Wednesday, Jul 06
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Josef Newgarden’s summer hot streak continued Friday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The two-time winner at this permanent road course picked up where he left off in the most-recent NTT INDYCAR SERIES race – at Road America – by topping the practice charts here Friday in the only session of the day in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by The All-New 2023 Civic Type R (12:30 p.m. ET, live on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network).

Newgarden drove the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet to a best lap time of 1 minute, 7.0549 seconds on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course.

CLICK IT: Practice Results

Newgarden’s series-leading three race wins have come at Texas Motor Speedway (March 20), on the streets of Long Beach (April 10) and at Road America (June 12). The weekend before Road America he scored the NTT P1 Award for pole at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

Newgarden is also the defending winner at Mid-Ohio.

“The car feels really good,” he said. “I think the (temperatures) definitely made the trap speed low, and it felt very difficult to drive the car today to bring it up to temperature.

“I’m relatively happy. I think our car was good off the truck.”

Defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou ended the 75-minute session second on the practice sheet with a best lap time of 1:07.2610 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top three with a best lap time of 1:07.3171 in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

The session featured 673 laps turned compared to last year’s first practice (461).

Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Marcus Ericsson, who finished second in this race in 2021, ended the day fourth in the No. 8 Ridgeline Lubricants Honda at 1:07.3720, and Colton Herta rounded out the top five in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian at 1:07.4998.

David Malukas was the fastest rookie of the session, clocking in eighth with a best lap of 1:07.5361 in the No. 18 HMD Honda for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports. He completed 26 laps in his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES session at Mid-Ohio.

“Everything from our end, I think it was very good,” Malukas said. “From start to end of that session it was good. Mid-Ohio is so special, because every time you go out on track, it feels completely different, and track conditions to start the session were very tough to say the least.”

All 27 drivers in the field fought through the summer heat, with several drivers noting how challenging the mid 90-degree day was. Following practice, Newgarden said he has “rarely been this warm in the car.”

While Newgarden, a two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, bested Palou, the reigning series champion, by more than two tenths of a second, the rest of the field was much more compact, with first and 20th separated by just 1 second.

The only incident of the session came with about 40 minutes to go. Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato lost control of the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda in Turn 1 and spun off course and into the gravel trap.

Sato’s Dale Coyne Racing with RWR machine sustained no significant damage, and he continued on to pit lane as the track went under red flag conditions.

The only other off-course excursion came with roughly 25 minutes to go in the practice. Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean spun in Turn 12 in the No. 28 ForeverLawn/DHL Honda. He kept the car under power, and no red flag was thrown.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back on track at Mid-Ohio Saturday with Practice 2 at 9:30 a.m. (ET), followed by qualifying for the NTT P1 Award for pole at 2:45 p.m. Both sessions will be live on Peacock Premium and INDYCAR Radio Network.

NTT IndyCar Series PR

Welcome to Stafford Motor Speedway: This weekend the SRX Series makes its way to Stafford Motor Speedway for the third stop of the season on Saturday, July 2. The 12-driver field includes 2021 series champion Tony Stewart, Paul Tracy, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, Marco Andretti, Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, Bill Elliott, Hailie Deegan, Justin Marks and local racer Matt Hirschman. The race will be broadcast on live CBS from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET and streamed on Paramount+.

 

Justin Marks Joins SRX for Stafford Motor Speedway: NASCAR Driver and Co-Owner of Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks will join the field this weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway. No stranger to the driver’s seat, Marks has competed in NASCAR’s top three divisions as well as multiple Sports Car Series. As a team owner, in just its second year of competition, Trackhouse Racing has secured three wins with drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, placing both drivers in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

 

Local Ringer Matt Hirschman: This week’s local ringer is Matt Hirschman who won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway to earn his spot in this week’s SRX race. Born into a racing family, Hirschman is a multi-time champion on the modified scene. With his win earlier this year in the Spring Sizzler, he joins his father Tony Hirschman as the only father/son duo to win the marque modified event. 

 

Hailie Deegan – CBS Mornings: To kick off the race weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway, Hailie Deegan visited with CBS Mornings on Friday.  If you missed the interview, you can view it here. 

Points Leader, Ryan Newman: With two races in the 2022 season complete, Ryan Newman is the points leader following a third-place finish in the season opener at Five Flags Speedway and a fourth-place finish at South Boston Speedway. Bobby Labonte trails by four points in second place and Tony Stewart moved up to third in the point standings following his win at South Boston Speedway.

Starting Lineup for Heat 1 at Stafford Motor Speedway: 

Starting Position

Driver 

Car Number

1

Hailie Deegan

38

2

Ryan Hunter-Reay

1

3

Bill Elliott

9

4

Matt Hirschman

60

5

Justin Marks

99

6

Greg Biffle

69

7

Marco Andretti

98

8

Bobby Labonte

18

9

Tony Stewart

14

10

Michael Waltrip

15

11

Paul Tracy

3

12

Ryan Newman

39

Race Format: This week’s format will consist of two heat races and the main event is scheduled for 75 laps. Hailie Deegan will lead the field to green for Heat 1 with local ringer Matt Hirschman starting Heat 1 from fourth.

Driver Q&A Sessions: Prior to Saturday’s race at Stafford Motor Speedway, the full field will participate in a Q&A session from 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. The field will be split in to four groups:

  • Group 1: Paul Tracy, Ryan Newman, Michael Waltrip
  • Group 2: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte
  • Group 3: Justin Marks, Bill Elliott, Matt Hirschman
  •  Group 4: Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Marco Andretti   

 

Tune-In Information: The third race of the 2022 SRX season will take place on Saturday, July 2, live on CBS Primetime 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET. The race will also be streamed live on Paramount+.

South Boston Speedway Recap: A CBS recap of the race at South Boston Speeday can be viewed here.

Schedule Update: Following the third race of the season, SRX will head to Tennessee to compete at the Nashville Fairgrounds (Nashville, Tenn.) on July 9 followed by I-55 Raceway (Pevely, Mo.) on July 16 and conclude the season at Sharon Speedway (Hartford, Ohio) on July 23. All races will air on CBS Primetime from 8 – 10 p.m. ET.

About SRX Racing:
Announced in July 2020, the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) Series was founded by NASCAR Hall of Fame Driver Tony Stewart, NASCAR Hall of Fame Crew Chief Ray Evernham, George Pyne and Sandy Montag. The series made its debut on June 12, 2021, airing on CBS Primetime. Tony Stewart won the inaugural series championship. The series has seen a plethora of racing talent behind the wheel including Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Helio Castroneves, Ernie Francis Jr., Bill Elliott, Chase Elliott, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Hailie Deegan, Greg Biffle, Doug Colby, and more. The second season kicks off on June 18, 2022.

SRX PR

Taylor Reimer was officially confirmed as the winner of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series event run May 25 at Millbridge Speedway to become the first woman in history to win a national midget racing feature event. She had originally been scored second, but Cannon McIntosh was disqualified due to a tire issue with his final appeal denied Friday.

Reimer, a recent University of Oklahoma graduate, is running her first full season of national midget competition in the BuzzBallz Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) Toyota.

“It’s pretty amazing to be the first female to win a national midget feature event,” relayed Reimer. “I could never have done this without the support of BuzzBallz Cocktails, which is a woman-owned business, and the entire KKM team. Ideally, this isn’t the way we wanted to win our first one, but that’s a decision handed down by Xtreme Outlaws. Now we have to get right back to work and win some more races.”

It’s not the first time Reimer’s made history in her brief midget racing career, though. Just three days after her strong run at Millbridge, she earned a third-place finish in POWRi competition at Lake Ozark Speedway in becoming the first woman to earn back-to-back national midget podium (top-three) finishes.

The Bixby, Oklahoma, native also became just the sixth woman in USAC midget history to earn a Fast Qualifier award when she took top honors at Placerville Speedway this past November. She earned her second Fast Qualifier just six races later at Port City Raceway in April. She is one of just three women to earn multiple USAC national midget Fast Qualifiers. In between those events, she joined KKM teammate Kaylee Bryson on the front row for USAC’s biggest event in 2021, the Turkey Night Grand Prix, the first time two women have ever started from the front row together in USAC competition.

Prior to a seven-year layoff to pursue academics and a national championship winning run at the high school and collegiate levels in competitive cheer, Reimer was the winningest female driver ever at Port City Raceway by age 14.

With her first victory under her belt, Reimer’s confident that women will continue to excel at the national level in midget car racing, “I think that you’re going to keep seeing women excel as we saw with Jade Avedisian last week. Now that women have won back-to-back races in the Xtreme Series, it’s going to take some of the pressure, as well as the constant spotlight, off female drivers and you’re going to see more women winning races in the future.”

Reimer and the KKM team are back in action next Friday night in USAC competition at Huset’s Speedway. 

Taylor Reimer PR

It was a good day to be a rookie in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires as a quartet of drivers new to the series in 2022, led by Hunter McElrea, took the top four spots in Friday’s only practice session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

McElrea put the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car at the top of the speed chart with a best lap of 1 minute, 13.6126 seconds in preparation for Sunday’s Indy Lights at Mid-Ohio (10:35 a.m. ET, live on Peacock Premium).

CLICK IT: Practice Results

“Really good start to the weekend,” said the 22-year-old New Zealand racer. “The car feels great like I was expecting it to be honestly. Andretti Autosport is always strong here, so looking forward to the rest of the weekend. It should be a good one!”

McElrea’s rookie Andretti Autosport teammate Christian Rasmussen, the most recent winner in the series two weeks ago at Road America, followed in second with a best lap time of 1:13.9189 in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car.

Third was rookie Kyffin Simpson at 1:13.9679 in the No. 21 TJ Speed Motorsports car, and rookie Jacob Abel was fourth at 1:13.9751 in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon.

The most senior driver in the field, 28-year-old Matthew Brabham, followed his younger competition and rounded out the top five at 1:14.1474 in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport car.

Championship leader Linus Lundqvist found himself in the back half of the field, coming in eighth quickest of the 13 cars in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car with a best lap time of 1:14.2309.

The only incident of the day came late in the session. Abel went off course in Turn 1, making contact with the tire barrier. Abel was seen and released from the infield car center, and his incident ended the practice early.

Indy Lights is back in action from the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course Saturday, first with practice at 8:35 a.m. (ET), followed by qualifying at 1:45 p.m. Both sessions can be streamed on INDYCAR Live! and listened to on the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Indy Lights PR

 

 

Full of Energy: Bucked Up Energy Drink and its sister products will continue their role as the primary partner of Graf’s No. 5 Ford Mustang this weekend.

 

Road America (Wisc.) is the 13th race of 2022 and 44th race overall in a multi-year, multi-race deal with the former ARCA Menards Series winner.

 

For the first time this year, the team will promote Bucked Up Energy’s Blood Raz flavor.

 

Blood Raz tastes like Inception — or literally any Chris Nolan film — you know it's brilliant, but you can't figure out why. I can tell you Blood Raz is a watermelon flavor and you'll taste sweet summer days by the barbecue.

 

Or we can say it's Raspberry and you'll recall that succulent jam you got from the nice old couple at the farmer's market.

 

Blood Raz manages to be sweet, succulent, and tart. And it's sugar-free. That's right. Zero sugars. Drink up and taste that ambiguous goodness.

 

About Bucked Up Energy: Bucked Up started in 2013 when twin brothers Ryan and Jeff Gardner started marketing a product called Deer Antler Spray. After selling thousands of bottles to GNCs nationwide, the company morphed into what is now Bucked Up, a full-fledged vitamins and supplements manufacturer.

 

The company has gone from its humble beginnings to becoming the No. 1 best-selling pre-workout brand that’s available in over 10,000 stores worldwide.

 

Plenty Of Other Bucked Up Products Available Too: Don’t forget that Bucked Up Energy now offers more than 10 quenching options, but several of their popular flavors include Rocket Pop, Gym ‘N’ Juice, Mango Tango and Pink Lemonade now include low-stim options.

 

Low-stim has the same innovative ingredients that make their OG formula so powerful for focus, mood, motivation and energy. Bucked Up made just one small change and they have been surprised by the resulting epicness.

 

Boasting a modest of 100mg of caffeine, Bucked Up Low-Stim delivers the same energy, focus, mood, motivation – while reducing the common side effects that come from too-much caffeine, jitters, sleeplessness and anxiety.

 

Thanks For Your Support: With more than 45 percent of the 2022 Xfinity Series season complete, Joe Graf Jr. and B.J. McLeod Motorsports would like to thank their associate marketing partners AVOID, Bass Reaper Bait Company, CoverSeal, EAT SLEEP RACE Apparel, fgrACCEL, G-Coin, Gtechniq, HazHeart, Model Electronics and ShopRite for their continued support.  

 

Sponsor of the Month: Ahead of their upcoming second race as the primary partner of Joe Graf Jr. in August at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Graf is spending the month of July promoting Gtechniq, a leader in automotive protective coatings products

 

In 2004, scientists at Gtechniq created a superior line of products aimed at perfecting all vehicle surfaces. And over the last 20 years, these products have been continually improved to provide a range that outshines and outlasts the competition.

 

Gtechniq’s line of surface preparation and finishing products are designed to clean, polish, and protect all automotive exteriors, in a way no traditional wax applications can match.

 

Stay tuned to Joe Graf Jr.’s social media channels for not only a behind-the-scenes environment with Gtechniq, but the chance to win some swag too!

 

Joe Graf Jr. Xfinity Series Road America Stats: Joe Graf Jr. will make his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the 4.048 mile, 14-turn road course on Saturday afternoon.

 

Joe Graf Jr. Xfinity Series Career Road Course Stats: At tracks classified as a road course, Graf has competed in 10 NASCAR Xfinity Series races. He holds an average starting position of 25.8 and an average result of 22.8.

 

Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway | Tennessee Lottery 250 Race Recap: In the most recent NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, Graf and the SSGLRwJL team showcased the No. 07 Bucked Up Gym ‘N’ Juice Energy Ford Mustang in the highly anticipated return to the Music City.

 

Graf qualified his No. 07 SS GreenLight Racing with Jeff Lefcourt Ford Mustang an impressive 13th – a career-best on a non-superspeedway and contended for a top-20 finish until he was involved in a multi-car accident on a Lap 122 restart.

 

Sneaker Mania: Along with the adrenaline of the Motorsports competition, Joe Graf Jr. also has a vogue for hype sneakers. In his current collection, he owns and wears at least 90 limited edition sneakers – and his collection continues to grow every month.

 

The current estimated value of his collection tops $100,000.

 

From the Pit Box: Industry veteran David Ingram Jr. is Joe Graf Jr.’s crew chief.

 

He will crew chief his 371st NASCAR Xfinity Series race as crew chief on Saturday afternoon and his second at the track nestled just outside “Music City.

 

In his previous 370 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, he has collected one top-five and six top-10 finishes.

 

Hello From The Other Side: Graf Jr. has a teammate at B.J. McLeod Motorsports. Veteran Josh Williams will drive the No. 78 Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet Camaro on Saturday afternoon for his 13th Xfinity start of the 2022 season.

 

Williams is set to make his 139th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start and fourth at Road America. His best Xfinity track finish occurred in the 2020 Henry 180, where he finished 13th after starting 22nd for DGM Racing.

 

Follow on Social Media: For more on Joe Graf Jr. visit JoeGrafRacing.com, like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.), follow him on TikTok (@JoeGrafJr), Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and Instagram (@joegrafjr).

 

For more on BJ McLeod Motorsports, please like them on Facebook (B.J. McLeod Motorsports Inc.) and follow them on Instagram (@bjmcleodmotorsports) and Twitter (@TeamBJMcLeod). 

Joe Graf Jr. Pre-Race Quotes:
 
 

On Road America: “Road America is one of the most dynamic road course venues the NASCAR Xfinity Series competes on and I’m looking forward to making my second start at Road America on Saturday afternoon.

 

 

“I cannot thank B.J. McLeod Motorsports, SS GreenLight Racing with Jeff Lefcourt, Ford Performance and everyone enough for working hard to allow this race to happen for me.

 

“I’m looking forward to continuing to enhance my road racing skills and hopefully earn a solid finish before refocusing on the ovals.”

 

On 2022 Season: “We’re nearing the halfway point of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season and we are making strides and heading in the right direction. We may not have the finishes to show for it, but the speed and our performance at Nashville Superspeedway were another indicator of that.

 

“I cannot thank everyone enough who continues to work so hard and I know that soon our finishes will match our performances.” 

Race Information:

 

The Henry 180 (45 laps | 182.16 miles) is the 16th of 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series races on the 2022 schedule. Practice begins on Friday, July 1 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Qualifying follows shortly after at 5:00 p.m. The 38-car field will take the green flag on Saturday afternoon, July 2 shortly after 1:30 p.m. with live coverage on USA Network, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. All times are local (CT).

Joe Graf Jr Pr

Dr. Dick Berggren, Shirley Muldowney, Scott Pruett, and Frank Kimmel have been elected to the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

As required by the organization's bylaws, all four members received more than 65% of the votes cast by NMPA members. Biographies of the new inductees are below.

Berggren and Muldowney led the voting, receiving 84% of the votes cast. Pruett was elected with 71% of the votes cast, while Kimmel received 68%.

All four individuals are not only standouts in their chosen professions but are well respected in the motor sports community. They will be honored during the NMPA Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the annual NMPA convention in late January 2023. Additional details about the ceremony will be announced at a later date.

The NMPA Hall of Fame, which highlights all inductees and other award honorees, is located on the grounds of Darlington Raceway. It has been in operation since 1965.

NMPA Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Dr. Dick Berggren - From driver to legendary announcer, Berggren began his motor sports career that spanned more than four decades in 1967, racing Super Modifieds, Modifieds, stock and Sprint cars while also serving as the public address announcer at Arundel Speedway in Maine. Berggren’s love of racing led him to writing about the sport for various newspapers as well as Stock Car Racing magazine of which he became the editor. Berggren won 26 races before leaving his driving behind in 1981 when he began his run of more than two decades as a fixture on NASCAR telecasts. Berggren became familiar to viewers on ESPN while also appearing on CBS, TBS and TNN before closing his career with a 12-year stint as the lead pit reporter for Fox Sports’ NASCAR telecasts. Before retiring from his television career, Berggren founded Speedway Illustrated.

Shirley Muldowney - Known as the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” Muldowney went from street racing to becoming the first woman to earn a Top Fuel dragster license. She not only was the first woman to win a NHRA world championship, but the first person to win two and then three Top Fuel titles – 1977, 1980, 1982. Muldowney obtained her NHRA pro license in 1965, the first woman to be granted one, and claimed her first major event in 1971. Overall, she has 18 NHRA national series event victories. She also earned a IHRA championship in 1981. Upon retiring, Muldowney began operating “Shirley’s Kids,” which helps children in need in cities where drag racing is part of the community.

Scott Pruett - Pruett started his racing career at age 8, competing in karts and eventually winning 10 professional karting titles, including the Professional Karting Association World Championship in 1981. In his first full season in IMSA GTO (1986), he won the series championship and claimed it again in 1988. He also earned SCCA Trans-Am titles in 1987, 1994 and 2003. Pruett competed in 145 CART races between 1988 and 1999, recording two victories. After a brief foray in NASCAR, Pruett returned to sports car racing where he amassed 60 victories and 11 championships. Those victories include a record five 24 Hours of Daytona overall wins, a class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Frank Kimmel - Kimmel made his mark in the ARCA Menards Series. He is the only 10-time champion in series history, winning a remarkable eight consecutive titles from 2000 to 2007. After claiming his first victory at Toledo Speedway in 1994, two years after earning the series rookie title, Kimmel amassed a record 80 career victories and 44 poles. He was the first ARCA driver selected to compete in the International Race of Champions in 2006.

NMPA PR

JTG Daugherty Racing is pleased to have VELVEETA® return to the No. 47 Camaro ZL1 with Pick ‘n Save on the hood for the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America at Road America this weekend.

“We’re looking forward to having a bold presence on the No. 47 Kroger Racing Camaro with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Road America,” said Matthew Reusing, Senior Manager. Omni Shopper Marketing (Kroger) for The Kraft Heinz Company. “Velveeta is all about living ‘La Dolce Velveeta, and living your biggest, boldest most unrestrained life, always putting pleasure first.’ We are excited to bring back our bold VELVEETA® vibes to racing for friends and family to enjoy.”

VELVEETA® is known for its rich, creamy texture and is bringing the cheesy, melty goodness to the NASCAR Cup Series who has a vast number of racetracks on the schedule. The premier series transitions from the 1.33-concrete oval of Nashville Superspeedway to the four-mile (4.048), 14-turn road circuit of Road America located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

“We’re proud to have VELVEETA® on our No. 47 Camaro again,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “VELVEETA® is a household name that we’ve all grown up with that satisfies cravings. We’re fresh off of racing at Nashville Speedway (16th) and are looking for even better results at Road America with VELVEETA®.”

Stenhouse Jr. finished 12th at Road America during the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and knows there is still a lot to learn with the new car.

“We had a good finish there last year, but with the new car we’re still learning like everybody else is this year,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “We know we still have a lot of work to do on our cars for road courses, but we’re hoping we can strike a good balance for this weekend with our No. 47 Pick ‘n Save / VELVEETA® Camaro.”

Live coverage from Road America of the 62-lap event on Sunday, July 3rd starts at 3 PM ET and is live on USA, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

JTG Racing PR

Richard Childress Racing at Road America ... Although Road America has been in operation since the 1950's and has challenged some of the world's best racers for over 60 years, the first modern day-era NASCAR Cup Series race at the 4-mile, 14-turn road course was in 2021. Tyler Reddick led the way for RCR with an eighth-place finish in the 62-lap event, with Austin Dillon earning a respectable 11th-place finish.

 

Xfinity Series at Road America … Richard Childress Racing has a successful history in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at the 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course. The Welcome, N.C.-based team scored three consecutive victories with three different drivers - Brendan Gaughan (2014), Paul Menard (2015) and Michael McDowell (2016). Matt Tifft gave RCR its first pole at Road America when he grabbed the top starting spot in 2018. The team has 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 31 starts at Road America. 

 

Introducing the Carolina Cowboys ... Driven by the same passion for performance that guides his race team, Richard Childress’ latest endeavor brings Professional Bull Riding to the Carolinas. The Carolina Cowboys represent Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the PBR Team Series, an elite new league featuring the world’s top bull riders competing in games beginning in July 2022. The team is operated by Richard Childress Racing with 2018 Daytona 500 Champion Austin Dillon serving as General Manager. Don't miss the Carolina Cowboys inaugural "Cowboy Days" Home Stand September 9-11 at Wake Forest's Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Tickets are on sale at PBR.com and Ticketmaster.

 

Catch the Action ... The Henry 180 at Road America will be televised live on Saturday, July 2 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 

 

Follow Sunday’s Action at Nashville ... The Kwik Trip 250 at Road America will be televised live on Sunday, July 3 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on USA and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. 

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This Week’s Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Road America … Austin Dillon raced in the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event at Road America in 2021, finishing 11th. He has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track, earning one top-10 finish, and has also competed at Road America in the ARCA Menards Series and in the Trans Am Series.

 

Dow brings a science and engineering crew who is driven by limitless curiosity to the RCR Team … Austin Dillon and the RCR team are again supported by Dow’s materials science expertise and technologies this season. Backed by the power of data analysis and virtual modeling, Dow develops and manufactures high-performance components and materials custom-made for the No. 3 car. Dow and RCR’s partnership has expedited innovation and shortened testing time in the automotive industry by recreating in the lab one of the most extreme environments – the racetrack. After nine years of collaboration, Dow scientists and RCR engineers are continuing to work together to make the No. 3 car faster, safer and more precise. Stay up to date with Dow's exciting developments at www.dow.com/sports and follow us on Twitter @DowSports & @DowNewsroom.

 

By Seeking Together, We Can Solve Anything - Dow Salutes Veterans ... Dow’s solutions are reshaping our world. And at the heart of Dow’s solutions are their people. Their diversity is our strength. They reflect the world in which we do business and the communities in which we live. As a diverse community of approximately 37,000 employees worldwide, together we can solve anything. Nearly 1,900 U.S. Military Veterans will “ride” with Dillon this weekend thanks to a patriotic No. 3 Chevrolet featuring the names of U.S. Military Veterans and active-duty military members. This year’s No. 3 Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet features Dow’s commitment to the service and skills that veterans bring to the workforce with a special nod to Dow’s Veterans Resource Group (VETNET) and Military Degree Equivalency (MDE) program, which provides an opportunity for individuals with extensive military background to bring their broad scope of training and education, experience in leadership, and understanding of performing in high pressure situations into a successful career at Dow. 2022 marks the eighth consecutive year that Dow has partnered with RCR to honor U.S. Military veterans. The program began with just over 350 veterans in 2015 to nearly 1900 this year. This year’s program also highlights Dow’s relationship with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, and celebrates Dow's 125th anniversary.

 

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:

What do you think the key to performing well at Road America will be?

“It’s one of those places where you have to have an average lap in order to have a good lap because there are so many chances to overdrive certain turns. You can lose a lot in one corner and gain a lot in another. You just have to put it all together. A little bit of racing the track goes on in these kinds of races. The restarts are going to be aggressive and wild. People will be going everywhere. I do expect some attrition in the race because there are some areas where you can wreck some stuff. Runoffs, grassy areas. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I’m just looking forward to the challenge. It’s a challenging place.”

 

Do you think of yourself as a good road course racer?

“I’m getting there. I’m better than where I started, for sure. I’ve had some consistent finishes this year and last. I’m more comfortable, and that’s because we’ve been putting the work in by testing, racing in other series and using the simulator. We’ve been solid at road courses but there’s always room for improvement and I’m pumped for the challenge.”

 

You have a very special paint scheme this weekend. Can you tell me about it …

“The Dow Salutes Veterans car has been going on for eight years now. It started out with 350 names on the car, and I think we broke our record. We’re at nearly 1,900. It’s pretty awesome to see all of the veterans on the car from RCR, Dow and Team Rubicon. My buddy Tyler Rader, who used to be the gas man on my team, is on my car now. It’s cool just to see all of the connections to the military that we have across the board. Everyone is getting involved and it’s cool to see the spider web effect of names growing every year.”

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This Week’s 3CHI Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Road America … Tyler Reddick has one NASCAR Cup Series start at Road America, scoring an eighth-place finish in the 2021 event. He has two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the 4.048-mile track, highlighted by a third-place finish in 2019. This weekend, Reddick is also scheduled to compete in the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

 

Impressive Road Course Stats ... The driver of the 3CHI Chevrolet has made 11 starts on road courses in his Cup Series career and owns five top-10 finishes, highlighted by a second-place effort in 2021 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Reddick won his first Cup Series pole position in 2021 at Circuit of the Americas.

 

Happy Fourth of July! ... The No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet will carry a special paint scheme this weekend at Road America to honor America’s birthday. Check out the unveil video by clicking here.

 

3CHI Blazed the Trail for Another Industry First … 3CHI and Richard Childress Racing created another first with their partnership for the 2022 NASCAR season. 3CHI began with roots as a CBD producer and quickly became a pioneer in science-based hemp and cannabis innovation. The company was the first to commercially develop and market Delta 8 THC, and today, 3CHI is an industry leader with unsurpassed product quality and purity as verified by top independent labs and benchmark organizations. 3CHI products are sold in a majority of the United States, and the company produces and markets a variety of gummies, tinctures, lotions, edibles and vape products. All 3CHI products meet federal requirements for full legal compliance, with a commitment to promoting responsible adult use. See 3CHI.com for more information. 

 

TYLER REDDICK QUOTES:

Are you excited for this weekend's road course race?

“I’ve grown very fond of road course racing which was something I didn’t do a lot growing up. The time that I’ve put into getting better at it, I found rather quickly that it has become one of my favorite types of racetracks that we have on the schedule. It’s never a problem to memorize all those corners. Road America is one of my favorite tracks and I’m looking forward to it."

 

If you make a mistake in one corner, does that ruin the lap or can you make it up?

“If you miss one you mess up the whole lap. The mentality of trying to make it up is how you get into trouble. If you miss Turn 1 and try to make it up in Turn 3, you make it even worse and then you might even crash in Turn 5 or Canada Corner if you use that oval mentality of trying to make it up in the next corner. A place like Road America is a narrow, unforgiving racetrack so it doesn’t work there.” 

 

This Week’s Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Camaro SS at Nashville Superspeedway ... Sheldon Creed will make his first NASCAR Xfinity Series career start at Road America this weekend. In total, Creed has made four road course starts in the Xfinity Series. Creed finished 10th at Circuit of the Americas earlier in the year.

 

About Whelen ... Whelen Engineering is a family-owned company with a pioneering spirit and a passion to protect the lives of those who protect and serve others. The company mission is to provide industry-defining safety solutions around the world, while creating a community of problem-solvers who are inspired to push boundaries and continue our legacy of delivering ground-breaking innovation. As a global leader in the emergency warning industry, Whelen has been trusted to perform since 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon. Whelen now encompasses two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire with over 750,000 square feet of engineering and manufacturing space and the largest design staff in the industry. Every part of every Whelen product is proudly designed and manufactured in America. We embrace quality as our foundation, we celebrate innovative engineering in every product we produce.

 

Manufactured in America for 70 Years – We Never Left, and We’re Here to Stay … Whelen designs and manufactures reliable and powerful warning lights, white illumination lighting, sirens, controllers, and high-powered warning systems for Automotive and Mass Notification industries worldwide. Whelen products have been proudly designed and manufactured in America since 1952. With quality as the foundation, Whelen celebrates innovative engineering with every product made.

 

SHELDON CREED QUOTES:

You’re making your first Xfinity Series start at Road America this weekend, what are you looking forward to?

“I’m looking forward to Saturday’s race at Road America. I think it’s a really cool track and my team is due for a solid finish after the last few weeks. I was having a really strong run at Portland until an on-track incident took us out of the race so I’m ready to redeem myself on a road course. We’ve been working on the simulator a lot and I’ve been taking a lot of notes to help prepare for this weekend. If you have one bad lap, it can take you out of contention so it’s going to be really important to stay out of trouble, complete your laps and not miss a beat. Practice is pretty quick this weekend for the Xfinity Series so I’m hoping we can get some notes out of that to take to qualifying and the race.”

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This Week’s Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at Road America ... Austin Hill will be making his first-ever NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Road America on Saturday. In total, Hill has made five road-course starts in his Xfinity Series career with two top-five finishes. His two top-five finishes came earlier this season at Circuit of the Americas (second) and Portland International Raceway (third). 

 

Patriotism is One of Bennett Transportation and Logistics Core Values … “We love and support our country, pledge our allegiance, and honor the service and sacrifice or our military service members who defend our country and protect our freedom." The patriotic scheme on display this weekend is a hat tip to that core value. During this Independence Day weekend, Bennett is proud to display the tagline "Driven by Freedom" on the No. 21 Chevrolet. It describes the reasons that truck drivers enjoy becoming a part of the company. With an extensive load board full of freight for drivers to choose from, hundreds of agents and dispatchers who they can choose to work with, “No Forced Dispatch” and “Fast Pay,” our drivers say that Bennett gives them the freedom to be as successful as they want to be. Bennett has “Hiring Veterans” as a part of the paint scheme this 4th of July to recognize the many Vets they already employ at Bennett and their desire to bring more Vets into their workforce. The work ethic, training and values of our nation's military Vets make them ideal truck drivers, office personnel and logistics professionals. 

  

About Bennett Family of Companies ... McDonough, Ga.-based Bennett Family of Companies is a woman-owned, Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC) certified, diversified transportation and logistics company. Through its 12 affiliated operating companies, the Bennett Family of Companies delivers integrated transportation and supply chain management solutions worldwide. The company will use race experiences to recruit and retain hundreds of truck drivers for their organization in 2022. For more information, visit www.Drive4Bennett.com.

 

AUSTIN HILL QUOTES:

Are you looking forward to this weekend’s race at Road America?

“I’m pretty excited about road course racing now. It’s got a lot of lefts and a lot of rights and it’s a really long track - four miles. Practice is really short. It feels like we’re going to get about five laps in before we have to qualify. One way I’ve been preparing for since I realized how short practice will be is spending time on the simulator and iRacing. We’ve been so close at road courses this season. We’ve finished second at COTA and then we ran third at Portland. So, we finished on the podium the last two road courses. We’ve got to go get a win. I’m excited and I think we’re going to put on a really good show. We’re bringing a really good and new racecar to the track this weekend and we’re ready to get it done.”

RCR PR

Shannon Babb won his first DIRTcar Summer Nationals Feature in 1999 at the dawn of his legendary racing career. Fast forward 23 years later, he now stands alone atop the mountain as the winningest driver in Hell Tour history.

 

It couldn’t have been more fitting for the four-time champion, breaking through for his 101st career Summer Nationals Feature win in front of his legion of fans, friends and family at Fayette County Speedway – the same place he won his first-ever Feature as a young up-and-comer.

 

Last year’s celebration of a milestone 100 Summer Nationals wins was sweet, but 101 means even more.

 

“It knocks it out of the park, really,” said Babb, of Moweaqua, IL. “It means a ton also because we’re right here at a favorite racetrack of mine. My wife and my girls are here tonight, my in-laws and everybody was here.”

 

A multi-decade veteran of the sport, Babb recalls the days of battling tooth-and-nail for every spot on the track, every win, and every championship against another on of Dirt Late Model racing’s all-time greats, Billy Moyer. With the win Thursday night, he now surpasses the six-time champ for most wins in tour history.

 

“It blows my mind thinking about all these races,” Babb said. “We might’ve won 101, but there’s probably been 500 of them that we didn’t win that we just got our asses beat at.”

 

To do it, Babb first had to go through Moyer’s son, Billy Moyer Jr., sneaking past the Batesville, AR-native on the bottom as he got caught-up in lapped traffic on Lap 14 of the 50-lap main event.

 

From there, Babb played strong defense the rest of the race, holding off players like Moyer, Tanner English and Brian Shirley through multiple restarts and lapped traffic.

 

“When I got to the lapped cars, the bottom of Turns 1-2 was really good and 3-4 was a little iffy,” Babb said. “You really just don’t know where to go, and I resorted to just staying on the gas, trying to bounce off the cushion and go forward as much as I could. Use the bank a little bit.”

 

His biggest challenge came on the final restart with three-to-go, when English got a great launch out of Turn 4 and nearly pulled even with Babb into Turn 1. But the Moweaqua Missile held strong on the top, ripping the lip around the quarter-mile to stay ahead of English’s Riggs Motorsports #81E and secure the victory.

 

“I thought it was a fantastic race,” Babb said. “Tanner, little Billy [Moyer Jr.] and them guys were all over me. We were just fortunate to get to the front early and be able to hold them off.”

 

English finished second, less than a second behind Babb at the line, while Bobby Pierce completed a remarkable drive from the tail after blowing a tire early to finish third. Trevor Gundaker matched his season-best finish with the Hell Tour in fourth; Moyer Jr. held onto fifth.

 

UP NEXT

 

The Summer Nationals returns to action Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY, for another $10,000-to-win showdown. If you can’t be at the track, stream it live on DIRTVision.

 

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

 

Feature 50 Laps | 00:23:17.752

1. 18-Shannon Babb[5]; 2. 81E-Tanner English[4]; 3. 32-Bobby Pierce[11]; 4. 11T-Trevor Gundaker[3]; 5. 21-Billy Moyer Jr[2]; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley[7]; 7. 17X-Michael Kloos[10]; 8. 25-Jason Feger[19]; 9. 14G-Joe Godsey[12]; 10. F1-Payton Freeman[6]; 11. 15-Christian Hanger[21]; 12. 26M-Brent McKinnon[9]; 13. T4-Adam Tischauser[14]; 14. 30-Mark Voigt[15]; 15. 16-Rusty Griffaw[13]; 16. 23NZ-Mick Quin[17]; 17. 14R-Jeff Roth[22]; 18. 10-Daryn Klein[1]; 19. 14-Paul Kuper[16]; 20. 4D-Doug Tye[18]; 21. 10J-Jordan Bauer[8]; 22. 15F-Richard Frost[20]

 

HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Hoffman Tops Harrison at Fayette County for Ninth Win of Season

 

They met once already this season in DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature action, and Thursday night’s clash of Nick Hoffman and Mike Harrison at Fayette County Speedway was another one for the record books.

 

The two multi-time champions won their Heat Races and rolled to the track for the Feature on the front row. At the drop of the green, Hoffman got the jump into the lead and began playing defense against Harrison’s big run on the top.

 

Hoffman stuck mostly to the bottom lane in the 25-lap event, taking heed from the Late Model race before the Modified Feature.

 

“Just watching that Late Model Feature, I judge a lot of what I do off of what those guys end up doing,” Hoffman, of Mooresville, NC, said. “The Late Model race was won on the bottom, so I did the same.”

 

Though Harrison gave it everything the car had on the top, he was unable to catch Hoffman in the end. Hoffman cruised across the stripe for his 66th career Summit Modified victory and ninth of the season in 11 starts.

 

“I was more worried about Kelly Kovski and those Elite [Chassis] guys that could roll around the infield pretty well,” Hoffman said. “Kelly ended up third, Kyle [Steffens] ended up fourth, so it was a good night for us.”

 

UP NEXT

 

The Summit Modifieds return to action Friday night at Paducah International Raceway in Paducah, KY. If you can’t be at the track, stream all the action live on DIRTVision.

 

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

 

Feature 25 Laps | 00:11:09.356

1. 2-Nick Hoffman[2]; 2. 24H-Mike Harrison[1]; 3. 10K-Kelly Kovski[4]; 4. 8-Kyle Steffens[3]; 5. 87Z-Zeb Moake[9]; 6. 63-Bret Eilerman[11]; 7. 33S-Steve Stevenson[6]; 8. 7-Willie Gammill[7]; 9. 88-Chris Bolyard[10]; 10. 4M-Clint Martin[12]; 11. 26- Anthony Carter[13]; 12. 27-Keith Harre[14]; 13. 71-Rayce Baker[16]; 14. 51-Phil Bible[17]; 15. 36-Kenny Wallace[5]; 16. 0- Damian Kiefer[15]; 17. 21M-Willy Myers[8]

 

DIRTcar Series PR

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