Speedway Digest Staff
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Dr. Dick Berggren, Shirley Muldowney, Scott Pruett, and Frank Kimmel have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
As required by the organization's bylaws, all four members received more than 65% of the votes cast by NMPA members. Biographies of the new inductees are below.
Berggren and Muldowney led the voting, receiving 84% of the votes cast. Pruett was elected with 71% of the votes cast, while Kimmel received 68%.
All four individuals are not only standouts in their chosen professions but are well respected in the motor sports community. They will be honored during the NMPA Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the annual NMPA convention in late January 2023. Additional details about the ceremony will be announced at a later date.
The NMPA Hall of Fame, which highlights all inductees and other award honorees, is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. It has been in operation since 1965.
NMPA Hall of Fame Class of 2023
Dr. Dick Berggren - From driver to legendary announcer, Berggren began his motor sports career that spanned more than four decades in 1967, racing Super Modifieds, Modifieds, stock and Sprint cars while also serving as the public address announcer at Arundel Speedway in Maine. Berggren’s love of racing led him to writing about the sport for various newspapers as well as Stock Car Racing magazine of which he became the editor. Berggren won 26 races before leaving his driving behind in 1981 when he began his run of more than two decades as a fixture on NASCAR telecasts. Berggren became familiar to viewers on ESPN while also appearing on CBS, TBS and TNN before closing his career with a 12-year stint as the lead pit reporter for Fox Sports’ NASCAR telecasts. Before retiring from his television career, Berggren founded Speedway Illustrated.
Shirley Muldowney - Known as the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” Muldowney went from street racing to becoming the first woman to earn a Top Fuel dragster license. She not only was the first woman to win a NHRA world championship, but the first person to win two and then three Top Fuel titles – 1977, 1980, 1982. Muldowney obtained her NHRA pro license in 1965, the first woman to be granted one, and claimed her first major event in 1971. Overall, she has 18 NHRA national series event victories. She also earned a IHRA championship in 1981. Upon retiring, Muldowney began operating “Shirley’s Kids,” which helps children in need in cities where drag racing is part of the community.
Scott Pruett - Pruett started his racing career at age 8, competing in karts and eventually winning 10 professional karting titles, including the Professional Karting Association World Championship in 1981. In his first full season in IMSA GTO (1986), he won the series championship and claimed it again in 1988. He also earned SCCA Trans-Am titles in 1987, 1994 and 2003. Pruett competed in 145 CART races between 1988 and 1999, recording two victories. After a brief foray in NASCAR, Pruett returned to sports car racing where he amassed 60 victories and 11 championships. Those victories include a record five 24 Hours of Daytona overall wins, a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Frank Kimmel - Kimmel made his mark in the ARCA Menards Series. He is the only 10-time champion in series history, winning a remarkable eight consecutive titles from 2000 to 2007. After claiming his first victory at Toledo Speedway in 1994, two years after earning the series rookie title, Kimmel amassed a record 80 career victories and 44 poles. He was the first ARCA driver selected to compete in the International Race of Champions in 2006.
JTG Daugherty Racing is pleased to have VELVEETA® return to the No. 47 Camaro ZL1 with Pick ‘n Save on the hood for the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America at Road America this weekend.
“We’re looking forward to having a bold presence on the No. 47 Kroger Racing Camaro with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Road America,” said Matthew Reusing, Senior Manager. Omni Shopper Marketing (Kroger) for The Kraft Heinz Company. “Velveeta is all about living ‘La Dolce Velveeta, and living your biggest, boldest most unrestrained life, always putting pleasure first.’ We are excited to bring back our bold VELVEETA® vibes to racing for friends and family to enjoy.”
VELVEETA® is known for its rich, creamy texture and is bringing the cheesy, melty goodness to the NASCAR Cup Series who has a vast number of racetracks on the schedule. The premier series transitions from the 1.33-concrete oval of Nashville Superspeedway to the four-mile (4.048), 14-turn road circuit of Road America located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
“We’re proud to have VELVEETA® on our No. 47 Camaro again,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “VELVEETA® is a household name that we’ve all grown up with that satisfies cravings. We’re fresh off of racing at Nashville Speedway (16th) and are looking for even better results at Road America with VELVEETA®.”
Stenhouse Jr. finished 12th at Road America during the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and knows there is still a lot to learn with the new car.
“We had a good finish there last year, but with the new car we’re still learning like everybody else is this year,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We know we still have a lot of work to do on our cars for road courses, but we’re hoping we can strike a good balance for this weekend with our No. 47 Pick ‘n Save / VELVEETA® Camaro.”
Live coverage from Road America of the 62-lap event on Sunday, July 3rd starts at 3 PM ET and is live on USA, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
JTG Racing PR
Shannon Babb won his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature in 1999 at the dawn of his legendary racing career. Fast forward 23 years later, he now stands alone atop the mountain as the winningest driver in Hell Tour history.
It couldn’t have been more fitting for the four-time champion, breaking through for his 101st career Summer Nationals Feature win in front of his legion of fans, friends and family at Fayette County Speedway – the same place he won his first-ever Feature as a young up-and-comer.
Last year’s celebration of a milestone 100 Summer Nationals wins was sweet, but 101 means even more.
“It knocks it out of the park, really,” said Babb, of Moweaqua, IL. “It means a ton also because we’re right here at a favorite racetrack of mine. My wife and my girls are here tonight, my in-laws and everybody was here.”
A multi-decade veteran of the sport, Babb recalls the days of battling tooth-and-nail for every spot on the track, every win, and every championship against another on of Dirt Late Model racing’s all-time greats, Billy Moyer. With the win Thursday night, he now surpasses the six-time champ for most wins in tour history.
“It blows my mind thinking about all these races,” Babb said. “We might’ve won 101, but there’s probably been 500 of them that we didn’t win that we just got our asses beat at.”
To do it, Babb first had to go through Moyer’s son, Billy Moyer Jr., sneaking past the Batesville, AR-native on the bottom as he got caught-up in lapped traffic on Lap 14 of the 50-lap main event.
From there, Babb played strong defense the rest of the race, holding off players like Moyer, Tanner English and Brian Shirley through multiple restarts and lapped traffic.
“When I got to the lapped cars, the bottom of Turns 1-2 was really good and 3-4 was a little iffy,” Babb said. “You really just don’t know where to go, and I resorted to just staying on the gas, trying to bounce off the cushion and go forward as much as I could. Use the bank a little bit.”
His biggest challenge came on the final restart with three-to-go, when English got a great launch out of Turn 4 and nearly pulled even with Babb into Turn 1. But the Moweaqua Missile held strong on the top, ripping the lip around the quarter-mile to stay ahead of English’s Riggs Motorsports #81E and secure the victory.
“I thought it was a fantastic race,” Babb said. “Tanner, little Billy [Moyer Jr.] and them guys were all over me. We were just fortunate to get to the front early and be able to hold them off.”
English finished second, less than a second behind Babb at the line, while Bobby Pierce completed a remarkable drive from the tail after blowing a tire early to finish third. Trevor Gundaker matched his season-best finish with the Hell Tour in fourth; Moyer Jr. held onto fifth.
The Summer Nationals returns to action Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY, for another $10,000-to-win showdown. If you can’t be at the track, stream it live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature 50 Laps | 00:23:17.752
1. 18-Shannon Babb; 2. 81E-Tanner English; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce; 4. 11T-Trevor Gundaker; 5. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley; 7. 17X-Michael Kloos; 8. 25-Jason Feger; 9. 14G-Joe Godsey; 10. F1-Payton Freeman; 11. 15-Christian Hanger; 12. 26M-Brent McKinnon; 13. T4-Adam Tischauser; 14. 30-Mark Voigt; 15. 16-Rusty Griffaw; 16. 23NZ-Mick Quin; 17. 14R-Jeff Roth; 18. 10-Daryn Klein; 19. 14-Paul Kuper; 20. 4D-Doug Tye; 21. 10J-Jordan Bauer; 22. 15F-Richard Frost
HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Hoffman Tops Harrison at Fayette County for Ninth Win of Season
They met once already this season in DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature action, and Thursday night’s clash of Nick Hoffman and Mike Harrison at Fayette County Speedway was another one for the record books.
The two multi-time champions won their Heat Races and rolled to the track for the Feature on the front row. At the drop of the green, Hoffman got the jump into the lead and began playing defense against Harrison’s big run on the top.
Hoffman stuck mostly to the bottom lane in the 25-lap event, taking heed from the Late Model race before the Modified Feature.
“Just watching that Late Model Feature, I judge a lot of what I do off of what those guys end up doing,” Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, said. “The Late Model race was won on the bottom, so I did the same.”
Though Harrison gave it everything the car had on the top, he was unable to catch Hoffman in the end. Hoffman cruised across the stripe for his 66th career Summit Modified victory and ninth of the season in 11 starts.
“I was more worried about Kelly Kovski and those Elite [Chassis] guys that could roll around the infield pretty well,” Hoffman said. “Kelly ended up third, Kyle [Steffens] ended up fourth, so it was a good night for us.”
The Summit Modifieds return to action Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY. If you can’t be at the track, stream all the action live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature 25 Laps | 00:11:09.356
1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 24H-Mike Harrison; 3. 10K-Kelly Kovski; 4. 8-Kyle Steffens; 5. 87Z-Zeb Moake; 6. 63-Bret Eilerman; 7. 33S-Steve Stevenson; 8. 7-Willie Gammill; 9. 88-Chris Bolyard; 10. 4M-Clint Martin; 11. 26- Anthony Carter; 12. 27-Keith Harre; 13. 71-Rayce Baker; 14. 51-Phil Bible; 15. 36-Kenny Wallace; 16. 0- Damian Kiefer; 17. 21M-Willy Myers
DIRTcar Series PR
On Sunday, July 17, David Andrews, center and co-captain for the New England Patriots, will get behind the wheel of the official Toyota Camry TRD pace car as he leads 40 of NASCAR’s best to the green flag for the Ambetter 301 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my 30th birthday,” said 29-year-old Andrews whose birthday is July 10, just one week prior to the Ambetter 301. “I’m a big NASCAR fan, but I never dreamed of driving the pace car. Leading the field to green at ‘The Magic Mile’ is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel!”
Born in Johns Creek, Ga., six-foot-three-inch Andrews will enter his eighth season with the New England Patriots this year. The two-time Super Bowl champion has been named captain five times (2017-2021) after beginning his pro career as a rookie free agent in 2015. Andrews was the starting center for a top-10 offense in each of his first four seasons and was selected to the New England Patriots 2010s All-Decade Team at center.
In 2021, Andrews served as the starting center and was named co-captain for the fifth straight year. He served as the leader of the offensive line at Houston and Dallas as the only regular starter playing both games. Andrews served a major role in the team’s season-high 184 yards rushing versus Cleveland, who entered the game ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game with 84.8.
“I’ve enjoyed watching David lead his teammates to two Super Bowl victories, and now I can’t wait to see him lead the best drivers in the world to the green flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager for New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “We’re proud to put him behind the wheel of the official Toyota Camry TRD pace car and welcome him to ‘The Magic Mile’ on July 17.”
Patriots wide receiver and All-Pro punt returner Gunner Olszewski (July 2021), safety Patrick Chung (July 2018), offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (July 2017), offensive tackle Matt Light (September 2016), linebacker Rob Ninkovich (July 2015) and wide receiver Julian Edelman (July 2014) have all served as pace car drivers, making Andrews the seventh member of the New England Patriots to get behind the wheel of the official Toyota Camry TRD pace car for a NCS race at NHMS. Other notable pace car drivers include Boston Bruins forward Chris Wagner (July 2019), Richard Rawlings of Discovery Channel’s “Fast N’ Loud” (September 2017), Dave Matthews Band bassist Stefan Lessard (July 2016), Olympic triathlete Sarah True (September 2015) and Boston Bruins legend Brad Park (September 2014).
Fans can log on to NHMS.com for tickets and more information on the weekend’s lineup of action-packed racing. Tickets for Friday Night Dirt Duels Presented by New England Racing Fuel are just $20 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Doubleheader Saturday tickets start at just $45 for adults while kids 12 and under are free. Sunday’s Ambetter 301 tickets start at just $59 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.
Keep track of all of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s events by following on Facebook (@NHMotorSpeedway), Twitter (@NHMS) and Instagram (@NHMS). Keep up with all the latest information on the speedway website (NHMS.com) and mobile app.
Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks makes his return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competition on Saturday, July 9 behind the wheel of the No. 41 Worldwide Express Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at Mid-Ohio.
“I’m glad I can help support Niece Motorsports and thrilled to be in the Worldwide Express colors. Their Silverados have been fast this year so we are going to Mid-Ohio this weekend with the mindset of not only having fun, but believing we will run well,” said Marks, who led a race-high 43 laps en route to his first career NASCAR victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 2.4-mile road course on Aug. 13, 2016. “I know how fast Carson Hocevar was at the road course in Sonoma before he had to turn over the truck to Daniel [Suárez]. I expect he’ll be just as good on the road course at Mid-Ohio.”
“We continue to look for ways to support and deepen our relationships with Niece Motorsports in the NCWTS and Trackhouse Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS),” said Worldwide Express President Rob Rose. “Both are highly focused on excellence and winning, as we are in our business. This race highlights our ability to work collaboratively to advance the sport together as teams, drivers and major sponsors. Having Justin behind the wheel will be a great event for all of us.”
Making his first national series start since September 2018, Marks has 35 NXS, six NASCAR Cup Series and 38 NCWTS starts, the latter of which includes four top-10 finishes and a pair of pole awards (Texas Motor Speedway, 2008; Dover, 2011).
“The partnerships Niece Motorsports has formed with Worldwide Express and Trackhouse Racing have allowed us to explore new opportunities this year and we are excited to have Justin in our Worldwide Express Chevrolet at Mid-Ohio,” Niece Motorsports general manager Cody Efaw remarked. “Worldwide Express’ commitment to our race teams and NASCAR as a whole makes this all possible and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship.”
“Worldwide Express’ investment in our company is not taken lightly and we are fortunate to have a partner who is always looking to expand its presence,” said Niece Motorsports owner Al Niece. “The expansion to a fifth truck this season has brought our company a great deal of success and I am excited to have a fellow team owner in Justin get behind the wheel of one of our Chevrolets.”
The O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be broadcast live on FS1 and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 9.
Niece Motorsports PR
The Camping World SRX Series and its cast of auto racing superstars return to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday, July 9th for a huge night of racing action. SRX will be joined by the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour for the 10th Running of the Rackley Roofing Masters of the Pros 150 Pro Late Model race.
Last year, NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott found himself in Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway’s Winner’s Circle. This season, 13 Superstars from various disciplines of auto racing will compete in the SRX race at Nashville. From the NASCAR Cup Series; Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, and Greg Biffle. From IndyCar; Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Paul Tracy, and Marco Andretti. From the short-tracks; Cole Williams.
Williams is a two-time Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Late Model Champion. When he won his second Championship in 2016, he joined the likes of Darrell Waltrip, CooCoo Marlin, Sterling Marlin, Bobby Hamilton, Joe Buford, Chad Chaffin, and Mike Alexander as multi-time Late Model Track Champions at the historic Fairgrounds Speedway. Cole Williams earned his SRX ride by winning a fan vote in the spring.
*An electric crowd cheered on some of the best in mostorsports last year for the SRX Series and we expect more of the same this year.
*Full driver lineup includes Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Paul Tracy, Marco Andretti, and Cole Williams.
*The newly formed Camping World SRX Series is in its second season and is dedicated to bringing back grassroots racing with some of the greatest stars in the sport
*A new winner is guaranteed this year for the second visit of the Camping World SRX Series
*Local Pro-Late Model Champion Cole Williams will get the opportunity to test his skills against some of the best as he earned his ride into the big show Saturday night
*Williams will also compete in the Rackley's Masters of the Pros 150 giving him a chance to make history and win both the Pro Late Model and SRX race in the same night
Nashville Fairgrounds PR
Macon Speedway is ready to go for Saturday night’s 95Q/Dynagraphics Firecracker 40’s presented by Decatur Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Six divisions will race with special 40 lap races for the Decatur Building Trades Big 10 Pro Late Models and BillingsleyRewards.com Big 10 Modified. A fireworks display will light up the sky toward the end of the night.
Headlining the event will be a 40-lap feature event for the TOPLESS BillingsleyRewards.com Big 10 Modifieds. The class will be running for Macon, Big 10, and national points all while running without the roof of the cars in the annual topless event. The race will pay $800 to win and $125 to start. Macon Speedway and Big 10-point leader, Rodney Standerfer, of Sullivan, IL, leads the field of Mods into town. Austin Lynn, Guy Taylor, Alan Crowder, Jarrett Stryker, and Tim Luttrell are others to watch as they fend off a hungry field of challengers.
The Decatur Building Trades Big 10 Pro Late Models are also ready for a 40-lap event paying $800 to win and $125 to start. Much like the Modifieds, one driver leads the Macon and Big Ten standings. That driver is Warrensburg, IL’s Dakota Ewing. Ewing has claimed Big 10 wins at Lincoln and Macon and will be looking for his third Saturday. Jose Parga, Blaise Baker, Rockett Bennett, Colby Eller, Dalton Ewing, and Ryan Miller are others fighting for top spots.
The DIRTcar Pro Mod class has veteran Guy Taylor, of Springfield, IL, at the top of the standings. Taylor has won four of the seven features, while Kevin Crowder sits second in points. Zach Taylor, Maxx Emerson, and Matt Milner round out the top five in points, entering Saturday’s event.
The point battle in the 51 Bistro Street Stock division is extremely close, much like last week’s exciting finish in the feature race. Terry Reed leads the standings over Bobby Beiler by just two points. Beiler finished second last week by mere inches as he made a great run on the inside lane challenging Nick Macklin for the win. Another exciting finish might be in store for Saturday’s action. Saturday’s race will be the final tuneup for the Street Stocks before next Saturday’s Bruce Dulgar Classic.
Jeremy Reed leads the points in the DIRTcar Hornet division by 30 over Tristin Quinlan. Reed has won three of the eight features this season but has had a bad luck streak as of late. Following the pair are Billy Mason, Taryn Page, and Brady Reed.
Rounding out this Saturday’s racing will be the Micros by Bailey Chassis. A lot of familiar young drivers are at the top of the standings with Aarik Andruskevitch, John Barnard, Hayden Harvey, Daryn Stark, and Collin Shain among them. The five teenage drivers have been strong all season.
At or toward the end of the racing program, a firework display will be held to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.
Pit gates open at 4:00, grandstands at 5:00, hotlaps will take the green at 6:00, and racing will begin at 7:00 PM. Grandstand admission is $18, while kids 11 and under are free.
Macon Speedway PR
Kaulig Racing PR