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Dover International Speedway today announced the promotion of Michael Tatoian to the position of president, effective. Jan. 2, 2015. Tatoian retains his position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of parent company Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD).

Tatoian will continue to report to Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc.

“Mike joined us eight years ago and immediately immersed himself into the operations and culture of our team while earning the respect of both his co-workers and those outside the company as well,” said McGlynn. “Mike is a valuable and popular contributor to our efforts here and Dover International Speedway will benefit from his leadership for many years to come.”

Tatoian has worked to bring additional events to the Dover International Speedway schedule, including the popular Firefly Music Festival and the new Big Barrel Country Music Festival. Held on the Speedway’s property since 2012, Firefly Music Festival is a four day event attracting 80,000 fans per day, and in three years has become one of the fastest growing, most successful music festival of all time according to various industry sources. Big Barrel Country Music Festival, announced just yesterday, Dec. 18, 2014, will bring some of the biggest names in country music to The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway for the three day event, June 26-28, 2015.

Tatoian has more than 25 years of experience in professional sports ownership, management and operations. Prior to joining Dover Motorsports, Inc., Tatoian served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Victory Sports Group, LLC. In his role there, he oversaw the development and management of professional sports organizations, including minor league baseball, minor league hockey and arena football. Tatoian also previously served as Chief Operating Officer of United Sports Ventures, Inc., an umbrella sports company that owned and operated eight minor league teams.

Tatoian currently serves at the Chairman of the Advisory Council for USO Delaware and previously served as an Honorary Commander at the Dover Air Force Base. He is also a nominee for the Fisher House Distinguished Civilian Humanitarian Service Award, a national award that recognizes an individual who has contributed extensively to the support and welfare of members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Tatoian is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing. He and his wife Tammy reside in Middletown, Del.

Dover Motorsports PR

Multi-platinum award-winning, American rock star Kid Rock will perform the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, the prelude to the 57th annual “Great American Race” on Sunday, Feb. 22 (1 p.m. – FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Radio.)

Kid Rock will perform several of his hits, including his brand new single “First Kiss,” on pit road of the “World Center of Racing” prior to the start of the DAYTONA 500, the prestigious season-opening event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the DAYTONA 500 can enjoy Kid Rock’s DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show up close, along with driver introductions.

“We’re thrilled to have Kid Rock entertain the thousands of race fans in attendance and the millions more watching on FOX,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Kid Rock is an avid NASCAR fan and will provide race fans with a spectacular performance leading up to the start of the much anticipated DAYTONA 500.

Following his performance, Kid Rock will release his latest studio album First Kiss on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Fans can pre-order the album now at participating retailers and at KidRock.com. Kid Rock, whose musical style ranges from hip hop and rock to heavy metal and country, has sold more than 26 million albums worldwide.

Kid Rock joins a long list of past performers of the DAYTONA 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show including Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and Bon Jovi.

In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around Kid Rock has been created that includes a DAYTONA 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Kid Rock’s performance. Packages start at $169. Fans who have already purchased DAYTONA 500 tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for just $104.

DIS PR

Michigan International Speedway, on behalf of Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, donated $40,000 to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit on Thursday as part of the speedway’s Michigan Heritage trophy.

The Michigan Heritage trophy is a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR.  As part of the Michigan Heritage, each contending manufacturer and MIS annually commit $10,000 to be given to a youth-focused and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related charity in Michigan.

The trophy is presented to the winning manufacturer in each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

At the end of the year, the winning manufacturer can select a charity of its choice to donate the $40,000.

Chevy won both NASCAR Sprint Cup events at MIS this summer and chose the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) as this year’s recipient. The Science Center received $40,000 to assist in its educational programs on Thursday.

Jimmie Johnson won the Quicken Loans 400 while Jeff Gordon was victorious in the Pure Michigan 400.

“We are thrilled to accept this generous donation from Michigan International Speedway, Chevrolet, Ford Motor Company and Toyota,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO, Michigan Science Center.  “These are the kinds of partnerships that allow MiSci to expose and inspire young people with STEM throughout greater Detroit and Michigan. We are dedicated to driving the next generation of STEM professionals to their future. Support like this – from the makers and racers of fantastically engineered fast cars – helps us get them there faster!”

The Michigan Science Center features more than 250 hands-on exhibits that explore space, health, physical science, engineering and more. In addition, the Science Center has special exhibits in its Traveling Exhibits hall, a Kids Town gallery fun for children ages five and under, science demonstrations and programs, Traveling Science, day camps, scout workshops and home school programs. The donation will allow the Science Center to enhance its STEM-related programs and exhibits for guests, especially school children, to experience.

The Michigan Heritage, inspired by the iconic Stanley Cup, will recognize the winning manufacturer – Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet – after each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at MIS.

“We are proud to join with the three manufacturers in NASCAR – Chevy, Ford and Toyota – to present a check for $40,000 to the Michigan Science Center,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “The three manufactures compete on the track at Michigan International Speedway, but it is exciting to see them unite to enhance the STEM-program at a facility like the Michigan Science Center. We are proud of the manufacturers and their involvement in NASCAR and presence in Michigan and The Michigan Heritage is a great way to honor and celebrate them.”

The trophy was designed by Fortress Studios artists Steven Kuypers and Steven McShane, both graduates of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. The Michigan Heritage trophy is three feet tall, weighs about 30 pounds and features an original sculpture similar to Greek goddess of victory Nike, also inspiration for classic cars hood ornaments from Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Packard.

The original bronze artwork sits atop a wooden base similar to the architecture of Detroit landmarks such as the Fisher Building and Guardian Building.

MIS PR

An open team test for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 will kick off four consecutive days of on-track NASCAR action at Atlanta Motor Speedway leading into the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend.

The open team test, the first of 13 on NASCAR's 2015 testing schedule, will take place from   1-5:30 p.m., with a 30-minute break from 3-3:30 p.m. and will be open to the public. General admission will be free for those who have purchased a ticket to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 1 and $10 for anyone without a ticket to Sunday’s race. Tickets to Sunday’s race must be presented for free admission to the test session.

The open team test will be open to all teams entered to race in Sunday’s NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race. NASCAR eliminated private team testing at the end of the 2014 season in an announcement earlier this year.

Following Thursday’s open team test, Sprint Cup Series qualifying will speed onto the AMS oval on Friday, before a rare Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series racing doubleheader on Saturday. The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race will headline the weekend on Sunday, March 1 to wrap up Atlanta’s 2015 NASCAR schedule.

AMS PR

Big Barrel Country Music Festival will take place in 2015 from June 26-28 at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, where the annual Firefly Music Festival is held. Hosted the weekend following Firefly, the festival will provide a similar world-class experience featuring headliners Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Additional artists include Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and over 40 more. Three-day general admission passes are $99.

In addition to three days of country music’s top performers, attendees will be introduced to a wide variety of attractions within the festival and campgrounds. Highlights include, but are not limited to, a large-scale Dance Hall, BBQ area, Saloon, marketplace with a variety of western goods and products, as well as a family-friendly area.

“Firefly, combined with its home at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, has established the East Coast’s standard when it comes to delivering a top-notch music festival, ” says Greg Bostrom, Director of Firefly and Big Barrel. "We’ll leverage the Firefly foundation and our collective backgrounds bringing preeminent music festivals to life to establish Big Barrel as the benchmark for country music experiences this side of the Mississippi River.”

Passes on sale for Big Barrel Country Music Festival today at Noon EST through BigBarrelFestival.com. Camping options include Corral Club, which includes a private air-conditioned tent, RV packages and tent camping. Payment plans available. Complete festival information at BigBarrelFestival.com.

Big Barrel Country Music Festival is a chance to kick back with friends and family for a rowdy summer weekend. Drop the tailgate, pop open a cold one and enjoy three days of America's favorite country artists.

Red Frog Events PR

An important and popular part of the racing menu during NASCAR Sprint Cup weekends at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and American-Canadian Tour will return in 2015 to help celebrate the Magic Mile's 25th anniversary season with a total of five races.

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series serving as anchor events on July 19 and Sept. 27, and with the other two major national touring series - the July 18 XFINITY Series (formerly Nationwide), and Sept. 26 Camping World Truck Series dates - already locked in place, NASCAR released the schedules for the immensely-popular Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro Series East. The "mighty mods" will first race at the Magic Mile on July 16 with the second annual running of the Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout, joining the K&N Pro Series East as part of that Friday's doubleheader. It will also race on Saturday, July 16 and then again on Saturday, Sept. 26 with 100-lap national championship points races. The K&N Pro Series East race will be 70 laps as the grand finale of pole day in July.

Fixtures at the speedway since its opening in 1990, the Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro Series East have produced some of the most entertaining races in NASCAR history at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The two regional tours have combined for 48 different winners spanning 168 races, logging more than 16,000 miles (15,000-plus laps).

"These two series are the foundation of exciting, wheel-to-wheel NASCAR racing and have had a historical impact on the national touring series, providing great entertainment and serving as a feeder system for the stars of tomorrow," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "We are immeasurably grateful to be able to host these series during our 25th anniversary season, as we realize how popular they are to our historically knowledgeable race fans."

The American-Canadian Tour will also return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the seventh annual Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational on Sept. 26. The ACT features some of the most competitive racing on the NHMS calendar, pitting drivers from across the Northeast and southeastern Canada in a short track 50-lap shootout.

NHMS PR

The Michigan Heritage presented to Chevy Racing

Written by
Published in Speedway News
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 14:16

The Michigan Heritage trophy is a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and manufacturers competing in NASCAR. The trophy is presented to the winning manufacturer in each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

MIS President Roger Curtis officially presented the Michigan Heritage to Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, for its two wins at NASCAR’s fastest track in 2014. The handover took place Tuesday at the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights with several Chevrolet drivers looking on, including Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

As part of the Michigan Heritage presentation, each contending manufacturer as well as MIS, committed $10,000 to be given to a youth-focused and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related charity in Michigan. Chevy, who won both NASCAR Sprint Cup events at MIS this summer, chose the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) as this year’s recipient. The science center will receive the $40,000 check to assist in its educational programs on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Chevy Racing will keep the trophy until the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series return to the Irish Hills for the Quicken Loans 400 on June 14, 2015.

“Winning this trophy, I'm so glad because there's a donation that goes to the charity with it,” Campbell said in August after the Pure Michigan 400. “It's fun to have the rivalry with Ford and Toyota. We won the trophy in the earlier race here (in June). It's great to retain it. We had to bring it all the way back here. So we told our teams, we really want to win that trophy again.”

Jimmie Johnson recorded Chevy’s first 2014 Sprint Cup win at MIS when he pulled into Gatorade for the first time for the Quicken Loans 400 on his 25th attempt at the track. Chevy took home seven of the top 10 spots that day.

In August, Gordon kept the Chevrolet momentum rolling when he produced a track qualifying record of 206.558 mph. He then went out and won the Pure Michigan 400 to give Chevy the season sweep.

The Michigan Heritage, inspired by the iconic Stanley Cup, will recognize the winning manufacturer – Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet – after each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at MIS.

“Both our great State of Michigan and our sport of NASCAR are synonymous with the automobile and have a rich history with cars,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “We are proud of the manufacturers and their involvement in NASCAR and presence in Michigan and The Michigan Heritage is a great way to honor and celebrate them. The manufacturers have taken great pride in winning the trophy and it was an honor to present it to Chevy today.”

The trophy was designed by Fortress Studios artists Steven Kuypers and Steven McShane, both graduates of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. The Michigan Heritage trophy is three feet tall, weighs about 30 pounds and features an original sculpture similar to Greek goddess of victory Nike, also inspiration for classic cars hood ornaments from Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Packard.

The original bronze artwork sits atop a wooden base similar to the architecture of Detroit landmarks such as the Fisher Building and Guardian Building.

Manufacturers are important to MIS. The track annually recognizes NASCAR’s manufacturers, asking fans in the grandstands to cheer on their favorite during a fun poll conducted over the PA system during pre-race ceremonies.

MIS PR

With Darlington Raceway entering its 66thconsecutive year hosting NASCAR’s top-tier touring series, the track will commemorate its return to Labor Day weekend in 2015 by honoring its storied past while celebrating the future.

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® returning to its celebrated Labor Day weekend date, the Lady in Black will recognize past champions of the 1970’s as part of its 2015 campaign.

A number of exciting announcements are planned over the next several months in regards to the campaign, which will focus on years 1970-74.

NASCAR Hall of Famers Leonard Wood, Cale Yarborough and Wendell Scott, among others, will be celebrated during the event weekend. All of these drivers played an integral role in building the foundation, which has made Darlington Raceway special to both drivers and fans alike for over six decades.

“With our exciting return to Labor Day weekend in 2015, celebrating our past champions is only fitting,” Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile said. “These racing icons helped shape Darlington Raceway into what it is today – NASCAR’s most storied racing facility.”

The honoring of champions from the early 1970’s is just one part of the track’s overall strategy to celebrate its rich history. Each year, Darlington Raceway will focus on specific eras, plus the historic moments and drivers that made impacts at the track Too Tough to Tame.

Additionally, the track will link the generations by celebrating current and future stars of NASCAR, including Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Darrell Wallace Jr.

History was made last season as both Harvick and Elliott celebrated wins at the Lady in Black (Harvick won the Bojangles’ Southern 500, Elliott claimed the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200) and went on to win their respective series championships.

The only other time in track history both Darlington race winners went on to win their series championships in the same year was 1997. Then, Jeff Gordon won the Southern 500 and Randy LaJoie won the Busch Series race, with both going on to be crowned series champions.

“We want to recognize our past, but also continue to celebrate our current and future stars,” Wile said. “These drivers are the future of our sport, so it’s important we recognize their achievements at Darlington Raceway. As an avid fan of the sport, our future looks extremely bright with the crop of talent we have in the pipeline.”

The 2015 season will see the return of Darlington, S.C. native Kaitlyn Bailey as the track’s “Lady in Black.” Bailey will enter her second year in the position and will don a new 70’s retro-style firesuit.

In her role, Bailey serves as the face of Darlington Raceway. She has made a positive impact in the track’s efforts to focus on the fans and serve as an ambassador in the community. Her friendly and engaging personality has made her a fan favorite.

“It’s a tremendous honor to serve as Darlington Raceway’s ‘Lady in Black’ for a second consecutive year,” Bailey said. “Being a native of Darlington, I appreciate and understand how important the track is to the community. It is going to be an amazing year with the tradition returning to Labor Day weekend in 2015.”

Darlington Raceway PR

The year at Texas Motor Speedway opened with pyrotechnics celebrating the unveiling of the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in March and culminated in November with additional fireworks courtesy of the post-race melee involving combatants Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Eliminator 8 Chase race.

 

There also was plenty of action and excitement in between as Texas Motor Speedway played host to its annual Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader in April, Firestone 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR twin bill in June and played host to its inaugural Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in September.

 

Let's take a look back:
  • "Big Hoss TV" Unveiling / Wednesday, March 19

The Skinny: The world's largest, high-definition LED video board is unveiled amid fanfare and will be one of the most impactful fan enhancements in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and the world of motorsports.

 

The Recap: Texas Motor Speedway unveiled the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in grand fashion as the evening featured fireworks, motorsports stars, reality television celebrities, dignitaries and the showing of an episode from A&E's hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" for more than 8,000 fans situated in the infield of the world-class sports facility. 

 

The official debut of the Panasonic-built "Big Hoss TV" was part of a star-studded evening that included appearances by Duck Commander CEO and "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, along with the heralded racing duo of NASCAR's Kyle Busch and INDYCAR's Helio Castroneves. Also in attendance were dignitaries such as NASCAR President Mike Helton, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America Vice President Richard Ballard, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith, SMI President and COO Marcus Smith and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

 

Positioned in the middle of the backstretch and stretching 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall, "Big Hoss TV" features 20,633.64 square feet of HD LED imagery that contains 281 trillion colors. The video board, constructed in just four months, surpassed fellow Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facility Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet) as the Guinness World Record holder for the world's largest HD LED video board. The size of "Big Hoss TV" is staggering as it is 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which is 11,520 square feet.

 

"It is the ultimate fan amenity," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "To have the biggest one in the world, that's just one of those 'Everything is Bigger in Texas' stories that we are really proud to be a part of."

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 / Monday, April 7

The Skinny: Rain forces a Monday matinee for only the third time in speedway history and Joey Logano wins the Duck Commander 500 for an automatic berth in the reformatted Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

 

The Recap: With Duck Commander on board as the title sponsor and the "Duck Dynasty" stars on hand en masse, the weather was more conducive for duck hunting that NASCAR racing. The Duck Commander 500, moved from its Saturday night slot to Sunday afternoon to avoid a conflict with the NCAA Final Four men's college basketball tourney being in Arlington, was washed out due to continual rain showers and rescheduled for a Monday matinee. It was just the third time in Texas Motor Speedway's 18-year history that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was run on Monday due to inclement weather, the most recent coming in 2010 when both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races were run on the same day. 

 

Penske Racing's Joey Logano punched his ticket for a berth in the restructured Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format after surviving a green/white-checkered finish to win the Duck Commander 500. Logano was cruising to victory with a two-second lead over teammate Brad Keselowski with just over one lap remaining in the scheduled 334-lap event, but a caution for debris forced a two-lap overtime shootout. Logano restarted third after pitting for four tires while Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers opted for two tires and restarted first and second, respectively. Gordon held off Logano on the first lap, but Logano got a strong run inside on the frontstretch and was able to overtake him in Turn 1 and pull away to a 0.476 of a second margin of victory in the race that was extended to 340 laps. The victory was Logano's first since August of 2013 at Michigan and the fourth of his career. It also was his first Sprint Cup win at Texas Motor Speedway, which was highlighted by him becoming the youngest Cup winner in TMS history at 23 years, 10 months and 14 days.

  • NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 / Friday, April 4

The Skinny: Rookie Chase Elliott, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott, lands his first career Nationwide Series victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 to become the second-youngest winner in series history. 

 

The Recap: Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 provided a historic milestone for a second-generation NASCAR driver and a glimpse into the talent that would flourish and lead to a series championship.  Rookie Chase Elliott, the 18-year-old high school senior and son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott, needed just six starts in the Nationwide Series for his first career win that came in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.  

 

Elliott made a bold move on the high side of Kevin Harvick in the elbow of the frontstretch to take the lead on Lap 185 and then held on for a 2.251-second victory over Kyle Busch in the 200-lap event. Elliott became the second-youngest winner in series history at 18 years, 4 months and 8 days. 

  • Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 / Saturday, June 7

The Skinny: Will Power's late pit lane penalty opens the door for Ed Carpenter to capture the Firestone 600 and become the first American winner at TMS since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2007.

 

The Recap: The annual INDYCAR/NASCAR summer doubleheader yielded two first-time Texas Motor Speedway winners as Matt Crafton won the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 and Ed Carpenter was victorious in the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600.

 

Carpenter took advantage of a strong second-half race performance and a critical late pit lane penalty by Will Power to record his first series victory since 2012 in the Firestone 600. The victory was the third of Carpenter's career and his first since winning the 2012 season finale at Fontana. In his previous 12 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, he had just one top-five finish and led one lap (2009) before breaking through to become the first American to win at Texas since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2007.

 

Carpenter led 66 of the final 67 laps of the 248-lap event and avoided a potential shootout for the win with Power, who was running second when he was caught speeding in pit lane on his final green-flag pit stop. With 36 to go, Carpenter and Power pitted together and came out 1-2, but Power received a drive-thru penalty for speeding and fell a lap down. 

 

Carpenter suddenly had a nine-plus second cushion over second-place Tony Kanaan and was coasting to victory with an 18.5-second lead before a final caution came out with seven laps remaining. The race became a two-lap shootout and Carpenter was able to stave off Juan Pablo Montoya and the hard-charging Power, who moved from sixth to second and finished 0.52 of a second behind Carpenter.

  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 / Friday, June 6

The Skinny: Defending Camping World Truck Series champ Matt Crafton snaps a 26-race winless streak at TMS with a dominant victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400.

 

The Recap: Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton had it easy compared to Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter in earning his first career win at Texas Motor Speedway. He led a career-best 118 laps en route to the victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 that snapped a 26-race winless streak at the speedway. 

 

Crafton led 118 of the 167 laps - the most he led in a single race in his 14-year career - and cruised to a 13.302-second victory over runner-up Justin Lofton. It was the fifth win of Crafton's career and second of the season, marking the first time in his career that he had recorded multiple wins in a season. His dominant performance established a track record for largest margin of victory in that series, eclipsing the previous mark of 11.817 seconds set by Dennis Setzer in this event in 2004. 

  • Red Bull Air Race World Championship / Saturday, Sept. 6, & Sunday, Sept. 7

The Skinny: Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the first race in the United States since 2010 for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, which returned to competition after a three-year hiatus.

 

The Recap: The Red Bull Air Race World Championship made its return to the United States for the first time since 2010 as Texas Motor Speedway played host to the sixth stage of the eight-event international plane racing series.

 

Before a crowd of more than 20,000 for the first of two U.S. stops, Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff captured his first victory of the season in the elite Master Class on the challenging, seven air gate, 3.7-mile course that was built in the infield of the motorsports venue. Ivanoff posted an individual two-lap run of 54.118 seconds to defeat Great Britain's Nigel Lamb, Canada's Pete McLeod and Germany's Matthias Dolderer in the Final 4 showdown on Sunday. Ivanoff gave his country a sweep of the weekend competition as fellow Frenchman Mikael Brageot won the Challenger Cup race the day prior.

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 / Sunday, Nov. 2

The Skinny: A post-race confrontation between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski and ensuing melee steals national headlines from six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson winning the AAA Texas 500 for a third year in a row.

 

The Recap: With the remaining eight Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers looking to win the AAA Texas 500 and automatically advance to the championship round, six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson played the role of spoiler as he won the Eliminator 8 race in a dramatic second green/white-checkered overtime finish.

 

Johnson, eliminated from championship contention in the previous round, won the AAA Texas 500 for a record third consecutive year, but it was the post-race scuffle that made national headlines the following day. While Johnson was celebrating his track-record fourth Cup win with burnouts on the frontstretch, chaos ensued on pit lane after an angry Jeff Gordon confronted Brad Keselowski and a fray quickly developed between the Chase contenders. Fellow Chase competitor Kevin Harvick pushed Keselowski while Gordon was jawing with him and the situation quickly escalated as the crews got involved and transformed into a melee.

 

The disagreement stemmed from the first GWC finish, where Gordon took the restart with the lead and Johnson beside him on the front row. Johnson grabbed the lead when a bold move by Keselowski resulted in contact with Gordon, which ultimately led to a flat tire, contact with the wall and a 29th-place finish that would derail his title aspirations.

 

The caution flew for Gordon that set up the second GWC finish, where Keselowski found himself lining up front against the leader Johnson on the restart. Johnson, on the inside, maintained the lead on the restart while Keselowski found himself also trying to fend off a charging Harvick. Harvick got past Keselowski on that lap but didn't have enough time to chase down Johnson, who won by 0.513 of a second for his fourth victory of the season and 70th of his career.

 

Johnson led nine times for 191 laps, but a record 13 cautions continually bunched the field as well as changed race strategies to give a number of drivers a shot at the victory.Johnson, Harvick and Keselowski took the top three positions, respectively, while Kyle Busch, who was looking to sweep all three NASCAR races after truck and Nationwide wins earlier, finished fourth.

  • NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge / Saturday, Nov. 1

The Skinny: Kyle Busch gives Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th career Nationwide Series win and sets his sights on rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep after winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge.

 

The Recap: Kyle Busch added to the weekend drama and intrigue when he secured the second leg of a rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep with a win in the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge.

 

Busch completed the Nationwide Series/Camping World Truck Series sweep for the second time in his career at Texas Motor Speedway, with the first coming in the fall of 2009. That only left Sunday's AAA Texas 500 as the missing prize for the triple, which had only been accomplished by Busch (Bristol 2010) in the history of NASCAR.

 

Busch extended his record for career Nationwide Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway by adding his seventh with a 1.562-second win over Joey Logano. Busch, who led six times for a race-high 116 laps, and Logano, who led five times for 59 laps, exchanged the lead six times over the final 85 laps in the 200-lap event before Busch took control late.

 

It also was his seventh NNS victory of the season, 70th in his career and a milestone 100th for Joe Gibbs Racing.

  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 / Friday, Oct. 31

The Skinny: Kyle Busch wins the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 as Kyle Busch Motorsports ties the Camping World Truck Series record for most victories in a season.

 

The Recap: Kyle Busch, competing in all three NASCAR races during the weekend and chasing a rare sweep, endured a green/white-checkered overtime finish to secure the first leg with a victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350.

 

Busch, who led a race-high 80 of 152 laps, was cruising to victory when two late cautions put a scare into his bid to secure his seventh win in just nine NCWTS starts this season. Following the final caution that led to the two-lap shootout, Busch got a strong restart on the outside of leader German Quiroga and took command of the lead coming out of Turn 2. He was pulling away with one lap to go when Quiroga hit the wall in Turn 2 to force the conclusion of the final lap to finish under caution.

 

Busch's series-leading seventh win was his third truck victory at Texas Motor Speedway that pushed his career total in the series to 42. It also was the 12th victory overall for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 20 starts this season, tying the series record for season victories set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001.

 

TMS PR

The holiday season is a time for giving and Martinsville Speedway’s 18thannual Christmas Toy Drive showed that the NASCAR community is willing to do just that. The toy drive raised more than $13,000 and saw 200 toys donated for the Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County.

A network of more than 100 area churches, the Grace Network will use the money to provide toys and clothes to underserved and underprivileged children in the area.

“Being able to donate more than $13,000 to the Grace Network is going to help bring smiles to a lot of kids’ faces on Christmas morning,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “Martinsville Speedway is proud of our community and our fans. While the speedway presents the check, it truly is a community donation.”

The Grace Network gets lists of names from the churches in the network and then is able to take the money raised and shop according to each child’s needs and wishes.

“Being able to bring joy to children in this season is a blessing,” said Simone Redd, a Grace Network board member and the one who heads up the shopping. “The generous donations and toys received allowed us to spread the spirit and true meaning of Christmas throughout the community.

“Christmas is a special time of the year and we, at Grace Network, appreciate the opportunity to participate in the toy drive with the Martinsville Speedway.”

This year’s toy drive reached a bigger audience than ever before, thanks to some ticket packages that were put up for auction. Race fans from all over the country bid on race experiences like getting a picture taken in Victory Lane with the STP 500 winner or the opportunity to ride in the Official Pace Car for the start of the race.

However, it wasn’t all about change. Like in years past, fans had the opportunity to drive their personal cars around the track, in exchange for a new toy or a $10 donation. Different from years past though, the laps were spread out over two weeks, instead of being limited to one day. This gave fans from as far away as New Jersey and South Dakota the opportunity to participate.

For more information on how to support the Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County visit http://www.gracenetworkmhc.org/.

Martinsville Speedway PR

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