Speedway Digest Staff
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Three-Time Indianapolis 500 Champion, Helio Castroneves Joins Meyer Shank Racing AutoNation and SiriusXM for 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
Having built its NTT INDYCAR Series program in lockstep with team sponsors since debuting in the 2017 Indianapolis 500, Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) is looking forward to its first two-car attack at the great race in 2021.
The Ohio-based team is pleased to announce that AutoNation and SiriusXM have signed on as co-title sponsors on the No. 06 Honda-powered Dallara set to be piloted by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves for the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
AutoNation will also serve as primary sponsor on Castroneves’ No. 06 Indy Car for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in September. SiriusXM will be the sole sponsor of Castroneves’ No. 06 Indy Car for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course race on August 14 and the Grand Prix of Portland on September 12.
The growth of the program reflects the continued commitment that AutoNation and SiriusXM have demonstrated with MSR since first joining the effort to support the team’s debut outing with driver Jack Harvey.
For three years, the two companies have combined for an unforgettable livery for Harvey that showcases the SiriusXM and AutoNation brands for race fans and also highlights AutoNation’s effort to support cancer research via the DRV PNK campaign.
Castroneves’ No. 06 Indy Car will carry AutoNation’s DRV PNK branding and signature pink color to raise awareness for AutoNation’s commitment to finding a cure for cancer, with the program having raised over $26 million to drive out cancer to date.
“We’re very excited to have AutoNation and SiriusXM join us on our second entry for the 500,” said Mike Shank. “Both AutoNation and SiriusXM have been an integral part in helping this team grow and we are so thankful that year-after-year, they continue to show their support. There is a lot of excitement about the Acura Grand Prix at Long Beach being the finale this year, and AutoNation is a great fit for that event as well, so we could not be more pleased to make this announcement.”
“MSR and SiriusXM have been great teammates, and continue to grow together,” said Marc Cannon, AutoNation Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We can’t wait to take our partnership to the next level with Helio and have him serve as a brand ambassador for our DRV PNK campaign.”
”We’re excited to be expanding on our relationship with the Meyer Shank Racing team in 2021,” said Richard Beatty, SiriusXM’s Chief Subscription Revenue Officer. “For the biggest race on the IndyCar calendar, SiriusXM will be showcased on two cars in the field - the No. 60 of Jack Harvey and the No. 06 of Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indy 500 winner. Our subscribers know the value of having SiriusXM along for the ride, and that’s true whether you’re going over 200 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or on your everyday drives around town.”
SiriusXM’s sponsorship of the No. 06 Indy Car at the Indianapolis 500 will correspond with the company’s next free listening period. From May 26 through June 8, any non-subscriber in the United States can tune in to sample SiriusXM seamlessly, with no credit card required, on all inactive SiriusXM radios and on the SiriusXM app.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Illinois doubleheader originally scheduled Friday, April 23rd at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, and Macon Speedway on Saturday, April 24th has been canceled due to weather.
With heavy rain overnight and the forecast for rain and cold temperatures throughout the weekend, track and series officials have mutually agreed to cancel this weekend’s events. The events will not be made up.
“We’ve been in constant communication with both venues all week continuously evaluating the situation. Unfortunately, the forecast just isn’t in our favor this weekend,” said Series Director Rick Schwallie. “These decisions are never easy, and we hate to cancel any event, but we all feel this is in the best interest of all parties. We look forward to returning to Tri-City Speedway in July and Macon Speedway in 2022.”
Next up, the series will visit Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, KY on April 30th for the 17th Annual John Bradshaw Memorial and Florence Speedway in Union, KY on May 1st for the 35th Annual Ralph Latham Memorial. The events will pay $12,000 and $15,000 to win, respectively.
Tim McCreadie currently leads the series point standings, carrying the Midwest Sheet Metal orange spoiler. Previous point leader, Hudson O’Neal remains just 40 points out of the lead, followed by Brandon Sheppard, Devin Moran, and Kyle Bronson rounding out the top five.
The next event for Macon Speedway will be on Saturday, May 1 as the second CEFCU Kids Club Night will be held. Seven divisions will be in action, including Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models, BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, Pro Mods, Archers Alley Street Stocks, Weddle Performance Engines Sportsman, Hornets, and Micros By Bailey Chassis.
For more information on Macon Speedway, visit www.maconracing.com.
Macon Speedway PR
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and FEED Racing – the academy founded by Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarie – announced today a partnership to create the first EuroNASCAR racing school in France to provide new exceptional opportunities to become a NASCAR driver thru the FEED Racing EuroNASCAR Challenge.
The brand new program will welcome drivers aged 16 and over to test a EuroNASCAR car during a three-day session in Magny-Cours, France under the guidance of the two FEED Racing founders and EuroNASCAR PRO drivers: Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 Formula 1 champion, Indycar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner and Patrick Lemarié, European endurance champion, test and development driver in F1 for four years and IndyCar driver.
The first stage of the course will welcome 15 drivers and will take place on August 4-5-6, 2021. The best 6 drivers will qualify for the final, which will take place in September 2021. At the end of the selection process, the winning driver will be offered a free full season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for 2022.
Featuring one of the most versatile race cars in the world, EuroNASCAR is reaffirming with this partnership the formative value of its 400hp, 1200Kg car, which provides Pure Racing and fun for all kinds of drivers on the most diverse tracks and surfaces.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season is made of seven events – each one featuring four sprint races – at some of the most iconic road courses in Europe. When the 2021 NWES campaign starts on May 15-16 in Spain at Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, both Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Lemarié will chase the EuroNASCAR PRO title, while 19-year-old Simon Pilate, the first driver to come from the Feed Racing academy to the NWES grid in 2020, will compete in the EuroNASCAR 2 championship.
Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series President / CEO - “The EuroNASCAR car is probably the car providing the best ratio between performances, costs and fun to every kind of driver of every age! Over the years they demonstrated to be the perfect tool to develop drivers’ skills! This is why we are very happy to open a new dimension for our EuroNASCAR cars and build this first Racing School program.”
Jacques Villeneuve - “Since the launch of FEED Racing and the F4 program, we realized that many drivers over 21 years old are also eager to get a chance. In collaboration with EuroNASCAR and Jérôme GALPIN’s teams, we thought that there was room to offer an opportunity for the largest number. EuroNASCAR is the ideal platform for those who otherwise could not hope to drive such a car, and who knows, to win a full season. I’ve been enjoying myself so much since 2019 in this championship. It’s an amazing chance for all those who want to express their talent, to take part in very close races, against a fierce competition.”
Patrick Lemarie - “EuroNASCAR is what we call Pure Racing. It’s everything we love about driving. It gives you the opportunity to relive the sensations that tend to disappear nowadays in motorsport. Driving a EuroNascar is brutal and very demanding. We take a maximum of pleasure out there. This Challenge is quite different because there is no age limit. It can concern young drivers over 16 years old who would like to have access to a professional championship in order to get noticed but also older drivers who already have experience in other categories and would like to relaunch their career, those who do not have the budget to complete a season or gentlemen drivers who would like to drive something different than a GT car.“
Trackhouse Racing PR
Caregility, a company dedicated to delivering care to wherever the patient is located through the use of its Caregility Virtual Care Platform, is using its NASCAR program and relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing to make an even bigger impact on the healthcare industry. The Caregility Cares program—which started last year as a simple way to recognize healthcare heroes by placing their name on race cars has now grown to provide financial support for aspiring healthcare workers.
In February 2021, Caregility launched the Caregility Cares Essential Worker Scholarship. The program was designed to grant five aspiring healthcare workers with a $5,000 scholarship to aid in their pursuit of higher education degrees in the field of medicine. The program targets high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students who are either healthcare workers or dependents of healthcare workers. With applications steadily rolling in ahead of the May 31st deadline, Caregility realized the demand for assistance greatly exceeded their funds. Looking for a way to raise more funds to grant a sixth scholarship, Caregility turned to its NASCAR program with Chip Ganassi Racing.
“As we continue to face the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire world can agree on the importance of our healthcare professionals,” said Ron Gaboury, CEO of Caregility. “These individuals bravely work on the front lines to keep their communities safe, while potentially putting themselves at risk. It takes a special individual to devote their life to helping others through a career in nursing or any of the medical fields. At Caregility, we have the distinct honor to work with these individuals every day, and we can’t do enough to repay them for their service. With the Caregility Cares Essential Worker Scholarship, we look to make an impact on these individuals by relieving some of the burden and financial stress of working toward a degree.”
Caregility will serve as the co-primary sponsor of the No. 42 Chevrolet with their sister company, Yorktel, during this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Race fans who would like to support the sixth scholarship for an aspiring healthcare worker can watch Caregility’s social channels for additional ways to support the fund, including participating in an online auction in early May. Additional details will be available at Facebook.com/CaregilityCares and at Twitter.com/Caregility.
Applications remain open for the initial round of Caregility Cares Essential Worker Scholarships. Applications are due by May 31, 2021. Current healthcare workers and their dependents who are interested in the program can learn more and apply here. Scholarship recipients will be announced in June 2021.
When Perris Auto Speedway hosts its first Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car race in nearly a year and a half this Saturday night, April 24th, one familiar and popular face will not be in the grandstands. Shawn McDonald, known as the “World’s #1 Sprint Car Fan” to attendees of the famous Riverside County half-mile clay oval, passed away last June. However, his friends Lew Miller and Scott Martin, decided to keep his memory and spirit alive. At every USAC/CRA race at The PAS this year, the sixth fastest qualifier and sixth place finisher in the main will each get an extra $100.00 in his memory.
Initially, a lot of different ideas were tossed around before the decision was made to use the number of his favorite driver. That driver is “Super” Rickie Gaunt. The bond between the two was amazing and when Gaunt heard that his friend was in tough shape last June, he dropped what he was doing and paid him a visit
"The World's #1 Sprint Car Fan," Shawn McDonald with his favorite sprint car driver, "Super" Rickie Gaunt.
“Shawn had many favorite drivers,” Miller said. “But his all-time favorite driver was “Super” Rickie Gaunt. He drove many cars over the years, but he is probably best known for driving the #66. So beginning with the Saturday April 24th race and every USAC 410 race at Perris Auto Speedway throughout the year including the Oval Nationals (11 races), the sixth fastest qualifier and the sixth-place finisher in the A main will receive $100 in memory of Shawn.”
Past Oval Nationals and USAC/CRA champion and now USAC/CRA Race Director Tony Jones, is pleased with the new award and has fond memories of Shawn.
“To us (drivers), Shawn was a racer, so it means a lot that friends and family have come up and put some money up there to remember him,” Jones said. “He was at every race. Him coming down after the races to be with the drivers, that was his commitment to us. We looked forward to him coming down and being able to spend our time talking to him. When I was a racer, it meant a lot to me to talk to him after the races. I had a lot of respect at how big his heart was. He had the heart of a racer and he was there for us.”
Fans can see who gets the “Shawn McDonald Money” for the first time on Saturday at the Sokola Shootout. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00. Adult tickets are $30.00. Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00. Kids 6-12 are $5.00 and children 5 and under are free. The fairgrounds charges $10.00 for parking. Camping on the fairgrounds is available for $25.00 per night beginning at noon on Friday.
Due to COVID restrictions, tickets for this race are only available at tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7. There will be no walk-up ticket sales for this event. Also, face coverings and social distancing between groups other than your own will be mandatory.
Online tickets for 2021 Perris Auto Speedway races are on sale at tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7. Fans will be able to purchase tickets online at the link up until 7:00 p.m. each race night. The entire 2021 schedule is available at the bottom of this release.
Fans can stay up to date on track and driver news on The PAS social media efforts at the links below.
Twitter: Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter.
Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the SoCal Fair and Event Center (home of the Southern California Fair), approximately one-hour east of Los Angeles and one-hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, on the Ramona Expressway and go three miles east to the fairgrounds. For directions on MapQuest, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the zip code is 92571.
Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank the following corporate partners. Ahern Equipment Rentals, All Coast Construction, Battery Systems, Budweiser, Bud’s Tire Pro, Chris’ Hauling, City of Perris, Communication Innovations, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Ed Moore Bullet Proof Driveshaft, Flowdynamics, HD Industries, Hoosier Tires, Inland Rigging, Living Water’s Hospice, LKQ Pick Your Part, Luke’s Transmission, Moose Racing, Pepsi-Cola, Pole Position, PrintItNow.com, Rainbow Bolt & Supply, Rugged Radios, Shaver Specialties, Square H, Sunoco Race Fuels, Trench Shoring, Upland Rock, Varner Construction and Vista Paint.
DVDs of all the PASSCAR/IMCA racing and Nights of Destruction at The PAS are available from Fourvideos. For more information call (714) 225-9500.
After Wins Last Weekend, Brody Roa Prepares For Return to Perris Auto Speedway for the Sokola Shootout This Saturday
Brody Roa warmed up for his return to Perris Auto Speedway for the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series Sokola Shootout this Saturday night, April 24, with two wins in Central California last weekend. Saturday’s race will be on the same half-mile oval where he scored the biggest win of his career in 2017.
Both of last week’s victories came in the May Motorsports #8M sprint car. On Friday, the winning effort came in an open 360 show at the Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield. The following night he made it two wins in 24-hours when he outdistanced the field at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.
Brody Roa and crew after last weekend's win at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.
The Garden Grove, California resident not only won the main event, but he also triumphed in the heat race at KCRP. Twenty-four hours later, the #91R team made the short 64-mile trek to the Thunderbowl Raceway. The 2016 series champion started off the night when he won his heat race, placed fourth in the qualifier, and started sixth in the 25-lap main event. The field was small, but talented, and that meant Roa had his work cut out for him.
For the first three laps, Roa wrestled his way between fourth and fifth. A lap four restart saw him advance one spot to third and another restart on lap five, saw him put the competition away. He dove to the bottom to take the lead in turn one in the race that stayed green the remainder of the way. He proceeded to run off from the competition to win by over a full straight.
“To come out and win two in a row this weekend is pretty good,” the 30-year-old winner told announcer Bobby Gerould and the crowd. “If you would have told me I would have won a race at Tulare I would have told you that you were crazy. On an average night, a shopping cart could beat me around here. It is just a place I am not very good at, but it was fun tonight. It made you have to hit your marks every time with the holes around the top. I can’t thank these guys at May Motorsports who put this car under me. Jayson (May), his dad, all of his family. They are incredible people, and they build a nice car that never has any issues. It leaves it up to me to get the job done. It is awesome to see fans again in the stands at a race. Thank you all for coming out.”
The victory in Tulare was the seventh lifetime win for Roa in USAC West Coast Series competition. And it was the initial win in the series for May Motorsports. After two USAC West Coast races in 2021, the friendly driver has a win and a third-place finish. That puts him in the lead in the driver standings and May Motorsports is the leader in the owner standings. The next race in the series is scheduled for May 15 in Petaluma.
Saturday’s Sokola Shootout will be the first time Roa has raced on the USAC/CRA Series home track, Perris Auto Speedway, since November 2019. In nine appearances at the Riverside County track that season, he had one win and five top five finishes. The biggest win of his career came on the same half mile clay oval in 2017 when he won the second night of the prestigious Oval Nationals.
For fans who would like to attend Saturday’s race, spectator gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00. Advance tickets are available at the following link tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7. Due to COVID mandates, that is the only way to purchase tickets for this race. There will be no walk-up ticket sales.
Perris Auto Speedway is located at 18700 Lake Perris Drive (92571). The office phone number is (951) 940-0134 and the website is http://www.perrisautospeedway.com/.
Roa and the team would like to thank the following for being part of the #91R’s 2021 campaign. HD Industries, Burris Racing, Caltrol, Competition Suspension, Sander Engineering, Biker Bruce Fisher, Inland Rigging, The Golden Vibe Boutique, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Baldwin Filters and Jambo BBQ Pits. In addition, the veteran driver offers thanks to Fastenal, Coopers Propane, Total Lubricants, Marina Pools, TJM Oilfield Distribution, Certex, and Biker Bruce for sponsoring the #8M.
If you or your company would like to jump on board and receive recognition throughout the year, please give the two-time USAC champion racer a phone call or drop him a note at the contact information at the top of this release. You can also contact him if you would like to put him in your car in a USAC National Series race when his west coast schedule permits.
To view Roa’s online portfolio and learn more about the team, please click on the following link https://www.teamwithbrody.com/. Fans can also check out the team website at https://www.brodyroa.com/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/br91r/.
To keep up with May Motorsports, please check out and “like” its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MayMotorsports8M
Talladega Traditions Continue While New Ones Begin; John Ray’s Big Rig, 313th US Army Band and Incredible Flyby are Back for Sunday’s GEICO 500 Pre-Race
Few sights in sports have been more patriotic than that of John Ray’s gold, brown and chrome Big Rig truck, adorned with the red, white and blue whipping in the wind, making its way down the Talladega Superspeedway frontstretch prior to the start of races. The tradition since 2001 will continue this weekend at the mammoth 2.66-mile venue, which will include Sunday’s GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race (1 p.m. CDT, FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The patriotic theme will also be showcased in the GEICO 500 pre-race with an awesome flyover, consisting of four Air National Guard F-15C Air Superiority Fighter jets, from the 159th Fighter Wing “Bayou Militia” from New Orleans, LA. Both John Ray’s truck, today driven by his son Johnny, and the flyby, will be during the virtual instrumental National Anthem, which will again be performed by the Alabama-based 313th United States Army Band, which has given fans its incredible rendition at Talladega since 2014.
In addition to the above, there will be a host of pre-race dignitaries, as well as many kids groups from all over the state of Alabama, who will highlight pre-race festivities for the GEICO 500, along with Saturday’s Ag-Pro 300 and General Tire 200. They are listed below:
Sunday, April 25: GEICO 500 for NASCAR Cup Series, 1 p.m. CDT Start
- Grand Marshals: Tag Team, Hip-Hop Duo (Atlanta, GA)
- National Anthem: Army 313th Band, based in Birmingham and Huntsville, AL
- God Bless America: Alabaster City Schools Choir (Alabaster, AL)
- Invocation: Chaplin Barbara Embry, Citizen’s Baptist Medical Center
- Color Guard: Hoover High School ROTC (Hoover, AL)
- Iconic Drive By: John Ray’s Big Rig Truck, driven by Johnny Ray
Saturday, April 24: Ag-Pro 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series, 3 p.m. CDT Start
- Grand Marshal: Timmy Hiers, Ag-Pro Companies Partner and Corporate Sales Manager
- Honorary Starter: Lance Rudd, Ag-Pro Division President, Alabama/Georgia Region
- National Anthem: Birmingham Boys Choir (Birmingham, AL)
- God Bless America: Shades Valley High School Choir (Irondale, AL)
- Invocation: Pastor Tony Roberts, Abundant Life Church (Alabaster, AL)
- Color Guard: Davidson High School Navy JROTC (Mobile, AL)
- Iconic Drive By: John Ray’s Big Rig Truck, driven by Johnny Ray
Saturday, April 24: General Tire 200 for ARCA Menards Series, 12 Noon CDT Start
- Grand Marshal: Lee Edwards, Edwards Chevrolet
- Honorary Starter: Gregg Vandermark
- National Anthem: Brookwood High School Choir (Brookwood, AL)
- Invocation: Anthony Roberts, Alabama Youth District Secretary
- Color Guard: Thompson High School Air Force JROTC (Alabaster, AL)
- Iconic Drive By: John Ray’s Big Rig Truck, driven by Johnny Ray
Limited admission options remain for the GEICO 500 and fans are encouraged to log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA for details. Tickets are available for Saturday’s doubleheader, with kids 12 and younger admitted free (with a paying adult) to grandstands/towers.
To learn more about the spring NASCAR event weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and its safety protocols, visit https://www.