racing’s team manager Luca Canneori added: “We are happy to confirm Gianmarco for the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. Last year we had some bad luck in the EuroNASCAR PRO Championship and those unlucky events prevented us from scoring the results we deserved. Gianmarco proved to be a fast and mature racecar driver. Over the winter we did everything to improve our performance. Our goal is to fight for the 2021 EuroNASCAR title.”
The 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series kicks off on May 16-17 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. All races will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitch channel, as well as on Motorsport.tv.