Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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Six time SprintCup Champion Jimmie Johnson opens up about his road to success in one of the most demanding- and unpredictable- sports on the planet in the cover story for the March 2016 issue of  SUCCESS Magazine, on newsstands February 10th.  In an exclusive interview with sportswriter Don Yeager, Johnson opens up about the hard-won lessons he has learned throughout his career and shares insights on how to build a team strong enough to go the extra mile.

"We have a great team…And we are constantly adjusting, working to get better. Last year's accomplishments are just that... last year's. Heck, last week's accomplishments don't mean much around here."

-  Jimmie Johnson tells SUCCESS Magazine, March 2016 cover story

The issue also pays tribute to famed basketball player and UCLA coach, John Wooden.  The feature article, titled "Unforgettable Greatness," offers a deep look at the legendary player and leader through four essays from people he inspired personally. The four as-told-to essays are from NBA icons, including Dale Brown, Chip Engelland, Cori Close and Nan Wooden.

Also Inside This Issue

The March 2016 issue of SUCCESS Magazine, spotlighting Jimmie Johnson, tackles teamwork and offers a number of perspectives on how to build (and drive) a team that will take you across the finish line. Among other features, it highlights:

  • "General Knowledge"—Former U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal discusses how the strategies he implemented to transform the U.S. military can apply to businesses anywhere.
  • "In the Casting Room"—Veteran television writer Susan Young gleans insights from three renowned casting directors as she explores the similarities between building a team and putting together a cast for a television show.
  • "Better Together"—Journalist Jim Motavalli pulls from a handful of real-life examples including Ford, Chevrolet, and successful startups to explore why diversity helps to bring in the complementary skills necessary for a high-functioning team.

The issue also features an excerpt from SUCCESS Leadership Editor John Addison's new book, Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose. The excerpt, titled, "Shine Your Light" explains how those who decide to be leaders need to make their most important asset a priority: their people. The article delves into why it's imperative to make your entire team feel important 100 percent of the time and offers tips for how to shine your own light as a leader.  

For full stories, pick up the March 2016 issue, on newsstands February 10th. For more information about SUCCESS Magazine and additional personal development content, visit www.success.com.

Success Magazine PR

Ty Dillon Motorsports announced today that Florida Lottery will be the primary sponsor for the No. 41 Chevrolet during the 45th annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

 

Beginning on February 9, the 23-year-old NASCAR XFINITY Series regular will be behind the wheel of the UMP modified for six nights, competing for the coveted Gator Championship trophy. Dillon is a former DIRTcar Nationals champion (2014, 2012, 2011) and a multi-time winner at the half-mile dirt track.

 

Dillon, a full-time NASCAR driver, competes in select open-wheel modified and late model races around the East Coast with family owned and operated, Team Dillon Racing (TDR). Dillon began his racing career with TDR and credits much of his success to the developmental race team, which is based on the campus of Richard Childress Racing.

 

"Dirt car racing has always been one of my favorite hobbies. It allows me to get back to what I grew up doing and just go out and have fun." Dillon said. "I can't thank the Florida Lottery enough for partnering with us for the DIRTcar Nationals."

 

The Florida Lottery benefits thousands of Floridians every day with new games, bigger prizes and more winners. Over the past 28 years, the Florida Lottery has paid out over $48.6 billion in prizes. 

Ty Dillon PR

Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that Austin Theriault will drive a third entry for the organization in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season-opening race on February 19 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. 
 
"I'm really excited and can't wait to get back to Daytona," Theriault said.  "I can't thank Brad enough for this opportunity.  I'm going there with the expectation to win and I'll do whatever it takes to get the checkered flag."
 
Theriault will drive the No. 2 Ford F-150 in the NextEra Energy Resources 250, joining full-time drivers Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric, with Buddy Sisco serving as the team's crew chief.  The Fort Kent, Maine native is quick to point out the advantages of having an additional teammate at Daytona.
 
"I'm looking forward to working with both Tyler and Daniel," Theriault said.  "Hopefully we can help each other stay in the top five throughout the race and be in position to challenge for the win.  It will be a big help to have another teammate at Daytona."  
 
Theriault made his NCWTS debut in 2015 with Brad Keselowski Racing at Daytona.  He scored an impressive fourth-place finish, leading the race once for nine laps after starting fourth and finishing with a driver rating of 110.2.  He made nine NCWTS starts for BKR in 2015, claiming two top five and four top 10 finishes.  Theriault spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as part of BKR's driver development program, running a partial schedule in the Southern Super Late Model Series while working full-time in the team's shop.   
 
Buddy Sisco is a native of Nashville, Tenn., and began his racing career in 1981.  He has served as crew chief for numerous organizations during his career, most recently at Michael Waltrip Racing.  He joined BKR in 2013 and is currently a special projects coordinator and liaison between the 19 and 29 teams.     
 
"You always want to run well at Daytona and I think we have an excellent chance to do that with Austin," Sisco said.  "He's a student of the game and there are so many things you don't have to teach him.  We've made changes here at BKR and feel like everything about our Ford F-150 trucks is even better than they were last year.  Our teammates are running for the championship and won't take as many risks but we can get outside the box a little bit and try some different things setup-wise to see if it pays any benefits."

BKR PR

Team Penske and Tungaloy America today announced a strategic alliance between the two organizations. As part of the new partnership, Tungaloy America will serve as a preferred supplier, as well as a technical partner, to Team Penske for both its NASCAR and INDYCAR racing programs. Tungaloy America will provide expertise to Team Penske in order to enhance efficiency and accelerate machining within the team’s manufacturing processes.

“We are always excited to welcome new partners from a business perspective, and it’s even better when that new partner is capable of enhancing our competitive edge,” said Team Penske President Tim Cindric. “Tungaloy America is an industry leader and we are looking forward to utilizing their products and services to impact our future success.”

The technical alliance between the two entities will allow Tungaloy America to feature and showcase Team Penske NASCAR and INDYCAR components for case studies, demonstrations and trade shows in the future.

“Partnerships and collaborations have been integral to Tungaloy’s growth.  The strategic partnership between Tungaloy and Penske is very exciting as we strive to align ourselves with the best,” said Tungaloy America President, Russell Flood. “Our innovative technologies are certain to accelerate Team Penske’s processes, both in the machine shop and at the race track.”

Tungaloy America will also have access to Team Penske manufacturing and hospitality resources as part of the new agreement.

The 2016 NASCAR season begins at Daytona International Speedway this coming weekend, with the non-points Sprint Unlimited, while the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season will take the green flag on March 13 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Team Penske PR

A six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion knows a thing or two about winning races and the importance of early success in NASCAR’s top division. It only took Jimmie Johnson two races to secure a berth in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup last season, but it didn’t come easy.

After missing qualifying due to inspection snafus last season, the No. 48 team found themselves slotted near the back, in the 37th position, to start the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Winning would be a tall order for anyone, six-time Sprint Cup Series champion or not.

But Johnson leaned on his seasoned persistence and championship-caliber driving acumen to do the unlikely.

“Starting 37th, sure, it wasn’t fun,” Johnson said recently. “Sure, there were a lot of cars to pass, but with the long runs, and I took care of my equipment, and we had a good car, and I was able to work my way through there and get the track position we needed.”

By lap 254 of 325, Johnson emerged from the field and into the lead, almost making it look easy. He led four times, including the final 21 laps to secure an impressive win.

With the victory, Johnson locked up an early berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and provided some relief in the often frenetic quest for a coveted spot in the 16-driver post season lineup.

“Initially, it was really nice to have the pressure off,” said Johnson. “Winning early, it’s nice to check that box and know that you’re going to make it into the Chase.”

He would go on to win four more races in 2015 but suffered an early exit from the Chase after the first round.

This year, Johnson hopes to do a lot of the same things with a deeper run in the post season.

“We’re looking at this year, and (we’re) hopeful to get off to a quick start,” he said. “Check that box. Know that we’re going to advance into the Chase. And then somehow figure out how to move the peak towards the end of the year and peak at the right time.”

Johnson will look to defend his Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 title on Feb. 28, and fans of the six-time champion can take part in his pre-race activities by taking advantage of the popular Jimmie Johnson Q&A ticket package. 

Included in the package is a special $48 Petty Grandstand ticket to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 and access to an exclusive race-day Q&A session with Jimmie before the big race. Kids tickets are just $24 and include VIP front row Q&A access and a special race-day activity.

AMS PR

NASCAR fans flocking to Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 4-6 for the 2016 NASCAR Weekend are in for a treat.

The superspeedway, through its partnership with Levy Restaurants, is providing a number of unique food items and menus designed for those looking for healthier options or avoiding gluten to thrill the most sophisticated of palates. During the three-day motorsports extravaganza, fans looking to avoid gluten will find paninis, tacos, beef brisket and specialty items like the Smokey Bacon Bloody Mary and Southwestern Street Corn.

“We have worked extremely hard to put together a top-notch menu that includes a wide variety of options to serve a range of dietary needs for NASCAR fans,” said Larry Ferguson, director of operations for Levy Restaurants at LVMS. “Not only are we providing lots of healthy items, many made without gluten are available in locations throughout the speedway so fans can enjoy great food while not missing action on the track. LVMS will be a great place to have some great food and experience a wonderful weekend in Las Vegas, and we are proud to be a part of it all.”

Items without gluten have been available at LVMS for years and will be provided at nearly a dozen locations at the 1.5-mile superspeedway, including concourse concession stands, the Neon Garage, LVMS suites and concourse-level seating. Dozens of items made without gluten – from rice bowls, cobb salads and blackened Mahi tacos, to hot dogs, vegetable baskets and chicken fajitas – are part of the diverse menu Levy Restaurants has put together for LVMS visitors this year.

In addition, Levy and Melissa’s Produce will continue to serve fresh and healthy selections in the Neon Garage, including fruit, blended fruit smoothies, salads and more. The partnership between Levy and Melissa’s Produce began in 2012 and gives fans fresh options to enjoy during their time at LVMS.

Fans looking for what’s new on menu this season will be able to dig into the “Busch Brothers Beer Braised Brisket Nachos,” Shock Top beer-marinated bratwurst and South of the Border Cheese Steak – thinly sliced spiced Philly-style steak with avocado crema and chipotle aioli. In addition to the Smokey Bacon Bloody Mary, fans can refresh with the new Prickly Pear Cocktail – a bright combination of lemonade, vodka and prickly pear mix shaken and poured over ice.

Levy chefs have not forgotten about dessert. Fans can top their speedway experience with the new Checkered Flag Bites – a mix of bread pudding, brownie bites and strawberries drizzled with a vanilla cream sauce. Las Vegas has long been known for its food, and thanks to Levy Restaurants, LVMS can boast a wide and varied arrangement of tastes of all kinds during NASCAR Weekend.

For tickets, call 1-800-644-4444 or log on to LVMS.com.

LVMS PR

Reed Has Sights Set on Championship in ‘16

Published in Xfinity Series News
Monday, 08 February 2016 11:47

Ryan Reed returns behind the wheel of the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang in 2016 for his third full-time season of NASCAR XFINITY Series competition. The 22-year-old Roush Fenway Racing driver from Bakersfield, Calif. captured his first career win in the 2015 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway and hopes to duplicate that success in 2016 with his sights ultimately set on winning a championship.

“I’m so excited about all of the changes at Roush Fenway over the off-season, which includes being paired up with Phil Gould as my crew chief,” said Reed. “We really have all the pieces to have a breakout year and surprise people - not only by winning some races but also getting out there and contending for a championship.”

After coming out of the gates with a win and the points lead, Reed went on to record top finishes of 11th at Fontana, Dover, Chicago and Charlotte and amassed a total of 16 laps lead for the season. Reed, who will make his 73rd career start when the green flag drops at Daytona, expects more out of himself this season.

“Things just didn’t click for us last year,” said Reed. “The potential is there and I think we have found the right pairings this season with a new crew chief and changes in the shop to really be competitive and turn some heads.”

Veteran crew chief Phil Gould is no stranger to Daytona’s high banks or working with young drivers like Reed. This Daytona race marks a milestone for Gould, as he records his 100th start as a NASCAR XFINITY Series crew chief. The Kendall Park, N.J. native’s NASCAR career spans more than 15 years as a mechanic, car chief, and crew chief for some of NASCAR’s top teams and drivers. Gould joined Roush Fenway in 2015 as the crew chief for Elliott Sadler, earning four top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, ultimately finishing the year sixth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings.

“There’s always growing pains when you make changes, but I feel like we work pretty closely at Roush Fenway so it will be easy to get over that honeymoon stage and learn to communicate effectively with each other,” said Gould. “We all have a deep desire to get Roush Fenway back where it needs to be and help drivers like Ryan gain confidence to be competitive every week.”

Reed’s hunt for a championship will take shape under a new elimination-style playoff format for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Reed can clinch a spot in the Chase by winning one of the first 26 regular-season races or by being in the top-12 in championship standings by the cutoff race at Chicago in September. Under the new points system, Reed would have qualified for the Chase in 2015 with his win at Daytona.

“It’s been so exciting to see how the Chase has impacted the Sprint Cup Series and the level of drama it’s brought to the sport,” said Reed. “Hopefully we can get a win right out the box so we can relax a little until the Chase starts, but I think we will be in good shape either way.”

Watch Reed defend his title at Daytona in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener on February 20th at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

To join in the conversation throughout the year as the 16 Team competes for a Championship, follow @Reed16Team on Twitter and use #16in16. 

RFR PR

Empire Racing Group (ERG) will have two chances to reach Victory Lane during the ARCA Racing Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, as veteran drivers Sean Corr and Dylan Lupton will be competing for the team. Both Corr and Lupton participated in the ARCA test for ERG at the superspeedway back in January.

“The test in January went really well for us, one of the smoothest I’ve ever been a part of,” said Mike “Grumpy” Cheek, team crew chief. “Dylan Lupton was a last minute add-on to the test for us. We connected with him through Win–Tron Racing, and he went out there and ran some fast laps and was really impressive. We put the deal together to have him join Sean for the race after that. They’re both great drivers and I’m very excited for the race. I’d love to see the two of them finish in the Top-5, and I feel if they work together out on the track there’s no reason we won’t be up front like that.”

Sean Corr, a 31-year-old Goshen, N.Y. native, knows his way to Daytona’s Victory Lane, as the driver has competed in six ARCA races at the track. During those events he secured one win, one Top-5 and two Top-10 finishes. After competing in the test earlier this year, he feels confident in his chances to find success at the notoriously challenging track again.

“The test went well until we blew a tire at the end of the final session,” said Corr. “The car got some damage to it, but the team has fixed it up and we’ll come back stronger than ever! I can’t wait for the race. At Daytona you have to be really smooth on the wheel and can’t be as aggressive as you can be at other places. I find that watching videos of the greats, like Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon, have really helped me be successful there. They have driving styles that I feel like I can really pick up on and emulate.”

Corr will be piloting the No. 48 car for ERG, with NESCO, Transgroup, Grumpy’s Performance and Support Our Troops on the car and along for the ride. His car will also be running in honor of racing veteran James Hylton, a two-time winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and a long-time ARCA Racing Series competitor. During his career, Hylton collected 140 Top-5 and 301 Top-10 finishes in 601 races, and also finished second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in 1966, 1967, and 1971. As a longtime fan and friend of Hylton, running a car in his honor is an extremely meaningful moment for Corr.

“I’m so honored to be running the No. 48 in honor of James Hylton!” Corr stated. “The first ARCA race I ever went to I had no idea where to go and I was so worried about missing meetings and getting in trouble for it. I walked up to the first person I saw, who happened to be James Hylton, and asked him if he would mind helping me just figure out where to go. He was so nice and told me we’d figure it out together – he really watched out for me at that race! I can’t thank him enough for that. We ended up building him his last racecar for his last race, and he asked me if I wanted to run his No. 48 after he retired. It’s really such an honor to have been asked that. It’s huge.”

Joining Corr will be Dylan Lupton, a familiar face to the racing scene. The 22-year-old Wilton, Calif. native has competed in everything from karting and Late Model series to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West and XFINITY Series. The Lucas Oil 200 will be Lupton’s first race in the ARCA Racing Series. He made his first laps in the car during the test back in January after connecting with ERG with assistance from Win-Tron Racing.

“The test with Empire Racing Group went really well,” explained Lupton. “I mainly went down there to get experience on the track. The biggest track I had been on before this was a 1.5-mile in the XFINITY Series last year, so this was a step up for me. I really wanted get some experience with the draft. We were fourth fastest pretty much all weekend, so I’m very pleased with how all that went.”

Lupton’s first ARCA Racing Series event will also be his first race at Daytona International Speedway. The superspeedway is unlike any track he’s raced at before, but Lupton is confident he will be able to succeed in the race.

“I’ve never ran a race at Daytona before, but I feel prepared for it and think we could win it,” continued Lupton. “Having run in all these different racing series, especially the NASCAR XFINITY Series, I have a lot of experience to rely on versus someone who’s a little bit more of a rookie. Talking with Sean Corr will also be useful in preparing for it, and I think we’ll work well together on the track. Other than that, just watching old races and how drivers can get a pack to work the top line and make pass to get the win will be immensely helpful.”

ERG PR
General Tire is building on its new partnership as the Official Tire of the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards and will become the presenting sponsor of the upcoming ARCA season-opening race at the "World Center of Racing."  The race scheduled for February 13 at the legendary Daytona International Speedway will now be known as the "Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire."  This 80-lap, 200-mile event kicks off SPEEDWEEKS® at Daytona, the first of two races on Saturday night, Feb. 13. Following the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take center stage with the Sprint Unlimited.  Both races will be the first stock car events at the facility since the completion of the DAYTONA Rising project, $400 million renovation that transformed the speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium.

“For us to be a part of stock car history at the legendary Daytona International Speedway is beyond words.  We are truly excited and honored to partner with the track and join our great friends at Lucas Oil in support of the ARCA Racing Series.” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire.

“We are excited to have General Tire serve as a presenting sponsor,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “The Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire as well as the Sprint Unlimited will deliver an exciting racing doubleheader for fans who will be experiencing the new amenities in the motorsports stadium following the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.”

“It’s very appropriate for the on track racing debut of General Tire in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards to coincide with the inauguration of the amazing DAYTONA Rising project,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “It’s an honor and a privilege to race at Daytona, as it has been for ARCA since 1964, and our entire series looks forward to the 2016 Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire.”

The multi-year agreement will make General Tire a Promotional Partner of Daytona International Speedway.  Branding for the 100-year old tire company will be visible at the pre-race stage, the flag stand and in victory lane.  General Tire plans to announce additional ARCA Racing Series entitlements in the coming week.

Continental AG PR

NASCAR Next driver Austin Hill is prepared to take the next step in his racing career, as he will compete in more than half the races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) this season.

The 21-year-old driver, who finished third in championship points in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last season, will kick-off his part-time NCWTS schedule at Daytona International Speedway racing the ARCO Design/Build Ford F-150 for Empire Racing Group.  He will then move over to his own race team – Austin Hill Racing – for the remainder of his season. 

“I’m very excited about this season and transitioning Austin Hill Racing into a Camping World Truck Series team,” said Hill.  “We are going to be doing it like we did the K&N Series with the guys that we used last year. We’re just trying to step up the ranks.  I feel like this move will be a good stepping stone for us as a team, and I want to go out there and prove that we belong in this series.”   

Hill, a Winston, Ga. native, is set to enter the field at tracks including Atlanta, Dover, Kentucky, Bristol, Texas, and has big plans for this season.

“My goal has always been to run up front and hopefully get a couple wins,” said Hill.  “To get one win this season in the Truck Series would be awesome with it being a top-three series in NASCAR.  I’m looking to at least get one win and a good Top-10 finish week-in and week-out as long as we don’t have any big problems. We have a good truck. Now, we just have to have the right setup under us to make it happen.”

Veteran crew chief Doug Chouinard, who previously partnered with Hill in the K&N Pro Series, will guide the rookie competitor in this next level of his career.

“Doug has been in the sport for a long time,” said Hill.  “He ran with Todd Bodine when he ran the No. 30 Toyota Tundra. He’s got a lot of knowledge and I’ve already learned a lot from him.”

Hill jumped into the NASCAR spotlight over the past two seasons when he earned four wins, one pole, 12 Top-5’s and 21 Top-10’s in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.  He previously found success racing Quarter Midgets, Bandoleros, Legend cars and Late Models.

Hill has competed in six NCWTS races over the past two years.  In just his first NCWTS start, Hill led 21 of the 200 laps at Martinsville in 2014. The NASCAR Next driver previous competed at five series tracks including: Daytona, Dover, Talladega, Martinsville and Homestead-Miami, where his average finish was 22nd.

Austin Hill PR