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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has learned quite a bit in his first full year racing in the Sprint Cup Series but he knows some lessons remain this season, especially at the circuit’s shortest track.
“I still have a lot to learn about Martinsville Speedway,” Stenhouse said when asked about his first trip to the famous half-mile track during a promotional event for Martinsville Speedway on the campus of North Carolina State University Tuesday.
Stenhouse’s initial visit to Martinsville was earlier this year. He started 20th and finished 25th. Stenhouse is a two-time Nationwide Series champion, but the series never made a stop at Martinsville in his days on that tour.
“For me, there are a lot of things I think I can do different as far as driving style. I probably overdrove the corner too much and I didn’t let the car handle the way it should have,” stated Stenhouse.
Stenhouse and his teammates at Roush Fenway Racing have scheduled three days of testing at Martinsville Speedway prior to the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger.
“Roush Fenway struggled there in the past. We will have a whole lot of effort coming into Martinsville Speedway,” added Stenhouse. “It’s an event where we want to run well.”
Stenhouse leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year standings, and is coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes. But the 25-year-old Mississippi native admits that one trip to Martinsville just doesn’t provide enough time to learn.
“I’m really looking forward to the test. We gotta get our cars a little bit better,” added Stenhouse.
Stenhouse will be sure to take plenty of notes during the test.
“I feel really comfortable on the longer tracks, Daytona and Talladega and the mile-and-a-half tracks, I’m fine,” Stenhouse explained. “But it’s the shorter tracks, especially Martinsville where I need to pick it up. That’s the reason the test is so important to me.”
Martinsville Speedway PR
Texas Motor Speedway's Monumental Announcement Monday Evening Available To Fans Via Special Internet Broadcast
Texas Motor Speedway wants to ensure that its loyal fans can watch the biggest announcement it has made since the facility opened in 1997 unfold live as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage delivers the news Monday evening from the Grand Ballroom of The Speedway Club.
Texas Motor Speedway will not only announce its 2014 season schedule, but also a monumental addition to "The Great American Speedway!" that fans can view live online Monday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT, via LiveStream on www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
"We have made some big announcements in the past, but this one surpasses them all," Gossage said. "There are so many exciting new things in store for 2014 that fans will want to be sure and tune in."
Kurt Busch has teamed up with the Armed Forces Foundation and Texas Motor Speedway for the 2nd Annual Busch Whacked on Thursday, Oct. 31. Registration is now open at www.getbuschwhacked.com.
"I'm excited to continue Busch Whacked this year to raise funds for the Armed Forces Foundation and Speedway Children's Charities," Kurt Busch, 2004 Sprint Cup Champion, said. "Last year was a lot of fun and I'm glad we could work out another challenging mud run. This year, I'm training to beat Jimmie Johnson's time!"
Busch Whacked was first held in 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway. For 2013, the cost of participation is $35 and the event will be run in three waves beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT. Last year's participants included: Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Sam Hornish Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Fox Sports 1's Matt Clark and Jeff Hammond, Miss Coors Light, Miss Sprint Cup, Fox Sports Girls, wounded service members, and many more. For more information and to register, please visit www.getbuschwhacked.com. For updates, follow the Armed Forces Foundation on Twitter @SupportAFF and the hashtag #BuschWhacked.
"A military-inspired mud run at Texas Motor Speedway is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle and to raise awareness for those suffering from the invisible wounds of war," said Patricia Driscoll, President of the Armed Forces Foundation. "I want to thank Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children's Charities for their help and dedication to our motto of 'Serving those who Serve.' With more than 600,000 veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and one veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes, we need every citizen to band together and help save our troops."
You can donate to the Armed Forces Foundation at www.armedforcesfoundation.org or by texting "AFF" to 50555 to donate $10 to the Armed Forces Foundation. Reply with YES to confirm your donation. Full Terms: mGive.org/T.
NASCAR will partner with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) through a new, dollars-per-lap donation program and five new film shorts highlighting Latino contributors to the sport.
In partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, NASCAR will donate $5 for every lap completed by a Hispanic or Latin American driver in one of the U.S. series. The drivers included in the initiative are: Cuban-American Aric Almirola, Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr., Mexican German Quiroga, Brazilian Miguel Paludo, Puerto Rican Bryan Ortiz, Mexican and Spanish-American Jack Madrid as well as Mexico-born Daniel Suarez. The funds will benefit Latino students pursuing an education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs.
“The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is excited about this opportunity to partner with NASCAR and to showcase, through film, outstanding Latinos in the sport of racing. We are pleased that NASCAR shares our commitment to higher education, while inspiring the best in each individual. And we welcome our growing partnership with NASCAR to increase scholarships for talented STEM students,” said Fidel Vargas, President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
To highlight the contributions Latinos are making to the sport both on and off the race track, NASCAR Productions partnered with Latino director Danny Hastings on a five-part series of film shorts. Hastings is best known for his music videos and documentary-style filmmaking. Aside from featuring drivers, the films also highlights industry personnel, including pit crew member Pedro Martinez, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Co-Owner Felix Sabates, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Official Kim Lopez and Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Alba Colon. One new film will premiere on NASCAR.com every week during Hispanic Heritage Month, starting with the first one, titled “The Future,” that features up-and-coming drivers in NASCAR’s regional and touring series.
“Hispanic Heritage Month not only gives us the opportunity to celebrate the contributions Latinos make on and off the track, but also to show our support for the Latino community across the nation”, said Steve Phelps, NASCAR’s chief marketing officer. “Through our partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, we hope to introduce more students to the many STEM opportunities that exist within our sport.”
Fans can join the conversation online at NASCAR.com/Español and on Twitter @VivaNASCAR.
Rev Racing is headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) to compete in the North American Power 100 on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2:30 p.m. ET, where Kyle Larson took the team to victory lane last season.
Bell and Suarez are anxious to race after both earned top-five finishes the last time out at Greenville Pickens Speedway. The second place finish marked the fourth podium finish in the last five races for Suarez, and the fifth place finish by Bell matched her best finish to date, previously at Richmond International Raceway.
Ryan Gifford (No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NTI Toyota) – Gifford who’s currently fifth in points has six top 10s in 11 starts. His season is highlighted by his first career win at Richmond. He has an average finish of 13th and a best result of fourth in six career starts at NHMS.
Bryan Ortiz (No. 4 Rev Racing Toyota) – Ortiz is anxious to return to NHMS where he finished sixth last season. The Bayamon, Puerto Rico native has one top-five and five top-10 finishes this season with a best finish of second at Virginia International Raceway.
Daniel Suarez (No. 6 Visit Acapulco Toyota) – Suarez ranks sixth in points with six top 10s finishes in 11 races. He captured his first career victory at Columbus Motor Speedway and has finished on the podium in four of the last five races. He has a best result of seventh in three starts at NHMS.
Mackena Bell (No. 21 Toyota Racing Development Toyota) – Bell finished fifth the last time out at Greenville Pickens Speedway, matching her best effort to date, a fifth place finish at Richmond earlier this season. The rookie driver has two top-five, and three top-10 finishes this season.
Our thoughts this week are with all those affected by the Tropical Storm Manuel which hit Acapulco, Mexico, as well as the victims of the Navy Yard shooting and floods in Colorado.
Practice is from 8:30-10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 20 followed by qualifying at 2 p.m. The North American Power 100 will air on Fox Sports 1, Oct. 4, 11:30 a.m. The drivers will return to the track next Friday, Sept. 27 for the Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway.
Rev Racing PR
The Granite State...Four of the five Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) drivers will be making their first start at the "Magic Mile" of New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) this weekend in the North American Power 100. With the recent cancellation of the event at Rockingham Speedway, there are now just three events left in the 2013 campaign.
Get Your Sharpies Ready...Come out to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) autograph session on Saturday morning to meet and get autographs from the rising stars of NASCAR, including five of the TSM young stars.
Brandon Jones...Brandon Jones returns to the NKNPSE after making two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). Jones turned some heads in his two NCWTS starts that came at Bristol Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway. Jones will be making his first start at NHMS this coming weekend.
"I'm really looking forward to turning some laps at New Hampshire this weekend. I feel like being in the truck for a couple weeks has really helped me learn to be more aggressive. I feel like I will be able to translate what I was able to learn there to help us secure a solid finish this weekend in the K&N car."
Kenzie Ruston...Kenzie Ruston comes into NHMS looking to make her first start at the 1.058-mile oval. Ruston is coming off a top-10 finish the last time out at Greenville Pickens Speedway. Ruston currently sits seventh in points but is only one point back of fifth. Ruston currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with three events remaining.
"New Hampshire is one of the tracks I've been looking forward to all year. I've had previous success on fast flat race tracks and New Hampshire is just that. I've never seen the track, but I'm looking forward to getting there and hopefully keeping our momentum up going into the last three races."
Ben Rhodes...Ben Rhodes is making his second-consecutive start in the NKNPSE this weekend at NHMS. Rhodes is also a rookie to the track with this marking his first visit to the "Magic Mile." Rhodes has stayed busy racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, recording five victories since August.
"While I was disappointed Rockingham was removed from the schedule a few weeks ago, I am very happy we now have the opportunity to race Loudon. My Turner Scott Motorsports team has worked hard on short notice to get the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet ready. We are using the same chassis we used at Greenville Pickens, so we are going to New Hampshire looking to race strong and hopefully battle for the victory."
Dylan Kwasniewski...Dylan Kwasniewski is coming off back-to-back wins in the NKNPSE and looking for his sixth victory of the season. Kwasniewski will be making his second career start at NHMS; last year Kwasniewski raced at NHMS when his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West team made the trek East. Kwasniewski recorded a fourth-place finish after starting 10th. Kwasniewski's team will unload a brand-new chassis this weekend for their quest of a third-straight win.
"I am pretty excited to get to New Hampshire. That is one of the few tracks on the East Series schedule that I have already raced at, so I think we'll be a little ahead of the curve. My Turner Scott Motorsports team has really been on it lately, so I think we'll have another great weekend in the Rockstar/Royal Purple Chevrolet."
Austin Dyne...Like the majority of his TSM teammates, Dyne will be making his first start at the "Magic Mile" in a stock car this weekend. However, Dyne has competed at NHMS one previous time, racing in the Global RallyCross Lites race earlier this year. Dyne and his KMC Wheels team are looking for their first top-five finish of the season.
"We've had a few weeks off, so I'm ready to get back in the KMC Wheels machine. I raced at New Hampshire earlier this year in the GRC Lites car, so it will be cool to get back and race on the oval track in an East Series car."
Moving into the top-10 in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship standings after a solid run in his last outing, third-generation driver Jesse Little is excited to make the trek to New Hampshire International Speedway and the running of the North American Power 100 on Saturday afternoon.
"I have a really good feeling (about New Hampshire)," Little said. "As a team we are determined, motivated, and hungry for a win. I think all the gains we have made this year with our setups will carry over tremendously onto the bigger tracks (Dover, another one-mile track like New Hampshire, is up next weekend).
With three races left in the season Little sees his team and the NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet as a factor in each event.
"The car we had last year was great, if it wasn't for a mechanical failure I think that we would have ended on a solid note. I feel a lot more comfortable both in the car and the feedback I give (crew chief) Kris (Bowen). I'm really look forward to this weekend."
Little adds a new sponsor for the weekend and looks to showcase their company with a solid effort, he noted.
"We have JeanSavers Company joining us beginning this weekend. They make high quality fashion accessories for jeans. I look forward to working with them and having a great showing for our team."
To run strong at New Hampshire requires a set-up that allows the car to corner well through the flat radius of the one-mile track, Little explained. Returning to a one-mile track after several short tracks means input from the driver to the crew will be a key part of success this weekend, the 16-year old added.
"Kris and I have continued to get a better understanding of the cars, I feel this will allow us to make better adjustments and have better communication."
Once the North American Power 100 wraps up it's onto Dover then a short break before the East season finale at Road Atlanta. With three East races in a 30-day span Little is eager to close out the year.
'I'm extremely excited about the next three outings. Heading into this weekend I feel good and know the team will give me a car to win.
New Hampshire and Dover are really good tracks for us and I feel that what I learned at VIR will just have me more prepared for Road Atlanta," he said.
While the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule closes out on Oct. 18 at Road Atlanta, the event will not be the last of the season for Little as he'll make his first career start with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at their season finale scheduled for Nov. 9.
Qualifying for this weekend's North American 100 is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. with the green flag set to fly Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
Jesse Little PR
Vermont veteran driver Kevin Lepage will return to the cockpit of the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 Chevrolet in Saturday’s Kentucky 300 Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway. Lepage will be competing in the car normally driven by Landon Cassill.
“It’s good to have Kevin back with us again,” said team owner Johnny Davis. “We respect his time in the sport and his experience. He adds a lot to the team.”
Lepage recently drove the 4 car to a 20th-place finish on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Practice for Saturday’s race is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and 6:30 p.m. Friday. Qualifying is set for 4:35 p.m. Saturday, with the race scheduled at 7:30 p.m.
JD Motorsports PR
Mike Wallace has some unfinished business at Kentucky Speedway.
In June’s Feed The Children 300 at the 1.5-mile track, Wallace came home with a 21st-place finish. The race, originally scheduled for 200 laps, was called after 170 because of wet weather.
Wallace, driving the 01 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, will be looking for a better run in Saturday’s Kentucky 300, the second seasonal visit for the Nationwide Series at the track.
“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted the first time around at Kentucky,” Wallace said. “We qualified 27th and were looking to get into the top 15, but we just didn’t get there. We’re looking for a better result this race.”
Practice is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and 6:30 p.m. Friday. Qualifying is set for 4:35 p.m. Saturday, with the race scheduled at 7:30 p.m.
JD Motorsports PR
This Saturday at Kentucky Speedway the #79 Corvetteparts.net Mustang returns to the track with Jeffrey Earnhardt behind the wheel for NASCAR’s Nationwide Series Kentucky 300. “The last time we raced in Richmond with this car it was funny because we had the corvette name on a Ford” said Jeffrey. “People were scratching their heads wondering if the #79 team had a decal malfunction or something. The Keens came up with the social media tag #Forvette and it was a lot of fun for everyone.” Richmond saw Jeffrey improve 10 positions from green to checkered flags.
TJ, co-owner of Keen Parts said, “We really enjoy racing with Jeffrey and see a young man with a bright future. Our customers are enjoying the partnership and we’re happy to help him gain valuable seat time as he starts his career. We look forward to this weekend’s race and another chance to watch Jeffrey drive the #79 Forvette.”
The Kentucky 300 green flag drops at 7:30pm ET with race coverage on ESPNEWS, MRN Radio and on Sirius channel 90.
Jeffery Earnhardt PR