Speedway News (8950)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Once upon a time, advertising was simple. You placed an ad in the hometown newspaper. You probably supported the ad with some spots on the local radio station. Stock car racing promoters tacked signs to telephone poles.
Perhaps the most rustic and iconic old-school advertiser was Mail Pouch Tobacco. At the turn of the 20th century, they made farmers a deal they couldn’t refuse. They painted your barn free of charge. Two walls any color you liked. The other two walls were painted a rich red and lettered with “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco.” Somewhere around the early 1900s, the parent company sweetened the deal. The farmer’s barn not only received a free paint job, they annually mailed him a check for $2.
Do you own a barn on a well-traveled byway? Does your hardware store near the annual squash festival grounds have a big empty stucco wall that faces a busy intersection? If so, give Chris Blair, World Wide Technology Raceway’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, a call.
Yesterday Blair Tweeted an old-school message. In a nutshell, we’re trying to hit the side of a barn. And you know we can.
Be the first on your block to help promote the 2019 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline INDYCAR race at World Wide Technology Raceway. Bonus: You get to keep the banner after the race.
For more information on World Wide Technology Raceway, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
WWT Raceway PR
World Wide Technology Raceway adds new partners to its 2019 Track Invasion Tour for promoting NASCAR, INDYCAR01 May 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
World Wide Technology Raceway – the home of NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA in the St. Louis-Metro East region – has added new partners to its 2019 Track Invasion Tour. The Track Invasion Tour aggressively promotes WWT Raceway’s NASCAR and INDYCAR events at short tracks in the facility’s region.
The promotion traditionally launches each year at the famed Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This year, WWT Raceway has added dates at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Missouri, and Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Illinois. I-44 Speedway will host a theme night in conjunction with the Roper Classic Pro Late Model race on June 1 and again on its July 3 Salute to 75 Larry Phillips tribute. The WWT Raceway Track Invasion team will participate in Jacksonville’s Midget series events on May 31 and August 4.
Each Track Invasion theme night will feature the WWT Raceway pace car, a racing show car, a WWT Raceway Pace Car, the Gateway Girls Street Team, a prize wheel, special giveaways to the first 200 fans through the gates and a variety of coupons and exclusive offers for upcoming events.
“Our efforts of aggressively working with regional shorts tracks have been very successful in our seven seasons,” said Chris Blair, WWT Raceway Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We love short track racing and there’s a big portion of our staff that, when we aren’t racing here, can be found at a local track with our friends and families. For us to embark on our Track Invasion Tour isn’t like adding additional work to our schedule, we do it because we want to be there and would probably attend anyhow.”
I-44 Speedway is a 3/8-mile, high-banked asphalt oval just off Interstate 44. Historic Route 66 runs adjacent to the property. The track, which was built in 1982, is a member of the NASCAR Home Tracks program and was home to many of NASCAR’s legends through the years. Larry Phillips won three of his five NASCAR National titles while racing at I-44 Speedway.
Jacksonville Speedway has worked closely with World Wide Technology Raceway for many seasons. Jacksonville Speedway is a quarter-mile dirt oval that hosts numerous regional and national series throughout the year. The track is located approximately 30 miles West of Springfield, Illinois, and is becoming one of the most popular tracks in the Midwest, thanks to its hard-working and creative racing community that supports the venue.
“Ken Dobson at Jacksonville and the Willard family at I-44 Speedway are tremendous supporters of what we are doing at WWT Raceway and we are fans of the work that they are doing for the racing community,” Blair added. “We will be activating both a NASCAR and INDYCAR-themed night at each of their venues in conjunction with Illinois South Tourism to showcase that there are great things to see and do in the area surrounding WWT Raceway to make the weekend racing road trip concept even better. We also will be working with other tracks a little closer to home on similar programs and we currently are in conversation with tracks in Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa to expand our reach.”
For more information on World Wide Technology Raceway, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
WWT Raceway PR
Bye Bye Winner’s Circle! Bobby Allison Starts Demolition of Talladega Superspeedway’s Gatorade Victory Lane That Has Stood for More than 30 Years01 May 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Four times in his Hall of Fame career, Bobby Allison took the checkered flag at Talladega Superspeedway and made his way to Gatorade Victory Lane, the last being the spring race of 1986. Earlier this week, to kick off Phase II of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar, the leader of the famed “Alabama Gang” came back to the track’s current winner’s circle – the one he christened with that ‘86 victory - to tear it down.
With track Chairman Grant Lynch waving the green flag, Allison climbed aboard the cockpit of a backhoe and used its scoop to begin ripping up the checkered concrete floor that Chase Elliott drove across Sunday after the GEICO 500 as the final race winner in the same Victory Lane that saw Allison celebrate 33 years earlier.
“That was a good day for sure,” remembers Allison, who held off the quartet of Dale Earnhardt, Buddy Baker, Bobby Hillin Jr. and Phil Parsons that day in taking his final Talladega win. “Any time you could beat Dale and Buddy at Talladega, you stood proud, and the fact we got to go to what was then the new Victory Lane, it meant something.
“I’ve been in the cockpit of many vehicles, airplanes and machines, but today was a first for me on this type of excavating equipment. It’s pretty cool that I get to tear it down since I was the first to celebrate in it many years ago. For me, there’s memories in this victory lane, and for many other drivers and teams as well, but I am so glad to be here today to help start the demolition because it’s making way for incredible things the track has coming with the new Garage Experience and Transformation,” added Allison, whose son Davey was a frequent visitor to this winner’s circle (three Cup wins – 1987, ’89, ’92; one IROC win 1992) that is being taken down. A grand total of 79 drivers have made the trip to this particular victory lane from five different series, with Earnhardt leading at 12 (eight Monster Cup Series, three IROC and one NASCAR Xfinity Series).
Allison’s spirited maneuvering of the backhoe brought back memories from the past, and is just the beginning of what will be a huge summer of construction activity for the Talladega Garage Experience, which will allow fans to be immersed into the sport of NASCAR like never before (including access under the same roof where the race cars are being prepped by the race teams). It will feature “up-close” access, interactive attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, sponsors, teams and stakeholders in the iconic Talladega infield.
Set to open during the track’s fall doubleheader NASCAR Playoff weekend featuring the 1000Bulbs.com 500 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Sugarlands Shine 250 for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, the Talladega Garage Experience will replace the current garage/pit area that stretches from the center of the Tri-Oval all the way down near the start-finish line. This week marks the beginning of many buildings being demolished, including the old-time scoring stand, which has stood for many years, as well as the current NASCAR Xfinity Series garage, the Sunoco fuel station, the Paddock Club, and part of the media center.
The approximately $50 million 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.
Phase II features the following:
- Interactive Talladega Garage Experience (TGE): Grandstand and infield ticket holders who purchase a TGE pass will have close access via a fan viewing walkway to the teams, cars and inspection stations during race preparation in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage
- New, modern Open Air Club (covered) with close-up viewing of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage
- New Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Garage (44 stalls)
- Wi-Fi presented by Xtreme Concepts in all areas of the Talladega Garage Experience
- Exclusive Social, engagement areas with Concessions/Souvenirs/
Restrooms facilities, Guest Services Center & First Aid facility
- Driver/Personality appearances and entertainment programming
- Pit Road Club to enhance the experience for fans and corporate guests
- New Gatorade Victory Lane with fan up-close view in TGE
- Merchandise, Food & Beverage stands
- New tram route to deliver fans to the TGE
- Garage Suites with view into Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garages
- Expanded, Premium RV Camping along the Alabama Gang Superstretch with Power & Water hookups (more than 200)
- NASCAR Race Operations building and Broadcast booths high above Tri-Oval
- Infield road infrastructure, premium parking & utilities
- Renovation of Drivers Meeting area & Expansion/upgrades to media center
DLR Group is the architect of the entire project while Hoar Construction from Birmingham will spearhead Phase II. GT Grandstands (Plant City, FL) will construct the new Pit Road Club and the Race Operations. Fans can learn more about the project by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.
Sonoma Raceway and The Save Mart Companies have teamed up once again to offer Northern California race fans the lowest-price adult tickets and free kids tickets for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 23.
For the ninth consecutive year, Sonoma Raceway and the family-owned supermarket chain will offer fans a Sunday reserved-seat ticket at one of the most exciting races on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule for just $45. In addition, tickets for kids’ 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket only at Save Mart, Lucky California and Lucky Supermarkets. The reserved seats are located in the Turn 9 Terrace, known for providing some of the best views of racing on the road course.
NASCAR fans won’t want to miss the return to Sonoma’s original 12-turn road course as part of the raceway’s 50th anniversary celebration. This marks the first time NASCAR will tackle the original 2.52-mile road course in over 20 years, and none of the current NASCAR drivers have ever driven this layout in a Cup car.
The Save Mart Companies continues its commitment to NASCAR fans by offering the lowest price Toyota/Save Mart 350 race tickets. This exclusive ticket offer boasts a savings of nearly $120 for a family; a family of four could enjoy NASCAR in Sonoma for just $90.
To ramp up The Save Mart Companies’ Chase the Savings promotion, the Sonoma Raceway show car will make appearances at local Save Mart, Lucky California and Lucky stores throughout the month of May and June. In-store ticket buyers can find more ways to win big on the back of their ticket vouchers.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 tickets are now on sale in all Save Mart, Lucky California and Lucky Supermarkets locations. To find your nearest store location, visit SaveMart.com or LuckySupermarkets.com. For more information about the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, June 21-23, visit SonomaRaceway.com/NASCAR or call (800) 870-RACE.
Sonoma Raceway PR
It doesn’t get much better than Saturday night’s whosyourdriver.org NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Twin 100s at South Boston Speedway.
For starters it’s a huge bargain. Tickets to the two 100-lap races, with Pure Stock and Hornet division races thrown in, are just $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Youngsters 12-and-under get in free with a paying adult.
And then there is the racing that the K&N East series always produces on South Boston’s .4-mile oval. In nine races at the historic Southside Virginia track there have been nine different winners. That number will certainly grow Saturday night because there aren’t any former winners in the field.
Saturday’s unusual format almost guarantees tight, exciting racing. With each race only 100 laps in length, there’s no time to coast; it’s a full-out sprint from the drop of the green.
“You just go 100 percent the whole time, from start to finish,” current points leader Sam Mayer said of the doubleheader.
Speaking of points, with two points-paying races in one night, the standings could be shuffled greatly.
The 15-year-old Mayer, who had a dominating performance in picking up his first career K&N win at Bristol Motor Speedway last month, leads Derek Kraus by three points headed into the weekend, with Brandon McReynolds six points behind the leader.
South Boston’s own Colin Garrett is fourth in the points, 11 behind the leader after a pair of top 10 finishes so far this season.
McReynolds is not on the entry list for this weekend, so regardless of the race results, there will be movement in the top four.
Hailie Deegan, who leads the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West points, is traveling East for Saturday’s races hoping to keep her hot start to the season alive.
The 17-year-old Deegan, who became the first female to win a K&N Series race a year ago, opened the 2019 K&N West season with another victory, this one at the Bullring at Las Vegas on the dirt. She finished fifth in the second West race of the season and sits atop those points standings.
She is also competing in several ARCA races for Venturini Motorsports this season.
Chase Cabre, one of three Rev Racing entries in the field, would have to be considered a favorite coming into Saturday. He led 48 laps in the second 100-lapper a year ago and in four career South Boston starts has one top five, three top 10s and two poles. In the most recent K&N East event, he finished second to Mayer at Bristol.
Cabre’s Rev Racing teammate Ruben Garcia Jr. has a pair of top-10 finishes at South Boston. Both came in 2017. A year ago, he didn’t finish either race, crashing out of the first and suffering a mechanical issue in the second.
The third Rev Racing car will be filled by Nick Sanchez, who will be making his series debut.
Grandstand gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with qualifying scheduled for 5 p.m. An autograph session for drivers from all divisions will be held on the track at 6 p.m. with the first K&N 100-lapper taking the green flag at 7 p.m.
Tickets are just $10 in advance and $15 day of the race with children 12-and-under admitted free with a paid adult. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling 877.440.1540 or by stopping by the South Boston Speedway office 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Advance ticket sales end at 5 p.m. Friday.
Also, Friday’s practice session, which runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., is open to the public at no charge. Most of the K&N teams are expected to participate in the practice.
Veteran racing talent Rick Laubach of Hellertown, PA is sitting on top of the T.P.Trailers NASCAR Modified point standings at Grandview Speedway with 805 counters but without benefit of a feature win so far this season. And the same goes for Brad Arnold who calls Sinking Spring, PA home. He leads the T.P.Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman with 680 points but like Laubach he has no feature wins in the early season racing action.
Ten time track champion and all-time leading feature winner Craig Von Dohren does have a win and has moved in to second spot in the Modified standings with 762 points while Duane Howard, also a feature winner, is third. Howard is a five time champion.
Following Arnold in the Sportsman standings is Brad Grim with 644 tallies and Kyle Lilick holding 643 points. They are also without wins.
All that can change on Saturday night when a tripleheader show of excitement racing is again presented starting at 7:30 p.m. The three division show will include the NASCAR Modifieds, NASCAR Sportsman and the popular Blast from the Past Vintage racers.
Adult admission is priced at just $15 while youngsters under 12 are admitted free. Pit admission is $30.
For complete information on racing at Grandview check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com, Facebook or telephone 610.754.7688.
Grandview Speedway PR
Tasty & Refreshing Deals! Value-Priced Concessions Offered in the Talladega Garage Experience, Coming Fall 201901 May 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Unbelievable, mind-blowing lower-priced, tasty menu concession items starting at $2 will be part of the all-new Talladega Garage Experience, which will have its anticipated Grand Opening this October 11-13 as part of an exciting NASCAR Playoff doubleheader weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
Coming off one of its most exciting race weekends ever in the 50-year history of the 2.66-mile venue where Chase Elliott captured his first career Talladega triumph in Sunday’s GEICO 500, the track will offer an array of delicious food and refreshing beverages in various locations of the Talladega Garage Experience – at only $2, $3 and $4. The one-pound “Big One” Meatball inside the Experience will be $9 while other “specialty” items will be named later.
Here’s a snapshot of the value pricing of menu items in the Talladega Garage Experience (Visit www.
- Hot Dog, Fry Cup, 20 oz. Coca-Cola Products, 16.9 oz. Dasani Water, Coffee & Cocoa
- 16 oz. Beer, Hamburger/Cheeseburger, BBQ Sandwich, Fried Bologna Sandwich, Talla-Mento Dogwich, Sausage, Nachos, Pretzels, Peanuts, Candy
- Bill France Burger, Bill France BBQ Sandwich, Bill France Hot Dog, Philly Cheesesteak, Chicken Tenders & Fries, Loaded Philly Kettle Chips, Sugarlands Shine and Other Mixed Drinks
The low-priced concessions menu items are just some of the many things that will be offered in the Talladega Garage Experience, which will be the culmination of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar. The Talladega Garage Experience will allow fans to be immersed into the sport of NASCAR and the world’s largest and greatest track like never before. And, with the incredible low menu pricing, it puts an exclamation point on the family/fan friendly experience, which will have over 140,000 square feet of social and engagement areas (complete with Wi-Fi presented by Xtreme Concepts).
With the Talladega Garage Experience, families will enjoy the best racing on the planet with the 1000Bulbs.com 500 (Oct. 13) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Sugarlands Shine 250 (Oct. 12) for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, be under the same roof that houses the race cars, teams and drivers as they prep the machines for the track. Single-day admission pricing for the Talladega Garage Experience is: Friday ($29), Saturday ($55) and Sunday ($89) while 2-day (Saturday-Sunday) option is $129 and 3-day is $149.
The Talladega Garage Experience is part of Phase II of Transformation, which will also include more than 200 new infield RV spaces (complete with water and electrical hookups) along the inside of the Alabama Gang Superstretch, as well as the all-new Pit Road Club, which will tower above pit road. The process of demolishing many of the pre-existing structures in the facility’s infield begins this week to make way for the Talladega Garage Experience, with an expedited construction timeline to follow, ensuring that all new amenities are prepared for fans’ arrival in October.
Fans can learn more specifically about construction aspects of the Transformation project by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.
Prior to the historic 60th running of the venerable Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, five prominent drivers who are part of the Coca-Cola Racing Family made interactive, educational visits to regional military bases representing all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The visits – which covered land, sea and air – were part of Mission 600, a collaboration between the speedway and the Department of Defense to give drivers a first-hand look into life in the military to preview the speedway’s patriotic pre-race Salute to the Troops.
With Wednesday marking the first day of Military Appreciation Month, below are recaps and quotes as well as photo and video links for each Mission 600 visit. Media are encouraged to use this content as a lead-up to the Coca-Cola 600.
DENNY HAMLIN – Naval Station Norfolk on April 11
Hamlin, the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, took an interactive tour of the USS San Jacinto, a 567-foot-long guided-missile cruiser – which fired the opening shots of Operation Desert Storm and, more recently, provided support to Hurricane Irma relief efforts last year.
Hamlin also participated in a ship handling trainer simulation, which gave the veteran driver an in-depth education in maneuvering a warship at sea. Additionally, Hamlin took part in a weapon-firing training scenario and launched a simulated Tomahawk cruise missile from the USS San Jacinto’s combat information center (CIC), which serves as the tactical command center for long-range strike capability in battle.
"It’s amazing how fast things happen here and how well everyone is trained," Hamlin said. "I can’t say enough about representing the military at the race track. Seeing the sailors out here who are protecting our country is amazing to see. I got to take the helm and shoot a couple of missiles, which was awesome, but really for me it’s about honoring these guys and seeing the work they put in to continue to defend our freedom. This is the ultimate display of teamwork if there ever is one. You see everyone working in sync and they’re trained in all sorts of things in case chaos breaks loose. It’s great to see the teamwork they put in and it’s something the race teams look at and say, ‘How can we make ourselves better?’ based on what they do here."
The Coca-Cola 600 also serves as the opening for the NASCAR Salutes initiative. In a 600 Miles of Remembrance tribute, every race car’s windshield will carry the name of a fallen serviceman or servicewoman. Hamlin’s windshield will carry the name of U.S. Navy Ensign Sarah Mitchell, a native of Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Tech graduate who was stationed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) which is also stationed at Naval Station Norfolk. Mitchell passed away in July of 2018.
"It’d mean a lot to me (to win with her name on the car)," Hamlin said. "Obviously, this is a special area for me since I grew up racing in this area. Nothing would make me prouder to represent (Mitchell) and her family than being in Victory Lane at the Coca-Cola 600. That’s a big one on my list I’d love to check off. I’ve finished second there a few times. Getting a win is certainly high on the priority list, but the most important thing is we’re out there paying tribute to our military."
RYAN NEWMAN – Fort Bragg on April 17
As a patriotic preview of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Memorial Day weekend Salute to the Troops, Newman visited soldiers at Fort Bragg – the nation’s largest military installation featuring more than 50,000 active duty personnel of the U.S. Army.
Additionally, Newman joined Rachel and Jamie Nolen, a Gold Star Family, in unveiling the No. 6 Ford Mustang that Newman will drive in the Coca-Cola 600. As part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance program, Newman’s car will feature the name of the late Sgt. James Nolen, who passed away in 2009 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
During his trip on Wednesday, Newman – outfitted in full infantry gear – took a ride in a RAZOR military vehicle and participated in a parachute packing demonstration before his race car’s paint scheme was revealed in a special presentation.
"It’s an honor for me to drive a race car that has a fallen soldier’s name on it," Newman said. "To have their family at the race track and what Coca-Cola, Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR does, it’s such a family-oriented sport to give back in a special way on Memorial Day weekend. To have Sgt. Nolen’s name on the windshield is just a small part of what I’ll have in the form of an angel riding inside my car on race day.
"The class of soldiers, I’ve always said, is second to none," Newman said of the Army soldiers he met. "The personalities, the character, all the good parts of being a human show up in U.S. Army soldiers. Today showed me that even more. It’s important that we all embrace that and no family does it better than NASCAR."
BUBBA WALLACE – Seymour Johnson Air Force Base on April 23
Coca-Cola Racing Family driver Bubba Wallace, the driver of the No. 43 Air Force Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports, visited Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to meet with airmen and take an orientation flight code-named "Joust 43" aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet.
"It was an awesome day," Wallace said. "I enjoy coming to Seymour Johnson and just being a part of the organization, obviously Richard Petty Motorsports with its partnership with the Air Force is great. Being able to go up in the fighter jet, whenever they ask me if I want to keep going up I’m going to say ‘Yes,’ because there’s no cooler thing to do. We were going 500 miles per hour – just a little bit faster than what we do. You get to take in the world that we live in from a different perspective. Having the freedoms that we do, it ties back in to why our military is so important and why our sport supports the military."
Hosted by the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, the Air Force-sponsored Richard Petty Motorsports driver received emergency egress and parachute training as well as cockpit familiarization before he arrived at the 333rd Fighter Squadron – whose pilots are known as the "Lancers" – for pre-flight briefing. Following his training, Wallace took to the air with fighter pilot Capt. John "Wraith" Tilton for a 90-minute flight spanning from the Appalachian Mountains to the Outer Banks.
"This flight kicked my butt," Wallace added. "Just to be here and take everything in, you always heard people getting deployed when we were growing up and there’s so much more to it than that. I can’t think these airmen enough and the brave men and women who fight for our country."
KYLE LARSON – Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island on April 29
Kyle Larson and members of his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew joined FOX NASCAR studio host Shannon Spake for a comprehensive look at life as a Marine recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island – which has trained Marines since 1915. Larson’s experience included descending a five-story rappel tower, taking on an assault course and standing at attention at the iconic yellow footsteps amid orders from a drill instructor.
"Everything was very new to me and a really cool experience," Larson said. "A good friend of mine from high school is a drill instructor in California, so it was neat to see what he gets to do every day. Going down the (rappel) wall was awesome. I tried to do it as quick as I could before I got nervous. The whole experience was cool. Seeing the respect everyone has here for one another – they’re a whole big team, similar to us. I can’t say thanks enough for what they do for Americans as well as for showing us such great hospitality."
Larson also learned the story of Marine Sgt. Jeanette Winters, who attended Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for recruit training in 1997. Sgt. Winters perished on Jan. 9, 2002, in a plane crash in Pakistan. She became the first female member of the U.S. military to be killed in the War on Terror. As part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program, Larson’s car will carry Sgt. Winters’ name on its windshield during the Coca-Cola 600.
"The Coca-Cola 600 is an event that we all look forward to in part because we get to honor our military," Larson said. "Being able to honor Sgt. Jeanette Winters is going to be really special. After coming here and getting to see what she went through in becoming a Marine, having her name on our car in the 600 will be very special."
AUSTIN DILLON – Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach on April 30
Coast Guard members hosted Austin Dillon and members of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing crew for a search-and-rescue training scenario aboard a 45-foot RBM (Response Boat – Medium), answering a distress call and learning the intricacies of rescue rope exercises.
"It was awesome," Dillon said of his first Coast Guard visit. "Those boats are unbelievable machines. It’s like driving a big jet ski. We had a blast just seeing how smooth they are and listening to how the guys go through everything, they’re very good at what they do.
"I’m jealous that they get to whip around out there on those boats to save lives. It’s a very cool experience to see all the hard work they put into taking over these jobs. I really thank them for their service."
Dillon has sampled life in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard in his first two Mission 600 visits, both of which gave the Welcome, North Carolina, native a new perspective in his appreciation for the military. As part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program, Dillon will carry the name of a fallen member of the U.S. Armed Forces on his race car’s windshield during the Coca-Cola 600.
"It’s very special," Dillon said. "I feel like our fallen soldiers ride along with us. Their families become a part of our racing family. The Coca-Cola 600 and Memorial Day weekend is probably my favorite weekend of the year. When we have the flyovers and everything that goes into that race, the preview of it is fun for us to watch and see the military represented so well."
Through the speedway’s "Patriot Partners" program, race fans or corporate customers can buy a ticket for a member of the U.S. Armed Forces for just $25. Tickets will be distributed to active-duty personnel and their families through the USO.
Prior to the green flag, ticketholders to the Coca-Cola 600 can also enjoy a FREE pre-race concert featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Cheap Trick.
As part of the salute to the military, race fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #KnowYourMil.
Coca-Cola 600 tickets for adults start at just $49 while kids 13 and under get in for $10. Tickets, camping and upgrades for every event are available at the gates, by visiting charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets or calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway by following on Twitter and Instagram or becoming a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.
KNOW YOUR MILITARY:
Salute your military by sharing your connections and stories on social media using hashtag #KnowYourMil.
Seven winners are among the field of drivers assigned to 36 cars entered for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Three-time winner Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009) and single winners Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016), Takuma Sato (2017) and Will Power (2018) are the past winners aiming for another victory this year in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
The total of 36 cars - an increase from last year - also will result in intense competition for the 33 starting spots during the exciting new qualifying format for the crown jewel of the NTT IndyCar Series.
Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 on the 2.5-mile oval. Thirty cars will earn a spot in the starting field Saturday. The top nine starting positions and the last three available starting spots - positions 31 through 33 - will be determined Sunday during the Fast Nine Shootout and Last Row Shootout, both of which will air on NBC.
Two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso of Spain returns to the "500" this year with McLaren Racing, attempting to become just the second driver to win the "Triple Crown" of global auto racing with victories in the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Monaco Grand Prix. Alonso electrified the racing world as an Indy 500 rookie in 2017 by leading 27 laps before retiring with 20 laps remaining due to a mechanical problem. He was named Rookie of the Year.
One of the deepest, most talented fields in recent years also will feature seven drivers competing for Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Rookie of the Year honors: Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Ben Hanley, 2019 NTT IndyCar Series race winner Colton Herta, Jordan King, 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.
The field also includes seven past Indy car champions: Sebastien Bourdais, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Power.
Andretti Autosport has entered five cars, more than any other team. That entry includes the No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda fielded by Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian and driven by Marco Andretti, which will feature a vivid, Day-glo red livery honoring the 50th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 victory by Andretti's grandfather Mario Andretti in 1969.
Practice opens Tuesday, May 14.
Visit IMS.com to buy tickets and for more information about all Month of May activities at IMS. NBC will televise live the INDYCAR Grand Prix at 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday, May 11 and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday, May 26.
2019 ENTRY BREAKDOWN
Winners (7): Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato
Rookies (7): Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Ben Hanley, Colton Herta, Jordan King, Patricio O'Ward, Felix Rosenqvist
American drivers (14): Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Conor Daly, Santino Ferrucci, Colton Herta, JR Hildebrand, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot, Graham Rahal, Alexander Rossi, Zach Veach
International drivers (20): Max Chilton, Ben Hanley, Jack Harvey, Jordan King, Pippa Mann - England; Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Matheus Leist - Brazil; James Davison, Will Power - Australia; Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud - France; Marcus Ericsson, Felix Rosenqvist - Sweden; James Hinchcliffe, Canada; Takuma Sato - Japan; Patricio O'Ward - Mexico; Fernando Alonso - Spain; Scott Dixon - New Zealand; Ed Jones - United Arab Emirates
Engines (36): Chevrolet 18, Honda 18 (all cars use Dallara chassis and Firestone tires)
2019 Indy 500 Entry List by on Scribd
NTT IndyCar PR