Speedway Digest Staff
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
John Wes Townley and his RAB Racing team were able to overcome a pre-race setback that saw them go to their backup Toyota Tundra due to a practice crash to finish 20th in Saturday's American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway.
His fifth top-20 finish of the 2012 season allowed Townley to advance two positions, to 20th, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings.
Townley's weekend began on a promising note by posting the sixth-fastest time in Friday's opening practice session. The following morning, with minutes remaining in the final practice session, Townley spun his Toyota Tundra and made heavy contact with the outside retaining wall. After a thorough investigation, the Chris Rice-led RAB Racing team determined the damage was too severe to repair, forcing them to unload their backup truck.
Despite not turning a lap around the 7/8th-mile oval prior to qualifying, Townley was able to record the 29th-best qualifying time of the 39 drivers on hand.
From the drop of the green flag later that night, Townley showed the setback would not ruin his race as he advanced four positions in the opening 10 laps. As the laps clicked off, Townley maintained his position inside the top 20. Despite spinning as a result of a bad set of tires at Lap 136, Townley was able to overcome the challenges of the weekend to take the checkered flag in the 20th position.
"Our Toyota Tundra was really fast in practice and it's a shame we had to go to the backup," said Townley. "As a whole though, I feel like we ran well and I'm extremely proud of these guys. They got the backup ready for the race and I'm thankful for all their hard work."
RAB Racing PR
Texas Motor Speedway, in partnership with Cowtown Marathon, Inc., unveiled its sanctioned course layout and event logo today for the venue's inaugural "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k running events on Saturday, Oct. 27, that benefits Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter.
The organizers of the Cowtown Marathon, recognized as one of the premier running events in the state, surveyed the 1,500-acre site with Texas Motor Speedway officials to provide a 13.1-mile course that accommodates the needs of the runners from a competition standpoint while showcasing many of the signature elements of the state's largest sports venue. The 5k event will feature a portion of the speedway's infield road course as well as the final lap coming on the 1.5-mile oval as the focus of that layout.
The course (click here to download) has been officially certified and sanctioned by United States Track and Field (USAT&F) and is now available on the event website www.nolimitsrun.com as well as registration sign-up.
In addition to the unveiling of the course, Texas Motor Speedway revealed its "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k logo for the upcoming event. The "No Limits Run" logo, featuring multi-colored sneaker sole prints, will be branded on all event materials, from competitor and finisher t-shirts to special registration packet bags.
The "No Limits" Half Marathon will open inside the immense facility, allowing for convenience with competitor parking, entry packet pick-up and the starting line all within close proximity. Registration will begin at 6 a.m. and the half marathon and 5k will begin at 7:30 a.m.
The starting line for the "No Limits" Half Marathon will take place in front of Fuzzy's Taco Shop on Allison Avenue, which bisects the infield, and competitors will then head out of the North Tunnel to begin their run. Among the highlights during various mile markers:
- Mile 1 - After coming out of the tunnel, the runners will run on the backstretch past the Burnout Alley exclusive RV area and enjoy an elevated look of the track and the vast frontstretch grandstands and suites.
- Miles 3-6 - While on the outer ring road, the runners will pass the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track and Lil' Texas Motor Speedway as well as run across the Tony Stewart Bridge and past The Speedway Club building as they move to the inner ring.
- Miles 7.5-9 - The runners will take a quick swing through Pit Stop Park, an exclusive area for race week tailgaters.
- Mile 9 - The runners will have a long stretch on the concession/souvenir concourse beneath the 112,522 seats on the speedway's frontstretch.
- Mile 10.5 - The runners will head back through the North Tunnel and then onto a portion of the speedway's infield road course layout.
- Mile 12 - The runners will have a wide lane that cuts through the Liftmaster Garage, which will house the race expo, past cheering fans and onto the pit lane area for the final stretch. Similar to Olympic marathons, the runners will close out the half marathon by completing their final lap on the 1.5-mile oval. They will run around the oval on the wide, flat apron portion of the track surface and then receive the checkered flag from a flag man at the actual start/finish line.
In addition to the various points of interest in and around the speedway, the "No Limits" Half Marathon will feature a variety of entertainment every 1.5 miles of the run. The post-race party also will have a special musical act that will be announced at a later date.
The motorsports theme will be highlighted by one of most distinctive and unique medal presentations in the running community. The major category winners (Overall Male & Female, Overall Male & Female Masters for Half Marathon and Overall Male & Female, Overall Male & Female Masters, Overall Male & Female Youth for 5k) will be treated to the same post-race celebration in Victory Lane as the race winners in NASCAR and INDYCAR. In addition to the medal presentation, each major category winner will receive a cowboy hat and fire a pair of Turnbull 45 Colt-style, single-action revolvers in celebration just like the NASCAR and INDYCAR race winners.
The Liftmaster Nationwide garage will play host to the expo that will be open from 6 a.m. - 1 p.m. CT on race day as well as the post-race party. Free parking will be available in the infield for competitors and a free shuttle tram service will be available for friends and family as well as overflow competitor parking just outside the infield's South Tunnel.
Entry cost for the "No Limits" Half Marathon is $85 through July 31; $95 through Sept. 30; $100 through Oct. 25 and $125 on race day. The 5k entry is $25 through July 31, $30 through Oct. 25 and $35 on race day. There also is separate pricing for corporate and open teams in both the "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k, and school teams for the 5k. Each participant's race packet also will include a special promotion for race tickets for those interested in attending the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 4.
To register or for more information on the "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k, please visit www.nolimitsrun.com.
The saying often used in generational racing families is the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” when a driver’s offspring starts doing well behind the wheel.
However, in the case of NASCAR veteran Mike Wallace, the phrase needs to be plural with his son Matt now winning Late Model races at Lebanon (MO) I44 Speedway. He’s currently second in points trailing the leader by 65 points.
Last year, his sister and Mike’s daughter, Chrissy, won the track’s Late Model championship, the ASA Regional West championship and placed second in the ASA National championship. Matt is currently fourth in the region and seventh in the national rankings.
He’s doing all this in the same No. 6 Late Model his sister drove last year. Just like his sister did, Matt cut his teeth in the Bandolero and Legends cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday nights during the summer.
Chrissy has been attending as many races as possible in hopes of getting her NASCAR career back on track. The biggest hurdle for her, like so many others, is the lack of sponsorship. She recently helped spot for her dad during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America.
“I am more ready to go racing now more than ever,” Chrissy said. “I had great success in the Late Model last year and have been talking to all kinds of companies lately to get back into racing. With so many companies looking for a female spokesperson to reach their target marketing demographic, I think backing me would be the perfect avenue to success.
“Matt has been doing great in the Late Model at Lebanon I44. It’s fun to watch him race and encourage him along. I know he’ll be doing the same for me when I get back into NASCAR racing.”
Her career includes multiple NASCAR Truck Series and Nationwide Series starts.
Matt, on the other hand, is happy to be where he is right now. His dad won a Late Model championship back in the day at the same track.
“I’d like to hit the trifecta and become the third Wallace, in our part of the Wallace family, to win a championship,” he said. “This has been a blast driving the Late Model and my mom and dad, family, team, sponsors and everyone has been very supportive. My time in the Legends cars has helped me learn more and taking it to the Late Model has been great for me.”
Chrissy Wallace PR
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished eighth (Kevin Harvick), 17th (Paul Menard) and 21st (Jeff Burton).
- Harvick maintained an average running position of 7.641 during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 while spending 300 of the 301 laps (99.7 percent) running within the top 15.
- Harvick was credited with seven of the Fastest Laps Run according to NASCAR's post race Loop Data Statistics and Burton was credited with two.
- Menard made 61 Green Flag Passes, tying him for fifth in the NASCAR Loop Data category.
- Menard ran between the 11th and 23rd positions, maintaining an average running position of 16.39 throughout the 301-lap event.
- Burton finished third in the NASCAR Loop Data Statistics category of Closers by gaining three positions over the final 10 percent of the race.
- Kasey Kahne captured his second Sprint Cup Series win of the 2012 season and was followed to the finish line by Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
- The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 29. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Paul Menard and the Duracell/Menards Team Finish 17th in Loudon
Paul Menard started the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 13th position and Paul Menard started the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 13th position and battled handling issues throughout the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 before finishing 17th. Plagued with a loose-handling condition on the entry and exit of the turns and a tight-handling condition in the center during the majority of the 301-lap affair, crew chief Slugger Labbe called for air pressure and chassis adjustments during the first three scheduled pit stops to help alleviate the challenges that Menard was facing. The Eau Claire, Wis., native remained a fixture in the top 20 despite the persistent handling issues. During a lengthy green-flag run as the race climbed past the halfway point, the No. 27 RCR machine was passed by the leader, but returned to the lead lap when granted the "Lucky Dog Award" on the lap-190 caution. Labbe took advantage of the opportunity and called Menard to pit road for a variety of adjustments, temporarily offering assistance to Menard who drove up the 14th position. Following the final pit stop and round of changes the handling became incredibly loose, causing Menard to drop in the running order and take the checkered flag in the 17th position.
Start - 13 Finish - 17 Laps Led - 0 Points - 15
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"New Hampshire Motor Speedway is just one of those tracks that we are still trying to figure out as a team. The No. 27 Duracell/Menards team did a great job in the pits today, especially with the different adjustments we threw at the car. Everyone is looking forward to the break next weekend to recharge our batteries, and all of these guys deserve it."
Kevin Harvick and the Rheem Team Finish Eighth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem team finished eighth while battling handling issues throughout the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The new father started the race from the 12th position and reported to the Shane Wilson-led pit crew that the Rheem Chevrolet was loose in the center and exit of the corners during the early laps, yet gained track position moving into the top 10 by lap 56. The Rheem pit crew made multiple two and four-tire scheduled pit stops which also included air pressure and chassis adjustments to try and alleviate the handling condition Harvick was battling. The Bakersfield, Calif., native maintained a running position in the top 10 while the loose-handling condition turned into a tight-handling condition in the center of the turns. Wilson called the driver to pit road for one final attempt to improve the handling of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing machine on lap 234 while under caution-flag conditions. The pit crew changed right-side tires, added fuel and made air pressure and track bar adjustments. The speedy stop allowed Harvick to restart in the third position on lap 239. As green-flag racing continued, Harvick reported the tight-handling condition in the center of the turn and loose-handling condition on exit was still present and getting worse as the run continued as the RCR veteran driver fell back in the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in the eighth position. Harvick remains sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 85 points behind the leader.
Start - 12 Finish - 8 Laps Led - 0 Points - 6
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
"I'm really proud of the entire Rheem crew and the effort they put in today, but we couldn't figure out the right setup to get the Rheem Chevrolet out front. We finished about where we should have. Our car was really tight to the center of the corner and we never could fix that without making it too loose off. I'm looking forward to the off weekend, it couldn't have come at a better time; it will be great to spend time at home with my wife and newborn son Keelan."
Pit Road Incident Relegates Jeff Burton to 21st-Place Finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
An early pit road incident, untimely cautions and long green-flag runs relegated Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team to a 21st-place finish in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Burton started the 301-lap affair from the 25th position and quickly moved into the top 20 by lap 17. On the first round of green-flag pit stops on lap 65, the No. 31 Chevrolet and another competitor mad contact while exiting the pit box, causing a tire rub on the Caterpillar machine. The minor damage never became a factor with on-track performance, but the Richard Childress Racing driver lost valuable track position and dropped one lap down to the leader due to the delay on pit road. After the first caution-flag period of the day, Burton was determined to battle his way into the "lucky dog" position and get back on the lead lap. A 98-lap green-flag run, however, gave the leader ample time to lap several cars ahead of the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner which took the Caterpillar Chevrolet out of the 'lucky dog' position and pinned Burton one lap down. On the ensuing restart, the South Boston, Va., native immediately drove by three competitors and, once again, settled into the "lucky dog" position in 21st-place. Bad luck struck the No. 31 team again on lap 235 when the caution flag was displayed for debris. While Burton was running in the lucky dog position on the track just before the caution flag was displayed, a handful of top-five contenders pitted, putting those drivers one lap down to the leader and taking away the "lucky dog" pass from the No. 31 team. The remainder of the event finished caution-free while the 45-year-old driver turned top-12 lap times while running in the "lucky dog" position for the remainder of the afternoon. Never receiving another caution-flag period to get his lap back, Burton passed three additional competitors on the track and brought home the No. 31 Chevrolet in the 21st position. Burton now sits 19th in Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 25 Finish - 21 Laps Led - 0 Points - 19
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"We had a pit road incident early in the race that really set us back. We had a top-12 car throughout the day, but couldn't get a caution when we needed it. The speed was there, but those long green-flag runs hurt us trying to get that lap back. I can't say I'm not disappointed because the Caterpillar Chevrolet was good in race trim all weekend. We learned a lot."
Young Harrison Rhodes has a great future ahead of him. In just his first start with the MacDonald Motorsports team on a track he had never been to before, Rhodes qualified, raced, and finished in the top-10. The 8th place run was the first top-10 for the newly formed K&N Pro Series team out of MacDonald Motorsports.
Harrison raced the Chick-fil-a No. 49 inside the top-5 for most of the Samuel 150, fighting tooth-and-nail with some of the biggest stars in the series. On a lap 132 restart, Rhodes was pushed up out of the groove, dropping him back to 14th position. For the final 18 laps, Harrison drove the wheels of the Chick-fil-a No. 49 Toyota, getting back inside the top-10 and recording and 8th place finish.
"I am very proud of the 8th place finish and of all the hard work that the crew put into this weekend,” said Rhodes. “We learned a lot, and hopefully next race we will be even better! I am very thankful for the opportunity to drive the MacDonald Motorsports Toyota and hopefully there will be many more!"
In just three NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts, Harrison Rhodes now has two top-10 finishes on his resume. With his 8th place finish, Harrison moved the MacDonald Motorsports No. 49 into sole possesion of 12th in the 2012 owner standings.
The next race for the MacDonald Motorsports K&N Pro Series East team is this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. The Jegs 150 from Columbus Motor Speedway will run this Saturday night, July 21st at approximately 8PM EST.
Matt Crafton and the No. 88 Menards/Ideal Door Toyota Tundra finished in 3rd in Saturdays 4th Annual American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway. This is Crafton's 4th top ten in the same number of races at this track. Starting in 7th position, Matt never fell below 8th and maintained his spot in the top-five for the second half of the race.
Continuing his top-ten streak in the past four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, Matt maintained 6th Position in the drivers points standings and is currently one point out of the 5th spot.
"It wasn't the finish that we had hoped for here at Iowa," said Crafton, "but third place kept us in 6th in the drivers points standings and moved us one point away from fifth. The team worked really hard to get us back into the top ten in finishes, and I am ready for Chicagoland Speedway next weekend, where we have finished in the top ten in the last two years."
Ross Chastain avoided some of the bad luck that has surrounded the SS Green Light Racing team over the last few NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and brought the South Carolina Watermelon Association Toyota home with a sixteenth place finish Saturday night at the Iowa Speedway.
The No. 08 was solid off of the truck in Friday night’s initial practice session with Ross posting the twelfth quickest time and the Sunoco Rookie of the year candidate felt good about his prospects for Saturday night’s American Ethanol 200.
“We were good in the first practice on Friday night, but Saturday we just struggled with an overall lack of grip. I’m really not sure if it had anything to do with the Hoosier rubber from the ARCA race or not. We had an issue with the left front shock in the second practice and we changed the shock before qualifying.”
Chastain qualified twentieth in the thirty-six truck field and crew chief Brian Berry chose to make further adjustments to Chastain’s mount which relegated the Florida teen to the rear of the field at the start of the 200-lap race.
“Restarting at the back really didn’t hurt us that bad. I was able to move back into the top-twenty by the tenth lap but we really couldn’t make much more progress than that,” Ross explained. “We got a lap down in the middle of the race. The Melon just didn’t have enough overall grip to keep up with the leaders.”
Ross was able to get the South Carolina Watermelon Association Toyota back on the lead-lap by earning the “lucky-dog” pass on the races seventh and final caution with seventeen laps remaining in the event and crossed under the checkered flag in sixteenth behind winner Timothy Peters.
"It’s not quite how we thought we were going to run, especially after having a good first practice. It get’s to be a pretty long race when the truck just isn’t handling quite like you need it to," Chastain continued. "We’ll definitely bring a different package when we come back to Iowa in September."
“We were fortunate to avoid any bad luck and get a lead-lap finish.”
Chastain picked-up two positions to nineteenth in the NCWTS point standings as the series heads to the hometown of team owner Bobby Dotter on Saturday evening July 21st for the American Ethanol 225 at the Chicagoland Speedway.
SS Green Light Racing PR
Jason Bowles and his American Majority No. 81 Toyota team continue to impress everyone in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with another solid run Saturday at the Magic Mile in New Hampshire. Even after suffering a broken right rear shock mount before the 50th lap, Jason fought hard and maintained his cool, bringing home a 16th place finish.
After another solid top-20 qualifying run, Jason would bring the American Majority No. 81 Toyota to the green flag in 16th place. Even with no right-rear shock for most of the race, Jason ran between 14th and 18th all day. When the checkered flag flew, Bowles was running in the same position he started in, recording a 16th place finish for the team.
“I am very pleased with the way Jason stuck with it, that car didn’t look fun to drive at all,” explained crew chief, John Monsam, after the race. “We had a good car before the shock mount broke but it’s pretty tough to drive a three-legged race car. It was bouncing all over the place and Jason handled it like a veteran. He didn’t complain at all and brought us home another good finish.”
Jason’s 16th place run marked the 6th top-20 finish for the No. 81 team in the last eight races, and the 9th of the season thus far. Bowles will remain 13th in the driver points while the MacDonald Motorsports No. 81 moves up to 20th in the owner standings.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend for the 18th race of the 2012 season. The STP 300 will be run on Sunday, July 22nd at 2PM EST on ESPN.
Richard Petty won 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway, more than anyone else. Now you have a chance to follow in his tire tracks … sort of.
Richard Petty Driving Experience will make a stop at Martinsville Speedway on August 25 putting you behind the wheel of a 600 horsepower NASCAR race car for the thrill of a lifetime getting you as close to Petty’s success on the historic half-mile as you will ever get.
“Richard Petty and Martinsville Speedway are practically synonymous with all of his success here, so it’s a natural for Richard Petty Driving Experience to be here,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “We know our fans love watching a race here; we think they’ll love the in-car experience even more.”
There will be several driving experiences offered where your hands are on the wheel and your foot is on the gas and 600 horses are ready to take you for eight to 50 laps around Martinsville Speedway.
Rather let someone else do the driving? No problem! Ride-Along shotgun from the passenger seat as one of their professional driving instructors takes you for 3 high speed laps around the track for an unforgettable experience!
Martinsville Speedway PR
After a hard fought night in Clearfield, PA, Rev Racing continued its impressive team performance in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with three top five finishes in Saturday night's Samuel 150, at CNB Bank Raceway Park. Rookie, Kyle Larson remains a championship contender with a second place finish, followed by veteran driver, Ryan Gifford, in fourth and fellow rookie of the year contender, Bryan Ortiz, in fifth.