Speedway News (2697)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Talladega Superspeedway is proud to announce the ASA Action Sports World Tour of high-demand and highly entertaining “half-pipe” competitions featuring superstars in skateboarding and BMX will be held in the track’s exhibit area during the GEICO 500/fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola race weekend, October 18-19.
Located in Horsepower Plaza outside the gates near turn four, fans will feel the “Wow Factor” at the Saturday-Sunday event that will leave everyone buzzing. The world’s best pros will perform unbelievable aerial stunts on the actual X Games half-pipe ramp as a part of a unique team competition that pits continent vs continent. Fans will see teams of skate and BMX stars from Europe, South America, Australia and the USA.
These teams will compete against each other for national pride on the largest half pipe (14.5’ high from the top deck level) on the planet –at Talladega Superspeedway, the biggest and baddest race track in the universe.
The energy in Horsepower Plaza will be in overdrive Saturday, October 18th when the action gets underway at 10:00 a.m. CST. Sunday’s Grand Finale is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. CST. It marks the first time the top pros from skateboarding and BMX have competed on the grounds of NASCAR’s Most Competitive track, Talladega Superspeedway. The two-day head-to-head competition will showcase the biggest names in action sports jockeying for team points in four different contests each day: individual runs, high air, best trick and team doubles. Some of the pros, most ranked in the top 10 in the world, scheduled to be a part of ASA Action Sports World Tour include:
Team USA: Chad Kagy (15-time X Games Medalist, including 4 Golds) & Andy Macdonald (23-time X Games Medalist)
Team Europe: Simon Tabron (11-time X Games Medalist) & Paul-Luc Ronchetti
Team South America: Coco Zurita (2013 World Champion) & Marcelo Bastos (2-time X Games Medalist)
Team Australia: Steve McCann (2-Time X Games Gold Medalist) & Renton Millar
“Having the half-pipe from the X-Games and the superstars from the world of BMX and skateboarding here at Talladega is another way to show our appreciation to our fans,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. “Talladega is all about high-energy competition. Now, we will deliver that to our fans both on the track with the fred’s 250 Powered By Coca-Cola and GEICO 500, and outside the track with ASA Action Sports World Tour.”
The event will run in conjunction with both Saturday’s fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola (Noon CST) and Sunday’s GEICO 500 (1 pm CST) October 18 and 19, respectively. In the spirit of providing value for Talladega’s great fans, the event is free to watch both days!
Joey Logano made it a clean sweep for Penske Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2014. The native of Middletown, Conn., raced his way into the second round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship by winning Sunday's SYLVANIA 300. Logano joins July New Hampshire winner and teammate Brad Keselowski in the Contender Round.
"This is the coolest place to win for me. I won my first Cup race here, but it's nice to do this one the right way," said Logano, who won the 2009 rain-shortened June race at NHMS to become the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win a Sprint Cup Series race. "This is my home track. I always love coming here. I watched my first Cup race here and this means so much to me to me."
This was Logano's second win at the Magic Mile and his fourth victory of the season, trailing only Keselowski, who led 78 laps on Sunday, for the most in the Cup Series this year. Logano led 73 laps around the 1.058-mile oval on Sunday.
Rookie Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top-five.
Larson was a top-five car all day, but never seriously challenged for the lead. It was the second runner-up finish this season for Larson and his fourth top-three finish, which includes a third-place finish in July at New Hampshire.
"It was pretty crazy how I went from bad to really good, like we flipped a switch. I didn't think we would be a second-place finisher," said Larson. "We had a top-five car in the right position in the end."
For Harvick - who led a race-high 104 laps - it was his best finish since his win at the Magic Mile in 2006. He contended for the win in July, but ran out of gas during a green-white-checker finish.
"The first two weeks have gone really well and it was important for us to get off to a good start to make sure that we don't want to be scrambling after Week 1," said Harvick, who now has eight top-threes this season. "I thought at one point we were going to win the race and then all of a sudden I had (Keselowski) on my quarter panel and I was out of the groove. It was just hard racing and I enjoyed it."
Keselowski, the heavy favorite to win on Sunday, led the most laps, but fell to seventh during a series of late cautions. Chasers Aric Almirola finished sixth, while other Chasers Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Brian Vickers finished 10th.
It was a rough day for a number of other championship contenders, including Matt Kenseth (21st), Kasey Kahne (23rd), Jeff Gordon (26th), Kurt Busch (41st), and Denny Hamlin (37th).
Chase contenders A.J. Allmendinger (13th), Greg Biffle (16th), Carl Edwards (17th), and Ryan Newman (18th) finished inside the top 20.
The win for Logano was a bit of a surprise given his struggles of late. Logano had only one finish better than 14th - an eighth in September of 2012 - in his last six starts at the Magic Mile.
"I consider this my worst track, which you know it's a terrible thing to say because it is my home racetrack and I love it," said Logano, whose win ended a streak of 13 straight different winning drivers at the Magic Mile. "But I've always struggled when I come here. After today, we should feel like we can win anywhere."
When it comes to the MDCU 300 Lee Pulliam and Derrick Lancaster are at opposite ends of the racing spectrum.
Pulliam has won the prestigious Late Model Stock car race at Martinsville Speedway. Lancaster has never made the field. But there is one thing the pair of hard-charging weekly racers shares: an understanding of the importance of next Wednesday’s day-long test session for the race.
“It’s the most important thing ever,” said Lancaster, a successful Christiansburg businessman who has a passion for racing. “There’s no use to come to the race if you don’t test. That’s how important it is.”
Pulliam won the MDCU 300 in 2011 and followed that with back-to-back NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championships in 2012 and 2013. With all the success and experience, Pulliam says Wednesday’s test is vital.
“The test date is extremely important to us. We get to go to Martinsville Speedway once a year. Things change so much and we’re just trying to stay ahead of those changes,” said Pulliam. “And that makes testing important.”
Lancaster’s 2014 season has been one of peaks and valleys. He got off to a strong start at the three tracks he races at regularly: Motor Mile Speedway, Lonesome Pine Speedway and Kingsport Speedway. At one point he had climbed to 13th in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings. Then, mid-season, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease and the bottom fell out.
“It knocked me down,” Lancaster said. “I couldn’t do anything.”
Lancaster believes he is close to 100 percent healthy these days and is fully focused on the MDCU 300 and the day of testing.
“You’ve got to try everything, every aspect,” Lancaster said of his team’s test-day plans. “You’ve got to find out what’s going to work best for you. We’ll try a lot of different setups, some off the wall stuff, and hopefully some of it will work.
“I’ve never made that race. I’ve never had any luck there at all. I started second in a heat race a couple of times, but just never had any luck. That makes the test even bigger.”
Pulliam has raced to another amazing season with 24 wins, 39 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s in 44 starts and still has a shot at a third consecutive national title. But he would love to have another of the iconic grandfather clocks that go to Martinsville Speedway race winners, and a solid test day is important to reach that goal.
“We’ll work hard all day,” Pulliam said of the test. “We’ll try several qualifying packages. And then we’ll work on long runs. It’s a long race for us, so we’ve got to have balance all day and speed at the end. Hopefully we’ll have a good hot rod for the race.”
Wednesday’s test session is open to the public at no charge. Grandstand gates will open at 9 a.m.
The nation’s richest and most prestigious Late Model Stock race, which pays $25,000 to the winner, is sponsored by Martinsville DuPont Credit Union.
Race day will kick off on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. with an autograph session on the front stretch featuring the entire field of drivers. The first heat race will take the green at 12 p.m., with the 200-lap feature beginning at approximately 3 p.m.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Former UFC® bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will return to the Octagon on Saturday, Sept. 27, and he will do so with the backing of Phoenix International Raceway. Cruz, who served as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the March 2012 SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™, will wear shorts adorned with the PIR logo during the fight. Cruz’s 2012 race appearance and the fight sponsorship are the result of a partnership between PIR and Niner Sports & Entertainment.
The fight versus Takeya Mizugaki in Las Vegas marks a return to competition for Cruz after he suffered a major knee injury that kept him out of action for nearly three years. He held the UFC® bantamweight title for more than two and a half years before the injury forced him to relinquish the belt. Despite his lengthy break from fighting, Cruz remains the 10th-ranked fighter in his classification.
“I can’t wait to get back in the Octagon and compete again, and to do it with the support of my friends at Phoenix International Raceway,” Cruz said. “This has been a long, hard road back, but knowing that everyone in Arizona was behind me made it possible.”
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Cruz, 29, has ascended to the top of his profession, compiling a 19-1-0 professional record that includes wins over the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Urijah Faber, Scott Jorgensen, Joseph Benavidez and Brian Bowles.
“Dominick is a true Arizona success story, and his hard work and dedication are a tremendous example to fight fans and race fans alike,” said PIR President Bryan R. Sperber. “We are proud to sponsor him in his return to action and all of us at PIR will be cheering him on.”
The fight, which will take place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, is scheduled to be broadcast live nationally on FOX Sports 1 at 5 p.m. MST (8 p.m. EDT).
Last fall Kyle Larson made his Martinsville Speedway debut. When the talented rookie returns this fall, he will be a part of the Green Flag Experience prior to the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot®500 on Oct. 26.
Larson, who is not only contending for Rookie of the Year honors, but also for wins week in and week out, will join Chase contenders Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., along with Jamie McMurray and David Ragan for the question-and-answer portion of the Green Flag Experience.
The Green Flag Experience also gives fans the chance to watch driver introductions from the track, along with a morning full of fun and excitement on the track and under the large tent in The Plaza, located on the hill behind the souvenir display area.
In addition to the emceed question-and-answer sessions with each individual driver and driver introductions, the Green Flag Experience offers fans the opportunity to walk the frontstretch on race morning, enjoy music, games and prizes along with show cars and simulators, plus doughnuts, Danishes, coffee and juice. The cost of the Green Flag Experience is $30.
“Anytime you can add a driver the caliber of Kyle Larson to an already stacked Green Flag Experience lineup is great,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “The fact that he’s only a rookie makes it even better.”
The driver question-and-answer sessions, food, music, games and prizes, show cars and simulators will be held in The Plaza from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The track portion will open at 9:15 and will remain open until the finish of driver introductions.
The $30 charge for the Green Flag Experience does not include a ticket for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500.
Advance ticket prices for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 begin at just $40.
Martinsville Speedway PR
NBC The Voice's Tess Boyer to Sing National Anthem at Gateway Motorsports Park During Sunday's AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals Opening CeremoniesWritten by Steven B. Wilson Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:01
You’ve seen her. You’ve heard her. But you may not know exactly where she went to high school. She’s St. Louis’ own Tess Boyer, a top 10 finalist on NBC’s The Voice during season six. Tess is scheduled to perform the National Anthem on Sunday, September 28th, during the opening ceremonies for the final day of the AAA Insurance National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park at 11:00am, with same day coverage on ESPN2.
Originally picked by Usher, Tess was stolen twice: the first time by Blake Shelton and then again in the second battle round by Shakira. Tess grew up dancing, cheerleading and competing in pageants. She was a cheerleader for the St. Louis Rams football team and currently works with special needs children while studying pre-law. Tess's true love is singing, and she auditioned for The Voice to prove she has what it takes.
“It’s a pleasure and an honor for me to be invited to sing at major events in the St. Louis area, like the AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park,” said Tess. “I love my hometown, and regardless of where I go in my career, my roots are solidly here with the great people of this community.”
The AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals return to Gateway Motorsports Park on Sept. 26-28, 2014 for one of the most exhilarating, heart-pounding, ear-popping weekends in St. Louis motorsports. This will be the 21st of 24 events in the 2014 drag racing series and is a key race in the “Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.”
The AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals will be celebrating all week, with family events for speed lovers of all ages. Among other events, the NHRA Fanfest will be held this year on Thursday, September 25 at Ball Park Village for the very first time. This free, adrenaline-focused, fan-centered promotional event opens at 11:00am for fans and will run until 8:00 pm to celebrate the AAA Midwest Nationals. A 12:30pm press conference will be held for the media with lunch to follow. During the course of the day fans can get up close and personal with NHRA racecars, interactive displays, and some of the baddest hot rods on the planet. Music, ticket giveaways and games will fill the streets as NHRA fans from across the country pour into St. Louis for three days of racing action. This massive hot rod party begins at 6:00pm for the after-work and school crowd. The event will conclude at 8:00pm with an exclusive opportunity to meet the stars of the NHRA with an autograph session between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Stay tuned for more exiting announcements!
Saturday night, series point leader and defending race champion Andy Seuss will look to hold off spring race winner JR Bertuccio and the rest of the Southern Modified Tour in this 150 lap event. Seuss comes into the night's action just 24 points ahead of George Brunnhoelzl III and 38 ahead of Burt Myers. Bertuccio comes into the event only one point behind Myers.
Joining the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour on track is the Southern Vintage Race Car Nationals. Racecars 30 years or older will compete in such classes as Vintage Modified, Vintage Sportsman and Ford Flathead will race in 35 lap events before and after the Southern Modified Tour event.
Tickets for this special event are $20 for adults (16+), $17 for seniors, military and students (13-15), $6 for kids (6-12), while children 5 and under are free. Fans who bring a ticket stub from the Wilson County fair receive $5 off any adult, senior, military or student price. For more information, contact the track office at (919) 284-1114.
Goldenvoice Announces Partnership with Red Frog Events to Promote and Produce Firefly Music FestivalWritten by Steven B. Wilson Thursday, 18 September 2014 08:45
Goldenvoice, creators of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, announced today they have entered into a joint venture with Red Frog Events to promote and produce Firefly Music Festival.
Firefly Music Festival, founded by Red Frog Events in 2012, is one of the fastest growing music festivals in the country. The 4-day event is held annually each June at The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. The 2015 event will take place from June 18-21.
Goldenvoice, an AEG Live company, adds Firefly to their festival portfolio that includes Coachella, Stagecoach, FYF Fest and more.
“We’re so impressed with what they’ve created in such a short time, how could we not want to be a part of it?” said Paul Tollett, President & CEO of Goldenvoice.
“We are excited to be working with the Goldenvoice team,” said Joe Reynolds, founder and CEO of Red Frog Events. “This partnership will continue to propel the success of Firefly for years to come.”
Dover Motorsports PR
Daytona International Speedway was honored on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the 2014 PR News Platinum PR Awards Luncheon in New York City winning the Media Event - Brand category for its historic DAYTONA Rising groundbreaking event – the DAYTONA Rising 500.
This annual event salutes the year's most outstanding communicators, initiatives and organizations in the highly competitive and dynamic PR arena. These coveted awards set a benchmark for excellence in communications. The full list of winners and honorable mentions can be viewed here: http://www.prnewsonline.com/platinum-winners-2014/#.VBiIafbGpI4.twitter.
The DAYTONA Rising 500, held in July 2013, was a competition featuring massive construction equipment in place of stock cars that bestowed upon the winners the honor of being the first to officially break ground on the DAYTONA Rising project.
The DAYTONA Rising 500—the 500, in this case, signifying the approximate size of the race course (500 feet)—pitted pairings of current and former NASCAR drivers, as well as crew chief Larry McReynolds, in a test of competitive driving skills by guiding branded, 20-ton Cat® 950K Wheel Loaders through a series of obstacles and construction-site skill tests. In addition to event winners Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne, the teams included drivers Jeff Burton and Ryan Newman, as well as McReynolds and NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip.
“We like to be big and bold at Daytona International Speedway,” Track President Joie Chitwood III said. “The DAYTONA Rising 500 groundbreaking event was a unique and innovative way to kick off this historic project and we’re thrilled to see it recognized on a national level with a PR News Platinum PR Award.”
Coyne PR, the Speedway’s PR agency of record on the DAYTONA Rising project, assisted with the planning and execution of the event.
“We are incredibly privileged to work with the great professionals at Daytona International Speedway,” said Tom Coyne, CEO of Coyne PR. “We are so proud of this team effort and the opportunity to be part of this historic project.”
Stenhouse Educates Ole Miss Students on Talladega’s $19 College Ticket; Visits with Rebels 10th Ranked Football Team and Head Coach Hugh FreezeWritten by Steven B. Wilson Wednesday, 17 September 2014 17:58
At the campus of the University of Mississippi Tuesday NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse had the ultimate college experience – Talladega style.
First, the driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford acted as a professor, educating students in a marketing class about the special $19 College Ticket offer from one of his favorite race tracks – Talladega Superspeedway - for the Oct. 19 GEICO 500.
Later in the day on the practice field, the Olive Branch, MS, native became an honorary member of the 10th ranked Rebels football squad, a team he has cheered for since being a youngster. Players introduced Stenhouse to a different type of speed as he participated in team drills, including running routes as a wide receiver and catching passes like a seasoned pro.
“There is nothing like racing at Talladega,” Stenhouse, who has five top-five finishes this year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, told the students. “For us as drivers, it’s intense and nerve-wracking, racing inches apart from each other at 200 mph three and four wide. For the fans, it is just pure excitement, nothing they can see anywhere else.”
“With Talladega’s $19 College ticket, all college kids, not just here at Ole Miss, can come watch us race, camp in a designated college area and also attend the Saturday Night Concert. We want to get college kids engaged to come to a fun place like Talladega and I am spreading the word. Talladega is a huge party, different from any other venue we go to – both the racing and the atmosphere.”
Students in the marketing class were eager to ask Stenhouse about NASCAR sponsorships, the business aspects of the sport, competition and how it takes nerves of steel to tackle NASCAR’s most competitive and mammoth track in Talladega. After a visit to a fraternity house, he toured the sports facilities with head football coach Hugh Freeze, addressed the team, received a special “Stenhouse” jersey and Ole Miss helmet before heading to the practice field for various workouts with the Rebels, which have started the season at 3-0 with an AP Top 25 national ranking of 10th.
“Being on the practice field with Coach Freeze was really cool,” added Stenhouse, whose best finish at Talladega was a third-place effort in last year’s GEICO 500. “Coach Freeze actually terms his fast, up-tempo plays ‘Talladega.’ It’s very appropriate. The practice was intense, and all about a different type of speed that I am used to. I was thrilled to catch some passes from (quarterback) Bo Wallace, too.”
Stenhouse’s Ole Miss visit coincided with Talladega’s continued increase in its college student population. Over the last year, the track has taken several top drivers to various Universities to create awareness of the happenings at NASCAR’s most exciting venue. Just take a stroll through the track’s campgrounds and infield where flags fly in support of many Universities – Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole’ Miss, Georgia, Florida, Florida State - and the list goes on and on.
Not only are the droves of college kids coming to see the most competitive form of motorsports, but also they come to enjoy the “party capital” of NASCAR – the perfect place for all ages of fans – especially college students – to have a great time. Friday’s “Big One On The Blvd” parade, in which Stenhouse will be a participant, kicks off the weekend of enjoyment and entertainment on Oct. 17, with a mardi-gras style event down the infamous Talladega Blvd. in the track’s infield. On Saturday evening, Oct. 18, Talladega Superspeedway’s traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert, featuring country music star Thomas Rhett, will rock the place.
The GEICO 500 is one of the most anticipated races in the history of NASCAR. Termed the “Wild Card” race, the 2014 version of the GEICO 500 will be even more pressure-packed with NASCAR’s new revamped Chase for the Sprint Cup. It will mark the third and final race of the Contender Round in which the field of 12 eligible drivers for the title will be reduced to eight at the checkered flag. If one of the 12 Challengers wins the GEICO 500 that driver will automatically advance to the Eliminator Round of eight.