Speedway Digest Staff
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Rusty Wallace Racing announced today that Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches will be the primary sponsor of Steve and Kenny Wallace's No. 66 and No. 36 super late models in the July 9th Howie Lettow 150 ARCA Midwest Tour event at The Milwaukee Mile.
Atlanta-based Jake’s Ice Cream has been named the official ice cream of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The agreement is for three years.
Jake’s Ice Cream will be sold at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend Aug. 30 – Sept. 1. It will also be sold during the Thursday Thunder summer racing series and the Speedway’s drag racing series, Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine.
Founded in 1999, Jake's Ice Cream's headquarters is located inside the Irwin Street Market in the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta, Georgia. It's products are sold in The Downtown W Hotel, numerous restaurants and in their own shop. With over 200 flavors currently in rotation, Jake's is known for their unusual flavor names and over the top flavors like Chocolate Slap Yo Mama, Brown Shugah Vanilla and Key Lime Piescream.
“A scoop of Jake’s Ice Cream is decadent, all-natural and free of chemicals and preservatives – ice cream that is both healthier and more indulgent,” said Jake Rothschild, founder of Jake’s Ice Cream. “I’m a huge fan of NASCAR, and this is a great partnership between us and Atlanta Motor Speedway. What’s better than eating ice cream while enjoying one of America’s favorite pastimes?”
For more information about Jake’s Ice Cream, visit www.jakesicecream.com.
Darlington Raceway, the track that’s Too Tough To Tame, is partnering with the local Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross to host a “Drive for Disaster Relief” on Friday, June 21 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The event was rescheduled from June 7 due to inclement weather from Tropical Storm Andrea.
The Drive for Disaster Relief will give fans the opportunity to drive their personal vehicles on the high banks of Darlington Raceway for a financial donation, which will benefit American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Any donation amount in the form of cash or check will be accepted to participate in the Drive for Disaster Relief.
“We are happy to utilize our track, Darlington Raceway, as a way to give people the chance to drive on our historic egg-shaped oval, and in turn, raise donations for a great organization like the American Red Cross,” track President Chris Browning said. “Many events have occurred nationally and locally that require American Red Cross assistance, it’s now more important than ever to give back to a remarkable organization that has helped so many people in need.”
The drive comes at a time when the Red Cross is in need of financial donations with the rising number of disasters that have occurred in the Pee Dee area that the Red Cross has responded to this year.
“Lately, we have seen an increase in local fire responses, and we need support from our community more than ever,” said Linda Boone-Smith, executive director, American Red Cross, Pee Dee Chapter. “We are excited that Darlington Raceway is rallying the community to support the important work that the Red Cross provides each and every day.”
To participate in the Drive for Disaster Relief, fans can simply enter the track through the Gate 39A tunnel entrance off of Hwy 151 and proceed to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area in the infield where a Red Cross volunteer will accept financial donations prior to driving on the track at controlled speeds.
Darlington Raceway is no stranger to opening its doors for charity fundraisers. Over the past several years, the track has traditionally hosted an annual Blood Drive on September 11 and a Toys for Tots Fundraiser & Toy Drive during the holiday seasons.
The track drive that followed the 2005 Hurricane Katrina tragedies raised over $15,000 for Red Cross disaster relief efforts to help the states along the Gulf Coast that suffered heavy damage from the hurricane.
“We understand that Darlington Raceway is a valuable asset to our local community, so we embrace these opportunities to support organizations like the American Red Cross that have done so much to help our citizens both locally and nationally,” Browning said.
Great Clips And Jeff Foxworthy’s™ Grit Chips To Sponsor Labor Day Weekend NASCAR Nationwide Series Race At Atlanta
Great Clips, the world’s largest salon brand, along with Jeff Foxworthy’s™ Grit Chips, one of the world’s most innovative “corn chip” brands on the market, will jointly sponsor the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The night race event will be named the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300.
The Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 will feature 195 laps on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 1.54-mile quad-oval. Only nine 2013 Nationwide Series events will remain following the Atlanta race, making the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 a critical event for drivers racing for a Nationwide Series championship.
Great Clips will for a third time offer two free tickets to the race with the purchase of a full-price haircut at participating salons in the Atlanta, greater Georgia and other surrounding areas while supplies last.
“When Great Clips sponsored this race in 2010 and 2011, it was one of the highest attended races on the NASCAR Nationwide circuit. With the support of our 1,200 employees in the area, we plan to make this one even bigger!” said Greg Thomas, Great Clips Atlanta Co-Op President. “Great Clips is all about affordability and customer comfort. With the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 offering free parking, welcoming coolers and kids getting in for free, it is the type of family entertainment that matches up well with the Great Clips brand!”
Jeff Foxworthy’s™ Grit Chips are sold in retailers throughout the Southeast and Midwest and for the summer leading up to the Labor Day Weekend race; Grit Chips will be featured at Kroger stores in the Southeast in an all-new 3 ounce bag. “We are fortunate to work with such successful brands as Great Clips, Kroger and Atlanta Motor Speedway for this exciting event as we establish our own brand and spread the GRIT news”, says Sean McDonough, President and CEO of the Roswell Food Group, makers of Jeff Foxworthy’s™ Grit Chips.
In just 8 months in retail distribution, Grit Chips are sold in over 2,000 stores and offered in 4 flavors: Original with salt and butter, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno Cheddar, and Sweet Heat.
Great Clips, which has more than 3,400 salons, has sponsored Nationwide Series races since 2000, making it the longest-running sponsor in the series.
NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend. Tickets for the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 start at just $25 and kids 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.
In most team sports, having home-field advantage can make a difference in the outcome of a game, and that typically occurs for at least half of each season in most sports. In NASCAR, however, while most competitors race at venues near their hometowns at one time or another, a driver will have usually no more than two “home games” each 36-race season.
Not so for Kyle Busch, driver of the No. M&M’s Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) at Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350k at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The Las Vegas native feels very much at home all up and down the western part of the country, where the series races no less than five times each year from Phoenix to Sonoma.
While he’ll be enjoying a home game of sorts this weekend, Busch is also hitting the road – namely the 1.99-mile road course at Sonoma, for Sunday’s 350-kilometer challenge of both right turns and lefts.
Before 2008, nobody even thought to mention Busch as a threat to win either of Sprint Cup’s annual road-course events at Sonoma and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. But that all changed shortly after his arrival at JGR at the start of 2008 as Busch dominated the road-course scene that year, leading 130 of a total of 202 road-course laps and capturing victories at both Sonoma and Watkins Glen.
Similar to NASCAR regulars like Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon who are known to be strong on the road courses, Busch quickly established himself five seasons ago as a routine road-course contender and has been in the hunt on road courses ever since. Most recently, Busch qualified second in August at Watkins Glen, and then led a race-high 43 laps before losing the lead on the last lap after hitting an oil slick and subsequent contact with Brad Keselowski.
Busch hopes to continue the run of consistent and strong finishes he’s gathered over the last three weeks, during which two top-five and three consecutive top-10 finishes have vaulted him to sixth in the series standings after sitting 11th prior to the event Dover (Del.) International Speedway’s “Monster Mile” three weeks ago.
So, as the Sprint Cup Series heads to its annual stop in Northern California’s Wine Country, everyone knows Busch is capable of winning anywhere in his comfortable surroundings of his “home” out West, just like he did at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2009. They also know he’s always a threat to win on the “road” courses, as he is this weekend at Sonoma.
No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. heads to the first road-course race of the year this weekend at Sonoma Raceway in California with a renewed perspective on his 2013 season— he’s done following the points standings.
And that attitude will save his hair.
After a third-place showing at Michigan, the Michael Waltrip Racing driver climbed from 17th to 13th place in the standings — just 12 markers out of the top 10. Another strong run on Sunday should help the NAPA team’s bid for a second Chase berth with just 11 races to go. But don’t point that out to Truex.
“It’s giving me gray hair! I remember going into Texas 25th in points. I said then, I wasn’t going to pay attention. We almost won the race. A couple weeks later, we leave Charlotte in ninth place. I was like, ‘Damn, I wasn’t even paying attention to the points. That’s awesome.’ Then we go to Dover and blow up. I’m not going to look at the points now until after the Richmond race. I mean it this time!”
On Sonoma: “I really enjoy road course racing. I love going out to Sonoma. Our team has had some really fast NAPA Toyotas the last three years. I just have to figure out how to keep people from spinning me out. I am pretty sure that the last four years, I have led the race at one point and eventually got spun out. I am hoping this year that the spinning me out trend ends. I want to finish where I am running. It’s just one of those tracks where you are pretty vulnerable at getting hit. We certainly have been over the years. The post-race apologies to me are getting old. I’m ready to finish this race out front.”
On The Qualifying Format: “I think with qualifying being on Saturday and it being the only time we are on the track that day, having the European style of qualifying will be a big benefit. It usually takes a lap or two to get going especially in qualifying trim. To just go out there and have one lap to get it done, it’s very difficult to lay down the perfect lap. It’s hard to hit your marks there because it’s a very technical track. With this new format, I think we’ll be able to get at least two laps completed. If you screw the first one up, you’ll have at least another chance.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Ryan Reed, is slated to make his first road course start in the No. 40 Drive to Stop Diabetes SMcar in the NASCAR K&N Series West race at Sonoma Raceway Saturday, June 22, 2013.
Reed, who is running select NASCAR Nationwide Series races this year for Roush Fenway Racing, will make his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Sonoma. The 19 year-old driver looks to gain experience at the Sonoma, California racetrack, joining the American Diabetes Association to prove that diabetes won’t keep you from reaching your goals. Reed has been honing his skills for the Carneros 200 road course event the past few weeks and attended the Miller Motorsports Park Ford Racing School in Utah.
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to gain some experience on a road course with Drive to Stop Diabetes SM onboard the K&N car,” Ryan Reed said. “I’ve been doing everything I can to be ahead of the learning curve that I know Sonoma is going to be. The Miller Motorsports program in Utah was great! My instructor, Mark Claussner, was awesome. Being a great driver himself, he knew what the transition from NASCAR oval racing to road course racing would be. In NASCAR, we don’t typically use the Heel-Toe style of driving – but I received the full experience and learned how to do it. The cars were extremely fun to drive and I know it will be beneficial to me in Sonoma.”
Reed hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps as he becomes a second generation competitor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. His father, Mark Reed, was the 2001 Sunoco Rookie of the Year and finished second in the championship standings that year. The senior Reed has seven previous starts at the 1.99-mile tricky road course.
“One of the highlights to date will be watching Ryan compete at Sonoma,” said Mark Reed. “There are only a handful of tracks that Ryan has competed at that I feel I can truly assist him with direction. Since he’ll be a Rookie on the Road Course this race, it will be a lot of fun for Father-Son. Sonoma is one of the most technically demanding Road Courses in the country. It is one of my favorite stops on the NASCAR circuit.”
“My dad has always been my biggest supporter and to have him know about the track and have experience there will be very beneficial to me,” Ryan Reed said. “I’m really excited to get my first road course race under my belt with the No. 40 Drive to Stop Diabetes SM team. I have to thank everyone that helped us make this happen, especially Todd Souza for letting us use his car and Mike Munoz for setting it all up.”
J.H. Sims Trucking Company will serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 40 Drive to Stop Diabetes SM NASCAR K&N Series West car at Sonoma Raceway.
The Carneros 200 (64 lap, 127.36 miles) NASCAR K&N Series race is slated to begin Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 1 pm PST. The race will be broadcast tape delayed on SPEED at 3 p.m. ET Thursday, July 18, 2013.
Ryan Reed PR
SR2 Motorsports is proud to welcome Derek White back to the wheel of the No. 24 Toyota entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. White, a North American Indian from Kahnawake, Quebec, will handle the driving duties of the No. 24 VIP Poker Toyota this weekend in the running of the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America.
"I am excited to get back behind the wheel for SR2 this weekend," stated White. "I drove for the team in a few events last year and really got to know everyone very well. We were running solidly inside the top-10 at Montreal last year before getting caught up in someone else's mess on the last lap. That familiarity sure does help and I will look to use that to my advantage when we unload at Road America. I am appreciative of the support of VIP Poker this week as well and I look forward to putting on a great show for them."
The Road America event will be White's fifth career start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He made four starts in the 2012 season with SR2 Motorsports with a best finish of 18th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. He also has three career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and 30 in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series where he was the Rookie of the Year in 2010.
"It is great to have Derek back with our SR2 team," added SR2 Motorsports team owner Jason Sciavicco. "We had some great races together last year and everyone expects another solid performance this weekend at Road America. We should have had a top-10 finish at the Montreal road course event last year but some bad luck on the last lap ruined that. Road America is a very exciting race and Derek is a strong road racer so we feel a fun weekend is ahead of us."
The running of the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America begins at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 22, 2013. The race can be viewed LIVE nationally on ESPN and heard on affiliated MRN radio stations and on Sirius NASCAR Radio 90.
For the first time this season, the drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) will try their hand at a road course. The Flying J Travel Plaza team will head to Road America looking to turn heads. Annett may not be known for his road course success, but he has proved to his Crew Chief, Philippe Lopez, and the No. 43 team that he has what it takes to be there at the end.
Annett has three starts at the four-mile track, accumulating one top-10 finish. He earned his best starting position of 12th last year and his best finish of seventh in 2011. The No. 43 team was on their way to another top-10 finish last year until the transmission broke with two laps to go.
Annett will be participating in the NNS autograph session at Road America located in front of the Media Center entrance from 3:45 - 4:30 p.m. CT. The session will be open to fans on a first come, first serve basis, and fans can begin lining up in front of the Media Center at 3 p.m. CT.
The Des Moines, Iowa native is hoping to celebrate his 27th birthday on Sunday, June 23rd with his first NNS win on Saturday night.
Comments from the No. 43 Flying J Travel Plaza Ford Mustang driver Michael Annett:
"Ford sent all of the Ford drivers out to Miller Motorsports Park a few weeks ago, and we got to go out there in some Mustangs and work with Billy Johnson. He ran in Montreal last year with Roush and almost won. Jack Roush Jr. was out there helping us too.
"I finished seventh there in 2011 and was running around seventh last year when my transmission went out, so I think we have a really good shot at a good finish. My strategy every time we go there is to stay on the track and the last 10 or 15 laps get as much as I can and get a top-five or top-10 out of it."
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Road America:
"I am expecting no less than a top-10. Michael is not known for his road course prowess, however, when we showed up last year, he ran in the top-10. We had a little off-beat strategy, but it seemed to work. He was doing a great job, but, unfortunately, the transmission broke with two laps to go, I believe he was running seventh at the time. Michael does a really good job at Road America; it seems to suit him well.
"The biggest problem that Road America poses is that it's so big or so long that once you pass pit road it's a long time to come back. It really puts the pressure on the engineer to get the gas mileage right. If you figure out gas mileage wrong, you won't make it back to pit road, and that will end your day. The other problem with Road America, although we might not face it this year because it seems like they've had a lot of rain, is when the ground is dry everybody has a problem with grass collecting on their grills. It takes two minutes to get around the track so if you start overheating you could cook your motor by the time you get back to pit road. You really have to think through when you're going to pit, and if your mileage says you can go .9 of a lap, you might not take that lap because if you don't make it back, that's the end of your race.
"We took a chance in Michigan last week because of the threat of rain. This weekend we also have a threat of rain so I'm not sure how it's going to play out, but if a window of opportunity opens up, we're going to take it."
Ryan Hess, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy.
On June 14, Hess was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.