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NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominee: Ron Hornaday Preview

Written by
Published in Speedway News
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 21:20

Ron Hornaday is a four time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. Hornaday is the son of two-time Winston West champion, Ron Hornaday Sr. Hornaday is considered one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He is currently up for nomination into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

 

Growing up in California, go-karts and motorcycles were the only exposure to racing he received. Hornaday became the first driver in a southwest racing series to win back to back championships. In 1995, Hornaday signed to drive for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in a new startup series created by NASCAR called the NASCAR SuperTruck Series. In that opening season, he won six races.

 

He continued to have success in this series until he announced that he would move to the Busch Series program of DEI. He moved to that series in 2000, and competed until 2004. In order to move a team to Cup, DEI took the resources to start a Cup team, forcing Hornaday to be released from the organization. AJ Foyt Racing became the new home for Hornaday in the NASCAR Busch Series. Hornaday joined Richard Childress Racing in 2003. Despite having success in the truck series, Hornaday failed to do so in the Bush series.

 

Hornaday returned to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. Hornaday joined Kevin Harvick Incorporated in this valiant effort. Hornaday returned to his winning ways in his return. Hornaday moved teams, but ultimately received a part-time ride at Turner Scott Motorsports. However, due to an internal dispute with owners, Hornaday was out of a ride, which ultimately led to his retirement.

 

Hornaday won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 1996, 1998, 2007, and 2009. He won the 2000 Bush Series Most Popular Driver Award, 1997 and 2005 Craftsman Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award, and the 1992 Featherlite Southwest Tour. He won four times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 51 times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

– Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who refers to Talladega Superspeedway as a “second home”, has been named the first driver to take part in the track’s Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer Session at the start-finish line on Sunday, Oct. 23, prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Alabama 500, the Round of 12 elimination race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Race fans will get to ask NASCAR’S Most Popular Driver and six-time Talladega Superspeedway winner questions in advance of the most anticipated race of the season in which the remaining 12 drivers eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be trimmed to eight at the checkered flag. A Motor Racing Network (MRN) personality will conduct the Fan Q&A.

“Some places you feel almost like you're at home, and this is one of ‘em," says Earnhardt, Jr. of the mammoth 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, where he became the only driver in the track’s history to win four consecutive races from 2001-03.

Fans that purchase Talladega’s “Pre-Race Pit Pass Upgrade” for $75, along with a Sunday admission ticket, will have access to this special Fan Q&A session, which is tentatively scheduled from 9:30-10:45 am CDT, as well as many other exciting activities as a part of race day at Talladega.

Looking to add to the Earnhardt legacy (Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won a record 10 NSCS races at TSS), Earnhardt, Jr., hopes to move into sole possession of second place (currently tied with Jeff Gordon) and a step closer to his father on the all-time Talladega win list with his seventh triumph.

“We’ve had a lot of supporters (at Talladega) because of dad’s success,” said Earnhardt, Jr. who was runner-up in last fall’s Alabama 500, and was the winner of the 2015 GEICO 500. “He won so many races at Talladega, and I think about all those races. When we go to Victory Lane at Talladega, I feel like I just add to his legacy. All I ever wanted to do was make him proud, and I feel like when we win at those tracks that he was so successful at, that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The “Pre-Race Pit Pass Upgrade” includes several opportunities for up-close access on race day:

  • Hear first-hand how drivers plan to tackle NASCAR's most competitive track during the driver Q&A session which is conducted by some of the biggest personalities in NASCAR
  • Experience Talladega Superspeedway from a crew member's perspective by walking up and down pit road where the cars will be placed in position to start the race, and have the opportunity to see the crews set up each pit stall
  • Watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, crew chiefs, team owners, celebrities, and NASCAR officials walk the Red Carpet to the mandated Drivers Meeting, where race procedures and protocol will be explained
  • Get up close and personal with NASCAR's warriors during Driver Introductions at the start-finish line where special guests, including the race’s Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal, will be on hand
  • Additional drivers/personalities for the Fan Q&A will be announced in the future

*Driver availability for the TSS Fan Pre-Race Question & Answer session is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are responsible for this event*

The “Pre-Race Pit Pass Upgrade” will be in effect on Sunday, Oct. 23, from 8 a.m. until the conclusion of Driver Introductions. The Alabama 500 gets underway at 1 p.m. CDT. To purchase, simply visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.


TSS PR

Like Joey Logano’s thrilling NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race victory on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, drivers will chase history in the 57th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29 – but the iconic superspeedway will host even more history outside its confines, as 17 longtime fans from six different states will be honored with a 50-Year Fan Breakfast Celebration at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 28.

The breakfast, located at The Speedway Club on the sixth floor of Smith Tower, will honor fans who have been a vital part of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s success since its early years, some as far back as the first race on June 19, 1960. The event also includes an appearance from NASCAR Hall of Famer and three-time Coca-Cola 600 winner Bobby Allison.

The following fans will be honored during the 50-Year Fan Breakfast Celebration:

  • Alvah Arnn – Blythewood, South Carolina
  • Ruby Carter – Concord, North Carolina
  • Jamie Gamble – Fort Mill, South Carolina
  • Jack Hoenstine – Queen, Pennsylvania
  • Sammy Hogan – Germanton, North Carolina
  • Bob Ingram – Lugoff, South Carolina
  • Thomas Jordan – Awendaw, South Carolina
  • Fletch Little – Concord, North Carolina
  • Jerry Looper – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Jennifer Mathison – Heflin, Alabama
  • Wesley Melvin – Florence, South Carolina
  • Jeff Owens – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Robert Quidley – Powells Point, North Carolina
  • Ronnie Simpson – Mint Hill, North Carolina
  • Michael Smith – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Lewis Stinnett – Roanoke, Virginia
  • John True – Flintstone, Maryland

CMS PR

he Michigan a cappella vocal group Three Men and a Tenor will sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” during pre-race ceremonies for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 12 at Michigan International Speedway.

In addition, the group will sing “Oh, Canada,” keeping with MIS tradition in recognizing its Canadian guests.

The FireKeepers Casino 400 is scheduled for 1 p.m. on June 12. Pre-race and driver introductions will begin at 12:25 p.m.

“We are very excited to have Three Men and a Tenor sing the national anthems for the United States and Canada for the FireKeepers Casino 400,” said MIS President Roger Curtis. “The group has been entertaining audiences for close to 25 years, and we have absolutely no doubt they will deliver a wonderful and patriotic performance in honoring our country, as well as a warm welcome to our Canadian visitors.”

Three Men and a Tenor is comprised of Paul Felch (bass), Chuck Colby (lead), Mark Stiles (lead) and Glenn Williams (tenor). The group was recently honored as The Best Entertainment in Michigan for 2016 as voted by readers of the Michigan Meetings and Events Magazine. It marked the third time the group has won the award.

Fans will want to be in their seats for Three Men and a Tenor’s pleasing and straightforward version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Three Men and a Tenor has performed the national anthem at U.S. Military Bases in Germany, the Breslin Center for Michigan State basketball games, the Palace of Auburn Hills and many other places.

This Michigan based group has been boasting the same original founding members for over 20 years. That is a big accomplishment for any sized group in the music industry. Touring full-time all around Michigan since 1995, Three Men and a Tenor has brought touching musical talent and friendly humor to an estimated two-million people through either TV viewing or in live performances. Considered ‘therapy’ for the members and audiences alike, people can’t help but enjoy the offerings of this a cappella band through a couple hours of musical interaction and laughter.

 MIS PR

Pocono Raceway To Honor A Hero

Written by
Published in Speedway News
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 09:31

Pocono Raceway will honor a hero during its July NASCAR Race, CEO & President Brandon Igdalsky announced today. The six-week competition will culminate with a $5,000 prize being presented to the chosen hero at pre-race driver introductions on Sunday, July 31.

Submissions are now being accepted to nominate a hero and fans will have a say in who is honored as the winner.

All fans are eligible to nominate who they believe is a hero, whether it be a volunteer, active community service member, someone who has overcome hardship or someone you think is deserving.

Top consideration will be given to those heroes who are aligned with Pocono Raceway’s core values of Integrity, Respect, Service, Sustainability, Growth and Community.

“This is a chance for us to recognize someone with values that are similar to ours,” said Igdalsky. “There are a tremendous amount of folks who are doing amazing things and we want to reward therm.”

On-line nominations will be accepted until July 5, 2016 at www.poconoraceway.com/hero.html. There is a 500-word limit for nominations.

Members of the Pocono Fan Council, with input from Pocono Raceway, will select three finalists who will be invited to ‘The Tricky Triangle’ July 30-31 for the Pennsylvania 400. Fans will then have the chance to vote for who they believe should be the winner during an on-line voting period.

The three finalists will be invited to Pocono Raceway and be featured at the track on Saturday. The winner will be announced on Saturday and presented a $5,000 check during driver introductions on Sunday.

The selected Hero will then participate in a full slate of activities prior to and during the Pennsylvania 400.

 Pocono Raceway PR

"Three races, one ticket!" is the new slogan for this year's highly-anticipated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Gateway Motorsports Park. The third annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin' For Linemen 200 will be accompanied this year by the USAC Silver Crown Series and ARCA Midwest Tour Late Models.

The Drivin' For Linemen 200 delivers some of the most popular NASCAR drivers and teams to the St. Louis region, including 2015 winner Cole Custer, 2013-2014 series champion Matt Crafton and rookie sensation Rico Abreu. Seventeen-year-old Custer thrilled the NASCAR fans with a daring move on the final restart to win the 2015 Drivin' For Linemen 200 by only 0.871-seconds over Spencer Gallagher. Driver introductions are slated for 7 p.m. with the green flag at 7:30 p.m.

The USAC Silver Crown Series race brings open-wheel excitement to GMP's June 25 tripleheader. The wingless "big cars" of open-wheel racing boast a colorful history dating back to 1971. Past USAC Silver Crown Series champions include: A.J. Foyt (1972), Mario Andretti (1974), Missouri's hometown hero Ken Schrader (1982) and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (1991 and 1995, respectively). California's Kody Swanson is the series' defending champion, having clinched titles in 2014 and 2015.

The 40-lap, 50-mile ARCA Midwest Tour race is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Two ARCA Midwest races have been run so far in 2016 and Ty Majewski of Seymour, Wisconsin, has won both. Majewski drives in this Late Model stock car series for the legendary Ruolo Brothers and is a member of Roush Fenway's driver development program. Another driver to watch in this event is 17-year-old Natalie Decker, a four-time kart racing champion from Wisconsin.

GEICO and GMP are offering a 60% discount on tickets to active military personnel, armed forces veterans -- and their families. Each discount ticket also includes: one food voucher for one free bottle of water and hot dog  (redeemable at any concession stand on race day, courtesy of GEICO), one cold pit pass and one discounted coupon for the Gateway Kartplex that can be used anytime throughout the year. For more information on this offer, please visit: http://www.gatewaymsp.com/geico-military/.

Spectator gates will open at 8 a.m.

Saturday, June 25

8 a.m. -- Spectator gates open.

8:30-9:25 a.m. -- First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.

9:30-10:20 a.m. -- First USAC practice.

10:30-11:55 a.m. -- Final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.

12:30 p.m. -- USAC qualifying.

1:30-2:15 p.m. -- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver autograph session.

1:30 p.m. -- ARCA practice.

3-3:15 p.m. -- USAC driver introductions.

3:30 p.m. -- USAC Silver Crown Series race (60 laps, 75 miles).

4:45 p.m. -- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin' For Linemen 200 qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds).

6 p.m. -- ARCA Midwest 50 (40 laps, 50 miles, timed event).

7 p.m. -- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver introductions.

7:30 p.m. -- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin' For Linemen 200 (160 laps, 200 miles).

Schedule is subject to change.

GMP PR

Kingsport Speedway is celebrating Memorial Day this Friday, May 27 with the Red, White, and RACE 175.

The night of 175 laps of action will pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. As part of the night’s tribute, veterans and active-duty military members will be honored and receive free admission with proof of service.

“We want to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and pay tribute to all of those who have served and are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces,” said Karen Tunnell, general manager. “It is just a small gesture of our appreciation.”

Headlining the night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing will be the Late Model Stock Car division for 60 laps. Street Stock, Pure 4, Mod 4, Pure Street, and Legends division will also be in action under the lights.

Race fans can follow the conversation surrounding Friday’s event using #RedWhiteRACE175.

Grandstands open at 5:30 PM on Friday, qualifying begins at 7:00 PM, and racing gets underway at 8:00 PM. Adult admission is $10, with children 12-and-under admitted free. Tier parking above turns three and four is also available for $10 per vehicle plus admission.

Kingsport Speedway PR

House of Representatives’ Motorsports Caucus Co-Chairmen Reps. John Payne (R-Dauphin) and Pat Harkins (D-Erie) invite Pennsylvania families and racing enthusiasts to attend the annual NASCAR Hauler Open House and Parade in Harrisburg on Thursday, June 2, starting at 10 a.m.

Each year, the Motorsports Caucus works together with Pocono Raceway, Triad Strategies and the City of Harrisburg to bring this event to the capital city as a way to recognize the racing industry and the economic impact it has on the Commonwealth.

“Pennsylvania is home to a huge NASCAR fan base and two Sprint Cup Series races. The Commonwealth also has benefited economically from investments made by corporate sponsors,” Payne said. “We had great turnouts for the hauler parade in the past and I hope this year will be no different, as we celebrate the motorsports industry’s considerable impact on Pennsylvania.”

The free event will begin with an open house at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex at 10 a.m., where fans will have the opportunity to walk through the trucks, take photos and interact with the hauler drivers. Prior to the parade, members of the Pennsylvania Motorsports Caucus will join Brandon Igdalsky, president and CEO of Pocono Raceway, to recognize Motorsports Day and NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day.

The parade will start at 11:30 a.m. from the Farm Show Complex. The route will include Commonwealth Avenue, Walnut Street and Third Street. Police will have the streets blocked off for fans to line up for the parade. The parade will roll by the back of the State Capitol Complex and on to Pocono Raceway, where the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 will be held June 3-5.

“I am excited and enthused to be involved in the NASCAR Hauler Parade,” Harkins said. “The race is being held at a great entertainment venue and will have a significant economic impact on the state.”

Pocono Raceway will host seven national motorsports events during the 2016 racing season, including the Pocono Green 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race for the first time on June 4. The Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race is set for June 5, the Pennsylvania 400 NSCS race on July 31 and the ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Series race on August 21. The Pocono Mountains 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck race is scheduled for July 30 and two ARCA Series Presented by Menards races with a 200-mile event on June 3 and the ModSpace 150 on July 29 offered as well.

Pocono Raceway PR

During the 1970s, epic on-track battles were status quo for NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson and Richard Petty; however, it was the three-time champion Pearson who owned the deed to Charlotte Motor Speedway in that decade.

From 1972-’78, Pearson piloted the potent No. 21, candy-apple red-and-white Wood Brothers Racing Mercury to 11 consecutive poles at the 1.5-mile track and 12 in 14 attempts. He also claimed two victories in the Coca-Cola 600, one in 1974 and the other 40 years ago in 1976.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Leonard Wood, who was Pearson’s engine builder, said when his driver would qualify at Charlotte he would say, “About lost it,” and would then secure the pole.

“Any other driver that about loses it doesn’t get on the pole,” Wood said. “If they about lose it, most of the time they’re back in 20th place. If the car was too loose for him qualifying, he would pick it up on the warm-up lap to compensate and drive accordingly to correct for it and be on the pole. He would always say he couldn’t do something and he could.”

Despite Pearson’s success at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 1970s with the Wood Brothers, his affinity for the speedway actually began much earlier. It started in 1961 when he won his first Coca-Cola 600 driving a Ray Fox-prepared Pontiac. Pearson received his first checkered flag in NASCAR’s premier series on three wheels due to a flat tire and still finished two laps ahead of runner-up “Fireball” Roberts. He had been named to drive the car a few days before the event and didn’t even know his crew members’ names.

Pearson’s second victory in stock car racing’s longest race came in 1974 with the Wood Brothers. In gaining his 80th career victory, Pearson wrestled the lead from Petty with nine laps remaining. He then held off the man known as stock car racing’s “King” to win by 0.6 seconds. It was Pearson’s first victory at Charlotte since 1961.

Two years later, the 600-mile Memorial Day classic again came down to Pearson and Petty. This time, however, Pearson held the upper hand for the majority of the 1976 race. He led 230 of the 400 laps and possessed a 6.9-second advantage over Petty when a three-car accident occurred on the frontstretch with two laps remaining.

“I barely got past that one,” Pearson said shortly after the race. “I had to go to the grass.”

The wreck involving Dick Brooks, Grant Adcox and James Hylton resulted in the race ending under the caution flag. Petty finished second, with the top two the only ones on the lead lap. The race, which took 4 hours, 22 minutes and 6 seconds to run in grueling hot weather, also marked the NASCAR debut of legendary female racer Janet Guthrie.

Wood notes that some drivers are born with a knack for knowing when to back off the throttle and then picking it up at just the right place. Pearson possessed that sense for knowing how to enter and exit a corner.

Pearson also could sense danger in front of him and know when to back off, Wood continued.

“A lot of people thought he was lucky because he didn’t have that many accidents,” Wood said. “David always looked ahead and he could sense when drivers were going to mess up. He could tell when to back off and when not to.

“He was the easiest driver I’ve ever worked with to get around the race track fast … and one of the greatest drivers I’ve ever worked with.”

CMS PR

Florence Henderson, a beloved part of Indianapolis 500 Race Day for a quarter-century, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Henderson, a native of Dale, Indiana, will complete various official duties as Grand Marshal including greeting drivers and dignitaries on the pre-race stage, delivering the “drivers to your cars” message over the public-address system and riding in a Grand Marshal Parade Car at the front of the field prior to the start of the race.

“We wanted to have a Grand Marshal as part of our buildup to the green flag of the 100th Indy 500, and Florence Henderson was the perfect choice,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles. “She has been an integral part of the IMS family and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ and this is a great way to thank her for her many contributions over the years to the Indy 500 and IMS. I’m so glad Race Day will pay tribute to such a legendary Hoosier icon for the 100th Running.” 

Henderson will be just the second Grand Marshal in the history of the Indianapolis 500, after U.S. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Nastia Liukin in 2015. 

With Ms. Henderson’s new role for the 100th Running as Grand Marshal, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir will now sing “God Bless America.”  They are also accompanying Josh Kaufman for the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana.” Darius Rucker will sing the national anthem.  

The 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil will be Sunday, May 29. With a crowd traveling to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that has not been seen in recent years, longtime fans are encouraged to begin their Race Day routines at least two hours earlier than previous years.

IMS PR

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