Sunday, Oct 02
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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There are three ASA Member Tracks in action this weekend:
 
Havasu 95 Speedway (Lake Havasu City, AZ)
 
March 29
Divisions:        Test and Tune sessions (all divisions)
Time:               6-9:00 PM
Admission:      This session is free and open to all grandstand spectators
 
March 30
Divisions:         Gene Price Late Models, ASA Street Stocks, The Goose Team Factory Stocks
Time:               Gates open at 4:00 PM; Racing at 6:00 PM
Admission:       General Admission - $12.00; Senior/Military/Handicapped - $10.00; Children (6-16) –
                         $6.

00; Children (5 and under) – Free; Family Pack (2 adults a& 2 children) - $25.00
Web:                 www.havasu95speedway.com
Facebook:         www.facebook.com/havasu95
 
 
EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK (Tampa, FL)
 
March 30
Divisions:         Limited Late Models; Open-Wheel Modifieds; Street Stocks; V8 Warriors; Florida Old-
                        Time Modifieds
Time:               Racing at 6:30 PM
Admission:      Adults - $12.00; Children (13-17) – $7.00; Children (12 and under) – Free
Web:                www.eastbayracewaypark.com
Facebook:        www.facebook.com/eastbayracewaypark
Twitter:             www.twitter.com/eastbayracepark
 
 
NORTH FLORIDA SPEEDWAY (Lake City, FL)
 
March 30
Divisions:         Open-Wheel Modifieds; Pure Stocks; Street Stocks; Sportsman; Box Stocks; Limited
                         Modifieds; Powder Puff/Rookies
Time:                Grandstands open at 5:00 PM; Racing at 7:00 PM
Admission:       Adults - $12.00; Senior & Military (active & retired with ID) - $10.00; Children (6-11) –
                         $5.00; Children (5 and under) – Free
Web:                 www.northfloridaspeedway.com
Facebook:        www.facebook.com/northfloridaspeedway
 
ASA Racing PR

16-year-old Erik Jones made his first laps in a NASCAR Camping World Series truck Thursday, testing with his Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) teammates, Joey Coulter (No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra) and Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 54 Toyota Care Tundra), at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C. Jones made 100 laps around the .455-mile oval behind the wheel of No. 51 Toyota Tundra in preparation for his Truck Series debut, which will take place April 6 in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

 

Erik Jones, driver of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra:

"It was really big getting to test right before we head to Martinsville. We were able to try a lot of things, which allowed me to learn how my Tundra would react to certain changes and get a feel for communicating with Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) and all the guys on this No. 51 team. Overall, I would say that I left the test with a lot more confidence, which makes me even more excited about my Truck Series debut at Martinsville next week."

 

Rudy Fugle, crew chief of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra:

"Erik showed a lot of speed right off the trailer and gave good feedback. He's a smart kid -- you could tell he has been raised as a racer right from the beginning. If you didn't know who was in the truck, you wouldn't have been able to tell if it was a 16-year-old or a 40-year-old in there. I think realistically that we can go to Martinsville with him next week and run in the top 10 -- if not the top five."

 

KBM PR

Patriot Energy Group, one of the largest energy management firms specializing in electric and natural gas supply procurement for businesses across the nation, announced today its new partnership with Bill Martel Racing (BMR) for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200 at the Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware on May 31, 2013.

In addition, the number 59 driver, Kyle Martel, will accompany his Chevrolet Silverado Truck at the Hershey Bears hockey game this Saturday, March 30, 2013 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. To support the local NASCAR and ARCA driver, Patriot Energy Group’s Senior Management from both the Harrisburg, PA and Philadelphia, PA offices will join Kyle while his truck is on display on the front patio of the Giant Center beginning at 5:00pm (EDT).

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Louis A. Frate, said, “We are very excited for the opportunity to partner with the championship team of Bill Martel Racing. We could not be prouder to have Kyle Martel, such an extreme talent, showcasing our brand and we look forward to having a long-lasting relationship with BMR.”

“Our organization is a firm believer that sponsorships should create a win-win situation,” said Bill Martel, President of Bill Martel Racing. “We feel our pairing with Patriot Energy Group is a great fit.”

“Kyle Martel is an extraordinary driver with over 200 career wins at all levels in motorsports and won his first national championship at the young age of 12. Our entire team is looking forward to watching Kyle cross the finish line at the Lucas Oil 200 in his Patriot Energy Group sponsored truck,” concluded Mr. Martel.

Given the level of competition in NASCAR’s top two series’, it sometimes is a rarity for a driver to visit Victory Lane. Casey Mears has done it in both series and while his career has been blanketed with success, Mears has also met with frustration when his tenure at Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing was cut short when the teams found themselves amid transition and change.

Fortunately for the Bakersfield, CA, native, he met team owner Bob Germain in 2010, a Florida auto dealer who has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championships and was the new owner of a fledgling NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team that, at the time, was struggling to even make races. Mears was reeling from being out at a top NASCAR team, while Germain was figuring out how to build one. It would appear as though it was a match made in heaven… and it has been.

Since Mears and Germain united, the program has experienced significant growth each year and longtime sponsor GEICO has fully bought in. Recently, just prior to the 2013 Daytona 500, the insurance giant announced they would now be on-board full-time on the #13 Germain Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry for the next two seasons. Seemingly experiencing a surge of energy from the welcomed news, Germain Racing and Mears have shot out of the gate in 2013 and recorded Top 15 finishes in three of the first five races, including three in the last four weeks. Only incidental contact in Daytona where Mears’ #13 GECO Ford Fusion was hit unexpectedly on lap 33, and a heavy vibration in Las Vegas that sent him scrambling for pit road on lap 109, has hindered the team’s progress. If Mears was seeking redemption, it would appear as though he’s found it.

“I’ve been fortunate in my career to drive for some big teams and I learned a lot from those experiences and the great people I was surrounded by,” Mears said. “The situation at Germain is different because it’s a small team and I am included in every conversation and I appreciate the opportunity to have input on a daily basis. It’s like a family and we’ve been able to have continuity with our personnel since I’ve been here and that accounts for a lot when it comes to problem solving and becoming more competitive. We have a great group of people and they give 100% and put it all out there. I can’t thank GEICO, Ford and Bob Germain (team owner) enough for their belief and support of this team. I’m very excited about our program and the obvious progress we’ve made.”

To Mears point, the Germain team opted to test this week rather than enjoy an off-week that would have otherwise offered rest and relaxation. Mears and his GEICO team were the only NASCAR folks present when they tested ‘Little Rock’ on Wednesday in preparation for Martinsville.

While team owner Bob Germain sits comfortably with two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championships, it’s his current venture that is causing him excitement.

“We’re just a single car team that is working hard to get ahead in a series comprised of the best racecar drivers and teams in the world,” Germain said. “I love owning a team that has people with great character, passion and commitment. I don’t have to watch over these guys because they want to go to work, they want to be better and they fully commit to making it happen. Casey and the guys on the team really feed off of each other and I think we’re seeing how familial this team is and how strong our relationships are.” He continued, “We’ve enjoyed our relationship with Ford and they’ve been of great assistance in helping us get better. Our sponsor GEICO has been a great partner and it’s been fun to grow together and elevate the program one milestone at a time. It’s a dream come true to be competing at the Sprint Cup Series level and I’m fully committed to doing whatever it takes to continue our upward trajectory with GEICO by our side.”

Casey Mears PR

With the outpouring of positive comments from fans and drivers concerning the exciting competition of the new Generation 6 car, anticipation is at an all-time high for a return to NASCAR’s most competitive track – Talladega Superspeedway – for the May 5th Aaron’s 499.

And why not! Talladega leads the way in NASCAR in a number of categories with a host of records that puts the facility in a league of its own, where racing three and four wide on the high banks are the norm. The excitement surrounding the new Generation 6 car should be icing on the cake for the unpredictable 2.66-mile layout.

“Talladega is fun,” said Kyle Busch, NASCAR’s most recent winner as well as the 2008 Aaron’s 499 victor. “It certainly has its own aspect of challenges. I’m sure many drivers have led into the reasons of those, just with all the unknowns surrounding the place, but it’s exciting. It’s certainly its own form of racing and it’s almost its own form of motorsports. It’s Talladega and you never know what to expect.”

Some of the categories where Talladega separates itself from other venues include:

  • · Most Lead Changes – 88, twice (TSS leads category in eight of the top 10 in history)
  • · Most Leaders – 29 (TSS leads category in nine of the top 10 in history)
  • · Closest Finish – 0.002 seconds (Tied with Darlington for closest ever)
  • · NASCAR’s steepest (33 degrees) and biggest (2.66-miles) track

“You white-knuckle it, hold on tight,” says Jeff Gordon, a six-time winner at Talladega, including four in the Aaron’s 499. “If I am a fan, it is incredibly intense. It’s wide. It’s crazy. You’re going to see it. I mean, that literally is bumper cars at almost 200 mph.

“If I am a race fan, I want to see two and three-wide racing all day long, passing back and forth. I want to see guys shoving one another. Guys are going to be aggressive (at the end). They (fans) should be lined up out to the highway (to get into a race at Talladega Superspeedway).”

Joey Logano, who has been in contention to win this year on several occasions, is still chasing his first win at Talladega and knows the track’s Victory Lane is hallowed ground.

“I haven’t seen one predictable (race) at Talladega yet,” said Logano, whose best finish at TSS is third in the 2009 Aaron’s 499. “You like to think it’s predictable and you like to think you have a game plan – the game plan did come through that time, so that’s exciting. Crazy race.”

Maybe Carl Edwards, still chasing his first triumph at Talladega, puts it best: “I know what it is like for a fan to watch a race at Talladega. It is just spectacular.” And, it will be in May with Talladega’s debut of the Generation 6 car.

TSS PR

Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that Mark Martin will drive the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series while Denny Hamlin recovers from an L1 Compression Fracture suffered during an accident on March 24 at Auto Club Speedway.

“We’ve been real fortunate to have never been in this situation with the need to find someone to fill in for an injured driver,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “A lot goes into a decision like this but we are really pleased to have someone of the character and caliber of Mark Martin to fill in while Denny is out. Obviously we’re not exactly sure how long that is going to take, but Mark’s career speaks for itself and our team knows it will have the opportunity to compete for a win every week.”

Martin will make his first start for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7. Martin has made one previous appearance for JGR when he started in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second.

Martin has one of the most distinguished careers in NASCAR history having made his first Sprint Cup Series start in 1981. Over his 31 years in the sport he has made 858 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and compiled 40 wins, 271 top-five and 449 top-ten finishes. He has earned 56 pole awards as well. He also has 49 career wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

“I’m happy to have this opportunity to help out JGR, FedEx and Denny,” said Martin. “Hopefully I can keep those guys up front and compete for wins while Denny heals up.”

In 48 career starts at Martinsville Speedway Martin has earned two wins, 12 top-five and 25 top-ten finishes along with two poles. He has a career average finish of 13.3 at the famed short track known as the paperclip.

“I just hate not being able to be in the car right now, but I really appreciate Mark being able to fill in for me,” said Hamlin. “Like everyone in NASCAR, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark and I know he will keep that FedEx Camry up front until I get back behind the wheel.”

JGR PR

As a part of its continued mission to be NASCAR’s premier racing team, Roush Fenway Racing has increased the marketing resources available to the team’s partners through the addition of six new hires and the creation of a new department focused on delivering incremental value to team sponsors.

The new personnel bring to Roush Fenway areas of expertise including brand marketing, event marketing, television production, digital engagement, NFL player representation and retail activation.

“We’re talking to our partners and fans this year about how driven our teams are to win races and championships,” said RFR president Steve Newmark. “That drive to be the best extends beyond the racetrack to the men and women in our organization who work with our world-class partners. We’ve added personnel and equipment to improve our ability to perform on the track for the 2013 race season, and in a similar way we’ve increased our resources for our partners to be able to win at retail and in the boardroom.”

Included in RFR’s new hires is marketing and industry veteran Mike Mooney, as vice president of partnership development. Mooney boasts over 20 years of strategic brand activation and creative marketing experience, most recently serving as vice president of motorsports at The Marketing Arm, Sport’s Business Journal’s “Sports Marketing Agency of the Year” in 2012. During his impressive career, the Elon University graduate has led marketing efforts for Fortune 500 companies such as Sprint Nextel, Walmart, Tylenol, Sunoco, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Daimler-Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz.

Mooney joins a staff led by SVP of business development Pete Thuresson, whose team renewed nine team partners at the close of the 2012 season – representing a 100% renewal rate for the organization during the off-season. In addition to the renewals, Roush Fenway recently announced its newest partner, World Financial Group, would be joining the fold through a primary sponsorship of Trevor Bayne for multiple races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

In addition, the business development department has brought in Garrett Hess as an account executive. Hess moves to RFR from K Sports & Entertainment in Boston where his was Sponsorship Sales Manager and an athlete liaison.

“With the introduction of the new Gen-6 cars, our race teams experienced their busiest and most productive ‘off-season’ in history,” said Thuresson. “By securing all nine of the nine partners up for renewal, adding a new partner and growing our internal team, the same can be said for our marketing staff. It’s been a whirlwind of activity across the entire organization leading up to this season.”

In addition to the new personnel is the creation of a strategic marketing department focused on delivering incremental value to team partners through ideation and execution of activation, digital and public relations channels. This team is led by industry veterans Kevin Thomas, Amber Darnell and Kevin Woods, who represent nearly 40 years of NASCAR marketing experience. A season-long marketing platform titled “Driven” has already been launched as part of the effort.

As one of its first moves, the strategic marketing department added Yasin Id-Deen as Social and Digital Marketing Manager. Id-Deen bringsa strong background in brand marketing and online engagement,and will be tasked with ramping up the team’s social and digital efforts with a goal of bolstering fan engagement, establishing continued brand identity and increasing partner value in the digital space.

The team also bolstered its talent and diversity, bringing on television production veteran Rob DiFranco and former Octagon coordinator Amanda Weis as account/pr managers in its sponsor operations department.

RFR PR

Although the much-anticipated debut of NASCAR’s Gen-6 car in a points-paying race atRichmond International Raceway is scheduled for the Saturday, April 27,Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the first time it hits the pavement will be this Monday. Earnhardt Ganassi drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will be joined by Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola when they test at RIR, and the grandstands are open for fans to watch, for free.

The test is scheduled for Monday, April 1. The Colonial Grandstands in Turn 4 will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., free of charge. With many kids on Spring Break, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon in Richmond!

Fans coming out to Richmond International Raceway may enter at the Service Gate, located on Meadowbridge Rd., one gate away from the main entrance at the corner of Laburnum Ave. and Meadowbridge Rd. Attendants will guide fans to a parking area and will be instructed where to go to enter the grandstands.

RIR PR

Longtime partners, Sport Clips Haircuts and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), proudly announce the return of the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Darlington Raceway on Friday, May 10, 2013. It is the second consecutive year the two organizations have partnered to sponsor the Nationwide Series event at Darlington.

Sport Clips and the VFW will continue to use their NASCAR partnership to raise awareness about the struggles many military families are facing and the VFW’s mission to support active-duty military, veterans and their families.

As the “Official Haircutter” of the VFW, Sport Clips has donated almost $2 million to the organization’s Operation Uplink free call days program through its annual “Help a Hero” campaign. Since the first contribution of more than $80,000 was made in 2007, Sport Clips’ donations have increased annually. The company’s most recent donation of a record-breaking $500,000 was presented to the VFW at the national headquarters on December 10, 2012.

To raise funds, Sport Clips locations nationwide collect donations at check-out during October and November and donate $1 from every hair care service on Veterans Day, November 11 – what the company calls “The Biggest Haircut Day of the Year.” “We look forward to this year’s Help A Hero campaign, and expanding our support of the VFW and its work to serve those who so honorably serve our country,” said Sport Clips CEO and Founder Gordon Logan. To learn more about Help A Hero, visit www.sportclips.com/hero

Founded in 1899, the VFW is America’s largest major combat veterans’ organization. The VFW offers several assistance programs to lessen the burden on active-duty military, veterans and their families; offers counsel and assistance to military veterans to navigate VA entitlement and disability claims; and actively lobbies Congress and the administration on issues that impact the lives of our nation’s veterans.

“As a veteran of the Air Force, I understand first-hand the value of having a support system while serving abroad and at home. The VFW was then, as it is now, a very important part of my life,” said Logan. “Sport Clips is proud to join forces with the VFW for a second year to communicate its important mission through the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200.”

“We’re tremendously pleased to have such a wonderful opportunity to help inform and educate other concerned citizens about the needs of those who deserve it most,” said VFW National Commander John E. Hamilton. “As an organization of combat veterans, VFW deeply appreciates Sport Clips’ continuing efforts and their assistance in helping to raise public awareness as it relates to the needs of those who serve our country.”

Sport Clips is also a partner of Joe Gibbs Racing and will sponsor a total of nine races during the 2013 NASCAR season, including both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington with Elliott Sadler and Denny Hamlin, respectively.

With many surrounding bases in South Carolina, Darlington Raceway has been a proud supporter of the military since its doors opened in 1950. Many military personnel and their families attend racing events each May at Darlington and the track recognizes the importance of assisting the men and women of the United States armed forces that have fought and dedicated their lives to protecting our country and its freedoms.

The track offers all current and retired military personnel a half-priced ticket for any adult admission to either the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 by calling 843-395-8802 or visiting the ticket office during normal business hours.

“Having Sport Clips and the VFW partner together to sponsor our Nationwide Series race shows you the commitment both groups are making to honor and help our military personnel who have protected our country here and abroad,” Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning said. “We are proud of the fact that Sport Clips and VFW view Darlington Raceway as a continued opportunity and platform to raise awareness for our military heroes. Many military veterans and their families, as well as our troops who are currently fighting overseas, have given their lives to protect the freedoms of this country and we will make sure they are recognized during the race weekend here in May!”

Darlington Raceway PR

Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – has joined with WHPT-FM/102.5 “The Bone” in Tampa, Fla., to deliver a full schedule of Sprint Cup Series coverage throughout the remainder of the 2013 season.

The two-year partnership represents a joint effort between MRN and Daytona International Speedway (DIS), and will begin this coming weekend with Sunday’s broadcast of the Auto Club 400 from Fontana, Calif.

“As a native of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, I’m thrilled to have the excitement of NASCAR on WHPT,” said DIS President Joie Chitwood III. “Having WHPT join the proud list of MRN affiliate stations is great news for Daytona International Speedway. The Tampa-St. Pete area has a strong base of NASCAR fans and traditionally has been a top market for ‘The World Center of Racing.’ ”

“The Bone” … known as Tampa Bay’s “Real, Raw Radio” … is a 100,000-watt talk radio giant that blankets Central Florida’s West Coast. It’s owned by Cox Media Group.

“Our search for a strong partner in this market has led us to WHPT and we’re honored to add them to our list of radio partners,” said MRN President and Executive Producer David Hyatt. “We’re appreciative of the assistance Daytona International Speedway provided in helping pull all the pieces together and we’re happy to provide a strong, vibrant radio voice for NASCAR fans throughout the Tampa-St. Petersburg region.”

WHPT-FM/102.5 joins 26 other MRN affiliates that are located throughout the state of Florida serving key markets such as Daytona Beach, Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

“WHPT-102.5 ‘The Bone’ is proud to carry MRN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2013,” said Jason Meder, director of sales for Cox Media Group in Tampa. “The passion of NASCAR fans and the appetite for racing in Tampa Bay make this a great partnership.”

Sunday’s MRN Sprint Cup Series broadcast from Auto Club Speedway, the first of 22 that will be heard on WHPT this year, will begin at 2 p.m. (EDT) and is one of the network’s 88 live events being aired from 34 venues throughout the 2013 season. Motor Racing Network launched this year’s schedule with the Rolex 24 at Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race in late January. It’ll conclude in December with coverage of the annual Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas.

ISC/MRN PR

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