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Martin Truex Jr. – No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD Preview – FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway
No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD News and Notes
- TRUEX AT MICHIGAN: Martin Truex Jr. owns 10 top-five finishes and 14 top-10s in 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan International Speedway. Since joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019, Truex has finished fourth or better in four of five starts at the two-mile track. While he hasn’t visited victory lane yet, Truex’s 10 top-five finishes at Michigan are his most at any track on the schedule.
- INDY RECAP: Truex finished 21st last weekend at the Indianapolis Road Course after suffering damage on a lap-80 restart. Prior to his misfortune, Truex had climbed into contention for a top-10 finish.
- AUTO-OWNERS: Auto-Owners Insurance will be featured as the primary sponsor of Truex’s No. 19 Camry for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. The Lansing, Michigan-based company offers multiple lines of insurance, including life, home, auto and business to customers in 26 states. 2022 marks Auto-Owners’ fourth year with Joe Gibbs Racing as they will once again be featured for eight races on the No. 19 Camry. To learn more about Auto-Owners, visit www.auto-owners.com.
- NAMES ON THE HOOD: For the sixth consecutive year, Auto-Owners associates contributed money to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation to have their names on the hood of Truex’s car this weekend in Michigan. This year, more than 1,500 associates donated to the foundation and will see their names displayed on the No. 19 Camry on race day.
- JGR AT MICHIGAN: Joe Gibbs Racing has earned eight NASCAR Cup Series victories at Michigan International Speedway. In 150 combined starts at the track, the organization has posted 44 top-five finishes, 72 top-10s, seven pole awards and 1,130 laps led. Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart have all driven JGR entries to victory lane in Michigan.
- TUNE IN: Coverage of this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway begins Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network, MRN Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Martin Truex Jr., Driver of the No. 19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry TRD
What is your mindset going to Michigan this weekend?
“We’re just approaching it the same we have all year. Our goal is to go there and win the race. If we can’t do that, then we need to get the best finish possible. I do have confidence going to Michigan based on how our cars have been trending on the bigger tracks lately. I feel like the Toyotas as a group have been getting a lot stronger lately, so we should have an opportunity. We just have to make the most of it.”
Kaulig Racing PR
Sunday Race Info
Race: FireKeepers Casino 400
Date/Time: Sunday, Aug. 7 / 3 p.m. ET
Distance: 200 laps / 400 miles
Track Length: 2 miles
Press Kit: Download the 2022 FedEx Racing press materials at www.fedexracing.com/presskit, including bios for Denny Hamlin, Chris Gabehart and Joe Gibbs Racing leadership, program highlights and statistics.
Indy Recap: Last weekend’s race at the Indianapolis Road Course marked Hamlin’s 600th NASCAR Cup Series start. After starting 15th, he spun on lap 2 and dropped outside the top 30 in the opening laps. Witty pit strategy from crew chief Chris Gabehart propelled Hamlin back up to sixth at the end of stage two and he found himself just outside the top 10 before a pair of late-race restarts. The No. 11 team ultimately ended up with a 14th-place finish.
Michigan Notes: The FedEx Racing driver is a two-time NASCAR Cup Series winner at Michigan International Speedway after visiting victory lane in 2010 and 2011. Hamlin has four consecutive finishes of sixth or better at the two-mile track, including a fifth-place result last August. He has also led laps in six consecutive Michigan races dating back to August 2018. In addition to his Cup Series success, the Chesterfield, Virginia native also owns a pair of NASCAR Xfinity Series victories at Michigan in 2007 and 2017.
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Laps Led: 224
Avg. Start: 11.7
Avg. Finish: 12.9
Hamlin Conversation – Michigan
What do you expect going to Michigan this weekend?
“I expect it to be a pretty wild Michigan race like we normally see. It’ll be interesting to see how this car fares and how much throttle we’ll be able to carry, but I do expect that we will be lifting and hopefully we can move around a little bit. Michigan is a fun racetrack that provides you some opportunities as far as where you want to run, so I think it has the potential to be a good race.”
FedEx Freight Along for the Ride at Michigan International Speedway: For this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway, the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota Camry TRD will carry JXN on the b-post to recognize the FedEx Freight service center in Jackson, Michigan – located 19 miles from the racetrack. The service center, which includes 65 team members, opened in 1997.
Brandon Jones / No. 19 Menards/Criterion Appliances Toyota GR Supra Preview – New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway
No. 19 Menards/Criterion Appliances Toyota GR Supra News and Notes:
- JONES AT MICHIGAN: Brandon Jones has raced at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) five times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and three times in the ARCA Menards Series (AMS). In NXS, he has one top-five finish and four top-ten finishes with an average starting position of 12.8 and an average finishing position of 9.0. Jones has two AMS wins at MIS along with one pole, an average start of 2.0, and an average finish of 8.0.
- FEATURED ON THE HOOD: The No. 19 Menards Toyota GR Supra will carry the Criterion Appliances logo on the hood this weekend at MIS. For more information, visit https://www.menards.com/.
- INDIANAPOLIS XFINITY SERIES RECAP: Jones ran into electrical issues during practice and qualifying that led to a 36th-place start at the Indianapolis Road Course. The No. 19 crew made adjustments to the car throughout the race to help the handling. Jones took the checkered flag 15th in his Menards/DuPont Air Filters Toyota GR Supra.
- FOLLOW ALONG: Follow along for updates and a behind-the-scenes look at Jones 2022 NXS Season.
- RACE INFO: The NXS New Holland 250 is scheduled for 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, August 6. The race will be broadcasted on USA, MRN Radio, Sirius XM, and available to stream on the NBC Sports app.
From the Cockpit:
Brandon Jones: “The sheer amount of speed at Michigan makes it a really fun track, but there are definitely still opportunities to pass. I’m looking forward to getting back there. We finished second last year, so I feel like we are in a good place to improve on that run this weekend and hopefully get the No. 19 Menards/Criterion Appliances Toyota GR Supra in victory lane.”
For the 8th consecutive season, John & Maina Rufrano from Wheelers Auto Service of Hamden, CT will provide heat race bonuses for this Friday night’s NAPA SK 5k event at Stafford Speedway. The Rufrano’s and Wheelers Auto will provide a total bonus of $2,000 for the SK Modified® heat races with each heat race winner banking $250, each second place finisher $150, and each third place finisher $100. The $2,000 in heat race bonus money, when combined with the race purse and other contingency awards, pushes the total posted awards for the 9th Annual NAPA SK 5k to well over $35,000.
“This is something that we enjoy doing every year for the NAPA SK 5k race and it’s a great way to make the heat races a little more exciting,” said John Rufrano. “The bonus money gives drivers something extra to shoot for and even though it might not be much, a little something is better than nothing at all and we hope this helps drivers out.”
Going into the 9th Annual NAPA SK 5k, there have been 9 different feature winners through the first 13 races of the season. David Arute and Stephen Kopcik are the only drivers with more than 1 victory to their names and they each have 3 wins thus far. Single event feature winners this season include leading Rookie of the Year candidate Anthony Bello, Cory DiMatteo, Tyler Hines, Bryan Narducci, Todd Owen, Keith Rocco, and Ronnie Williams.
In the chase for the SK Modified® track championship, defending champion Todd Owen currently leads the standings by a 68 point margin over Ronnie Williams. Marcello Rufrano sits third in the standings, 78 points behind. 7 of the 9 SK Modified® feature winners occupy top-10 positions in the standings with Rufrano in third and Michael Gervais, Jr. in 10th place the only 2 winless drivers in the top-10 of the standings.
Stafford Speedway PR
Chattanooga Motorcar Festival PR
Trackhouse Racing PR
No. 20 SiriusXM Toyota Camry TRD News and Notes:
- BELL AT MICHIGAN: Christopher Bell will make his fourth NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) career start at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this weekend. Bell made his first two NCS starts at MIS in 2020 for the double header weekend, earning a 13th-place finish in his first race and rebounding from a flat tire in the Sunday race to earn a 17th-place finish. Last year at MIS, Bell got tagged from behind while avoiding a spinning car and went through the grass. Following a trip down pit road for repairs Bell restarted 26th with eight laps remaining and drove his way up to a 13th-place finish.
- HISTORY AT MIS: Bell has two NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) starts at MIS. In 2017, Bell started seventh after qualifying was rained out and despite spinning out twice, rebounded to complete all 91 laps in the rain-shortened race to finish 11th. In 2018, Bell narrowly missed starting on the pole and won stage two, but a miscommunication on when to pit in the final stage put him on a different strategy that didn’t work out since a caution never came as the race wound down, resulting in a 13th-place finish. Bell also has two starts in the NASCAR Truck Series at Michigan, earning one top five, and one top-10 finish.
- SIRIUSXM: SiriusXM is the leading audio entertainment company in North America. SiriusXM offers unique programming and content across the company’s subscription- and digital advertising-supported audio platforms. SiriusXM’s platforms collectively reach approximately 150 million listeners, the largest digital audio audience across paid and free tiers in North America, and deliver music, talk, news, comedy, entertainment and podcasts. SiriusXM offers the most extensive lineup of professional and college sports in audio. SiriusXM’s exclusive SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel airs nationwide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and delivers in-depth racing coverage with up-to-the-moment NASCAR news and live broadcasts of every NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) is available to subscribers nationwide in their car and on the SXM App. The SXM App is available to subscribers on mobile devices and a wide variety of connected platforms in the home including smart speakers, smart TVs and streaming media players. Streaming access is included with all of SiriusXM’s audio trials and most popular plans.
- SIRIUSXM ON THE 20: Michigan will be the fourth time this season the SiriusXM colors have been on the No. 20. Bell kicked off the 2022 NCS season at The Clash with SiriusXM on the hood and then earned top-10 finishes at both Richmond and Darlington. SiriusXM will also be on Bell’s No. 20 Toyota Camry TRD in Talladega on October 2nd.
- INDIANAPOLIS RECAP: Bell qualified fourth at Indianapolis on the road course and had a fast No. 20 Toyota Camry TRD throughout the race. Bell won stage two and led the race for 17 laps but blew a right front tire with six laps to go. The team was able to fix the car on pit road and stay on the lead lap. Bell survived multiple cautions and a NASCAR overtime finish to cross the finish line 12th at Indy.
- JGR AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: JGR has earned eight Cup Series victories at MIS. In 150 combined starts at the track, the organization has tallied 44 top-five finishes, 72 top-10s, and 1,130 laps led.
- RACE INFO: The FireKeepers Casino 400 at MIS begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7, 2022. The race will be broadcast live on USA, Sirius XM 90, and MRN Radio.
From the Cockpit:
Christopher Bell: “They’ve done a great job with track prep the last couple years and have given us options and the ability to pass. I’m super excited to go to Michigan with the NextGen car. It seems like that has been our strength, the high-speed intermediates.”
Christopher Bell on Hand for First Test of Dirt Surface for C. Bell’s Micro Mania at Li’l Texas Motor Speedway
It's finally Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) week, the most popular and best-known race on the NASCAR Pinty's calendar, at least for Quebecers. This is the case for Jean-François Dumoulin, a native of Trois-Rivières, who is looking forward to representing the Mauricie region in the “The Rousseau Métal 60 laps presented by Julia Wine” event.
Jean-Francois Dumoulin unveiled a new partnership last week and the veteran is proud to count companies from our area among his partners. He will be driving the #04 car to show off the colours of his partners: Casino Grand Royal Wôlinak | Groupe Bellemare | Trois-Rivières Mitsubishi | Bernier Crépeau Chrysler Fiat | Omnifab.
“I'm always excited about the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières,” said Jean-Francois Dumoulin. “We have had a great car in the last few years and our goal is to win. We will definitely be on the podium!”
In 2019, Jean-Francois Dumoulin finished 3rd, in 2021 he was 2nd. Following the timeline, it's time for him to sign a first victory, at home, on the streets of Trois-Rivières!
“We will have a very busy weekend as a team with four cars prepared by Dumoulin Competition. Racing alongside Jacques Villeneuve will also be an important moment for my brother and I. We have grown up watching the achievements of the Villeneuve family and we are very proud to prepare a car for this great driver. This is not the first time we have had four cars in the GP3R and I am confident that we will be fighting at the front.”
It's been a year since Dumoulin last competed in the NASCAR Pinty's Series, prioritizing team management of his eponymous race shop, Dumoulin Competition, also partly owned by his brother Louis-Philippe. “I'm eager to get back into the series, the field is very competitive, however this is a track I know like the back of my hand, so I'm looking forward to the challenge!”
This year, spectators will be back around the circuit to cheer on their favourite drivers. As a Trifluvian, Jean-Francois Dumoulin has the attention of the fans who will be cheering him on throughout the weekend.
“I would like to thank everyone who will come and watch us at home, the fans are exceptional at GP3R, I always have a lot of fun talking to them, especially those who have followed our evolution,” he concluded.
Jean-François Dumoulin PR