Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Kyle Busch is set to return to his hometown this weekend, but what makes Sunday afternoon different than the previous 19 times the Las Vegas native has raced in the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is another sweet piece of Las Vegas will be riding along with him.

 

For the first time ever, the craft chocolate division of Mars Wrigley – Henderson, Nevada-made Ethel M Chocolates – will be a primary sponsor of a Cup Series car. The hometown duo has teamed up for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 as Ethel M Chocolates celebrates its 40th anniversary of making handcrafted chocolates in the desert and serves as primarsponsor of Busch’s No. 18 Ethel M Chocolates Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) this weekend.

 

To further commemorate Ethel M Chocolates’ 40th anniversary and celebrate its first foray into NASCAR, the brand will also be donating 40,000 meals to Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, using its involvement in the race weekend to help those in the Las Vegas community who are most in need.  

 

Ethel M Chocolates is a marquis offering, manufactured by Mars Wrigley North America and dedicated to creating premium chocolates with fresh ingredients and no artificial preservatives. 2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of Ethel M Chocolates, a momentous milestone for the brand.

 

For Busch, he is focused on getting back to victory lane at Las Vegas after crossing off an all-important hometown win in 2009 in just his fifth NASCAR Cup Series start at his hometown track and having just missed out on a few others since then. This weekend, Busch looks to bring home career Cup Series win No. 58 to add to his growing list of accomplishments.

 

The 2002 honors graduate of Durango High School in Las Vegas would like to double his number of Cup Series wins at the desert track after having brought home that emotional first win there 12 years ago.

 

Driving the yellow M&M’S Toyota that day, Busch qualified on the pole but was forced to start at the rear of the field because the team needed to change engines during Friday practice. Unfazed, Busch remained patient on race day as he and the M&M’S team worked their way to the front of the field by the 54th lap. Busch went on to lead three times for 51 laps en route to claiming what he called at the time the biggest win of his young career.

 

While Busch has NASCAR Xfinity Series wins in 2016 and 2019 and Camping World Truck Series wins in 2018, 2019, and 2020 to go with his 2009 Cup Series win on the intermediate oval, he already was no stranger to winning on Las Vegas Motor Speedway property. From 1999 to 2001, he earned more than 65 wins in Legends cars while racking up two track championships at the Bullring, which existed for several years before the NASCAR track was built. When Busch moved up to Late Models, his winning ways continued with 10 victories at the Bullring in 2001.

 

So as he returns to Las Vegas this weekend, Busch is hoping the “Born in Las Vegas” combination will be just what he needs to celebrate Ethel M Chocolates’ 40th anniversary in style right at “home” in victory lane.

 

TSC PR

In a continuing effort to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in conjunction with the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, will host New Hampshire’s first mass vaccination clinic this Saturday through Monday, March 6-8. The state hopes to administer over 10,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines to eligible New Hampshire residents during the three-day clinic.

“We have been working closely with the State of New Hampshire to take the next step in putting the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “Hosting this vaccine super site falls right in line with our drive to help our community, and we’re proud that we’re able to use our awesome speedway property to achieve that.”

 

Appointments are required to receive a vaccination, and the state will proactively reach out to individuals with later first-dose appointments in April and offer them the opportunity to move up their appointment to this weekend. Vaccinations for eligible individuals will be distributed at NHMS from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 6 through Monday, March 8.

 

Those who have an appointment are encouraged to arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time for check-in and screening. After receiving the vaccine, each patient will proceed to an observation area where medical staff will closely monitor for any potential reaction. The entire process will take place without people leaving their cars.

 

Hundreds of volunteers from hospitals, first responder agencies, police, fire, EMS, regional public health networks and community emergency response teams throughout New Hampshire will spend their personal time this weekend to help vaccinate community members.

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway becomes the fifth facility operated by parent company Speedway Motorsports to serve as a mass vaccination site. To date, more than 91,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to eligible recipients at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

 

“We are always more than willing to utilize our facilities to support a need in the community,” said Marcus Smith, president and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports. “Hosting mass vaccination clinics at our venues is crucial in the race to beat this pandemic, and this weekend, thousands of New Hampshire residents will cross that finish line.”

 

Eligible individuals should visit NH.gov/COVID19 for more information about upcoming vaccination opportunities and all the latest on COVID-19.

 

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Keep track of all of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s events by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Keep up with all the latest news and information on the speedway website and NHMS mobile app.

 

NHMS PR

otes of Interest

●  History at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: In 15 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas, Almirola has earned three top-10 finishes, earned consecutively in his first three starts at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018 and 2019.

 

●  In last year’s two visits to Las Vegas, Almirola finished 21st and 17th, respectively. To see the full race reports, click here for the Feb. 23, 2020 race and here for the Sept. 27, 2020 playoff race.

 

●  1.5-mile history: In Almirola’s last 10 starts at 1.5-mile tracks, he has one top-five, four top-10s, and has led 164 laps with an average finish of 13.4.

 

●  Last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Almirola battled handling issues throughout the race and ran as high as 10th before contact on lap 201 dropped him three laps off the pace.

 

●  Power Bites giveaway: Almirola will sport a special Power Bites paint scheme this weekend while hosting a giveaway campaign via Twitter. At the end of each stage, fans can tweet using the hashtag #PowerBitesHere to enter for a chance to win prizes like a Pit Boss Grill with Smithfield grilling items, Almirola’s signed race-worn firesuit, and a VIP race experience at Phoenix Raceway.

 

●  Smithfield Foods celebrates 10 years of partnership with Almirola this season with a special campaign called Taste Victory.As one of the most active partners in NASCAR, Smithfield plans to engage fans all year long by hosting a microsite that provides the opportunity to win when Almirola wins or finishes inside the top-10. When Almirola wins, one fan will win $10,000, and 10 fans will win a gift card for each top-10 finish. The microsite also doubles as an Aric Almirola fan page and entertainment source where fans can get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with a custom racing game, and learn more about Almirola with fast facts, favorite recipes and custom content about his life on and off the track. Visit www.tastevictory.com to learn more. Thanks to Almirola’s Feb. 11 win in the Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500, one lucky fan has already won $10,000.

 

●  Beyond the 10 YouTube Series: In 2021, Almirola continues to share his life beyond the No. 10 Smithfield Ford with season three of his award-winning YouTube series. Fans and media can subscribe on YouTube to see Almirola’s personality on and off the track. Episodes have already featured life as a dad, a husband and an athlete, and it gives fans a unique perspective on what goes on in the life of a professional NASCAR driver. Fans can also follow Almirola’s social media channels: @Aric_Almirola on Twitter and Instagram, and @AricAlmirola on Facebook.

 

●  The Smithfield Ford team sits 26th in the championship standings with 40 points, 99 behind leader Denny Hamlin. 

 

●  Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz is in his sixth fulltime season at SHR and his second with Almirola. To learn more, click here.

 

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Power Bites Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

Last year was your first year with crew chief Mike Bugarewicz. What improvements do you see heading to Las Vegas?

 

“Yeah. Last year was the first year for Buga (Mike Bugarewicz) and I. Vegas last year was our first real run together as a team after the Daytona 500, so we were still learning each other. After a full season together, I have full confidence we’re going to be a solid contender this weekend. We’ve already seen the pit crew doing a great job, and the communication couldn’t be better.” 

 

What do you need to do to get the No. 10 Smithfield team’s momentum in the right direction? 

 

“I’m going to have to work hard to get us out of this hole with stage points and some consistent finishes. We’re so early in the season that one or two races could put us back inside the top-16 and get us back in the direction we need to be in. Our No. 10 Smithfield Ford team is good. It’s a solid team. We haven’t even been able to show what we’ve really got. We did it last year in the middle of the season and went on a hot streak. We’ll get there.”

 

You were involved in an accident last weekend at Homestead after running up front. Talk about that experience.

 

“Last weekend at Miami was tough. We fought hard all day to get the car’s balance better. I got tight and made a mistake and slid up into the No. 12 and hit the wall. It put us back and we couldn’t recover. We did get the car better than where it started and we were able to run up inside the top-10, so at least we know we have the capabilities to make changes in the race.”

 

How significant of a role do intermediate tracks play during the season? 

 

“It’s crucial to really excel at the intermediate tracks. We have so many of them on the schedule and, if you can get them figured out, they can make a huge impact on your season. We’ve seen it so many times where teams get something figured out at those tracks. Those teams start running up front every weekend. If you look at the schedule, a lot of the tracks on the circuit are intermediate tracks and the most important races if you’re in the hunt for a championship.”

 

TSC PR

Stefan Parsons and BJ McLeod Motorsports (BJMM) announce today that Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency company, will ride along with primary sponsor Springrates and driver Stefan Parsons at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Alsco Uniforms 300.

Sean Taylor, founder and CEO of Springrates immediately saw a significant and relevant opportunity to bring back Dogecoin in NASCAR, as popularity and traction has increased on social media platforms through significant figures positively acknowledging cryptocurrency, such as Elon Musk.

“Lately, I have been obsessed with learning more about blockchain and the future of decentralized currency. I had the idea of including Dogecoin on the car for this race while chatting with Stefan following the season opener in Daytona,” said Taylor. “It was ironic because at the time, I wasn’t aware his dad’s team previously ran the Dogecoin car in 2014. Maybe it was fate.”

Fate it was. Although this will be the cryptocurrency’s debut in the NXS, it will not be the first time that Dogecoin has adorned a race car in NASCAR. In 2014, an online Dogecoin community on Reddit brought attention to the lack of sponsorship for Josh Wise, who at the time drove for Phil Parsons Racing then in the No. 98 Sprint Cup Series. Within a week, over 55K in funds were produced for Wise to be sponsored by Dogecoin for the Aaron’s 499 race in Talladega. After earning his second-best finish in the Dogecoin car, Wise announced that if he was able to win the Sprint Showdown or win the fan vote, requiring him to defeat Danica Patrick, he would run the ‘Moonrocket’ car for free at the 2014 All-Star Race. After Wise won the fan vote and was in the All-Star Race, it was clear that the Dogecoin community has a NASCAR interest.

Dogecoin has such a great community and there is so much interest surrounding it. I’m drawn to it because it’s affordable, gaining a lot of traction, and has endless potential. Plus, who doesn’t love memes?” Taylor added

“Having the opportunity to run a scheme that has an incredible story from my Dad’s race team is something I am so proud to do. When Josh ran the Dogecoin car in 2014, I was much younger and remember being so excited at the fact that the Dogecoin community and Reddit came together to make it happen. At the time, I also wished it were me in the seat. So, to have the chance for Dogecoin to ride along with Sean and me in Las Vegas is a dream come true,” Parsons added.

In 17 starts in the NXS, Parsons has an average start of 26.9 and an average finish of 22. His best finish of the 2021 season was at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished in the 13th position after racing his way up and avoiding on-track incidents.

Coverage of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube begins Saturday, March 6th at 4:00 p.m. ET. Live coverage will be on FS1, Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM. Race time, 4:30p.m. ET.

BJMM PR

There will be quite the professional sports flair when the commands to start engines are given at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr headlines the trio as he will deliver the most famous words in motorsports just moments prior to the start of the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube. Carr’s command will top off a weekend that will see Buffalo Bills running back Antonio Williams announce engines for Friday’s Bucked Up 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Utah Jazz star forward Joe Ingles deliver the message for Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

“This will be such a thrill to have the chance to bring the NASCAR Cup Series cars to life,” Carr said. “I know there have been a long list on luminaries who have served in this role, and it’s pretty cool to join them. I’m sure it’s going to be exhilarating once those cars fire up.” Carr joins rap star Pit Bull, TV star and comedian Kevin James and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as grand marshals for Cup races so far this season.

Carr just completed his seventh season with the Raiders, where he has amassed 26,896 yards and 170 touchdowns – both all-time bests in Raiders history.

Ingles is in his seventh season with the Jazz, where he has been a key player at both the shooting guard and small forward positions. Williams just completed his rookie season with the AFC runners-up Buffalo Bills, where he scored two touchdowns and rushed for 63 yards in the regular season finale against Miami. Williams also is a member of Joe Graf Jr.’s Xfinity Series team as well.

Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube is sold out, but tickets do remain for Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 and Friday’s Bucked Up 200. Go to www.lvms.com for tickets and RV spaces.

LVMS PR

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads west this week to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Bucked Up 200 on Friday.

 

Derek Kraus aims to carry momentum with him, after turning in a strong performance in Florida on the road course at Daytona International Speedway in the most recent series race.

 

His McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Toyota Tundra will feature Hunter Nation as the primary sponsor at Las Vegas, along with the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.

 

Kraus has run well on tracks like the 1.5-mile speedway in Las Vegas. About half of the series events that comprised his rookie season last year were contested on tracks of comparable size to the Vegas venue. He had one top-five and six top-10s in the 11 races on similar tracks in 2020.

 

Kraus missed the playoffs by just one position last year. He and the MHR team are working hard to build on their success of 2020 and make the playoffs this season.

 

Friday’s race is the first of three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in the month of March. Following the Las Vegas event, the series heads to Atlanta on March 20 and will follow that up with the Bristol dirt race on March 27.

 

Derek Kraus – About this week

What are your thoughts as you prepare for your fourth visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway?

“I’m really looking forward to the first true oval of the season.”

Can you carry momentum with you from your strong finish on the Daytona road course?

“I think that we can take the momentum we have from the road course and have a good, strong run in Vegas.”

 

BMR PR

The Report on 'Rowdy':
 
  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch gets behind the wheel of the No. 51 Cessna Tundra Friday night for his first of five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in 2021. Busch will also pilot the No. 51 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (March 20), Richmond (Va.) Raceway (April 17), Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (May 1) and Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. (June 26). Since Textron Aviation became a partner in 2017, Busch has recorded 12 victories, 1,350 laps led and an average finish of 5.7 in 20 starts with the Cessna and Beechcraft brands adorning his Tundra.
 
  • Busch, the winningest driver in series history, enters Friday’s event having won 38.1% (59/155) of the Truck Series races he has entered and finished first or second in 55.5% (86/155). He has won multiple races in each of the last eight seasons (2013-2020). The talented wheelman in recent years had scored a victory at every active NASCAR Camping World Truck Series venue that he had made a start at, but with Richmond being added to the schedule this year he will need to win there to keep that stat intact. He’s made two starts at Richmond (2001 and 2005), with a best finish of 22nd.
 
  • The Las Vegas native has won the last three spring Camping World Truck Series events at his hometown track (2018-2020), leading a combined 43.5% (175/402) of the total laps in those races. More impressively, Busch has won each of those races with a different crew chief. Mike Hillman Jr. was atop the pit box for his first Truck Series win at Las Vegas in 2018, Rudy Fugle called the shots in 2019 and Danny Stockman led the No. 51 team to victory last year. In addition to his three truck wins at Las Vegas, the 35-year-old driver has two XFINITY Series triumphs (2016 and 2019), and a Cup Series win (2009) at the 1.5-mile tri-oval.
 
  • ‘Rowdy’ will have the chance to make it four Camping World Trucks victories in a row at Las Vegas with four different crew chiefs on Friday night. Mardy Lindley is in his first season as a crew chief at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Lindley has guided his drivers to 32 wins and four ARCA Menards Series East championships since 2013, including back-to-back titles with Sam Mayer the last two seasons. Additionally, he earned the ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief Showdown championship with Mayer in 2020. Friday night’s race will be the first time that Lindley has called the shots for a Camping World Trucks event on a mile-and-a-half track.
 
  • Busch’s three career wins at Las Vegas are the most by a Camping World Truck Series driver. His 273 laps led at the Nevada track rank third, behind Jack Sprague (298) and Ron Hornaday Jr. (282).
 
  • After two events, the No. 51 team sits 17th in the Camping World Trucks owner standings. Drew Dollar finished 10th in the season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Parker Chase was 23rd at the Daytona Road Course.
 
  • For more than 90 years, Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has empowered our collective talent across the Beechcraft, Cessna, and Hawker brands to design and deliver the best aviation experience for our customers. With a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products, Textron Aviation has the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolio in the world and a workforce that has produced more than half of all general aviation aircraft worldwide. Customers in more than 170 countries rely on our legendary performance, reliability, and versatility, along with our trusted global customer service network, for affordable and flexible flight. For more information, visit www.txtav.com.
 
Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A:
 
Are you looking forward to your five races in the Camping World Truck Series this year?
“Competing in the Truck Series in my own equipment is something I really enjoy doing, and as long as I’m allowed to race and my name is on the door, I’ll be running as many as I possibly can. Marcus (Lemonis) and all the folks at Camping World have really done a great job to promote the series over the years and have a lot of cool incentives on the line this year for the drivers and teams. Competition wise, the racing is as good as it has ever been -- it is not as easy as everyone thinks it is to go out there and win races on a consistent basis. This if our fifth year partnering with Textron Aviation and having the Cessna logo on the hood of my Tundra for my Truck Series races. It has been a really successful partnership -- we’ve been able to get them to victory lane multiple times in each of the first four seasons. Our goal this year is to go out there and be a perfect five for five like we were able to do a couple years ago.”
 
Talk about working with a new crew chief in trucks this year.
“I’m looking forward to working with Mardy (Lindley, crew chief) and the guys he’s put together on the No. 51 team this year. Mardy came onboard at KBM at the end of last year just before the Snowball Derby, so we brought him along to the Derby to observe down there in an effort to get a head start on things knowing that he was going to be my crew chief for the truck races this year. He was able to sit in on all our post practice debriefs down there and listen in on the radio during practice and the race to get a feel for my communication and my terminology. I think without having any practice on Friday, that little bit of being around each other at track will be very beneficial. He’s won a lot of races in K&N and ARCA with several different drivers, and I’m confident that he’ll be able to continue those winning ways here at KBM. I’ve been to victory lane in the Truck Series at Las Vegas with three different crew chiefs the last three years, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to keep that streak alive with a fourth different crew chief Friday night and at the same time hopefully add another victory to my resume at my hometown track.”
 
Kyle Busch Camping World Truck Series Career Highlights:
 
  • Busch has a total of 155 Camping World Trucks starts and is ranked first in wins (59) and second in laps led (7,305)
  • The 35-year-old driver has won 38.1% (59/155) of the NCWTS races he has entered and finished first or second in 55.5% (86/155). He has won multiple races in each of the last eight seasons (2013-2020).
  • Busch has a total of 102 top-five and 123 top-10 finishes with an average start of 7.1 and an average finish of 6.8.
  • Busch stands alone as the leader in all-time career wins in NASCAR’s national touring series with 213 total victories. He has earned 57 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 97 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins, and 59 NGROTS wins.
  • In August of 2010, Busch made history when he won the NGROTS, NXS and NCS races at Bristol Motor Speedway, becoming the only driver to sweep all three of NASCAR’s top three series at one track on the same weekend. He then repeated the feat in August of 2017.
 
Kyle Busch's No. 51 Cessna Tundra:
 
KBM-069: The No. 51 Cessna team will unload KBM-069 for Friday’s Bucked Up 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Chandler Smith finished third at Phoenix Raceway last November in the Tundra’s maiden voyage.
 
KBM Notes of Interest:
 

KBM PR

McAnally-Hilgemann Racing has announced that Hunter Nation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the right to hunt, will be the primary sponsor on their No. 19 Toyota Tundra for multiple races this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The MHR entry will carry the Hunter Nation branding beginning with the series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, March 5.

“We’re proud to announce that Hunter Nation will join the MHR team this season, beginning with the race at Las Vegas,” said team co-owner Bill McAnally. “The team is working hard to build on our success from 2020 and we look to be a strong contender this year. It will be great to have Hunter Nation be a part of our program and to have them on board at multiple events through the season.”

Derek Kraus – a 19-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin – is in his second season of driving for MHR in the Camping World Truck Series. He had a remarkable rookie season last year, finishing 11th in the series championship standings and missing the playoffs by just one spot. He registered three top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 23 starts, including a runner-up finish at Darlington Raceway and a fourth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.

Kraus previously raced for three seasons with Bill McAnally Racing in the ARCA Menards Series West (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), where he won the 2019 championship.

The Bucked Up 200 Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 and will air on radio on the Motor Racing Network, on Friday, March 5, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Hunter Nation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting America's hunting heritage. With a stated commitment to God, family, country and the outdoor lifestyle – Hunter Nation works to educate and engage hunters about policies aimed at ensuring that the right to hunt is passed down to the next generation. Learn more about the organization at HunterNation.org.

BMR PR

The Racing Capital of the World has partnered with the Indiana Department of Health to host a mass vaccination clinic for Hoosiers eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.

The clinic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will run from Friday, March 5 to Sunday, March 7 with vaccinations beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m. each day. All Hoosiers ages 55 and up are eligible for the vaccine, and appointments must be booked via https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. No walk-ups will be permitted.

“We’re a community-first organization, and we’re extremely proud to assist with this important effort to keep Hoosiers safe and healthy,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “I encourage those who are eligible to sign up, and I’d like to thank our state’s leadership – most especially Governor Holcomb and Dr. Box – for the opportunity to team up and pitch in.”

In addition to IMS, additional clinics will be hosted later this month at University of Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena and Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg.

“Getting tens of thousands of vaccines in arms in a matter of days is a huge undertaking that requires incredible partnerships,” Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “We are incredibly grateful to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Notre Dame and Ivy Tech for their willingness to meet this challenge head on to help save Hoosier lives.”

The mass vaccination clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received its Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Saturday. The vaccine requires only one dose and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials involving nearly 44,000 participants from all races and ethnicities.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives eligible Hoosiers a safe, effective and convenient way to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Because it requires just one dose, every shot administered represents a Hoosier who can rest easier, knowing their risk of severe illness from this disease has dropped exponentially.”

Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging, AARP and nearly 70 libraries around the state also can help Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world's largest spectator sporting facility, has been the worldwide leader in motorsports entertainment since opening in 1909. It annually hosts the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the crown jewel of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and part of motorsports famed “triple crown” of racing.

The clinic schedules:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis

March 5-7

8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Enter through main gate off 16th Street

Ivy Tech Community College

8204 County Road 311, Sellersburg

March 12-13

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

University of Notre Dame

Compton Family Ice Arena

100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame

March 19-20

8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

A separate advisory with instructions for media interested in covering the clinics will be issued closer to the events.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

IMS PR

It has been four years since Terry Dease has raced a full season at any speedway. That will change in 2021.

Dease broke the long silence of winter at South Boston Speedway last Thursday when he arrived at “America’s Hometown Track” to do some testing with his Late Model Stock Car. He is the first driver to test at South Boston Speedway in 2021.

The Oxford, North Carolina resident was preparing to compete at South Boston Speedway in 2021, starting with the track’s season-opening NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s racing program on Saturday afternoon, March 20.

“I plan to run every race up here this year, if we can,” Dease remarked.

“We haven’t raced a full season anywhere since 2017 when I won the track championship at Orange County Speedway. I really want to do that again.”

The last race Dease competed in at South Boston Speedway was South Boston Speedway’s big pre-July Fourth 200-lap race in 2019. 

“I miss this place,” Dease said of South Boston Speedway.

“I’ve always wanted to come back and race here some more, but finances wouldn’t let us. We run longer races here, and still do. Now, South Boston Speedway has gone to the two-tire rule. I like that, and that is kind of what brought us back.”

Dease has been racing for 35 years and is no stranger to followers of racing at South Boston Speedway. He has won three South Boston Speedway Limited Sportsman Division championships and has raced in the Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway from time-to-time after that. The desire to compete and be competitive remains very much alive for Dease.

 “I’m 57-and-a-half years-old and still have the passion for racing,” he remarked with a smile.

“I still love to get behind the wheel and I like to turn wrenches on this thing. I still enjoy it and I’m looking forward to running with the guys up here this year.”

One of the things that excites Dease about returning to competition at South Boston Speedway this season is that he has family ties in Halifax County, Virginia where South Boston Speedway is located.

“My dad (Pete Dease, a former racer who once won more than 30 races in one season) is originally from Halifax County,” he pointed out.

“We’ve got a lot of family up this way. They’re excited we’re going to race up here.”

Dease was pleased with the progress he made with his car during the testing session.

“We’re picking up a little more speed than this car had in it last year,” he pointed out.

“I’ve done a bunch of things on the car and we’re picking up speed here and there. There’s no rubber on the track but I’m getting comfortable with the car. I just wanted to make sure that I what I put on the car didn’t fall off and that there are no leaks or anything like that going on.”

Dease has set modest goals as he looks ahead to the 2021 South Boston Speedway racing season.

“I just want to come out here and run in the top 10 the first couple of races and get used to the track and the people that are racing here,” he explained.

“I want to be competitive. I want to be in the hunt. I want to be in the top five at the end of the year. I’m not looking to win the championship. It’s not out of the question, but you’ve got to be consistent, and you’ve got to outrun a lot of good people. We’ll just see what plays out.”

The first action on South Boston Speedway’s 2021 season calendar is the track’s annual Open Practice Day on Saturday, March 13. Practice begins at 10 a.m. and will conclude at 4 p.m.

South Boston Speedway will kick off its 64th season of racing on Saturday, March 20 with the 2 p.m. running of the NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s racing program. Twin 75-lap races for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division highlight the afternoon’s six-race card.

The latest news and updates about South Boston Speedway and its racing events can be found on the new South Boston Speedway website at www.southbostonspeedway.com and on the speedway’s social media channels. Fans can also subscribe for e-mail updates on the speedway’s website.

SBS PR

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