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Kevin Harvick The Original Can of Budweiser

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Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Saturday, 29 August 2015 10:07
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is helping turn back the clock with a special commemorative Budweiser paint scheme for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway as part of the track’s The Tradition Returns weekend Sept. 4 to 6.

The retro-themed paint scheme mimics the first can Budweiser produced in 1936, which was gold and featured an eagle flying through the Anheuser-Busch stylized “A” with five stars above and below the winged crest. Below the eagle, Budweiser is spelled out in block letters with “Lager Beer” in script.

The design is part of an overall throwback weekend at one of NASCAR’s oldest venues. Built in 1949 by Harold Brasington, Darlington has hosted Sprint Cup races since 1950.

While the defending Sprint Cup champion will drive a No. 4 Chevrolet honoring the history of his sponsor Budweiser, he is looking for a result similar to his most recent visit to the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.

In 2014, Harvick won the 65th running of the iconic Southern 500 – one of the crown jewels on the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule – in dominating fashion. Harvick started from the pole and led 238 of 374 laps en route to beating runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line by 0.558 of a second.

The win at Darlington was the second of Harvick’s five Sprint Cup wins during his first Sprint Cup championship season.

In 2015, the Sprint Cup points leader has consistently run and finished in the top-five since the start of the season with a chance to win nearly every weekend. He has two wins and 10 second-place finishes. Three times he’s finished third, and twice he’s finished fourth. He has amassed 21 top-10s in 24 Sprint Cup races.

With only two races remaining before the start of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs, Harvick would like to add his third Sprint Cup win of the season at Darlington next Sunday night. He scored his first of the year in the season’s third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and his second the very next week at Phoenix International Raceway.

Harvick clinched his spot in the Chase field with his eighth-place finish July 11 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, which guaranteed him a top-30 finish in the driver points after race No. 26 Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining two regular-season Sprint Cup events to make it official.

Twenty-four races into 2015, Harvick’s 17 top-five finishes lead the series, and he sits atop the driver standings with 908 points. The No. 4 Chevrolet SS has led a series-high 1,406 laps with an average finish of 7.5. The 1,406 laps led are 598 more than the next-closest competitor – 808 by Joey Logano.

Harvick has led at least one lap in 19 of 24 Sprint Cup races this season, including a streak of 14 in a row from March 1at Atlanta Motor Speedway through June 14 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The staggering number of laps led and the 14 consecutive races with laps led is among numerous other impressive numbers Harvick has compiled this season.

He leads several other statistical categories: 119.7 driver rating, 33 bonus points, 923 fastest laps run, 24.0 percent of fastest laps run, 21.4 percent of laps led, 1,802.35 miles led, 5,936 laps in the top-15, and average running position of 7.499 in addition to his average finish of 7.5.

While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and wins, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority through the next two races, starting next weekend at Darlington.

TSC PR

You won't be able to miss it. With its unmistakable Petty Blue coloring and the sleek design of the 2015 Ford Mustang, a Petty's Garage-built, 2015 Ford Mustang GT will roll onto Mecum Auction's signature red carpet and cross the auction block to be claimed by one lucky winning bidder at the Mecum Dallas auction this September 16-19. The real winner, however, will not only be the proud new owner, but the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) with 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the car going to the Paralyzed Veterans.
 
In fact, "The King" Richard Petty, owner of Petty's Garage and co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports - not to mention a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and an American Icon - will be at the Mecum auction on Sept. 19 in Dallas, Texas, to make sure the car is in perfect condition before going up on the block.
 
"It's important to me that we really support Paralyzed Veterans of America and those who fought for our freedom," said Petty, a seven-time champion. "We have specially built this Ford Mustang in my garage to take out to the Mecum Auction. It has all the performance upgrades you need including over 600 base horse power and much more. The seats even match my cowboy boots! It's truly a special piece and one that I hope to see raise a lot of money for the cause."
 
Paralyzed Veterans of America, a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members - veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. Richard Petty Motorsport and Richard Petty have long been supporters of the efforts of the Paralyzed Veterans to support our nation's veterans following catastrophic injury.
 
"This is a tremendous gesture by Richard Petty to allow us to raise funds through Mecum Auctions," said Al Kovach Jr., national President of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "The Petty family, including Richard Petty Motorsports and Petty's Garage, are great supporters of our Paralyzed Veterans organization and the entire veteran community. We can't wait for the auction as we know it will truly make an impact on the lives of so many deserving disabled veterans and see the monies raised help those we serve. We're grateful for their continued support, and the support of Mecum Auctions in making all of this happen."
 
"We're thrilled to be involved with two highly respected organizations- Paralyzed Veterans of America and Richard Petty Motorsports-and to help with their shared cause," commented Mecum Auctions' President and Founder Dana Mecum. "The Mustang is a great addition to our Dallas lineup, and we're excited to have 'The King' Richard Petty join us at one of our biggest auctions of the year."
 
The auction will begin on Sept. 16 and run through Sept. 19 in Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The 2015 Petty's Garage Mustang GT will cross the auction block on Saturday, Sept. 19.

RPM PR
Go Green Racing (GGR) is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Earnhardt will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut with GGR in the No.32 Ford Fusion at Richmond International Speedway during the Federated Auto Parts 400 on September 12, 2015. This will mark the return of two Earnhardt's competing in the NSCS for the first time in over a decade.
 
"I'm really excited to get this opportunity and thrilled that CorvetteParts.Net is sponsoring my debut in Sprint Cup," commented Earnhardt.  "The Keens have been very good to me and having their company be part of an important day in my career is pretty cool.  
I appreciate everyone at Go Green Racing for making this happen and look forward to doing my best to make it a good debut."
 
The 26 year-old, Mooresville, NC native has three previous starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) with longtime GGR sponsor CorvetteParts.Net, as they will once again team with Earnhardt and GGR for the event at Richmond. The Federated Auto Parts 400 will mark Earnhardt's return to GGR. In 2012 Earnhardt made one start for Archie St.Hilare in the (NXS) while making 16 starts in 2013.
 
"Tom and I have been waiting for this announcement like expectant parents," said CorvetteParts.Net owner TJ Keen. "We are very excited to have Jeffrey back in the CorvetteParts.net (Keen Parts) uniform and look forward to having him wheel the Go Green Racing No.32 Ford Fusion at Richmond.  We are extremely honored to be affiliated with Archie St. Hilaire and the entire organization.  Every member on this team gives 100% week in and week out and their positive attitude and desire is none to compare."
 
"Mason and I are really looking forward to Jeffrey's first start in the sprint cup series with the 32 team," stated team owner Archie St.Hilaire. "Jeffrey drove for us in the Xfinity series a few years back and worked really well with our crew chief Clinton Cram. I think their relationship will help Jeffrey move up into the cup series a smooth transition and hopefully be the start of something great for the future!"
 
The Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Richmond International Speedway will air live on NBCSN beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 12.

GGR PR
AdvoCare and Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne have gone back in time to 1998 for their paint scheme on the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion in preparation for the “Southern 500” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Darlington Raceway on Sunday night, Sept. 6.

The scheme, which was featured on the No. 6 Ford during one of the most successful runs in NASCAR history, harkens back to the 1998 and 1999 seasons when it was driven by former Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin. During that timeframe, Martin recorded nine wins, 41 top-five finishes, 52 top-10 finishes and had an overall average finish of ninth in the combined 77 races run in the two NSCS seasons. During that two-year span Martin led an astonishing 2,430 laps.

Bayne and the No. 6 team will run the scheme as a part of Darlington’s “Tradition Returns” program, which will feature several NASCAR throwback schemes from various teams throughout the Labor Day weekend.

“It’s a huge honor to run this paint scheme in Darlington,” said Bayne. “This scheme was so successful in the late 90’s with Mark (Martin) driving it and it’s really cool to see it back on the track and on No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford again.”

“It will be really cool to see that car back on the track,” said Martin, who won seven times in 1998 while sporting the scheme. “It will definitely bring back a lot of great memories. We had a tremendous amount of success during that time period and I look at it as one of the best periods in my racing career. I hope all the guys who worked very hard on our team during that time will enjoy seeing it back on track again and that they will have a moment of pride in what we were able to accomplish.”

“I want to thank AdvoCare for giving us the opportunity to run this scheme,” added Bayne. “Hopefully we can give it the same kind of run that Mark gave it back in the day and get a solid finish in Darlington on Labor Day weekend.”

The No. 6 was Roush Fenway’s first NASCAR entry and served as the flagship team for the organization during its first 20 years. During that span Martin drove the No. 6 Ford to 35 wins and forever forced the number’s historical significance in NASCAR history.

RFR PR

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, has extended its partnership with Parsippany, New Jersey-based Atlas Copco North America.

“It’s my job to make sure our guys have all the tools and equipment they need to do their job at the highest level,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “It’s always about getting it done faster and more efficiently. Atlas Copco helps us do just that with the equipment they provide our teams.”

Atlas Copco has served as SHR’s official compressed air supplier since the team’s inception in 2009 and has grown to become a technical partner of the organization.

“Atlas Copco has enjoyed a longstanding and successful partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing since 2009,” said Erik Arfalk, vice president of communications, Atlas Copco. “We’re also proud to serve as the official compressed air provider of the Stewart-Haas Racing facility, helping to ensure their racecars are ready for the track each week.”

Last season, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, provided new compressed air equipment and installed its SMARTLINK monitoring technology into SHR’s new, state-of-the-art race shop expansion located adjacent to the team’s existing headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina. SMARTLINK provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the team’s compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance.

“As a technical partner, we ensure the Stewart-Haas Racing facility’s compressed-air equipment is up and running efficiently so compressed air is available whenever it’s needed,” said Arfalk. “We’re proudly supporting the team’s driver lineup as it contends for another championship in 2015.”

SHR PR

Chicago will once again host the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with one of the biggest NASCAR® themed parties of the season, NASCAR Chase Fest™ sponsored by Toyota. The free outdoor fan fest will feature all 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ Challengers and culminate with a live concert by Grammy-nominated band, 3 Doors Down. NASCAR Chase Fest will take place on Weed Street between Fremont and Kingsbury streets from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. CDT on September 17.

“The days leading into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup have become a signature moment in our sport,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “With the support of Toyota, Sprint and Chicagoland Speedway, we expect to deliver an engaging fan experience that builds anticipation for the most competitive stretch of our season.”

NASCAR Chase Fest will feature appearances and autograph sessions from all 16 drivers competing in the Challenger Round™, as well as a number of recognizable NASCAR personalities. Fans in attendance will be treated to food from renowned Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, beverages from Coors Light (with proper ID), attractions such as the Toyota Ferris Wheel and NASCAR® on NBC Sports Bumper Cars, activations from event sponsor Sprint including an appearance by Miss Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ Trophy, and another live musical performance by a Chicago favorite, country cover band the Suburban Cowboys.

“The start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is a moment worth celebrating,” said Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. “For the past four years, Toyota has partnered with NASCAR to showcase the 16 Chase drivers in a unique, fun fan event. Each year, the festivities grow bigger and better and we’re proud to return to my hometown of Chicago to gear up for the playoffs and kick off this year’s championship Chase.”

Additionally on-site, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) personalities Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, Marty Snider and Rutledge Wood will interview all 16 Challengers for the network’s live broadcast of NASCAR America. To view the 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers currently in place for the Challenger Round, visit www.nascar.com/chase-grid.html.    

“NASCAR fans in Chicago and around the world have come to expect big things from the kickoff of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Chicago and this year is no exception,” said Scott Paddock, President of Chicagoland Speedway. “NASCAR Chase Fest is a dynamic event that segues nicely into the weekend where the celebration will continue at Chicagoland Speedway.”

For the fifth-consecutive year, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway. For tickets to the September 18-20 race weekend, visit www.ChicagolandSpeedway.com or call 1-888-629-RACE (7223). Single-day tickets are available. NBCSN will air the race at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 20. Fans can also find the race on the NBC Sports Live Extra app, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

For full details on this year’s NASCAR® Chase Fest™, visit www.nascar.com/ChaseFest.

NASCAR PR

A throwback conversation wouldn't be complete without the iconic No. 43 STP Ford and neither would the throwback The Tradition Returns weekend at Darlington Raceway. Joining in on the retro paint schemes, Aric Almirola will pilot the 1972 "Petty Blue" and Day-Glo Red No. 43 STP paint scheme, originally driven by "The King" Richard Petty. STP will also have special guests at the track during its return to Labor Day weekend. Members of the 1972 crew will join STP and the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for the Bojangles Southern 500.

"When you think throwback racing, you think STP and 'The King'," said Almirola. "It's really special to drive a car with so much history and such an iconic car of that time. The 1972 paint scheme was very popular, and it will be really cool to drive in a race that embraces the history of our sport. I know we'll have a lot of fans cheering on that 'Petty Blue' and Day-Glo Red Ford, which is really exciting."

1972 marked the first year for STP and Petty's longstanding relationship and the first year the No. 43 sported Day-Glo Red on the quarter panels. It's only fitting that the company throwback to their first year in NASCAR racing with "The King" during The Tradition Returns weekend.

"STP has been a proud partner of Richard Petty for nearly 44 years now, and all of that started with this 1972 paint scheme," said Jamie Kistner, Vice President of Marketing for STP. "To be able to bring that first year back to the track through this paint scheme and with Aric Almirola has been a lot of fun and has brought back some great memories of STP's storied history in NASCAR for our fans. Darlington Raceway is hosting a great throwback event that's produced a lot of excitement and we're honored to be a part of it."

In a storied history, Petty raced with the STP logo on the hood of his No. 43 race car for 21 years before he retired as a driver and scored 60 of his 200 wins during that time.

"It will be neat to see the car that started our partnership with STP 43 years ago back on track at Darlington," said Petty. "It will be fun to see all the throwback schemes racing at Darlington and on Labor Day Weekend. It just feels right to have the Southern 500 back to Labor Day Weekend and is fitting that we celebrate tradition there with throwback paint schemes."

Petty will be joined by several of his 1972 teammates at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 6. Along with crew chief Dale Inman, crew members Richie Barsz, fabricator, Tex Powell, mechanic and Jackman, Les Barsz, mechanic and transporter driver, Billy Biscoe, mechanic and gas man, Jimmy "Zoomer" Kovalchik, fabricator and tire carrier, and Barry Dodson, painter, will return to the track where they finished third in the 1972 Southern 500.

The Bojangles Southern 500 will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ET.

RPM PR
Leavine Family Racing and Monitronics Security are celebrating their new partnership with a sweepstakes and an exclusive limited-time offer for race fans.

Following a devastating fire at Leavine Family Racing shop in May, Monitronics partnered with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team and outfitted the refurbished Concord, N.C. facility with a new, state-of-the-art security and fire monitoring system.

“With the addition of the Monitronics security and monitoring system at the shop, we now have peace of mind as we head out to the race track,” said Jeremy Lange, VP of Leavine Family Racing.  “We thought it would be great to extend this to the fans – giving them a chance to see Leavine Family Racing in action at the track and win a Monitronics security system for their home.”

Race fans have two great programs to participate in:

Moni Motor Madness Sweepstakes

In the Moni Motor Madness Sweepstakes, race fans can enter to win the Grand Prize of two VIP pit passes and tickets to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team compete in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 8, including free lodging and transportation. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a Monitronics home security system with three years of free monitoring.

In addition to the Grand Prize, fans also have the chance to win tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Chicagoland Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as exclusive race team memorabilia such as autographed hero cards, team hats, and sheet metal from the No. 95 race car.

The sweepstakes is open from Aug. 17 to Oct. 26, 2015, and race fans can enter at www.monisweepstakes.com.

#Moni95 Speedway Special

Race fans can receive FREE system activation with any home security packages during the #Moni95 Speedway Special which will run through Dec. 31, 2015.

Monitronics has three packages – Basic Security, HomeTouch® Security, and HomeTouch® Premier – where an activation fee of $99 to $149, depending on the package, will be waived for race fans participating in this special.  Visit www.Moni95.com to learn more.

”Luckily, no one was injured in the shop fire,” said Monitronics Senior Vice President of Operations Bruce Mungiguerra. “But it’s an opportunity to point out the importance of security and fire safety, not just in the workplace but also at home. We’re glad we can offer race fans a chance to make their homes and their families safer with a high quality security system.”   

Monitronics has provided home security and monitoring for more than 20 years, and is rapidly becoming an industry leader in home automation. It’s the second-largest residential security provider nationwide, with more than 1 million customers.

Race fans can learn more about Monitronics at their website (www.monitronics.com/), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/monitronics) or following on Twitter (twitter.com/Monitronics).

LFR PR

Week-in and week-out, 43 competitors put their lives on the line. But some people have the audacity to question whether or not racecar drivers are athletes. No matter one’s opinion, in recent years, many NASCAR drivers have upped the ante in their conditioning. From six-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and more. One driver in particular is Landon Cassill.

Cassill doesn’t compete for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points, though he is running the entire schedule. His primary focus is driving the No. 01 XFINITY Series car for JD Motorsports. On the Cup side, he is the full-time driver in the No. 40 Chevrolet for Hillman Racing and currently sits 34th in owner’s points. For an underfunded team, Hillman Racing has overachieved and Cassill has a pair of top-15 finishes in 2015.

“I think that it’s just an unfairly educated thing to say,” Landon Cassill told Speedway Digest in regards of the common people say that racecar drivers aren’t athletes. “They are the people who clearly don’t see what our body goes through. My heart rate over the course of a four hour race is very similar to other endurance athletes like a marathoner or a bike racer.”

Cassill is a tri-athlete. In his down time from driving the No. 40 car, you might catch the 26 year-old in the local pool or even on the side of the run jogging or cycling. The Iowa native has been in the process of his new training techniques over the past couple of years, and has brought his body to new levels.

“It really just depends on the day,” Cassill saidof his daily training. “I used to try and take Mondays off, but now I’ll usually get a swim or a run or both in, but they’re easy. On Tuesdays, I’ll usually get up around 5:00 and swim pretty early to get that over with. Then, I’ll go home and hang out with my wife and son for a little bit. I usually do a hard bike and run work out right before lunch.”

Depending on the person, the average daily workout is roughly 30 minutes. But Cassill’s is nearly seven times that amount.

“The hard bike and run from start-to-finish usually takes me about two-and-a-half hours,” Cassill said. “Total, probably about three and-a-half hours of working out.”

Despite the main focus of driving the racecar, Cassill has been able to train in order to help him behind the wheel. The amount of focus it takes to run door-to-door at 200 mph is unimaginable unless you are in the trenches with your body each day. He doesn’t like to make his workouts easy either. On top of swimming, cycling and running, he maintains a steady workout routine with the help of one of his sponsors.

“I go to the gym at Snap Fitness,” he said. “I do my strength training there, which strength training for a tri-athlete is really important because it just helps with injury prevention and helps to get you stronger for your run workouts and bike workouts.”

Snap Fitness Haas been featured on Cassill’s car four times this season.

As time progresses it seems that more racecar drivers are able to transition to more of this type of training.

 “I think it’s because as racecar drivers we’re endurance athletes,” Cassill said of why he prefers triathlons. “For a triathlon to do a long course, half-iron man and iron man distance triathlon is a real endurance sport. I think because of our elevated heart rate in the racecars, I think that kind of thing really translates to behind the wheel.”

In order to take his training to the next level, Cassill follows a strict diet. A diet is one of the biggest keys in the process of training because if your body isn’t taking in the right carbohydrates and electrolytes, then there might be some fault to that person.

“I eat a plan-based diet,” Cassill said. “I get my protein from plants, and it’s a pretty cool way to eat. It’s much cleaner and I feel like I perform really well and recover really well. At the race track and on the road traveling, I used products like Beyond Meat to make a great Beast Burger, which is a plan-based protein burger and it has just seemed to work for me.”

Fitness has become a large part of success behind the wheel for Cassill. The better shape that the driver is in, the more likely they are to have sustainability behind the wheel. For some drivers, being fit has been a part if their entire life, for others is has become a more recent method.

“It’s been a part of my whole life, but really in the past couple of years is when I’ve really taken it seriously and seen the benefits of it,” said Cassill. “I was at a point where I knew I needed to take myself to the next level as a racecar driver and as an endurance athlete.”

Being fit behind the wheel can often give a driver the advantage and the endurance that they will need in order to be competitive to drive continuously for 500 or 600 miles. In doing so, it lets their respective team know that while they are busting their butt in the shop to put competitive cars on the track, the driver in return is kicking butt and taking their job just as seriously.

“From the perception of my team and my guys, that they know I’m doing everything that I can to be the best driver that I can be,” said Cassill. “I think that’s extremely important that they know that I’m not leaving anything out there and that at the end of the race they know that their driver is as fresh as any of them.”

During the Brickyard 400 weekend, Cassill kept track of the weight he lost because of the unbearable heat and the new aerodynamic package, which kept heat in the car.

“I basically lost 15 pounds, but I had drunk seven pounds of fluid over the course of the race,” said Cassill. “I drank about 110 oz. of fluid in the car. At the end of the race, I had a net loss of eight pounds.”

 “Those are definitely tough days at the track. I would say that was one of the harder days.”

“The recovery is extremely important and my diet is what I rely on for recovery. Eating the right foods is important, even the products that I drink inside of the car. I’m not just drinking plain water in the car, I’m drinking a drink called Infinit, which is a company that makes a custom-mix based on what I feel like I need and we work together to come up with a formula that I need. Having the right mix helps with your recovery and eating the right meal afterward and getting proper rest that night. I’m usually okay by Monday afternoon.”

It’s not an unknown fact that all drivers don’t train, and some have been able to get by with not training. Just imagine if they went outside of their elements and did train. The on-track performance may skyrocket.

“Obviously there are drivers that aren’t fit and their skill of driving a racecar is what carries them over their fitness in my opinion,” said Cassill. “I think that fitness can help take you to the next driver and those drivers who aren’t fit would see quite a gain in their performance if they took their skill and complimented it with fitness.”

Shifting over to racing, the Iowa native has overachieved in an underfunded car. There are some races where the No. 40 team has gone un-sponsored to support the funds to race. Mike Hillman and Hillman Racing compete simply for the joy of racing. They work just as hard, if not harder, than the bigger teams since they don’t have the amount of employees that teams like Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing do. But the team does what it can with what they have.

The same can be said in the XFINITY Series. Cassill drives for the aforementioned JD Motorsports and currently sits 19th in the series standings after missing a handful of races. Much like Hillman Racing, JD Motorsports doesn’t have many employees and still puts three cars on the track at every race. Cassill has one top-10 finish in 2015, but is looking to improve on that in the last third of the season.

Most recently, the once Hendrick Motorsports developmental driver had an incredible run at Pocono. The No. 40 ran in the top-25 for the majority of the race and even qualified well. Due to fuel mileage, the team was able to capitalize on a top-15 finish.

 “It was phenomenal,” Cassill said of the result. “The team worked so hard. We had a plan on the fuel-mileage side of things that was probably two pit stops out from the end of the race; we knew what we wanted to do. It was very deserving of my team.”

For a small team, runs like that and even at New Hampshire, when the No. 40 car started 13th, which speaks for itself. At New Hampshire, Cassill was running in the top-15 for the majority of that race until a late-race caution caught them off guard and trapped them one lap down. He was outrunning drivers like Denny Hamlin, who is a two-time winner at Loudon, as well as Johnson. With runs like this it can give the little team that could momentum for the future.

“Hopefully, it builds a lot of momentum,” said Cassill. “Every week is still a new week and it’s tough to run that well week-in and week-out against these big teams that are so good every week. We seem to be doing really well and we’re getting a lot of recognition for it, which is great.”

Like many small teams, Hillman Racing’s best races seem to be the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega. Cassill has done well in those four races throughout his Cup career. In October of last season, Cassill took home a fourth-place result, his best ever in the Cup Series. On the white flag lap he was running as high as second and that demonstrated that he is not afraid of those tracks and that a true “underdog” can win.

“We just build really fast cars and Hillman Racing does a really good job of putting a fast car under me so I have something to race with,” Cassill said of his performance at restrictor plates. “I would really like to just continue the success that we’ve had where we seem to really be overachieving where we’re at and where our funding level is. That kind of keeps us focused and keeps us working hard on it. This is a really high in the sky goal, but I want to go to Talladega with a shot of winning the race.”

It would not be surprising to see this athlete excel at Talladega and if not pick up his first career victory, a solid result nonetheless. Cassill is a true warrior of auto racing and no matter what circumstances are put in front of him; the 26-year old has the endurance to overcome them. 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams battled Mother Nature at Homestead-Miami Speedway today, testing their cars in preparation for the Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 22.

The NASCAR Open Test was set to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until thunderstorms cut the day short. As of 6 p.m., testing had yet to resume, although NASCAR is still hoping to complete the test tonight at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Testing started more than two hours late due to the rain delay, with cars getting on the track approximately at 11:15 a.m.

However, the ten Sprint Cup teams testing were able to get more than two hours of track time this morning. Testing different set ups for the season-finale Ford EcoBoost 400, the drivers were able to capture valuable data pertinent to developing championship cars to run 400 miles in November.

“You know for these mile and a half, these bigger race tracks like this with the multi-banking that they have here, as you progress up through the track and up to the corner it’s so much more fun as a race car driver as you’re coming on the next car to pass, you have to have options,” Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 15 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing said.  “You know, you get down, you kind of slide-job them. That outside line on a long run really, really comes into play rim-riding, and then all of the sudden you’re flirting with disaster because you’re right on the ragged edge of hitting a wall and nine times out of ten you do (laughs).”

“We learn a lot of things. A lot of things we can’t typically learn on a normal race weekend. We can put data on our race cars and be able to really dissect what each part and piece does,” Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford Fusion for Penske Racing said. “So overall, it’s key for us to get the most out of this as we don’t have them (testing) very often. And, obviously, coming down here to Homestead – it can be the most important race of the year.”

“This is going to be, obviously, a huge race. It’s the biggest race of the year if you really think about what it all comes down to so we’re planning on making that final four with our Furniture Row Chevrolet and hopefully if we get to do that we’ll be ready,” Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet SS for Furniture Row Racing. “We’re just trying to learn all we can to get down here and be prepared for that, and hopefully we’ll be one of those guys.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that participated in the testing session today included:

·         Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford Fusion, Penske Racing

·         Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS, Hendrick Motorsports

·         Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet SS, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

·         Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet SS, Stewart-Haas Racing

·         Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 15 Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

·         Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet SS, Furniture Row Racing

·         Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Ford Fusion, Roush Fenway Racing

·         Ty Dillon, driving the No. 31 Chevrolet SS, Richard Childress Racing

·         Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

·         Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Ford Fusion, Wood Brothers Racing

Homestead Miami Speedway PR
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