Steven B. Wilson
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One of the most treasured pieces of racing memorabilia and among the greatest entertainment values in sports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Month of May Bronze Badges are on sale now just in time for the holiday season. Visit www.ims.com/bronzebadge for purchasing information.
These prized items provide fans with gate access and the opportunity to visit the Gasoline Alley garage area for an insider's look as Verizon IndyCar Series drivers prepare for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Sold on a limited, first-come-first-served basis, each badge costs $135 through March 31 and will increase to $150 on April 1 while supplies last, limit four per customer. Badges will provide daily gate and garage access beginning on Thursday, May 12, and Friday, May 13, during the Angie's List Grand Prix weekend; and once again from Monday, May 16, through Saturday, May 21, including pit access during the final full practice session on Monday, May 23. The credential does not provide Race Day admission for either the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 14, or the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29. Certain restrictions apply.
All Bronze Badge holders will have access to a Pre-Race Grid Walk prior to the start of the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 14.
"The Bronze Badge has been an essential item for race personnel and hard core fans since it was first used for IMS access in May of 1947 and takes the track experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to a whole new level," said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President. "The Bronze Badge provides an unbelievable value because it allows for both gate admission and behind the scenes, up close and personal access to the garage areas as the drivers and teams prepare to practice and qualify for the Indianapolis 500."
Junior Garage Credentials are also available for fans from ages 9-17 looking to see their heroes in action and up close. They can be purchased for $75 by calling the IMS Credential Office at 317-492-6500. Both a parent or legal guardian and the minor must be present to sign the required consent and liability release forms in the credentials office at the time of purchase.
Cardboard or laminate badges were utilized from the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 through 1937, and were assigned only to event participants. Beginning in 1938, more durable metal badges were used before IMS Bronze Badges made their debut in 1947 and were initially sold to the general public in the early 1990s. Today they all are cherished collectables.
Under Siegel’s management, Rev Racing has continued to field drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series since 2010. Drivers such as, Kyle Larson (Sprint Cup Series), Darrell Wallace Jr. (Xfinity Series) and Daniel Suarez (Xfinity Series) are all a testament to Siegel’s program’s success.
This past weekend, as NASCAR’s touring season came to a close, two NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduates have made history as the first Drive for Diversity winners in their respective fields. Daniel Suarez, is the first Mexican Sunoco Rookie of the Year and Mike Russell, crew jackman, has become the first African-American Drive for Diversity graduate to be part of a championship-winning team. On top of that, Rev Racing alum Kyle Larson won the season closer at Homestead for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
Rev Racing also experienced two wins in the 2015 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where the team hosts six drivers. Hispanic driver Collin Cabre became the sixth driver from the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Program to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and gave Rev Racing and Siegel, which has fielded the competition team for the program since 2010, its 17th win. Jay Beasley also captured the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award for the entire 2015 season.
“For the last seven years Rev Racing has managed the D4D Program,” said Siegel. “We could not be more proud of the success of our drivers and pit crew graduates, such as Russell. We are excited about the role we have played in the development of these young men and women. We look forward to many more years of continued success as we grow our team and expand our development program.”
As Siegel’s success rate continues to soar, he is focused on providing the same opportunities for others to pave their way as well. Siegel and NASCAR’s Diversity Program hosted their 12th annual Combine at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. on October 21st. Twenty-two drivers competed for one of six spots in the motorsports industry’s top driver development program at Rev Racing. Siegel is focused on finding the next set of talented drivers to take the track and follow his consistent professional winning streak.
"Rev Racing's partnership with NASCAR is unique in all sports and demonstrates what can be done two impact an industry and culture when two organizations are committed to each other; a common vision to excellence," said Siegel.
Rev Racing PR
“We are thrilled to have Rusty as our featured speaker at the inaugural KDDP banquet,” said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. “His close friendship with Alan back in the day and his connection with what our program is all about made him such a perfect fit for our occasion. We are so appreciative that he was able to work it into his busy schedule and join us there for our special occasion.”
“When I learned all the background about the KDDP and what the organization does for young racers out there, I said I’d be thrilled to be there,” said Wallace, who won 55 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and claimed the 1989 premier series points championship during his illustrious racing career. “It will be a fun night at the Speedway Club meeting and chatting with the class of seven drivers who represented the KDDP this season.
“There’s sure to be a lot of old friends in attendance there that night and a lot of old bench-racing stories that will be told,” Wallace added. “It’ll be a real treat to spend time with those young drivers and hear how they did on and off the track out there this season.
“Alan was a great friend of mine and we grew up in an era where there was so much respect for one another,” Wallace said. “Guys like Alan, Mark Martin and Dick Trickle – we battled each other like crazy on the short tracks of the Midwest. It was really cool for all of us to be able to grow up through the ranks together like we did. I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot of reflecting on that when I speak to them that night.”
Wallace’s racing career began on the short tracks around his St. Louis home. He won the 1979 USAC Stock Car Series Rookie-of-the-Year. By the early 1980’s he was winning races on short tracks all across the nation and surprisingly finished second in his first-ever NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta in 1980 in a car owned by Roger Penske. He adopted a goal-oriented strategy with his racing and successfully focused on winning the 1983 American Speed Association championship.
His success on the short tracks opened the door for a full-time Cup ride with Cliff Stewart Racing during the 1984 season. He won the rookie title that year and finished 14th in the final points. Wallace moved on to Blue Max Racing for the 1986 season and won his first Cup race that April in Bristol. The close-knit team achieved the pinnacle of success by winning the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship.
Wallace teamed up again with Penske beginning in the 1991 season. Driving cars sponsored by the Miller Brewing Co., he recorded an impressive 37 wins before officially retiring at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Appropriately, he was inducted into the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Today, Wallace is still involved in the broadcasting end of NASCAR Racing, working with the Motor Racing Network crew. His position in the automotive industry has grown over the years. The Rusty Wallace Automotive Group now consists of six automotive dealerships located throughout Eastern Tennessee representing seven different makes (Buick, Cadillac, Ford, GMC, Honda, Kia and Toyota). An avid golfer, Wallace spends time on the courses near a home he owns in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
“I was blessed to get to work with both Alan and Rusty,” Roberts said. “They were cut out of the same mold. Rusty would never boast about it and shuns taking any credit for helping Alan along during his career. But I was there to witness it first-hand. Rusty was directly responsible for Paul Andrews becoming Alan’s crew chief and he paved the way for Alan landing the Zerex sponsorship deal back in 1987. I plan on publicly thanking him for that for the first time there that night.
“It’s so appropriate to have Rusty speak at our inaugural banquet,” Roberts added. “The 14th would have been Alan’s 61st birthday and I know he certainly would appreciate Rusty being there. Alan would get a huge kick out of hearing him speak at his birthday party. I can guarantee that it will be a fun and entertaining evening having Rusty as a major part of the program for sure.”
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will race 20 times in 2016, including eight races on superspeedways, nine on short tracks, two on dirt and one on a road course. The full schedule has been announced over the last few weeks.
The season will mark the third consecutive season with a 20-race schedule. ARCA raced 21 races in 2013 and 19 in 2011 and 2012.
“We are pleased to announce our full and complete schedule,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “We feel we have once again put together a schedule that highlights the diversity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. We are excited for the start of the new season.”
The series will kick off the 2016 campaign – as it has for more than 50 years – by racing at Daytona International Speedway. The race will be right before the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited and will help christen the newly-renovated Daytona Rising project.
The only different track on the schedule from 2015 is the return of the ARCA Racing Series to Madison, Wisconsin for Father’s Day Weekend. There are other changes to the schedule, however.
For example, ARCA’s Chicagoland date shifts to Thursday night, September 15 in primetime as part of a huge weekend of racing, which includes the kick-off for the Sprint Cup Chase Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. The weekend also includes the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.
The road course race at New Jersey will be on Saturday, May 28, instead of the Sunday afternoon race it has been the last few years. And, the race on the mile-dirt at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is going to be a night race.
In addition, the ARCA Racing Series will celebrate milestone races with the 75th series event at Toledo Speedway and 99th and 100th races at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana.
The series will have companion races with all three of NASCAR’s top touring series at one time or another in 2016, starting with the Daytona race in February, plus share Iowa Speedway with the Verizon Indy Car Series in July.
The race at Winchester Speedway will once again coincide with the King of the Wing sprint cars.
The return to Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin is good for the series’ presenting sponsor, Drager said.
“It was important for us to schedule a race in the Menards market,” Drager said. “Last year, we did not have a race in either Minnesota or Wisconsin and this year, we decided to go back. We are definitely looking forward to racing again at Madison and the upper Midwest.”
The 2016 season will be part of ARCA’s 64th consecutive season of competition since 1953.
Before moving ahead with the 2016 schedule, series officials will celebrate the 2015 season one final time with the annual banquet in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 12.
ARCA Racing PR
The team had a turbulent 2015, which included a fire at the race shop, personnel changes mid-season and challenges with rained-out qualifying sessions. Through it all, the single-car team showcased their “never give up” attitude.
“It was still a building year and whenever you’re building it’s sometimes two steps forward and one step back,” said team owner Bob Leavine. “Overall, I think we had an acceptable year, but we didn’t meet all of my goals. We had a lot of changes and setbacks. Our shop with the fire – as much as we fought through that, it did affect what we did on the track just with focus and concentration. But the guys did a great job and should be admired for that.”
“I’m really more proud of the team, especially with these last four races and how they’ve rallied – the things we learned and the processes we have in the garage now are a step above,” continued Leavine. “During these last four races, including this past weekend at Homestead, I’m really proud of what they’ve done.”
Thrivent Financial and K-LOVE Radio, the primary sponsors of the No. 95 Ford this season, have been a major asset to the single-car team. After a test run in 2014, Thrivent Financial became primary sponsor of the No. 95 Ford in 13 races this season. The financial services company embraced the partnership and fully activated with marketing efforts focused around the team and driver.
“Without our sponsors this season we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we wanted to accomplish,” said race team vice president, Jeremy Lange. “We would not be able to be looking at a 36-race schedule in 2016 if it weren’t for our partners in Thrivent and K-LOVE. I think Thrivent helped us grow on a national level as far as exposure-wise from their activation and 2.5 million members. And sponsors like Monitronics helped us get back into our race shop after the fire.”
K-LOVE Radio has partnered with Leavine Family Racing for two years and is in its fifth year with driver Michael McDowell. The Christian music network launched an online game this summer featuring the No. 95 race car and McDowell.
“From the team standpoint having partners like Thrivent Financial and K-LOVE Radio helps legitimize our program. Moving forward we can then attract corporate sponsors and partners, and the partners that we have are unique – they are not like other partners in the sport,” said driver Michael McDowell. “For me it’s great because of my faith and the common bond we have with our partners. I’m really thankful that we have partners that do amazing things for the community and use racing as a platform to do it.”
Leavine Family Racing set out to compete in 20 races this season. They raced in 16 events with an average starting position of 29.3 and an average finish of 30.6 across the season; the average finish of the team an improvement from 2014.
“I think we had highs and lows throughout the year, but if you look at our average finish when we raced it was between 30th and 31st,” said Lange. “I would think that a 30th-place team over the course of 16 races is pretty good. It doesn’t’ sound good, but if you know the sport – we are out-qualifying and finishing better than a lot of good cars and fully funded cars during our races. Our goal is to be a Top-25 team racing 36 races and I think we can get there with the right support, funding and personnel.”
McDowell agreed with the competition assessment based on the team’s current resources.
“We are working hard and it’s fun when we can out-qualify some really good cars,” McDowell said. “On the outside you look at it and you qualified 29th but Tony Stewart and a lot of good cars were behind us (at Homestead). And I just think about how we’ve got 10 guys back at the shop and they’ve got like 400 and lots of engineers and big budgets. And it’s fun because we are all literally working on the cars.”
The uncertainty of the future of the NASCAR ownership model has been a struggle for Leavine Family Racing as they work to attract personnel and partners leading into the 2016 season. While bigger, established teams have started preparing for Daytona, Leavine Family Racing is in a standstill – awaiting decisions by NASCAR in order to move forward.
“Thanksgiving is still going to be pretty thought provoking because we have about eight different scenarios that our team could go in next year,” said Leavine. “It’s going to be a challenging off-season, we’ve talked about maybe getting contract labor to work later at night and have another shift at the shop to get the cars done. Committing to your first season as a full-time team is a big deal. You don’t go from 20 to 36 races without some planning.”
McDowell and the team are looking forward to continuing the growth in 2016 and beyond.
“This year has had its challenges – we’ve had set backs with fires and things like that – but overall I feel that we’ve persevered,” said McDowell. “You know we are a small team, and we’ve accomplished some of the goals that we wanted to accomplish and we have to accomplish more still yet. It’s been a slow process, but we knew it was going to be that way. We are all really looking forward to next year and continuing that growing process.”
Bill McAnally Racing today announced that Chris Eggleston, Todd Gilliland and Riley Herbst will drive for the team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for 2016
Plans call for all three drivers to run the full schedule in the K&N Pro Series West, with select events in the K&N Pro Series East worked into the schedule
Eggleston returns for a second year after capturing the 2015 championship in the K&N Pro Series West in his first full season in the series.
Gilliland, the 15-year-old son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran driver David Gilliland, is coming off a win at Phoenix in his series debut – becoming the youngest winner in the series. Herbst, who comes from a racing family well known in off-road competition, is coming off an outstanding season where he won a championship as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway. The 16-year-old will be making his debut in the K&N Pro Series West.
"We're excited to announce this portion of our program for the K&N Pro Series in 2016,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “It's great to have Chris return to defend his title and to have such talented young drivers as Todd and Riley join the team. We have high expectations, based on what we have seen from all three of them."
The team is focused on building on its performance from this past season, McAnally said.
"We finished the year strong, with Chris clinching the championship at Phoenix and Todd scoring the win in his series debut,” he said. “We plan to work hard in the off-season to carry that momentum forward into next season."
Eggleston won his first race with BMR in 2014 and that led to him running the full season and capturing the title in 2015. The 26-year-old hails from Erie, Colorado and is a graduate of Colorado State University. He has accumulated three wins, 11 top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes in 17 career starts in the K&N Pro Series West.
“Chris took the opportunity he had in 2014 and responded with a win,” McAnally said. “And with the opportunity to run a full season in 2015, he responded with a championship. We’re looking forward to continued success with him.”
Eggleston honed his talent competing at his home track of Colorado National Speedway, a 3/8-mile short track just north of Denver. It was the site of his first career series win in 2014.
“I am very excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to join forces again with Bill McAnally Racing for the 2016 season,” Eggleston said. “I am really looking forward to building on the success that we had this year and have high hopes to defend our championship.
“Bill has a lot of great guys that work very hard week in and week out to prepare fast race cars, and I’m honored that he has invited me back to be part of his team again,” he said. “Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without all the great people at NAPA AUTO PARTS, NAPA Filters, NAPA Belts & Hoses, and Toyota.”
Gilliland captured the spotlight at Phoenix, going to Victory Lane in his first race in the K&N Pro Series West and winning at a track where his father won in 2005. The teenager from Sherrils Ford, North Carolina has quickly added to a driver resume that also includes being the youngest winner in the history of the ARCA racing series, capturing a victory just two days after his 15th birthday in May.
“It’s great to have Todd join the ranks of the K&N Pro Series West as part of the BMR team,” said McAnally. “I continue to be amazed by his accomplishments and want to help him fulfill his potential in this series.”
Gilliland will be competing full-time in a series where his family name is well known. His father won the rookie title in 2004; and his grandfather, Butch, won the 1997 series championship.
“I look forward to running a full season in the K&N (Pro) Series and being part of the BMR team,” Gilliland said. “I think it’s going to be a great learning experience. It will be good to have a championship driver like Chris Eggleston to lean on and learn from, especially early in the season.”
Gilliland has embraced his role as a third-generation competitor in the series, meanwhile.
“It’s a really cool experience,” he said. “Hopefully, I can carry on the family tradition.”
Herbst grew up watching his father and grandfather compete in off-road racing classics such as the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. After starting his racing career with go-karts at the age of 5, he progressed to trophy karts, Legends cars, speed trucks, and late models.
“Riley demonstrates a great passion for racing every time he gets behind the wheel,” McAnally said. “We anticipate great success from him as he graduates to the K&N Pro Series West. We’re glad to have him become a part of the BMR team.”
Herbst did double duty as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway in 2015, winning the championship in the Irwindale Speed Trucks, and finishing fifth in the final standings in Irwindale’s late model division.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive for Bill McAnally Racing in 2016,” Herbst said. “I’m looking forward to a great season. Coming into the K&N Pro Series, I plan to learn as much as possible, with a goal of finishing every lap.
“The knowledge and experience of everyone at BMR will be a great benefit to me as I tackle the challenges of my rookie season in the series,” he said.
Gilliland and Herbst were among a group of talented young drivers who participated in the NAPA Filters Drivers Expo presented by Toyota that BMR conducted this past summer.
“I was impressed with the way they both conducted themselves on and off the track,” McAnally said. “Joining with Chris, they make for a trio of drivers who we are proud to have represent BMR and our corporate partners in 2016.”
BMR captured its sixth K&N Pro Series West championship this past year, which tied a record for the series and throughout NASCAR’s Regional Touring level. The team also celebrated its 25th anniversary with NAPA AUTO PARTS as a sponsor.
It’s a week of giving thanks, settling in with family and friends on Thursday for a table full of turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
But in the end, the day is about giving thanks for all the opportunities life offers. And the world of weekly racing is no different.
“When I think about what I’m thankful of, the first thing that comes to mind is my family and friends who have been with me through ups and downs and have supported me throughout life,” said Lee Pulliam, South Boston Speedway regular who will be claiming his third NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship at the national awards banquet in a couple of weeks.
“Then I’m thankful for our country and the men and women who gave their all to make sure we can have our liberties. And of course I’m thankful for everyone that supported my way up the ladder and helped me become the driver I am today, including sponsors, crew members, car owners and the fans. I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.”
South Boston Late Model track champion Matt Bowling echoed Pulliam’s sentiments.
“I’m thankful for the family, crew and sponsors that have believed in me and support me and my racing,” said Bowling, who had five victories at South Boston this season to post his second Late Model Stock track championship. “It really means a lot.”
Eric Winslow, who captured the 2015 Hornet Division title and also raced in the Late Model division, said he had plenty to be thankful for this year.
“I’m thankful to be blessed to be able to race another year,” said Winslow. “I’m thankful for my family and friends and for my job.”
South Boston Speedway is gearing up for the holiday season by offering gift certificates in $10 increments for Christmas presents that can be purchased at the track office.
For the racing fanatic in your family the track’s souvenir shop will be open for the first time ever during the holiday season. Stop by this Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and starting next week the hours will be Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. until Christmas.
SOBO Speedway PR
Eldora Speedway’s 63rd season will have a few notable additions, while maintaining the long-standing race traditions that have made the half-mile clay oval so historic since opening in 1954.
There are 28 days of racing, plus the season opening “Test and Tune” which opens the track on April 9, 2016.
As previously announced, the big three events are the 22nd $100,000-to-win Dirt Late Model Dream (June 9-10-11), 33rd $50,000-to-win Kings Royal Weekend (July 14-15-16) and the 46th running of the World 100 (September 8-9-10). The King Royal has expanded for the first-time to include Thursday night and will feature the $10,000-to-win “Jokers Wild” for the World of Outlaws.
The fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the only national NASCAR series event on dirt, returns Wednesday, July 20 and joining the Trucks are the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds with a point-paying race on Tuesday, July 19 and an invitational show one day later.
The 35th annual Four-Crown Nationals will host four divisions on Saturday for the first-time since 2007 when the All Star Circuit of Champions join the USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint Car and Midget Championships on September 24 to reestablish the true “Four Crown.” Friday, September 23, will kick off the weekend with the World of Outlaws along with the Eldora Stock cars.
For the first-time since a July 1999 USAC race, which was part of ESPN’s “Thursday Night Thunder,” Eldora will host a Thursday standalone race featuring the All Star Circuit of Champions. They will hit the track on June 23 as part of Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
The very popular World of Outlaws/USAC Sprint Car “#LetsRaceTwo” doubleheader returns May 6-7, as do the two Family FIREWORKS Nights (May 21 and August 13). Memorial Day Weekend will be celebrated with the Johnny Appleseed Classic (May 29) and Labor Day weekend will be highlighted with the ninth Baltes Classic on September 4.
The season kicks off with the Sunoco American Late models, DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and Eldora Stocks racing on Saturday, April 16 and one week later, on April 23, the Modifieds and Stocks return along with the addition of the Vore’s Compact Series.
The season ends with the three day DIRTcar UMP Modified Series racing on September 29, 30 and October 1 and then one week later, the finale on October 8 the Sprintacular featuring the All Star Circuit of Champions, the NRA 360 Sprints and the BOSS Non-Wing Sprint Cars.
All remaining tickets and campsites for the Dream, Kings Royal and World 100 will go on sale to the general public Saturday, December 5. All sales, online (www.EldoraSpeedway.com), phone (937-338-3815) and in person begin at 10 a.m. (EST).
For the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, fans can login to their online accounts or call (937) 338-3815 to meet the 11:59 (EST) renewal deadline on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. Renewal forms can also be returned by fax or mail.
Renewals also entitle Eldora patrons to participate in Eldora’s exclusive ‘Add and Exchange’ program December 10th (Thursday) and 11th (Friday). Fans that successfully completed their 2015 major event seat and campsite renewals prior to the deadline have the ability to add seats or campsites to their orders or move to another location during this two-day period from any available inventory. This may only be done via calling (937) 338-3815 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST). It is not available online. Note that NASCAR ‘Add and Exchange’ will be held later than the ‘Add and Exchange’ for the Dream, Kings Royal and World 100.
The NASCAR public on sale date for all new tickets is Monday, December 14, 2015 at 10 a.m. (EST).
Renewals and new ticket orders received by mid-December for 2016’s major events will be mailed for Christmas delivery.
Tickets and camping for the balance of Eldora’s exciting 2016 season will go on sale Monday, February 15, 2016.
Eldora Speedway PR
After nearly 34,000 votes were cast around the world for NASCAR regional touring series’ 2015 Most Popular Driver Awards, seven drivers earned the ultimate honor from fans – including four rookie drivers and a pair of repeat winners.
The Most Popular Driver Award winners for 2015 are:
- Rico Abreu (St. Helena, Calif.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
- Nicole Behar (Spokane, Wash.), NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
- Jason Hathaway (St. Thomas, Ont.), NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1
- Rodrigo Marban (Mexico City), NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series
- Alon Day (Ashdod, Israel), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
- Melissa Fifield (Wakefield, N.H.), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
- Trey Hutchens (Lexington, N.C.), NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Underscoring the exciting young talent entering NASCAR’s ranks, award winners Abreu, Behar, Day and Hutchens are all in their first full season of NASCAR touring series competition, with Hutchens also earning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Both Fifield and Marban won the Most Popular Driver Award for their series last year, with Fifield making history as the first female to win the award for the tour.
Marban of the NASCAR Mexico Series garnered more votes than any other driver in 2015, just ahead of NASCAR Next drivers Behar and Abreu. Behar dethroned 2014 Most Popular Driver Brandon McReynolds, while Abreu earned the award in his first year in stock cars after transitioning from a successful open-wheel career.
The closest race was in the Canadian Tire Series where championship runner-up Hathaway edged Alex Tagliani by just 104 votes. It is the second year in a row in which Tagliani missed out on the top spot by a slim margin. Last year, he was beaten by JR Fitzpatrick by just 48 votes.
Similarly, Fifield beat Preece for the Whelen Modified Tour award by 110 votes. Hutchens collected more than 40 percent of the Whelen Southern Modified Tour vote to top tour champion Andy Seuss, a three-time winner of the award.
Day won three of the final four races of the Whelen Euro Series season to finish as runner-up in the championship standings in his first year in the series.
The Most Popular Driver Award winners will be recognized as part of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Dec. 12 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.