Steven B. Wilson
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
Martinsville Speedway’s Green Flag Experience will once again be in championship form as 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch is scheduled to appear prior to the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on October 30.
Busch, who swept the spring weekend at Martinsville, joins Kasey Kahne as drivers set to take part in moderated question-and-answer sessions.
“Kyle Busch is a tremendous talent and he proved this past spring that he knows a thing or two about getting around Martinsville Speedway,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “We believe the Green Flag Experience the premier pre-race experience for fans and adding a name like Kyle Busch further proves that point.”
Not only has Busch won twice at Martinsville as a driver, he’s also a winning team owner, with Denny Hamlin and Darrell Wallace Jr. picking up wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. .
Additional drivers participating in the Green Flag Experience will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition to the moderated question-and-answer sessions, the Green Flag Experience also gives fans the chance to watch driver introductions from the track, along with a morning full of fun and excitement on the track and under the large tent in The Plaza, located on the hill behind the souvenir display area.
Fans have the opportunity to walk the frontstretch on race morning, sign the start/finish line, a photo opportunity in mock Victory Lane, enjoy music, games and prizes along with doughnuts, Danishes, coffee and juice. The cost of the Green Flag Experience is $50. Prices increase race month.
The driver question-and-answer sessions, food, music, games and prizes, and show cars will be held in The Plaza from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The track portion will open at 10:00 and will remain open until the finish of driver introductions.
Admission to the Green Flag Experience does not include a ticket for STP 500.
Advance ticket prices for the STP 500 begin at just $45.
Martinsville Speedway PR
"As both a licensee and sponsor, our relationship with the NASCAR industry has been extremely positive, and we are thrilled to see this partnership come to life within the Nikko and Road Rippers brands," said Andy Friess, Toy State President. "Our toy vehicles bring the perfect combination of performance, speed and fun, and we're confident NASCAR fans will love them!"
The Nikko NASCAR R/C cars are built to 1:16 scale with full-function radio-control action, while Road Rippers NASCAR® Come-Back Racers® feature motorized driving with real NASCAR sound effects. Both assortments showcase the authentic NASCAR paint schemes of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith and Chase Elliot.
In addition to NASCAR, Toy State's best in class 'Lights & Sound' and R/C brand portfolio features licensing partnerships with leading global automotive, lifestyle and entertainment brands including Caterpillar®, Hot Wheels®, DC Comics™, Barbie®, Thomas and Friends™, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ and WWE®.
Toy State is currently in its second year as primary sponsor of Tommy Baldwin Racing's No. 7 Nikko RC/Toy State Chevrolet, driven by Regan Smith.
Stanton Barrett is a man of many talents.
From racing stock cars to performing professional stunts across Hollywood’s studios, there isn’t much that Barrett himself hasn’t embraced at one point or another.
But with the NASCAR XFINITY Series set to return to Road America for Saturday afternoon’s Road America 180 fueled by Johnsonville, the Bishop, California native returns to the XFINITY Series scene on the heels of back-to-back top-20 finishes in his most recent races at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course respectively.
And while Barrett is a fan of road racing, it’s the intense layout and length of Road America that Barrett not only finds challenging, but fun too.
This weekend, Barret will drive the No. 99 XCalibur Pit School / B.J. McLeod Motorsports Ford Mustang not only looking for another solid finish this season, but better his previous outings at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn race track.
“Road America is one of my favorite tracks, so I can’t wait to get there this weekend,” said Barrett who will make his fifth start of the season this weekend. “It’s a great town with great fans who really embrace the area when the NASCAR XFINITY Series comes to town. We’ve had a good couple weeks, so I’m hoping that can continue this weekend.”
While most tracks are known for local and national chain of motels and hotels, Road America is known for its scenic routes filled with iconic resorts and scenery. Particularly, Barrett is a fan of the Siebekken Resort and encourages fans to experience its greatness for themselves.
“The Siebekken Resort is one of my favorite destination places while at Road America,” added Barret. “The view is great and the people are wonderful and the accommodations are stellar. It’s where I like to call home for the weekend and I encourage the fans to check it out for themselves.”
Knowing he’ll have plenty of rest in familiar and comfortable territory this weekend, Barrett will make his fifth start at Road America this weekend and looking to better a track best of 17th earned in his track debut in 2010 driving for longtime friend and owner Rick Ware.
It’s because of his friendship with Ware that he met McLeod who helped fuse the partnership together at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago where Barrett shined in torrential rain to earn a strong finish.
Not expecting to be dosed by inclement weather this weekend, Barrett just plans to hone his skills at Road America while being a good teammate to fellow drivers Scott Heckert and McLeod.
“The guys busted their tails for me at Mid-Ohio,” Barrett added. “I wanted to do well and the guys gutted it out through the hard rain to never give up. We came out of there in better shape than when we started the race. With a few races together, they know what I’m looking for and vice-versa, so I think we’ll be in good shape from practice to qualifying and the race. We’ll just hope and do what we know to do.”
McLeod who owns the No. 99 XCalibur Pit School Ford Mustang that Barrett will be driving says having the voice of an experienced road racer like Barrett available will be instrumental to the program overall as they look to strengthen their road racing program.
“Stanton made our team better road racers at Mid-Ohio,” said McLeod. “He knows what he wants and it’s because of that we all succeed. I think he’ll be beneficial to Scott and myself this weekend. Scott has some experience at Road America and I have none, so it will be nice to have Stanton’s ear as I need it. We’re just hoping we have a good run with all the cars on Saturday afternoon.”
Joining XCalibur Pit School as marketing partners this weekend at Road America, Lilly Trucking will serve as an associate marketing partner for the third and final road course of the year.
In 25 years of XFINITY Series competition, Barrett has 202 starts to his credit with a career-best finish of fifth at Atlanta Motor Speedway driving for car owners Kenneth and Dan Shaver. He has four starts at Road America (Wisc.) in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively all for Rick Ware Racing.
BJ McLeod Motorsports PR
Trekking to the third and final road course on the NASCAR XFINITY Series tour this weekend at Road America (Wisc.), driver B.J. McLeod looks to make it his best road course performance in Saturday afternoon’s Road America 180 fueled by Johnsonville.
And while McLeod admits he’s not sure what to expect this weekend, the driver of the No. 78 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Ford Mustang wants to have a solid finish on the heels of a 19th place run at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last Friday night.
“The result at Bristol was something we needed,” said McLeod. “We battled with the handling of the car throughout the race, but we worked hard throughout the race and we were able to work through the changes and take advantage of some late race attrition to match our best finish of the year. That was a good boost we needed.”
Reverting back to road course form at Road America this weekend, McLeod is keeping his expectations modest while utilizing the on-track time to not only learn the course, but plan ahead and form a strategy for race day.
“With Road America being relatively over four miles long, I have a lot to learn in a short amount of time and only 45 laps to get it done, it will be interesting,” McLeod joked. “In all seriousness, if we can get out of Road America with a solid finish, I’ll be happy and ready to get back to oval racing.”
In two road course races this year, McLeod scored a best finish of 26th at Watkins Glen (N.Y.), and most recently at Mid-Ohio, he climbed from his 38th place qualifying spot to finish 27th in a rain-soaked Mid-Ohio 200.
Running in both the dry and the wet and making lefts and rights for the first time in his Motorsports career, McLeod hopes he can take the finesse he learned earlier this month and apply it to Road America.
“Before Watkins Glen, I never really knew what to expect on a road course, but I got fast with every lap I made on both tracks, even in the wet. This weekend, I expect more of the same and I look forward to working with my teammates too.”
Speaking of teammates, McLeod will be in good company for Saturday’s Road America 180. Scott Heckert returns to the No. 15 B.J. McLeod Motorsports / Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang for his third XFINITY Series race, while longtime veteran Stanton Barrett will drive the No. 99 XCaliber Ford Mustang.
With both drivers having an enormous road course background, McLeod hopes to lean on both of them for guidance around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn race track.
“Scott did an amazing job at Watkins Glen earlier this month and Stanton considers Road America one of his favorite places, so I’m looking forward to leaning on them for advice and letting me know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong. Overall though, start to finish I think it will be a good weekend.”
After spending 11 weeks 21st in the XFINITY point standings, McLeod leaped inside the top-20 two races ago and with plenty of racing still on the schedule, McLeod is hopeful to climb a few more positions by year’s end.
“We’ve been picking away at it,” said McLeod. “Good finishes will help us as we try to leap our way a position or two by Homestead in November. We’re in a critical stretch right now of racing and for the most part, we’ve been able to keep the bad luck at bay. If we can continue to do that, we should be good shape come the end.”
Veteran industry crew chief George (David) Ingram Jr. will call the shots for the No. 78 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Ford Mustang for the 23rd race of the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.
For more on B.J. McLeod, please visit his official Facebook page, while also visiting the team’s brand new website at BJMcLeodMotorsports.com. Additionally, the team is growing their presence on Twitter, with the team’s new account @teamBJMcLeod. McLeod also utilizes his personal twitter too, @BJMcLeod78.
BJ McLeod Motorsports PR
Like peanut butter and jelly, or the Southern 500 and Labor Day weekend, country music and NASCAR seemingly go hand in hand. For this year’s NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Darlington Raceway, Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson will be getting a retro makeover on his No. 42 ENEOS Chevrolet Camaro based on a car driven by country music legend Marty Robbins, who also frequently ran the No. 42.
While some sing about the things they’d like to do, Robbins strapped on a helmet and did the thing he loved to do, which was race. The country singer, best known for his songs “El Paso” and “Big Iron”, competed in a total of 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1966-1982, and also ran one race in the Grand National East Series.
Robbins was a well-respected driver among his competitors and his familiar purple and gold car was always a fan favorite when he raced at the Nashville Fairgrounds. This weekend, ENEOS and Chip Ganassi Racing are excited to bring back Robbins’ familiar paint scheme as Darlington once again celebrates NASCAR’s history with a throwback-themed weekend.