Saturday, May 27
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Children of all ages will have the opportunity to get up close to vehicles of all sorts during the Touch-A-Truck at Martinsville Speedway Saturday.

Presented by the Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County and Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Touch-A-Truck will have dozens of different modes of transportation on display for people to see, hear and touch.

There will be a monster truck, a fire truck, an ambulance, a helicopter, a race car, a police car, a limousine, a state police motorcycle, a crime scene truck and many more on display in the Martinsville Speedway infield.

“Charity League has hosted events for children in Martinsville and Henry County over the past 83 years. Touch-A-Truck will be the league’s largest public event for children,” said Chandres Pickett, fundraising chair for the Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County. “We are thrilled to have so many community partners to achieve this goal.”

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the infield of Martinsville Speedway. Admission is $5 for children with adults admitted free.

All proceeds will benefit the children of Martinsville and Henry County.

Concessions will be available for purchase, including The Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog®.

Martinsville Speedway PR

Drivers and teams have raced throughout the 2014 season at Southern National Motorsports Park, and their season culminates this weekend with SNMP Championship Weekend. This two-day event will feature every SNMP division over two days of great racing.

Friday night (September 12) is the Race to the Championship, featuring a 35 lap Late Model Stock Shootout, where the winner takes a $1,500 prize and bragging rights of the night. Limited Late Models and Chargers will run twin-sprint races, while Ultimate Body Shop UCARs, Street Stocks, Legends and Bandoleros will all race their usual distances.

Friday night is also Hawaiian Shirt Night at SNMP, and all adults get in for $10 if they're wearing a Hawaiian shirt. There will be $25 prizes for "ugliest shirt" and "cutest tourist couple" as well as "craziest dressed staff member". Free leis will be passed out for the first 200 in attendance, as well.

Saturday is Champions Night at SNMP, where all SNMP champions will be crowned. The night features twin-75 lap Late Model Stock races, with all other SNMP divisions in action as well. Tommy Lemons Jr. looks to solidify his 2014 championship run, while Myatt Snider makes one last push to overtake Lemons in the Late Model Stock standings. Haley Moody will need solid runs in Limited Late Models to hold back Dillon Spain. The Ultimate Body Shop UCAR division has been too close to call all season, with Tyler Horne and James Stroud battling all season long. That and more will wrap up Saturday night!

Saturday will also feature the inaugural SNMP Track Gating competition, with prizes being awarded for best BBQ (pork, chicken and beef), most SNMP Pride and best overall Track Gating experience. To enter, fans simply need to purchase a trackside or camping spot through the track office and register then. Rules and regulations for the Track Gating event can be found at


Ray Black Jr. will make his fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on Friday in the Lucas Oil 225 as he takes the wheel of the No. 08 ScubaLife/NASE Worldwide Silverado for SS Green Light Racing at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.


The young Florida native has been busy this summer; in addition to running the first three NASCAR races of his career, Black has been running his Team Scuba late model, finishing third at his last race in Pensacola. “That strong finish made me real happy and brought my confidence up. I feel like we can carry some of that momentum to the truck series these next two weeks,” said Black who will also pilot the SS Green Light Racing ScubaLife/NASE Worldwide Chevrolet at New Hampshire.


“I spent some time in the Florida Keys and we went lobstering; that was a lot of fun. The other night I caught a 6-1/2 foot nurse shark right off the beach, so we’ve been busy,” he continued. “The summer is winding down now. It’s already starting too cool off.”


“This will be my fourth race in the trucks overall,” Black explained. “It’s another new track that I’m really looking forward to running. I’ve heard it’s really fast; I can’t wait to race on Friday night.”

“It’s quite a bit different from the first three tracks I’ve been to in the trucks. Each one is different in its own way. From the paperclip at Martinsville to Gateway and Pocono which are triangles, now we’re going to Chicago which is a fast mile and a half cookie-cutter, it’s a whole new ballgame again.”


“I’m really looking forward to this race; hopefully we can get the truck figured out, find some speed on the track and get a good finish for our ScubaLife/NASE Worldwide Chevy,” concluded Black. “Then after the race, I’m going to go back to North Carolina and spend a week with the SS Green Light team in shop before heading up to New Hampshire.”


The Lucas Oil 225 will prelude Saturday’s Nationwide Series Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 and Sunday’s 400 and is the 328th consecutive NCWTS start for the SS Green Light Racing team, a streak that dates back to 2001.


SS Green Light Racing PR

Kelly Admiraal joined RAB Racing with Brack Maggard for his third start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.


The 19-year-old posted times fast enough for the 29th and 20th positions in Thursday's two scheduled practice sessions and qualified in the 27th position for Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250.


Competing in his first Nationwide Series' race at Richmond International Raceway, Admiraal was able to complete the 250-lap event in the 22nd position. This finish marks Admiraal's best finish to date in the Nationwide Series.


Kelly Admiraal Quotes:
"We had a good run in Richmond, finishing 22nd in just my third career Nationwide Series start. This being my second race with RAB Racing, I'm very happy with the top-25 finish. I'm blessed to be able to share this accomplishment with the continuing support of Swan Rentals. I'm going to take this experience and all that I learned this weekend and look forward to the next one."


RAB Racing PR

The 16 drivers in the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup don’t know exactly what to expect out of the new format. They do know that the seventh stop in the Chase will be filled with action and excitement.

The seventh race in the Chase is the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26. It is the only true short track in the Chase, and kicks off the Eliminator Round.

“Martinsville is a big deal (in the Chase),” said Carl Edwards, who is seeded seventh in the Chase field with two wins this season. “I’ve looked forward to coming to Martinsville more and more. It’s a fun time. The last time we were there I actually made the comment to someone if I was buying a ticket to a race, it would be this one.

“It’s all right there in front of you. You’ve got 43 guys battling it out right there in front of you, banging into each other. It’s as good as it gets.”

Brad Keselowski earned the top seed in the Chase with a win Saturday night, his fourth of the season. He’s followed by Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano with three wins apiece in 2014. Then come Kevin Harvick and Edwards, both with two wins, and Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola and A.J. Allmendinger with a win each. Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman round out the Chase field, all three earning berths on points.

Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have the most Martinsville success of drivers in the Chase with eight wins apiece on the half-mile oval. Gordon is the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 defending champion.

Hamlin has four Martinsville wins while Kurt Busch has two and Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick have one win each.

Earnhardt  doesn’t have a Martinsville Speedway victory, but has a good idea what it takes to win on the tough track after two runner-up finishes and four third-place efforts.

“It’s gonna be tough and hard racing, but good racing,” said Earnhardt. “This is a short track. You can get yourself in trouble if you’re not careful. You gotta run smart and hard and try to run as clean as you can protecting your brakes and saving your car for the end of the race when you need to press hard. Hopefully you have enough left in the car to give you the speed you need at the end.”

Martinsville Speedway PR

David Ragan, driver of the No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford, comments on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:

"The track in Chicago is starting to wear in and be really fun. It reminds me a lot of Atlanta. The surface is really worn out, tires are worn out. You've got fast laps for a few laps, but then the track kind of comes back to you. It's a great area -- there's a lot of race fans in the Chicago area.
"Obviously it's the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series. You've got a lot of teams that'll feel it's important to get that win and set themselves up for those next couple races. For those of us who aren't in the Chase, we will, of course, show due respect on track to those that are, but we're certainly not going to lie down for them. We still have things to accomplish this year at Front Row Motorsports, and we want to run well every single race."
JUST THE FACTS: Ragan has seven Sprint Cup career starts at Chicagoland Speedway ... He has one top-10 and three top-15 finishes at the 1.5-mile track ... His best finish at Chicagoland is eighth (2008) ... Dockside Logistics returns as primary sponsor of the No. 34 Ford.

There will be two drivers wearing bright yellow Love's Travel Stops firesuits on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland will look familiar, but alongside him will be nine-year-old Jack Czapla, a Chicago-area "miracle child" celebrating life as a healthy kid after beating a two-year bout with leukemia.


The miniature "driver for a day" will top off Love's Travel Stops' and Gilliland's week of promoting Love's annual fundraising campaign for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization that raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America.


Jack's orange
 leukemia-awareness ribbon artwork

In addition to wearing a replica of Gilliland's racing uniform, Jack will participate with Gilliland in driver appearances at the track, the official Sprint Cup Series drivers' meeting and on-stage driver introductions before the race. While he will not get to drive the No. 38 Love's Travel Stops Ford, he will get to watch all the action of the race atop the Front Row Motorsports pit box. The Mundelein, Ill., boy also created artwork that will be featured on the hood of the No. 38 Ford and on Gilliland's helmet. 


Promotion of the Love's fundraising campaign will also feature a Thursday afternoon visit by Gilliland and a Love family member and owner to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, where Jack was treated. The visit will include a meet-and-greet with patients, a check presentation by Love's and a tour of the facility.


"I'm really looking forward to visiting the children's hospital and seeing the great work that these doctors and nurses do," said Gilliland, a father of two. "As a parent, it just breaks your heart to know the things that these kids have to go through. And it makes me extra proud to have Love's as a partner, knowing how much they do to help raise money to help get these kids healthy again.


"I can't wait to meet Jack," Gilliland continued. "I called him a couple weeks ago to say hello and tell him about the cool things he's going to get to do at the race. He's pretty excited and I am, too."


The month of September marks the 16th year that Love's Travel Stops has run a fundraising effort for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Cashiers at more than 320 Love's locations nationwide are asking customers to buy paper balloons for $1, $5 or $20 to benefit local CMN-partner hospitals.


"This is what it's all about," said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love's. "Our Love's team members are working hard to raise money, and our customers give generously every year to help CMN Hospitals make miracles happen for sick and injured kids. I can't wait to see the faces at Lurie Children's Hospital when David Gilliland visits."

Tweaker Energy Shots is back on board the No. 19 Camry this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Tweaker and Circle K have teamed up once again to serve as the primary sponsor for Mike Bliss's Camry. This is the second time this season that Tweaker and Circle K have adorned the hood of the No. 19 Camry.

"I'm looking forward to having Tweaker back on board this weekend in Chicago," said Bliss. " I hope we can earn a great finish and help to continue a successful partnership between Tweaker and Circle K."


This is the second season Tweaker Energy Shot has served as a primary sponsor for Mike Bliss and TriStar Motorsports and its' second race teaming up with Circle K.  With more than 3,300 locations Nationwide, Circle K will help kick-start Bliss' weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway.



Brennan Newberry and the No.24 Qore-24 team returned to Greenville Pickens for the second time this season, at the historic South Carolina short track. After a disappointing finish, in the earlier race in March, NTS Motorsports as an organization prepared for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 with a full day of testing on Thursday, August 28th. Upon arrival in Easley, South Carolina, the first challenge of the day was working through the heat and humidity which resulted in continuous search for grip throughout the event. During the first of two short practice sessions, Newberry and No.24 Crew Chief John Monsam worked on  finding forward drive and rear grip and began formulating a blueprint focused on longer runs,     anticipating few cautions throughout the 140 lap race. At the end of the first 45 minute session, Newberry was listed just outside of the top ten in eleventh after a fast time of 21.579.  The final round of practice was open for only 30 minutes, yet during that time the NTS Motorsports driver turned 36 circuits, as Monsam was eager to see how the Qore-24 Chevrolet would hold up on the long runs, and Newberry ended up with one of the most consistent cars in those long runs.

Newberry would go into qualifying knowing he had a solid race set-up, but that his qualifying time would more than likely suffer in the trade.


Throughout the laps leading up to the start of 2-lap qualifying to set the starting lineup, Monsam had wagered his short run speed for a setup that would hold strong if the race were stretched into long green flag runs. Newberry would go out 20th of 22 total entries and posted his fastest time on his second lap by the start/finish line. When the field was set for the start of the race, Newberry would line up 17th and knew he would have his work cut out moving up through a strong field of race cars, but faced the challenge with confidence and began devising a strategy to make his way to the front.


As the green flag took flight over the field for the first of 140 laps, the last event before the season finale of the 2014, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season roared to life and Newberry immediately showed the strength in his car and began working his way forward. Only 5 miles, 10 laps, into the race, the No.24 Chevrolet had moved up to 15th. The first half of the event would see a green flag run stretching the entire 70 laps before the halfway break and Newberry radioed to his team that his car was best after 10 laps and that he needed just a bit more front grip but to make minimal changes. After receiving four fresh tires, Sunoco Racing fuel, and a slight adjustment, the Qore-24 team were poised just inside the top 10 and were looking to capitalize on a strong run.


On lap 71 the green was displayed for only 3 laps until the first incident of the night brought out the caution on lap 74.  Newberry was racing for position when the yellow was displayed and would take the green in 9th to fight his way to the finish. Working through heavy lapped traffic and staying close to the leaders, Newberry had saved his equipment and was shaving time off of his lap times, as other teams were fighting to stay in the hunt. Passing on the inside, outside, and glowing the brakes at the end, the night heated up for Newberry as the event drew to a close. When the checkers were displayed, Newberry had made more passes for position on the night, than any of his competitors, and had moved into 6th for a strong end to a fast day. Newberry and the NTS Motorsports Qore-24 team head to Dover International Speedway for the final event of the season knowing that they can tackle any obstacle and fight adversity to come home strong at the end of the night.


NTS Motorsports PR

John Wes Townley heads back to Chicagoland Speedway for his second start at the 1.5-mile intermediate track.  Townley raced earlier in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event and will be back for the running of the Lucas Oil 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event Friday, September 12, 2014.

Townley has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, posting a best finish of sixth in 2013 on the 1.5-mile Joliet, Illinois track.  He also has two prior NASCAR Nationwide Series starts and two ARCA Racing Series events under his belt at Chicagoland Speedway.

“I’m really looking forward to going back to Chicagoland for the Truck Series race,” John Wes Townley said.  “I had a solid top-10 finish last year in the truck there and I hoping to make it a top-five this weekend.  We’ve had an up and down year so far in the trucks and I’m really hoping that these three back to back weekends will pay off with some consistent runs for Athenian Motorsports and Zaxby’s.”

Athenian Motorsports PR


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