Steven B. Wilson
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
TriStar Motorsports is excited to announce that NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Hal Martin will be back behind the wheel of the No. 44 American Custom Yachts Toyota Camry this weekend at Iowa Speedway. This will be the "Ragin Cajun's" second start at the 7/8-mile asphalt paved tri-oval speedway.
"It's an honor to represent American Custom Yachts again this season behind the wheel of the No. 44 Toyota Camry for TriStar Motorsports," said Hal Martin. "I can't thank Mark and Kathy Smith enough for giving me another opportunity to drive for them. I am looking to build off of the experience I gained racing at Iowa Speedway earlier this year and hope for a strong finish for both TriStar Motorsports and American Custom Yachts."
American Custom Yachts has partnered with Hal Martin and TriStar Motorsports once again for the 2014 season. The Stuart, Florida-based, operation encompasses a 63-acre marine facility providing a full range of marine services on site, including yacht construction, repair, repowering and refitting. Located at mile marker 46 on the Okeechobee Waterway, ACY is a one-stop shop for all marine service needs.
"American Custom Yachts is proud to partner once again with TriStar Motorsports and Hal Martin in the NASCAR Nationwide Series -- one of America's greatest sporting venues," said American Custom Yachts President, Dominick LaCombe.
NASCAR’s most popular driver and driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is scheduled to make an appearance at The Finish Line, Kansas Speedway’s Fan Hospitality on Oct. 5, prior to the Hollywood Casino 400, the fourth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Earnhardt Jr., who is currently locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, is scheduled to take part in a question-and-answer (Q&A) session in The Finish Line on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 10:30 AM.
Fans can purchase tickets to The Finish Line by calling 866-460-RACE (7223). Tickets for the weekend are just $225 and include garage tours (time permitting), food and beverage, souvenir program, COLD pit road access, access to the Kansas Army National Guard Pre-Race, appearances, a parking pass for every two tickets purchased to The Finish Line and more. Fans must have a grandstand ticket to purchase a ticket to The Finish Line. A Finish Line ticket will not grant access through the grandstand gates.
Kansas Speedway PR
Chicagoland Speedwaytoday announced the expansion of its Train-to-Track program, providing Chicago-area race fans, and those traveling from as far south as St. Louis, an easy, direct and affordable route to the race track on Sunday, Sept. 14 for the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The Train-to-Track program encompasses both Amtrak and Metra providers, and the service will supply shuttle transportation to those fans arriving to Joliet Union Station in downtown Joliet. Metra Rock Island riders will depart Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station, and stations along the route, while Amtrak riders have access to service from St. Louis and various locations along the way throughout Southern Illinois. Tickets for the shuttle transportation between Joliet Union Station and Chicagoland Speedway are $5 per person each way ($10 round trip) and must be purchased in advance at www.ChicagolandSpeedway.com or by calling Chicagoland Speedway’s administrative offices at 815-722-5500 (during regular business hours). Train tickets must be purchased separately through Amtrak or Metra.
Guests utilizing the Train-to-Track program will receive print-at-home tickets upon purchase and must reserve a specific time of departure to and from the race track. Upon arrival at Joliet Union Station, a Chicagoland Speedway ambassador will greet fans outside and direct fans to a shuttle transporting fans directly to the track. The Chicagoland Speedway ambassador will be available to answer questions throughout the short trip to the track. Train and bus times are below.
The Chicagoland Speedway Train-to-Track Shuttle Service will service the following train schedule to/from Joliet Station:
Metra – Rock Island Line
Ø To Joliet
· Arrive 10:00am
· Arrive 12:00pm
Ø From Joliet
· Depart 6:20pm
· Depart 8:20pm
Ø To Joliet
· Arriving 8:50 a.m. (Lincoln Service – From St. Louis & Southern IL)
· Arriving 10:15 a.m. (Lincoln Service - From Chicago)
· Arriving 11:19 a.m. (Lincoln Service - From St. Louis & Southern IL)
Ø From Joliet
· Departing 6:05 p.m. (Lincoln Service – To St. Louis & Southern IL)
· Departing 7:26 p.m. (Lincoln Service - To Chicago)
· Departing 7:50 p.m. (Lincoln Service – To St. Louis & Southern IL)
Bus Departure Times for the above train routes:
Bus Departures from Joliet Station for Track: 9:15 am, 10:45 am, 12:15 pm
Ø Bus Departures from Chicagoland Speedway Bus Lot for Joliet Station: 5:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
*Due to set train schedule, return bus departures will not change regardless of any delays in on-track activity (weather delays, cautions, etc.). Due to bus capacities, passengers will only be allowed to return on the bus indicated in the original reservation.
Back by popular demand, Talladega Superspeedway’s “Two for $88” ticket package, named for NASCAR’s most popular driver and a Talladega favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr., is available again, offering fans amazing savings to see Dale Jr. attempt to repeat history in the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on October 19.
Earnhardt Jr.’s fifth and most recent victory at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track came in the 2004 GEICO 500, and that same year he scored a triumph in the season opening Daytona 500. Fast forward 10 years to the 2014 season where Earnhardt Jr. pulled off a heroic Daytona 500 win, and he has the perfect set up to give his loyal fans the ultimate déjà vu at Talladega this fall.
The “Two for $88” package gives fans a $32 savings off the regular price for two Lincoln Grandstand tickets to the Sunday, October 19 GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race – the pivotal sixth race of The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The offer is for a limited time.
“We are proud to bring back the ‘Two for $88’ Dale Jr. ticket package, one of the most popular packages we’ve ever sold,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. “The package offers a couple of great seats at an amazing value to a race that Dale Jr. has a great shot in winning. He has always been a threat to win here, and he’s the only driver to win four consecutive races at Talladega. The Chase this year is going to be something we’ve never seen before, but as always our race will stand as the post-season ‘Wild Card’ event. It’s going to be an absolute must-see race that will be a make-or-break moment for the all the drivers in the Chase.”
In the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format, the GEICO 500 will be the anchor event of the Contender round, where the field of 12 Chase drivers will be cut down to eight when the race concludes. The results of a race at Talladega are always wildly unpredictable, but if a Chase driver makes it to Gatorade Victory Lane in the GEICO 500, they automatically advance to the Eliminator round. Earnhardt Jr., a five-time winner at Talladega, has already clinched his spot in this year’s Chase.
The Pennsylvania State Police will put special traffic patterns into effect to help motorists attending the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR race on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Monroe County.
On Sunday, August 3rd, the following traffic patterns will be in effect:
- Prior to the race, Route 115 from Interstate 80 to the raceway will be converted to two lanes and will be one way southbound. This conversion will be put into effect at approximately 8 a.m. and continue until all traffic has entered the track grounds.
- Following the race, Route 115 from the raceway to Interstate 80 will be converted to two lanes and will be one way northbound, until the raceway parking lots are cleared. This conversion will take place with 25 laps remaining in the race.
- Stoney Hollow Road has been designated a no parking and tow away zone from Long Pond Road to the Interstate 80 overpass. It will be properly posted and enforced. Any vehicle in violation will be removed at the owner’s expense.
- Following the race, the Interstate 80 eastbound off-ramp at the Blakeslee exit (Exit 284) will be closed to traffic.
Traffic coming south to the race in the two lanes of Route 115 will be required to enter specific parking areas. Motorists should take note of signs posted along Route 115 and travel in the appropriate traffic lanes for their desired parking area.
Likewise, outbound traffic traveling north will face similar signs with lane restrictions for Interstate 80 and Route 115 access.
The August 1st weekend will bring with it large amounts of race fans to the Poconos. Motorists should expect higher traffic volume and possible delays not only on Route 115 and Interstate 80, but also on State Routes 209, 940 and 903. Those who normally utilize Route 115 to travel through the area should consider using Interstate 80, Route 33, Route 209, and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike as alternate routes.
Pennsylvania State Police PR
Grant Enfinger, driver of the No. 90 Motor Honey/Casite, Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, finished fourth in Friday night’s SCOTT Get Geared Up 200 presented by Federated Car Care ARCA Racing Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway. It was his debut with GMS Racing. With the finish, Enfinger now leads by 40 points in the season-long drivers’ standings and secured his seventh top-five finish of the 2014 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season. Enfinger posted the 15th-fastest time during the afternoon qualifying session, mirroring his final practice lap when he turned in a 22.828-second lap time. The Fairhope, Ala. native started his No. 90 Motor Honey/Casite, Allegiant Travel Chevrolet from 15th and was able to pick up a couple positions over the course of the opening green flag run, working his way to the 10th position before the first caution flag of the race flew on Lap 52. Crew chief Ryan “Pickle” London called Enfinger down pit road for four tires, fuel and both an air pressure and wedge adjustment to combat the tight-on-entry and loose-on-exit handling conditions Enfinger was battling. Decisive work by the No. 90 Motor Honey/Casite, Allegiant Travel pit crew resulted in Enfinger restarting the race in the fifth position on Lap 61, and he radioed to London that the adjustments already felt good under the remaining caution laps. By Lap 63, Enfinger made the pass for second-place and set his sights on the back bumper of the race leader and only seven laps later Enfinger took the race lead at the Brownsburg, Ind. facility. Enfinger settled into a focused rhythm, despite a racecar that was tight, and when a Lap 101 caution flag flew with Enfinger running in third place, London called for him to stay out. Under the final caution period on Lap 159 gave London a chance to adjust the No. 90 chassis for the remaining sprint, and this time he called for four tires and fuel. Enfinger restarted the race in the eighth position on Lap 163, and the 29-year-old driver put together impressive lap after lap to maneuver to the front over the final green flag run, and took the checkered flag in fourth. Enfinger was awarded with the “CGS Imaging Hard Charger” of the race for improving his finish by eleven positions.
Start - 15 Finish - 4 Laps Led – 26
Grant Enfinger Quote:
“It was a great effort at Lucas Oil Raceway by everyone at GMS Racing. In practice, we unloaded not quite where we needed to be and made some big swings. (Crew chief) “Pickle” threw a bunch of stuff at it all night. We were able to drive up in the top-10 pretty quick, and the GMS Racing pit crew got us in the top-five on that first pit stop. We were able to lead some laps and we ended up finishing fourth. I cannot wait to get to Pocono Raceway next weekend.”
Bank of America and Hendrick Motorsports have extended their relationship through 2015 with a new agreement that will for the first time include presenting sponsorship of the official website and mobile application of the 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions.
Now presented by Bank of America, HendrickMotorsports.com features news, photography, video and other behind-the-scenes content focusing on Hendrick Motorsports teams, drivers and personnel. Bank of America is the first presenting sponsor of the website, which will undergo a redesign in 2015.
In addition, Bank of America and Hendrick Motorsports will continue to collaborate on community-based initiatives including the bank’s successful Express Your Thanks campaign, which supports transitional programming for service members and veterans. Other initiatives include a recent partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host a Memorial Day weekend “Hiring Our Heroes” military career fair at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“Aside from the clear sponsorship value, the community impact we’ve been able to have with our partners at Hendrick Motorsports has been incredible,” said Charles Greenstein, senior vice president and global sponsorship marketing executive for Bank of America. “This is particularly true when it comes to supporting past and present members of the military, a major area of focus for us.”
Bank of America, which has been an associate sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports since 2008, will continue to utilize Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in marketing and advertising material.
“The Bank of America team has built a very smart, targeted program around our sport,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We share a passion for many of the same causes and have worked extremely well together over the years. Even as goals have changed, they have identified new ways to activate and seen terrific return. It’s an excellent fit, and we’re proud to continue the relationship.”
Hendrick Motorsports has invested heavily in its digital platform in recent years. In 2013, the team opened a new studio to bolster its in-house video production capabilities and launched the Digital Dashboard social media command center. It also has added dedicated personnel and forged partnerships that support digital efforts with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced analytics. The free Hendrick Motorsports mobile application debuted in July 2012.
“We’re committed to offering a digital platform that fans truly enjoy and partners see value in,” said Patrick Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of marketing. “The level of engagement and enthusiasm we’re seeing today is at an all-time high, and that’s only going to grow as we continue to invest. Great people and great partners like Bank of America are making it possible.”
In addition to its relationship with Hendrick Motorsports, since 2006 Bank of America has been the title sponsor of the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which provides an economic boon to the bank’s headquarters city. Bank of America also has been the Official Bank of NASCAR since 2007.
In only his third career start at the historical Indianapolis Motor Speedway, known for the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his EcoPower Re-Refined Oil Ford Fusion to a 24th- place finish in Sunday’s Crown Royal 400.
“Track position was crucial today,” Stenhouse said. “We struggled with the handling all race. Our Ecopower Ford was inconsistent every run. We gambled and stayed out on the last caution but the guys with fresher tires were able to get around us. We have been working hard on our cars and will keep working on our cars to get us where we are more competitive. We will take what we learned here and at our test in Michigan to Pocono and hopefully have a solid run there.”
The 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year qualified in the 21st- starting position for his second career Sprint Cup start at the esteemed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and consistently battled in the top-25 for a majority of the 400-mile race. With only four cautions and a mixture of pit strategies during the 160-lap race, Stenhouse Jr. battled with an ill-handling machine and was unable to gain ground on the leaders.
When the final caution was displayed, crew chief Mike Kelley instructed Stenhouse to stay out if a majority of the leaders came to pit-road in hopes to gain valuable track position. The Olive Branch, Miss. native lined up in the 11th position for the final restart but was forced to settle for a 24th-place finish after new tires prevailed.
Stenhouse and the No. 17 team travel to Pocono Raceway on Aug 3, 2014 for the GoBowling.com 400. Race coverage starts at 1:00 pm EST on ESPN.
Casey Mears and his GEICO team returned to action in Indianapolis after enjoying the last off-weekend of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Indianapolis Motor Speedway has always been a favorite of the Mears family for the obvious reasons, but for Casey in particular, as he held the track qualifying record for nine years before Ryan Newman beat his time in 2013. Given the history of the Mears family at the famed speedway, it only made sense that Casey's 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start would fall on Sunday at the Brickyard, a place where the Mears name is omnipresent.
While the Germain Racing crew arrived for practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday refreshed and ready to get to work, they were taken aback when they found themselves behind the eight ball early in the weekend.
The result of the opening practice session was cause for concern after Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS sat 34th on the board at its conclusion. It was discovered that there was a problem with the ride height sensor, which left crew chief Bootie Barker and his engineering staff with inaccurate information. Despite the setback, Barker and his engineers managed to gain some control of the car and when qualifying rolled around, Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevy sped around the historic 2.5-mile oval in just 48.986-seconds, placing him 26th on the starting grid, a considerable improvement over practice.
Weather threatened the Indianapolis area on race day, but, aside from some intermittent light rain, Mother Nature did not play a role in Sunday's event. Mears rolled off of the starting grid in the 26th position, but immediately began losing positions in bulk and found himself in the 33rd position by lap two and just five laps later he bottomed out in 42nd. A splitter issue hindered Mears' progress early on, causing him to lose significant ground at the start of the race. The splitter was too high, aggravating the handling of the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS. Mears welcomed the competition caution on lap 20 and quickly traveled down pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, a tank of Sunoco Racing fuel and major adjustments. He restarted 41st when the race went back to green on lap 26.
Mears continued to battle his GEICO Chevy until halfway through the 160-lap race when the car seemed to come around and soothe the nerves of a frustrated driver. He had moved up to 31st and, after being two laps down to the leader, he had regained a lap to the field and now sat just a single lap removed from rejoining the lead lap cars. The sun would come out later, causing the car to experience a tight condition that would plague the team for much of the afternoon. While the 400-mile race started out as a challenge for the Germain Racing organization, Mears and his crew would persevere and salvage a 33rd place finish, which continues their run of races completed. The GEICO team has now taken the checkered flag at all 20 races in the 2014 season, an accomplishment in and of itself.
"We got behind early in the weekend when we had the issue with the ride height sensor, but recovered enough to qualify better than we practiced," Mears said. "It was frustrating today because somehow the splitter was too high when we started the race which made the No. 13 GEICO Chevy hard to handle. I lost a lot of positions, but fortunately the guys kept working hard and we were able to make up some ground later in the race. We're ready to put this one behind us and get to Pocono."
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the way for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by finishing eighth in the 21st annual Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Harvick started from the pole after a track-record qualifying lap on Saturday and led twice for 12 laps en route to his ninth top-10 this season and his eighth top-10 in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. It was also his 218th top-10 in 486 career Sprint Cup starts.
Harvick led the first lap of the race but immediately radioed to crew chief Rodney Childers that the Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was “way, way too tight.” Harvick did his best to hold his track position and raced his way to the lead for the second time starting at lap 55, keeping that position until he pitted for service under green-flag conditions on lap 66.
A caution on lap 67 dropped Harvick from the lead as the field worked through the pit cycle, but he was able to maintain a top-five position until he was shuffled back to eighth after pitting on lap 130. Following that pit stop, Harvick again told the crew that the No. 4 Chevrolet was too tight in the corner and the splitter was making contact with the racetrack.
The No. 4 team made one final two-tire pit stop under caution on lap 140 as several cars stayed out to maintain track position. Harvick restarted 12th with 17 laps remaining and raced to an eighth-place finish in the closing laps.
“We just started off bad really from the first lap,” Harvick said. “The Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was just way too tight as we went through the day, and we never could make it better. We just made it worse most of the day. So yeah, just way too tight.”
According to NASCAR, Harvick needed to finish the Brickyard 400 289 points ahead of the 31st position in the driver championship standings in order to clinch a berth in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship. Harvick finished the race with a 281-point lead over the 31st position, eight points short of securing a Chase berth for the No. 4 team.