Steven B. Wilson
Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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Sport Clips Haircuts unveiled today the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry and the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry Denny Hamlin will pilot for the September 5 and 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Darlington Raceway. As part of Darlington’s throwback weekend to celebrate the 1970’s, the No. 11 Sport Clips Camry in the Cup Series will run a retro scheme inspired by Cale Yarborough and the No. 20 Sport Clips Camry in the XFINITY Series will run a special scheme during the Sport Clips sponsored race.

This will not be the first time Hamlin has driven a Camry inspired by Yarborough at Darlington. For the 2012 Bojangles’ Southern 500, Hamlin donned a retro firesuit and a retro paint scheme to honor Yarborough’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Of all drivers who have won in the No. 11 car, Yarborough leads the list with 55 total wins.

In addition to Hamlin piloting the throwback schemes, Sport Clips will continue their partnership with Darlington Raceway to raise awareness and funds for their ‘Help A Hero’ program. In its fourth year to partner with Darlington Raceway, the national haircut franchise will use the race to increase awareness and support for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program which provides scholarships to active-duty military and veterans who are pursuing a college degree or vocational certification. To date, Sport Clips and the VFW have granted more than $1.2 Million in scholarships since beginning the program in 2013.

“Among the races in which Sport Clips participates, the Help A Hero 200 has a special place in our hearts. We are so glad to have the opportunity to increase awareness of the VFW’s programs and our Sport Clips-funded scholarship program for veterans, while honoring our nation’s heroes throughout the day on September 5,” said Sport Clips CEO and Founder Gordon Logan, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “It’ll be a fun weekend for race fans, but a meaningful one, too.”

New this year, active duty and retired military, and veterans can purchase special 50 percent off tickets to the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200. Darlington Raceway will also donate $2 for every ticket sold to support The VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program. To purchase, visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/HelpAHero

Darlington Raceway PR
Last week at Eldora Speedway, Korbin Forrister created quite a firestorm in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage when he decaled his unsponsored Chevy Silverado with his own “Trump for President” paint scheme.

The frenzy surrounding the SS Green Light Racing Team No. 08 resulted in nearly 3.9 millions hits on social media sites during the last week. Having no sponsor again this week, Forrister will run an improved “Trump for President” scheme sporting American flags and a bald eagle in the Pocono Mountains 150 Saturday at the Pocono Raceway.

“We didn’t have quite the finish we had hoped for last week, but we certainly left an impression on the race,” stated Forrister. “I support Donald Trump and what he is trying to do, America needs it. A large majority of the response we received was positive, there was some negativity, but we expected that. It’s my decision and we’re going to do it again this week.”

“I believe that Trump speaks the truth and it’s my right to show my support for his campaign. He’s kind of going at it on his own and that’s the way I approach a lot of things so we are going to do it again at Pocono, only better with some American flags along with the symbol of our great country, a bald eagle.”

Pocono Raceway is unique on the NASCAR circuit as it’s the only track with three unique corners, which has earned the nickname of the Tricky Triangle. “Pocono is a one-of-a-kind track with the corners all being different so it’s really a hard track to set-up for; you get the truck good for one corner and then you struggle in the other two, so we’ll have to take advantage of the practice time we have and find the best combination we can,” Forrister added. “It’s a short race so we won’t have a lot of chances to make adjustments once the green flag falls.”

“I just want to thank everyone for all the support and I’m looking forward to having a solid finish this week.

SS Green Light Racing PR
After a strong run earlier in the season at Atlanta, Pennsylvania native Garrett Smithley returns to  the #63 SegPay Chevy Silverado for MB Motorsports in the Pocono Mountains 150.

Smithley has two previous starts in the ARCA Series at the “Tricky Triangle”.  "It's great to finally go back to a track I have some prior experience at,” he says.  “I am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the No. 63 SegPay Chevrolet Silverado for MB Motorsports. My NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with the team was a great success, and we plan on picking up where we left off.”

“At Atlanta, Garrett had very limited time in the truck prior to the start of the race,” notes team owner Mike Mittler, “and he still came home with a solid finish for the team.  Now, with one race under our belts, the crew has a better idea of what kind of truck Garrett likes.  And, since he has the experience of having run two ARCA races at Pocono, we are expecting another solid run from Garrett.”

Coming off a second place finish at Eldora, crew chief Trip Bruce is very excited about heading to Pocono Raceway. “Pocono the track is a very challenging one to say the least. The track is fast and long, which forces you to strike a balance between downforce and drag. There are three distinctly different corners and sometimes giving up a little in the tight first corner can help dial in the other faster corners. We have an aggressive unload set-up that could prove to be good for speed as long as the drivability is there and the tunnel turn is now as smooth as it has been said to be.”

MB Motorsports PR
“We’ve spoken with Rob Kauffman and understand he has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Rob has not disclosed the plans for Michael Waltrip Racing past the 2015 racing season. Toyota and TRD remain focused on winning races and championships with our team partners this year.”

~Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.

Statement From Michael Waltrip

Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Thursday, 30 July 2015 19:35
"My focus is on 2015 and fulfilling the commitment we have made to our partners and Toyota which is placing our teams in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. There are a lot of details yet to be sorted regarding 2016. I will work closely with Rob Kauffman and our sponsors to formulate the best way forward."

MWR PR

Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today 17-year-old NASCAR Next alumnus Gray Gaulding will pilot the No. 54 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Toyota Tundra for three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events in 2015.

 

Gaulding's first race will be on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ont., Aug. 30, followed by New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Sept. 26 and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Oct. 31.

 

"I'm very excited to be a part of KBM," Gaulding said. "It's a dream as a driver because I remember growing up watching Kyle and how much I wanted to drive for him when he started his own team. I know his mentality is to go out every weekend and win races. It's a championship organization with great people and I know I'll be able to go to the race track and have an opportunity to win at each race.

 

"I can't thank Krispy Kreme and the over 40,000 world-wide team members enough for believing in me and taking a chance on a 17-year-old kid. Driving a KBM Toyota Tundra is my dream opportunity."

 

"Gray Gaulding is a tremendous driver and a wonderful person, and we're thrilled that KBM has given him this opportunity to drive one of their Toyota Tundras," said Tony Thompson, Krispy Kreme President and CEO. "We're very pleased with how Gray has represented our brand for the past three years, and we're excited to be along for the ride during this next phase of his career."

 

Gaulding, a native of Colonial Heights, Va., has made 10 starts in the NCWTS since 2014. His best finish of fourth came at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park last year. He has 38 starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East since 2013 with 11 top-five, 22 top-10 finishes and two poles. He also made five starts from 2013-2014 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with a victory at Phoenix International Raceway in 2013.

KBM PR

Returning for the third consecutive year, Jim Cornelison, the Chicago Blackhawks national anthem singer and better known as the “Golden Standard,” will perform “The Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, September 20.

Cornelison, who has belted out the anthem for the current Stanley Cup Champions on a full-time basis since 2007, is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University’s Masters of Music program has also performed at numerous Chicago Bears games and at Medinah Country Club for the 2012 Ryder Cup.

“We are thrilled to have Jim Cornelison as a part of the pre-race festivities to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway. “The patriotism and pageantry during a NASCAR weekend is unrivaled and to have the iconic voice of Mr. Cornelison perform the national anthem adds to the specialness of the weekend.”

Cornelison moved to Chicago in 1995 at the invitation of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, recognized globally for world-class artistic excellence, and after a successful stint, left to pursue his career as a professional opera singer. As a leading tenor, Cornelison’s talents took him around the world while performing for various opera companies in places such as London, Brussels, Bordeaux, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami and Hawaii.

Fans can enjoy the pageantry of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pre-race from the infield with the Fan Zone Pass. The Fan Zone Pit Pass brings race fans into the action, including access to the Infield Fan Zone for music and entertainment, pre-race Brett Eldredge concert access, NASCAR personality Q-and-A sessions, tech inspection viewing areas and an up-close look at driver introductions. On Sunday of the Sprint Cup series race, fans also have access onto pit road to view their favorite drivers and cars.

CLS PR

Windows 10 400 Honorary Guests and Special Events

Published in Speedway News
Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:29
Pocono Raceway and Microsoft announced today Jeremy Korst, General Manager of Windows Brand and Product Marketing, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Windows 10 400 at “The Tricky Triangle” on Sunday, August 2. Jason Campbell, Windows Group Product Marketing Manager will serve as the Honorary Starter. Pre-race activities, featuring a concert by Rebel Dawg Records recording artist, Eric Lee Beddingfield, will begin starting at 11 am. Additionally, local up-and-coming musician, Alyssa Golden, will perform the National Anthem. The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race is scheduled for 1:30 pm ET.

Pocono Raceway will be hosting several special events through the Windows 10 400 race weekend, including:

 

  • 50/50 Raffle to Benefit the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Pocono Raceway and the Mattioli Foundation are hosting this June race weekend’s 50/50 Raffle to benefit the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. In June, the overall weekend jackpot exceeded $45,000, with one fan taking home nearly $23,000. Fans should look out for 50/50 Raffle volunteers, who will be roaming the entire facility, wearing bright yellow shirts all weekend long.  One lucky fan will be announced before the end of Sunday’s race as the winner of the raffle. Fans will be supporting a great cause with the chance to go home with a big check.
  • Infield Block Party and Pocono Raceway Fireworks This Saturday – The public is invited to attend Pocono Raceway’s Infield Block Party and Fireworks show this Saturday night. For a $5 cash donation, per vehicle, to our local fire department, fans may enter the Gate 1 Tunnel starting at 5 pm ET on Saturday, June 6. Events include live music, the Barley Creek Brewing Company Wiffle Ball Field, great food, a bar for the adults, slot-car racing for the kids and, rumor has it, PBR is bringing their very own mechanical bull. For more information please visit www.poconoraceway.com/blockparty14
  • Jimmie Johnson Experience featuring NASA’s ‘Rockets 2 Racecars’ Program – Three-time Pocono winner Jimmie Johnson will visit for a kids-focused question-and-answer session, which also includes activities for kids presented by the NASA ‘Rockets 2 Racecars’ program, before Sunday’s race. Passes are available for $48 for a family four pack and $20 for individual passes. For more information, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/jj48. Note: Sunday Grandstand Gate Admission ticket also required for entry.
  • Halftime Party – The Pocono Raceway Halftime Party is back for the 2015 season. Fans, ages 21 and up, are invited to this event, located inside Chalet Village, with a Halftime Party Pass between laps 60-120 of Sunday’s NSCS race. This event will include bar games, big screen televisions to watch the race broadcast, Coors Light and food. The cost to attend the Halftime Party is $19. For more information, please visit www.poconoraceway.com/halftime. Note: Sunday Grandstand Gate Admission ticket also required for entry.
  • “Are You Smarter Than a Spotter” Contest – During FanVision’s “Spotter Appreciation Week,” Pocono Raceway is happy to present the first-ever, “Are you Smarter Than a Spotter Contest.” Some of the top NSCS spotters will go head-to-head against six lucky race fans in, what should be, a hilarious trivia contest. The event takes place at the Fan Fair Stage, located behind the Grandstand, starting at 10:00 am.
  • New Double-Sided Video Boards Debut – While attending the Windows 10 400 race weekend, be sure to tell us what you think about the brand-new, double-sided video boards located on both ends of pit road. Nearly 60% of the Pocono Raceway infield will now have a sightline to these video boards. Tag us with your comments and/or photos about the video boards on Twitter or Instagram, using @poconoraceway and don’t forget to include our official race weekend hashtags, #Windows10_400 or #WhatTurn4, with your posts!

Pocono Raceway PR
The Bobby Labonte Foundation and its founder, NASCAR Champion Bobby Labonte, announced today that Archdale Drug will continue its title sponsorship of one of the most popular cycling events in the Triad.  Archdale Drug is a founding partner of the "Tour de Reason" Bike Ride and has helped the cycling event earn over $60,000 for charities that benefit cycling safety and give back to the local Triad community. 

 

The event in 2015 will once again benefit Communities in Schools, Thomasville City and Randolph County Backpack Pals program, which provides nutritious meals for children who would not normally have food on the weekends.  The event will also benefit programs designed to further cycling safety including Bicycling in Greensboro through People for Bikes.

 

The Foundation is proud to announce the addition of Nathan's Famous and Novant Health as presenting sponsors.  Bank of North Carolina, Coca-Cola, Fleet Feet, Reese Explorer, Terry Labonte Chevrolet and Vie 13 are also additional supporters of the ride and its cause.

 

"We are very thankful to Archdale Drug and all our partners who continue to support the ride," said Labonte. "Our mission it to make a difference in the lives of children in our communities and to raise awareness of cycling safety.  We could not do it without the support of our partners.  We're looking forward to a fun and successful ride again to support some great causes."

 

As previously announced, professional racing cyclist and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lauren Tamayo has committed to be the first entry of the ride, which is scheduled for Saturday, August 29, and offers three different courses of 12-, 35- and 64-mile routes through scenic Davidson and Randolph Counties.

 

The ride will originate in downtown Thomasville, at the Clock Tower parking lot located at 32 East Main Street and will include group leaders to keep participants riding at pace (20-, 18- and 16-mile-per-hour groups).  In addition, SAG and lead vehicles will work with the local police and fire departments to ensure a professional and safe event. A light breakfast will be provided along with new and improved rest stops on the course. The ride will conclude with Nathan's Famous hot dogs and live music.

 

All pre-registered participants will receive a T-shirt and goody bag.  Also, participants who raise $300 for the foundation ride will receive an official Bobby Labonte jersey and bib shorts. 

Bobby Labonte Foundation PR

Chastain rolls on to Iowa

Published in Xfinity Series News
Thursday, 30 July 2015 14:26
Ross Chastain is practically a veteran at Iowa Speedway.

Despite his youth, the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller driver has raced five times at Iowa – four in the Camping World Truck Series and once in Xfinity. He also has a K&N Pro Series East start at the track.

Chastain returns to Iowa this week for Saturday’s U.S. Cellular Xfinity Series race.

He finished 32nd earlier this year at Iowa.

“I ready to try Iowa again,” Chastain said. “We didn’t really get a good shot at it earlier this year. I feel like the track owes me one, so we’ll be shooting for a solid finish this weekend.”

Chastain won the pole and finished second in a Truck event at Iowa in 2013.

Entering Saturday’s race, he is 15th in Xfinity points.

JD Motorsports PR