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Southern Ground Pounders Among Participants At Second Annual Historic Racing Celebration Sunday At South Boston SpeedwayWritten by Steven B. Wilson Thursday, 05 May 2016 18:18
The South Boston-Halifax County, Virginia area and South Boston Speedway are well-known for its racing history. A special event will be held at South Boston Speedway Sunday afternoon, May 8, to honor the area’s racing heritage.
The Second Annual Historic Racing Celebration, which starts at 1 p.m. Sunday at South Boston Speedway, is being held as part of the Halifax County Heritage & Antique Machinery Festival that will be ongoing throughout the weekend at the adjacent Halifax County Fairgrounds.
Spectators attending Sunday's historic racing celebration will see pre-1960's historic racers, post-1960's historic racers, original Ford Flathead racers, historic former NASCAR Grand National cars and vintage racers from the Southern Ground Pounders club take turns turning hot laps on the .4-mile oval throughout the afternoon.
Sunday’s Historic Racing Celebration will mark the first time a group of members of the Southern Ground Pounders has participated in the event.
“My guys are excited about coming to South Boston Speedway Sunday and seeing some of the cars that were there last year and some of the new cars that will be there this year," said Southern Ground Pounders President Mack Tatum, who expects between 10 to 12 of the organization's members to participate in Sunday's celebration.
"This will be a good opportunity where people can come up and really see the history by talking to the guys with the cars. Every single person with a car will tell you the complete history."
Having the Southern Ground Pounders on hand for Sunday's Second Annual Historic Racing Celebration at South Boston Speedway is a plus for the spectators attending the event and those club members that will be participating.
The Southern Ground Pounders will be competing at South Boston Speedway on Saturday night, May 14, as part of South Boston Speedway's slate of NASCAR Whelen All American Series races. Sunday's event will give members of the Southern Ground Pounders what amounts to a free practice session at the speedway.
Over two dozen historic vintage racecars were at South Boston Speedway for last year’s inaugural event, and organizers are that number to swell for this weekend’s event.
“South Boston and Halifax County and South Boston Speedway have a very rich history and tradition in racing, and it is a natural fit to celebrate our racing history in conjunction with the Halifax County Heritage & Antique Machinery Festival,” said Historic Racing Celebration Committee Co-Chairman Butch Blanks.
“We appreciate the support of the people that will be participating in the event, and we invite the public to join us Sunday afternoon at the speedway and also to stop at the fairgrounds and enjoy the displays and activities at the Halifax County Heritage & Antique Machinery Festival.”
The schedule for Sunday’s Second Annual Historic Racing Celebration at South Boston Speedway has registration for event participants and cars starting at 11:30 a.m. Gates at the backstretch area of the speedway will open for spectators at 12 noon, and opening ceremonies will start at 1 p.m.
Following the opening ceremony, a parade lap of all of the participating cars will be held. Hot laps for the groups of participating cars and drivers will be held from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
Closing remarks will take place at 3:30 p.m., and afterward, spectators can enter pit area, see the cars up close and visit with the celebration's participants. The event will close at 4 p.m.
What happens when 50 “AWSUM” student-athletes join forces to raise money by working events at Charlotte Motor Speedway? Their extraordinary efforts result in tens of thousands of dollars being distributed in the local community.
Athletes Who Share Unselfish Moments (AWSUM) is a nonprofit organization founded at Mount Pleasant High School in 2005 by a student-athlete who wished to get all athletes more involved in giving back to the community. The school is located approximately 25 minutes from the speedway.
Charlotte Motor Speedway annually reaches out to the AWSUM Club for opportunities to raise money at large events like the Coca-Cola 600, Bank of America 500 and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Their response is always timely and grateful.
“Every time I receive an email from Charlotte Motor Speedway with an opportunity, we answer the call, whether it is for an event managed by the speedway or a company leasing the property. When our club is referenced as a potential provider of volunteers and help, we take that seriously and follow through – always,” said AWSUM Club faculty adviser and 12th grade English teacher Michael Landers.
The athletes range from freshmen to seniors participating in a variety of sports including football, basketball, baseball, track, cross country, volleyball, swimming, golf, cheerleading and wrestling.
Their favorite events take place during May’s 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, highlighted by the Coca-Cola 600 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
“It’s entertaining, and I know our sacrificed time is going to fund causes that we collectively, as a club, are able to choose,” said junior Rachel Davis.
During this school year alone, the AWSUM Club has raised $34,100. More than $15,000 came from working events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The money goes toward multiple causes, including The Down Syndrome Association, Autism Speaks, the family of a student with a rare disease and an alumna with cancer.
These annual events have given the AWSUM Club at least a decade of fundraising opportunities, earning the organization recognition from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for its charitable efforts.
Ever wondered why Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Gate 5 at the front of the track usually has a short line?
Credit the hard work of these student-athletes.
Fans entering through Gate 5, or any gate the altruistic young men and women of Mount Pleasant High School are working, will aid great causes including needy families, food banks, cancer causes, scholarships and local hospitals.
Additionally, the AWSUM Club’s success has seen the program begin to expand, with nearby Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina, developing its own AWSUM Club chapter with plans of volunteering at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Matt Westfall, the 2015 Eldora Speedway Late Model Track Champion, has switched gears in 2016 and moved back to non-winged sprint cars.
He will participate in the Eldora Speedway’s #LetsRaceTwo on Friday and Saturday in the United States Auto Club (USAC) Sprint Car division. The Craftsman World of Outlaws Sprint cars will also be competing.
Tickets are just $28 each night, with kids 12 under getting in for free. Admission gates will open at 2 p.m. (EDT), with hot laps 6 p.m. and a complete racing program beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be bought at www.EldoraSpeedway.com, by phone at (937) 338-3815 or at the box office at the race track.
Westfall is well known at “The World’s Greatest Dirt Track” from his career over the last five years. Westfall captured the Late Model Rookie of the Year award in 2011, and has won numerous races and Modified and Late Model Track Championships since.
“I enjoy racing Late Models, but I wanted to go back to what I have always done, which is Sprint Car racing,” Westfall said. “The driving styles between Late Models and Sprint Cars are different in the way they handle, but it’s easy to adapt.”
Westfall, from Ludlow Falls, Ohio, has racing in his blood. He started racing go-karts when he was just six and continued through the USAC series, as well as simultaneously racing Dirt Modifieds.
He plans to race locally as he makes his transition back to Sprint Cars.
“It has been a year and a half since I was last in a Sprint Car before we started racing this year” Westfall said. “I want to stay local until I get back in the grove of things.”
Baumgartner Racing based in Ottawa Lake, Michigan has partnered with Westfall for the 2016 race season. This will mark Westfall’s first time since 2014 that he will wheel a Sprint Car around the high-banked clay oval.
Eldora Speedway PR
In an unprecedented move, NASCAR is offering race fans more time than ever before to coordinate their 2017 travel plans to Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).
BMS will once again host NASCAR action twice in 2017 leading off with the Food City 500 race weekend April 21-23 and ending with the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race week August 16-19. A perennial fan favorite, Bristol has grown to be more than just a race; for many it’s become a family reunion that occurs twice a year.
“One of the best outcomes from the new five-year sanctioning agreements with NASCAR is being able to announce the 2017 schedule almost six months earlier than in previous years,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “This allows our fans more time to plan their getaways to the beautiful Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain region. We invite everyone to come out to the Last Great Colosseum and experience the best that BMS and NASCAR has to offer in April and August.”
This year’s action in NASCAR has been some of the most exciting in recent memory and that trend is sure to continue with an even bigger celebration at next year’s Food City 500.
The 2017 season will mark the 25th anniversary of Food City’s entitlement of the Spring race. Food City remains Bristol’s longest tenured partner and the second longest race entitlement sponsor in NASCAR’s premier series.
The race will be preceded by Bush’s Beans Pole Day on Friday, April 21 and the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, April 22. The Food City 500 will be held on Sunday, April 23.
Further charging the already electric atmosphere at BMS, NASCAR’s gladiators will stomp into the concrete oval for America’s most popular night race week. Action kicks off with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Wednesday, Aug. 16 followed by the Food City 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday night, Aug. 18. The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race finishes up the NASCAR season at Bristol under the lights on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Don’t forget, tickets to the August 20, 2016 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race are available at BristolTix.com or by calling (855) 580-5525. Single-day tickets start at just $74, with weekend packages as low as $99.
- April 21 Bush’s Beans Pole Day
- April 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300
- April 23 Food City 500
- August 16 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race
- August 18 Food City 300
- August 19 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
As part of the announcement, the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series will return to Watkins Glen International for the August 3-6, 2017 race weekend. “We are excited that NASCAR is returning to Watkins Glen International on its traditional date,” said Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup.
“The Glen is proud to be one of two road courses on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and we’re excited to again be among the final stretch of races leading up to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Watkins Glen International this summer, August 4-7, for the Cheez-It™ 355 race weekend, which also features the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Bully Hill Vineyards 100, and the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200.
Last summer, Joey Logano passed an out-of-gas Kevin Harvick on the final corner of the last lap in the Cheez-It™ 355, providing fans with another thrilling finish at the facility voted “Best NASCAR Track” by readers of USA Today. Tickets for this August’s action are available by calling 1-866-461-RACE or by logging on to www.theglen.com.
2017 Crown Royal Presents the 'Your Hero’s Name Here' 400 at the Brickyard date set for Sunday, July 23Written by Steven B. Wilson Thursday, 05 May 2016 14:51
The Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard is the 20th of 36 points races on the 2017 Sprint Cup Series schedule, released Thursday by NASCAR.
"NASCAR drivers always tell us this is a special race on the calendar and one they dearly want to win," Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. "We're already preparing for their visit this July and we're excited to be in our usual spot on the calendar for 2017."
Kyle Busch made history last year at IMS by "doubling up" in winning the Sprint Cup race plus Saturday's XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250. The XFINITY race will be held on Saturday, July 22.
Busch will defend his title this year on July 24 against competition expected to include four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson and fan favorites Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick.
Four-time GRAMMY Award winner Keith Urban will roll off with the field of 33 drivers at this year's 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. He will be Mario Andretti's passenger in the custom-built two-seat Indy car billed as the "Honda Fastest Seat In Sports."
Andretti and Urban will follow four parade cars and lead the official Pace Car on three parade laps leading up to the most famous race in the world. Once Andretti and Urban exit the circuit, the field of 33 cars will take the green flag. The race will air live on ABC at noon ET on May 29.
"I inherited my love of cars from my dad," Urban said. "We used to take family driving trips purely for the love of driving. They're also featured heavily in a bunch of my songs, including some on my new album RIPCORD. For me they symbolize freedom, independence, adventure and so much more. The Indy 500 is one of the true iconic motorsport events and to get to drive with a legend like Mario (Andretti) in this 100th race is indescribable and something I wish my dad could've seen!"
Indeed, it will be memorable. Urban, whose eighth studio album RIPCORD will be released on Friday, May 6, will round the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway while travelling the length of a football field in less than a second. To capture the experience, the Honda Fastest Seat in Sports Indy car will be equipped with cameras and a microphone to record every moment of Urban and Andretti's famous lap. All racing enthusiasts have the chance to win a two-seat ride leading the start of a Verizon IndyCar Series race with Andretti by participating in Honda's "Fastest Seat in Sports" sweepstakes here: http://racewithhonda.com/.
Andretti is a huge fan of Urban. "Keith and I are going to have some fun," Andretti said. "He will make the 100th running of the Indy 500 a memorable day for me and my Honda Fastest Seat in Sports crew. Then, I'm going to his live show in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in November and I'll have some fun on his turf. I want to see him play some ridiculous guitar, sing his heart out, and maybe even change the lyrics to his hit song about falling in love in the back of a 'Cop Car' to something about riding with me in the back of a race car. It's all just good fun. But first ... the Indy 500 is the greatest day in racing, and to have a powerhouse like Keith along for the ride will make it greater."
Urban's RIPCORD has already produced the superstar's 19th ("John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16") and 20th ("Break On Me") career No. 1 songs. His current single, "Wasted Time", is one of the fastest-moving chart songs of his career. The album features a virtual Who's Who of GRAMMY Award-winning writers, performers and co-producers, including Pitbull, Carrie Underwood, Nile Rodgers, Jeff Bhasker, Dann Huff, busbee, Greg Wells and more.
Long hailed as one of the industry's best live performers, Urban returns with his first arena/amphitheater tour in two years. His "ripCORD World Tour 2016", which kicks off just four days after Indy, on June 2 in Kansas City, Missouri (the third stop is Klipsch Music Center in Indianapolis June 4), will thus far visit Canada and Australia. It will play to more than 50 U.S. cities.
Mario Andretti won just about everything: The Indy 500, the Daytona 500, the Formula One World Championship and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb. He won the IndyCar Championship four times and was a three-time winner at Sebring. He won races in sports cars, sprint cars and stock cars - on ovals, road courses, drag strips, on dirt and on pavement. He won at virtually every level of racing since he arrived in America from his native Italy at age 15. Assessing his legacy is easy: He drove the careers of three men. He drove with a passion and joy that few have equaled, and he won. Mario Andretti took the checkered flag 111 times during his career - a career that stretched five decades. He retired from active driving at the end of 1994. Now a successful businessman off the track, Mario serves as spokesman, associate and friend to top executives around the world.
Dover International Speedway officials have announced that NASCAR will return to the Monster Mile in 2017 for two tripleheader weekends on June 2-4 and Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The June 2-4, 2017 weekend will feature a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, June 2; a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, June 3; and the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 4.
The Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017 weekend will feature a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Sept. 30; a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Sept. 30; and a NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday Oct. 1, 2017, will again be the third race of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Cup Championship and feature the first four eliminations in the 16-driver field. It will be the fourth straight season that the Monster Mile will host the first elimination race of the Chase for the NASCAR Cup Championship playoffs.
“2017 will be an exciting year for NASCAR, and we’re proud to once again host six races during the upcoming season,” said Mike Tatoian, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway. “We’ve always been one of motorsports’ unique venues and we’re thrilled that the Monster Mile continues to occupy a prominent place in the Chase.”
For tickets or more information, call (800) 441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.
Dover Motorsports PR
Earlier this year after sweeping the season-opening doubleheader at South Boston Speedway, Matt Bowling said it was his most exciting night at a race track.
He may have to rethink that.
Bowling won just one race at South Boston last Saturday night, but he revealed to the world that he had popped the big question two days earlier and she said “yes.”
“It’s been a pretty exciting week,” the always understated Bowling said.
The bride-to-be is Lauren Whapham and Bowling said she understands the racing life.
“We’ve been dating for about two years. She’s there every weekend cheering me on. She’s definitely a part of our racing,” said Bowling.
And it was a pretty exciting night on track for Bowling, too, as he picked up his fourth South Boston NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model win of the season.
He raced in the top two or three all evening, and with about 25 laps to go was the big winner on a four-wide traffic jam for the lead.
Bobby McCarty was leading at the time and Bowling was second. Defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Lee Pulliam made it three-wide out of two and then Peyton Sellers drove to the bottom off four to make it four-wide.
“I was second after that restart and it got four-wide. Luckily we made it through; Lee and Bobby didn’t,” said Bowling, who coasted to more than a half-second win over Sellers after the debris was cleaned up.
“It was just hard racing for the lead,” Bowling said of the wreck. “I thought I was in the worst spot possible. It wound up the middle was. I was way up high, just me and the wall. I was just trying to keep my speed up and get through it.”
The 22-year-old Bowling won his second South Boston track championship a year ago behind four wins and 18 top-five finishes. He already has four wins, is leading the track points, and when the first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points are released for 2016, he should be near the top.
“We’ve had a really good year at South Boston. I really wasn’t planning on running for points, but the track has kept the car count up so good, I think for national points, South Boston is the place to be,” said Bowling. “I hope to travel some (on off weekends) and pick up some wins at other tracks.”
Bowling will be hoping to add to his win total when racing returns to South Boston Speedway Saturday night, May 14, with the Bojangles NASCAR Late Model 100 racing program.
There will be a 100-lap race for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Cars, twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman races, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race, a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race and a 25-lap race for the touring Southern Ground Pounders series which features vintage Modified and Sportsman racers.
Registration opens at 2:30 p.m., pit gates open at 3 p.m. and practice will start at 4 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 6 p.m. and the first race takes the green at 7 p.m.
Adult general admission tickets are $10 each, with youth ages 7-12 admitted for $5. Children ages six and under are free with a paid adult.