Speedway Digest Staff
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DO YOU HAVE A LIST OF THE GUYS TO BEAT THIS YEAR? IT SEEMS TO CHANGE WEEKLY. “It depends on the track. There are certain tracks that I feel like we’re really good and there are certain ones I feel like we have a little bit of work to do. The same for others. There are teams that I see that are really good on the mile-and-a-halves and I’m like, ‘Gosh, how do they do that?’ And then some teams are good everywhere. There are a couple of them that you can probably pinpoint which ones those are, so we’ve just got to work on some consistency on all the racetracks right now.”
YOU WON AT GATEWAY WHICH IS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO PHOENIX. DOES IT HELP TO BE GOOD AT THE PLACES WHERE IT MATTERS? “Yeah, you have to get there first, but I would say yes. The flatter, shorter racetracks have been our strength. Gateway, it showed there. I hope Loudon is like that. Phoenix, we had a pretty solid run there. I would say if we’re pinpointing in the area where we’re strong, it’s those areas, which surprisingly enough it was the same way with the old car. I’d say as much as everything is different some things stay the same.”
WILL WE SEE TEAMS RUN OFF FIVE OR SIX WINS OR IS THREE OR FOUR THE MAX YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE PLAYOFFS? “I think you’ll have teams that can rack up five, six wins. I think so because good teams still figure things out and win. I don’t know if the separation is quite as big, though. The teams that have good pit stops and nail the strategy and have fast enough cars to recover if they have an issue, or can pass a car from fifth and move your way forward and put themselves in position, those teams are gonna win races. Even though the field is closer and a tenth of a second means more than ever, I still think that there will be guys who can knock off quite a few wins.”
THE HEAT DOESN’T SEEM TO BOTHER YOU AS MUCH AS OTHERS. ARE YOU BETTER AT IT THAN OTHERS? “I don’t know. It is what it is and it’s the same for everyone. It’s an element that has been there forever. Ever since they’ve been driving a Cup car it’s been hot and when you get to the summer months like we are in now it gets hot, so you better prepare for it because it’s gonna happen. You know it’s coming. You can prepare for the storm when you look at the weather forecast and you kind of see it’s gonna be hot. You would just adjust to that and prepare for it.”
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR HEAT? “I think your training conditions are one big piece to me. A lot of the training I do is outside on the asphalt. I mean, think of where is your heart rate and what are you doing inside the car. The biggest thing the heat does is I feel it really limits your reaction times, your ability to think quickly, which is what it’s all about and then mistakes are happening – and you’ve got to be the best at the end. The end of the race is the most important. This is a short race though – 300 laps, so it’s a pretty short race.”
THIS IS CONCRETE AND DOVER WAS ROUGH FOR YOU GUYS. WILL THIS BE AN INDICATOR TO SEE IF YOU HAVE IMPROVED? “I feel like this is so different than Dover. I get that the surface is the same, but there are so many differences from Dover to here. I hope that’s not the case. I promise you that. That was a rough one. That was our worst race of the year, which I don’t think we’re that far off. I wouldn’t say we’re great right now, but I don’t think we’re as bad as we were at Dover. Thank God (laughing).”
THOUGHTS ON THE NEW JGR STYLE OF PIT STOPS AND IF YOU HAVE TALKED TO YOUR TEAM ABOUT THAT STYLE? “Details matter more is basically what it comes down to. When everybody is running a similar speed and you don’t have a dominant race car – nobody really does – and if you don’t have that, the details matter more and so pit stops, restarts, strategy – all the little things that is really hard to say matter one way or another. The little things will stack up and eventually those will be the ones that makes the difference, so I’d say overall, yeah, we’re pushing in every direction. Any little item we can find we’re gonna push on it.”
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THEY’RE DOING? “When they hit it, they’re fast. We saw even at the All-Star Race not all of their teams did it. There’s some advantages to it, but the mistakes are like yard sales – when they go wrong, they go way wrong. They’re pretty selective on when they do it and that would be what we’d have to do. It’s a decision you have to make. Do you want to focus 100 percent on one type of stop, or do you want to be able to do both and does that mean you’re gonna be mediocre at both? You’ve got to answer these questions. This is kind of like the discussions we’ve had is how do we want to do this and what’s the pros and cons to it. There’s some risk factor of a bad stop, but also where you’re putting your guys is a little more risky as well.”
HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO DIGEST AUSTIN’S DATA FROM THE MARTINSVILLE TEST? “I talked to him on the plane, but that was it. I’d say I haven’t really dug too deep into it.”
HELIO COULD BE COMING TO DAYTONA. ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THAT? “Heck yeah. I hope so. Helio is awesome. He’s just a good person. You don’t see that every day, but what you see is what you get. You see him out there and he’s an intense racer, and then he’s as happy as can be and he’s joyful and jokes around. He’s a goof. He’s just fun to be around, so I’m happy to see him successful.”
CAN HE ACCLIMATE TO THAT KIND OF RACING WITHOUT ANY XFINITY OR ARCA? “On a road course, yeah.”
HE WANTS TO RUN DAYTONA. “Is that what he’s saying? I haven’t heard this. Yeah, the 500, you can figure it out pretty quickly. Superspeedways are a lot different. It would be a big challenge because he’s never done it before, but he’s pretty talented and he’s been racing forever – and dancing – so he’ll figure it out. He’ll dance in the draft.”
HOW COSTLY IS IT TO MISS A TURN AT ROAD AMERICA? “It depends on how you miss it. Did you slide a tire and now you’ve got to come down pit road because you slid your left-front or right-front too long and you’re gonna blow a tire out? Then you’re never making that up. If you’re just kind of off a couple feet here or something like that, then you’re not bad. It’s just the run off there. You run off and you go in the dirt and then you’re like in the dirt. That’s not good, so it’s a tricky track. Tire wear is big. The car changes every lap, so you get used to one thing and then you go do the next lap and you know you can’t do the same thing, but how bad is it? It’s four miles by the time you get back around at a track that wears tires out, so you’ve just got to be adapting quickly the whole time.”
SO GUYS WHO ARE GOOD AT TIRE MANAGEMENT HAVE AN EDGE? “Typically, yeah. I would say so. It’s kind of like Sonoma. Sonoma is like that too if you can manage your tires, you’ll be pretty good on a long haul.”
HOW TAXING WAS ATLANTA? “Mentally frustrating just because of the way the drafts work, but I wouldn’t say whether it’s the car or not but the track itself and the cars are running – I mean, you’re definitely grip limited. You’re somewhere in between a mile-and-a-half and a superspeedway – more so a superspeedway because you can’t do it on your own. You think you can for a corner and you’ll probably make a bunch of spots in the corner by yourself if you get clean air and you go, but if you don’t get back up you lose 10 spots, so that’s kind of the frustrating part.”
WOULD IT BE A HYBRID DRAFT? “Yeah, it’s a hybrid for sure, but more so superspeedway – definitely.”
RYAN BLANEY, No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford Mustang – IS THIS REFLECTIVE OF HOW YOU WERE YESTERDAY IN PRACTICE? “I think we made good changes from practice to qualifying. I didn’t feel bad yesterday in practice after my first run. My first run I didn’t think we were very good, but I thought we made good changes. I really wish we would have had a second round of qualifying because I kind of left a little bit out there, I thought. I was kind of conservative getting in the corner watching everybody blow it in there and missing, and I was like, ‘All right, let’s not miss the corner,’ and I kind of left a little bit out there, so I was really hoping to have a second round, but I don’t know where we’ll start. Overall, not a bad effort. It’s a decent spot for tomorrow and I think our car is OK, so we’ll see.”
HOW DIFFERENT WAS THE TRACK FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR? “Yeah, I mean multiple things from the track to the car being different. I was kind of surprised we didn’t move up in practice like we were last year. I felt like last year we were top of the black, like middle of the racetrack three lanes up, trying to chase the grip and kind of practice yesterday the highest you were was in the middle and then in the race we were on the bottom. That kind of surprised me a little bit. I don’t know why because they put resin on the whole racetrack instead of just half of it this year. I thought we would have moved up, but you never know. I think in the race tomorrow you’ll be searching around with it being hot.”
DOES THE BRAKE ROTOR FAILURE FROM LAST YEAR MAKE YOU WANT TO HAVE AN EVEN STRONGER RUN THIS YEAR? “Yeah. I mean, to be honest with you, it was just a bad day last year for us. We qualified good, but we had to start in the back messing up our quarter panel coming on the track and then 40 laps later we blew a right-front rotor and knocked the fence down. I didn’t have any fun here last year on Sunday and I’m hoping to change that. It would be nice to run the whole race this year and hopefully contend for a win.”
THE JGR TEAMS ARE DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY ON PIT ROAD WITH THEIR CHOREOGRAPHY. HAVE YOU TALKED TO YOUR TEAM ABOUT THAT? “Yeah, I mean, our pit department is really good at noticing that and kind of seeing what that group does – what the Gibbs guys are doing. It does have potential to be faster and it can be faster, but it’s kind of a risk vs. reward thing, especially when we go to these tight pit roads and you’ve got guys all running out in front of the car. You’ve got more guys in a smaller area at one time. That can kind of be nerve-wracking and you don’t want to see anybody get hit, so it’s kind of a risk-reward thing. I know they practice that a lot. There’s speed there, but I think there are certain tracks it will probably perform better than others – when there’s a wider pit road and you’re not having someone to kind of try to come around you. We’ve talked about it in our group and you’re always trying to learn new things, but that’s more of the pit department there.”
RICHARD PETTY TURNS 85 NEXT WEEK. DO YOU HAVE ANY COOL STORIES ABOUT HIM? “Yeah. I can’t believe he’s 85. He looks great. It’s been a pleasure to get to know him throughout the years. I had my passing with him. ‘Hey, how are you?’ Talk a little bit. It was really neat, I got a sit down with him. We were testing the new car at Charlotte in the offseason and he came over to our camp in our garage stall and sat down and talked to me for 20 minutes, just kind of BSing about the car and just other random things. I thought that was super cool that he just came over and started talking to me. He’s just such a great guy. As a kid, you loved the guy and growing up around the sport it was really neat to kind of know who he was at a young age and be around him, but that sit down for 20 minutes, just casual at Charlotte, that was like the coolest thing ever. I was like a kid again getting to talk to the King was very neat.”
YOU START 6TH. “That’s better than I thought I was gonna be. That’s good. It’s better than seventh, so that’s good., I felt like I left like a tenth out there, which really disappoints me. I was too conservative, but I think our car is pretty decent and definitely could be starting worse, but I think it’s a good spot to try to go forward.”
AT WHAT POINT DO YOU GET NERVOUS ABOUT THE POINT SITUATION VERSUS NUMBER OF DRIVERS WHO HAVE WON THIS YEAR? “Obviously, we want to have a win. It’s getting down to where four guys are in without a win right now. Yeah, we’re the highest points guy, but that doesn’t really mean much if you’re not the points leader and four guys win and you’re out, so it’s kind of a weird spot we’re in, honestly. I think about this week and we’re kind of sniffing the points lead. There are like five of us that are really close to the 9. OK, if you don’t get a win and you win the regular season points, you’re in. So our strategy is, ‘OK, we need to strategize to win races,’ but you don’t want to dump away a lot of points because you’re still in the fight for the regular season championship. It’s kind of an interesting spot. Obviously, the easy goal is to just go out and win races, but last week was tough. This opposite strategy, we short-pitted everything and threw away stage points to restart towards the front in the stages, but we threw away a bunch of points, but we got a good finish and then contended for the win. As far as am I nervous? Not really. I think we can go out and win any single week. We’ve just got to execute well and do our job to the best of our ability and if we do that, I think we can get one here soon.”
BUBBA SAID DESPITE GOING ON VACATION IT TOOK 3 OR 4 DAYS TO GET RACING OUT OF HIS SYSTEM. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO PUT THE RACING BEHIND YOU AND JUST ENJOY THE MOMENT? “I’m pretty good at kind of putting things behind me and focusing on what’s next. I think it was harder for him because he had a bad race. He blew up, so he’s gonna be stewing that. You’d stew over that for more days. We had a pretty decent run, so I was like, ‘All right, good run. Let me get my notes down here and I’m gonna go enjoy my off time.’ I think everyone handles that differently, but I’ve always kind of been somebody who can put good or bad things behind you and move onto the next thing and learn to enjoy these certain things. It didn’t help that he had a bad day and I had a good day. If I had a bad day, I’d probably think about it for a day or two, but I was fortunate on that one.”
Ford Performance PR
Friday’s opening night of the annual Summer Sizzler at Delta Speedway presented by Valley Strong Credit Union lived up to its name both on and off the track, with four features of Micro Sprint competition at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton. Jeffrey Pahule of Brentwood and Nikko Panella of Stockton led the winners with $500 triumphs on a hot night at the 1/7th mile dirt track.
Non-Wing led the night with 32 entries. Tommy Carroll led time trials before Mattix Salmon, Tyler Chamorro, Panella, and Carsen Perkins split the four heat races. A pair of B-Mains narrowed the feature field to 22 starters, with the B-Mains being won by Robbie Lewis and Tucker LaCaze.
Visalia’s Cash Lovenburg started on the pole for the 30-lap feature. Panella started on the outside pole and drove into the lead by lap three. Panella scored his second feature win of the season ahead of Brian Gilbert in second. Austin Wood of Sacramento, Broedy Graham of Bakersfield, and Visalia’s Jett Barnes rounded out the top-five.
Super 600 attracted an outstanding 24-car field with qualifying led by Cody Christensen and Bakersfield’s young Jett Yantis. Three-time Super 600 champion Caden Sarale of Stockton, Dalton Parreira, and Wood were the three heat race winners while Oregon’s Ashton Torgerson, the incoming points leader, won the B-Feature.
Pahule started alongside Stockton’s Alex Panella for the 30-lap contest but immediately took over the lead. Pahule never relinquished it on the way to his first Super 600 feature win. Panella ran second throughout the contest while Sarale was the hard charger of the night. Sarale drove from tenth in the No. 24 entry to finish third ahead of Christensen and Medford, Oregon’s Austin Torgerson. The results of the Super 600 feature on Friday night place the Torgerson brothers just one point apart in the standings, with Austin seizing the lead of the championship.
Bakersfield’s Blayden Graham won his first-career Restricted feature in a $300-to-win, 25-lap contest. Riverbank’s Otto Perreira led time trials while Josiah Vega, Nathan Ward, and Kelseyville visitor Landyn Snider were the three heat race winners.
2021 Jr. Sprints champion Brody Rubio of Manteca led the first 18-laps of the main event before fourth starting Graham took possession of the lead. Rubio ran second followed by Ward who started seventh. Lucas Mauldin of Rancho Murieta was unable to complete his bid for a fourth consecutive win but charged from 14th to finish fourth. Quinn Thurein of Tucson, Ariz. drove from 13th to finish fifth as well.
Riverdale’s Brycen Roush won the Jr. Sprints 20-lap feature for $200-to-win in just his second career start in the division. Six heat races were held with Braxon Vasconcellos, Jace Thurein, Jackson Tardiff, Roush, points leader Briggs Davis, and Kyle Klagenberg all scoring wins. Roush started on the pole and led wire-to-wire while Jace Thurein was a hard charger like his brother in Restricted, moving from seventh to second at the checkered flag. Macken Roush, Tardiff, and Maya Mauldin of Rancho Murieta rounded out the top-five.
Delta Speedway competes again Saturday night for the second night of the Summer Sizzler with complete points racing on tap for all four Micro Sprint divisions!
Delta Speedway Stockton thanks Valley Strong Credit Union, Hoosier Tire, Scully’s Air, Kludt Oil and Propane, Interstate Truck Center, Papé Kenworth, Van De Pol Petroleum, Hostile Wheels, Genova Bakery, Winner’s Bingo, Stubborn Rods, Solari’s Backhoe Service, and PMP Chassis for their support of the 2022 racing season.
For more information on Delta Speedway presented by Valley Strong Credit Union, follow us online at http://www.
Delta Speedway Results – June 24, 2022 Summer Sizzler Night #1
SUPER 600 (30 LAPS)
1. 44X-Jeffery Pahule; 2. 12-Alex Panella; 3. 24-Caden Sarale; 4. 24S-Cody Christensen; 5. 88-Austin Torgerson; 6. 21-Raio Salmon; 7. 4-Jett Yantis; 8. 05R-Brandon Riveira; 9. 24X-KJ Snow; 10. 19-Nate Matherly; 11. 5-Mattix Salmon; 12. 2-Austin Wood; 13. 73-Nikko Panella; 14. 55-Jett Barnes; 15. 84-Deegan Irey; 16. (DNF) 02-Ashton Torgerson; 17. (DNF) 32A-Colton Huelsmann; 18. (DNF) 51-Dalton Parreira; 19. (DNF) 14-Eric Botelho; 20. (DNF) 83V-Tim Vaught
NON-WING (30 LAPS)
1. 73-Nikko Panella; 2. 4G-Brian Gilbert; 3. 2-Austin Wood; 4. 66X-Broedy Graham; 5. 55B-Jett Barnes; 6. 21-Cash Lovenburg; 7. 15-Tommy Carroll; 8. 2C-Caden Stoll; 9. 2T-Taylor Mayhew; 10. 35-Carsen Perkins; 11. 19-Tucker LaCaze; 12. 44X-Jeffery Pahule; 13. 02-Ashton Torgerson; 14. 5-Mattix Salmon; 15. 82-Caden Sarale; 16. 4X-Teagan Moles; 17. (DNF) 81T-Tyler Chamorro; 18. (DNF) 88-Austin Torgerson; 19. (DNF) 85-Robbie Lewis; 20. (DNF) 22-Dan Mognaga; 21. (DNF) 22E-Evan Dixon
RESTRICTED (25 LAPS)
1. 66B-Blayden Graham; 2. 25R-Brody Rubio; 3. 95-Nathan Ward; 4. 55X-Lucas Mauldin; 5. 7-Quinn Thurein; 6. 9-Adrianna DeMartini; 7. 77K-Kyle Fernandez; 8. 4K-Khloe Cotton; 9. 58C-Clay Mibach; 10. 2K-Landyn Snider; 11. 20-Otto Perreira; 12. 10-Brodie Copeland; 13. 8-Alissa Lewis; 14. 25A-Bradley Anderson; 15. 98-Hayden Stepps; 16. (DNF) 10P-Peyton Whitehouse; 17. (DNF) 5-Kellan Harper; 18. (DNF) 75-Josiah Vega; 19. (DNF) 76-TK OBrien; 20. (DNS) 21-Mickelina Monico
JR SPRINTS (20 LAPS)
1. 17B-Brycen Roush; 2. 5-Jace Thurein; 3. 17M-Mackcen Roush; 4. 38J-Jackson Tardiff; 5. 55X-Maya Mauldin; 6. 98-Heston Stepps; 7. 9D-Tyce Domingos; 8. 11K-Kyle Klagenberg; 9. 14Q-Quentin Hagopian; 10. 117-Alex Ranuio; 11. 51-Porter Zachary; 12. 3D-David Anderson; 13. 24N-Nathan Fernandez; 14. 55-Jayden Carey; 15. 13V-Braxon Vasconcellos; 16. 96-Briggs Davis; 17. (DNF) 26-Dylan Silva; 18. (DNF) 12-Haven Sherman; 19. (DNF) 66B-Maci Smith; 20. (DNF) 25DD-Samantha Dozier
CHEVROLET NCS AT NASHVILLE: Kyle Larson and the Urban Youth Racing School's Anthony and Michelle Martin, Press Conference Transcript
ERIK MOSES: “I’m Erik Moses, President and General Manager here at Nashville Superspeedway. We have a pretty special presentation and discussion this morning. Most of you are familiar with the Urban Youth Racing School out of Philadelphia and the great work that they’re doing to help bring along the next generation of motorsports. As I always like to say, with young people, we kind of have to play the three ‘E’s: we have to give them exposure, give them experience and then hopefully help them with the pursuit of excellence. That’s what they’re doing at the Urban Youth Racing School as it relates to motorsports, especially as it relates to inner city youth and motorsports.
They’re here this morning. I’d like to recognize the head table. We have Anthony and Michelle Martin from the Urban Youth Racing School. We have our defending champion, Kyle Larson. Not only our Ally 400 defending champion, but our Cup Series defending champion. We also have Lauren Campbell from our great partners at Ally. With that, I’ll turn it over to them.”
ANTHONY MARTIN: “Good morning, everyone. My name is Anthony Martin. I’m the Founder of the Urban Youth Racing School based in Philadelphia. This is our 24th year of existence.
First of all, I want to thank all of our sponsors for participating with us. My wife will mention them in case I forget someone. But really fast, I want to tell you who we are. The program was started, as I mentioned, 24 years ago with the goal of introducing inner city and urban America to the motorsports industry, which is a very expensive sport to be a part of. But also, if you don’t have any relations to anyone in the industry, more than likely you’re not going to get into the industry. My goal was to be able to actually do that. In doing that, we’ve had over the last 24 years, over 7,700 kids go through our program. A lot of our kids now are engineers. One of our kids is a major executive at NASCAR right now. They’re kind of all over the place, but the thing that’s really important about what we actually do is saving lives and giving these kids an opportunity to do something that they wouldn’t be able to do had it not been for what we actually do at the racing school. So in saying that, again, I want to thank everyone. I know we’re on a time restraint here, but that’s kind of what we actually do.
July 22 is our Grand Prix, which is our annual fundraiser we do every year. The reason why we do that ladies and gentlemen is because this program is free for the kids. If they had to pay for this, they wouldn’t be able to afford this. So us actually being able to do this as a fundraiser, this keeps this going. Putting this together with Ally, General Motors and NASCAR, all the different folks that work with us – this is really, really great stuff.
I also want to thank the Nashville Superspeedway and Erik Moses for having us today and having us be a part of this.”
MICHELLE MARTIN: “Good morning, everyone. My name is Michelle Martin. As Anthony mentioned, I am the COO of the Urban Youth Racing School. I want to thank everyone for having us – Nashville Superspeedway, Erik (Moses), thank you so much for the introduction.
I definitely want to give a huge thank you to our friend over here, Kyle Larson. As we’re introducing the Urban Youth Racing School Grand Prix of Philadelphia with Kyle Larson and friends on July 22, we are super excited to have this event to bring NASCAR into the inner city. It will be the first we will have so many NASCAR drivers – probably about 11 of them – that will be coming in and racing in go-karts; just to kind of bring that excitement. In Philadelphia, we have a lot of illegal driving that’s very dangerous. We just really hope that on this day, we can bring everyone together and unite them; the motorsports community, unite the urban and African American community, in one place for a great time and to show them what racing is really about. They’ll have a chance to meet the drivers face-to-face and different things like that; and to see what this motorsports world has shown us these past 24 years that we’ve been able to deliver to our students.
Another thing that we’re doing is our STEM midway. Like in motorsports, you guys have a midway where all of the fans come and have fun right before the races start. In our STEM midway, we’re going to have our partners, like Ally and other folks; and even bring the racing school outside and have these different activities. So we’ll have our CO2 dragster track outside; a 60-foot track. We’ll have our drones outside. We have different programs – they’ll all be outside. We’ll have different institutions, universities, community organizations – they’re all coming out to kind of show our community what STEM is like and all of the job opportunities and career opportunities that are out there. We’re super excited about that, but definitely excited to have Kyle on board. And of course, Lauren (Campbell) from Ally, who’s coming as our sponsor for this year’s Grand Prix. We’re really happy and excited to have them on board for the first time as a partner with the Urban Youth Racing School Grand Prix.”
KYLE LARSON: “I don’t really have a lot more to add, but I’m just really excited to be able to bring the Grand Prix to the inner city and invite a lot of our fellow drivers to be a part of it. Thank you, again, to Lauren (Campbell) from Ally for what she’s done for the Urban Youth Racing School. Anthony and Michelle (Martin) continue to do great things. It only gets better and better and I like being a small part of it. I’ve had a great relationship with them since I’ve basically been Cup Series racing and have grown into being much closer to them the last few years and a lot of the kids, too.
I’m excited to get there in July; see a lot of their faces, compete with some of them and rub some fenders.”
LAUREN CAMPBELL: “Thank you, everybody. Thank you for being here. First of all, we’re super excited to say welcome to Nashville. We’re excited for our second year of the Ally 400. Really excited to be working with the Urban Youth Racing School. I don’t know why it took us so long. I don’t know if you guys are familiar, but we also have a program called Fueling Futures that we do. We work with our friends at Hendrick Motorsports who introduce motorsports careers to students that don’t think that there’s careers beyond just the driver’s seat. Really tapping into the STEM opportunities.
Last year, we started talking. And then this year, we were like ‘we need to be working together on this’. We’re really excited for that weekend. We will be bringing in our Fueling Futures program that we do with Hendrick Motorsports in the morning with the students. And then we’ll be out there as a sponsor and we’ll be in the STEM midway. We’re really excited for this opportunity to be working with these guys.”
ANTHONY MARTIN: “I also want to mention our relationship with Chevrolet, which is going on 22 years also. So, I want to say thank you to Chevy because if it wasn’t for Chevrolet, we wouldn’t still be around here today. So, thank you Chevy.”
MODERATOR: WE’LL GO INTO A GENERAL Q&A. IF YOU HAVE QUESTION FOR ANYONE HERE AT THE TABLE, PLEASE RAISE YOUR HAND AND WE’LL GET A MICROPHONE TO YOU.
LAUREN, WITH ALL OF THE PROGRAMS OUT THERE, WHY DOES ALLY SEE THE URBAN YOUTH RACING SCHOOL PROGRAM AS SUCH AN EXCEPTIONAL PROGRAM TO BE A PART OF?
LAUREN CAMPBELL: “Yeah, absolutely. At Ally, the cornerstone efforts of giving back to the community and making the community stronger are around economic mobility and financial education. I think that just really aligns with what these guys are doing at the Urban Youth Racing School; helping to empower these communities. Teaching them financial education and economic mobility through the education and the STEM programming. It just made a ton of sense for us to work together.”
FOR THE FOLKS AT THE URBAN YOUTH RACING SCHOOL AND KYLE (LARSON), WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOUR SCHOOL TO HAVE SOMEBODY LIKE KYLE WANT TO BE TIED SO CLOSELY? KYLE, WHAT DO YOU GET FROM WORKING WITH ALL OF THESE YOUNG KIDS THAT ARE SO INTERESTED IN RACING?
MICHELLE MARTIN: “Working with Kyle (Larson) has been so great. Say we have Michael Jordan – to me, Kyle is like our Michael Jordan and we have access to Kyle and our students have access to Kyle; so it means that any questions that they have, anything that they want to know about racing. A lot of our students do want to be drivers. Will they have the opportunity? We don’t know because the sport is so expensive. But while they’re driving go-karts and Kyle can give them tips and talk to them about different things, I’m certainly going to take that opportunity to do that. I would be crazy not to.”
ANTHONY MARTIN: “Kyle (Larson) has been absolutely phenomenal for us. We’ve been working with Kyle since I think 2017 and Kyle has been very supportive. I come from the sports marketing world and let me say this to you: there’s talkers and there’s doers. Kyle is definitely a doer, so we really appreciate that at the Urban Youth Racing School.”
KYLE LARSON: “I’ve really enjoyed the close relationship that I’ve had with Anthony and Michelle (Martin) and now with a lot of the students there. With me donating a couple of simulators to the school, there’s been a few different times where I’ll get a phone call from Anthony at 6:00 p.m. or something and it’s a couple of the kids asking me how to get around a certain track on iRacing or something. In the times that I’ve been to their school, just chatting with some of the kids who are really into the driving part of it - who do maybe race go-karts or something and are looking for the next steps and are trying to navigate in what I feel like based on the region that they live in, what would be the best route to go. Just having a close relationship with them, as well as the kids, has been really neat for me.”
FOR ANTHONY AND MICHELLE (MARTIN) – THE FACT THAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY TAKING THIS TO AN URBAN SETTING, NASCAR HAS WORKED REALLY HARD TO TAKE THE PRODUCT TO URBAN SETTINGS, SUCH AS THE LA COLISEUM. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO TAKE THE PRODUCT INTO THE CITY BECAUSE THESE KIDS ARE NOT COMING OUT OF THE CITY TO THE PRODUCT?
MICHELLE MARTIN: “It’s extremely important. A lot of times, we have to realize and recognize that these kids are a product of their environment. Not only them, but their parents and grandparents. Some of these kids for generations have not left a one-mile radius of where they live. And that’s mind-boggling to most, but with our program, we understand we have to meet them where they are at. That’s what we’re doing now: bringing it into the inner city. It’s literally in a residential neighbor. We’re hoping that the neighbors just come out and come across the street to the park. It’s going to be in front of the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. It’s kind of like the west part of Philadelphia, in a sense. That’s where we’re going to have it and we’re hoping the neighborhood comes out. We’re sure that they will because we’ve done it before many, many years ago. That’s how we knew that African Americans had an interest in motorsports.”
WITH YOU ALL BEING BASED IN PHILADELPHIA, MAYBE THIS IS THE FIRST ONE OUT OF THE BOX AND YOU WANT TO SEE HOW THIS GOES, BUT CAN YOU INVISION HAVING THESE MINI GRAND PRIX’S IN CONJUNCTION WHERE NASCAR GOES IN THE FUTURE WHEN THEY ARE IN BIG MARKETS?
MICHELLE MARTIN: “Absolutely. Actually our first Grand Prix was in 2005. We’ve had a couple of them and we’ve moved them throughout the city of Philadelphia, just to kind of gain the interest of the community. I think that’s something we’d definitely love to do; just kind of move it around. We’re in the trenches in these communities. And it’s not just in Philadelphia – we get calls from everywhere all of the time: Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, New York. It’s like how can we put a racing school here. All of that takes money to do it and that’s where we are. We definitely want to expand. It’s something that we talk about all of the time, but we also have to think about how do we pay for that expansion. Motorsports is just expensive, but it’s something that’s heavy on our minds that we want to do. Honestly, we want kids from other urban communities to get the same experiences that the kids from Philadelphia are getting.”
ANTHONY MARTIN: “You mentioned Fairmount Park – back in 2001 and 2002, I’d been with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and they were very, very successful when we actually did them there. So the urban market place did show up for those events and that’s why we’re positive that in doing it in Fairmount Park again this year, it will be very successful.”
DO YOU SEE HAVING ANY MOTORSPORTS DISPLAYS AT THE PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM AND AT THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE TO JUST KIND OF INCORPORATE THAT STEM MENTALITY SO THE KIDS CAN GET IT EARLY ON AND TAKE IT WITH THEM?
MICHELLE MARTIN: “Definitely. Inside of the Please Touch Museum, they do have a transportation-type of an exhibit, but it’s not racing and that’s a big difference. So we do encourage them to do it. I know that the African American Museum has reached out to us to working with them, so we’re kind of seeing what that will look like. We’re still in talks with them, but we’ll figure it out. A lot of times, we have to not force, but really talk to the people in Philadelphia because it’s a ‘stick and ball’ town. We have to convince them as to why motorsports is so unique. I always have to tell them – when you go to a corporation, they will have a sports side that handles everything sports and they will have a division that’s just motorsports. That should tell you how big and important this sport is.”
NOT NECESSARILY THE GRAND PRIX, BUT IS IT ON YOUR RADAR TO EXPAND YOUR STEM-BASED PROGRAMMING INTO OTHER MARKETS AND WHAT MIGHT THEY BE?
MICHELLE MARTIN: “Absolutely. Charlotte, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago were probably the top-six cities that have been requesting that we put a racing school there. We field calls from them all of the time. And when we go out of the country, we have Paris who have called us when they were having an issue with their youth. They wanted to get them into something. Those would be our top-six cities to expand into. We did have a division in Washington D.C. many years ago, but it got way too expensive and we couldn’t continue the fundraising for it. So at the end of the day, we want to expand. We will expand. We just want to make sure that as we’re expanding, we can do it in the right way so we don’t have to shut a city down once we’re there.”
ANTHONY MARTIN: “We also get students from the Delaware Valley, so it wouldn’t just be Philadelphia. We get students from as far as Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York City, Delaware, New Jersey, Charlottesville, Virginia – so they come from pretty much all over the place. But our ultimate goal is expansion, for sure.”
Ryan Preece won the Rackley Roofing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for the second consecutive year at Nashville Superspeedway on Friday, the opening event of a spectacular tripleheader racing weekend in Middle Tennessee.
Preece, driver of the No. 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing, joins Johnny Benson and Kyle Busch as the only three drivers with multiple Truck Series victories at Nashville.
"We get a second guitar - I may have to start a band," said Preece of Nashville's famous trophy. Preece also won an extra $50,000 as part of the Triple Truck Challenge in his eighth career Truck Series start.
"I just want you guys to know that a lot of this is built in the shop. These guys work their tails off. I know what it takes to win races and they give me phenomenal race trucks, so I’m just proud to be the one holding the steering wheel.”
Preece led a race-high 74 laps, won the pole position earlier on Friday, and won Stage 2 after finishing second in Stage 1.
Preece topped Zane Smith by 0.507 seconds at the checkered flag. Smith, the Stage 1 winner, led 70 laps.
"We had another fast Ford, just not quite fast enough," said Smith, driver of the No. 38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports.
Carson Hocevar placed third in a Chevrolet, while Ty Majeski (four laps led) finished fourth and Stewart Friesen finished fifth in Toyotas.
Smith leads the series standings by 21 points over John Hunter Nemechek, who recovered from an early incident to finish ninth.
Preece averaged 102.717 mph to complete the 200-mile race in 1 hour, 56 minutes and 32 seconds. Eight caution flags took up a track-record 43 laps.
The weekend action continues with the Tennessee Lottery 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday at 2:30 p.m,. (USA) and the Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at 4 p.m. on Sunday (NBC).
Kids 12 and under get in FREE for Saturday’s race and for just $10 (all with a paying adult) for the Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 26. For Nashville Superspeedway ticket information visit NashvilleSuperspeedway.com or call 866-RACE-TIX for details.
Sacramento’s Justyn Cox earned his first-career Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo win at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., winning Friday’s action in his first appearance at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds quarter-mile this year. Cox overcame several challengers including Concord’s Joey Ancona to get the win.
“It’s awesome to win. You hate to kind of get gift wrapped it. Joey’s one heck of a young driver. I wish we would have gone green the whole time. It would have been a great race between all of us. I haven’t been up front a lot this year and I had a little rust on how to control a race,” Cox said.
Caeden Steele won the Dirt.Travel Fast-Time Award but it was Cox taking the pole for the 30-lap feature after winning the dash.
Outside pole sitter Zane Blanchard of Hanford soared past Cox on the start, but Brendan Warmerdam of Lemoore had a hard side over side crash into turn one that nullified the pass. Cox restarted back on the pole for a complete restart and took control of the race with Steele advancing past Blanchard for second. Visalia’s Connor Danell flipped in turn four to bring out the red flag again on lap two.
Steele threw a slide job attempt at Cox in turn three on the restart but Cox held the position. Fourth starting Kurt Nelson of Gilroy backpedaled a bit on the restart, while Ancona entered the picture by driving up to third. Roseville’s Colby Copeland was also on the attack, advancing from 11th to fifth by lap six. The leaders encountered lapped traffic for the first time on lap ten. Ancona snookered second from Steele on lap 11 in turn four. Rickey Sanders slid to a stop in turn two for a caution on lap 14.
Ancona used the restart to drive past Cox on the outside and take the lead on lap 15. Steele made a bid to the inside of Cox for second on the backstretch but Cox held it on lap 17. Steele took over the position on lap 18, but it was nullified when Bret Barney of Rohnert Park stopped in turn two.
Copeland capitalized by taking third from Steele on the restart. Meanwhile Livermore’s Travis Labat advanced from 14th to fifth as well. Ancona faced off with side-by-side lapped traffic which allowed Cox to move in. Cox dove underneath Ancona into turn one on lap 24. Ancona turned under the traffic to follow Cox and was clipped by a spinning lapped car. The contact sent Ancona into a flip down the backstretch which ended his bid for the win.
Justyn Cox paced the final six laps over Copeland, while Labat drove past Steele for third. Discovery Bay’s Dylan Bloomfield rounded out the top-five. Ancona was awarded the Beer Optics Hard Luck while the Price Rite Hard Charger went to Labat.
“We just kind of buried ourselves qualifying there,” Copeland said. “The main – the track got way slicker and wider than I thought. Hats off to the track crew. I know they’ve been doing a good job here the last couple of weeks. Looking forward to getting back here in three weeks (for the Howard Kaeding Classic).”
In other action on Friday night, Jonathan Hagio of Prunedale won his third IMCA Sport Modified 20-lap feature of the season. The race started off with a caution which relegated Max Baggett of Prunedale and Oakley’s Jacob Mallet, Jr. to the tail of the field. Igor Gandzuk of Prunedale took over the lead on the outside on the restart. Pole sitter Austin McMillan of Atascadero went the wrong direction and fell outside the top-five.
Pittsburg’s Chuck Golden ran down Gandzuk and passed him in turn two to lead lap six. Watsonville’s Billy Robertson then tracked down Gandzuk for second. The pair made contact on the front stretch which hooked Gandzuk across the track. Hagio narrowly avoided contact in a close call to bring out the caution flag on lap 14. Hagio went to the outside to get the lead on the restart. Golden tried to battle back on the inside on lap 16 but Hagio held steady and claimed victory. Golden, Mallet, Adriane Frost of Watsonville, and Freedom’s Cody Bryan rounded out the top-five.
Jason Lazzerini of Moss Landing won his second Four Banger feature of the season. 14-year-old Amaya Flowers drove to the front for the second consecutive week and again suffered woes that unhinged her race, slowing on the backstretch with a flat right front tire. Watsonville’s Tony Gullo and Santa Cruz’s Troy Moore were gathered in the melee which brought out a caution on lap three.
Lazzerini assumed the lead on lap four and never relinquished it, accumulating a six second advantage at the conclusion of the 15-lap race. Kenny Stragalinos of Boulder Creek finished second for the second consecutive race. Nicole Beardsley topped 12th starting Kate Beardsley for third while Travis VanGilder of Felton finished fifth.
Joe Gallaher won his seventh Hobby Stock feature after starting at the rear of the field. The win in the 15-lap contest also extended his points lead. Freedom’s Wally Kennedy put up a solid fight for seven laps before Gallaher grabbed the lead on lap ten. A caution on lap 14 set up a green-white-checkered finish which did not deter Gallaher. Gallaher, Kennedy, Santa Cruz’ Ryan Muller and Brady Muller, and Dan Fassler of San Jose were the top-five finishers.
San Benito Sheriff Roy Iler led all 15-laps for Police-in-Pursuit. Jackie Yeung of Capitola PD finished second while Jeff McNeil come home third in his debut driving for Scotts Valley Fire Department.
The Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo return to Ocean Speedway on July 8 along with IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Four Bangers, Police-in-Pursuit, and the South Bay Dwarf Cars.
Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo – June 24, 2022 (30 Laps)
- 31C-Justyn Cox; 2. 16A-Colby Copeland; 3. 61-Travis Labat; 4. 121-Caeden Steele; 5. 33-Dylan Bloomfield; 6. 7P-Jake Andreotti; 7. 21X-Gauge Garcia; 8. 7Z-Zane Blanchard; 9. 3T-Nick Ringo; 10. 72W-Kurt Nelson; 11. 37-Steven Kent; 12. 72JR-Chris Nelson; 13. 50-Bryce Eames; 14. 3M-Adam Kaeding; 15. 17-Rickey Sanders; 16. 25Z-Jason Chisum; 17. 72S-Bradley Dillard; 18. 56Z-Don Hart; 19. 88A-Joey Ancona; 20. 78-Bret Barney; 21. 5D-Connor Danell; 22. 75-Brendan Warmerdam; 23. (DNS) 5R-Ryan Rocha
Ocean Sprints PR