Steven B. Wilson

 

Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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Injury Sidelines Reid Wilson For Coastal Plains

Published in Racing News
Thursday, 18 September 2014 10:25

Reid Wilson Racing (RWR) announced today that it will be necessary to sit out this weekend’s X-1R Pro Cup Series event at Coastal Plains Speedway, because of injuries sustained at Southern National (N.C.) Motorsports Park earlier this month.

Contact between Reid Wilson and another competitor in the Gold Leaf 200, sent Wilson’s No. 66 Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits Chevrolet hard into the outside wall and a trip to a local hospital for medical attention.

Since returning to his home in Huntersville, N.C., Wilson has remained under care from his personal physician and a sports injury specialist, who suggested that he sit out this weekend’s race in order to make a speedy, full recovery.

“It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to contend for the championship, but we need to think safety first,” said Barry Wilson, Reid Wilson Racing team principal. “We had a well-positioned plan if Reid would have received clearance to compete this weekend. But, in the best interest of Reid’s healthy recovery, we will skip Coastal Plains and hope to be back for the second to last race.”

While the team is hopeful that they’ll return to contend for Wilson’s first career X-1R Pro Cup Series victory at Lonesome Pine next month, the Reid Wilson Racing team is extremely confident they’ll be able to compete with Wilson at the helm in the season-finale, The Bojangles’ 250 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, on October 18.

“It stinks, that’s putting it lightly,” said driver Reid Wilson. “I certainly don’t like being asked not to race, but I understand the reasoning. I hate that our championship hopes have all but evaporated, but we still have a couple opportunities to contend for wins, so we’ll put our focus on that and hope for the best.”

Wilson, who would have entered this weekend’s race tied for third in the championship standings, only 17 points out of first, added, “I want to thank my guys, my friends, family and most of all our sponsors for supporting us during this situation. No doubt I’m focused to getting back to 100 percent and putting our No. 66 Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits in victory lane. We have had so many opportunities this season, but each have slipped through our fingers.

“Getting myself healthy and to be able to compete at Hickory is my main focus right now. It’s an important race for us, because it’s in our sponsors’ backyard and we’ll have a lot of fan support at that race,” he concluded.

Further updates on Wilson’s medical clearance will be released as it becomes available.

Reid Wilson PR

HRE Visit Myrtle Beach.com 300 Race Preview

Published in Nationwide Series News
Thursday, 18 September 2014 08:57

Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) will have Ross Chastain behind the wheel of the No.80 Advics Toyota Camry this weekend for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway for the Visit Myrtle Beach.com 300. This will be Chastain`s fifth start in the Nationwide Series since teaming up with former IndyCar Series driver Shigeaki Hattori and his Nationwide / K&N East Series team.  Chastain has three prior starts to this weekend at Kentucky Speedway, all of which were in the Camping World Truck Series.

Kentucky has been a track where HRE has seen success in the past, winning a pole in the ARCA Series, with Sean Caisse in 2008 with current sponsor Advics, as well as one second place finish after leading 17 laps. 

On Saturday, September 20th, there will be a NASCAR Nationwide Series autograph session located at the Fan Midway between gates 17 & 18, come out to meet Ross Chastain, from 2:30 – 3:30 PM. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will race under the lights in prime time at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night. The race will air live on ESPNEWS at 7:30 PM. ET.

Hattori Racing Enterprises PR

 

It was a tall order but someone had to do it. And that someone was Sellersburg, Indiana's Will Kimmel who topped the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards speed charts Wednesday in open testing at Kentucky Speedway.

 

It was no small feat either as 25 drivers posted time and speed in preparation for Friday night's ZLOOP 150 at Kentucky, live on FOX Sports 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

 

Kimmel, in the No. 69 Kimmel Racing Ford, shot to the top of the board in the final moments of testing, very near the 5 o'clock bell. The third-generation ARCA racer circled the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 31.044 seconds, an average speed of 173.947 mph.

 

"It was about five minutes to go when we put down that lap," Kimmel said.

 

"It was a qualifying run. If we would have put new tires on it, I think we would have been even better...the scuffs we had on it had cooled.

 

"That part was good, but we were chasing it a little bit in our race runs. We tried something early on and then went back to where we were. I think we were fighting the old tires we had on it, so we weren't sure how fast it will be in race trim. We'll see where we stand when we come back for the race Friday."

 

Kimmel not only put down the fastest lap of the session, he was also arguably the busiest driver of the bunch, showing up on the board in three places - his own No. 69 Messinas-Circle Track Ford and in the Kimmel Racing No. 68 Gary Yeomans Ford team car that Michael Lira will drive Friday during the race. Kimmel also assisted Ken Schrader Racing with the team's No 52 Chevrolet.

 

"Matt (Tifft) couldn't make it so Donnie (Richeson/Ken Schrader Racing Crew Chief) came down and asked if I'd give it a few runs, so I squeezed in there...got it fairly close for them. I think it'll give Matt something to work with."

 

Tifft, who drives the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet when Schrader's not in it, could not attend the open test Wednesday because of school commitments. Tifft is in his first year at UNC Charlotte, and couldn't stay for Wednesday's test, which was originally scheduled the day before; however, wet track conditions from all night rains prevented any on-track racecar activity Tuesday.

 

Justin Boston was second quickest overall at 172.994 mph. Boston's already in the headlines this week, having announced that he'd also compete in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). ZLOOP, Boston's title sponsor for both his Venturini Motorsports Toyota and the JGR car, is also the title sponsor of Friday's ARCA Racing Series event.

 

"This is a big weekend for me and my sponsor ZLOOP," said Boston. "In addition to this being our (ZLOOP's) second year sponsoring the ZLOOP 150 (ARCA) race at Kentucky, we're also making our NASCAR Nationwide debut. Wow...so pumped for the weekend and excited for all our fans and supporters."

Boston is also scheduled to race for JGR in next weekend's Nationwide event at Dover Int'l Speedway.

Louisville, Kentucky native Ben Rhodes made his first-ever laps on a superspeedway in the Kentucky test for Turner Scott Motorsports, turning in the third fastest speed overall at 172.254 mph. Rhodes has already clinched the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship as well as the
Sunoco Rookie of the Year award. Rhodes will be making his superspeedway debut in Friday's ZLOOP 150.

 

Current ARCA Racing Series point leader Mason Mitchell was fourth quickest ahead of Monterrey, Mexico's Daniel Suarez in fifth. The ZLOOP 150 marks Suarez's debut with the ARCA Racing Series. JGR announced last week that the 22-year old Suarez would join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide (XFINITY) Series with ARRIS as the primary sponsor.

"I'm excited to race with Venturini Motorsports at Kentucky in the ARCA Series as I continue to prepare for next season and running full time with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series," said Suarez. "I'm looking forward to representing my new sponsor ARRIS and I'm thankful to ARRIS and everyone involved for giving me this opportunity as I make the next step in my career."

 

Kyle Weatherman, in a Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, was sixth fastest over Venturini Motorsports' Cody Coughlin in seventh.

 

"We had a good test session and I think we are in a good spot with our setup for this Friday," Coughlin said. "We picked up our speed throughout the day and were in the top-five most of the day...sometimes at the top of the chart. I'm looking forward to Friday night."    

 

Coughlin also took a quick liking to the 1.5-mile oval.  

   

"Kentucky Speedway is a pretty cool place. It has a unique character and pretty wild to drive around," Coughlin added. "It has some bumps around the track that could upset the nose of the car, but this will be a good learning experience for me and I hope to be a strong contender on Friday night."    

 

The 18-year-old from Delaware, Ohio is coming to Kentucky after recently recording a big Super Late Model win earlier this month at the renowned Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana.   

   

"It felt great to get into victory lane at Winchester Speedway," Coughlin continued. "Things are really coming along well with both our ARCA Racing Series and Super Late Model program. Our goal is to end our year on a high note and we are going in the right direction."

 

Josh Williams, Justin Allison and Kimmel (52 car) completed the top-10 respectively.

 

ARCA Racing PR

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards (ARCA) season will visit Kentucky Speedway Friday, September 19th for the second to last event of the 2014 season.

With plenty of pre-race headlines to note, Justin Boston will not only carry his sponsor colors for the ARCA title race sponsored ZLOOP 150 but will also be making his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in Saturday’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Boston will drive his familiar white ARCA No.25 ZLOOP backed car Friday night before fading to black under the lights the following day in his No.20 ZLOOP NNS Toyota Camry.

“This is a big weekend for me and my sponsor ZLOOP,” said Boston. “In addition to this being our (ZLOOP’s) second year sponsoring the ZLOOP 150 (ARCA) race at Kentucky we’re also making our NASCAR Nationwide debut. WOW, so pumped for the weekend and excited for all our fans and supporters.”

Announced yesterday, Boston will also race next weekend’s NNS event with JGR at Dover.

Boston also has realistic expectations on his opportunity to step up to NASCAR’s second-tier series. "Our goals are to compete and run all the laps in both of our Nationwide Series starts, plain and simple," he said. "As far as being anxious, it hasn't really hit me yet. If anything, knowing that I get to work with everyone on the No. 20 team is reassuring since they’re such a strong team and I'm excited to see what we can do together.”

The 25-year old Baltimore native is in his sophomore season with VMS in the ARCA Racing Series. Boston won Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 and has two victories this season to go along with (7) Top-5 and (11) top-10 finishes.

Brennan Poole will once again be subbing for driver John Wes Townley due to a scheduling conflict surrounding Friday’s ARCA Kentucky event and Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series New Hampshire event.

“I can’t thank Zaxby’s enough for the opportunities they’ve given me this year. I can’t wait to wheel it Friday night and hopefully bring home another strong finish for Venturini and Zaxby’s,” said Poole.

Friday’s ZLOOP 150 from Kentucky will mark the third time this season Poole will sub for Townley. During his time driving the No.15 Zaxby’s Toyota for Townley, Poole has earned a third place finish at Berlin Raceway and sixth place finish at Salem Speedway.

Townley who has been juggling a hectic schedule this year has split time behind the wheel between ARCA, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series. He has missed five ARCA races (August-Pocono, Berlin, Springfield, Salem and now Kentucky) due to injuries sustained following a mid-summer incident at Pocono and as of late, conflicting ARCA and NASCAR schedules. BJ McLoud was a late substitution for Townley at Pocono and Kevin Swindell filled in for Townley last month, winning at Springfield.

Last month in a highly publicized announcement, JGR revealed the 22-year old Daniel Suarez would join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide (XFINITY) Series with ARRIS as the primary sponsor. As part of that deal JGR has tapped VMS to field Suarez in Friday’s ZLOOP 150 as part of the process to prepare him for his next step in his career.

“I’m excited to race with Venturini Motorsports at Kentucky in the ARCA Series as I continue to prepare for next season and running full time with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series, said Suarez. “I’m looking forward to representing my new sponsor ARRIS and I’m thankful to ARRIS and everyone involved for giving me this opportunity as I make the next step in my career.”

Suarez will drive the No.66 VMS-ARRIS Toyota in his debut ARCA event.

A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Suarez is currently competing full time for Escuderia TELMEX in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, where he leads that series, and competes in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Rev Racing Team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Continuing with the theme, JGR development driver Cody Coughlin will be making his 10th start of the season with VMS this weekend driving his No.55 JEGS Toyota. Coughlin who’s starting to hit his stride as of late has earned (1) top-5 and (6) top-10 finishes in limited ARCA action.

“This is my first time at Kentucky Speedway and we got used to the track very fast in the test session on Wednesday,” Coughlin said. “I am really looking forward to Friday’s race. I’m becoming more and more comfortable on these 1.5-mile ovals, which is good because you mostly race these sorts of tracks as you move up the ranks.”

Earlier this month Coughlin claimed his first career Super Late Model win by leading the ARCA/CRA Super Series Winchester 100 wire-to-wire. Just days after winning his CRA event the 18-year old Coughlin also topped the speed charts during an official ARCA testing session held on Kansas Speedway’s 1.5 mile oval in preparation for the series finale on October 3rd.

Practice for the ZLOOP 150 race event at Kentucky is Friday afternoon, September 19 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30, followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 5:00. The ZLOOP 150 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 8.

In addition to Live Timing and Scoring at ARCAracing.com, the race is live on FOX Sports 1 at 8pm eastern.

VMS PR

Goldenvoice, creators of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, announced today they have entered into a joint venture with Red Frog Events to promote and produce Firefly Music Festival.

Firefly Music Festival, founded by Red Frog Events in 2012, is one of the fastest growing music festivals in the country.  The 4-day event is held annually each June at The Woodlands at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.  The 2015 event will take place from June 18-21.

Goldenvoice, an AEG Live company, adds Firefly to their festival portfolio that includes Coachella, Stagecoach, FYF Fest and more.

“We’re so impressed with what they’ve created in such a short time, how could we not want to be a part of it?” said Paul Tollett, President & CEO of Goldenvoice.

“We are excited to be working with the Goldenvoice team,” said Joe Reynolds, founder and CEO of Red Frog Events. “This partnership will continue to propel the success of Firefly for years to come.”

Dover Motorsports PR

Daytona International Speedway was honored on Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the 2014 PR News Platinum PR Awards Luncheon in New York City winning the Media Event - Brand category for its historic DAYTONA Rising groundbreaking event – the DAYTONA Rising 500.

This annual event salutes the year's most outstanding communicators, initiatives and organizations in the highly competitive and dynamic PR arena. These coveted awards set a benchmark for excellence in communications. The full list of winners and honorable mentions can be viewed here: http://www.prnewsonline.com/platinum-winners-2014/#.VBiIafbGpI4.twitter.

The DAYTONA Rising 500, held in July 2013, was a competition featuring massive construction equipment in place of stock cars that bestowed upon the winners the honor of being the first to officially break ground on the DAYTONA Rising project.

The DAYTONA Rising 500—the 500, in this case, signifying the approximate size of the race course (500 feet)—pitted pairings of current and former NASCAR drivers, as well as crew chief Larry McReynolds, in a test of competitive driving skills by guiding branded, 20-ton Cat® 950K Wheel Loaders through a series of obstacles and construction-site skill tests. In addition to event winners Greg Biffle and Trevor Bayne, the teams included drivers Jeff Burton and Ryan Newman, as well as McReynolds and NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip.

“We like to be big and bold at Daytona International Speedway,” Track President Joie Chitwood III said. “The DAYTONA Rising 500 groundbreaking event was a unique and innovative way to kick off this historic project and we’re thrilled to see it recognized on a national level with a PR News Platinum PR Award.”

Coyne PR, the Speedway’s PR agency of record on the DAYTONA Rising project, assisted with the planning and execution of the event.

“We are incredibly privileged to work with the great professionals at Daytona International Speedway,” said Tom Coyne, CEO of Coyne PR. “We are so proud of this team effort and the opportunity to be part of this historic project.”

DIS PR

For the second consecutive week Ray Black Jr. will be behind the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing Scubalife/NASE Worldwide Silverado as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to the Granite State for the UNOH 175 on Saturday afternoon.

 

Black is coming off his career best finish last week at Chicago where he completed 148 of 150 laps bringing home the ScubaLife/NASE Worldwide in 18th place in the rain delayed Lucas Oil 225. “We ran really well for a while last week before it got tight mid-race, but we had it really good again at the end and we were running some really good lap times,” Black said. “We had a lot of fun.”

 

“We have made a lot of progress,” he continued. “I think the team is getting more comfortable with me in the truck and I’m getting comfortable with it. I’m spending some time in the shop this week with the guys and that’s good for all of us to work together and get to know each other better; it’s a good time.”

 

“The SS Green Light Team is bringing the same truck I ran at Martinsville and Gateway to New Hampshire this weekend, so I’m real familiar with it,” Black explained. “It’s a good truck and I think we will come out with a good finish again this week.”

Black is working hard to blend his two passions in racing and diving, promoting his sponsors each and every race. “Every time we race somewhere new we try to hook up with local divers in the area. I think we found some divers to hang out with us this weekend. We are always trying to spread the word about the underwater world of diving.”

 

“After New Hampshire, we’ll go back home to Florida and run some late model races and then get ready to go to Texas in a few weeks.”

 

The UNOH 175 will prelude Sunday’s Sylvania 300 and is the 329th consecutive NCWTS start for the SS Green Light Racing team, a streak that dates back to 2001.

 

SS Green Light Racing PR

Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado for Haas Racing Development (HRD), has been a model of consistency as of late in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He’s scored four consecutive top-10 finishes, and will be looking for a little more magic this weekend as he heads to “The Magic Mile,” better known as New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, for Saturday’s UNOH 175.

New Hampshire was the site of Custer’s second of four NASCAR K&N Pro Series wins. The Ladera Ranch, California native started from the pole and led a race-high 60 laps en route to claiming the checkered flag.

So, it makes sense that Custer will be looking for a little more magic this weekend when he races at New Hampshire for the first time in Camping Word Truck Series competition. A driver with a penchant for getting around quickly on the flat racetracks, it would be tough to rule Custer out of contention this weekend.

In fact, three of Custer’s four K&N Series victories have come at relatively flat racetracks – Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and New Hampshire. Given his history of success on the racetracks that put a premium on driver ability, Custer could be poised for a breakthrough Truck Series victory at The Magic Mile.

Already in NASCAR competition, Custer has set records as the youngest winner in Pro Series history by scoring his first win at Iowa on Aug. 2, 2013, at the age of 15 years, 6 months and 10 days. He followed that up earlier this season by becoming the youngest pole winner in national touring series history at 16 years, 4 months and 22 days when he claimed the honor at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

A win this weekend would not only be another first for Custer, it would also place his name in the record books as the youngest race winner in Camping World Truck Series history.

TSC PR

Bickford Clinches Sunoco Rookie Of The Year

Published in Racing News
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 18:03

James Bickford went from a 25th-place finish in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut to winning his first career race and now top rookie honors in the series.

The 16-year-old Napa, California, native has clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title with two races remaining in the K&N West. Bickford holds a 32-point advantage over Rich DeLong III with events at All American Speedway in Roseville, California, and Phoenix International Raceway remaining in season.

Bickford, driving the No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford, began the 2014 season with a tough outing at Phoenix and a 15th-place finish at Califonia's Irwindale Speedway through the first two events. He finished 10th in the season's third event at California's Stockton 99 Speedway and from there would go on to post seven top fives and nine top 10s in his next 10 events, including his first career win at State Line Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho, on July 12.

Bickford is the third consecutive driver and fifth overall to earn the rookie title driving for car owner Bob Bruncati, who is known for providing an opportunity for young drivers to showcase their talent in the series. He joins current teammate Dylan Lupton (2013), Austin Dyne (2012), Luis Martinez Jr. (2010) Jason Bowles (2007) as drivers who have garnered the top rookie owners for Bruncati.

Past drivers to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West include Derrike Cope, Chad Little, Bill Sedgwick, Rick Carelli, David Gilliland and Dylan Kwasniewski.

Bickford will be honored for his Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR PR

Rhodes Clinches Sunoco Rookie Of The Year

Published in Racing News
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 18:00

Ben Rhodes can add one more piece of hardware to his impressive 2014 season.

The Louiville, Kentucky, native, has clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title by virtue of holding a 36-point lead headining into the final event of the season, the Drive Sober 150 at Dover (Delaware) International Speedway on Sept. 26. On Sept. 6 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina, Rhodes wrapped up the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship for Turner Scott Motorsports,

The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver is now among the company of Ricky Craven, Andy Santerre, Brad Leighton, Joey Logano, Ryan Truex and Kyle Larson – all K&N Pro Series East champions – who have won the prestigious Rookie of the Year Award, which has been handed out each year since 1988.

Rhodes is also one of four drivers to win the overall championship abd Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the same season, joining Logano (2007), Truex (2009) and Larson (2012).

Through the first 15 races of the 16-race season, Rhodes has five wins, six poles, 11 top-fives and 13 top-10 finishes, garnering the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award 11 times in that span.

The 2014 season saw 39 different drivers earn Sunoco Rookie of the Year points in the K&N Pro Series East, including Rhodes' teammate Kaz Grala, who is currently third in the point standings behind Nick Drake.

Earning Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the K&N Pro Series East has gone a long way toward advancing driver’s careers in recent seasons. Starting with Logano in 2007, six of the last seven top rookies in the series have all gone on to compete full-time in NASCAR’s three national series, including 2012 honoree Larson, who is completing his first season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Logano, who qualified this year for his second straight Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Rhodes will be formally recognized for this accomplishment at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Saturday, Dec. 13 in the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR PR