Wednesday, Oct 04
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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After two consecutive weekends of contending performances at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch and the Furniture Row Racing team will take their momentum to the challenging all-concrete Dover International Speedway, site of Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race – the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
Busch, who posted top-five finishes in the Sprint All-Star Race (5th) and Coca-Cola 600 (3rd) along with notching front row starting positions in the past three races, feels the Denver-based, single-car team is starting to hit a new stride as the NASCAR season heads into the summer months.
“We’re hitting on some sweet spots right now which has been evident with the speed in our Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet,” said Busch. “Though we’ve been running up front and leading laps we haven’t quite been able to put together that perfect race which is needed to take us to Victory Lane. We were in position the past two weekends in Charlotte but didn’t close the deal.”
With 14 races until the Chase playoff begins, Busch is a catchable 32 points out of the coveted 10th position.
“There are scenarios out there where we can make the Chase,” stated Busch. “The bottom line is that we need to continue the way we’ve been running and avoid mistakes and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We’ve already had too many finishes in the 30s.”
Busch’s season to date includes three top-fives and four top-10s. The three top-fives is a season record for Furniture Row Racing and the third-place result last weekend in Charlotte was the team’s best finish of the season.
Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, has scored 24 career wins with the last one coming at the Dover Monster Mile in October 2011.
“Dover is a fun track to drive, you're always on that edge and when you're fast there it feels extra fast because of how close you have to cut it on corner exit and not hit the wall,” explained Busch. “It’s the Monster Mile for a reason – the track can chew up cars and spit them out. And it’s because of the tough transitions into the high-banked corners. It’s like you literally jump down into the corner and then jump back up out of the corner onto the straightaway. Those points of the track are the toughest part – the transition from straightaway to corner.”
In 25 career races at Dover, Busch has one win, six top-fives, eight top-10s and 418 laps led.

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announced today a partnership with Parade Media Group (Parade). Parade is completely rebranding its print and digital assets, which are set to debut June 2 on the magazine and its website. The program will include primary sponsorship on the No. 1 Chevrolet SS of former Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.

Through this integrated partnership, EGR offers an exclusive opportunity for Parade to capture the No. 1 motorsports television audience on a day that their new look is released in over 670 newspapers nationwide to more than 59 million readers in print and over 115 million across platforms. The No. 1 Parade Chevrolet SS will be shown on page two of the magazine with a tune-in for the race.

Notes of Interest:

  • · The cover on the Sunday, June 2 edition of the re-branded look for Parade will feature “America at its Best” with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, hosts of the Emmy-winning syndicated morning talk show "LIVE with Kelly and Michael."
  • · Parade began in 1941 as a small publication with a print run of only 125,000 copies and was sold on newsstands for a nickel. With 59 million readers, Parade is now the most widely read magazine in America. The Washington Post is Parade's oldest continuous newspaper partner.
  • · Jamie McMurray began his NSCS career with team owner Chip Ganassi in 2002 when he filled in for an injured Sterling Marlin and won his first NSCS race in just his second start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 2010, the Joplin, MO, native became one of only three drivers to ever capture both Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. In his 11th full-time season driving in the NASCAR premier series, McMurray has six victories, eight poles, 41 top-five and 102 top-10 finishes. McMurray is currently 14th in the 2013 NSCS point standings.

Quote Board:

Maggie Murphy, Editorial Director of Parade:

"Parade jumped at the chance to sponsor the No. 1 car in the June 2 race benefiting Autism Speaks. Not just because it's a fantastic idea to team one of America's most popular sports and America's most widely read publication, but also because of the connection to Autism Speaks. Parade has done extensive reporting on issues surrounding autism, which are inspired, in part, by my own niece's struggle with autism. We can't wait to see Jamie McMurray put the Parade Chevrolet through its paces, give voice to Autism Speaks and drive to victory!"

Steve Lauletta, President, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates:

“We are pleased to announce this partnership opportunity. Parade is a longstanding and recognizable brand, so to partner the No. 1 magazine in America with the No. 1 Chevrolet on the massive stage of NASCAR just made sense. We are thrilled to be associated with Parade.”


Parker Kligerman and his No. 77 Toyota Racing team head northeast to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race with Delaware-based All Metal Fabricators onboard as a one-race co-primary sponsor. The Connecticut native enters this weekend's event in his home region sixth in the Nationwide Series driver's point standings, having 'fabricated' 243 championship points over the last seven events, second to only points leader Regan Smith's 273 during that span.


Including his ninth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week, the 22-year-old driver has produced consistent results in his first full-time season in the Nationwide Series. Since finishing 30th due to a parts failure at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March, he has finished 15th or better in each of the last seven races, including a career best fourth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.


The Northeasterner is hoping to continue his steadfast progression this season as he travels to Dover, a track where he has already proven to be capable of contending for wins in the Truck Series. In last June's event, Kligerman's truck sustained some front-end damage from an early accident, but the talented youngster was able to recover and drove back through the field and ended the day with a runner-up finish in the rain-shortened event. In his first start at the concrete track in NASCAR's third division, he was challenging Cole Whitt for the second position with eight laps remaining when he got loose, made contact with the wall and was relegated to a 21st-place finish.


Kligerman comes to Dover with a solid resume at the concrete track and increased confidence from a productive seven-race stretch. The talented youngster is hoping that he can continue 'fabricating' points at a steady pace as the battle for the 2013 Nationwide Series Championship begins to take shape.



JD Motorsports with Gary Keller and Landon Cassill are ready to do battle at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, June 1st, for the Five Hour Energy 200. The team will welcome back Flex Seal, as they transition back to their normal black and yellow paint scheme.

After another promising run at Charlotte, where the No.4 machine finished 21st, the team rides a wave of momentum into Dover. Over the past four weekends, the team has rocketed up the points standings, and is now a mere 28 points out of the top-20 in Owner’s Points.

The No. 4 Flex Seal team will utilize JDM Chassis 014. This Chevy has been used multiple times by the No. 4 Flex Seal team, and has one top-20 finish. In Cassill’s four previous starts at the track, he has one top-20 finish.

Landon Cassill Quotes: “Dover is a great race track. It is super fast, and this will be my fifth time racing here in a Nationwide car. I am glad to have Flex Seal back with us, and I like out car for this weekend. A couple more good runs and we will be knocking on the door to the top-20.

JD Motorsports PR

In his maiden start at Bowman Gray Stadium, Bryan Ortiz finished in third-place, earning what would become his best finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East division in 2012.


The 24-year-old Ortiz was a Stock Car rookie last season when he left "The Madhouse" with a podium finish. He returns this year with 20 K&N Pro Series starts under his belt, including another third-place finish at the similarly wild Daytona International Speedway short track.


Ortiz, piloting the No. 4 Toyota for Rev Racing, currently sits 12th in the K&N East point standings, three points out of 10th.


Bryan Ortiz, on racing at Bowman Gray... "Last year, this was my best finish, but the race was crazy - it had 10 cautions - so I know I can't expect that same amount of cautions and if there are, I can't expect to be lucky enough to get through them all. We have to find a winning combination during practice and put an emphasis on qualifying well. It will be a tough race for us and probably a lot of fun for the fans."


Last outing... Ortiz climbed from a 23rd-place starting spot to finish 15th last month at Richmond International Raceway.


New graduate... Ortiz recently completed his degree program from Walden University, where he majored in business.


Rising Star Management PR

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life event at Darlington Raceway will take place on Saturday, June 1, at the track Too Tough To Tame. The relay was rescheduled from its original April 19 date due to inclement weather.

The event will take place in the infield ofThe Lady in Black, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday and ending at approximately 11 p.m. The Relay for Life events are a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society every year.

With the event being held at a historic venue like Darlington Raceway, residents are encouraged to come out and participate in the fight against cancer.

“It was unfortunate that we had to reschedule the event from April due to the weather, but it’s shaping up to be great weather for our Relay this Saturday,” American Cancer Society Area Executive Director Kathy Stokes said. “The track provides a great backdrop for our event and it’s a great location in Darlington County, which teams participating are excited about.”

The Relay for Life event, which was held at Darlington Raceway several years ago, took place in Hartsville, S.C. for seven years before returning to the track in 2012. Darlington Raceway appreciates that community organizations view the track as a special venue to host their fundraising events.

“We are more than happy to host this event for the American Cancer Society,” Darlington President Chris Browning said back in April. “Darlington Raceway provides a good centralized and historic location to host an event like this and we encourage our local residents to attend and help raise money for a great cause in the fight against cancer.”

Thus far, 37 teams are scheduled to participate with a fundraising goal of $165,000 for the 2013 event.

“Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we have lost, and fight back against the disease, Darlington County Relay for Life Event Chair, Sandy Jones said. “Many of the participants are cancer survivors, which serves as a reminder that Darlington County is not immune to this disease and that by participating in Relay, we are joining with the American Cancer Society’s efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”

Darlington Raceway PR

He may not be making a lot of noise doing so, but Ryan Newman is starting to gain some ground as the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season heads for the summer stretch.

Since finishing a disappointing 31st at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway April 7, Newman has been closing in on the 10th position in the point standings. With the exception of a DNF (did not finish) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, he hasn’t recorded a finish worse than 15th, and has three top-10 finishes in the span of six races. The string of steady performances has Newman sitting 20 markers in arrears to 10th-place Brad Keselowski, the final guaranteed position to lock into NASCAR’s 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Heading to Dover, Newman is looking to continue his steady climb. The high-banked, concrete mile oval is a favorite of the South Bend, Ind., native and, with an average finish of 12.1, it’s easy to understand why.

In 22 starts at Dover, Newman has four poles (June 2003 and 2006, September 2005 and 2007), three wins (June and September 2003, September 2004), six top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. Newman also has a NASCAR Nationwide Series win at the track (2005).

Newman’s September 2004 win at Dover was one of his most dominant performances in his 11-year Sprint Cup career.

He qualified on the outside pole for the 400-lap race but, by the end of lap one, he was shown as the leader. He showed no mercy to his other Sprint Cup competitors, leading an amazing 325 of 400 laps. In fact, Newman built a commanding eight-second lead en route to the win and claimed the first-ever “Monster Trophy” given out by the track known as the Monster Mile.

While Newman has had a rough go of it at the concrete oval the last two years, he does have reason to believe this weekend may put an end to that streak as his No. 39 team joined Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammates Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart for a two-day test at the facility two weeks ago.

This weekend, Newman hopes his steady climb in the point standings continues, and that another strong run at Dover will help solidify the No. 39 team’s chances of contending for a coveted spot in the Chase.


Lafferty Motorsports and Chris Lafferty are headed to the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway, this weekend for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 200.  Lafferty will be piloting the No. 10 KOMA Unwind Silverado in his third start at the one-mile track.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to represent KOMA Unwind.  They have been great partners for the first two seasons of our television show, “Chris Lafferty’s Motorsports TV,” and I am looking forward to taking our partnership to the race track and having a strong showing,” said Lafferty.

While this will be Chris’ first start of the 2013 season, he hasn’t been sitting at home doing nothing.  In fact, Chris has been keeping very busy on the set of his national television show wearing many of the productions’ hats and serving as host.  Lafferty has also been buried in music spending a lot of time in the recording studio and will soon be announcing the release of his debut music album.

In addition this weekend, Chris will be sporting a Blue Ox fire suit.  Blue Ox is Chris’ longest running sponsor; first partnering in 2006.  “The ability to team up with a great company like Blue Ox has been fantastic.  Blue Ox’s reputation is stellar and we are proud to continue to be a part of the Blue Ox family,” stated Lafferty.

All of the racing action can be seen live on SPEED on Friday beginning with NCWTS Setup with host Krista Voda  at 4:30 followed by racing at 5 p.m.

Lafferty Motorsports PR

Johnny Sauter's become well-versed in reality in his long racing career, and nowhere is that more relevant than at Dover International Speedway, this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series venue for Friday afternoon's Lucas Oil 200.


"For sure, it's probably the funnest racetrack we go to," Sauter said without hesitation. "We've just had a lot of really bad luck there. We usually qualify really well and we're running in the top five all day and for whatever reason we just can't seem to get to the finish."


Hello, Dover.


Sauter's average start in four career races at the "Monster Mile" is 4.5. But even though he has three lead-lap finishes in those four starts, Sauter's yet to lead a lap and his average finish is 13.75. The driver of ThorSport Racing's No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota is at a loss to explain it.


"There are racetracks where you can't really put your finger on why the things that happen, happen," Sauter said. "Martinsville used to be that way, for me. I'd go there for years and really haul -- but have nothing to show for it on paper. It looks like it was one of my worst racetracks and statistically, it probably was for the longest time, even though we didn't feel that way, when we looked at how we ran there.


"I'd have to say Dover's about the same way. The numbers are just not indicative of how we run there, so all you can do is continue to put your best effort forward -- and that's what we do every week. It's no different than a lot of racetracks, in that you have to be smart all day and take care of your stuff, but there are some racetracks where you can't seem to do anything right, and I think a lot of that is luck."


Sauter and his ThorSport crew need to do everything they can to get their luck pointed in the right direction at Dover. Performance hasn't been much of an issue this season, with Sauter winning the first two races and having four consecutive top-five finishes. But after he was intentionally wrecked by James Buescher in the last race at Charlotte, Sauter's sixth in the championship, 37 points behind teammate Matt Crafton.


And that's what makes Sauter and his ThorSport Racing team's record at Dover so frustrating. His best Dover Truck race was his 2009 debut, when he started fourth and finished fifth. His best start is third, in 2010.


This weekend, Sauter's crew once again will be led by truck chief Jesse Saunders and Dan LeMasters, Sauter's four-year truck chief who came off the road at the beginning of this season to be with his young family but who went back out at Charlotte to crew chief with Saunders, "by committee" as crew chief Joe Shear Jr. continues to serve a four-race suspension.


"It's different, there's no question about it," Sauter said of not having the crew chief with which he's won races in NASCAR's Busch and Truck series and the 2001 ASA championship. "Joe puts so much into this program and he's always with us -- whether he's physically there or not.


"Jesse and Dan and all the boys are really good, and they ultimately were the ones that were able to pick up the slack, and I think it went off pretty well (at Charlotte), all things considered. It wasn't our best run, for sure but it was going to be a decent night and I think that's just going to make us better in these next couple races without Joe."


Shear is due to return to the track for the Iowa race in early July and no matter how well Sauter runs at Dover, Texas -- where he and Shear swept both 2012 Truck Series races -- and Kentucky he can't wait to have Shear's familiar voice back in his ear.


"It's been an adjustment," Sauter said. "You want to call out into the radio, 'Hey Joe, what about this...' And if you're sitting in the truck during practice and you come up with an idea you're just so used to calling (Shear) to the window and talking about it. So it's just different, but we're adjusting and making it work, and I just need to do a better job of being in the game and giving the guys the information they need to make the truck better, and I will do that at Dover."


The weekend opens up Thursday afternoon with a pair of Truck Series practices, from 2:30-3:45 p.m. ET and 4:15-5:30 p.m. Truck qualifying is at 10:05 a.m. Friday, with live coverage on the SPEED Channel.


The season's sixth of 22 races, the Lucas Oil 200 is 200 laps and 200 miles. It's scheduled for a 5 p.m. Friday start and for the second consecutive year SPEED will have live coverage preceded by The Setup pre-race show at 4:30. MRN Radio has live coverage, also beginning at 4:30.


Thorsport PR

Mike Wallace and the No. 01 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team will head to Dover International Speedway ready to race 200 miles with the support of Iron Source. The team, coming off a top-25 finish in Charlotte, will look to race up front and move into the top-20 in Owner’s Points following the race.

Iron Source is a Delaware based equipment Sales, Rental, and Service Company, serving the entire DELMARVA Region, with branches in Georgetown and Smyrna. Iron Source serves the construction and farm industries as well as homeowners, while representing several equipment manufacturers such as Gehl, Manitou, Wacker Neuson, and Bandit.

The veteran Wallace will be racing at a track where he has experienced success in the past, including a victory in 1994. During his tenure of driving for team owner Johnny Davis, the No. 01 car with Mike Wallace has experienced three top-20s, including a 10th in 2011.

The team will unload Chassis JDM 007, last used at Darlington and Bristol. The time is right for Wallace and the team to put together a good run, as the car sits 9 points out of the top-20. Wallace also finds himself only two points out of 16th in the Driver’s Standings.

Mike Wallace Quotes: “I am excited to race at Dover with the support of Iron Horse. Dover is a track I have experienced success at in the past. We as a team can run strong here, and with a good finish hopefully we can continue to move up in points.”

JD Motorsports PR


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