Speedway Digest Staff
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Liberty University and 13-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports have reached a new five-year agreement to extend the school’s support of driver William Byron and his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Byron, 23, will continue to carry primary sponsorship from Liberty University in 12 Cup races annually through 2026. This season, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native earned his third consecutive Cup Series playoff berth and second career points-paying win while already setting personal bests in top-five finishes, top-10s and laps led with four events remaining. He has led in 16 of 32 points races in 2021.
“We are honored to partner with and support Hendrick Motorsports,” said Jerry Prevo, president of Liberty University. “We feel this partnership will benefit our students at Liberty University in many ways.”
Byron is currently a junior working toward an undergraduate degree in strategic communication via Liberty University’s online program. The school began its support of Byron in 2014 when he drove late model stock cars and has been a 12-race primary sponsor since his 2018 Cup Series rookie of the year season with Hendrick Motorsports.
“I’m proud to represent an institution like Liberty University,” Byron said. “I had the opportunity to go back to campus last weekend and see how much the school continues to grow. They inspire a lot of people my age to pursue their passions, and I look forward to continuing to represent them on and off the racetrack.”
In addition to raising awareness of Liberty University’s educational opportunities, the sponsorship has touched a variety of student programs. Examples include Hendrick Motorsports supporting the School of Engineering’s Formula SAE effort, which focuses on electric car technology, and Hendrick Automotive Group helping develop a degree specialization in automotive dealership management.
“We’re delighted to continue our work with Liberty University,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “The partnership impacts so many different areas, and I believe we’re just scratching the surface of the value we’re able to deliver. We look forward to working together over the next five years to take it to the next level.”
Hendrick Motorsports PR
The NASCAR Foundation announced today its four finalists for the 11th annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. Each volunteer represents a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids in different racing communities across our nation. The announcement was made on Fox Sports NASCAR Race Hub ahead of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Oct. 17 on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, named in honor of the foundation’s late founder and chairwoman Betty Jane France, recognizes NASCAR fans who volunteer for children’s causes in their racing communities. Each finalist receives a minimum $25,000 donation for their organization with the overall winner receiving a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to further their efforts.
The 11th annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists include:
- Erin Collins of Dallas, Texas, a volunteer with the Dallas Hearing Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers medical and surgical treatment, hearing technologies, speech and hearing rehabilitation and education support to those in financial need. For the past 12 years Erin has dedicated her time to serve kids living with hearing loss, initially volunteering in a fundraising capacity for the organization and eventually creating a youth program to provide a safe space where the kids can be surrounded by peers also living with hearing loss.
- Jaeleen Davis of Midland, Michigan, a volunteer with Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, a non-profit organization that provides wigs and support services to children ages 3 to 18 throughout the state of Michigan. Jaeleen has volunteered for 13 years with the organization, raising awareness and funds through her Miss America platform, which has also allowed her to introduce bills in Michigan and Ohio to get insurance companies to cover the cost of children’s wigs.
- Jeff Harmon of Louisville, Kentucky, a volunteer with Down Syndrome of Louisville, an organization that supports, educates, and advocates for individuals with down syndrome, enabling them to reach their full potential. Having served in both coaching and fundraising roles over the last 18 years, Jeff’s passion and dedication for volunteering has touched hundreds of kids, families and the communities that they’re a part of.
- Beverly Hodsdon of Exeter, New Hampshire, a volunteer with Richie McFarland Children’s Center, an early childhood program that helps young children reach their full developmental potential while supporting their families throughout the process. Beverly has been a pillar of the organization for 17 years, devoting her time to help in different capacities as a board member, creating fundraising events, bringing the largest donor of the organization, and providing graphic design and marketing services.
“This year’s finalists exemplify the values of Betty Jane France and honor her legacy. Each one of them is working to improve the lives of children while incorporating the excitement for our sport,” said Mike Helton, The NASCAR Foundation Chairman. “The fans will have a tough decision choosing one winner. All four of them are unselfish and compassionate people who represent the essence of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.”
The overall winner of the $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation will be determined by an online vote, which is open now. Fans can vote once a day, every day through November 12th at noon ET on NASCARfoundation.org/Award. The overall winner will be announced virtually on November 17th.
To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and the 2021 finalists, visit NASCARfoundation.org/Award.
NASCAR announced today a multi-year extension of its partnership with the world’s largest medical transportation provider, Global Medical Response (GMR). GMR, the parent company of American Medical Response (AMR), will continue to provide medical support and enhance NASCAR’s on-track incident response with its AMR safety team.
“The safety of our competitors is paramount and through our collaboration with AMR, we’ve been able to develop a leading safety model that’s enabled us to strengthen our at-track safety teams and incident response,” said Steve O’Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, NASCAR. “We look forward to our continued partnership with AMR as we find new ways to set the standard for safety in motorsports.”
The Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR since 2017, AMR provides a doctor and paramedic to the on-track safety team for each NASCAR Cup Series weekend, further strengthening NASCAR’s medical response capability. The AMR team, along with NASCAR Track Services team members, provide immediate response, assessment, and care to on-track incidents using a chase vehicle. Following the success of the enhanced safety model developed in NASCAR, GMR and AMR have gone on to apply the same approach throughout motorsports, extending services to the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), IndyCar and Superstar Racing Experience (SRX).
AMR will also continue to provide a physician to serve as the national medical director for the AMR Safety Team. The medical director is responsible for oversight of all care provided by AMR and works directly with the NASCAR team of physicians and medical liaisons.
"We are honored to continue to serve as the Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR," said Ted Van Horne, Chief Operating Officer, GMR. "Our dedicated team members are extensively trained in motorsports safety and on-track response, and we have a demonstrated record of success in working with the outstanding Track Services and medical teams at NASCAR. We look forward to continuing to share best-practices and providing the highest-quality care to the NASCAR organization.”
AMR is the largest provider of emergency medical transportation services in the U.S. and a leader in pre-hospital care and treatment.
As one of the longest running sponsorships in professional sports, Interstate Batteries will continue its on-going partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in a multi-year renewal agreement.
Under the new agreement, Interstate Batteries will continue to serve as the official battery of Joe Gibbs Racing and as the primary sponsor on the NASCAR Cup Series No. 18 Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch for six races while adding support for a third generation of the Gibbs’ family, sponsoring three races with Ty Gibbs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The extension highlights the successful partnership between Interstate Batteries and JGR as the companies continue to celebrate their 30th Anniversary together.
“Norm and Tommy (Miller) really took a chance on us because we literally had nothing when we first went to see them. No race shop. No driver. No crew chief. It was just a dream on a sheet of paper,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “To have a successful partnership for more than three decades it first has to work for business, and I love that part of it. You have to prove value for your partners. But it is the relationships built over time that makes this so special. From Norm and Tommy to the leadership now of Scott (Miller), as well as Lain (Hancock) running operations. Of course, on our end, it’s been J.D. (Gibbs), and now it’s Coy (Gibbs), and of course we have the grandkids coming. When you reflect on all that has happened over the years and everyone that has been involved, I really think God had a role in bringing us together.”
Interstate Batteries has been a part of nearly every major moment in JGR history including the organization’s first win when driver Dale Jarrett won the Daytona 500 in 1993. Interstate Batteries was the primary sponsor on the No. 18 in 2000 when Bobby Labonte captured the organization’s first NASCAR Cup Series Championship and continued to play a key role when Busch won JGR’s most recent Championships in 2015 and 2019.
Together, Interstate Batteries and Joe Gibbs Racing have visited victory lane 32 total times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including twice with Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, 21 times with Bobby Labonte and nine times with current driver Kyle Busch. In addition, Interstate Batteries and JGR have combined to win three NASCAR Xfinity Series races.
“We could not be more excited to continue our 30 plus year relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Norm Miller, Chairman and Owner of Interstate Batteries. “They have consistently been great partners in the battery business and ministry, so it just makes sense for us to all continue together. We are also hoping Kyle Busch and the No.18 Interstate Batteries/M&M’s team can win another NASCAR Cup Championship in a few weeks!”
“The 30 years we’ve spent with JGR as a sponsor on the No.18 in the NASCAR Cup Series has helped establish trust, awareness, and credibility for the Interstate Batteries brand with the pros who install our batteries.,” said Lain Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Interstate Batteries. “As we approach our 70th year in business, we are excited to partner with Coach Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing to write more history together in NASCAR and the automotive aftermarket.”
Buddy Kofoid went from third to first in one corner on lap 48 of 55 and then went on to lead Christopher Bell and Cannon McIntosh to the finish line in Thursday night’s POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Sooner State 55 feature at Port City Raceway.
Kofoid started the event from 19th position and charged to his 12th national midget feature win in 2021, but his first since winning at Fayette County on June 20.
While Kofoid took the checkers, it may have been McIntosh who had the drive of the race on his home track.
The 18-year-old Bixby, Oklahoma native, took the lead at the green flag and led the first six laps before getting caught up in an incident when lapped cars got together in front of him, leaving McIntosh nowhere to go as he was collected up in the incident. He was able to return, but would restart from the back of the 25-car field.
On the restart, Tanner Berryhill would take over the lead on lap seven, with Jake Neuman running second, followed by Ryan Timms. Further back, Bell, who reunited with Keith Kunz Motorsports for Thursday’s run, had climbed from 16th to sixth in eight laps. By lap 13, he had moved up to fifth and into fourth one lap later.
On lap 19, Timms, who was driving the CB Industries Toyota, slid Neuman for second and then closed on Berryhill, moving past him for the lead on lap 21. After a caution flag, Timms was penalized for falling out of line on the restart and was moved back to second. It didn’t take long for the 15-year-old to move back to the front, though, as he passed Berryhill on lap 23, only to have Berryhill make contact with him, bringing Timms to a stop.
As Timms was forced to restart from the back, Bell moved up to second and began to challenge Berryhill for the lead on lap 24. Further back, Kofoid had climbed up to fifth, while McIntosh had climbed back up to ninth.
Bell had closed to less than a tenth of a second behind Berryhill, while Kofoid took over the fourth spot on lap 30, then up to third by lap 33. The top three would maintain their positions through lap 48, while McIntosh moved in behind Kofoid on lap 41.
After another caution, the top three were running together as the race entered the final 10 laps, then with just eight circuits remaining, Kofoid would make the pass of the day, overtaking both Bell and Berryhill in the same corner as he dived below them for the point position.
As Kofoid took the lead, Bell passed Berryhill for second and stayed right on Kofoid as the two KKM teammates ran right together. As Bell challenged for the win, McIntosh would pass Berryhill for third with two laps remaining and that’s how it would finish as Kofoid was able to hold off Bell as they came across the finish line, with Bryant Wiedeman moving up to fourth to give Toyota the top-four finishers on the night.
With the fourth-place showing, Wiedeman stretched his championship lead over Brent Crews out to a formidable 280 points with four races remaining
POWRI moves on to Oklahoma City for a pair of races at I-44 Riverside Speedway in the Meents Memorial Friday and Saturday night.
Dover International Speedway’s role as a community champion against COVID-19 continues this weekend as the Monster Mile hosts a Race to End COVID event on Oct. 16-17.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, people ages 16 and older who get vaccinated have the chance to drive their own vehicle on the one-mile, high-banked, concrete oval with pre-registration.
Learn more information and register for the laps at www.racetoendcovid.org/event/dover-international-speedway/. Up to 800 drivers, with valid driver’s licenses, can take two laps behind the track’s pace car as part of the special opportunity.
The event is sponsored by Dover International Speedway, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) and the CDC Foundation. It is the second Race to End COVID event in which participants can take their personal vehicles for a drive on a NASCAR track. The first was held at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on May 15.
All three types of COVID-19 vaccines – Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen – will be offered for first or second doses, as well as the additional doses and boosters now being recommended for some groups.
Dover International Speedway has been a home for COVID-19-related community events since the pandemic first hit American shores in the winter of 2020. The Monster Mile has hosted monthly Delaware Food Bank distribution events since March 2020, with more than 1 million pounds of food distributed to more than 18,000 families in need.
Also, more than 73,000 Delawareans were vaccinated on Speedway property between late February and May 1, 2021, during weekend drive-through events which were staffed by personnel from the following agencies: DPH, the Delaware National Guard, the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Event participants who wish to drive the track alone must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license, car registration in their name, and vehicle insurance. Participants who are 16 or 17 years old with a valid driver’s license must have a parent or legal guardian in the vehicle to sign a minor release form.
The entrance to Dover International Speedway for this event will be via the Leipsic Road entrance.
Dover International Speedway’s 2022 race schedule includes:
- Friday, April 29: ARCA Menards Series East race
- Saturday, April 30: NASCAR Xfinity Series race
- Sunday, May 1: “Drydene 400” NASCAR Cup Series race
The “Drydene 400” is the Monster Mile’s 104th NASCAR Cup Series race. Dover International Speedway is one of only 10 tracks in the country to host 100 or more NASCAR Cup Series events.
Follow Speedway news and updates on DoverSpeedway.com and via social media at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile. For ticket information, call 800-441-RACE.
Dover Motorsports PR
SS GreenLight Racing (SSGLR) and sophomore NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Joe Graf Jr. confirmed today the signing of lifestyle brand apparel company MARKET as the primary marketing partner of the team’s No. 07 Chevrolet Camaro for Saturday afternoon’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 335k at Texas Motor Speedway.
The penultimate intermediate speedway event of the season signifies MARKET Racing’s first foray into the NASCAR word and with athlete driver Graf Jr.
“I’m thrilled about this partnership with MARKET,” said Graf Jr. who scored his first top-10 in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition two races ago at Talladega Superspeedway.
“MARKET has become a bold brand in their respective arena and now they are branching out to NASCAR, particularly the Xfinity Series with myself and SS GreenLight Racing and we’re excited to showcase some of their epic apparel.
“Because of the potential growth and reach we feel we can activate together; discussions are already underway for them to be a part of our team beyond Texas and for next season. This is a relationship that I feel will explode on so many levels and cater to a lot of NASCAR fans. The car looks fantastic and I’m ready for a strong weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.”
MARKET is a lifestyle brand that moves at the speed of the internet to mash up pop culture and streetwear in a powerful combination made deadly with collaborations with some of the industry’s biggest players.
Its limited-edition drops generate products and ideas that move from concept to sell-out in just a few hours by designing, producing and launching product in real-time from its DTLA atelier.
MARKET removes the barriers between good ideas and successful business by blurring the line between collaborators and customers. It helps creatives, dreamers and misfits bring their ideas to market, providing entry into the exclusive worlds of design and streetwear with education, resources and mentoring.
MARKET was founded by Mike Cherman, who got his professional start with a guerilla campaign that caught the attention of sneaker industry god Jeff Staple. Today, MARKET has attracted top collaborators like Converse, Puma, Lacoste and Cole Haan and celebrity fans that include Erykah Badu, YG, Jay-z and LeBron James.
"At MARKET, we're always trying to do the unexpected to reach and grow our community in truly unconventional and diverse ways,” said MARKET spokesperson Dillon Gerstung. “Partnering with Joe Graf Jr. to bring streetwear and MARKET to the diehard fans of NASCAR is an opportunity we immediately wanted to be a part of."
For more on Joe Graf Jr. visit JoeGrafRacing.com, like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.), follow him on TikTok (@JoeGrafJr), (Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and Instagram (@joegrafjr).
Visit marketmarketmarket.com to explore their full market of tops, bottoms and accessory products.
For more on SS GreenLight Racing, please like them on Facebook (SS GreenLight Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@SSGLR0717) and visit their website at SSGreenLight.com.
The Andy’s Frozen Custard 335k (200 laps | 300 miles) is the 30th of 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series races on the 2021 schedule. The 40-car field will take the green flag on Sat., Oct. 16, 2021, shortly after 3:00 p.m. ET with live coverage on NBC, the Performance Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.
SS Greenlight Racing PR
Multiplatinum entertainer Dierks Bentley to Perform Concert Prior to the Sold-Out NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway, Sunday, Nov. 7
Fans at Phoenix Raceway will be “living on feelgood standard time” before the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race on Sunday, Nov. 7. That’s because multiplatinum singer/songwriter and Phoenix native Dierks Bentley will perform a pre-race concert for the sold-out, standing-room-only crowd, a portion of which will be broadcast live during the NBC Countdown to Green pre-race show.
Bentley will take the stage at 11:40 a.m. and perform a 45-minute set that includes the chart-topping hits that have made him one of the most popular recording artists of his generation.
“Dierks Bentley’s journey from The Valley to superstardom is inspiring,” said Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese. “We’re excited he is returning home to perform his music and amplify the feel-good, championship atmosphere our fans will generate at Phoenix Raceway.”
As a singer/songwriter, Bentley boasts championship credentials that make him the dominant voice of Country Music. He has 20 No. 1 singles on Country radio with more than 6.4 billion streams of his songs. His reputation as a live performer is also unmatched, as his current BEERS ON ME TOUR delights fans with music that mixes elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock.
All the while, Bentley maintains an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound – a powerful combination that has led to 14 Grammy Award nominations and countless recognition from the ACMs, CMAs and the Billboard Music Awards.
“I can’t wait to get back to my home state of Arizona and perform for all my NASCAR friends and fans,” Bentley said. “The energy at Phoenix Raceway is unmatched and I’m looking forward to sharing in that excitement.”
Although no tickets remain for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race, fans can still experience NASCAR Championship Weekend event on Friday and Saturday. A limited number of grandstand and FanShield Infield Experience tickets remain for those days, and fans are encouraged to get their tickets now before losing out on the opportunity.
The action begins Friday, Nov. 5, when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crowns its champion in the Lucas Oil 150. On Saturday, Nov. 6, Phoenix Raceway will host two championship events – the Arizona Lottery 100 (ARCA Menards Series West) and the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race.
And then, following the Dierks Bentley concert on Sunday, Nov. 7, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race will be contested, airing live on NBC and Peacock.
Fans can purchase tickets for Friday and Saturday’s action at Phoenix Raceway at www.phoenixraceway.com. They can also secure their seats for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway by purchasing season tickets.
Phoenix Raceway PR