Tuesday, Mar 21
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Three of the drivers locked into the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race enjoyed an advance look at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Tuesday, as Chris Buescher, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick participated in a Goodyear tire test before the NASCAR Cup Series returns to North Wilkesboro for the All-Star Race on May 21.

Dillon's No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Buescher's No. 17 RFK Racing Ford, and Reddick's No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota shook down the 0.625-mile track and tried different tire compounds to test tire wear and grip around Wilkesboro's storied, abrasive surface.

The trio of drivers will be among a who's-who of NASCAR luminaries attempting to capture the checkered flag in the first NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro. Tuesday's action marked the first time the 75-year-old track had hosted a Cup Series-sanctioned event since the checkered flag last flew on a Cup Series race in 1996.

CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 17 RFK RACING FORD: "To see the changes in the track (since a December 2019 cleaning for the iRacing simulation) is amazing. It's so cool to see the progress made, and the mix of the old and the new. I know the fans are going to love it. I imagine everybody's going to be pumped to come out here, and you're going to have a very loyal fan base for this track, for a long time. It's going to put on a good race, too. It was a lot of fun in the race car. We got to make several hundred laps in our race car, went through different tire options and learned a lot. It's a track that's rough around the edges. It's got a ton of character."

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING CHEVROLET: "It's so cool. There's so much history here. The track's still the old track. It just teaches you short-track racing (techniques), being easy on that gas pedal and trying to take care of the rear tires. We had a blast and I can't wait to come back. Just finally getting here was cool. This place was dormant forever and now it's alive, and you can feel the energy and the momentum that's building. It's going to be electric (in May). It's going to have that feel they had in the 1990s here, when they were packed out and fans were getting to enjoy a race near home. It's rough out there. It's gritty. It's North Wilkesboro."

TYLER REDDICK, NO. 45 23XI RACING TOYOTA: "When you're on the race track, the surface, the elevation, it feels really old-school. It's very much different from a lot of the race tracks that we have on the circuit, and I really enjoyed it. We didn't do any sim work. We went in with the team's best guess, I came in with an open mind and we went about taking on the day. I just really enjoyed making our 20- and 50-lap runs today. You really have to respect the race track and think long-term (with tire conservation). For me, more than anything, just the energy that will be here, I'm really excited to be a part of it."

NASCAR All-Star Race week will include six days or nights of entertainment including:

  • Tuesday, May 16: ASA Stars National Series 
  • Wednesday, May 17: CARS Pro and Late Model Stocks 
  • Friday, May 19: NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck and Cup Series practice; Concerts by Midland and Chase Rice 
  • Saturday, May 20: NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series qualifying and Tyson 250; NASCAR Cup Series qualifying 
  • Sunday, May 21: Dierks Bentley pre-race concert; NASCAR All-Star Open and NASCAR All-Star Race 

Schedules are tentative and subject to change. Specific on-track schedules and the All-Star Race format will be released at a later date.

NASCAR All-Star Race weekend ticket packages for all Friday/Saturday/Sunday activities including NASCAR Cup and CRAFTSMAN Truck Series practice and qualifying sessions; Midland, Chase Rice and Dierks Bentley concerts; NASCAR All-Star Open; NASCAR All-Star Race and Tyson 250 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race are on sale. Single-day tickets for All-Star Friday presented by Raymer Oil and Saturday’s Tyson 250 are also on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.northwilkesborospeedway.com. Single-day May 16-17 late model race tickets will be on sale in March.

Fans can connect with North Wilkesboro Speedway and get the latest news regarding NASCAR All-Star week and North Wilkesboro Speedway by following on Twitter and Instagram or becoming a Facebook fan.


Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) distributed $40,000 Tuesday at North Wilkesboro Speedway to four area nonprofits making a direct impact on the lives of Wilkes County area children in need. SCC officials hosted representatives from the following charities, each of which received a $10,000 grant from 2022 fundraising efforts to support their causes. 

●       Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC)

●       Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home

●       H.O.P.E. Ministries

●       SafeSpot Advocacy Center of Wilkes

The recipient organizations serve hundreds of area children facing challenges ranging from abuse and residential care needs to childhood food insecurity and clothing needs. 

“We are excited to make an impact in the lives of the children across Wilkes County through Speedway Children’s Charities,” said SCC Managing Director Jessica Fickenscher, who also serves as the executive director of the upcoming NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. “Each of the organizations we are presenting grants to works to improve the lives of children in the community. They are the boots on the ground getting the hard work done, and we couldn’t be prouder to assist their missions.”

Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home, one of the SCC grant recipients, provides residential, foster and adoption services. 

“It is an honor to be associated with the speedway and SCC, as the return to Wilkes County is such a blessing to the community and economy,” Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home Associate Director Sherry Reeves said. “This contribution will specifically enable us to help young adults who are transitioning towards independence. We look forward to our partnership and thank SCC for investing in our youth.”

SCC raised the donations during 2022 through individual donations, community sponsorship and a unique Laps for Charity event last August where fans drove their personal cars on the historic short track.

Ahead of the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race, fans and community sponsors will have the chance to help SCC make a difference through a number of new fundraising initiatives, all of which will continue to support nonprofits serving children in need throughout the region. 

SCC Events during NASCAR All-Star Week:

●       May 15, Bootleggers Cup Golf Tournament at Oakwoods Country Club 

●       May 18, Cornhole Tournament presented by Wilkes Custom Printing in downtown North Wilkesboro

●       May 16, 17,19, 20 and 21: At-track 50/50 raffles and golf cart fan-assistance donations

“Supporters and dedicated volunteers are vital to our efforts to make a meaningful impact in the community,” Speedway Children’s Charities' Taylor Kirby said. “As we continue to invest in the lives of children in Wilkes County, we are excited to continue to build relationships with our community partners, who have been phenomenal in support of SCC and our mission of helping kids in need.”

In 2022, SCC distributed nearly $2.9 million across the country to charities that directly impact children in need. Since its inception in 1982, SCC has awarded an excess of $65 million to nonprofit organizations.

For more information on Speedway Children’s Charities to learn how to volunteer, donate, or upcoming events visit www.speedwaycharities.org.

Fans can connect with Speedway Children’s Charities by following on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


'Chase'n Checkers:
  • Chase Purdy will look to build off the momentum of registering back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time in his career as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to Circuit of Americas (COTA) for the fourth race of the season. Purdy finished eighth in the second race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and most recently finished seventh in the series last stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 23-year-old driver enters this week’s race at COTA eighth in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings, 34 tallies behind points leader Christian Eckes.
  • In his two prior Truck Series starts at Circuit of the Americas, Purdy has compiled an overall average finish of 21.5, achieving a track-best 16th-place finish in last year’s event. His best career finish on a road course in the Truck Series was a 13th-place finish in last year’s race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • The Mississippi native is in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and first with KBM. He enters Saturday’s race having totaled seven top-10 finishes and 18 laps led across his 55 career Truck Series starts. He posted a career-best sixth-place result in 2021 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Purdy finished 16th in the Truck Series standings in 2022 after competing in 22 of the 23 events. He posted two top-10 finishes and nine laps led, with a season-best finish of seventh coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October.
  • Purdy will be looking to etch his mark in the KBM historical archives this weekend at COTA as he looks to collect the organization’s 100th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory. KBM-owner driver Kyle Busch collected the KBM’s record-extending 99th-career victory with his dominant victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway leaving his organization one shy of the century mark. William Byron collected KBM’s record-breaking 51st Truck Series victory in July of 2016. Overall, 18 different drivers have won at least one race behind the wheel of a KBM truck, led by Busch’s 47. Four drivers rank second on the list with seven victories: Byron, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek. Two of KBM’s wins have come on road courses: Busch at Sonoma Raceway last year and Erik Jones at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015.
  • Since becoming a full-time entry for KBM in 2015, the No. 4 truck has captured both of KBM’s driver championships and totaled 18 wins with five different drivers. The number has found victory lane for KBM in six of its seven seasons, excluding 2018. John Hunter Nemechek piloted the No. 4 to seven wins in his two seasons behind the wheel (2021 and 2022) before moving into a full-time ride in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2023.
  • Jimmy Villeneuve is atop the pit box for Purdy and the No. 4 Chevrolet team this season. Prior to being promoted to crew chief for the 2023 season, Villeneuve served as a Truck Chief at KBM since the 2017 season and in that role was a part of 18 wins, a driver’s championship with Christopher Bell in 2017 and the 2019 owner’s championship with the No. 51 team. Prior to joining KBM the New Hampshire native served as a truck chief at Athenian Motorsports in 2015 when the team won with John Wes Townley at Las Vegas. He was promoted to crew chief five races into the 2016 season. Saturday’s race will be Villeneuve’s first calling the shots for a race at Circuit of the Americas.
  • Bama Buggies, your one-stop shop for all the biggest names in powersports and utility vehicles, will be the primary sponsor on Purdy’s No. 4 Chevrolet Saturday and for the majority of the events on the 2023 schedule. They are Central Alabama’s powersports experts, serving as an authorized dealer of Polaris, Slingshot, and Seadoo. 
Chase Purdy, Driver Q&A:
Do you enjoy road course racing?
“I used to hate it, but now I actually kind of like it -- COTA specifically. COTA is probably my favorite road course that I get to race and that I have raced. I’m actually really excited to get to Austin this week and to race COTA.”
What do you think not having stage breaks will do to the flow of the race on Saturday?
“I think it will affect people’s strategy -- when they come to pit road and where they want to position themselves for the end of the race. Kind of going back to how it was years ago when you didn’t have stage breaks and you just ran until there was an actual caution or the end of the race. I think there will be a lot of green flag stops, I think that opens the door for that. Just being mindful of the rules changes this weekend and positioning yourself to where you can be there at the end of the race without having stage breaks.”
Evaluate how your team has performed over the first three races.
“I think we are obviously figuring out how to put together races and run consistently up front. We only want to get better from here. I think that if we can continue to get better every week and just get a little bit more at a time, I think one of these days we can finish one off and lock ourselves into the playoffs. Then we can concentrate on continue to have consistent finishes and run strong every week.”
Chase Purdy Career Highlights:
  • Across 55 career Truck Series starts, has produced 18 laps led and seven top-10 finishes. Posted career-best sixth-place result at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in 2021.
  • Finished 16th in Truck Series championship standings in 2022.
  • Finished fourth in the 2018 ARCA Menard’s Series championship standings after recording 84 laps led, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.
  • Earned the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie of the year honors and finished fourth in the championship standings after posting four poles, 200 laps led, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes across 14 starts.
  • Won the prestigious Snowflake 100 Pro Late Model race at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in Dec. of 2018.
Chase Purdy's No. 4 Chevrolet Silverado RST:
KBM Notes of Interest:


No. 20 ROMCO Equipment Toyota GR Supra News and Notes

  • NEMECHEK AT COTA: Saturday’s race at Circuit of the Americas will be John Hunter Nemechek’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the 3.41-mile road course. He has made two starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with a best finish of second last season. The North Carolina native started and finished inside the top 12 on both occasions.
  • NEMECHECK ON ROAD COURSES: Nemechek’s best finish in five career Xfinity Series starts on road courses is a seventh-place result at the Charlotte ROVAL in 2019. In 11 Truck Series road course races, Nemechek has one win (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2016), five top-five finishes, seven top-10s, and 37 laps led.
  • ATLANTA RECAP: Nemechek continued his solid start to the season with an eighth-place finish last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After starting second, he ran amongst the lead group in stage one. A mix of pit strategies dropped Nemechek further back during stage two. He was in the top 10 late in the segment before he spun while avoiding a multi-car accident on lap 78. During the final stage, he climbed back up to second before being shuffled back in the closing laps. His finish has him as one of only three drivers with top-10s in each of the first five races this season.
  • ROMCO EQUIPMENT: Nemechek’s No. 20 Toyota GR Supra will feature ROMCO Equipment as the primary sponsor for Saturday’s race at Circuit of the Americas. The Dallas-based company serves the earthmoving, ground engaging and material handling markets by providing a full line of construction and mining equipment. ROMCO and Nemechek have a longstanding partnership dating back to 2017. The combo has proven to be a strong one that has many highlights, including Nemechek’s Xfinity Series win for Joe Gibbs Racing at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2021. ROMCO Equipment will also be the primary sponsor for Nemechek and the No. 20 team at Texas later this season.
  • JGR AT COTA: Joe Gibbs Racing owns one win and two pole awards in Xfinity Series competition at Circuit of the Americas. In the inaugural event at the track in 2021, Kyle Busch won the pole, led 35 of 46 laps and won the race driving JGR’s No. 54 Supra. Last season, Ty Gibbs also won the pole for JGR.
  • TUNE IN: Coverage of this weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, at 5 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, PRN Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


John Hunter Nemechek, Driver of the No. 20 ROMCO Equipment Toyota GR Supra

What do you expect going to COTA this weekend?

“Our team is excited about this weekend. It’s our first opportunity to see kind of where we stack up on the road courses this year. With eight road courses on the schedule, these tracks are going to be very important, especially when it comes to the regular season points. I feel like I’ve done pretty well at COTA in the Truck Series the last few years and we’ve spent a lot of time in the sim, so I have a lot of confidence going into the weekend and feel like this can be a good race for our 20 team.”


Nemechek NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Stats at Circuit of the Americas





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Nemechek 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series Season Stats





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Nemechek NASCAR Xfinity Series Career Stats





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Car IQ Inc., a leader in vehicle payment solutions, is teaming up with USAC to sponsor the "The Fab Four" race competition that celebrates the accomplishments of female drivers in racing. The Fab Four seeks to shine a light on the extensive talent of young female drivers and provide them with a stepping stone to higher success within the racing industry.
The first of its kind, The Fab Four competition will determine the top female drivers within all of circle track racing. Women drivers competing across USAC will have the opportunity to put their rivalries to the test in this cross-series competition. The winning driver will receive a $10,000 cash prize and an invitation to an advanced series test session with premier Porsche Cup team, MDK Motorsports.
Open to any female driver from the NOS Energy National Midget Series, AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series, or USAC National Silver Crown Series, The Fab Four competition begins on April 21, 2023 at the National Midget Series kick off race and runs through November 25, 2023. The top four drivers will be selected based on their average feature finishing positions within their respective series and invited to compete in The Fab Four finals competition beginning on July 11, 2023. The winner of The Fab Four competition will be announced on November 25th at the Turkey Night Grand Prix in Ventura, California, which will be broadcast live on FloRacing.
“Our team is proud to be the sponsor of The Fab Four competition that will highlight the accomplishments of many talented female drivers," said Sterling Pratz, CEO of Car IQ. “Our goal is to support these women in reaching the next level of their racing careers. USAC is the largest and most diverse motorsports group in the country and has birthed the success of many USAC national winners such as Tony Stewart, Christopher Bell, Kasey Kahne and more. We look forward to showcasing the skills of these female drivers and helping them achieve similar success.”
“We are proud to introduce The Fab Four competition, which provides female drivers with a unique opportunity to showcase their racing skills and earn recognition for their talent and determination,” said Kevin Miller, President and CEO of USAC. “USAC is pleased to be collaborating with Car IQ for this competition. We believe that by offering a platform for women to compete and shine, we can inspire future generations of female racers and help create a more equal playing field in the exciting and dynamic racing industry."

Factory Motor Parts (FMP) and its FVP brand, is proud to announce an expansion of its partnership with Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport (JAR) for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity season. This marks a continued relationship with the team that dates to the 2019 season, but a first on the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro with NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of The Year contender Parker Retzlaff.

Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport is a well-established team that has been competing in NASCAR since 2018. With a focus on hard work, dedication, and performance, the team has built a reputation for excellence on and off the track. FMP recognizes these qualities and is excited to support the team as they compete in the 2023 Xfinity NASCAR season.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport for the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity season," said Dave Schumacher, Director of Marketing "Their group of partners aligns with the FMP family and the FVP brand. We're confident that our partnership will help us both achieve great things on and off the track."

“As our team continues to grow each year, my gratefulness for partners like FMP and their FVP brand continues to grow,” said team partner Jordan Anderson. “They see the value that their involvement in motorsports provides and the opportunities that exist in the business-to-business space. Our entire organization is proud to carry their colors, and we hope to deliver them some great results both on and off track as the 2023 rolls on.”

Team partner John Bommarito was equally excited. “Our entire Bommarito Automotive Group has relied on the excellent products and service that FMP delivers to our entire line up of dealerships for years. The synergy that exists to partner our race team up with the competitive spirit of FMP was an equal opportunity for us to see this relationship continue to grow.”

FVP will be featured on the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro SS, as well as on the hauler, pit box, driver suit, and team apparel. The partnership will also include promotional activities, social media campaigns, and other marketing initiatives to raise awareness of both FVP and Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport.

For more information about FVP and Jordan Anderson Racing, visit their websites at –


Jake Andreotti turned the heads of many with his performances on the west coast late last season.
Now, the Castro Valley, Calif. native plans to have the same effect nationwide as he takes his talents on the road with the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship trail in 2023 to compete for Rookie of the Year honors and a series title.
The 20-year-old will compete full-time on the USAC National Midget circuit this coming season with car owner Tom Malloy and crew chief Jerome Rodela in a two-car, full season effort as a teammate to upstart Ohioan Jacob Denney.
Andreotti, who works as a realtor during the offseason, has captured a pair of USAC Western States Midget victories over the past two seasons, but his ultimate highlight came in winning Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors in 2022 with a strong fourth place finish during the Turkey Night Grand Prix at California’s Ventura Raceway.
It was that particular performance as well as a strong showing in all seven of his starts on the November 2022 California USAC National Midget swing that propelled him into consideration for an opportunity to race full-time on the tour, a whirlwind turn of events in just a couple month span for Andreotti as he recalled.
“It really came together, and caught me off guard, after the west coast swing,” Andreotti remembered. “I feel like we performed really well competing against national talent and equipment. I got the call about two weeks later, asking if I would run for them at the Chili Bowl. Of course, hell yeah I would! After my qualifying night, Jerome offered me a chance to run the whole USAC National tour and it almost brought me to tears. This is everything I’ve been pushing for ever since I first jumped into a midget. Jerome definitely saw the drive that I know that I have, and I’m really honored to have this opportunity.”
Like Malloy and Rodela, Andreotti is California-based, and they have their own way of doing things successfully, operating just outside the standard trends of the day. It’s an aspect that Andreotti not only respects but also relates to.
“Being with a team like Malloy and Jerome’s, they run different chassis (King) and engines (Ed Pink Toyota), and just do their own thing,” Andreotti explained. “That’s the same kind of thing my dad and I did growing up. We tried to figure it out by ourselves instead of riding the wave of what everyone else does. This is the perfect combination for me, and I feel like it’s going to be a great year.”
Andreotti regularly races a winged sprint car on the west coast and still plans on competing in the discipline between USAC National Midget dates. His experience mostly consists of Golden State dirt ovals, which means the bulk of his midget racing in 2023 will take place at venues that he’s never seen before outside of watching on FloRacing.  When posed the question of what he’s most looking forward to on the tour, Andreotti stated, “everything.”
“I’ve never been to any of the tracks, so I’m definitely in for a treat, to say the least,” Andreotti acknowledged. “With this team, I know we can do it, and Jerome told me we’re going for the championship; that’s the whole point of this. We’re not here to mess around or play games. That’s what I wanted to hear and I’m ready for it. I definitely feel I can perform to what the whole team wants to do, but that’s not really the concern for me. The main concern is to learn the tracks quick enough, tracks like Eldora, Kokomo and Bloomington, the world-renowned places that I’ve only dreamed of racing at.”
Unlike in past years, this won’t be a solo go for Andreotti. This season, he’ll have a teammate to work alongside on the Malloy team in Jacob Denney, a 2022 first-time USAC National Midget feature winner who finished eighth in series points a year ago and whom Andreotti can also learn from as he takes on the challenge of a full season at an array of new tracks.
“I think teammates are absolutely huge,” Andreotti exclaimed. “It’s a huge factor in learning how the track’s going and the different driving styles that come along with it, knowing how the track is on the top, the bottom and all that. Jacob is a great guy, and at the Chili Bowl, we bonded really well, so I’m really looking forward to racing with Jacob all year long. I feel like I can learn a lot from him since he’s already won a national race and has run all those big tracks. I’m really thankful and happy I have a teammate and I’m not jumping into the water by myself.”
Denney echoed Andreotti’s sentiments and looks forward to teaming up in the “Jake & Jacob” duo to chase a championship in the coming season.
“He’s really good,” Denney said of Andreotti. “Out west, he did amazing, and when we were teammates at the Chili Bowl, we meshed pretty well.  I’m looking forward to working with him throughout the year.”
It's been quite a ride for Andreotti to reach this point in his career. He didn’t exactly come from a racing family, per se, outside of his father doing a bit of bracket racing on the drag strips. However, at 4.5 years old, Andreotti recalled his life changing in an instant when he visited a quarter midget track with his dad. After seeing it firsthand, his dad asked him if it looked fun. Young Jake was sold.  The very next weekend, his dad surprised him with a new quarter midget in the garage.
Andreotti competed on the quarter midget circuits between the age 5-10, then hopped in a micro sprint which he raced regularly from age 10-16. At 16, he made the biggest move of his career to that point, climbing in a winged sprint car for Keith Day Trucking. A couple years later, a most unexpected, unplanned turn set Andreotti on a new course in his career.
“We were never planning to get into the midgets, honestly,” Andreotti admitted. “We bought an engine heater from (USAC Western States Midget car owner Pete Davis), who owns Hot Head Engine Heaters. He told us we could just use the engine heater and then contact him later for payment and just see if we liked it. (Pete) called my dad one day and my dad asked Pete what he was up to. Pete said he was going out to Antioch (Calif.) Speedway to test the midget. My dad said, ‘oh, well, Jake’s always wanted to try a midget.’ Pete responded with, “well, have him come out and try it.’ That’s how I got into a midget for the first time. It was not planned at all, and right from there, this is what I wanted to do.”
Now, another opportunity of a lifetime has presented itself to go national, and Andreotti and his family couldn’t be prouder.
“My whole family has been so supportive of this,” Andreotti stated. “My parents, both my sisters, my mom and dad, they were all in tears when I told them that Jerome had offered the full-time ride. Nothing’s holding me back. I’m not intimidated by the national guys. I’ve just got to compete at their level and learn how hard they drive and the different moves to make. At the end of the day, racing is just a high speed chess game. If I can play my cards right, get going, be aggressive and make the moves that need to be taken, I feel like we’re going to have a really good shot at the championship.”
The 2023 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season kicks off on April 21-22 at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway for the Kokomo Grand Prix.

RFK Advance | COTA

Tuesday, Mar 21

COTA Event Info:
Track Info:
Circuit of the Americas, 3.426-mile road course
Sunday, March 26
3:30 p.m. ET
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Austin, Texas
68 laps, 231.88 miles, Stages: 15-15-38
PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Weekend Schedule:
Friday: 2:05 p.m. ET, Practice (No TV)
11:30 a.m. ET, Qualifying (FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Sunday: 3:30 p.m. ET, Race (FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

6 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Matt McCall
Wyndham Rewards

17 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Scott Graves
Fifth Third Bank

  • As part of the Fueled by Fifth Third Program, Crunch Fitness will ride on the decklid of the No. 17 this weekend at COTA. Crunch Fitness is best known of its colorful personality and world-class group fitness classes. Crunch embraces a no judgments philosophy. This means positivity, inclusivity, and tons of fun for everyone.
  • Crunch is known for its innovative group fitness programming and will offer a wide range of classes every week including BodyWeb with TRX, Zumba, Cardio Tai Box, Yoga Body Scult, Fat Burning Pilates and more in the gym’s group fitness studio.
  • Crunch is all about YOU:
    • You get more value per dollar at Crunch than any other brand in the industry
    • Memberships start at $9.99 per month
    • No long term contracts
    • Opened and staffed 24/7

Pace Laps:

  • The Cup Series heads to the first of six road courses races this season as COTA, the 20-turn, nearly 3.5-mile circuit, hosts the NCS for the third time.
  • The weekend schedule again features a rare, full practice session as a 50-minute practice is slated for Friday. NASCAR also implemented new rule changes at road courses for 2023 with the following going into effect for the first time this weekend: stage break cautions have been eliminated with stage points still being awarded to drivers at the predetermined stage end lap. The field will not be slowed by the green-checkered flag indicating a stage break.
  • It’s a trip home for Chris Buescher as his hometown of Prosper, Texas, sits 230 miles from the Austin area. Brad Keselowski enters the weekend in search of his first-ever win on a road course.
  • Jack Roush has 15 road course wins including five in the Cup Series.
  • Buescher has finished inside the top-10 in the last five road course events and last season had an average finish of ninth at those tracks.


Keselowski at COTA
Starts: 2
Wins: --
Poles: --

  • Keselowski makes his third start at COTA this weekend and 38th Cup start on a road course. He finished 14th a season ago in Texas, and ran 19th in the series’ first race on the 3+ mile circuit.
  • In road course action in his Cup career, Keselowski has 11 top-10s and seven finishes inside the top five with a 15.9 average finish. He has multiple second-place finishes, all at Watkins Glen, and last year had a best road course run of 10th at Sonoma.
  • Keselowski has a 15.4 average starting position on road courses.


Buescher at COTA
Starts: 2
Wins: --
Poles: --

  • Buescher makes his third start at COTA on Sunday and 27th Cup start on a road course. He finished 13th in the first-ever race there in 2021 that was shortened by rain, and ran 21st last season in his home state of Texas.
  • Overall in road course racing in his Cup career, Buescher has seven top-10s, three top fives and an average finish of 15.1.
  • Buescher has five-straight top-10 finishes on road courses dating back to last season. He finished sixth at the ROVAL last fall, ninth at Watkins Glen, 10th at the Indy Road Course, sixth at Road America and second at Sonoma.
  • Buescher has an average starting position of 18.1 on road courses and last season started inside the top-10 in three of the six road course races.


RFK Historically on Road Courses
Cup Wins: 5 (Mark Martin, 1993-94-95, Watkins Glen; Mark Martin, 1997, Sonoma; Carl Edwards, 2014, Sonoma)

  • RFK on the Road: As an organization, RFK has made 244 starts on road courses in the Cup Series with five wins, 85 top-10s and 40 finishes inside the top five with a 17.5 average finish.
  • Martin Goes Three-Straight in N.Y.: NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin is responsible for four of Jack Roush’s road course wins all-time, including three-straight at Watkins Glen from 1993-95. Martin dominated the three years, leading a combined 183 laps, and won all three from the pole. He also won once in Sonoma, in 1997, after also starting from the point to lead 69 of the 74 laps.
  • Edwards Victorious Four Times, at Four Different Road Courses: Carl Edwards also visited victory lane for Jack Roush at Sonoma, driving to the win in 2014 after starting fourth. In Xfinity action, Edwards was victorious at WGI in 2012, Road America in 2010, and Montreal in 2009. In the 2012 event in New York, current crew chief Scott Graves was atop the box for one of his two Xfinity wins all-time on road courses.
  • Buescher, Graves Former Road Course Winners: In Buescher’s first full-time Xfinity season in 2014, he and Graves found victory lane at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August, which also fell on August 16. Buescher led 25 laps that day in the No. 60 entry for Roush.


RFK Road Course Wins

1993-1   Martin  WGI-Cup

1994-1   Martin  WGI-Cup

1995-1   Martin  WGI-Cup

1997-1   Martin  Son-Cup

2014-1   Edwards Son-Cup

2012-1   Edwards WGI-NXS

2010-1   Edwards RA-NXS

2009-1   Edwards Mon-NXS

2014-1   Buescher Mid-O NXS

1998-1   Ruttman WGI-Truck

2000-1   Biffle     WGI-Truck

1997-1   Ruttman Top-Truck

1999-1   Bliss       Top-Truck

1997-1   Ruttman Son-Truck

1999-1   Biffle     Port-Truck


Last Time Out & Where They Stand
Atlanta: Brad Keselowski led the second-most laps and had the lead at the white flag in Sunday’s race at Atlanta but finished second to Joey Logano. Chris Buescher had one of the fastest cars in the field but was caught up in a multi-car incident at lap 189 ending his day early.

Points Standings (6: 5th, 17: 13th): Keselowski sits just 17 points out of first entering the weekend in fifth, while Buescher is 13th with less than a 20-point gap separating him from the ninth spot.

By the Numbers on Road Courses

Race      Win       T5           T10         Pole       Laps       Led        AvSt      AvFn     Miles

                    244         5              40           85           0              22730    585         18.6        17.5        52210.1

                    111         4              18           40           0              7565       188         14.7        16.5        20414.0

               27           6              13           17           0              1784       114         9.3          9.7          3874.1

382         15           71           142         0              32079    887         16.5        16.7        76498.2



  • Race: Pit Boss 250
  • Date: Saturday, March 25
  • Time: 5:00PM ET | 4:00PM CT
  • Track: Circuit of the Americas
  • Distance: 46 laps / 156.86 miles
  • Stage Duration:
  • Stage 1: 14 laps, ends Lap 14
  • Stage 2: 16 laps, ends Lap 30
  • Final Stage: 16 laps, ends Lap 46
  • Broadcasting: FS1 | Performance Racing Network | SiriusXM NASCAR Ch. 90
  • Practice (FS1)
  • Date: Friday, March 24
  • Time: 6:30 PM EST | 5:30PM CT
  • Qualifying (FS1)
  • Date: Friday, March 24
  • Time: 7:00PM EST | 6:00PM CT
  • Format: Group A&B | Multi-Vehicle | Two Rounds
Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Top-5's: 0
Top-10's: 0
Best Start: N/A
Best Finish: N/A
Starts: 2
Wins: 0
Top-5's: 0
Top-10's: 0
Best Start: 23rd (Chase - 2022)
Best Finish: 19th (Chase - 2022)
  • Kaz Grala will make his NXS Circuit of the Americas (COTA) debut in the Pit Boss 250 on Saturday.
  • Grala has 3 NASCAR National Touring Series starts at COTA including one NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) starts.
  • Grala gathered a second-place finish at COTA in the NCTS in 2021.
  • Outside of his NASCAR career, Grala has two pole positions and two wins in the World Racing League at COTA.
  • Fire Dept. Coffee (FDC) will serve as the primary partner for Grala and the 26 team for 10 races throughout the 2023 season. For more information, visit: www.firedeptcoffee.com.
  • FDC's primary schedule is as follows:
  • February 25 – Auto Club Speedway (P13)
  • March 4 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway (P23)
  • March 11 – Phoenix Raceway (P34)
  • March 25 – Circuit of the Americas
  • May 13 – Darlington Raceway
  • May 27 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 3 – Portland International Raceway
  • June 10 – Sonoma Raceway
  • July 1 – Chicago Street Course
  • July 29 – Road America
"COTA should be a good place for us to turn our luck around for the season. We’ve had speed every week, but we have had things out of our control affect our finish. Everyone at Sam Hunt Racing has continued to push and work as hard as they can to get results, so it would feel really good to finally deliver for them this weekend. I feel like COTA is one of my best tracks. I’ve won a couple sports car races there, battled for the win in Trucks, and even ran with the top guys in Cup last year. Hopefully we can put our Fire Dept. Coffee Supra up front and gather some points."
-- Kaz Grala, Driver of the No. 26 Fire Dept. Coffee GR Supra

Stafford Speedway has announced that hometown company McKinney Construction will return to the track’s contingency program for the 2023 season.  McKinney Construction will provide a weekly $150 bonus to the 2nd place finisher of each SK Modified® feature as well as a $150 bonus to each SK Light 2nd place finisher.  The bonuses boost the 2nd place weekly payouts to $1,275 for the SK Modifieds® and $400 for the SK Lights.

“The Arute’s have done a lot for the town of Stafford over the years and my family has been here in Stafford since 1741 so we’ve been in town for as long as anyone and we appreciate everything the track does for the town,” said Larry McKinney of McKinney Construction.  “We look forward to forming and maintaining a long-term relationship with the track and the contingency program.”

Owned and operated by Larry McKinney, McKinney Construction is located on Main Street in Stafford Springs, CT. Specializing in a variety of projects for municipalities, hospitals, chain stores, supermarkets, and more, McKinney can tackle your construction needs. For more information on McKinney Construction contact them at 860-680-2757 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

McKinney Construction will also be seen as a sponsor on the SK Modified® and Open Modified cars of Todd Owen, the SK Light car of Amanda West, and the #88 Open Modified of Woody Pitkat.

“In addition to our contingency sponsorship, we’re going to be helping sponsor Amanda West in the SK Lights, Woody Pitkat in the Open Modifieds, and Todd Owen in both the SK Modified® and Open Modified divisions,” said McKinney.  “We’re looking forward to an exciting season of racing.”

The first McKinney Construction contingency bonuses will be paid during the 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® Weekend set for April 29-30.  The NAPA Spring Sizzler® kicks off on Saturday, April 29, and will consist of two 40-lap NAPA Duel qualifying races for the Open Modified division. The 40-lap races will each pay $3,500 to win and will set the field for Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler®. The American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models will also make their return to Stafford Speedway on April 29th with a 75-lap feature with over 40 cars expected for the race.  Limited Late Model, Street Stock, and Vintage All-Star divisions will complete Saturday’s racing program.

Order 51st NAPA Spring Sizzler® Tickets

Sponsor a NAPA Spring Sizzler® Lap

Sunday, April 30th will play host to the $20,000 to win 51st NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®.  Filling out Sunday’s racing card will be qualifying and feature racing for the SK Modified®, SK Light Modified, and Late Model divisions along with last chance qualifiers for the Spring Sizzler®.

For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Stafford Speedway PR

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