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Last year, Jones qualified for the Snowball Derby when he won the event’s “Last Chance Qualifier” race. Once the green flag dropped on the main event, Jones began racing his way through the field, but unfortunately got shoved into the inside wall by another competitor on Lap 40. After that Jones focused on survival to make it to the end of the race.
“Last year I learned that many people in the race try to win it in the first 50 laps,” explained Jones. “I got put into the inside wall last year on Lap 40. You really have to be on guard every lap with these drivers! I wasn’t making an aggressive move, but once I was door-to-door, the other driver turned left into me. However, this year I’m way more confident going into the race. I’ve race Super Late Models all year, and now have a car that has a good setup!”
Another change to this year’s trip to the Snowball Derby is the addition of Mike Garvey as Jones’ crew chief. Jones and Garvey have worked together for the majority of the 2015 season and developed a solid driver/crew chief relationship.
“Working with Mike has been great!” said Jones. “Mike is the setup king. His setups are just so drivable. My cars now turn and have drive off the corner. I think that is one of the reasons why my results picked up almost immediately after starting to work with Mike. He has so much experience being in the seat of a car. He knows what is fast. It’s a great feeling to be able to speak the same language with your crew chief!”
With more experience and a great set-up, one goal for Jones this weekend is to make the Derby on time. Last year Jones missed qualifying on time by 35 thousandths of a second – an experience he is looking to avoid this time around.
“At the Derby, you have to give qualifying 110 percent – no 125 percent of everything you have,” he stated. “I’m not going to miss the Derby this year on time by 35 thousandths of a second. I’ll either be in the race on time or wadded-up – that’s how important qualifying is here! Pensacola is such a finicky place too. There is no room for error. Pole night there can be so nerve-wracking! It can set the tone for the Derby, and you want the tone to be set correctly!”
As with any young driver, Jones know the prestige that comes along with competing and winning the Snowball Derby. Recent winners, including Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Chase Elliott, have seen their careers take off after a Derby victory. This fact is not lost on Jones.
“I drive race cars and this race is the biggest short-track race in the country!” Jones explained. “I’d be ecstatic to win it! You look at the drivers who have won it both recently and in the past, and the list is amazing. It has propelled some young drivers to the top in recent years. I’m going to be the next one the Derby takes to the top!”
Fans can learn more about Jones and follow his Snowball Derby weekend by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88. They can also visit www.garrettmotorsports.com to find out more.
Garrett Jones PR
For the second year in a row the CARS Tour will offer a free 2016 owners license contingency to the highest finishing competitor in the Snowball Derby main event who adorns a CARS Tour Super Late Model decal on their ride.
The contingency, worth a value of $250, was won by a Richie Wauters Motorsports owned ride driven by Dalton Sargent a season ago. His second place finish to eventual winner John Hunter Nemechek was accomplished in just Sargent’s first Derby start. The Florida driver will look to improve on that runner up finish this season.
This year’s Snowball Derby pre entry list is now up to 69 different competitors for the Super Late Model division. Of those drivers on the entry list 26 of them competed in a CARS Tour Super Late Model sanctioned event in 2015, the inaugural season for the tour. Quin Houff, Christopher Bell, Zane Smith, William Byron, and 2015 CARS Tour Super Late Model champion Cole Timm all scored victories throughout the year and are entered to do the same for the Derby.
The numbers above for the biggest Super Late Model race in country, just edges the 23 different competitors who made CARS Late Model Stock Tour starts throughout the 2015 season that attempted the Martinville 300, the country’s biggest Late Model Stock Car race that was held in October.
For more information and to stay up with all the latest news and information on the all new CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the all new CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com or contact the series directly at 704-662-9212. You can also follow the tour along on Twitter @CARSTour and stay connected via the tours Facebook page by liking “CARS Tour”.
CARS Tour PR
Under Siegel’s management, Rev Racing has continued to field drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series since 2010. Drivers such as, Kyle Larson (Sprint Cup Series), Darrell Wallace Jr. (Xfinity Series) and Daniel Suarez (Xfinity Series) are all a testament to Siegel’s program’s success.
This past weekend, as NASCAR’s touring season came to a close, two NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduates have made history as the first Drive for Diversity winners in their respective fields. Daniel Suarez, is the first Mexican Sunoco Rookie of the Year and Mike Russell, crew jackman, has become the first African-American Drive for Diversity graduate to be part of a championship-winning team. On top of that, Rev Racing alum Kyle Larson won the season closer at Homestead for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
Rev Racing also experienced two wins in the 2015 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where the team hosts six drivers. Hispanic driver Collin Cabre became the sixth driver from the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Program to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and gave Rev Racing and Siegel, which has fielded the competition team for the program since 2010, its 17th win. Jay Beasley also captured the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award for the entire 2015 season.
“For the last seven years Rev Racing has managed the D4D Program,” said Siegel. “We could not be more proud of the success of our drivers and pit crew graduates, such as Russell. We are excited about the role we have played in the development of these young men and women. We look forward to many more years of continued success as we grow our team and expand our development program.”
As Siegel’s success rate continues to soar, he is focused on providing the same opportunities for others to pave their way as well. Siegel and NASCAR’s Diversity Program hosted their 12th annual Combine at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. on October 21st. Twenty-two drivers competed for one of six spots in the motorsports industry’s top driver development program at Rev Racing. Siegel is focused on finding the next set of talented drivers to take the track and follow his consistent professional winning streak.
"Rev Racing's partnership with NASCAR is unique in all sports and demonstrates what can be done two impact an industry and culture when two organizations are committed to each other; a common vision to excellence," said Siegel.
Rev Racing PR
“We are thrilled to have Rusty as our featured speaker at the inaugural KDDP banquet,” said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. “His close friendship with Alan back in the day and his connection with what our program is all about made him such a perfect fit for our occasion. We are so appreciative that he was able to work it into his busy schedule and join us there for our special occasion.”
“When I learned all the background about the KDDP and what the organization does for young racers out there, I said I’d be thrilled to be there,” said Wallace, who won 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and claimed the 1989 premier series points championship during his illustrious racing career. “It will be a fun night at the Speedway Club meeting and chatting with the class of seven drivers who represented the KDDP this season.
“There’s sure to be a lot of old friends in attendance there that night and a lot of old bench-racing stories that will be told,” Wallace added. “It’ll be a real treat to spend time with those young drivers and hear how they did on and off the track out there this season.
“Alan was a great friend of mine and we grew up in an era where there was so much respect for one another,” Wallace said. “Guys like Alan, Mark Martin and Dick Trickle – we battled each other like crazy on the short tracks of the Midwest. It was really cool for all of us to be able to grow up through the ranks together like we did. I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of reflecting on that when I speak to them that night.”
Wallace’s racing career began on the short tracks around his St. Louis home. He won the 1979 USAC Stock Car Series Rookie-of-the-Year. By the early 1980’s he was winning races on short tracks all across the nation and surprisingly finished second in his first-ever NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta in 1980 in a car owned by Roger Penske. He adopted a goal-oriented strategy with his racing and successfully focused on winning the 1983 American Speed Association championship.
His success on the short tracks opened the door for a full-time Cup ride with Cliff Stewart Racing during the 1984 season. He won the rookie title that year and finished 14th in the final points. Wallace moved on to Blue Max Racing for the 1986 season and won his first Cup race that April in Bristol. The close-knit team achieved the pinnacle of success by winning the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship.
Wallace teamed up again with Penske beginning in the 1991 season. Driving cars sponsored by the Miller Brewing Co., he recorded an impressive 37 wins before officially retiring at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Appropriately, he was inducted into the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Today, Wallace is still involved in the broadcasting end of NASCAR Racing, working with the Motor Racing Network crew. His position in the automotive industry has grown over the years. The Rusty Wallace Automotive Group now consists of six automotive dealerships located throughout Eastern Tennessee representing seven different makes (Buick, Cadillac, Ford, GMC, Honda, Kia and Toyota). An avid golfer, Wallace spends time on the courses near a home he owns in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
“I was blessed to get to work with both Alan and Rusty,” Roberts said. “They were cut out of the same mold. Rusty would never boast about it and shuns taking any credit for helping Alan along during his career. But I was there to witness it first-hand. Rusty was directly responsible for Paul Andrews becoming Alan’s crew chief and he paved the way for Alan landing the Zerex sponsorship deal back in 1987. I plan on publicly thanking him for that for the first time there that night.
“It’s so appropriate to have Rusty speak at our inaugural banquet,” Roberts added. “The 14th would have been Alan’s 61st birthday and I know he certainly would appreciate Rusty being there. Alan would get a huge kick out of hearing him speak at his birthday party. I can guarantee that it will be a fun and entertaining evening having Rusty as a major part of the program for sure.”
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will race 20 times in 2016, including eight races on superspeedways, nine on short tracks, two on dirt and one on a road course. The full schedule has been announced over the last few weeks.
The season will mark the third consecutive season with a 20-race schedule. ARCA raced 21 races in 2013 and 19 in 2011 and 2012.
“We are pleased to announce our full and complete schedule,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “We feel we have once again put together a schedule that highlights the diversity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. We are excited for the start of the new season.”
The series will kick off the 2016 campaign – as it has for more than 50 years – by racing at Daytona International Speedway. The race will be right before the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited and will help christen the newly-renovated Daytona Rising project.
The only different track on the schedule from 2015 is the return of the ARCA Racing Series to Madison, Wisconsin for Father’s Day Weekend. There are other changes to the schedule, however.
For example, ARCA’s Chicagoland date shifts to Thursday night, September 15 in primetime as part of a huge weekend of racing, which includes the kick-off for the Sprint Cup Chase Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. The weekend also includes the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.
The road course race at New Jersey will be on Saturday, May 28, instead of the Sunday afternoon race it has been the last few years. And, the race on the mile-dirt at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is going to be a night race.
In addition, the ARCA Racing Series will celebrate milestone races with the 75th series event at Toledo Speedway and 99th and 100th races at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana.
The series will have companion races with all three of NASCAR’s top touring series at one time or another in 2016, starting with the Daytona race in February, plus share Iowa Speedway with the Verizon Indy Car Series in July.
The race at Winchester Speedway will once again coincide with the King of the Wing sprint cars.
The return to Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin is good for the series’ presenting sponsor, Drager said.
“It was important for us to schedule a race in the Menards market,” Drager said. “Last year, we did not have a race in either Minnesota or Wisconsin and this year, we decided to go back. We are definitely looking forward to racing again at Madison and the upper Midwest.”
The 2016 season will be part of ARCA’s 64th consecutive season of competition since 1953.
Before moving ahead with the 2016 schedule, series officials will celebrate the 2015 season one final time with the annual banquet in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 12.
ARCA Racing PR
Bill McAnally Racing today announced that Chris Eggleston, Todd Gilliland and Riley Herbst will drive for the team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for 2016
Plans call for all three drivers to run the full schedule in the K&N Pro Series West, with select events in the K&N Pro Series East worked into the schedule
Eggleston returns for a second year after capturing the 2015 championship in the K&N Pro Series West in his first full season in the series.
Gilliland, the 15-year-old son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran driver David Gilliland, is coming off a win at Phoenix in his series debut – becoming the youngest winner in the series. Herbst, who comes from a racing family well known in off-road competition, is coming off an outstanding season where he won a championship as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway. The 16-year-old will be making his debut in the K&N Pro Series West.
"We're excited to announce this portion of our program for the K&N Pro Series in 2016,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “It's great to have Chris return to defend his title and to have such talented young drivers as Todd and Riley join the team. We have high expectations, based on what we have seen from all three of them."
The team is focused on building on its performance from this past season, McAnally said.
"We finished the year strong, with Chris clinching the championship at Phoenix and Todd scoring the win in his series debut,” he said. “We plan to work hard in the off-season to carry that momentum forward into next season."
Eggleston won his first race with BMR in 2014 and that led to him running the full season and capturing the title in 2015. The 26-year-old hails from Erie, Colorado and is a graduate of Colorado State University. He has accumulated three wins, 11 top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes in 17 career starts in the K&N Pro Series West.
“Chris took the opportunity he had in 2014 and responded with a win,” McAnally said. “And with the opportunity to run a full season in 2015, he responded with a championship. We’re looking forward to continued success with him.”
Eggleston honed his talent competing at his home track of Colorado National Speedway, a 3/8-mile short track just north of Denver. It was the site of his first career series win in 2014.
“I am very excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to join forces again with Bill McAnally Racing for the 2016 season,” Eggleston said. “I am really looking forward to building on the success that we had this year and have high hopes to defend our championship.
“Bill has a lot of great guys that work very hard week in and week out to prepare fast race cars, and I’m honored that he has invited me back to be part of his team again,” he said. “Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without all the great people at NAPA AUTO PARTS, NAPA Filters, NAPA Belts & Hoses, and Toyota.”
Gilliland captured the spotlight at Phoenix, going to Victory Lane in his first race in the K&N Pro Series West and winning at a track where his father won in 2005. The teenager from Sherrils Ford, North Carolina has quickly added to a driver resume that also includes being the youngest winner in the history of the ARCA racing series, capturing a victory just two days after his 15th birthday in May.
“It’s great to have Todd join the ranks of the K&N Pro Series West as part of the BMR team,” said McAnally. “I continue to be amazed by his accomplishments and want to help him fulfill his potential in this series.”
Gilliland will be competing full-time in a series where his family name is well known. His father won the rookie title in 2004; and his grandfather, Butch, won the 1997 series championship.
“I look forward to running a full season in the K&N (Pro) Series and being part of the BMR team,” Gilliland said. “I think it’s going to be a great learning experience. It will be good to have a championship driver like Chris Eggleston to lean on and learn from, especially early in the season.”
Gilliland has embraced his role as a third-generation competitor in the series, meanwhile.
“It’s a really cool experience,” he said. “Hopefully, I can carry on the family tradition.”
Herbst grew up watching his father and grandfather compete in off-road racing classics such as the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. After starting his racing career with go-karts at the age of 5, he progressed to trophy karts, Legends cars, speed trucks, and late models.
“Riley demonstrates a great passion for racing every time he gets behind the wheel,” McAnally said. “We anticipate great success from him as he graduates to the K&N Pro Series West. We’re glad to have him become a part of the BMR team.”
Herbst did double duty as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway in 2015, winning the championship in the Irwindale Speed Trucks, and finishing fifth in the final standings in Irwindale’s late model division.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive for Bill McAnally Racing in 2016,” Herbst said. “I’m looking forward to a great season. Coming into the K&N Pro Series, I plan to learn as much as possible, with a goal of finishing every lap.
“The knowledge and experience of everyone at BMR will be a great benefit to me as I tackle the challenges of my rookie season in the series,” he said.
Gilliland and Herbst were among a group of talented young drivers who participated in the NAPA Filters Drivers Expo presented by Toyota that BMR conducted this past summer.
“I was impressed with the way they both conducted themselves on and off the track,” McAnally said. “Joining with Chris, they make for a trio of drivers who we are proud to have represent BMR and our corporate partners in 2016.”
BMR captured its sixth K&N Pro Series West championship this past year, which tied a record for the series and throughout NASCAR’s Regional Touring level. The team also celebrated its 25th anniversary with NAPA AUTO PARTS as a sponsor.
After nearly 34,000 votes were cast around the world for NASCAR regional touring series’ 2015 Most Popular Driver Awards, seven drivers earned the ultimate honor from fans – including four rookie drivers and a pair of repeat winners.
The Most Popular Driver Award winners for 2015 are:
- Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
- Nicole Behar (Spokane, Wash.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
- Jason Hathaway (St. Thomas, Ont.), NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
- Rodrigo Marban (Mexico City), NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series
- Alon Day (Ashdod, Israel), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
- Melissa Fifield (Wakefield, N.H.), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
- Trey Hutchens (Lexington, N.C.), NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Underscoring the exciting young talent entering NASCAR’s ranks, award winners Abreu, Behar, Day and Hutchens are all in their first full season of NASCAR touring series competition, with Hutchens also earning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Both Fifield and Marban won the Most Popular Driver Award for their series last year, with Fifield making history as the first female to win the award for the tour.
Marban of the NASCAR Mexico Series garnered more votes than any other driver in 2015, just ahead of NASCAR Next drivers Behar and Abreu. Behar dethroned 2014 Most Popular Driver Brandon McReynolds, while Abreu earned the award in his first year in stock cars after transitioning from a successful open-wheel career.
The closest race was in the Canadian Tire Series where championship runner-up Hathaway edged Alex Tagliani by just 104 votes. It is the second year in a row in which Tagliani missed out on the top spot by a slim margin. Last year, he was beaten by JR Fitzpatrick by just 48 votes.
Similarly, Fifield beat Preece for the Whelen Modified Tour award by 110 votes. Hutchens collected more than 40 percent of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour vote to top tour champion Andy Seuss, a three-time winner of the award.
Day won three of the final four races of the Whelen Euro Series season to finish as runner-up in the championship standings in his first year in the series.
The Most Popular Driver Award winners will be recognized as part of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Dec. 12 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Back Behind the Wheel: Sarah Cornett-Ching to Run Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National This WeekendWritten by Steven B. Wilson Tuesday, 24 November 2015 17:25
Race 101 PR
The new “Game Changing” NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car made its racing debut in London the context of the 2015 Race of Champions and it was a resounding success, with some of the best drivers in the world praising the 2016 Euro NASCAR car as one of the fastest and most entertaining to drive in the traditional end-of-season event.
Motorsport legends and top drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Tom Kristensen and Petter Solberg competed for three days on the 565 meter-long ROC stadium track in wet and dry conditions. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars delighting drivers and the thousands of fans that crowded the Olympic Stadium. All the drivers were impressed by the car’s handling and power and found the new 2016 body style spectacular and fascinating. Due to Friday’s rainy weather, the drivers could also discover how funny it is to drive the 400 hp European NASCAR car in wet conditions, thanks to it’s extremely communicative handling and the grip provided by the tires Michelin developed for the official NASCAR European Series.
Here’s what the Champions said about the new NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car:
Tom Kristensen (9 times Le Mans 24h winner, 2013 FIA WEC Champion): "It is always a pleasure to drive the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car at Race of Champions. It's one of the cars I have always a lot of fun! It has a very good handling, there's a lot of steering lock so you can basically put in the way you want. You have a good feedback from the brake, it's very hard but I like that. I left-brake and you have to change first, second, third gear all the time, so it's very busy in the cockpit, but it's sticking well to the track thanks to the Michelin tires. So it's a very competitive car on the track, one of the fastest on track. It was the same last year in Barbados and here too it is one of the fastest cars on the lap time."
Petter Solberg (2003 World Rally Champion and 2014 World Rallycross Champion): "It is really good fun! I remember last year I also enjoyed it a lot and it's good fun because it’s very progressive to drive and I’m sure many people can drive it much faster but the most important thing is to enjoy it when you drive it, and I did, very much!”
Ryan Hunter Reay (2012 IndyCar Champion and 2014 Indy 500 winner): “The NASCAR is my favourite car so far! Maybe it is because I have had a little bit of experience in a stock car before, but it was a lot of fun. It was one of the fastest when I was in it! It definitely has a lot of power, so you really have to balance between using all that torque and spinning the wheels. It’s tough. With the track conditions the way they are, you’re tiptoeing around and trying to control the raw horsepower, it’s a lot of fun!”
Andy Priaulx (2015 ROC Cup Nation Winner, 2004 ETCC Champion and 3 times WTCC Champion): "This car is amazing, the handling is fantastic. It's probably my favorite car of the Race Of Champions! I love this car! That car’s meat! It’s big, it’s powerful and turns in really well so that was a really nice first race. I’m very happy to win because it’s our home race and I’m happy to go through.”
Pascal Wehrlein (2015 DTM Champion and AMG Mercedes F1 test driver): "It’s really nice! Last year I drove it for the first time the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series car in Barbados and I have to say it was a bit strange. The car was so big and if you come from single-seaters or DTM, you are used to a very responsive car and that’s a bit of the opposite. But now, in the stadium, it was completely different, maybe because it was wet. It was much more fun, you could play a lot with the car and you can drift a lot, but definitely it’s a huge car!”
The 2015 season of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will officially end on December 12 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame / Charlotte Convention Center with the NASCAR Night Of Champions Touring Awards, the ceremony that will reward 2015 Champions, Trophy winners and Cups winners at the end of a week of celebrations.
ARCA Racing PR