Speedway Digest Staff
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Rick Ware Racing announced today its partnership with Biohaven’s Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant) and Nine Line Apparel to honor the nation’s fallen service members during the Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Cody Ware, who will pilot the No. 51 Ford Mustang, will carry a special paint scheme with The Gary Sinise Foundation on board, the non-profit that the organizations will raise money for throughout the month of May.
Nine Line Apparel will offer a commemorative t-shirt honoring the fallen service members. Through the purchase of each t-shirt, the buyer can submit the name of a fallen service member to run on the hood of the No. 51 Ford Mustang. Proceeds from the t-shirt will be donated to The Gary Sinise Foundation.
“Our partnership with Rick Ware Racing and Nurtec ODT – this time supporting the Gary Sinise Foundation – is something that we’re honored to continue this Memorial Day,” said Rich Caponi, Chief Revenue Officer of Nine Line Apparel. “For us to help raise awareness and support for such a great foundation, while honoring those who have given their lives for our freedom, humbles us beyond words, and we are grateful for the opportunity.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, who has been an advocate of our nation's defenders for nearly 40 years. The Gary Sinise Foundation's mission is to serve our country by honoring and supporting our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.
"As we approach Memorial Day weekend, we send our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Rick Ware Racing, Biohaven’s Nurtec ODT, and Nine Line Apparel for choosing the Gary Sinise Foundation as a charity partner and honoring those who gave their all," said Gary Sinise, actor, and founder of Gary Sinise Foundation. "The Gary Sinise Foundation strives to do all that we can to support our nation’s most severely wounded veterans, our service men and women, first responders and the families who sacrifice alongside them – especially those suffering the loss of their hero – the families of our fallen who we will never forget."
“We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to honor our nation’s heroes in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway," commented team owner Rick Ware. "Over the past year and half, we have been fortunate enough to create an awesome program to give back to our men and women in uniform, along with their families. RWR as a whole is honored to pay tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, during the 600 Miles of Remembrance at Charlotte Motor Speedway."
Since launching the Military Salutes program in 2021, RWR and Nurtec ODT have visited nearly 50 military bases across the United States, including attending the ceremony commemorating the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Working in partnership with Nine Line Apparel, the group has raised nearly $250,000 for various military charities and has honored over 1,300 fallen service members in special campaigns with RWR’s NASCAR Cup Series cars.
"We hear often from active-duty service members, veterans and their families about the impact migraine has on their lives," said Vlad Coric, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Biohaven. "Through our sponsorship with Rick Ware Racing, we have been able to support the military community and honor our fallen heroes and their families. We are thankful for their service and dedication to protect our freedom. Our goal is to identify and collaborate with innovative partners to raise awareness of migraine and Nurtec ODT as a treatment option.”
For additional information on Nurtec ODT, visit www.nurtec.com. Follow Rick Ware Racing, by visiting www.wareracing.com, and be sure to follow along on social media (Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram).
The Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism Sponsors Autistic Driver for NASCAR Truck Series Race at Texas Motor Speedway
Williams, a native of Detroit, Michigan impressed in his series debut at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway last August finishing a respectable 21st and earning his speedway license in NASCAR competition.
“I’m incredibly grateful for this next chapter in my NASCAR career by making my Truck Series debut at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend,” said Williams. “We have been diligently working hard on sponsorship to run as many Truck Series races as we can this season and I’m thrilled to have a few races locked down with some terrific partners.”
To kick off his limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule in 2022 in the Lone Star state, Williams will be joined by co-partners The Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism Inc and IceCOLD Technology.
Former NFL Quarterback, Doug Flutie, and his wife Laurie started The Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism Inc. in 1998 after their son, Dougie, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Their personal experience of raising a son on the autism spectrum inspired them to help others on an equally long and challenging journey.
Over its 24-year history, the Flutie Foundation has distributed over $15 million to schools and organizations who provide clinical therapies, respite services, recreational programs, social skills training, job support and more for people affected by autism.
The Flutie Foundation also provides education technology tools, adaptive camp scholarships, safety equipment, and direct family support through its partnerships and special initiatives.
“We are pleased to partner with Armani Williams to support his career goals and passions through the Flutie Fellow ambassadorship program as he competes professionally in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Doug Flutie, Co-Founder of the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.
“It’s our goal at the Flutie Foundation to create a world where people with autism are included, respected, and engaged in their communities. Armani is living proof of what people with autism can accomplish.
“We are ecstatic to support Armani’s budding career dreams while partnering with him as he advocates for inclusive opportunities for his peers with autism.”
Alongside The Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism Inc. will be IceCOLD Technology.
IceCOLD Technology LLC. is the manufacturer of the IceCOLD® synthetic catalyst, an environmentally friendly green energy efficiency product for all types of HVAC and refrigeration in residential, commercial and industrial applications.
For more than 20 years the IceCOLD product has increased efficiency and reduced the energy consumption of cooling equipment, lowered carbon emissions, reduced equipment maintenance, extended equipment life, and saved money.
"IceCOLD Technology is excited and proud to support and sponsor Armani Williams as a NASCAR driver,” offered IceCOLD Technology president Don Bryan. “Armani's strong values, positive attitude, and confident determination are what make him an inspiration and a true champion.
“Nothing can stop Armani from being successful in life or on the track and we are honored to partner with him and watch him prove it."
The continued partnership with Reaume and the placement of the new partners were orchestrated by fgrACCEL, a full-service sports marketing and management agency.
Additional races for Williams with Reaume Brothers Racing are expected this season.
“There are a lot of people that have worked tirelessly in order for me to continue my dream and I’m so thankful,” sounded Williams. “Right now, I have three opportunities with instrumental marketing partners who want to see me succeed on the race track while assisting them in building their respective brands.
“I am spending every waking moment making sure I am prepared to do my part behind the wheel. Whether that is iRacing, studying pictures, reviewing film or just talking to others in the industry. It’s my job to go out there and give my team and partners a finish they would be proud of and that’s exactly what I plan to do.”
Josh Reaume, team principal at Reaume Brothers Racing offered, “Armani is a dedicated young driver and being a part of opportunities such as this is what gets us excited at Reaume Brothers Racing!”
Williams, 22, graduated to the Truck Series after stints in the premier ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East, ARCA Menards Series West and the Canadian-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
From Texas Motor Speedway, Williams will trek to the Pocono Mountains and tackle the 2.5-mile triangle of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in the CRC Brakleen 150 on July 23.
The SpeedyCash.com 220 (147 laps | 220.5 miles) is the ninth of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2022 schedule. Practice begins on Friday, May 20, 2022, from 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Qualifying will soon follow from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The 36-truck field will take the green flag later that night shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. All times are local (CT).
Armani Williams PR
Team Penske has announced that the team will no longer race in the LMP2 class for the remainder of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season, following the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month.
The team will instead turn its attention to putting maximum effort into testing and preparation of its Porsche Penske Motorsport LMDh program ahead of its debut in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech Championship Series in 2023. The team has developed an extensive testing program both in the United States and Europe for the remainder of 2022 to ensure the four-car effort is ready to compete at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January of 2023.
“We are very appreciative of our time in WEC this year and we have been able to make the most of our time on track this season,” said Team Penske President Tim Cindric. “As an organization, we didn’t have a lot of experience within WEC, so running the races in 2022 has allowed us to learn the tracks, the rules and understand how a race weekend operates. We were able to gather a lot of feedback and information over the first two races and we expect to learn even more at Le Mans. Fortunately, our LMDh program is progressing quickly, so we need to focus that to ensure we are prepared for the start of the 2023 season.”
In its first two races of the 2022 WEC season, the Team Penske LMP2 team, with drivers Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr and Emmanuel Collard, finished eighth in class at Sebring and fourth in class at Spa-Francorchamps. Team Penske will compete in its final LMP2 race of the 2022 FIA WEC season at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 8-12.
Team Penske PR
There's a pattern forming after two full days of practice for the 106th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge: Takuma Sato and Scott Dixon are really fast.
Sato and Dixon were 1-2 on the speed chart Thursday for the second consecutive practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two-time Indy 500 winner Sato led at 227.519 mph in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda, with six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and 2008 "500" winner Dixon second at 227.335 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“We’re working on it,” Sato said. “The car’s not entirely happy in a big pack. Still there’s work to be done. The boys are doing such a meticulous job, with great engineering. I’m happy with the progress, step by step, and here we are. Hopefully we have more to come.”
SEE: Practice Results
Rookie David Malukas, Sato's teammate at Dale Coyne Racing, was third at 226.869 in the No. 18 HMD Honda. 2011 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year JR Hildebrand clocked in fourth at 226.846 in the No. 11 Homes For Our Troops/AJ FOYT RACING Chevrolet.
Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson continued his impressive preparation for his first start in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by ending up fifth at 226.409 in the No. 48 Carvana Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Johnson was third fastest overall on opening day Tuesday. Practice was rained out Wednesday.
Weather may be top of mind for teams and drivers during practice from noon-6 p.m. Friday (live on Peacock Premium), as air temperatures in the mid- to high-80s and sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph will create tricky conditions on the 2.5-mile oval. Speeds also will climb on “Fast Friday” – the last full day of practice before PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying on Saturday and Sunday -- because turbocharger boost levels are increased, adding an estimated 90 horsepower to the Chevrolet and Honda engines.
Teams will work on qualifying simulations Friday, trying to stay out of the aerodynamic tow that has produced the big speeds for the first two days of practice.
2018 Indy 500 winner Will Power was the fastest driver Thursday without a tow, reaching 224.325 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Rinus VeeKay and his team boss, Ed Carpenter, continued to show strength while running solo, ending up second and third on the no-tow list after they were 1-2 without aerodynamic help Tuesday. VeeKay produced a solo lap of 224.047 in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, followed by Carpenter at 223.858 in the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet.
Thirty-three drivers combined to turn 3,114 incident-free laps under overcast skies. Johnson turned 153 laps, more than any other driver.
TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: NASCAR ALL-STAR EDITION
The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) shifts its attention from points racing for the weekend as drivers and teams head to Texas Motor Speedway for the annual NASCAR All-Star Race, with all focus turned to the $1 million grand prize on the line. The annual, non-points paying race is returning to the 1.5-mile Texas oval for the second-consecutive year after becoming just the fourth venue to host event in 2021.
Chevrolet looks to make it four-in-a-row for NASCAR All-Star victories in the Next Gen Camaro ZL1’s debut at Texas Motor Speedway. The string of wins in the coveted All-Star event started with Kyle Larson in 2019, who drove the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet to his first-career All-Star victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 2020 event saw Chase Elliott capture his first-career All-Star win in the event’s first appearance at Bristol Motor Speedway. Larson went on to make it a third-consecutive trip to All-Star victory lane for Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway in 2021. This season will mark the 38th-running of the NASCAR All-Star Race, where Chevrolet has recorded a manufacturer-leading 20 trips to victory lane in the event.
RACING TO THE BIG SHOW
The unique format of the NASCAR All-Star weekend highlights the talents of the sport; giving drivers, pit crews and road crews their chance to shine throughout the weekend to get their team to the ultimate cash prize.
Teams that have already clinched a spot for the All-Star Race will see a shake-up in the qualifying format this year. Qualifying will be spit into two rounds, with the first consisting of a single-car, single-lap run, with the top-eight qualifiers advancing on. Round two will feature a three-round, elimination-style bracket, with pit crews playing a vital role in the battle for the pole. During each elimination round, pit crews will perform a four-tire stop, with the driver then racing back to the start/finish line under no pit road speed limits, with the fastest advancing on until the polesitter is crowned.
Drivers can lock-in their spot in the All-Star Race as a points-paying winner in 2021 or 2022; full-time NCS drivers that are past All-Star Race winners; or full-time NCS drivers that are previous champions of the series. 20 drivers have met those requirements and have clinched an All-Star Race starting spot for 2022, six of which are Chevrolet drivers: AJ Allmendinger, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott and defending-winner Kyle Larson. The 125-lap NASCAR All-Star Race will feature three, 25-lap Stages; and a 50-lap final stage that will ultimately crown the All-Star Race winner.
Drivers who have not qualified for the All-Star Race will have the opportunity to race their way in by competing in the NASCAR Open. The 50-lap event consists of three stages – Stage One, Stage Two, Final Stage – where the winner of each advances to the All-Star Main Event. A fourth driver will be added to the All-Star Race by virtue of a Fan Vote. Nine Chevrolet drivers from six different teams have their eyes set on joining the elite All-Star Race field.
CHASTAIN TO MAKE ALL-STAR DEBUT
It’s been a breakout season for Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain, where a season of “firsts” continues for the 30-year-old Florida native this weekend as he makes his NASCAR All-Star Race debut. Chastain is one of just three drivers that have clinched a spot into the All-Star Race as a result of their first-career NASCAR Cup Series victory recorded this season. Chastain, along with Chevrolet teammate William Byron, are the only two multiple race winners thus far this season, both standing at two wins each.
MAKE IT A TRIPLEHEADER
Texas Motor Speedway will also be the host of points-paying action for the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), giving fans a tripleheader race weekend.
On an eight-consecutive race run for the series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series gets the race weekend underway Friday under the lights with the SpeedyCash.com 220. Chevrolet is coming off of three top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway last weekend, led by GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger, who has driven his No. 23 Silverado to back-to-back third-place finishes. Heading into the ninth race of the season for the series, two Silverado drivers sit inside the top-10 of the NCWTS points standing, including Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar (7th) and Grant Enfinger (9th).
Coming off the series’ second-off week of the 2022 season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) resumes action in the “Lone Star State” with the SRS Distribution 250 on Saturday afternoon. Chevrolet enters the Texas Motor Speedway race weekend looking for its fourth-consecutive victory, a winning streak that started with Noah Gragson at Talladega Superspeedway; followed by his JR Motorsports teammates’ wins at Dover Motor Speedway (Josh Berry) and Darlington Raceway (Justin Allgaier).
The top of the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and manufacturer points standings continues to see Chevrolet in command. NXS Series points leader, AJ Allmendinger, is leading the bowtie brand to an impressive four of the top-five and six of the top-10 in the standings. Looking for its sixth-consecutive NXS Manufacturer Championship title, Chevrolet continues to lead in the standings by 43-points over its manufacturer competitors. The Camaro SS has recorded a series-leading six wins thus far this season, performed by five different Chevrolet drivers.
LEADING AT THE HALFWAY MARK
Leaving Kansas Speedway last weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series has officially hit the halfway mark in the 2022 Regular Season. With 13 points-paying races down, 13 remain for Chevrolet drivers to capture a win and a berth into the NCS Playoff field. Battling to defend its NCS Driver and Manufacturer Championship title, Chevrolet will enter into the second-half of the regular season on top of both standings.
Taking over the points lead at Atlanta Motor Speedway – the fifth race of the season – 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Chase Elliott, continues to sit atop the NCS driver points standings. Five Chevrolet teammates accompany Elliott in the top-10, including: William Byron (4th); Ross Chastain (5th); Alex Bowman (8th); and Kyle Larson (9th).
Chevrolet, the winningest brand in NASCAR, continues to hold strong onto the NCS manufacturer points lead, 35-points over second. Camaro ZL1 drivers have recorded seven wins, 36 top-five’s, 63 top-10’s, 12 stage wins and 1,884 laps led thus far this season, all of which tops its manufacturer competitors. With a strong first half of the season, Chevrolet looks to keep the momentum rolling en route to its 34th NCS Driver Championship and 41st NCS Manufacturer Championship.
Chevrolet will be pacing all three NASCAR touring series to the green this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The Camaro ZL1 will lead the NASCAR Cup Series for the All-Star Race and All-Star Open; the Camaro SS will lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the SRS Distribution 250; and the Silverado RST will lead the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the SpeedyCash.com 220.
· Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 20 NASCAR All-Star Race victories, including the last three:
Kyle Larson with Chip Ganassi Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway (2019)
Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 at Bristol Motor Speedway 2020)
Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 at Texas Motor Speedway (2021)
· Hendrick Motorsports leads all NASCAR Cup Series teams with 10 All-Star wins among five different drivers: Jimmie Johnson (4), Jeff Gordon (3), Terry Labonte (1), Chase Elliott (1), and Kyle Larson (1).
· Kyle Larson swept the NASCAR Cup Series events at Texas Motor Speedway in 2021, capturing his second-career NASCAR All-Star win in June, later returning to take the first race of the NCS Playoffs Round of Eight at the 1.5-mile Texas venue in October.
· With 13 NASCAR Cup Series races complete in the 2022 season, Chevrolet continues to lead all manufacturers in NCS wins (7), top-five’s (36), top-10’s (63), laps led (1,884) and stage wins (12). Chevrolet’s NCS wins, top-five’s and laps led count for more than double its manufacturer competitors.
· William Byron leads all drivers with 569 laps led this season. That is a career-high most laps led by the Chevrolet driver after 13 events in a single season.
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captured his third-consecutive top-10 finish, earning an eighth-place finish in his No. 47 JTG Daugherty Camaro ZL1 at Kansas Speedway after being forced to start at the rear due to an accident in practice. With now four top-10’s on the season, the feat now matches the most top-10’s he’s earned in a single season with the team, this year recorded in just 13 races.
· Ross Chastain captured his eighth top-10 finish of the season at Kansas Speedway to match his total number of top 10’s that he scored in all of 2021. Chastain has also recorded a series-leading seven top-five’s.
· Chevrolet drivers, Ross Chastain and William Byron, are the only two drivers that are multiple race winners in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022. Both have captured two wins each: (Chastain – COTA, Talladega), (Byron – Atlanta, Martinsville).
· Seven Team Chevy drivers have combined 12 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins:
Tyler Reddick 2 - (Fontanax2)
Alex Bowman 1 - (Las Vegas)
Ross Chastain 2 - (Las Vegas), (Darlington)
William Byron 3 – (Phoenix), (Atlanta), (Talladega)
Daniel Suarez 1 – (COTA)
Chase Elliott 2 – (Martinsvillex2)
Kyle Larson 1 – (Bristol)
· Chevrolet leads in the driver points standing in both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Chase Elliott remains in the top position in the NCS standings with a 52-point advantage over second place; and AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the NXS standings by 25-points. Chevrolet remains atop both the NCS and NXS manufacturer points standings.
· With its 40 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships; 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships; and 821 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR.
FOR THE FANS:
· Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Midway at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles including: Silverado 2500 High Country, Blazer RS, Colorado ZR2 Bison 4ZR, Traverse RS, Corvette Coupe 3LT, Silverado ZR2 and Silverado EV.
· At the Chevrolet Display, fans can also view Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 show car.
Display to Feature the First-Ever Chevrolet Silverado EV
Making a special appearance in the Team Chevy Racing Display this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway will be the first-ever, all-electric Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado EV is a reimagined full-size, electric pickup, leveraging the power of GM’s Ultium EV platform. It offers a revolutionary mix of performance, capability, technology and style.
Key features include:
· The Silverado EV was built from the ground up as an electric pickup, including Ultium-enabled engineering and design.
· Revolutionary performance and capability:
o GM-estimated range of 400 miles
o Impressive horsepower and torque
o Four-wheel steer
o Up to 10 available power outlets that, when paired with an accessory power bar, provide up to 10.2kW of power
· It’s packed with smart technology, including a 17-inch freeform infotainment screen; 11-inch diagonal driver information display; and ultifi-enabled capabilities.
· Athletic exterior design and purposeful interior, featuring aerodynamic design to maximize range; storage capacity and spaciousness; fixed-glass roof; and a midgate.
TEAM CHEVY QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS AT THE DISPLAY:
Friday, May 20
· Derek Kraus and Colby Howard: 5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
· Jesse Little and Spencer Boyd: 5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
· Grant Enfinger and Jack Wood: 5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
· Kris Wright and Blaine Perkins: 5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
· Jeremy Clements: 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
· Brett Moffitt and Anthony Alfredo: 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
· Sheldon Creed: 10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
· Josh Berry and Sam Mayer: 10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Sunday, May 22
· AJ Allmendinger: 1:55 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
· Erik Jones: 2:10 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.
· Ross Chastain: 2:25 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:
· Friday, May 20: 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
· Saturday, May 21: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
· Sunday, May 22: 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
To kick-off the tripleheader race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, FS1 will broadcast the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SpeedyCash.com 220 on Friday, May 20, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage of the 147-lap event can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
FS1 will broadcast the NASCAR Xfinity Series SRS Distribution 250 on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage can also be found on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
FS1 will air Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star action, starting with the All-Star Open at 4:30 p.m. ET, followed by the 125-lap All-Star Race at 8 p.m. ET. Live coverage of both events can also be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO GET TO TEXAS?
"I can't wait to get to Texas. We have Worldwide Express on the car and Rob (Rose) is such a huge supporter of us and of racing which includes the Truck Series. It would be awesome to get them into victory lane. They got to experience it with us at Talladega earlier this year, but it would be great to do it again with them as the primary."
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO ALREADY HAVE TWO WINS THIS SEASON AND BE LOCKED INTO THE ALL-STAR RACE?
"It a great feeling to be locked in to the All-Star race. To think back several years ago at a road course I was asking Justin (Marks) questions when he was driving the No. 42 Xfinity car.
How do I brake, turn right into a blind corner, down shift twice and get off of that corner and it wasn't an easy answer for him. It took years of going over it with him and now to have wins with him as the owner is so cool. I remember I paid his wife Erin for race seats. I went to their house and Justin was gone and I paid her cash for two seats because I didn't have the NASCAR certified seats and Justin did."
AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 BASS PRO SHOPS / TRACKER OFF ROAD CAMARO ZL1
DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THE ALL-STAR RACE SINCE TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY IS THE TRACK YOU EARNED YOUR LAST WIN?
“I do. I think it’s pretty cool to be able to run the All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway. I’m really hoping that I can race my way in and have a chance at winning because Texas has always been a strong track for me. I think as the surface wears out, Texas could become a better race. It just needs to lose some more grip in order to make the racing more exciting.”
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 GUARANTEED RATE CAMARO ZL1
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ALL-STAR RACE THIS WEEKEND?
“The All-Star Race is always a really fun and competitive way for our sport to do something a little bit different during the season. Our season is really long, and every weekend is so important so it’s fun to put a different spin on things this weekend. The fact that it’s a non-points-paying race doesn’t make any of the drivers want it any less. We’re competing for a lot of money and bragging rights, so wo wouldn’t want to win. Our team has had a really up and down few weeks and finishing 30th at Kansas isn’t a reflection of the results we deserve. Our pit crew is crazy good and my crew work so hard every single day at the shop to bring fast cars that can run upfront and compete for wins. I hope we get to showcase that this weekend, win some money and use that as even more momentum to get out there and win at Charlotte.”
DO YOU PREPARE ANY DIFFERENT FOR THIS WEEKEND KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE TO COMPETE IN THE OPEN TO GET IN?
“There’s a fine line between being overly competitive and playing it safe and being overly competitive and ruining your day and someone else’s. Last year in the Open, we ran really hard but also made it a goal to stay out of trouble and we won Stage 2. If you wreck your car in the Open, then you’ve got nothing to compete for in the All-Star Race. Every driver in the Open will likely have that same mindset, you want to make it in and do everything you can, but you don’t want to take yourself out in the process. The stages are much shorter, and we’ve got a little bit of practice time to see how our car is running.”
YOU’RE CURRENTLY IN THE TOP FOUR IN THE NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE FAN VOTE. HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
“When I found that out, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a really cool thing to know people are out there voting for you and that there have been enough votes to put me on the top of the list with other really talented drivers. I’ve got the best fans; I see them out there every single weekend supporting me. It’s special. I’d love to race my way in but to win the Fan Vote is something I’d be truly honored by.”
KYLE LARSON, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
LARSON ON THE ALL-STAR FORMAT:
"The format sounds exciting. It’s always interesting because it seems like the format is different each year. I’m sure (crew chief) Cliff (Daniels) and the team will study to see what strategy may work the best – but I’m sure that strategy is trying our best to win the first segment so we can start on the pole for the final one. Hopefully we can get another all-star win."
CLIFF DANIELS, CREW CHIEF, NO. 5 HENDRICKCARS.COM CAMARO ZL1
DANIELS ON LAST YEAR’S WINNING STRATEGY:
"We studied on what we needed to do (to win), but our car was not what it needed to be for most of the race. At the end of every stage, we were doing huge changes to try to free it up because we were so tight in traffic. We started on the pole – I believe by random draw – and we were okay out front in the first stage but we couldn’t pass at all in the second stage. I got worried. Kyle got worried. But it all worked out okay because we were in good position (for the restart) going into the final stage – which is all you can ask for. No matter all the studying we did and could do, it didn’t change the fact we didn’t have a good car in traffic and needed to adjust on it and make it better."
CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
ELLIOTT ON COMPETING IN THE ALL-STAR RACE:
"I’m glad that NASCAR has started rotating this event some. I think that’s what this event was initially designed to do. To give fans in the different regions a special event and I think that’s really cool. It’s more like what other forms of sports do. I’m hoping that next year they switch it up and head somewhere else after being back in Texas for the second year. It’s not exactly one of my best tracks, but we did put in a pretty good effort last year and the pit crew was able to get the job done. Hopefully with this year’s format, it will be entertaining for the fans and we can put on a good show for them.”
ALAN GUSTAFSON, CREW CHIEF, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1
GUSTAFSON ON BUILDING A NOTEBOOK FOR THE PLAYOFF VISIT TO TEXAS:
"Last year was good, we were able to win the pit crew competition. I was really happy for all the guys and the effort they put into the pit stops. I feel like they don’t often get the recognition they deserve for how good they are. The race was good for us last year. I felt like we had a shot to win. For us this week, going back to Texas is just about this new car. Being able to try some things and it’s a race that doesn’t pay any points, so we can be a bit more aggressive in trying some different setup configurations and trying to learn some stuff."
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 16 ANDY’S FROZEN CUSTARD CAMARO ZL1
“I'm pumped to be in the All-Star race again! It’s a super cool opportunity to have. It will be my first time driving this Next Gen car on a mile-and-a-half racetrack, so it will be interesting to get a feel for these kinds of tracks. I’m also looking forward to having Andy’s Frozen Custard back with us at Texas with their newest flavor of custard featured on the car – the All-Star Jackhammer!”
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
BYRON ON HOW THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES RACE SHOULD HELP HIM FOR SUNDAY’S ALL-STAR RACE:
"Texas (Motor Speedway) is a track I found success at early on in my career in both trucks and Xfinity but I feel like I’ve struggled just a little bit to get the same results on the Cup side of things. That’s part of why I’m excited to get back in an Xfinity car this weekend and see how it races compared to when I was in one last a few years ago. I feel like those cars relate similarly to the Next Gen car and hopefully that will give us some extra notes that we can use not only for the All-Star Race on Sunday but also for when we go back to Texas in the fall.”
RUDY FUGLE, CREW CHIEF, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1
FUGLE ON WHAT CHALLENGES TEAMS WILL FACE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY:
"I’m interested to see how the Next Gen car will race this weekend at Texas (Motor Speedway). In the past, we have ran high downforce packages for the All-Star Race but this year we will not only run lower downforce but the Next Gen car as well. Add in the fact that both ends of the track are so different from each other, it’s going to make it a challenge on your approach to setting the car up and changes you make throughout the weekend. With us using the same tire this weekend as we did last weekend in Kansas and at Las Vegas, I think that gives us a good starting place at least when it comes to what changes we can make with air pressure and the fine line on how the car reacts. That’s where practice is going to be the most help since the All-Star Race is broken up into mini races essentially and you don’t have a ton of chances to make big swings and recover by the end.”
JUSTIN HALEY, NO. 31 LEAFFILTER GUTTER PROTECTION CAMARO ZL1
“I'm excited to put Kansas in the rearview mirror and go for million dollars this weekend in Texas. We will have to race our way in during the Open, which is going to be a short race. That will bring some excitement. I enjoy racing at Texas, so hopefully we can make the big show and put this No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro in the All-Star race.”
ERIK JONES, NO. 43 PETTY GMS CAMARO ZL1
JONES’ THOUGHTS ON RACING AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY AND HIS CHANCE FOR THIS WEEKEND’S ALL-STAR RACE:
“I’m looking forward to the All-Star race. Texas has been a good place to me in general over the last four or five years. I hope to race our way in through the Open and if not, fallback hopefully on the fan vote. The goal obviously is to be in the All-Star race on Sunday night and be racing for that million. Looking forward to getting down there. I always have fun going to Texas and being in that area. I can’t wait to get there and have a chance on Sunday.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., NO. 47 KROGER / VIVA CAMARO ZL1
“This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, I feel like it will be tricky. Both ends are completely different. Texas is kind of exaggerated with how flat Turns 1 & 2 are compared to 3 & 4. I ran some laps on the simulator this week. I think it is going to be a handful. You’re going to have to sacrifice some handling on one end to be good on the other end and just trying to pick which one of those is the fastest will be key. Also, qualifying is going to be very important. We’re looking forward to getting to Texas with a new purple and blue paint scheme on our No. 47 Kroger/VIVA Towels Camaro ZL1.”
ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
BOWMAN ON HOW HIS SEASON HAS GONE SO FAR:
"Greg and I have spent a lot of time working together to get more consistent and we have accomplished that. We are happy with the fact that we have eight top-10s but we both feel like we should have a few more wins. Our team has worked very hard to continue to get better and we feel like we are learning more about the Next Gen car, but we are always looking for more. Greg and I are ready to go to Texas this weekend and continue to get better and try to take home the $1 million check."
GREG IVES, CREW CHIEF, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1
IVES ON HIS APPROACH TO THE RACE AT TEXAS:
"Texas Motor Speedway is a tough track to get the car dialed in with both ends of the track different from each other in banking and shape. I think it’s a great place to have the All-Star Race in that respect, but it makes for a long day if you can’t get the car set up for the track. Alex (Bowman) has found success at the track, having a couple of top-fives and top-10s, so it should be a fun weekend. We are going to go out there and learn a lot at the unique track and continue to build on our success this year."
DANIEL SUAREZ, NO. 99 FREEWAY INSURANCE CAMARO ZL1
WHY DO YOU LIKE THE ALL-STAR RACE?
"It's fun. We have some work to get into it this year, but we are confident we will be there. We have been fast lately and I'm sure we will win one of the stages."
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY?
"First thing we have to do is win the Open race or a stage. When we do that we'll be in the All-Star Race and anything can happen. We have to get in it to win it. It's been done before so we know it can happen. We will have as good a shot as anyone."
GRANT ENFINGER, NO. 23 CHAMPION POWER EQUIPMENT SILVERADO RST
"Our No. 23 team has been doing great at the shop and on pit road. I think the race in Texas will be a great opportunity for our team to shine, especially after seeing what we have learned over the last couple weeks. In the past, this track has really suited my driving style, but we haven't been able to pull off that win yet, so I'm hungry for one here. If we are able to unload quickly and stay ahead of the racetrack, I think we can contend all night with our Champion Power Equipment Chevy."
JACK WOOD, NO. 24 SEVWINS SILVERADO RST
"I'm excited to race at Texas for the first time this weekend with my GMS Racing guys. I've never been there in any type of car before, but I've spoke with a lot of drivers and they agree that this track is one of their favorite places to race at. Last year here, the No. 24 Chevy ran up front all race and finished second with Chase Elliott, so I believe that there is a good opportunity for our team to back it up with another strong run. We are bringing really fast Silverado RSTs to the racetrack week in and week out, so if we are able to put a full race together, the good finishes will come naturally."
Oregon Department of Transportation partners with upcoming NASCAR weekend at Portland International Raceway
The Transportation Safety Office (TSO) of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is partnering with the upcoming NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Portland International Raceway (PIR), the Pacific Office Automation 147, June 3-4.
The event will mark NASCAR’s first race in the Pacific Northwest in 22 years, and TSO’s Distracted Driving Program will be highlighted both days of the much-anticipated event in the Rose City. The program’s safety messaging will be featured prominently across the PIR venue, including on-site branding and digital reminders to help everyone get home safely.
“The Transportation Safety Office is so happy to be able to have this incredible partnership opportunity with the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway,” states Kelly Kapri, Program Manager for ODOT/DMV’s Distracted Driving Program. “We’re able to have such a unique reach across the event, reminding people that distracted driving is not only dangerous, but also against the law. We’re grateful to the organizers for helping TSO in our efforts to change cultural norms around distracted driving as part of our overall plan to improve driver behavior and save lives in Oregon.”
From running local PSAs, to billboards and geofencing, ODOT’s Transportation Safety Office touches the lives of Oregonians on the go. One of the most important safety measures for the 2022 program is bringing more awareness and education to the issues of distracted driving (i.e., using your phone or other electronic devices while driving). Distracted driving is a dangerous behavior for drivers, passengers, and non-occupants alike. Distraction is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity instead (per NHTSA).
“ODOT’s Transportation Safety Office has an important message for all drivers to ‘Park Your Phone’ while driving,” said Jerry Jensen, general manager of Green Savoree Portland, LLC, which owns and operates this NASCAR event at PIR. “It takes the NASCAR drivers’ complete concentration and attention to safely navigate Portland International Raceway and compete in the Pacific Office Automation 147. We ask that our race fans do the same when commuting to and from this great event in a couple of weeks.”
As an official event partner, TSO will provide on-site fan engagement opportunities. The program is also supported by digital and social media messages, video signage on the racetrack, ticketing logos, event map branding and more throughout the venue.
Tickets to the 2022 Pacific Office Automation 147 are on sale now at nascarportland.com. Friday general admission is just $20, and Saturday’s price is $45. A 2-Day General Admission for both days is just $55. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. Single Day Grandstand seats are also available securing the best vantage points at PIR.
For overnight visitors to the area, Travel Portland has organized a variety of local hotel accommodations and packages at special rates incorporating some of the most well known brands to unique boutique properties. The official host hotel of the weekend is the recently updated Holiday Inn Portland-Columbia Riverfront sitting in close proximity to PIR along the scenic Columbia River. Visit the “Travel Options” page of nascarportland.com to find out more on the accommodations and offers available.
Race fans are encouraged to discover all the natural wonders and events Portland has to offer by checking out TravelPortland.com. This NASCAR Xfinity Series weekend featuring the Pacific Office Automation 147 also happens during the renowned annual Portland Rose Festival featuring an array of civic events.
Stay up to speed on NASCAR’s visit to Portland on social media all year long by following #NASCARPortland or by signing up for the E-Club on the website.
Woody Pitkat Looking to Rebound From NAPA Spring Sizzler Mechanical Issue in Call Before You Dig 81 at Stafford
When the Open Modified cars were last at Stafford Speedway for the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, hometown driver Woody Pitkat, who now calls Bellingham, MA home, looked like a contender until an on track issue after a restart sent him to the rear, eventually a mechanical issue eliminated him from the race and left him with a 24th place finish. Pitkat and the #88 Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair team will be looking to rebound from that misfortune and once again be among the contenders to win the Call Before You Dig 81 this Friday night, May 20 at Stafford.
“I’m excited to come back to Stafford as good as we were with a brand new car,” said Pitkat. “We learned a ton during the whole Sizzler® weekend and we ended up having a mechanical issue at the end of the race and you’d rather have something like that happen in a race other than “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.” We had something in the rear end let go and that caused a vibration but we figured that out and got everything fixed and the rear end is more bulletproof now than it was. I was more disappointed after we made our pit stop that I got hit in the left front and the car wouldn’t turn so I had to stop on the track and get everything reset so we ended up going to the back of the field. We’re ready to get back at it and hopefully we can unload just as good as we were and we can make some small adjustments.”
Pitkat will be bringing the same #88 car to the CBYD 81 that he ran in the Sizzler®. Despite the car being brand new to the team and the team itself being new to working with each other, Pitkat showed plenty of speed before retiring from the race.
“I expected to be good just because of the fact that the team works so well together,” said Pitkat. “We’ve put this crew together over the past couple years with Eddie Harvey and Doug Dunleavy bought the team. I also brought some people over from the 6 car that I was driving for Stan Mertz and I figured everyone would work really well together. We tested the car a few days prior to the Sizzler® and the car had a lot of speed right from the get go so that gave us a lot of confidence going to Stafford and I can only assume we’re going to get better and better.”
One variable that Pitkat and the CBYD 81 field will have to contend with will be the fact that the temperature will be somewhere in the vicinity of 20 to 30 degrees warmer than it was in April for the Sizzler®. Pitkat is going to leave the setup decisions to his crew chief Cam McDermott but he expects to once again have a fast car and be a contender for the win.
“It’s going to be different with the temperature and then going from day to night,” said Pitkat. “At the Sizzler we started in the day and then the race ended up starting in the dark where this time around we’ll be starting and finishing in the dark. I’m not sure how much the temperature difference is going to affect the car, I’ll leave that to Cam [crew chief McDermott].”
One thing Pitkat is positive about is making his car better on the longer runs than he was at the Sizzler®, where he says his car suffered from being too good too early in the run.
“We had a good car at the Sizzler® but I think our issue was the car was too good a little too early,” said Pitkat. “I don’t know if we had a shot to beat Matt [Hirshcman] or Ryan [Preece] but we definitely had a good top-5 car and maybe even a top-3 car. We learned a lot about the car and we’ll be looking to contend for more wins.”
The 4th Annual CBYD 81 is scheduled for this Friday, May 20. Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions will join the Open Modifieds in feature action. Tickets for the CBYD 81 are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the CBYD 81 are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under. Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.
For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.
Stafford Speedway PR