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Twenty multicultural and female race car drivers from the United States, Canada and Latin America will participate in the 11th Annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine Oct. 13-15 with hopes of earning a spot in the 2015 NASCAR D4D Class in partnership with Rev Racing.

The NASCAR D4D Combine – being held at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virgina, for the fourth consecutive year – has been the proving ground for several current NASCAR national series drivers, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Larson, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series three-time race winner Darrell Wallace Jr. and NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series driver Daniel Suarez, who recently announced a full-year NASCAR Nationwide Series ride with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2015.

“The NASCAR Drive for Diversity program has seen significant success in recent years with several standout drivers who have consistently exceled and put on their best performance on the race track,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR vice president of racing operations.It is important for us to provide development opportunities for young female and diverse drivers who have the talent, but may lack the resources or guidance to find an entry point in our sport.”

Under the leadership of Max Siegel, owner of Rev Racing and CEO of U.S. Track & Field, NASCAR D4D has evolved to an academy-style development program which will compete under one umbrella in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKPSE) and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS). Rev Racing provides drivers with equipment, mentoring and competition experience throughout the season.

“This year’s Combine applicant pool was among the strongest the program has seen, and we continue to see that year over year,” said Siegel. “The program’s visibility and reputation for developing young, female and diverse drivers with talent and growth potential has increased across the board, and we are seeing steady recognition and support from key stakeholders across the motorsports industry.”

Suarez, a rising star in the U.S. and Mexico, is the third and most recent NASCAR D4D driver to transition into one of NASCAR’s three national series after competing in full seasons in Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series and the NKPSE. Several drivers are attempting to follow in his footsteps, including 18-year-old Ruben Garcia Jr., a member of the NASCAR Next class.

Also returning to defend their spot in the program are current NWAAS drivers Devon Amos and Paige Decker. Current Rev Racing drivers in the NASCAR K&N East Sergio Peña and Jay Beasley also are under consideration to return to the team in 2015, but will not compete at the Combine. 

The drivers will be individually evaluated on at-track performance, including their instinctive positioning at different places on the track, proficiency and comfort level in providing in-car feedback to the crew chief, overall speed and the ability to shift during assessments.

Visit FansChoice.TV for the live streaming schedule of the Combine.

Below are invitees to the 11th annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine:

First Name

Last Name

Age

City

State / Country

Devon

Amos

23

Rio Rancho

New Mexico

Jairo

Avila

19

Alhambra

California

Amber

Balcaen

22

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canada

Nicole

Behar

16

Otis Orchards

Washington

Collin

Cabre

20

Thonotosassa

Florida

Abraham

Calderon

25

Monterrey

Mexico

Madeline

Crane

16

Meansville

Georgia

Claire

Decker

19

Eagle River

Wisconsin

Paige

Decker

21

Eagle River

Wisconsin

Natalie

Decker

16

Eagle River

Wisconsin

Juan Esteban

García Duarte

17

Bogotá

Colombia

Rubén

Garcia, Jr

18

Naulcalpán

Mexico

Ryan

Glenski

21

Mooresville

North Carolina

Ali

Kern

21

Fremont

Ohio

Katlynn

Leer

15

Moulton

Iowa

Michael

Lira

17

Port Orange

Florida

Hannah

Newhouse

17

Twin Falls

Idaho

Emily

Packard

17

East Montpelier

Vermont

Kenzie

Ruston

22

Mooresville

North Carolina

Dylan

Smith

22

Concord

Vermont

NASCAR PR

Gray Gaulding and the No.20 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet team ended their NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) season with a top-10 finish at The Monster Mile (Dover International Speedway). 

With continuous rain showers moving through the Delaware area forcing NASCAR to cancel both scheduled NKNPSE practice sessions on Thursday, September 25th. NASCAR officials reschedule one final practice session for 75 minutes on Friday morning. Gaulding posted the 23rd quickest time after turning 45 laps. Gaulding would go out 7th of the 32 cars scheduled to qualify and with a fast lap time of 23.877 which would line his No. 20 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet up on the inside of row 9. 

 

When the green flag dropped for the Drive Sober 150, Gaulding started working his way towards the front of the field, and at lap 20 Gaulding reported his Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet to be free after it lands. The first caution flag waved at lap 52 with Gaulding running just inside the top-15. The green flag waved once again at lap 59, with just 16 laps from the halfway break and Gaulding had made a good charge in to the top-10. When the caution flag waved for the second time at lap 70, NASCAR deemed this the halfway break, and Gaulding pitted for four tires, fuel, and a chassis adjustment. 

 

The green flag dropped after the halfway break at lap 73, and Gaulding moved inside the top-5 just before the caution flag waved once again at lap 79. The green flag waved again at lap 84, Gaulding running 5th got singe file with the leaders. The caution flag waved once again at lap 87, and Gaulding slipped back to 6th. Another caution came out and when the green flag waved once again Gaulding would additional positions, as one of the leaders spun his tires forcing him to check up. Gaulding would fall back to 10th, but would be able to drive his Krispy Kreme Chevrolet Impala back into the 8th spot to finish his final NKNPSE race of 2014 at The Monster Mile. 

 

From the Driver's Seat with Gray Gaulding: "It wasn't the win we were hoping for, but a solid top-10 finish after struggling in practice makes for a pretty decent day. Doug and all the guys on this Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet team worked hard from the time practice started 'til the checkered flag flew. It's great to finish 3rd in points and gives us something to build on during the off season."

 

On top of Box with Crew Chief Doug Howe: "I know Gray wanted to end the KNPSE season off with a win, and I did too. Gray did a great job all day long and continues to impress me every time he is in a race car. He is still only sixteen years old and continues to learn and improve week in and week out. I'm proud of all the guys on this team and everyone at NTS Motorsports for never giving up and building great race cars every week."

 

NTS Motorsports PR

Ruston Finishes Fourteenth in the Drive Sober 150

Written by
Published in Racing News
Monday, 29 September 2014 09:20

Kenzie Ruston overcame a twenty-fifth starting position and an ill handling racecar to finish fourteenth in the Drive Sober 150, presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. With the fourteenth place finish, Ruston concluded the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season ninth in the point standings.

“With the rain on Thursday we lost a lot of practice time,” said Ruston. “We got the car extremely comfortable for the race, and I thought we would be in pretty good shape. It was surprising how loose we were when they dropped the Green Flag.”

Ruston battled an “extremely loose” Delaware Office of Highway Safety Chevrolet, as she described it to the team in the early laps of the Drive Sober 150. Ruston, like many of her competitors, went a lap down to early race leader Cameron Hayley. The first caution flag of the race came on Lap 53, providing the first opportunity for the Ben Kennedy Racing Team to make adjustments to the car.

“We just started out way to free,” said crew chief Mike Fritts. “We came in and made a big swing at it. Being trapped a lap down at that point it was a good time to try something before the halfway break.” The changes helped Ruston significantly, and at the halfway break, the team provided some additional changes.

In the second half of the Drive Sober 150, Ruston moved from twenty fourth position to battling inside the top-15, running times as fast as those in the top-10. Ruston remained trapped a lap down as cautions were few in the Drive Sober 150.

“It was a disappointing way to finish the season for sure,” said Ruston. “These guys never gave up on me all season and they didn’t give up on me today. We got the car driving a lot better for the second half, but we just didn’t have enough cautions to get a lucky dog and try to battle for the top-10.

“It was an honor to represent the Delaware Office of Highway Safety and the “Drive Sober” program,” said Ruston. “The Delaware Office of Highway Safety puts a big emphasis on both race weekends here at Dover, and they are great title sponsor of the K&N race. I had a lot of fun before the race meeting with the fans at the display, and helping them take the Sober Driving Pledge.”

Ben Kennedy Racing PR

Speed junkies of all shapes, sizes and ages came from around the country to watch the fastest cars on land at the AAA Insurance National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend.  This was the 21st of 24 events in the 2014 drag racing series and is a key race in the “Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

“We had record crowds and we couldn’t be happier with the way the weekend unfolded,” said Curtis Francois, Gateway Motorsports Park President and Owner.  “It’s humbling to see our vision transform into a reality like this.  We are dedicated to making Gateway Motorsports Park the best track in the country where fans and fun rule.  We owe this weekend’s success to motorsports fans, local sponsors and AAA Insurance, and my staff - all who want to see this track live on for decades to come.”  Track officials estimate that over 50,000 fans gathered to watch professional drag racing, more than in any year in track history.

The NHRA Countdown to the Championship featured all four professional categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.  Drivers in the Countdown to the Championship work to gather all the points they can at each of the Countdown events as the competition gets tighter and the spirits get more intense in the fight for the 2014 championships.

Winners this year include:

2012 National Top Fuel Champion and four-time Gateway Motorsports Park winner Antron Brown who drives the Top Fuel Matco Tools dragster (3.844, 315.42).  This is Brown’s third straight win  at Gateway MSP  including 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014.   The win snaps a three-race, first-round loss streak for Brown.  He moves to fourth in the points standing, 80 points behind series leader Tony Schumacher.

Funny Car driver Courtney Force secured her first win at Gateway Motorsports Park with her Traxxas Ford Mustang (4.094, 313.44).  Force is the daughter of drag racing legend John Force, the Babe Ruth of drag racing industry.  With her run at Gateway MSP, Courtney Force  became the first female to win four Funny Car events in a single season.  This is her second consecutive victory in the Mello Yello Countdown playoffs.   Force moved to second position in the points standings, 30 points behind her father and leader, John Force.  Courtney Force is officially the winningest female in Funny Car NHRA history.

Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly, who beat 2012 and 2013 Gateway Motorsports Park winner Erica Enders-Stevens in the semi-finals, won in his Charter Communications Chevy Camaro (6.562, 211.53).  This is Connolly’s second consecutive Countdown victory, and this win put him within 26 points of the series leader.  This is his second St. Louis victory.

Pro Stock Motorcycle driver Jerry Savoie secured his first career victory at Gateway Motorsports Park with his Savoie’s Alligator Farm Suzuk, (6.871, 196.53).  As a native of Louisiana, he moonlights as an alligator farmer. 

The 2013 AAA Midwest Nationals winners at Gateway Motorsports Park include Funny Car driver John Force, Top Fuel driver Antron Brown, Pro Stock driver Erica Enders and Pro Stock Motorcycle driver Matt Smith.  

Gateway MSP PR

Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) entered the Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway looking to cap off 2014 with a series-high ninth victory of the season. Although they didn't get the win, TSM saw success with Kaz Grala and Scott Heckert bringing home top-three finishes while Cameron Hayley and Ben Rhodes suffered from late-race incidents that hindered their overall finish. Although Rhodes didn't get the finish he was looking for, it wasn't entirely bad for the 17-year-old as he was officially presented the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Championship, which he clinched with a fourth-place finish in Greenville a few weeks ago.

 

Kaz Grala:

Grala put on quite a show in his first-career start at Dover. The youngest full-time driver in the NKNPSE entered the race looking to end his rookie season on a strong note, and perhaps bring home a victory in the No. 31 OzLINK/NETTTS Chevrolet. The 15-year-old didn't end the night in victory lane, but he did secure a career-best finish of second. Grala made a steady march forward following the midway break of the race. By lap 79, Grala was running in the seventh position and looked poised for a sold top-five run. By lap 95, Grala was into the top five, running in the third position. The 15-year-old restarted second on lap 98 looking to get around TSM teammate Rhodes and overtake the race lead. On lap 124, Rhodes' engine began to go south, which allowed another comperitor and Grala to get by. Grala fought hard to chase down the eventual race leader in the closing 25 laps, but had to settle for the runner-up spot, still scoring his career-best finish. Grala ended his rookie season seventh in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings, compiling four top fives and 10 top 10s.

 

Kaz Grala on a career-best finish at Dover:

"The No. 31 OzLINK/NETTTS Chevy team finished the season strong with our best qualifying effort of fifth and our best finish of second at the Monster Mile. This is by far my favorite track yet, and I doubt that will change for a long time. Overall, we had a great season; I gained a lot of experience, we had a blast as a team and we finished seventh in points with some really impressive finishes. I really can't thank these Turner Scott Motorsports guys enough, what a way to end a great year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East."

 

Scott Heckert:

Heckert entered the Driver Sober 150 looking to cap off what has been a career-best year for the 20-year-old. He began the evening on a strong note, qualifying for the race in the eighth position. As the race began, Heckert began to battle the handling of his racecar. Several cautions throughout the middle portion of the race allowed the No. 34 Project Lifesaver team to make adjustments. At the midway break, Heckert was in the 11th position and ready to head to the front in his TSM Chevrolet. By lap 95, Heckert was up in the top five and looking for even more. Heckert raced hard in the final 50 laps, eventually getting up to third before crossing the finish line. Heckert ended the 2014 season eighth in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings, finishing the season with two wins, three poles, six top fives and 10 top 10s.

 

Scott Heckert on a great run and solid season with TSM:

"It was a crazy race out there tonight in the No. 34 Project Lifesaver Chevrolet. The car was a little off to begin with, but the crew made awesome adjustments during pit stop's and the my Chevy came to life. Big thanks to everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports for their hard work. I'm glad we were able to work our way to the front and cap the season off with a great finish."

 

Cameron Hayley:

Hayley came into the Driver Sober 150 looking to move into the win column for 2014. The 18-year-old started the day off on a high note, qualifying for the race in the second position. Early on, it was evident that Hayley had a lot of speed in the No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet as he took over the race lead on lap 15. Hayley led for the next 53 laps until a flat right-front tire forced the No. 98 to pit road. While on pit road, the caution flag waved and Hayley was caught two laps down. Hayley fought the remaining laps of the race to regain those laps and work back to the front, ultimately gaining one lap back and moving up to bring home a 13th-place finish in the season finale. Hayley ended the 2014 campaign second in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings and brought home one pole, seven top fives and nine top 10s.

 

Cameron Hayley on the race at Dover and his 2014 season:

"We had a great Cabinets by Hayley Chevy this weekend at Dover. I couldn't be happier with the entire effort by our team. Unfortunately, cut tires have just seemed to be a trend for us this year, one that is hopefully going to disappear over the winter. I really have to thank Cabinets by Hayley, Curb Records, Turner Scott Motorsports and everyone who made this year possible."

 

Ben Rhodes:

Rhodes entered the Drive Sober 150 looking to bring home a sixth win on the 2014 season and tie a record set last year by TSM teammate and 2013 NKNPSE Champion Dylan Kwasniewski. Rhodes looked strong early in the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet, qualifying for the race in the third position. The NKNPSE Champion remained inside the top three for the opening portion of the race, looking to make a move for the lead as the laps wound down. Rhodes overtook the top spot under caution on lap 96 and remained in the race lead for the next 21 laps. Despite looking poised to capture his sixth-career NKNPSE victory, Rhodes could hear his engine beginning to have trouble. Although Rhodes was able to remain on the racetrack, he didn't have the power that he normally does. The 17-year-old was able to nurse the car home and ultimately bring home a 15th-place finish in the season. Rhodes won the 2014 NKNPSE Championship and Sunoco Rookie of the Year award for 2014 by compiling five wins, six poles, 11 top fives and 13 top 10s in his rookie season.

 

Ben Rhodes on his Championship and the race at Dover:

"What a 2014 season it has been; this entire team has worked so hard all year to provide me with fast racecars that we've been able to compete with and win races. None of this is possible without Alpha Energy Solutions and all the guys at Turner Scott Motorsports. It feels great to win the Championship and claim the Rookie of the Year award, but I really wish we could've won this race today at Dover. We had a quick car up front and if it weren't for those late-race issues, I think we could've captured the victory. All in all, it's been a great 2014 season and I look forward to getting back on track again soon."

 

TSM PR

The green flag will drop on the 2nd annual Joey Coulter Karting Challenge on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 6 p.m. The annual event features a two hour endurance kart race at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville and benefits the Darrell Gwynn Foundation (DGF), and is made possible by Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff, Arthur Krenzel Lett Insurance Group, Edgehill Management Group and Carolinas HealthCare System.  Fans are invited to come out and cheer on their favorite NASCAR driver as 22 teams challenge for bragging rights – champions of the cup! 

In its inaugural year, the event raised over $15,000 for the Florida-based foundation. This year, DGF will donate a $19,000.00 custom power wheelchair to three-year-old Mackenzie Michel during the event.  Mackenzie is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and “with a wheelchair she will be able to attend preschool not having to rely on others for her mobility.  She will be able to play outside and participate in activities with her peers and brother.” Mackenzie was referred to the Darrell Gwynn Foundation by Carolinas HealthCare System.

 

The event was established by NASCAR driver Joey Coulter in 2013 as a unique way to raise money for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation.  “I’m honored to be hosting the 2nd annual Joey Coulter Karting Challenge benefiting the DGF this year at GoPro Motorplex,” said Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “We started this event last year and it was such a success that we felt like we needed to do it again. I’ve been helping DGF raise money and awareness for some time now and every year I like to do things a little bigger, and a little better, so what better way than this race. Darrell is such a hard core racer himself, that I thought why not get other racers in on it too, put on a good show for the fans, doing what we do best, and it’s all for a good cause. To top it off, this year we are fortunate enough to be donating a custom power wheelchair to a three-year-old girl who lives in Matthews, NC during the event, and she will also be our grand marshal. These power chairs are so expensive and to be able to provide one to someone like Mackenzie, who has a bright future ahead of her, is such an honor. I can’t thank Darrell, his family, staff and the racing community enough for their support of this event. It’s such an honor to represent a foundation that changes lives every day and allows me to do it through fun events like these.”

 

NASCAR and racing fans alike are invited to come out and enjoy all the event has to offer, including a silent auction, raffles, show truck and Top Fuel dragster on display, vendor sampling and food by Juan Taco, who will be back this year offering up some delicious dinner options.  Rain or shine, gates open at 5 p.m. and there is a $5.00 donation for admission at the gate, which goes directly to DGF (entry is free with your NASCAR hard card). For more information visit: www.DarrellGwynnFoundation.org.

 

GMS Racing PR

Austin Hill mastered the Monster Mile. Again.

The 20-year-old from Winston, Georgia, returned to the track where he recorded his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win a year ago and put on a dominating display Friday in the Driver Sober 150. Not even a tire issue could keep Hill from becoming the first driver since 1997 to close out the series season with back-to-back wins.

Like South Carolina's Greenville Pickens Speedway earlier this month, Hill again shared Victory Lane celebration with fellow NASCAR Next driver Ben Rhodes.

The 17-year-old Rhodes, from Louisville, Kentucky, clinched the series title with a race remaining back on Sept. 6 in a race Hill won. Rhodes finished 15th at Dover and officially received the championship trophy from NASCAR President Mike Helton at the Monster Mile. Rhodes had also previously secured the K&N Pro East Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

Hill's No. 22 A&D Welding/Don Rich Ford outdistanced Kaz Grala by 5.136 seconds to take the checkered flag. Hill joined Brett Moffitt as the only series drivers to win twice on the one-mile, high-banked concrete oval.

Hill's day was nearly ended in a Lap 93 incident when he got together with Brennan Newberry in a battle for the lead. Newberry wound up spinning, while Hill was subsequently forced down pit lane with a flat tire. However, Hill was able to stay on the lead lap, came back out 13th, and marched his way back to the front.

He took the lead on Lap 120 and pulled away for the victory.

Grala, 15, scored his career best finish. Scott Heckert, Eddie MacDonald and Brodie Kostecki rounded out the top five.

Sergio Pena finished sixth, followed by J.J. Haley, Gray Gaulding, Ryan Gifford and Dylan Presnell.

Rhodes finished with a 60-point margin over Turner-Scott Motorsports teammate Cameron Hayley and 78 over Gaulding. Brandon Jones and Hill rounded out the top five. Rhodes gave Turner-Scott its second straight championship, following Dylan Kwasniewski last season.

The Drive Sober 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, Oct. 4 at 10 a.m.

Rhodes will be honored for his championship season along with NASCAR's other touring series champions on Saturday, Dec. 12 at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards in the Grand Ballroom of the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR PR

Going around Dover International Speedway at more than 150 mph is a pretty nerve-wracking experience. Doing so sideways is even more so. And it usually doesn’t result in finishing the race, much less winning it.

But Austin Hill was able to accomplish that in Friday’s “Drive Sober 150” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. He saved his car after contact with Brennan Newbury on Lap 98 that sent him sideways, and then needed just 17 laps to drive from 13th back to the lead. About 30 laps later, Hill took the checkered flag by just over five seconds to win the race. It marked the second consecutive year that Hill won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover.

Hill first took the lead on lap 69 during a round of pit stops, but at that point, it wasn’t all that great in his eyes. It was only at the race’s halfway break that things changed.

“We came in the pits, made a huge swing at it, and the car came to life then,” he said.

For the next 25 or so laps, the race was all Hill and Newbury. They battled to a caution at lap 91, and then Newbury was able to take the lead off the restart the following lap. The two were side-by-side heading into lap 93, but that’s when Newbury got loose going into Turn 1 and made contact with Hill before spinning out. The contact sent Hill sideways too, but he was able to make the recovery and drive off with the lead.

“I don’t even know how I saved it, to be honest with you,” Hill said. “I don’t even remember what happened. I just know me and him got together and somehow I got through it without spinning out.”

He didn’t come out completely unscathed though. The contact ripped off the valve stem on the left rear, and the tire started going down. That forced Hill to the pits for new rubber, and when he came back out, he was 13th.

“I was pretty bummed out about that,” Hill said. “[At that point] I thought if I could get a top 5, that would be great.”

But such thoughts turned out to be nonsense. Once racing resumed, Hill found that despite the contact with Newbury, his car was unstoppable.

“When we went back green and I could run the top and pass people on the top side, I knew I could have a shot at it, since we had more than 50 laps left,” he said.

His dominance from that point was astounding, often allowing him to make up as much as half a second per lap. After he got back to the front, it was just a matter of keeping the car pointed forward for the rest of the race.

“Once I took the lead I just never looked back,” he said. “I can’t believe that we won two in a row here.”

Hill’s win spoiled the hopes Ben Rhodes may have had of ending his championship season with a victory, but Rhodes had plenty to be happy about – including the fact that he didn’t have to worry about how things went in the race to cement his title. He finished in 14th, two laps down.

“I’m glad we had a points lead going into this race because we had some bad mechanical issues,” he said. “The motor didn’t feel right from the green flag, and I was hoping it would hold in long enough. I didn’t want to jinx us so I didn’t say anything, but the motor had other plans.”

Kaz Grala finished second with a commanding lead over everyone except Hill, taking that spot by his own five-second cushion. Scott Heckert, Eddie MacDonald and Brodie Kostecki rounded out the top five, followed by Sergio Pena, J.J. Haley, Gray Gaulding, Ryan Gifford and Dylan Presnell.

The Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club members and surrounding community received a taste of Coney Island this week thanks to Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM!.  The world famous hot dog company and national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the play they need to thrive honored the organization by bringing their Ready. Set. PLAY. program to the Smyrna, Del., area. The unique program was created earlier this year by Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! to celebrate balanced and active play and honor the "playmakers" who are making play possible in communities around the country. Acme Markets also stepped in to support the event with a donation of food items to complement the Nathan's hot dogs children and guests enjoyed during the afternoon of fun. 

Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! chose to honor the Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club because of their commitment to inspiring and enabling all young people, especially those from disadvantage circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. The club's before and after care programs have a strong emphasis on gross motor skills, as well as healthy eating and enjoying the outdoors and play together. 

"We are really proud of our partnership with KaBOOM! and to have the opportunity to create a program like Ready. Set. PLAY." said Mike Paribello, senior director of marketing for the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods and licensing partner of Nathan's Famous. "We've had a tremendous amount of fun traveling across the country this year honoring the organizations, such as the Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club, and the schools who are working hard to promote and protect active play for children and their communities. We're also thankful for the support from Acme Markets and are thrilled they could join us for a play-filled afternoon." 

"The fundamentals of balanced and active lifestyles begin at home with our parents and in our communities," said KaBOOM! CEO and Founder Darell Hammond. "With support from Nathan's Famous through Ready. Set. PLAY., we are able to bring play opportunities to communities across the nation and inspire kids and families to incorporate play in their everyday lives."  

The fun-filled afternoon included the flavors of Coney Island with delicious Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, carnival-like games, and giveaways. Leading up to this event, youth ages five to 12 years old had the opportunity to submit an essay about what play means to them and why play matters for all kids. Seven winners were selected at the event and as a prize, received tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, September 28 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. 

"We feel both honored and thrilled to be chosen by Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! for the recognition of our commitment to the children of the Smyrna Community," said Trisha Moses, regional operations team leader and executive director, Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club. "We feel this Ready. Set. PLAY. event is an excellent and exciting way to jumpstart the school year. It's through our continued partnerships and support that we are able to offer year-round activities in the areas of academics, sports, and prevention related programs. I would like to extend a very special thanks to Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! for making this special event possible." 

For more information, please visit Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! online.

 

37 cars on track for 4 Hours of Estoril

Written by
Published in Racing News
Friday, 26 September 2014 13:31

Competitors of the European Le Mans Series paddock are getting ready for the fifth and final race of the 2014 season, a race which will see no fewer than 37 cars on the starting grid at Estoril. A new venue for the ELMS this year, Portugal is preparing to host the series' finale and there are a great number of teams on the entry list.

Just as at the start of the season, 10 LMP2s will take the start for the 4 Hours of Estoril and the main protagonists are Signatech Alpine (Paul-Loup Chatin, Nelson Panciatici, Oliver Webb), current Championship leaders with 10 points in hand, and the British JOTA Sport team and its trio of drivers which includes Portuguese driver and local star, Filipe Albuquerque. NewBlood by Morand Racing scored its first win of the season at Paul Ricard Circuit on September 14th and the Swiss are determined to continue the momentum with their superbly balanced trio of Gary Hirsch, Christian Klien and Pierre Ragues.  

Mathematically the top four are still all in with a chance of the title, and Race Performance will be there with Michel Frey and Franck Mailleux (ORECA03-Judd). Thiriet by TDS Racing, who were unlucky in France, hope to be able to compete despite the technical problems encountered with the new Ligier JS P2 Nissan since Red Bull Ring.  It will be driven once again by the brilliant French trio of Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey and Tristan Gommendy. The ORECA-03R-Nissan of Sébastien Loeb Racing will be led by Vincent Capillaire, with the names of the other two drivers to be announced later.  Greaves Motorsport is playing the local card, with Portuguese driver Miguel Faisca alongside young Matt McMurry and the name of the third driver for the No.41 Zytek Z11 SN still to come.  In the Greaves No.28 entry Luciano Bacheta and Mark Shulzhitskiy will be back on track together.  At Murphy Prototypes, star performer for the team in France, Pipo Derani, returns but with two newcomers in the No.48 ORECA0 3R-Nissan, Britons James Littlejohn and Tony Wells. Finally, the Morgan Nissan of Pegasus Racing returns with the same line-up of Swiss Nicolas Leutwiler, Frenchman Julien Schell and Briton Jonathan Coleman.

 

Nine Ferrari 458 Italias, two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, one 911 RSR and an Aston Martin Vantage V8 make up the list of 13 LMGTEs entered for the final round in Estoril. The No.55 AF Corse currently at the head of the category's standings will be in the hands of its favoured line-up of Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Michele Rugolo, while the crew of the No.54 of the team remains unchanged. For the last race of the season, it's great to be able to include the FIA WEC LMGTE Am trio of Emmanuel Collard, François Perrodo and Yannick Mallegol to the ELMS, and the trio will be at the wheel of the third AF Corse entry, the No.70.

At SMP Racing, the No.72 F458 - second in the points' classifications - will also be driven by WEC drivers, notably Sergey Zlobin who is dominating the WEC LMP2 Drivers rankings.  JMW Motorsport will feature its duo of Daniel McKenzie and George Richardson again at the wheel of the No.66 F458, with the third driver to be confirmed.  Alexander Talkanitsa will be joined by Pierre Kaffer and Mirko Venturi in the No.56 Ferrari of the AT Racing team. At Kessel Racing, its Ferraris will be driven by its usual pairings, just as at Team Sofrev-ASP (No.58 F458), which is hoping for better results after its Paul Ricard disappointments (mechanical failure).  IMSA Performance Matmut won't be changing its line ups for the final race of the season in its No.76 and 67 Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, while the same goes for Gulf Racing UK and its No.85 Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the No.86 blue and orange Porsche 911 RSR.

For the European Le Mans Series' grand finale, the GTC class will include some newcomers among the 14 teams entered.  Although it didn't achieve the desired results at Paul Ricard, Team Ombra returns to Estoril to continue its learning curve with the No.92 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, driven by Mario Cordoni and Marco Zanuttini. For the first time this season Team Russia by Barwell will not alone in entering a BMW Z4 GT3 as BMW Sport Trophy Marc VDS will join it with the No.87, driven by Belgian Bas Leinders and Finland's Markus Paltalla.

Neither the No.73 SMP Racing entry at the head of the class standings with 79 points, nor the No.60 Formula Racing Ferrari (2nd with 60,5pts) will change its line up for the final round.  The crews of the other two F458s in the class, the Nos.71 and 73 of SMP Racing also remain unchanged.  ART Grand Prix will rely on the same drivers for its two McLaren MP4 12C GT3s, Nos.98 and 99, while the AF Corse team will field the third Portuguese driver for the start of the 4 Hours of Estoril on board the No.63 458 of Mads Rasmussen/Filipe Barreiros, but no changes to the No.95.  Team Sofrev ASP maintains its 100% French line up of Christophe Bourret, Pascal Gibon and Jean-Philippe Belloc. The Porsche GT3 R and 997 GT3R of ProSpeed Competition and Pro GT by Almeras respectively are in the hands of Max van Splunteren, Gilles Vannelet and Mike Parisy for the former, and Franck Perera, Lucas Lasserre and Eric Dermont for the latter.

The provisional entry list for the 4 Hours of Estoril can be found HERE.

The ELMS 4 Hours of Estoril will take place on Sunday 19 October in Portugal. The racing will be exciting, and the battle for supremacy will run from start to finish in every class so join us for the Grand Finale of the 2014 European Le Mans Series.

 

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