Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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The first race night of the inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals was jam-packed with the Late Model racing everyone had been craving since the 2019 regular season wound down just a few months ago.

Twenty-four 602 Late Models, 16 Florida Late Models and 41 Pro Late Models lined the Volusia Speedway Park pit areas on Thursday night for their first look of the year at the track under racing conditions. The three Features capped off what was a very entertaining night of racing at The World’s Fastest Half Mile, in which Kyle Bronson came out on top of the DIRTcar Pro Late Models, Cody Overton won the 602 Late Model Feature and David Showers Jr. was victorious in the final event of the evening, the Florida Late Model Feature.

 

DIRTcar PRO LATE MODELS – KYLE BRONSON

It seems as though it pays to be an ace of the Super Late Model ranks when jumping into a Pro Late Model at Volusia. Brandon, FL-native Kyle Bronson put on a dominant display of speed and car control over 25 laps as he beat out fellow Super Late Model big names Randy Weaver and Max Blair en route to his $1,500 victory.

Leading every lap, Killer put on a show out front as he grabbed the top spot on lap one and never looked back to collect the win, holding off a deep field of talent in the process.

“We’ve got a really great car, and I feel like as long as we keep the fenders on our car, we’ll have a chance to win these next couple,” Bronson said. “I’ve just got to do my job, and the car’s pretty damn good.”

The race was spotted with cautions, which meant Bronson was forced to deal with the pressure restacking behind him for each restart. But he handled those perfectly; it was a close call on lap nine that gave him his biggest challenge.

Middleburg, FL-driver Mark Whitener had a good run going to Bronson’s inside as they dove into Turn 1. The two ended up making slight contact, which sent Whitener around right in front of the oncoming field of cars. Somehow, everyone avoided him, and Whitener rejoined the field at the tail under the ensuing caution flag. Bronson escaped unharmed and went on to win the race, while Whitener made up a ton of ground in the final 16 laps to come back and finish eighth and pick up the Hard Charger honors.

“[Whitener] said he was going to go in and try to slide me there, but I was already turned down the racetrack and he hit me in the left-rear and turned himself around, I guess,” Bronson said. “We always race hard and rub a little bit, unfortunately. But that’s the way racing goes.”

Despite redrawing fifth, Randy Weaver found himself with a little bit of work to do in the early going of the 25-lap Feature, as he slipped back on the opening circuit and crossed the line in ninth on lap two. But with some patience and a great car, he and his newly wrapped #116 made it all the way back up front to collect the runner-up spot.

He’s traveled a long way from Titusville, PA, and there was no way Max Blair was leaving Volusia without at least one podium finish this weekend. He didn’t have to wait long, as he kept his car solidly inside the top 5 through all 25 laps to complete the podium.

Winner of the race run prior to the Pro Late Models Feature, Evans, GA-native Cody Overton, was looking to climb from the back to the front over 25 laps to put the cherry atop his Thursday night. Unfortunately, his night ended on the hook, as he was on the receiving end of a nasty pile-up wreck on the initial start that forced him to retire without a single lap completed.

 

602 LATE MODELS - CODY OVERTON

Overton did, however, take home a nice check in the first Feature of the evening for his efforts behind the wheel of his #97 602 Late Model – race he won by over three seconds ahead of runner-up Bud Chauncey and podium finisher Colton Leyendecker.

Using the low line to his advantage, Lil Sexy made a great move to the inside of Bud Chauncey on lap eight to take the lead, and the win, to kick off his 2020 season in Florida.

FLORIDA LATE MODELS – DAVID SHOWERS JR.

For most of the 20-lap Feature race, teenage pilot Bubba Whitener seemed to have had the Thursday night Feature locked up. Until he reached lap 13.

Trying to get around slower traffic on the high-side, Whitener came up on a car just before the flag stand and made heavy contact, sending the lapped car into the inside wall and severely damaging his own. Whitener went off on the hook, which handed the lead over to David Showers Jr., who took it and led the rest of the way for his first-ever Late Model victory.

UP NEXT

The Sunshine Nationals action continues from Volusia on Friday night with round two of racing. Hot Laps begin at 5:15pm ET on DIRTVision!

DIRTcar Racing PR

Just as the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season is set to kick off, Kaulig Racing is excited to announce its 2020 crew chief line-up. With two, full-time entries for the 2020 season, Kaulig Racing is looking to compete for the NXS Championship with drivers Ross Chastain and Justin Haley in its stable.

Bruce Schlicker, former race engineer for Stewart-Haas racing, will head up the No. 10 Chevrolet entry with driver, Ross Chastain. Schlicker boasts a stout resume including race engineer at Richard Childress Racing from 2012-2016, and most recently, Stewart-Haas Racing.

“I’m excited for the opportunity at Kaulig Racing,” said Schlicker. “It’s a great team with great resources and even better drivers. We’ve got some great support from Nutrien Ag Solutions, who will be on the No. 10 car for the majority of the races in 2020. I’m looking forward to running a full season in the Xfinity Series with Ross Chastain, winning races and chasing after the championship.”

Alex Yontz will continue in his role of crew chief for Justin Haley and the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy in 2020. Yontz transitioned from shock specialist to interim crew chief in July of the 2019 NXS season.

“I’m excited to be back with Justin Haley this season full time,” said Yontz. “We have a few races under our belts together from the end of last season, and we built a really good relationship. I’m looking forward to winning races with him in 2020.”

In 2019, Kaulig Racing secured 29 Top-10 finishes and nine Top-5 finishes, including two wins with Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger, securing its best season to-date.

“We are really excited to have Alex Yontz and Bruce Schlicker as crew chiefs,” said team President, Chris Rice. “As we continue to grow, we are stepping up our game immensely. I have confidence that we have the right people in the right positions, and we will have success this season.”

The season opener for the NXS will take place on Saturday, February 15 at 2:30pm EST on FS1 at Daytona International Speedway, where Kaulig Racing is the defending NXS race winner.

Kaulig Racing PR

Christopher Bell's fifth preliminary night victory in as many years, and sixth overall prelim triumph, the driver of the Tucker-Boat No. 84x was the class of the field in Thursday's John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night.
"Man, this race...I say it time, and time again, this race literally is what motorsports means to me. This is the pinnacle for me growing up in Oklahoma. I hope that this is the race I can run the rest of my life until I can come back here owning a racecar and have another Buddy Kofoid drive for me," commented Bell, who is locked into his seventh championship A-Feature in as many years.
Gridding the field sixth, Bell worked into the top three following a Lap 5 restart.
Led by Thomas Meseraull, the RMS entry took off with Logan Seavey, Buddy Kofoid, and Christopher Bell in tow. Three-wide for second, Kofoid worked past the pair on the bottom of turn four with Bell adjusting his line the following lap take the position away.
Running down the No. 7x in a matter of laps, Bell used high side momentum off the fourth turn on Lap 10; throwing the slide job deep into turn one to clear Meseraull for the point on Lap 11. Into traffic on Lap 17, Bell's run stalled for a moment with Meseraull closing while trying to fend off Buddy Kofoid. Picking through the backmarkers, Bell three-wide in traffic at times kept his advantage just over a second.
With the white flag waving, Bell's night nearly ended as contact with a slower car all but parked the No. 84x. Able to recover with the field bearing down, Bell was still able to capture the win by 1.114 seconds.
Asked how he balanced being patient while aggressive, Bell replied, "Lapped traffic was thick and they were just two by two, so honestly I just got to the point where I started riding behind them because I've taken myself out a lot here running over lapped cars and I still almost did it coming to the white flag."
Thomas Meseraull picked up the final transfer to Saturday's A-Feature with Buddy Kofoid third in his first career Chili Bowl appearance. Logan Seavey crossed fourth with Shane Golobic holding on to complete the top five.
With a field of 73 on hand for Thursday's John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night, the week's total car count stands at 273 with another 76 slated for Friday's Vacuworx Qualifying Night.
Split into nine OERB Heat Races, the wins went to CJ Leary, Shane Golobic, Thomas Meseraull, Cory Kruseman, Tanner Berryhill, Logan Seavey, Christopher Bell, Shane Cottle, and Chance Morton. C-Features went to Cale Conley and Michelle Decker with Dave.com B-Features topped by Shane Cottle and Kyle Cummins. Team Toyota Qualifiers number four with Jason McDougal, Buddy Kofoid, Shane Golobic, and Christopher Bell earning wins.
The Worldwide Technologies Raceway Flip Count jumped Thursday from 39 to 49 with all drivers able to walk away.
The 34th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire continues Friday, January 17, 2020, with Vacuworx Qualifying Night. Hot Laps getting underway at 4:00 P.M. with racing at 5:00 P.M. (CT). General Admission Pit Passes never sell out and is sold at the event. Weekdays are $45 per day. Saturday is $60.
For continued updates on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire, fans can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with @CBNationals. All official press, updates, and results on the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire can be found online at http://www.chilibowl.com.
Results:
Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway - Tulsa, Okla.
Wednesday, January 16, 2020
John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night
Car Count: 73
Event Count: 273
OERB Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 55V-CJ Leary[5]; 2. 15D-Andrew Deal[8]; 3. 11A-Andrew Felker[4]; 4. 02-Andy Gage[1]; 5. 52C-Cody Karl[9]; 6. 7JR-JD Black[6]; 7. 41X-Howard Moore[3]; 8. 3B-Jessie Barber[2]; 9. 11P-Laydon Pearson[7]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 17W-Shane Golobic[3]; 2. 77U-Chris Urish[1]; 3. 2ND-Dave Darland[7]; 4. 117-Jack Dover[6]; 5. 87F-Johnny Kent[4]; 6. 39B-Cole Bodine[8]; 7. M1-Mark Smith[5]; 8. 0K-Don O'Keefe Jr[2]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[5]; 2. 31B-Chance Crum[7]; 3. 49-Scott Kreutter[2]; 4. 78M-Merle Scherb[1]; 5. 51X-Joe Walker[3]; 6. 2C-Seth Carlson[8]; 7. Q23-Barrie Valentino[6]; 8. 21D-Justin Dickerson[4]
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 21K-Cory Kruseman[2]; 2. 47X-Danny Stratton[1]; 3. 3N-Jake Neuman[6]; 4. 5G-Ben Worth[8]; 5. 57K-Kevin Studley[5]; 6. 84S-Shaun Shapel[4]; 7. 72-Eric Fenton[7]; 8. 46X-Jeffrey Champagne[3]
Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 91B-Tanner Berryhill[4]; 2. 17B-Ryan Bickett[3]; 3. 56D-Mitchell Davis[2]; 4. 11X-Donovan Peterson[1]; 5. 19B-Spencer Bayston[7]; 6. 7R-Austin Williams[8]; 7. 4M-Michelle Decker[5]; 8. 33J-James Davison[6]
Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 39-Logan Seavey[4]; 2. 25-Jerry Coons Jr[3]; 3. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]; 4. 67S-Ryan Smith[7]; 5. 32D-Casey Shuman[2]; 6. 6-Bill Rose[5]; 7. 68B-Blain Petersen[1]; 8. 1H-Rick Horn[8]
Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[1]; 2. 35L-Cody Ledger[4]; 3. 17T-Stevie Sussex[3]; 4. 321-Chad Winfrey[2]; 5. 10C-Dalton Camfield[8]; 6. 715-Robert Bell[5]; 7. 24F-Hunter Fischer[7]; 8. 00D-Daniel Sanchez[6]
Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 9P-Shane Cottle[2]; 2. 76M-Jason McDougal[3]; 3. 67-Michael Kofoid[7]; 4. 2X-AJ Fike[1]; 5. 27D-Travis Berryhill[8]; 6. 11-Cale Conley[4]; 7. 72X-Jeff Wheeler[5]; 8. 926-Morgan Frewaldt[6]
Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 7MF-Chance Morton[1]; 2. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[5]; 3. 1G-Kyle Cummins[4]; 4. 08M-Joe B Miller[7]; 5. 00X-Jason Martin[2]; 6. 67K-Holley Hollan[6]; 7. 73-Dylan Ito[8]; 8. 17M-Kala Keliinoi[3]
C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C-Main 1 (12 Laps): 1. 11-Cale Conley[8]; 2. 6-Bill Rose[6]; 3. 87F-Johnny Kent[3]; 4. 78M-Merle Scherb[1]; 5. 32D-Casey Shuman[4]; 6. M1-Mark Smith[10]; 7. 11P-Laydon Pearson[16]; 8. 24F-Hunter Fischer[9]; 9. 72X-Jeff Wheeler[11]; 10. 33J-James Davison[13]; 11. 46X-Jeffrey Champagne[15]; 12. 926-Morgan Frewaldt[14]; 13. 1H-Rick Horn[12]; 14. 73-Dylan Ito[7]; 15. 7JR-JD Black[5]; 16. 2X-AJ Fike[2]; 17. (DNS) 3B-Jessie Barber
C-Main 2 (12 Laps): 1. 4M-Michelle Decker[10]; 2. 51X-Joe Walker[3]; 3. 00X-Jason Martin[4]; 4. 67K-Holley Hollan[5]; 5. 57K-Kevin Studley[2]; 6. 11X-Donovan Peterson[1]; 7. 68B-Blain Petersen[12]; 8. 21D-Justin Dickerson[14]; 9. Q23-Barrie Valentino[8]; 10. 41X-Howard Moore[9]; 11. 00D-Daniel Sanchez[11]; 12. 715-Robert Bell[6]; 13. 84S-Shaun Shapel[7]; 14. 17M-Kala Keliinoi[13]; 15. (DNS) 72-Eric Fenton; 16. (DNS) 0K-Don O'Keefe Jr
Team Toyota Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Qualifier 1 (10 Laps): 1. 76M-Jason McDougal[1]; 2. 39B-Cole Bodine[10]; 3. 91B-Tanner Berryhill[5]; 4. 2ND-Dave Darland[4]; 5. 15D-Andrew Deal[6]; 6. 7MF-Chance Morton[2]; 7. 49-Scott Kreutter[9]; 8. 117-Jack Dover[8]; 9. 77U-Chris Urish[7]; 10. 35L-Cody Ledger[3]
Qualifier 2 (10 Laps): 1. 67-Michael Kofoid[4]; 2. 3N-Jake Neuman[3]; 3. 39-Logan Seavey[5]; 4. 67S-Ryan Smith[1]; 5. 55V-CJ Leary[6]; 6. 47X-Danny Stratton[7]; 7. 10C-Dalton Camfield[8]; 8. 2C-Seth Carlson[10]; 9. 56D-Mitchell Davis[9]; 10. 5G-Ben Worth[2]
Qualifier 3 (10 Laps): 1. 17W-Shane Golobic[5]; 2. 08M-Joe B Miller[1]; 3. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[6]; 4. 19B-Spencer Bayston[9]; 5. 11A-Andrew Felker[7]; 6. 27D-Travis Berryhill[8]; 7. 21K-Cory Kruseman[4]; 8. 23S-Kyle Simon[3]; 9. 7R-Austin Williams[10]; 10. 17B-Ryan Bickett[2]
Qualifier 4 (10 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[3]; 2. 25-Jerry Coons Jr[2]; 3. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[5]; 4. 1G-Kyle Cummins[7]; 5. 31B-Chance Crum[6]; 6. 9P-Shane Cottle[4]; 7. 52C-Cody Karl[1]; 8. 321-Chad Winfrey[9]; 9. 02-Andy Gage[10]; 10. 17T-Stevie Sussex[8]
Dave.com B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B-Main 1 (15 Laps): 1. 9P-Shane Cottle[3]; 2. 11A-Andrew Felker[2]; 3. 21K-Cory Kruseman[5]; 4. 2ND-Dave Darland[1]; 5. 47X-Danny Stratton[4]; 6. 17B-Ryan Bickett[10]; 7. 6-Bill Rose[14]; 8. 10C-Dalton Camfield[6]; 9. 87F-Johnny Kent[12]; 10. 321-Chad Winfrey[9]; 11. 2C-Seth Carlson[8]; 12. 78M-Merle Scherb[15]; 13. 7R-Austin Williams[11]; 14. 11-Cale Conley[13]; 15. 52C-Cody Karl[7]; 16. (DNS) 56D-Mitchell Davis
B-Main 2 (15 Laps): 1. 1G-Kyle Cummins[1]; 2. 67S-Ryan Smith[2]; 3. 117-Jack Dover[7]; 4. 27D-Travis Berryhill[3]; 5. 7MF-Chance Morton[4]; 6. 5G-Ben Worth[10]; 7. 35L-Cody Ledger[9]; 8. 49-Scott Kreutter[5]; 9. 23S-Kyle Simon[6]; 10. 77U-Chris Urish[8]; 11. 4M-Michelle Decker[13]; 12. 02-Andy Gage[11]; 13. 67K-Holley Hollan[14]; 14. 00X-Jason Martin[15]; 15. 51X-Joe Walker[12]; 16. (DNS) 17T-Stevie Sussex
A-Feature: Top 2 advance to Saturday's A-Feature.
A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 84X-Christopher Bell[6]; 2. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[3]; 3. 67-Michael Kofoid[2]; 4. 39-Logan Seavey[5]; 5. 17W-Shane Golobic[1]; 6. 19B-Spencer Bayston[15]; 7. 55V-CJ Leary[12]; 8. 76M-Jason McDougal[11]; 9. 25-Jerry Coons Jr[14]; 10. 25B-Steve Buckwalter[8]; 11. 91B-Tanner Berryhill[4]; 12. 3N-Jake Neuman[10]; 13. 08M-Joe B Miller[16]; 14. 9P-Shane Cottle[17]; 15. 67S-Ryan Smith[20]; 16. 2ND-Dave Darland[23]; 17. 31B-Chance Crum[13]; 18. 15D-Andrew Deal[9]; 19. 27D-Travis Berryhill[24]; 20. 1G-Kyle Cummins[18]; 21. 21K-Cory Kruseman[21]; 22. 39B-Cole Bodine[7]; 23. 117-Jack Dover[22]; 24. 11A-Andrew Felker[19]
Lap Leader(s): Shane Golobic 1-2; Thomas Meseraull 3--11; Christopher Bell 12-30
Hard Charger: Spencer Bayston +9
Chili Bowl PR

Christopher Bell dominated John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night, winning his heat race, qualifier and feature to advance directly to Saturday’s A Main feature at the 34th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Center. Thomas Meseraull finished second and Buddy Kofoid was third as Toyota drivers swept the podium.

Bell earned the fourth consecutive preliminary night feature for Toyota in capturing the Thursday night preliminary feature for the fifth straight year.  It was his 56th national midget feature win, the most by any Toyota-powered driver.

Pole-sitter Shane Golobic took the early lead, with Meseraull in second and and Kofoid running fourth.  On lap three, Meseraull would go high and then dive underneath Golobic to take over the top spot. Bell was on the move behind him, entering into the top-five and by lap eight, he had climbed to second.

Running the high side, the Norman, Oklahoma-native, would close on Meseraull and then take the lead on lap 12 and immediately start to distance himself, with Kofoid taking over third. With a long stretch of green flag racing, Bell began to encounter heavy lapped traffic in the final 10 laps of the 30-lap feature as the action heated up behind him. Kofoid was right on Meseraull’s tail for second and a pass directly to Saturday’s A Main, but passing both ‘T-Mez’ and the lapped traffic would prove to be difficult. At the finish line, it was Bell, Meseraull and Kofoid.

“It was a heck of a race,” said Bell. “The first five laps everybody was running up there together. It was nice to get a green flag run in. We definitely learned a lot tonight. Hopefully, it will translate to Saturday. (Team owner) Chad Boat and I have become really great friends. It’s been a lot of fun to watch the transition at Tucker-Boat. I’m very proud of them. It’s been an outstanding week so far and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”

While falling just short of the transfer position, Kofoid certainly made his presence felt in his first Chili Bowl qualifying night.

“I felt like I was closing on Thomas, but the lapped traffic was so thick,” said the 18-year-old Californian. “It was just so crazy when the lapped cars were racing each other side-by-side as well. For my first Chili Bowl, a third-place tonight is pretty cool. It’s not a lock-in position, but we’re in a good spot for Saturday. I feel like I came a long way from my heat race and I’m feeling comfortable in the car. Toyota and Keith Kunz have given me a great opportunity. I’m excited for this year.”

Overall, seven Toyota drivers advanced to Thursday night’s A Main, with each finishing in the top-13. Behind the top three were Jason McDougal in eighth, Jerry Coons Jr. in ninth, Tanner Berryhill in 11th and Joe B. Miller in the 13th position. While Bell and Meseraull transfer to Saturday’s A Main, Kofoid and McDougal will begin in the B Main; and Coons, Berryhill, and Miller from the C. 

This year’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals feature more than 350 entries – each fighting for one of the 24 openings in Saturday night’s “A Main” feature event.  After four nights of competition, five Toyota drivers from four different teams have earned their way into Saturday’s final.

Qualifying concludes on Friday night with six more Toyota-powered drivers still to qualify.

TRD PR

The preparations necessary to transform the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center into the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show 2020 were continuing in earnest through 8:00 PM Thursday evening. The 36th annual rendition of the event under the direction of Len Sammons Motorsports Productions opens to the public at 2:00 PM Friday, January 17 and continues Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19.

 “This year’s show is shaping up to be one of the best,” said event organizer Sammons.  “Move in day was very smooth and we expect big crowds for all three days with all that we have going on at the 2020 Show.”

 Much of the work centered around the Orange County Fair Speedway Display, which will feature the track’s past, present, and future.  The speedway celebrated the 100th anniversary of the running of its first automobile race this past August.  A never-before-seen restoration of the Statewide Hi-Way Safety No. 3 Gremlin, built by Kenny Weld, driven by Jimmy Horton, owned by Halmar International’s Chris Larsen, and restored by Eric Mack is among the features in the display and of the entire Motorsports 2020 Show.

 Another vintage car, this one owned and restored by Bruce Bowen, in the entrance lobby of the Motorsports Show, is a restoration of the No. 29 Weikert’s Livestock Sprint driven by Doug Wolfgang in 1987. The car is unique in that it ran the season with a 410 Steel Block motor.  The car has been displayed by Bowen only once before.

 “It has been a lot of work but I’m very happy with the way it turned out,” Bowen, who hand-lettered the car, said.

 Two big displays near the main entrance of the show are certain to command attention.  At the Pioneer Pole Buildings display, the Modifieds of Billy Pauch and Craig VonDohren as well as the 410 Sprint of Freddie Rahmer are to be seen while the Sunoco display has cars spanning the spectrum of motorsports including a stunning Funny Car and an equally attention-grabbing Sports Car Prototype.

 A new livery for Matt Sheppard’s Modified can be seen at the American Racer Tire exhibit and Joe Toth’s Crate Sportsman, displayed at the Georgetown Speedway booth, is also a dramatic contrast from Toth’s previous cars.

 An oddity in this year’s show features two of Mike Gular’s Modifieds, one in the Bicknell Race Cars display and a second in the Sunoco booth.

 Once doors open Friday and throughout the three-day run of the show a series of valuable Seminars will be conducted on a wide range of topics of interest to car builders, track operators, and fans alike.

 On Saturday, personal appearances by Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett will highlight the three-day event.  Petty will sign autographs from 1:00 to 3:00 PM with Jarrett putting pen to paper from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

 At 7:00, the festivities will begin that culminate in the crowning of Ms. Motorsports 2020. 

 Sunday is Kid’s Day at PPB Motorsports 2020 with Little Ms. Motorsports and Tiny Ms. Motorsports competitions as well as Big Wheel Racing competitions.

 For more information about the 2020 PPB Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show, visit motorsportstradeshow.com

AARN PR

NTT INDYCAR Series driver Santino Ferrucci turned in a strong debut in the prestigious Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma while fellow drivers Conor Daly and James Davison are on deck.

Ferrucci drove from 11th to fifth in Wednesday night's C-Main race at Tulsa Expo Raceway, just missing advancement to the next round in the preliminary night won by Rico Abreu. The fifth-place finish was quite impressive for the versatile Ferrucci, who was competing in a midget race for the first time in his life.

"I thought I did really well," said Ferrucci, coming off a successful 2019 rookie campaign with Dale Coyne Racing. "Before my heat I only had 10 (practice) laps, so obviously I knew I was going to struggle at times. But my heat was pretty stacked, so I don't feel so bad."

Davison, a five-time Indianapolis 500 starter from Melbourne, Australia with plans to compete in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 in 2020, is set to compete in Thursday's preliminary round, Daly will race Friday night. 

Daly, who will be handling the road/street course NTT INDYCAR Series schedule for Ed Carpenter Racing's No. 20 entry as well as a third team entry in the Indianapolis 500, will be making his second Chili Bowl appearance. He made his debut last year.

Davison only has turned a handful of laps in practice and, like Ferrucci, has minimal dirt-track experience. But Daly had a tip for both.

"I just started to get the hang of it by the end of the main event that I was in," Daly said of last year's event.

The three NTT INDYCAR Series drivers will be part of Saturday's final rounds, although their starting positions are still to be determined. There are 360 drivers competing in this 34th edition of the Chili Bowl, representing 40 states and six countries. Among them are seven former Chili Bowl champions, plus NASCAR Cup standouts Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman. Larson was Tuesday's overall winner, while Bell is the three-time defending champion of the event.

Ferrucci, Daly and Davison are driving with help from David Byrd, whose inspiration for supporting talented open-wheel drivers comes from his father, Jonathan, who helped Rich Vogler and Stan Fox compete in Indianapolis 500s. David Byrd also helped Bryan Clauson compete in the 500 in 2015 and '16.

Weeknight action of the Chili Bowl can be viewed online by pay-per-view at racinboys.com. Saturday's final feature races will air on the MAVTV Motorsports Network. Results can be found at chilibowl.com.

NTT IndyCar PR

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is pleased to announce the generous support of more than 140 donors has resulted in a fully-funded restoration initiative for the groundbreaking 1963 Lotus 29/1 that Dan Gurney qualified and drove in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.
The IMS Museum Lotus Restoration Project requires $103,000 to restore the No. 93 Lotus powered by Ford entry, in which Gurney qualified 12th and finished seventh. Incredible progress is underway on the restoration: Noted auto restoration expert George Lyons is returning the car body to its original, glorious white-and blue paint livery, while IMS Restoration is completing engine and suspension work, and new wheels have been sourced from the United Kingdom.
While subject to change, the Museum’s goal is to debut the Lotus 29/1 during 2020 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge activities in May.
Jack Brabham drove a rear-engine Cooper in the 1961 “500” and Gurney drove a rear-engine car for team owner Mickey Thompson in 1962, but it was the 1963 arrival of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, his drivers Jim Clark and Gurney, and three Lotus 29 entries that signaled the groundbreaking transition to rear-engine race cars at the Indianapolis 500. Years of historic technological and safety innovation in Indy car racing would follow.
Clark started fifth with Lotus chassis 29/3 and finished second to Parnelli Jones in the 1963 “500.” Gurney crashed his primary car, the Lotus 29/2 in practice, and switched to the 29/1 for his successful run in qualifying and the race. Scotland native Clark, a two-time Formula One World Champion with Lotus during his Hall of Fame career, took the “500” the pole in 1964, and with the new Lotus 38, delivered the first Indy victory for a rear-engine car in 1965.
Video: For a visual update on the Lotus 29/1 project from our Curator of Vehicles Jason Vansickle, please see our latest update on the IMS Museum YouTube channel by clicking here.
Future Restoration Projects: With the Lotus 29/1 restoration in the homestretch, the IMS Museum soon will announce three exciting new restoration projects that will return to life three legendary engines of the Indianapolis 500. Details will be released soon. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operated separately from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, support from donors will be essential for the IMS Museum Restoration team to complete timely and impactful restorations, just as they will soon do with Dan Gurney’s Lotus 29/1.
IMS Museum PR

Prior to the 62nd annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway, through an exclusive ticket package, race fans will be able to hear from Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott as he kicks off his fifth full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Recently voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for the second straight year, the 24-year-old driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet has three wins at the “World Center of Racing”, but is still looking to capture his first points-paying victory in the Cup Series on the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

The Chase Elliott DAYTONA 500 ticket package includes:

  • Reserved ticket to the 62nd annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 16
  • Chase Elliott-autographed souvenir
  • Exclusive Q&A session with Elliott in a Midway Suite

The Chase Elliott ticket package is available for $209 per person and capacity is limited. To purchase, fans can visit https://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest news throughout the year.

DIS PR

Schlüter-Systems, a world leader in the development of innovative installation systems for ceramic and natural stone tile, will hit the track in 2020 with a flaming new paint scheme for driver Corey LaJoie and the No. 32 Go Fas Racing (GFR) team.

The addition of blazing flames down the sides of the Roush Yates-powered machine overlays the familiar orange ditra-design synonymous with the Schlüter-Systems brand. 
 
"Schlüter-Systems is proud to partner for a fourth consecutive year with Corey LaJoie in his constant pursuit within NASCAR," stated Marco Ludwig, CEO & President of Schlüter-Systems, NA. "Corey has been an exceptional brand ambassador for Schlüter-Systems and we look forward to continued collaboration both on and off the track. We are excited to see what the 2020 season holds for Corey and his GoFas racing team, we wish them a safe and successful season."
 
With more than 900 employees across the globe, Schlüter-Systems has three locations in North America: Plattsburgh, New York, Montreal, Quebec, and Reno, Nevada, as well as six European offices, including its main headquarters in Iserlohn, Germany.

Team owner Archie St. Hilaire echoed the excitement of Schlüter returning with an increased presence in 2020. 
"Everyone at Go Fas Racing is excited to have Schlüter returning to support Corey and the team for 2020. They are a great group of people to work with and their products are the best in the business. I can't thank the whole Schlüter family enough for believing in the team and NASCAR going forward," said Archie St. Hilaire, team owner of Go Fas Racing.
 
Schlüter-Systems will have an expanded on-car presence during the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season as LaJoie sets out for his second full-time season under the GFR banner.
 
Corey LaJoie is just as excited to continue his relationship with Schlüter into the new season.
"I consider myself very lucky that Schlüter continues to grow their program and invest into my career," said returning Go Fas Racing driver Corey LaJoie. "Our goal is to provide their customers and employees with the best possible experience at the racetrack every week. The assets that Go Fas continues to build gives us a solid platform to provide with them great results on and off the track."
 
Be sure to catch the fiery scheme at a plethora of events on the 2020 schedule with the new scheme debuting at the second race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube.
The scheme is also scheduled to be run at Talladega (I), Michigan (I), Daytona (II), Bristol (II), and Texas (II).

The new Schluter-Systems diecast will be available for fans through Lionel, through this link: https://www.lionelracing.com/drivername/Corey-Lajoie .
Visit Schluter.com to learn more about their products and availability.
GFR PR

It's a new year, and for Natalie Decker, that means new goals, a new number, same mindset.

Running multiple races in her rookie season, Decker has signed with Niece Motorsports after wrapping up her rookie year with DGR-CROSLEY.

Decker will be in a part-time ride in the Niece Motorsports No. 44 Chevy for her NASCAR Truck Season as she continues her journey towards competing in the NASCAR Cup Series. In 2019, she saw great success, finishing 19th in the series as a rookie in a part-time schedule.

Following her to Niece Motorsports will again be the backing of her main sponsor N29 Technologies.

“Natalie has shown a lot of talent and we’re looking forward to helping her continue to develop that. Last year was her first season in these trucks, so it was a big learning year for her. We are really excited about the schedule she is going to run this year because we feel like it will build on her strengths,” said Cody Efaw, Technical Director of Niece Motorsports.

As she brings her infectious enthusiasm and focus to Niece Motorsports, she joins forces with Ross Chastain, new signee Carson Hocevar, and fellow Wisconsin native Ty Majeski. Natalie will be piloting the No. 44, sharing seat time with Chastain, who will make the full time jump to Xfinity after winning three truck races in 2019 and finishing 2nd in the race for the Championship in Miami.

“Change is inevitable. Change is expected and exciting, and change is also frightening! But this year is a year I’m ready for! I have never felt so prepared with, my health, in the gym, and mentally. With so many things to be excited about working with Niece Motorsports starting with my teammates Ross and Ty. I’m ready to learn from them and be 100% open-minded going into this season!”, says an exuberant Decker.

Decker's first race with Niece Motorsports will be this coming February 14th at Daytona International Speedway.

“We have high expectations for Natalie this year and are excited to get to Daytona with her!”, said Efaw.

In addition, Decker has announced she will again work with Tony Ave and AVE Motorsports running a full schedule in the SGT-Trans Am West Coast Series. She will race in a GT-4, with sites set on a championship, starting March 14th at Sonoma Raceway.

When asked about the upcoming season, Ave said “We are looking forward to running Natalie for a points championship this year, as well as having her help us develop some new equipment for the team. We’ve got some different things up our sleeve for 2020 and beyond, and Natalie is a perfect fit to both develop the opportunities and reap the benefits in the driver’s seat as well”

In total, Natalie has locked in 14 total races on her calendar in 2020, split between those two series. There are plans in the works for adding more as she progresses further into the year.

Decker remains focused and driven to continue the pursuit of her dream to race full time in the Cup Series, gaining traction of that one race at a time!

TDR PR

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