Thursday, Mar 23
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Today, Richmond Raceway announced that $5,650 will be presented to Special Olympics Virginia following last week’s successful Track Laps for Charity event.

The Richmond Area Toyota Dealers Associations are matching the $2,825 raised during the two-hour event that featured Team Toyota athlete and 2004 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch and a group of local Special Olympics athletes. The donation will be presented prior to the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, April 2.

“We are grateful for the thoughtful members of our community who participated in this great event and for the Richmond Toyota Dealers Association for amplifying their contributions,” said Richmond Raceway President Lori Collier Waran. “I will always be in favor for using Richmond Raceway as a platform for making a difference in our community while creating lifelong memories.”

Race fans will be able to create more memories during Toyota Owners 400 Weekend March 31-April 2. The action begins with Friday, March 31, with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150, and continues Saturday, April 1, with the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ ToyotaCare 250. And then on Sunday, April 2, the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series return for the Toyota Owners 400 as they vie for a spot in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Richmond Raceway PR

Long-time Mahoning Valley Speedway marketing partner Harry’s U-Pull-It Auto Parts of West Hazleton is stepping up in 2023 as the official sponsor of the Hobby Stock class.

Through the efforts of Harry’s U-Pull-It Auto Parts proprietor Joe Kress and Mahoning Valley Speedway Operations Manager Todd Baer, an agreement was reached to have the popular eastern Pennsylvania salvage yard come on this season as the official Hobby Stock class sponsor.

“It was great working with Joe (Kress) and have him back with us at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Over the years his sponsorship has been greatly appreciated and now he’s gone a step further in becoming a class backer of the Hobby Stocks,” stated Baer.

“And it makes perfect sense too with that division since just about everything related to the Hobby Stocks are actual stock parts and Harry’s U-Pull-It Auto Parts is where our guys can turn to when seeking needed parts for their cars.”

Harry’s U-Pull-It Auto Parts is a family owned and operated business with several locations including their home base, a 200-acre site located just west of Hazle Township in the Green Ridge section of West Hazleton.

Additional locations are 1510 East Jonathan Street in Allentown, 2557 Geryville Pike in Pennsburg and the newest facility, Harry’s We-Buy-It at 131 Second Street in Plains.

Harry’s U-Pull-It Auto Parts is a self-service used auto parts salvage yard. Admission to the yard is $2.00 per person.

            This year marks the 12th season for the Hobby Stocks which was created to be an affordable entry level stock car comprised of front wheel drive four cylinder build vehicles of both domestic and foreign manufactures. 

Under that basis the class has grown significantly over time and even led to Rookie Hobby Stock class that was put in place and now referred to as the Futures division.

Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Opening Night 2023 is slated for Saturday, April 8 at 3:00 pm headlined by the Race of Champions Series Modifieds plus Street Socks, Dirt Modifieds, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks, Futures and the JuiceBox Division.

Please log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway for updated info and news. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.

            For additional information on Harry’s U-Pull-It Auto Parts please check out their website at


JTG Daugherty Racing is teaming up with Blue Buffalo to celebrate the special role that pets play in our families. On Sunday, March 26 and again on July 23, the Blue Buffalo brand will be represented on the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing car.

Blue Buffalo is the country’s #1 natural pet food and is fueled by its mission to love, feed and treat all pets like family, making it a great partner for JTG Daugherty Racing and driver and pet parent, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

"Blue Buffalo is thrilled to sponsor JTG Daugherty Racing as a co-primary partner as we deliver value to shoppers through the Kroger Racing program. Ricky is both an incredible driver and a dedicated pet parent, which makes him the perfect driver to represent BLUE and Kroger at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA)," said Rob Branham, National Sales Director at Blue Buffalo.

It’s obvious Stenhouse Jr. and his family have a special place in their hearts for animals. The Olive Branch, Mississippi native and his wife Madyson own Slide Job Ranch, which is home to a variety of four-legged family members and their beautiful Goldendoodle, Ruby. On February 19th of this year, the wavy-haired fur baby made her first appearance in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway.

”Yeah, we had Ruby in Victory Lane and that was special,” said the 2023 DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION Stenhouse Jr. “Madyson and I love animals and we know how important it is to have natural ingredients for your pets because they are a part of your family and you want them to live happy, healthy lives. We’re excited to have Blue Buffalo join JTG Daugherty Racing at COTA.”

Live coverage of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26 starts at 3:30 PM ET on FOX, PRN and SIRIUSXM Satellite NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90). Then on Sunday, July 23 tune into USA, MRN and SiriusXM live from Pocono Raceway at 2:30 PM ET.

JTG Racing PR

Campers arriving for the March 24-26 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NASCAR tripleheader weekend will be welcomed to Circuit of The Americas (COTA) with a free, fun-filled party as well as a barbeque cookoff featuring some of Texas’ best competition grillers.

The Camper Party gets kicking at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, March 24 in Lot N following the day’s on-track activities with the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS).

The event, hosted by Jose Castillo, will feature a live performance by the 1st Cavalry Division Band from Fort Hood beginning at 8:30 p.m. The six-member band will play popular songs from all genres of music, including country, rock and pop.

Special guest appearances will be sprinkled throughout the event along with visits from the country’s best Ricky Bobby impersonator and social media star Justin “Danger” Nunley. Speedway Children’s Charities will also conduct a live auction featuring racing memorabilia and items as part of its weekend activities.

Free Busch Light beer will be available on site while supplies last to those 21 and over with a valid ID.

On Saturday, March 25, Lot N will have the aroma of barbeque wafting through the air as the ATX BBQ Showdown presented by Pit Boss gets underway. This International Barbeque Cookers Association-sanctioned event will feature teams competing in three categories for judging. One half-chicken competition for judging begins at noon, followed by pork spare ribs at 1:30 p.m. and brisket at 3 p.m.

Judges include:

  • Erica Blaire – Pit Boss Master and winner of Food Network’s BBQ Brawl (All categories)
  • Justin “Danger” Nunley – Social Media Influencer (All categories)
  • Kirk Naumann – Executive Chef for Pit Boss® Grills (All categories)
  • Dan Thiessen – Dansons Founder and CEO (Ribs only)

Awards will be presented to the top five in each category with a $5,000 payout during the pre-race ceremonies for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race. The entry fee is $500, which includes a 40’ x 40’ RV and pit spot along with two general admission tickets for the race weekend. Click HERE to register for the competition and to learn more about the event.

Lot N is located off Elroy Road between turns two and six on the outside of the circuit layout. Camping spots, beginning as low as $100 for tents and $400 for RVs in Lot N, remain available. Click HERE to explore the available options and pricing throughout the property.

The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix culminates a three-day event that features the NCS, NXS and NCTS. The weekend kicks off Friday, March 24 with FEVO Friday that includes practice and qualifying for the NXS and NCTS. Saturday, March 25 is action-packed with NCS qualifying, the Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY NXS race and XPEL 225 NCTS race.

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


For the second year, Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), the official charity of Speedway Motorsports, will encourage race fans to make a difference in the lives of Austin-area children while providing more fun ways to enjoy the March 24-26 NASCAR weekend at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) with their friends and family.

“With the success of last year’s fundraising translating to a $15,000 grant to Safe House Project, we couldn’t wait to plan more fun ways for race fans to give back to the community during this year’s NASCAR at COTA event,” said Speedway Children’s Charities National Executive Director Lisa Starnes. “Throughout all Speedway Motorsports facilities, we are driven by our ‘Fans First’ attitude, and what better way to exhibit that than offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences, unique auction items and other opportunities to race fans to support local children in need and enhance their race weekend experience.”

Fans attending NASCAR at COTA can take part in any of the following events to benefit children in need in the Austin, Texas community:

Laps for Charity | Friday, March 24 from 8-10 a.m.
Enjoy the thrilling once-in-a-lifetime experience of driving your personal vehicle around the 20 turns that make up Circuit of The Americas! You and your passengers will experience the circuit from behind the official COTA pace car.

Advanced registration is encouraged:

Geared for Greatness presented by Coca-Cola | Friday, March 24 from 8:30-11 a.m.
Enjoy a networking breakfast and forum for women in sports and entertainment who want to network with other great women! Hosted by Sage Steele, television anchor and co-host of SportsCenter on ESPN, this breakfast will be held at the Fairmont Austin at 101 Red River Street in Austin, Texas and feature guest speakers, giveaways and door prizes.

Tickets must be purchased in advance:

Live Auction | Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss your chance to bid on unique experiences and autographed memorabilia at the Live Auction, hosted by Jose Castillo during the Camper Party in Lot N! Auction items include:

  • VIP Victory Lane Experience
  • Darius Rucker Meet-and-Greet
  • Drivers Meeting Passes
  • Watermelon Autographed by Ross Chastain
  • VIP NASCAR Playoffs Experience at the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sept. 24, 2023
  • Guitar Autographed by Country Artist Pat Green


More information:

Fan Assistance Golf Cart Rides | Friday, March 24 – Sunday, March 26
SCC will be accepting donations on all Fan Assistance Golf Carts during NASCAR at COTA. Fan Assistance Golf Carts will be running from approximately 1-7 p.m. Friday, 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

More information:

Funds raised from these events will be distributed in the form of grants to local organizations that focus on children’s services in the greater Austin area. Earlier this year, SCC granted $15,000 to Safe House Project to train 24 Austin-area clinics in the fights against child sex trafficking in the United States. The grant resulted from fundraising efforts during the 2022 NASCAR at COTA event.

Donations can be made any time at

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


One of the most memorable experiences for NASCAR fans is seeing the stars of the sport up close on race day. Fans attending this weekend’s NASCAR tripleheader at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) will have plenty of opportunities to catch their favorite drivers for a picture, autograph or even a fist-bump.

NASCAR at COTA weekend driver appearances kick off on FEVO Friday with a Q&A session with NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) driver Dean Thompson at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 2:15 p.m. CT.

Before they strap in for Saturday’s XPEL 225 NCTS race, drivers Grant Enfinger, Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye will be answering fan questions at the Team Chevy display in the Fan Zone at 9:45 a.m. Fans can also catch a Q&A session with NCTS driver Taylor Gray at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 10 a.m.

Prior to Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race, Sammy Smith will take questions from fans at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 11:45 a.m. while Brandon Jones (11:45 a.m.) and Josh Berry (12 p.m.) will be at the Team Chevy display in the Fan Zone. At noon, fans can meet Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Miguel Paludo, Jones and Berry at the JR Motorsports/Legacy Motor Club souvenir rig in the Fan Zone.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) driver Daniel Suarez will be at Freeway Insurance on North Interstate Highway 35 in Austin, Texas Saturday at 3 p.m. meeting race fans in town for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

On Sunday morning, fans enjoying the plethora of free entertainment in the Fan Zone in the Grand Plaza can see NCS drivers Harrison Burton (10:30 a.m.), Chase Briscoe (10:30 a.m.), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (11 a.m.), A.J. Allmendinger (11:15 a.m.) and Brad Keselowski (11:45 a.m.) on the EchoPark Fan Zone Stage during Trackside Live hosted by Jose Castillo.

Defending EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix winner Ross Chastain will be meeting with fans Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the TxDOT display in the Fan Zone while Denny Hamlin will be at the Toyota Racing Experience display in the Fan Zone at 12 p.m. answering fan questions.

Before Darius Rucker takes the stage at 12:45 p.m. for a one-hour concert prior to the 2:30 p.m. EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NCS race, Chastain, Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney will join host Castillo on the pre-race stage on the frontstretch for Q&A sessions from 12:05-12:30 p.m. While the NCS driver Q&A sessions, driver introductions and Darius Rucker pre-race concert are free with any race ticket, the purchase of a Track Pass ticket upgrade will allow those fans to move from the grandstands to the front of the stage for premier access.

Friday, March 24

  • Toyota Racing Experience Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 2:15 p.m. – Dean Thompson

Saturday, March 25

  • Team Chevy Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 9:45 a.m. – Grant Enfinger, Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye
    • 11:45 a.m. – Brandon Jones
    • 12 p.m. – Josh Berry
  • Toyota Racing Experience Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 10 a.m. – Taylor Gray
    • 11:45 a.m. – Sammy Smith
  • JR Motorsports/Legacy Motor Club Souvenir Rig in Fan Zone (Autograph Session)
    • 12 p.m. – Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Miguel Paludo, Brandon Jones and Josh Berry
  • Freeway Insurance, 11139 North Interstate Highway 35, Suite 150, Austin, TX 78753 (Meet-&-Greet)
    • 3 p.m. – Daniel Suarez

Sunday, March 26

  • Trackside Live on EchoPark Fan Zone Stage (Q&A Session)
    • 10:30 a.m. – Harrison Burton and Chase Briscoe
    • 11 a.m. – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    • 11:15 a.m. – A.J. Allmendinger
    • 11:45 a.m. – Brad Keselowski
  • TxDOT Display in Fan Zone (Meet-&-Greet)
    • 10:30 a.m. – Ross Chastain
  • Toyota Racing Experience Display in Fan Zone (Q&A Session)
    • 12 p.m. – Denny Hamlin
  • Pre-Race Stage on Frontstretch (Q&A Session)
    • 12:05 p.m. – Ross Chastain and Justin Marks
    • 12:15 p.m. – Martin Truex Jr.
    • 12:30 p.m. – Ryan Blaney

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


The NASCAR Cup Series (NCS), Xfinity Series (NXS) and CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) will converge on Austin, Texas for their first road/street course race of the young season with this weekend’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).

All three of NASCAR’s National Series will tackle the challenging and technical 20-turn, 3.41-mile permanent road course beginning Friday. The NCS will have its opening practice session while the NXS and NCTS will conduct both practice and qualifying.

Saturday’s busy schedule will include NCS qualifying (10:30 a.m. CT) along with the NCTS XPEL 225 (12:30 p.m., TV: FS1, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM) and NXS Pit Boss presented by USA TODAY (4 p.m., TV: FS1, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM). The three-day race weekend culminates with Sunday’s third running of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: FOX, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM).

Here’s a look at the “Fast Five” Storylines for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix:

  1. Seven-time NCS champion Jimmie Johnson, after a two-year absence while racing in INDYCAR for Chip Ganassi Racing, will be making his second start of a very limited 2023 racing schedule in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

Johnson, co-owner of Legacy Motor Club, will be driving the No. 84 Chevrolet for the organization in his first NCS appearance at COTA. It will be his second start of the season, following his 31st-place finish due to a late accident in the season-opening Daytona 500.

“COTA has been on my racing ‘bucket list’ for a very long time,” Johnson said. “But my timing was off by a year or so. I was hoping it was going to be on the INDYCAR schedule – and it wasn’t – and then they added it to the NASCAR schedule after I left. … From everything I’ve heard, NASCAR drivers have had a lot of fun racing at COTA, so to say I’m looking forward to it is an understatement.”

Johnson, who gained additional experience running road and street courses in his time in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, owns one career NCS victory on road courses (Sonoma, 2010) and 20 top-10 finishes in 40 career starts.

  1. The Formula One race at COTA may be in October, but the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix will have a distinctive F1 flair with two former world champions – Kimi Räikkönen and Jenson Button – competing in the event.

Räikkönen, the 2007 F1 champion with 21 career wins, will be driving the No. 91 Chevrolet as Trackhouse Racing’s third race entry. The race will mark Räikkönen’s second NCS race after debuting with the organization’s PROJECT91 program at Watkins Glen last August. Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks created PROJECT91 last year with the goal of expanding the organization’s global reach by fielding a NCS entry for renowned international racing drivers.

The 43-year-old Finnish driver is quite familiar with COTA, making eight F1 starts on the road course and earning a victory for Ferrari in 2018. It was the final win of his F1 career.

“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Räikkönen, who finished 37th in his NCS debut at The Glen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”

Button, the 2009 F1 champion with 15 career wins, will be making his NCS debut driving the No. 15 Ford entry for Rick Ware Racing with support from Stewart-Haas Racing. The 43-year-old Brit also has experience at COTA with five F1 starts. He posted four top-10 finishes with a best of fifth (2012).

“Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I’m used to,” said Button, whose last COTA start came in 2016. “It’s a lot heavier with a lot less power and, basically, no downforce. It’s got a sequential gearbox where you need to blip the throttle, so there’s lots of stuff to learn in a very short space of time.

“But I just get excited about that new challenge, and when I throw myself into something, I am 100 percent in. I’m not just doing it for fun in some one-off. I want to be competitive, and I know that to be competitive, it’s going to take a bit of time.”

Button also is scheduled to compete in the Chicago street race in July and Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August.

  1. Ross Chastain returns to the site where he ignited his career-best season and signaled the arrival of Trackhouse Racing.

Last March, Chastain earned his first career NCS victory in dramatic fashion at COTA as he outdueled A.J. Allmendinger and Alex Bowman in a two-lap overtime shootout for a 1.331-second victory. The win also was the first for Trackhouse Racing and team owner Justin Marks.

Chastain would go on to earn another victory (Talladega), advance to the Championship 4 round and finish runner-up to Team Penske’s Joey Logano for the NCS championship.

He arrives at COTA this season third in the NCS points standings, five points behind Logano. He has posted four finishes of 13th or better through the first five races, including a season-best, third-place finish at Fontana.

During his COTA return, he will take his signature victory “watermelon smash” to new heights by dropping a few from the platform of the landmark, 251-foot-high COTA Tower. The media event will begin at 12 p.m. Friday followed by media availability with Chastain.

  1. Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, the 2020 NCS champion and an 18-time race winner, will miss his fourth consecutive race following surgery for a fractured left tibia that resulted from a snowboarding incident. He previously missed Las Vegas, Phoenix and Atlanta, respectively, and is expected to be out six weeks.

Champion sports car driver Jordan Taylor will handle driving duties for the No. 9 Chevrolet in his NCS debut. The 31-year-old Taylor competes for Corvette Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where he has won three championships.

Jordan made four IMSA starts at COTA from 2014-17, where he earned two wins, three podiums, two poles and led 146 of a possible 298 laps. He won from the pole in his last two appearances (2016, ’17).

“Jordan is a world-class road racer and has recently been working with our Garage 56 team preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “He’ll be able to step in and do a great job at COTA." 

  1. Joey Logano became the fourth driver from a different organization to win through the first five races of the season with Sunday’s victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Logano, the defending series champion, led a race-high 140 of the 260 laps to provide Team Penske with its first win of the season. The victory also moved Logano atop the NCS points standings by one over Christopher Bell of Joe Gibbs Racing.

The other organizations with wins this season are JTG Daugherty Racing (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), Richard Childress Racing (Kyle Busch) and Hendrick Motorsports (William Byron). Byron is the only driver with multiple wins, claiming Las Vegas and Phoenix, respectively, in consecutive weeks.

Interestingly, Logano and Busch (seventh) are the only race winners who rank among the top 10 in the series points standings heading into the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


Two-time Emmy Award-winning actor, writer and producer Brendan Hunt, who co-stars in the Apple TV+ global phenomenon Ted Lasso, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) and highlight the weekend’s dignitary roster.

Hunt will have the honor of providing the “Drivers, start your engines” command to the NCS field for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile permanent road course in Austin, Texas (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: FOX, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM).

He is best known for his role as “Coach Beard” in Ted Lasso and has won consecutive Emmy Awards in 2021 and ’22 for “Outstanding Comedy Series” as the show’s producer. Hunt is a six-time Emmy Award nominee, including five with Ted Lasso. In 2021, he was a nominee for “Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series” as well as two nominations for “Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series.”

The blockbuster comedy series, co-created by Hunt with Jason Sudeikis, Joe Kelly and Bill Lawrence, recently opened its third season on March 15. Hunt has appeared in a wide variety of critically acclaimed television programs and films throughout his career. Prior to Ted Lasso, he is most known for his roles in Community, Key and Peele, Parks and Recreation and Horrible Bosses 2.

Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer Darius Rucker will serve as the Honorary Starter and wave the green flag to commence the third running of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. Earlier that day, Rucker will treat the crowd to a pre-race concert on the frontstretch beginning at 12:45 p.m. CT.

Adrianne Palicki, known for her critically acclaimed role of “Tyra Collette” in the hit series, Friday Night Lights, will help lead the NCS field to the green flag as the Honorary Pace Car Driver.

Palicki’s current project has her starring next to the female lead with Broken Lizard in Searchlight Pictures Quasi, a satirical take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasi will debut Thursday, April 20 on Hulu. Most recently, she starred in the anthology film With/In and for three seasons of Hulu’s The Orville.

Performing the national anthem will be Golden Globe Award and Critic’s Choice Award nominee actor/producer Jaime Camil. Camil is beloved by many from his roles on Jane the Virgin and Disney’s Coco and currently co-starring on the hit show Schmigadoon!, which has its second season premiere on April 5 on Apple TV+. Rounding out the list of extraordinary dignitaries will be ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor Sage Steele delivering the invocation.

Dignitaries for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix NCS race:

  • Grand Marshal: Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, producer Brendan Hunt.
  • Honorary Starter: Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer Darius Rucker.
  • Honorary Pace Car Driver: Actress Adrianne Palicki.
  • National Anthem: Award winning actor/producer Jaime Camil.
  • Invocation: ESPN SportsCenter co-anchor Sage Steele.

Dignitaries for Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY NASCAR Xfinity Series race:

  • Grand Marshal: Dansons company-wide raffle winner.
  • Honorary Starter: Dansons Chief Executive Officer Dan Thiessen.
  • National Anthem: Christian recording artist Payton Keller.
  • Victory Lane Trophy Presenter: Dansons Chief Executive Officer Dan Thiessen.
  • Invocation: Dansons Chief Operating Officer Jordan Thiessen.

Dignitaries for Saturday’s XPEL 225 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race:

  • Grand Marshal: Porsche North Austin General Manager Christian Ames.
  • Honorary Starter: Authentic Details owner Brad McRae.
  • God Bless America: Christian recording artist Payton Keller.
  • Victory Lane Trophy Presenter: XPEL Vice President of Corporate Development Michael Mayall.
  • Invocation: NCS driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

Follow Us:
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.


Race Information

Round: NASCAR Cup Series race No. 6 of 36

Track Location: Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) - Austin, Texas

Race Name: EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

- Broadcast: Sunday, March 26th at 3:30 PM ET live on FOX (TV), PRN (Radio) Sirius XM NASCAR Ch. 90

Team Entrants:


Noah Gragson, No. 42 Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Circuit Of The Americas Stats

- Noah Gragson will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start at COTA on Sunday

- NXS Starts: 2; Best start: 12th, Best finish: 4th (2022); Top 5s: 1, Top 10s: 1

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 5, Best start: 20th; Best finish: 12th (Atlanta); Laps led: 1; Current points position: 24th


About Black Rifle Coffee Company: Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) is a Veteran-founded coffee company serving premium coffee to people who love America. Founded in 2014 by Green Beret Evan Hafer, Black Rifle develops their explosive roast profiles with the same mission focus they learned while serving in the military. BRCC is committed to supporting Veterans, active-duty military, first responders and the American way of life.

 To learn more about BRCC and save 25% off your first time purchase or subscription, visit Black Rifle Coffee Company and use the code “BRCCMOTOR” at checkout. Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube, or subscribe to Coffee or Die's daily newsletter for updates. 

- Road course starts: Throughout his five seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Gragson has 20 starts on road courses accumulating nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. He has raced COTA twice in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of fourth, which occurred in 2022.

- But first, coffee: Gragson delivered a win in the season-opening Daytona event for his partner Black Rifle Coffee Company back in 2020. The rapidly growing and mission-driven premium coffee company founded to support Veterans, active-duty military, and first responders announced last week they are partnering with Gragson for six events this season starting with COTA.

ANG ppearances: 

  • Sunday, March 26th | Team Chevy Stage: On race day, Noah Gragson will make his way to the Team Chevy Stage for a Q&A session at 11:00 AM local time in the COTA Fan Zone.

- From the Drivers Seat: "Last weekend was the boost we needed for the entire LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team. We ran a solid race in Atlanta, learned a lot and I think we left a little on the table. It was a solid points day. Moving on to this week, we finished fourth at COTA last year in Xfinity and have put a lot of work in during this off season to get better there. It's a really fun track and an awesome energy with the crowd. I am looking forward to the challenge. I'm really glad to have Black Rifle Coffee Company on the car this weekend - the paint scheme is really sharp and we hope to give them a good show."


Erik Jones, No. 43 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Circuit Of The Americas Stats

- NCS Starts: 2; Best start: 29th; Best finish: 9th (2022); Top 10s: 1

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 5; Best start: 10th; Best finish: 8th (Atlanta); Top 10s: 1, Laps led: 14, Current points position: 21st


About Allegiant: Las Vegas-based Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) is an integrated travel company with an airline at its heart, focused on connecting customers with the people, places and experiences that matter most. Since 1999, Allegiant Air has linked travelers in small-to-medium cities to world-class vacation destinations with all-nonstop flights and industry-low average fares. Today, Allegiant's fleet serves communities across the nation, with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket. For more information, visit us at

First Top-10 of the Year: In a remarkable run to the finish, Jones was able to pass several cars on the white flag lap in Atlanta to bring home his Allegiant Chevrolet with an eighth place finish. Not only was this Erik's best finish of the season, but it was also LEGACY MOTOR CLUB's best result yet, scoring the team's first top-10 of the year. A great recovery and sign of tenacity overcoming damage sustained in "the big one" towards the end of the race.

Racing in the Rain: Jones has raced in the rain three times during his NASCAR career - once at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and three times in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, COTA, and most recently Watkins Glen last season. He's been quite successful in that discipline, earning three top-10 finishes with a best showing of third place at the ROVAL in 2020. If the wet condition tires end up get used on Sunday, Jones might be one to watch.

-EJ AppearancesFans attending this weekend's EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix will have a chance to meet Erik Jones on Sunday:

  • Sunday, March 26th | Team Chevy Stage: On race day, Erik Jones will make his way to the Team Chevy Stage for a Q&A session from 10:30 - 10:45 AM local time in the COTA Fan Zone.

- From the Driver’s Seat: With there being no stage breaks for this race, how will that affect the strategy in how you approach this weekend?

“I think it opens up some more options, the old stages how we've had the last few years, you were kind of locked in to one way or the other - take stage points or take a higher finishing position. We will see how it used to be I think with running the race backwards and trying to make sure you have enough fuel to get to the end of the race. We will see how much tires matter, I think they are going to be pretty important with probably some more fall off than what we've seen in the past with the track aging and getting more slick a bit. I think it will be a fine balance between tires and trying to pit as early as you can to make it on fuel, so we will see how it plays out with our Allegiant Chevy.” 


Jimmie Johnson, No. 84 Club Wyndham Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Circuit Of The Americas Stats

- Jimmie Johnson will make his first official start at Circuit Of The Americas this weekend.

NCS Career Stats

- Starts: 687, Championships: 7 (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016) (tied for most all-time), Wins: 83 (sixth all-time), Poles: 36, Top 5s: 232, Top 10s: 374, Laps led: 18,941

2023 NCS Season Stats

- Starts: 1; Best start: 39th; Best finish: 31st (Daytona)


- About Club Wyndham: This year, Club Wyndham is offering racing fans 15% off on a bucket list NASCAR vacation. Save on resort stays during race weeks in destinations near select races by booking through Extra Holidays, Club Wyndham’s rental platform. See Offer Details below.* Click to learn more

*Travel offer details: Book by December 31, 2023. Travel by December 31, 2023. Two-night minimum length of stay required. Valid for new reservations only. Reservations are subject to availability. Reservations may be limited during certain holidays. Cannot be combined with any other offer. All monetary amounts are noted in U.S. Dollars unless otherwise noted.

- Hitting the road: Since the DAYTONA 500, Johnson has kept himself fairly busy. He participated in a 24-hour test at Sebring International Raceway as well as a test at Circuit of Americas in the NASCAR Garage 56 entry with Hendrick Motorsports. Along with co-drivers Jenson Button, Mike Rockenfeller and Jordan Taylor, Johnson and the team continue to prepare for the rapidly approaching 24 Hours of Le Mans.

-Lots of reps: For the last two years, Johnson has been perfecting his road and street course craft in an INDYCAR. He competed in 25 events logging 4,213.7 miles on these types of tracks. Since his departure from full-time NASCAR racing, Johnson has participated in seven International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) races as a driver competing in the ROLEX 24 Hours at DAYTONA, 12 Hours of Sebring, Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen endurance events. Additionally, he has logged hundreds of hours on a simulator in preparation for each individual event.

-Racing in the Rain: Both Johnson and crew chief Todd Gordon have experience in racing in the rain. Gordon's first race at COTA took place in the first NASCAR Cup Series event at the track with driver Ryan Blaney. Johnson ran the IndyGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last May in torrential rain, which proved both educational and challenging.

-Crew Chief Todd Gordon's weekend outlook: “I ran COTA with Ryan Blaney in 2021 in the rain. Neat venue, really long and lots of different facets to this track. There are high speed straightaways, lots of short, tight 90-degree corners and it’s got some sweeping right-handers through the stadium section. So, its really a track that has all the facets of road course racing. This track asks a lot out of the team, car and driver and it’s the first time we’ve gone there with this low downforce and the package we ran at Phoenix. It’s a really cool opportunity. I’m looking forward to the practice and see what Jimmie likes – he is a really good student - and I think his INDYCAR road course experience is going to be key because he understands how to race his way thought a road course. Should be a great weekend.”

-From the Driver’s Seat:  “This is going to be such a great weekend. I’ve had this race on my bucket list for a really long time and I’m thankful for a partner like Club Wyndham for making it possible. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the track, these NextGen cars with the low downforce, and thankful we have a practice on Friday to see what we have to work with. Todd Gordon and the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team have prepared a great car back at the shop. From everything I’ve heard this track puts on a heck of a show, and from a venue standpoint, it’s such a great stage for this sport. I’m looking back to getting back to the track, we have spent some time in the SIM to prepare and I’m ready for the weekend.”


Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) announced today Kevin Harvick will enter the CARS Tour Late Model Stock race at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Wednesday, May 17, driving the No. 62 Hunt Brothers® Pizza Ford. Harvick will honor his racing roots with a scheme reminiscent of one his early late model cars in California and run a number with a legacy built by his late father-in-law, John Paul Linville.

As Harvick competes in his final season in the NASCAR Cup Series, a common theme has become clear. Never forget where you started, remember the journey and those who helped you along the way.

For Harvick, those beginnings started in California running late models and winning a NASCAR West Series championship before he began his climb up the NASCAR ladder to becoming a NASCAR Cup Series champion.

Earlier this year, Harvick, along with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Burton and Justin Marks, announced they had bought the CARS Tour, a late model series competing in the Southeast region. During the announcement, Harvick made it clear he planned to compete in the series, get to know the competitors, and return to where he started his career, racing a late model.

“I’m excited to get to North Wilkesboro and compete in the CARS Tour,” said Harvick. “I’ve watched Dale (Earnhardt, Jr.) go out and have fun racing with these guys and I’ve been kind of jealous watching from the sidelines. I want to go out, have fun, get to know the racers who compete in these series regularly and see how I can help the drivers with my racing knowledge. Short-track racing really is the root that feeds into the higher series and everything we do in racing. The best way to make sure that continues and is strong is to be a part of it and racing at North Wilkesboro is just one of those steps. It’s going to be a great week with all we have planned between the late model and the Cup car.”

Continuing a legacy built by his late father-in-law, Harvick will pilot the No. 62 for the CARS Tour race, but it’s a number that is also being used by Kevin and DeLana’s son Keelan as he competes in the No. 62 throughout the United States, previously in go karts and now in Legend Cars. Linville’s racing career spanned more than 30 years. He started on the local short tracks of North Carolina and competed in multiple series, including what is today’s Xfinity Series.

“I grew up watching my dad compete for our family-owned team and traveling to the racetrack every week with him,” said DeLana Harvick. “When it was time for Keelan to pick a number, he wanted the No. 62 to remember his Paw Paw John and to set himself apart from Kevin. He really wants to be known as his own racer. To see my dad’s number running again with Keelan and now with Kevin, is really special to our family.”

With his entrance into the CARS Tour race, Harvick will once again be behind the wheel of a Kevin Harvick Inc. machine, bringing the championship winning organization back to the track after a 12-year hiatus. Kevin Harvick Inc. competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Truck Series and ARCA Series from 2001 – 2011. The team garnered 10 Xfinity Series wins, 45 Truck Series wins and two Truck Series driver championships with NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr.

“With where we are on the management side, the ownership in the CARS Tour and with Keelan’s racing, it felt like the right time to bring KHI back,” said Harvick. “For now it’ll be a place for us to run races to gain experience for our KHI Management, LLC (KHIM) drivers, compete in the CARS Tour to better understand how we can help make changes for the better and ultimately, have some fun racing.”

Racing at North Wilkesboro Speedway kicks off on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, with the ASA STARS National Series followed by the CARS Tour on Wednesday, May 17, All-Star Friday on May 19, the Truck Series race on Saturday, May 20, and NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday, May 21, 2023. For more information and to buy tickets for the weekend’s activities, visit Fans unable to attend the race can visit to purchase a subscription to watch the race live from North Wilkesboro and the full season of the CARS Tour.


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