Steven B. Wilson
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Six-time race winner in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Brennan Poole has signed a partial schedule with Team BCR Racing and Development Team. The schedule will begin where the team picked up their first win of the 2014 season at Daytona International Speedway for the annual Lucas Oil 200.
“I’m looking forward to working with Team BCR this year,” says Poole. “They are a great team with a strong reputation, and they have given me an awesome opportunity. I feel really blessed to be a part of this team!”
Poole began his ARCA Racing Series career in 2011, where he won his debut race at Salem Speedway. The 23-year-old driver went onto to win five more races at Pocono, Michigan, Elko, Springfield and most recently at Kentucky Speedway in 2014. On top of his wins, he earned four Menards Pole Awards, 18 top-5 finishes and 27 top-10 finishes during 35 series starts. Poole also managed to finish 3rd in driver’s points in 2012, while becoming the series Hoosier Speedway Champion.
Pairing up with Team BCR seemed to be a perfect match for Poole considering the team holds wins at more than half of the tracks the driver holds victory finishes at.
Team BCR Racing and Development Team earned five victories in the 2014 ARCA Racing Series season with wins at Daytona, Mobile, Salem, Pocono and Elko. The team also compiled 9 top-5 finishes and 17 top-10 finishes, along with a Pole Award at Talladega Superspeedway during a part-time 2014 schedule.
Brennan Poole has signed for a minimum of ten races this season, which include the televised races on Fox Sports 1 and 2. If additional funding is secured, the team will plan to run for the 2015 Championship.
Marketing partners, along with a race schedule, will be announced in the next few weeks.
Team BCR PR
JR Motorsports announced today that LINE-X, North America’s largest retail automotive aftermarket franchise and leading provider of high-performance spray-on bedliners, will sponsor Alex Bowman in the No. 5 Chevrolet for the upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 8.
LINE-X is recognized as the industry leader in spray-on bedliners and an innovator of versatile protective coatings. The company’s product line includes items that are utilized in commercial, industrial, agricultural, military and custom applications. LINE-X boasts more than 500 locations in 46 countries.
“We are very excited to get back on the track with the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and to make this return with Alex Bowman and JR Motorsports is truly an honor for us,” said Kevin Heronimus, CEO of LINE-X LLC. “As a company, we have followed Alex’s career since his days in the ARCA Racing Series. We are thrilled to join Alex and the JR Motorsports team for the race in Phoenix.”
The Phoenix race marks the 21-year-old Tuscon, Ariz., native’s second start for JR Motorsports. Bowman started seventh and finished 12th in his JRM debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 10. Over the past two seasons, Bowman has made 71 combined starts across NASCAR’s top-two series, posting two top-five and six top-10 finishes. He also recorded a pair of pole awards in Nationwide Series competition at Texas Motor Speedway in 2013.
“We were really impressed with how well Alex ran at Charlotte,” said JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “For LINE-X to also see that potential and come on board for Phoenix is exciting for our team. We feel like Alex is going to be a star in the sport and this is a great chance for him to show his talent in one of our cars.”
The No. 5 team has earned five wins this season – four with Kevin Harvick and one with Kasey Kahne. Josh Berry, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (renumbered as No. 88) and Austin Theriault have also driven the car this season.
JR Motorsports PR
Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) (NYSE: TRK) today reported third quarter 2014 total revenues of $139.8 million, adjusted non-GAAP income from continuing operations of $11.5 million or $0.28 per diluted share, and GAAP net income of $15.0 million or $0.36 per diluted share. Nine month 2014 total revenues were $400.3 million, adjusted non-GAAP income from continuing operations was $39.9 million or $0.96 per diluted share, and GAAP net income was $44.1 million or $1.06 per diluted share. These items are further discussed and reconciled with comparable GAAP amounts below. These results were within management’s expectations, and SMI reaffirmed its full year 2014 earnings guidance of $0.90 to $1.10 per diluted share from continuing operations.
Management believes many of the Company’s revenue categories continue to be negatively impacted by the ongoing weak and uncertain economic conditions, including underemployment and high food and health-care costs. Also, many parts of the East Coast of the United States experienced a particularly harsh or longer-lasting winter in 2014. Management believes admissions and certain event related revenues and expenses were negatively impacted by poor weather surrounding certain first quarter 2014 racing events held at Bristol Motor Speedway, including its rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and second quarter 2014 NASCAR racing events held at Texas Motor Speedway, including its rain postponed and rescheduled Sprint Cup race.
Third Quarter Comparison
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway held one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013
- Texas Motor Speedway held one Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013
- Total revenues were $139.8 million in 2014 compared to $137.5 million in 2013
- Non-recurring benefit from state tax law changes was $1.7 million or $0.04 per diluted share in 2013
- Income from continuing operations was $9.0 million or $0.22 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $12.4 million or $0.30 per diluted share in 2013
- Income from discontinued operations was $6.0 million (associated income taxes on recovery settlement were $2.5 million) in 2014 compared to a loss of $68,000 in 2013
- Net income was $15.0 million or $0.36 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $12.3 million or $0.30 per diluted share in 2013
- Non-GAAP net income was $11.5 million or $0.28 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $10.7 million or $0.26 per diluted share in 2013
- Total revenues were $400.3 million in 2014 compared to $398.5 million in 2013
- Sizable reduction in 2014 interest expense from 2013 debt refinancing transactions and ongoing debt repayment
- In 2014 (after tax items):
- Non-recurring insurance recovery gain, net of accelerated depreciation on damaged assets of $380,000 or $0.01 per diluted share
- Accelerated depreciation on retired assets of $712,000 or $0.02 per diluted share
- Gain from involuntary property conversion of $620,000 or $0.02 per diluted share
- Decrease in accrued interest and penalties on estimated income taxes of $397,000 or $0.01 per diluted share
- In 2013 (after tax items):
- Goodwill impairment charge of $86.7 million or $2.09 per diluted share
- Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing of $11.6 million or $0.28 per diluted share
- Non-recurring benefits from state income tax restructuring and tax law changes of $5.7 million or $0.14 per diluted share
- Income from continuing operations was $38.2 million or $0.92 per diluted share in 2014 compared to a loss of $56.8 million or $1.37 per diluted share in 2013
- Income from discontinued operations was $5.9 million (associated income taxes on recovery settlement were $2.5 million) in 2014 compared to a loss of $130,000 in 2013
- Net income was $44.1 million or $1.06 per diluted share in 2014 compared to a loss of $56.9 million or $1.37 per diluted share in 2013
- Non-GAAP net income was $39.9 million or $0.96 per diluted share in 2014 compared to $35.8 million or $0.86 per diluted share in 2013
Non-GAAP Financial Information and Reconciliation
Income from continuing operations, and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations, as adjusted and set forth below are non-GAAP (other than generally accepted accounting principles) financial measures presented as supplemental disclosures to their individual corresponding GAAP basis amounts. The following schedule reconciles those non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable information presented using GAAP, all net of taxes. Management believes such non-GAAP information is useful and meaningful to investors and helps in understanding, using and comparing the Company’s operating results separate from the non-recurring and other non-GAAP items described below.
Management uses the non-GAAP information to assess the Company’s operations for the periods presented, analyze performance trends and make decisions regarding future operations because it believes this separate information better reflects ongoing operating results. This non-GAAP financial information is not intended to be considered independent of or a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. This non-GAAP financial information may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other entities and should not be considered as alternatives to net income or loss or diluted earnings or loss per share, or income or loss or diluted earnings or loss per share from continuing operations, determined in accordance with GAAP. Individual quarterly per share amounts may not be additive due to rounding. Amounts below are in thousands except per share amounts.
|Three Months Ended
|Nine Months Ended
|(in thousands, except per share amounts)|
|Consolidated net income (loss) using GAAP||$||14,995||$||12,294||$||44,061||$||(56,885||)|
|(Income) loss from discontinued operations, net of associated income taxes on recovery settlement||(3,509||)||68||(3,441||)||130|
|Non-recurring insurance recovery gain, net of accelerated depreciation on damaged assets||--||--||(380||)||--|
|Accelerated depreciation on retired assets||--||--||712||--|
|Gain from involuntary property conversion||--||--||(620||)||--|
|Impairment of goodwill||--||--||--||86,696|
|Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing||--||--||--||11,619|
|Decrease in accrued interest and penalties on estimated income tax liabilities, and non-recurring benefits of state income tax restructuring and tax law changes||--||(1,664||)||(397||)||(5,720||)|
|Non-GAAP consolidated net income from continuing operations||$||11,486||$||10,698||$||39,935||$||35,840|
|Consolidated diluted earnings (loss) per share using GAAP||$||0.36||$||0.30||$||1.06||$||(1.37||)|
|(Income) loss from discontinued operations, net of associated income taxes on recovery settlement||(0.08||)||0.00||(0.08||)||0.00|
|Non-recurring insurance recovery gain, net of accelerated depreciation on damaged assets||--||--||(0.01||)||--|
|Accelerated depreciation on retired assets||--||--||0.02||--|
|Gain from involuntary property conversion||--||--||(0.02||)||--|
|Impairment of goodwill||--||--||--||2.09|
|Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing||--||--||--||0.28|
|Decrease in accrued interest and penalties on estimated income tax liabilities, and non-recurring benefits of state income tax restructuring and tax law changes||--||(0.04||)||(0.01||)||(0.14||)|
|Non-GAAP consolidated diluted earnings per share from continuing operations||$||0.28||$||0.26||$||0.96||$||0.86|
Significant 2014 Third Quarter Racing Events
- Atlanta Motor Speedway – Labor Day weekend NASCAR Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup and Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed the Children Nationwide Series racing events
- Bristol Motor Speedway – NASCAR IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup, Food City 300 Nationwide and UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP Camping World Truck Series racing events
- zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals racing event
- Kentucky Speedway – NASCAR VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Nationwide and ZLOOP 150 Automobile Racing Club of America Series racing events
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway – NASCAR Rhino Linings 350 Camping World Truck Series racing event
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway – NASCAR Camping World RV Sales 301 Sprint Cup, SYLVANIA 300 Sprint Cup, Sta-Green 200 Nationwide and UNOH 175 Camping World Truck Series racing events
- Sonoma Raceway – NHRA Sonoma Nationals and GoPro Grand Prix of SonomaIndyCar Series racing events
- Texas Motor Speedway – Red Bull Air Race World Championship event
2014 Earnings Guidance
The Company reaffirmed that third quarter 2014 results are consistent with its previous full year 2014 earnings guidance of $0.90-$1.10 per diluted share from continuing operations, excluding non-recurring and other special items. The range of earnings guidance reflects the continuing negative impact of uncertain economic conditions, among other factors. Higher fuel, health-care and food costs and continued underemployment could significantly impact our future results.
Dividends and Stock Repurchase Program
During the nine months ended September 30, 2014, the Company declared and paid cash dividends of $0.15 per share of common stock each quarter for a combined aggregate of approximately $18.7 million. On October 16, 2014, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share of common stock, aggregating approximately $6.2 million, payable on December 5, 2014 to shareholders of record as of November 14, 2014. The Board of Directors plans to continue to evaluate cash dividends on a quarterly basis in the future.
During the nine months ended September 30, 2014, the Company repurchased 113,000 shares of common stock for approximately $2.1 million under this program. As of September 30, 2014, the Company has repurchased 3,995,000 shares since adoption of the program in April 2005, and the total number of shares available for future repurchase as currently authorized is 1,005,000.
“These third quarter results are within our expectations and reflect continuing increases in track rentals, strong profitability from certain non-motorsports events and activities, and higher luxury suite revenues on a year-over-year comparable event basis,” stated Marcus G. Smith, Chief Operating Officer and President of Speedway Motorsports. “We believe corporate spending trends are stabilizing, with increasing interest in our promotional activities and facilities. Most of our NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series event sponsorships for 2015, and many for racing seasons beyond 2015, are already sold. While the economy finally appears to be improving, certain markets are recovering slower than expected. We strongly believe NASCAR’s focus on enhancing on-track racing competition and fan appeal is continuing to improve our sport’s premier racing product and refine our fan’s entertainment experience.
“As throughout our history, SMI’s business model is centered on providing our fans with an entertainment experience and value second to none in motorsports. SMI’s priorities are focused on unique pre-race and contemporary interactive digital entertainment and customer service initiatives, particularly targeted to families, the younger generation and first-time fans. We strongly believe our efforts, coupled with those of NASCAR and NBC Sports Group and FOX Sports Media Group media powerhouses under the new broadcasting contracts, provide us and our NASCAR entertainment industry with superior long-term marketing and growth opportunities.”
O. Bruton Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Speedway Motorsports stated, “Our growing financial strength is well positioning SMI for renewed long-term growth. We have reduced long-term debt by over $230 million since early 2011, and plan to continue ongoing debt reduction and constrained capital spending. We believe attendance and other event related revenue trends are improving as the economic recovery expands. Our core fans have been particularly hard hit, and we are continuing with many reduced prices to help offset these tough times. And at the same time, we are offering more innovative pre-race entertainment and constantly improving our facilities for our fans’ enjoyment. SMI’s substantial past investment in modern facilities is allowing us to focus capital spending on fan generating and customer service initiatives without straining our financial resources. Modern improvements like the two largest video boards in motorsports at our Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedways, exemplifies SMI’s long history of industry firsts and arguably the most modern, finest racing facilities collectively in motorsports.
“SMI’s future is brighter than it has been in years. Our financial strength is improving, which is helped by the substantial multi-year contracted revenue streams from the NASCAR broadcasting agreements through 2024 and expanding demand for additional uses of our modern venues in premium markets. And there are NASCAR’s ongoing improvements to on-track racing competition for increasing fan appeal, the many sizeable and largely untapped demographics in motorsports, the long-term marketing initiatives of SMI, NASCAR and the media powerhouses, and most importantly an improving economy. These are all converging factors that provide SMI and our sport with tremendous prospects for renewed growth and profitability.”
Speedway Motorsports is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the following premier facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. The Company provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiaries; manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars and parts through its US Legend Cars International subsidiary; and produces and broadcasts syndicated motorsports programming to radio stations nationwide through its Performance Racing Network subsidiary. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, particularly statements with regard to our future operations and financial results. There are many factors that affect future events and trends of our business including, but not limited to, economic factors, weather, the success of NASCAR and others as sanctioning bodies, capital projects and expansion, financing needs, income taxes and a host of other factors both within and outside of management control. These factors and other factors, including those contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from management's views and expectations. Inclusion of any information or statement in this news release does not necessarily imply that such information or statement is material. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly revised or updated forward-looking information, and such information included in this news release is based on information currently available and may not be reliable after this date.
Note: Speedway Motorsports will host a conference call and webcast today at 10:00 AM (ET) open to the public. To participate in the conference call, you may dial 877-369-6589 (US / Canada / toll-free) or 408-337-0122 (international). The reference number is 24238527. A webcast of the call can be accessed at the Company's website at www.speedwaymotorsports.com under “Event Calendar”. To listen to a playback of the call, you may dial 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406 beginning at 1:00 PM (ET) October 29th through 11:59 PM (ET) November 12th. The reference number is 24238527. Participating in the call will be Marcus G. Smith, Chief Operating Officer and President, and William R. Brooks, Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.
|Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Selected Financial Data - Unaudited
For The Three and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2014 and 2013
(In thousands except per share amounts)
|Three Months Ended||Nine Months Ended|
|STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA||9/30/2014||9/30/2013||9/30/2014||9/30/2013|
|Event related revenue||39,186||37,715||116,158||114,999|
|NASCAR broadcasting revenue||63,068||60,441||178,814||171,592|
|Other operating revenue||6,672||6,408||22,038||23,008|
|Expenses and Other:|
|Direct expense of events||33,706||34,162||83,398||83,110|
|NASCAR purse and sanction fees||39,400||37,958||108,576||105,676|
|Other direct operating expense||4,127||4,080||14,006||14,347|
|General and administrative||25,414||23,955||74,065||69,954|
|Depreciation and amortization||13,540||13,913||42,451||41,476|
|Interest expense, net||5,358||5,950||16,285||26,101|
|Impairment of goodwill||-||-||-||89,037|
|Loss on early debt redemption and refinancing||-||-||-||18,467|
|Other (income) expense, net||(61||)||(37||)||(2,487||)||206|
|Total Expenses and Other||121,484||119,981||336,294||448,374|
|Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Before Income Taxes||18,353||17,519||63,962||(49,889||)|
|Income Tax Provision||(9,336||)||(5,157||)||(25,811||)||(6,866||)|
|Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations||9,017||12,362||38,151||(56,755||)|
|Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operation||5,978||(68||)||5,910||(130||)|
|Net Income (Loss)||$14,995||$12,294||$44,061||($56,885||)|
|Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share:|
|Net Income (Loss)||$0.36||$0.30||$1.06||($1.37||)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding||41,372||41,395||41,396||41,416|
|Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share:|
|Net Income (Loss)||$0.36||$0.30||$1.06||($1.37||)|
|Weighted average shares outstanding||41,388||41,413||41,416||41,431|
|Major NASCAR-sanctioned Events Held During Period||8||8||20||20|
|Certain Race Schedule Changes:|
|• New Hampshire Motor Speedway held one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013|
|• Texas Motor Speedway held one Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in the third quarter 2014 that was not held in 2013|
• Poor weather resulted in delays in starting and completing one NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at Bristol Motor Speedway in the first quarter 2014, and postponing and rescheduling one NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at Texas Motor Speedway in the second quarter 2014
|BALANCE SHEET DATA||9/30/2014||12/31/2013|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$104,083||$97,343|
|Total current assets||179,104||202,208|
|Property and equipment, net||1,084,405||1,105,177|
|Goodwill and other intangible assets, net||444,621||444,635|
|Deferred race event and other income, net||44,480||57,888|
|Total current liabilities||109,673||110,954|
|Credit facility borrowings (all term loan)||150,000||210,000|
|Total long-term debt||405,368||466,989|
|Total stockholders' equity||850,815||825,990|
Speedway Motorsports Inc.
OneMain Financial announced today that it will be the primary sponsor of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang driven by Elliott Sadler in the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS). This sponsorship reunites the two organizations as OneMain Financial (previously known as CitiFinancial) sponsored Roush Fenway entries in the NASCAR Nationwide Series from 2008 to 2010.
"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Elliott Sadler in the NASCAR Xfinity Series," said Mary McDowell, President and CEO of OneMain Financial. "Both on and off the track, the OneMain Racing program helps us build connections with our customers, employees and communities. The teamwork displayed by our race team mirrors the commitment our employees have to each other and to building personal loan solutions for each customer's unique needs. We are especially excited to field the Roush Fenway 'OneMain Financial 1' Ford to represent our brand this year."
The 2015 season will mark OneMain Financial's 12th season in NASCAR, and the company's return to a full-season sponsorship, serving as primary sponsor for all 33 races for the No. 1 Ford Mustang in the NXS.
Sadler, a NASCAR veteran, will continue his relationship with OneMain Financial as he competes for a championship in the 2015 season. Sadler has 260 Nationwide Series starts to his credit, earning 10 wins, 16 pole awards, 61 top-five and 128 top-10 finishes. During the previous three full seasons, Sadler finished fourth in 2013, and second in 2012 and 2011. He was also voted the 2011 Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver. In 2010, Sadler became the 21st driver to win a race in each of NASCAR's national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series).
"It is an honor to remain with OneMain Financial next year," said Sadler. "Their commitment to teamwork and excellence carries throughout the organization and extends to the racing program. I'm thrilled for the opportunity to race under the OneMain Financial banner and team up with Roush Fenway Racing to compete for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2015."
"It's great to have OneMain Financial back on board," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "They are a first-class organization from top to bottom, a leader in their field and one of the most respected organizations in their industry. We enjoyed a great partnership in the past, and we look forward to reigniting that relationship moving forward next season.
"We are also very excited about what Elliott Sadler brings to our driver lineup," added Newmark. "He is a seasoned veteran and a winner on the track. He brings a reputation as a fierce competitor and I know that our entire organization, and particularly his Roush Fenway teammates in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed, will benefit from his experience next season."
One Main Racing PR
Saturday's weather forecast current sits at a 50% chance of rain. Track management will make a call by Friday afternoon on if the race will be held on Saturday, or if the race will be held Sunday, instead. In the event the race is held Sunday, practice will be on an abbreviated schedule prior to the green flag.
This weekend's race will feature a 1.5 hour (or 150 lap, whichever comes first) endure race, as well as a 75 lap Limited Late Model event, as well as UCARs, Legends and Bandoleros. The green flag is set to fly at 3:00 PM Saturday, with Trunk or Treating and a Halloween Costume Contest at 1:00 PM. Ticket information, as well as a full schedule for the Halloween Spooktacular can be found at www.snmpark.com.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials will honor the champions of the Granite State Legends' Sign Works Oval Series and Moat Mountain Road Course Series, the Crown Trophy Bandolero Series, and the Loudon Road Race Series at the season-ending awards banquet on Saturday. The ceremony will be held at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, N.H. on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. Prizes include 120 trophies and more than $18,000 in payouts to overall series and class champions.
Once again, it will be Shaun Buffington, Casey Call and Rick Doucette collecting the biggest hardware. Buffington (Plainville, Conn.) finished atop the Legends oval and road course point standings, Call (Pembroke, N.H.) won the Bandolero title by only 10 points, and Doucette (Sandown, N.H.) was the LRRS overall champion for the fifth straight season.
"It's truly an honor to host some of the best regional racing in New England right here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "This was a terrific, hard-fought season throughout all of these series. I wish all of our champions a hearty congratulations, as well as a tip of my hat to all of the competitors that made this one of the best seasons to date."
Buff to beat
Buffington won his second straight Moat Mountain Road Course championship, beating Taylor Martin of Windham, N.H., by 122 points. Buffington also won the Sign Works Oval Series title for the second straight year, beating teammate Tom Gray by 33 points.
"We really focused hard over the winter to improve our engines and continue to raise the bar for what we want to do each weekend," said Buffington, who won last year's championship in spite of four blown engines. "The competition just keeps getting better. Every year Tom and Taylor are catching up to my lap times. This division is only going to keep improving as we move forward - and I want that. I want that competitive balance."
Buffington won 23 total races and finished second in the three he didn't win during 26 starts this season. The shining moment for Buffington – other than the overall championship – was during a weekend in August during which he won both road course races and an oval race in three different cars.
"We added a second car because of how hard we work the cars on the road course," said Buffington. "That was a big weekend for us. I was really proud of the fact that we were able to win with all three cars."
Mike Alton (Nashua, N.H.), Tom Gray (Baltic, Conn.) and Jordan O'Brien (Yarmouth, Maine) round out the top-five in the road course standings, while Martin, Bob Weymouth (Topsham, Maine) and Joseph Wisialko (Westwood, Mass.) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively in the oval standings.
O'Brien was named Legend Car Rookie of the Year.
Calling his shot
The Crown Trophy Bandolero Series title went to 11-year-old Casey Call. It was easier said than done for Call, who trailed A.J. Eastman by six points with five races remaining on the schedule. But a stretch of four straight wins pushed Call past Eastman and to his second consecutive title.
"We're good friends off the track, but on the track we both have that fire. We want to beat each other," said Call of his rivalry with Eastman. "I kind of felt like I had a target on my back after last year, and A.J. was right there on my tail all season. He really pushed me to be my best."
Eastman (Fishers Island, N.Y.), Jacob Perry (Pawcatuck, Conn.), Robby Gordon Douglas (Derry, N.H.) and Matthew Addona (Branchville, N.J.) round out the top five in the standings.
Call finished the season with five wins and a total of 10 podium finishes in 12 races.
"I'd say last year's was really great because it was the first in the history of the track," said Call, referencing the first season of Bandolero racing at NHMS. "This year was pretty sweet, too, because we had such a slow start to the season. But we kept on getting better and better. So to win another championship is awesome. I can't wait to get back at it again next year."
Rookie of the Year honors went to Lukas Doucette (Sandown, N.H.) and Jake Matheson (Hillsboro, N.H.).
Make it five for Doucette
From April to October, the Loudon Road Race Series descends onto the Magic Mile, and once again, when it was all said and done, Rick Doucette was standing on top of the mountain. Doucette won five expert class titles this season and his fifth straight overall championship.
Scott Greenwood and Seth Hahn round out the top-three for the season.
"It's never easy and it's definitely the hardest one that I've won," said Doucette. "It's getting harder and harder to do every year, but they're all special. As much as it changes, it stays the same - I can't say enough about the competition we face each week."
Doucette will take home hardware on Saturday night from the Formula 40 Lights, GTL, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Supersport and Unlimited Grand Prix. But of course, it's the one that got away that will eat at him the most this offseason.
"I have to give Scotty Mullin a lot of credit for staying focused and taking that championship," said Doucette of his second-place finish in the Thurnderbike class. "I hate to lose, but at the end of the day those battles on the track are what we race for."
Scott Greenwood of Dunbarton, N.H., defended his Dash for Cash/Middleweight Grand Prix championship trophy. Greenwood also won titles in the GTU, Middleweight Supersport, and Unlimited Supersport classes.
Joining Doucette and Greenwood with expert class championships this season is Jake Vader (Franklin, N.H.), who won the 125 Grand Prix. Roger Ealy Jr. (Rochester, N.H.) won the Formula 300 class, Dennis Levesque (Derry, N.H.) nabbed the Formula 40 and Super Twins class titles, and Douglas Fogg (Merrimac, Mass.) finished atop the standings in the Formula 50 Lights.
The GTO hardware will go to Wojciech Kasperuk (Seymour, Conn.), while Eric Wood (Ashburnham, Mass.) will take home trophies from wins in the Heavyweight Superbike, Middleweight Superbike, and Unlimited Superbike classes.
The Heavyweight Supersport title will go to Joel Allen (Barrington, N.H.), Scott Mullin (Amherst, N.H.) added a win in the Lightweight Grand Prix to go with his Thunderbike title, and Trevor Chiappisi (Deerfield, N.H.) will ride home with Motard and Lightweight Sportsman trophies.
The P-89 Lights and Ultralight Superbike titles will go to John Linn (Bristol, Vt.), while the Super Singles will go to Eric Block (Middlefield, Conn.).
Savvas Kosmidis of Worcester, Mass. (originally from Serres, Greece) won the overall Loudon Road Race Series Amateur Achievement award along with amateur class championships in the Lightweight Grand Prix, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Supersport, and Thunderbike.
Also winning amateur class championships were Jonathan Leung of Brighton, Mass. (125 Grand Prix), Roger Ealy Sr. of New Durham, N.H. (Formula 300), Clayson Baker of Florence, Mass. (Formula 40), Rick Kaeser of New Boston, N.H. (Formula 40 Lights, Formula 50 Lights, GTL), Chris Woodman of Strafford, N.H. (GTO, Unlimited Supersport), Jack Mach of Milford, Conn. (GTU), Orlando Gonzalez of North Bergen, N.J. (Heavyweight Superbike), Walter French Jr. of North Smithfield, R.I. (Heavyweight Supersport, Middleweight Grand Prix), Roland Arsenault of Rochester, N.H. (Lightweight Sportsman, Ultralight Superbike), Marcelo Lautert of Randolph, Mass. (Middleweight Superbike, Middleweight Supersport), Chris Dove of Waltham, Mass. (Motard, Super Singles), Christopher Bouchard of Concord, N.H. (Super Twins), Dylan Moore of Lakeville, Mass. (Unlimited Grand Prix), and Michael Bettencourt of Medford, Mass. (Unlimited Superbike).
The Granite State Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Loudon Road Race Series will bring back the excitement in 2015 for several action-packed weekends. For more information fans are encouraged to visit www.nhms.com.
Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton found himself Thursdaymorning surrounded by more than 500 fellow defending champions.
Crafton made a special visit to Roanoke Elementary to present the Rangers with their 2013-14 Speeding To Read replicachampionship trophy as well as celebrate the Northwest ISD school being the Turn 1 leaders in this year's competition with six other elementary schools representing four districts.
Crafton (No. 88 Goof Off/Menards Toyota) can definitely relate to the past and recent success of Roanoke Elementary. He won his first championship last year and heads into Friday night's WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas Motor Speedway with the points lead and eyeing history as the first truck series driver to win back-to-back titles. Roanoke is seeking to do the same and he shared a key for that to happen with the student body of more than 500 kindergarten through fifth graders during the assembly in the school gymnasium.
"Being determined is huge for sure," Crafton said. "If they can be determined, they can do whatever you want to do. Hopefully I can be determined enough and have enough luck to be able to win my championship and that's what they've done. They are looking to go back to back too."
Roanoke Elementary took the Turn 1 lead in Speeding To Read with 96.5 percent of their student body meeting or exceeding their reading goals up to this stage of the school year-long competition. The Rangers are competing against Nance and J.C. Thompson of Northwest ISD; E.P. Rayzor of Denton ISD; Eagle Mountain of Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD; and Carroll Peak and Riverside Applied Learning Center of the Fort Worth ISD.
The top readers from each grade level - kindergartener Micah Key (140 books), first-grader Zoe Tucker (269), second-grader Hannah Um (316), third-grader Ian Puckett (29 chapter books), fourth-grader Ella Von Derau (32 chapter) and fifth-grader Andrea San Luis (65 chapter) - were recognized and teamed with Crafton in a $100,00 Pyramid book character competition during the assembly. Crafton rewarded the group with signed TMS caps.
"It was very cool to be around them and see their energy they had and to see all their awards and see what they have done," Crafton said. "That was really awesome to see all the awards. Especially, to be around the kids now that I have a daughter (Elladee) to look at what she is going to do it's going to be very, very cool road ahead for me."
Crafton and the Camping World Truck Series are on track today at Texas Motor Speedway for a pair of practices, the first at 1 p.m. CT and the second at 2:30 p.m. Pinnacle Propane Qualifying Days for the series begins at 2:10 p.m. Friday and is followed by the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 (147 laps/220.5 miles) at 7:30 p.m.
NEMCO Motorsports announced today plans to expand their late model program to include a second driver who will compete in a full-time Pro and Super Late Model Series effort in 2015.
19-year old Dominique Van Wieringen, a native of Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, has been named as driver and will become an active figure at the race shop as the team prepares for her first outing at the Snow Flake Derby in Pensacola, Fla. in December, NEMCO Motorsports president Joe Nemechek today confirmed.
"We feel like we have some of the best late model equipment out there and are ready to contend for the win every time we hit the track," said Nemechek. "We've seen Dominique race at several events and feel like she'll be a great fit to expand our program. Being able to start at this level and help young drivers grow is just going to enhance our efforts in the truck series and beyond."
NEMCO Motorsports, which is operated by Nemechek and his family, has been active in NASCAR for nearly 25 years and boasts 25 wins on the NASCAR circuit. Today, father Joe and son, John Hunter, represent the team on the track racing in all three of NASCAR's national series and have shared driving duties in the No. 8 Toyota Tundra this season. Plans for 2015 include John Hunter, who has four late model wins this season to his credit, continuing to run in select late model events as he furthers his progression in the NASCAR ranks.
"We started NEMCO Motorsports in the late 1980's and have been fortunate to grow into one of NASCAR's premier teams over the years," Nemechek continued. "We couldn't be more excited to welcome Dominique aboard and we look forward to rounding out our efforts to include a strong showing at the grass roots level as well. "
Van Wieringen, who resides in Charlotte, NC, is currently working toward a Mechanical Engineering degree at University of North Carolina at Charlotte as a sophomore. She has been a mainstay on the JEGS/CRA circuit and a standout at Springport (MI) Speedway where she claimed the 2012 Outlaw Super Late Model Championship.
"When I've raced against the NEMCO Motorsports team in the past, it's been clear that they had a system going that was better than most and that this was a team of driven racers that wanted to win," said Van Wieringen. "This group strives to be the best of the best and that is what I aspire for as well. I'm thankful for the opportunity and look forward to moving my racing career another step forward and bringing the continued knowledge I get from my schooling at UNCC. I'm confident in my abilities as a driver and feel like this will be a win-win. I look forward to the upcoming year and to growing within the NEMCO Motorsports family."
Van Wieringen's other accomplishments include being the first woman to lead a lap and win in the JEGS/CRA All Stars Series, the first rookie to win a JEGS/CRA All Starts Series points race, 2011 Spartan (MI) Speedway Outlaw Super Late Model Rookie of the Year, 2008 WKA Regional Karting Series Junior Driver of the Year and 2007 ELKT Rotax Junior Series Karting Champion.
NEMCO Motorsports will field the No. 5 late model for Van Wieringen and will make an announcement later next month regarding sponsorship for their late model program. NEMCO Motorsports' 2015 plans will continue to include running a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and select events in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
NEMCO Motorsports PR
If you ever meet Kyle Martel you will learn quickly he enjoys two things the most – racing and warm weather. In two weeks Kyle and Bill Martel Racing (BMR) will head south to the sunshine state and try to end the season on a bright spot – over the biggest weekend in NASCAR.
BMR has committed to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) “Ford ECOBOOST 200” to be held at Homestead / Miami Speedway on Friday, November 14th at 8:00 p.m. Martel will drive the #59 Chevrolet Silverado in the season grand finale - with Hanover Cold Storage and Finish Line Transportation listed as associate sponsors.
“A win or strong finish at Homestead is the perfect way to end the season and begin building for 2015. Being on the biggest stage in NASCAR during championship weekend is also very exciting -- and I’m honored and thankful to be a part of it.” commented NASCAR professional Kyle Martel.
“It’s a pretty big deal for our mostly self-funded team to pack up the hauler and head twelve-hundred miles south - but if you want to play in this sport, maintain relationships with current sponsors and attract new sponsors -- you have to show up and compete.” commented Rob Ziemba, Public Relations Manager for BMR.
Kyle Martel PR
After two off weeks, the Nationwide Series returns to action in Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the Flex Seal Chevrolet in the race, a 200-lapper around the 1.5-mile TMS course.
Earnhardt is three races from completing his first full season in the series. He’s 18th in driver points entering Saturday’s event.
“It’s been a pretty good year,” Earnhardt said. “We’ve had some good runs and some races where we should have gotten better finishes. But I’m looking forward to closing out the year with three big weeks.”
After Texas, the series moves on to Phoenix before ending the season at Homestead-Miami in south Florida.
Practice is scheduled at TMS at noon and 4:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying is set for 12:15 p.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3:30.
JD Motorsports PR