Speedway News (2809)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth won the pole and six of the eight Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship contenders qualified among the top 11 for the AAA Texas 500 during Friday’s Pinnacle Propane Qualifying Days at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) registered a lap of 199.299 miles per hour (27.095 seconds) in the third and final round of knock-out qualifying to narrowly edge fellow Chase contender Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet) and his lap of 199.291 mph by 1/1000 of a second. It was Kenseth’s second pole of the season, 13th of his career and first in 25 starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet), who will start sixth, established a track qualifying record in the second round as he became the first driver to record a 200-mph qualifying lap at a 1.5-mile track in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. His lap of 200.111 mph easily eclipsed the previous qualifying mark of 198.282 mph set by Kevin Harvick at April’s Duck Commander 500.
The contenders that will join Kenseth and Gordon in the first six rows are Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet) starting fifth (198.836 mph), Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet) seventh (198.500 mph), Joey Logano (No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford) 10th (198.071 mph) and Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford) in 11th (198.042 mph).
The two contenders that did not fare well in qualifying were Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota), who will start 20th, and Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford), who starts 26th.
Rounding out the top five qualifiers behind Kenseth and Gordon were Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet) third, Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) fourth and Harvick.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the track Saturday for a pair of final practice sessions, the first at 10 a.m. CT and second at 1 p.m.
The AAA Texas 500, the second of three races in the Eliminator 8 Round, will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. The 334-lap, 501-mile race will be broadcast live on ESPN and also available on PRN (nationally) and KRLD-AM 1080 (locally).
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) (NYSE: TRK) today reported third quarter 2014 total revenues of $139.8 million, adjusted non-GAAP income from continuing operations of $11.5 million or $0.28 per diluted share, and GAAP net income of $15.0 million or $0.36 per diluted share. Nine month 2014 total revenues were $400.3 million, adjusted non-GAAP income from continuing operations was $39.9 million or $0.96 per diluted share, and GAAP net income was $44.1 million or $1.06 per diluted share. These items are further discussed and reconciled with comparable GAAP amounts below. These results were within management’s expectations, and SMI reaffirmed its full year 2014 earnings guidance of $0.90 to $1.10 per diluted share from continuing operations.
Management believes many of the Company’s revenue categories continue to be negatively impacted by the ongoing weak and uncertain economic conditions, including underemployment and high food and health-care costs. Also, many parts of the East Coast of the United States experienced a particularly harsh or longer-lasting winter in 2014. Management believes admissions and certain event related revenues and expenses were negatively impacted by poor weather surrounding certain first quarter 2014 racing events held at Bristol Motor Speedway, including its rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and second quarter 2014 NASCAR racing events held at Texas Motor Speedway, including its rain postponed and rescheduled Sprint Cup race.
Third Quarter Comparison
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway held one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013
- Texas Motor Speedway held one Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013
- Total revenues were $139.8 million in 2014 compared to $137.5 million in 2013
- Non-recurring benefit from state tax law changes was $1.7 million or $0.04 per diluted share in 2013
- Income from continuing operations was $9.0 million or $0.22 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $12.4 million or $0.30 per diluted share in 2013
- Income from discontinued operations was $6.0 million (associated income taxes on recovery settlement were $2.5 million) in 2014 compared to a loss of $68,000 in 2013
- Net income was $15.0 million or $0.36 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $12.3 million or $0.30 per diluted share in 2013
- Non-GAAP net income was $11.5 million or $0.28 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $10.7 million or $0.26 per diluted share in 2013
- Total revenues were $400.3 million in 2014 compared to $398.5 million in 2013
- Sizable reduction in 2014 interest expense from 2013 debt refinancing transactions and ongoing debt repayment
- In 2014 (after tax items):
- Non-recurring insurance recovery gain, net of accelerated depreciation on damaged assets of $380,000 or $0.01 per diluted share
- Accelerated depreciation on retired assets of $712,000 or $0.02 per diluted share
- Gain from involuntary property conversion of $620,000 or $0.02 per diluted share
- Decrease in accrued interest and penalties on estimated income taxes of $397,000 or $0.01 per diluted share
- In 2013 (after tax items):
- Goodwill impairment charge of $86.7 million or $2.09 per diluted share
- Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing of $11.6 million or $0.28 per diluted share
- Non-recurring benefits from state income tax restructuring and tax law changes of $5.7 million or $0.14 per diluted share
- Income from continuing operations was $38.2 million or $0.92 per diluted share in 2014 compared to a loss of $56.8 million or $1.37 per diluted share in 2013
- Income from discontinued operations was $5.9 million (associated income taxes on recovery settlement were $2.5 million) in 2014 compared to a loss of $130,000 in 2013
- Net income was $44.1 million or $1.06 per diluted share in 2014 compared to a loss of $56.9 million or $1.37 per diluted share in 2013
- Non-GAAP net income was $39.9 million or $0.96 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $35.8 million or $0.86 per diluted share in 2013
Non-GAAP Financial Information and Reconciliation
Income from continuing operations, and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, as adjusted and set forth below are non-GAAP (other than generally accepted accounting principles) financial measures presented as supplemental disclosures to their individual corresponding GAAP basis amounts. The following schedule reconciles those non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable information presented using GAAP, all net of taxes. Management believes such non-GAAP information is useful and meaningful to investors and helps in understanding, using and comparing the Company’s operating results separate from the non-recurring and other non-GAAP items described below.
Management uses the non-GAAP information to assess the Company’s operations for the periods presented, analyze performance trends and make decisions regarding future operations because it believes this separate information better reflects ongoing operating results. This non-GAAP financial information is not intended to be considered independent of or a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. This non-GAAP financial information may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other entities and should not be considered as alternatives to net income or loss or diluted earnings or loss per share, or income or loss or diluted earnings or loss per share from continuing operations, determined in accordance with GAAP. Individual quarterly per share amounts may not be additive due to rounding. Amounts below are in thousands except per share amounts.
|Three Months Ended
|Nine Months Ended
|(in thousands, except per share amounts)|
|Consolidated net income (loss) using GAAP||$||14,995||$||12,294||$||44,061||$||(56,885||)|
|(Income) loss from discontinued operations, net of associated income taxes on recovery settlement||(3,509||)||68||(3,441||)||130|
|Non-recurring insurance recovery gain, net of accelerated depreciation on damaged assets||--||--||(380||)||--|
|Accelerated depreciation on retired assets||--||--||712||--|
|Gain from involuntary property conversion||--||--||(620||)||--|
|Impairment of goodwill||--||--||--||86,696|
|Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing||--||--||--||11,619|
|Decrease in accrued interest and penalties on estimated income tax liabilities, and non-recurring benefits of state income tax restructuring and tax law changes||--||(1,664||)||(397||)||(5,720||)|
|Non-GAAP consolidated net income from continuing operations||$||11,486||$||10,698||$||39,935||$||35,840|
|Consolidated diluted earnings (loss) per share using GAAP||$||0.36||$||0.30||$||1.06||$||(1.37||)|
|(Income) loss from discontinued operations, net of associated income taxes on recovery settlement||(0.08||)||0.00||(0.08||)||0.00|
|Non-recurring insurance recovery gain, net of accelerated depreciation on damaged assets||--||--||(0.01||)||--|
|Accelerated depreciation on retired assets||--||--||0.02||--|
|Gain from involuntary property conversion||--||--||(0.02||)||--|
|Impairment of goodwill||--||--||--||2.09|
|Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing||--||--||--||0.28|
|Decrease in accrued interest and penalties on estimated income tax liabilities, and non-recurring benefits of state income tax restructuring and tax law changes||--||(0.04||)||(0.01||)||(0.14||)|
|Non-GAAP consolidated diluted earnings per share from continuing operations||$||0.28||$||0.26||$||0.96||$||0.86|
Significant 2014 Third Quarter Racing Events
- Atlanta Motor Speedway – Labor Day weekend NASCAR Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup and Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed the Children Nationwide Series racing events
- Bristol Motor Speedway – NASCAR IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup, Food City 300 Nationwide and UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP Camping World Truck Series racing events
- zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals racing event
- Kentucky Speedway – NASCAR VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Nationwide and ZLOOP 150 Automobile Racing Club of America Series racing events
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway – NASCAR Rhino Linings 350 Camping World Truck Series racing event
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway – NASCAR Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup, SYLVANIA 300 Sprint Cup, Sta-Green 200 Nationwide and UNOH 175 Camping World Truck Series racing events
- Sonoma Raceway – NHRA Sonoma Nationals and GoPro Grand Prix of SonomaIndyCar Series racing events
- Texas Motor Speedway – Red Bull Air Race World Championship event
2014 Earnings Guidance
The Company reaffirmed that third quarter 2014 results are consistent with its previous full year 2014 earnings guidance of $0.90-$1.10 per diluted share from continuing operations, excluding non-recurring and other special items. The range of earnings guidance reflects the continuing negative impact of uncertain economic conditions, among other factors. Higher fuel, health-care and food costs and continued underemployment could significantly impact our future results.
Dividends and Stock Repurchase Program
During the nine months ended September 30, 2014, the Company declared and paid cash dividends of $0.15 per share of common stock each quarter for a combined aggregate of approximately $18.7 million. On October 16, 2014, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share of common stock, aggregating approximately $6.2 million, payable on December 5, 2014 to shareholders of record as of November 14, 2014. The Board of Directors plans to continue to evaluate cash dividends on a quarterly basis in the future.
During the nine months ended September 30, 2014, the Company repurchased 113,000 shares of common stock for approximately $2.1 million under this program. As of September 30, 2014, the Company has repurchased 3,995,000 shares since adoption of the program in April 2005, and the total number of shares available for future repurchase as currently authorized is 1,005,000.
“These third quarter results are within our expectations and reflect continuing increases in track rentals, strong profitability from certain non-motorsports events and activities, and higher luxury suite revenues on a year-over-year comparable event basis,” stated Marcus G. Smith, Chief Operating Officer and President of Speedway Motorsports. “We believe corporate spending trends are stabilizing, with increasing interest in our promotional activities and facilities. Most of our NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series event sponsorships for 2015, and many for racing seasons beyond 2015, are already sold. While the economy finally appears to be improving, certain markets are recovering slower than expected. We strongly believe NASCAR’s focus on enhancing on-track racing competition and fan appeal is continuing to improve our sport’s premier racing product and refine our fan’s entertainment experience.
“As throughout our history, SMI’s business model is centered on providing our fans with an entertainment experience and value second to none in motorsports. SMI’s priorities are focused on unique pre-race and contemporary interactive digital entertainment and customer service initiatives, particularly targeted to families, the younger generation and first-time fans. We strongly believe our efforts, coupled with those of NASCAR and NBC Sports Group and FOX Sports Media Group media powerhouses under the new broadcasting contracts, provide us and our NASCAR entertainment industry with superior long-term marketing and growth opportunities.”
O. Bruton Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Speedway Motorsports stated, “Our growing financial strength is well positioning SMI for renewed long-term growth. We have reduced long-term debt by over $230 million since early 2011, and plan to continue ongoing debt reduction and constrained capital spending. We believe attendance and other event related revenue trends are improving as the economic recovery expands. Our core fans have been particularly hard hit, and we are continuing with many reduced prices to help offset these tough times. And at the same time, we are offering more innovative pre-race entertainment and constantly improving our facilities for our fans’ enjoyment. SMI’s substantial past investment in modern facilities is allowing us to focus capital spending on fan generating and customer service initiatives without straining our financial resources. Modern improvements like the two largest video boards in motorsports at our Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedways, exemplifies SMI’s long history of industry firsts and arguably the most modern, finest racing facilities collectively in motorsports.
“SMI’s future is brighter than it has been in years. Our financial strength is improving, which is helped by the substantial multi-year contracted revenue streams from the NASCAR broadcasting agreements through 2024 and expanding demand for additional uses of our modern venues in premium markets. And there are NASCAR’s ongoing improvements to on-track racing competition for increasing fan appeal, the many sizeable and largely untapped demographics in motorsports, the long-term marketing initiatives of SMI, NASCAR and the media powerhouses, and most importantly an improving economy. These are all converging factors that provide SMI and our sport with tremendous prospects for renewed growth and profitability.”
Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiaries; manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars and parts through its US Legend Cars International subsidiary; and produces and broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to radio stations nationwide through its Performance Racing Network subsidiary. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, particularly statements with regard to our future operations and financial results. There are many factors that affect future events and trends of our business including, but not limited to, economic factors, weather, the success of NASCAR and others as sanctioning bodies, capital projects and expansion, financing needs, income taxes and a host of other factors both within and outside of management control. These factors and other factors, including those contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from management's views and expectations. Inclusion of any information or statement in this news release does not necessarily imply that such information or statement is material. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly revised or updated forward-looking information, and such information included in this news release is based on information currently available and may not be reliable after this date.
Note: Speedway Motorsports will host a conference call and webcast today at 10:00 AM (ET) open to the public. To participate in the conference call, you may dial 877-369-6589 (US / Canada / toll-free) or 408-337-0122 (international). The reference number is 24238527. A webcast of the call can be accessed at the Company's website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com under “Event Calendar”. To listen to a playback of the call, you may dial 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406 beginning at 1:00 PM (ET) October 29th through 11:59 PM (ET) November 12th. The reference number is 24238527. Participating in the call will be Marcus G. Smith, Chief Operating Officer and President, and William R. Brooks, Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.
|Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Selected Financial Data - Unaudited
For The Three and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2014 and 2013
(In thousands except per share amounts)
|Three Months Ended||Nine Months Ended|
|STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA||9/30/2014||9/30/2013||9/30/2014||9/30/2013|
|Event related revenue||39,186||37,715||116,158||114,999|
|NASCAR broadcasting revenue||63,068||60,441||178,814||171,592|
|Other operating revenue||6,672||6,408||22,038||23,008|
|Expenses and Other:|
|Direct expense of events||33,706||34,162||83,398||83,110|
|NASCAR purse and sanction fees||39,400||37,958||108,576||105,676|
|Other direct operating expense||4,127||4,080||14,006||14,347|
|General and administrative||25,414||23,955||74,065||69,954|
|Depreciation and amortization||13,540||13,913||42,451||41,476|
|Interest expense, net||5,358||5,950||16,285||26,101|
|Impairment of goodwill||-||-||-||89,037|
|Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing||-||-||-||18,467|
|Other (income) expense, net||(61||)||(37||)||(2,487||)||206|
|Total Expenses and Other||121,484||119,981||336,294||448,374|
|Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Before Income Taxes||18,353||17,519||63,962||(49,889||)|
|Income Tax Provision||(9,336||)||(5,157||)||(25,811||)||(6,866||)|
|Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations||9,017||12,362||38,151||(56,755||)|
|Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operation||5,978||(68||)||5,910||(130||)|
|Net Income (Loss)||$14,995||$12,294||$44,061||($56,885||)|
|Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share:|
|Net Income (Loss)||$0.36||$0.30||$1.06||($1.37||)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding||41,372||41,395||41,396||41,416|
|Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share:|
|Net Income (Loss)||$0.36||$0.30||$1.06||($1.37||)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding||41,388||41,413||41,416||41,431|
|Major NASCAR-sanctioned Events Held During Period||8||8||20||20|
|Certain Race Schedule Changes:|
|• New Hampshire Motor Speedway held one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013|
|• Texas Motor Speedway held one Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013|
• Poor weather resulted in delays in starting and completing one NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at Bristol Motor Speedway in the first quarter 2014, and postponing and rescheduling one NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at Texas Motor Speedway in the second quarter 2014
|BALANCE SHEET DATA||9/30/2014||12/31/2013|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$104,083||$97,343|
|Total current assets||179,104||202,208|
|Property and equipment, net||1,084,405||1,105,177|
|Goodwill and other intangible assets, net||444,621||444,635|
|Deferred race event and other income, net||44,480||57,888|
|Total current liabilities||109,673||110,954|
|Credit facility borrowings (all term loan)||150,000||210,000|
|Total long-term debt||405,368||466,989|
|Total stockholders' equity||850,815||825,990|
Speedway Motorsports Inc.
Saturday's weather forecast current sits at a 50% chance of rain. Track management will make a call by Friday afternoon on if the race will be held on Saturday, or if the race will be held Sunday, instead. In the event the race is held Sunday, practice will be on an abbreviated schedule prior to the green flag.
This weekend's race will feature a 1.5 hour (or 150 lap, whichever comes first) endure race, as well as a 75 lap Limited Late Model event, as well as UCARs, Legends and Bandoleros. The green flag is set to fly at 3:00 PM Saturday, with Trunk or Treating and a Halloween Costume Contest at 1:00 PM. Ticket information, as well as a full schedule for the Halloween Spooktacular can be found at www.snmpark.com.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials will honor the champions of the Granite State Legends' Sign Works Oval Series and Moat Mountain Road Course Series, the Crown Trophy Bandolero Series, and the Loudon Road Race Series at the season-ending awards banquet on Saturday. The ceremony will be held at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, N.H. on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. Prizes include 120 trophies and more than $18,000 in payouts to overall series and class champions.
Once again, it will be Shaun Buffington, Casey Call and Rick Doucette collecting the biggest hardware. Buffington (Plainville, Conn.) finished atop the Legends oval and road course point standings, Call (Pembroke, N.H.) won the Bandolero title by only 10 points, and Doucette (Sandown, N.H.) was the LRRS overall champion for the fifth straight season.
"It's truly an honor to host some of the best regional racing in New England right here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "This was a terrific, hard-fought season throughout all of these series. I wish all of our champions a hearty congratulations, as well as a tip of my hat to all of the competitors that made this one of the best seasons to date."
Buff to beat
Buffington won his second straight Moat Mountain Road Course championship, beating Taylor Martin of Windham, N.H., by 122 points. Buffington also won the Sign Works Oval Series title for the second straight year, beating teammate Tom Gray by 33 points.
"We really focused hard over the winter to improve our engines and continue to raise the bar for what we want to do each weekend," said Buffington, who won last year's championship in spite of four blown engines. "The competition just keeps getting better. Every year Tom and Taylor are catching up to my lap times. This division is only going to keep improving as we move forward - and I want that. I want that competitive balance."
Buffington won 23 total races and finished second in the three he didn't win during 26 starts this season. The shining moment for Buffington – other than the overall championship – was during a weekend in August during which he won both road course races and an oval race in three different cars.
"We added a second car because of how hard we work the cars on the road course," said Buffington. "That was a big weekend for us. I was really proud of the fact that we were able to win with all three cars."
Mike Alton (Nashua, N.H.), Tom Gray (Baltic, Conn.) and Jordan O'Brien (Yarmouth, Maine) round out the top-five in the road course standings, while Martin, Bob Weymouth (Topsham, Maine) and Joseph Wisialko (Westwood, Mass.) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively in the oval standings.
O'Brien was named Legend Car Rookie of the Year.
Calling his shot
The Crown Trophy Bandolero Series title went to 11-year-old Casey Call. It was easier said than done for Call, who trailed A.J. Eastman by six points with five races remaining on the schedule. But a stretch of four straight wins pushed Call past Eastman and to his second consecutive title.
"We're good friends off the track, but on the track we both have that fire. We want to beat each other," said Call of his rivalry with Eastman. "I kind of felt like I had a target on my back after last year, and A.J. was right there on my tail all season. He really pushed me to be my best."
Eastman (Fishers Island, N.Y.), Jacob Perry (Pawcatuck, Conn.), Robby Gordon Douglas (Derry, N.H.) and Matthew Addona (Branchville, N.J.) round out the top five in the standings.
Call finished the season with five wins and a total of 10 podium finishes in 12 races.
"I'd say last year's was really great because it was the first in the history of the track," said Call, referencing the first season of Bandolero racing at NHMS. "This year was pretty sweet, too, because we had such a slow start to the season. But we kept on getting better and better. So to win another championship is awesome. I can't wait to get back at it again next year."
Rookie of the Year honors went to Lukas Doucette (Sandown, N.H.) and Jake Matheson (Hillsboro, N.H.).
Make it five for Doucette
From April to October, the Loudon Road Race Series descends onto the Magic Mile, and once again, when it was all said and done, Rick Doucette was standing on top of the mountain. Doucette won five expert class titles this season and his fifth straight overall championship.
Scott Greenwood and Seth Hahn round out the top-three for the season.
"It's never easy and it's definitely the hardest one that I've won," said Doucette. "It's getting harder and harder to do every year, but they're all special. As much as it changes, it stays the same - I can't say enough about the competition we face each week."
Doucette will take home hardware on Saturday night from the Formula 40 Lights, GTL, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Supersport and Unlimited Grand Prix. But of course, it's the one that got away that will eat at him the most this offseason.
"I have to give Scotty Mullin a lot of credit for staying focused and taking that championship," said Doucette of his second-place finish in the Thurnderbike class. "I hate to lose, but at the end of the day those battles on the track are what we race for."
Scott Greenwood of Dunbarton, N.H., defended his Dash for Cash/Middleweight Grand Prix championship trophy. Greenwood also won titles in the GTU, Middleweight Supersport, and Unlimited Supersport classes.
Joining Doucette and Greenwood with expert class championships this season is Jake Vader (Franklin, N.H.), who won the 125 Grand Prix. Roger Ealy Jr. (Rochester, N.H.) won the Formula 300 class, Dennis Levesque (Derry, N.H.) nabbed the Formula 40 and Super Twins class titles, and Douglas Fogg (Merrimac, Mass.) finished atop the standings in the Formula 50 Lights.
The GTO hardware will go to Wojciech Kasperuk (Seymour, Conn.), while Eric Wood (Ashburnham, Mass.) will take home trophies from wins in the Heavyweight Superbike, Middleweight Superbike, and Unlimited Superbike classes.
The Heavyweight Supersport title will go to Joel Allen (Barrington, N.H.), Scott Mullin (Amherst, N.H.) added a win in the Lightweight Grand Prix to go with his Thunderbike title, and Trevor Chiappisi (Deerfield, N.H.) will ride home with Motard and Lightweight Sportsman trophies.
The P-89 Lights and Ultralight Superbike titles will go to John Linn (Bristol, Vt.), while the Super Singles will go to Eric Block (Middlefield, Conn.).
Savvas Kosmidis of Worcester, Mass. (originally from Serres, Greece) won the overall Loudon Road Race Series Amateur Achievement award along with amateur class championships in the Lightweight Grand Prix, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Supersport, and Thunderbike.
Also winning amateur class championships were Jonathan Leung of Brighton, Mass. (125 Grand Prix), Roger Ealy Sr. of New Durham, N.H. (Formula 300), Clayson Baker of Florence, Mass. (Formula 40), Rick Kaeser of New Boston, N.H. (Formula 40 Lights, Formula 50 Lights, GTL), Chris Woodman of Strafford, N.H. (GTO, Unlimited Supersport), Jack Mach of Milford, Conn. (GTU), Orlando Gonzalez of North Bergen, N.J. (Heavyweight Superbike), Walter French Jr. of North Smithfield, R.I. (Heavyweight Supersport, Middleweight Grand Prix), Roland Arsenault of Rochester, N.H. (Lightweight Sportsman, Ultralight Superbike), Marcelo Lautert of Randolph, Mass. (Middleweight Superbike, Middleweight Supersport), Chris Dove of Waltham, Mass. (Motard, Super Singles), Christopher Bouchard of Concord, N.H. (Super Twins), Dylan Moore of Lakeville, Mass. (Unlimited Grand Prix), and Michael Bettencourt of Medford, Mass. (Unlimited Superbike).
The Granite State Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Loudon Road Race Series will bring back the excitement in 2015 for several action-packed weekends. For more information fans are encouraged to visit www.nhms.com.
Pocono Raceway announced today the Verizon IndyCar Series will return to ‘The Tricky Triangle’ for the 2015 Pocono INDYCAR 500 Fueled by Sunoco on Sunday, August 23. Additionally, tickets to the 2015 INDYCAR events at Pocono Raceway are on sale now, including the opportunity for 2014 ticket purchasers to receive a 20-percent discount on their 2015 ticket renewals.
“We’re excited about today’s announcement,” said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President/CEO. “We have been bombarded with questions from race fans regarding the Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Pocono next summer. Our staff evaluated fan feedback and this, with cooperation from everyone at INDYCAR, we were able to find a different date on the 2015 calendar which we feel works better for everyone involved.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series will return to the 2.5-mile triangle track in Northeast Pennsylvania for the third consecutive year. In 2013, Scott Dixon used late-race strategy to become the first open-wheel race winner at Pocono since 1979. Juan Pablo Montoya won from the pole last year, after setting a new track record of 223.92 miles per hour in qualifying, to score his first INDYCAR victory in seven years.
“It is great to see my hometown race on the 2015 schedule,” said Marco Andretti, driver of the No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda and Nazareth, PA resident. “Pocono is basically in my backyard and the support in the area is so encouraging. It really is a track that is made for Indy cars. There’s a fun challenge in trying to find the balance between Turn 1 and Turn 3. In Turn 1, you really feel the speed of the cars. It’s become one of my favorite turns in racing.”
“Return to Pocono in 2015 is great news,” said Tony Kanann, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and active INDYCAR laps led leader at Pocono. “’The Tricky Triangle’ is a very challenging racetrack for us drivers and it provides great racing and excitement for the fans. Continuity is the key word to rebuild our base for that region and INDYCAR and Pocono are working very hard, and thankfully, making it happen. I’m obviously happy to be able to return in 2015 and finish up right the strong race we had in 2014.”
Pocono Raceway PR
Daytona International Speedway Names Florida Hospital as a Founding Partner Of Historic DAYTONA Rising ProjectWritten by Steven B. Wilson Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:33
Two iconic Central Florida organizations, Daytona International Speedway and Florida Hospital, announced today a multi-year partnership that will make Florida Hospital the second Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway, as part of its historic $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Providing high-quality medical services and new fan experiences at the “World Center of Racing,” Florida Hospital will inspire the community to race toward better health.
“Florida Hospital’s mission, vision and reach make them an ideal partner,” said International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy. “We look forward to connecting them with visitors and race fans year round.”
Beginning in January 2015, Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler will be the exclusive healthcare provider of Daytona International Speedway, which includes providing medical equipment and personnel for all events, managing the care center operations and providing ambulances to handle emergency situations.
Arriving in a Toyota Camry pace car, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler CEO Daryl Tol shared the unprecedented announcement on the West end of Daytona International Speedway’s frontstretch.
The massive DAYTONA Rising project, encompassing the Speedway’s nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. The project will transform the Speedway into the world’s first motorsports stadium with premium amenities and attractions unmatched in the industry.
The Florida Hospital brand will be represented on one of five special entrances called fan injectors, including more than 20,000 square feet of engagement space. Within this injector, Florida Hospital will have a presence in one of the “neighborhoods” which will encompass retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action.
“This is more than a sign on the building; this is a true partnership. Florida Hospital will be integrated into the fan experience at the Speedway,” Tol said. “Through our partnership with the Daytona International Speedway, we’ll provide another key access point for health care in the Daytona Beach community where guests will experience Florida Hospital’s commitment to whole person health and wellness.”
In addition to serving as a Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising, Florida Hospital will be an inaugural partner in ONE DAYTONA – a premier 190-acre mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment development across from Daytona International Speedway.
“Our partnership with Florida Hospital reinforces the immense appeal of the nation’s first true motorsports stadium to attract brands outside of the core sports arena,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “We’re pleased to welcome Florida Hospital to Daytona International Speedway.”
Dillon Motor Speedway hosted the 11thannual Fall Spectacular 400, the last race of the 2014 season on Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27.
Tim Allensworth took the checkered flag in the Late Model feature this past weekend. Clay Jones who has been strong all season long finished second. Randy Benson from Rockingham, N.C. finished third and claimed the 2014 Late Model Track Championship. Benson did so without a win, but he was consistent every weekend. This was Benson’s first season competing at the speedway. Greg Peterson finished fourth, and Chad Webster rounded out the top-five.
Hal Goodson held off Bryan Blackwell and Jimmy Herrington for the win in the Super Truck feature. Kevin Parsons finished fourth, and Michael Cooper finished fifth. Goodson was named the Super Truck champion earlier this season.
Michael Williamson took home the victory and the track championship in the Charger feature on Sunday. The championship marks his first at the speedway. Ben Watford finished second, followed by David Warren, Troy Norton and a solid top-five finish for Jason Beck.
Jeff Melton held off Jason Calhoun for the Street Stock victory. Sonny Schoffen from Wisconsin came back down to compete and finished third. Charles Hutto finished fourth, and Ricky Locklair locked up the track championship in the Street Stock division with a fifth place finish. The championship is the first for Locklair Jr. at the speedway.
JR Moore captured his first career win in the Pure Stock Four feature this past weekend. James Tucker finished just behind him in second, while Barry Wilson crossed the line in third. Andy Norton finished fourth and claimed the track championship. Bobby Tumbleston Sr. rounded out the top-five.
Shane Canyse won the Mini Stock Mayhem race that featured 21 cars. Michael Wells Finished second, followed by Jason Tutterow, Andrew Sanders and Brian Bryant.
Steve Lauffer broke through to win his first Mini Cup feature of the season. Kyle Rivers finished second, and the 2014 Carolina Eastern Mini Cup Association champion, Steve Chauncey finished third. Logan Owens finished fourth, and Scott Brooks finished fifth.
The 2014 season at Dillon Motor Speedway has now concluded, but it won’t be long before the engines fire up, once again. On January 2-3, the speedway will host its annual New Year’s event. Details of the event will be unveiled over the winter.
Dillon Motor Speedway PR
Six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and more than 15 of the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars tested their cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway today in preparation of the Ford EcoBoost 400, November 16. The two-day session will conclude on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Seven of the eight drivers in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup took their cars to the track today to test and tune their cars as much as they can before heading to South Florida in November, where they could possibly be one of the Championship 4 drivers racing for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“That’s why you see so many cars down here testing,” Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford Fusion for Team Penske said. “It’s all going to come down to Homestead. Making sure you have a fast car down here is important because that’s going to be the difference of winning a championship or not. I think you’re going to have to win here to win the Championship.”
“This is really a key test for us,” Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion for Team Penske said. “It’s our final test, with NASCAR’s testing ban, so there’s something to be said for that. We’ve have solid performances here, but we want to find a little bit more to be able to win. You have to enter Homestead with the expectation that you have to win to win the Championship and we’ve got two cars here in the hunt to be able to do that.”
Logano, who has won a pole here (, and Keselowski, who won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship are both still standing in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and could clinch a spot with a win at Texas this weekend or Phoenix next weekend.
Two drivers also testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway today are Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Hendrick Motorsports. The pair finished first and second at Martinsville Speedway last weekend, respectively, and Gordon is still in contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in the Eliminator Round. Earnhardt was eliminated following the final race of the Contender Round at Talladega.
“We’re in a bit of a different situation than Jeff is,” Earnhardt said. “We’re looking forward to the race. We feel like we had a good car here last year, we just want to learn a few more things and looking forward to the race.”
“It’s all about speed,” Gordon said. “This is a very challenging racetrack, especially in the heat of the day. It’s difficult to get the balance right on this track. We have had some good cars here the last couple of years and want to simulate that. We hope that we’re in the battle for the Championship when we come back here, and if we are, we have a car that can win the race.”
Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards is also still in contention for the Championship title, and headed to South Florida to work on his car as well and learn more about the 1.5-mile oval.
“It’s nice to come down here, the weather is beautiful and this is one of my favorite racetracks,” Edwards said. “We’re hoping to be as prepared as we can be for a championship battle at Ford Championship Weekend. It’s an opportunity to make sure if we are one of the final four that we can perform.”
Homestead Miami Speedway PR
Phoenix International Raceway announced today that tickets for its 2015 spring race weekend, headlined by the Camping World 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, will go on-sale tomorrow, October 28. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 866-408-RACE (7223).
When NASCAR announced the 2015 schedule in August, it included a change in PIR’s spring race date. The Camping World 500 race weekend is now the fourth race of the NASCAR season and will take place March 13-15, 2015. That date coincides with Spring Break for nearly every school district and college in Arizona, making the Camping World 500 an ideal entertainment destination.
The event weekend also features the NASCAR XFINITY Series 200 race on Saturday, March 14 and the Toyota 120 NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series race on Friday, March 13. Tickets for Friday’s Toyota 120 race also include admission to Gatorade Pole Qualifying for the Camping World 500.
Race fans can take advantage of PIR’s ‘Value Pricing’ period through December 31 and receive a $5 discount off of the face value of most seats by purchasing their tickets for the races during the Camping World 500 event weekend early. Beginning January 1, 2015, ticket prices will return to regular pricing, with event week pricing going into effect on Monday, March 9. Race fans who wish to secure their seats for the entire 2015 PIR schedule can also purchase season tickets, which start at $99.
The south entrance of New Hampshire Motor Speedway will begin to take on a new look once the snow melts. Speedway officials announced today plans to break ground there for the future home of the 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art North East Motor Sports Museum.
The museum will be built in two phases. The first 10,000 square feet will begin in the spring of 2015, while an additional 10,000 square feet will be added at a later date.
"I can't think of a better way to kick off our 25th anniversary celebration at New Hampshire Motor Speedway than with a groundbreaking for the North East Motor Sports Museum," said Jerry Gappens, vice president and general manager of the speedway. "I feel our facility is the anchor for multi-forms of motorsports and its history here in New England. I couldn't envision the museum in any other location. I can't wait for opening day and to share motorsports history with the race fans of New England."
New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be celebrating a quarter century of racing in 2015. Tracing its roots back to the original 1/5-mile dirt oval at Bryar Motorsports Park, the more modernized 1.058-mile oval and 1.6-mile road course of today gives the affectionately known Magic Mile its own rich history of racing that makes it the perfect locale for such a project.
The speedway currently hosts everything from NASCAR's three major touring series to regional series like the American-Canadian Tour, K&N Pro Series East, and Whelen Modified Tour to local racing series like the Granite State Legends Cars, Bandoleros, and Loudon Road Race Series (motorcycles). IndyCar and the Global RallyCross Championship have also held events at the speedway over the years, as well as various car clubs, racing schools, and driving experiences.
"The goal of the museum is top cover all aspects of motorsports from this area, not just NASCAR or drag racing but any and all racing that has taken place here in New England," said Dick Berggren, president of the NEMSM. "Much of the racing history for the Northeast has been lost over time and we want to make sure that what we can find of the sport's history is preserved for generations to come."
The RHPG, the parent corporation for the NEMSM, is made up of local prominent motorsports personalities, including Berggren, Ricky Craven, Lew Boyd, Joe Freeman, Ken Smith, Russ Conway and Ric Mariscal to name a few.
The NEMSM will be used to house the history of motorsports from the Northeast area with a plethora of displays, vehicles and racing-related artifacts.
To learn more about the North East Motor Sports Museum or to donate, visit the museum website at www.nemsmuseum.com.