Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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University Medical Center (UMC) has been named the Official Hospital of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The speedway’s infield care center was recently named in honor of Dr. Dale Carrison – UMC’s Emergency Medicine Department chairman and LVMS Medical Director – in March of 2016.

Dr. Carrison has overseen LVMS’s medical personnel since the speedway began operating in 1996, and he and his staff help care for NASCAR drivers during all races at the 1.5-mile speedway. That will include the speedway’s first tripleheader of 2018 next Friday through Sunday.

“We have a long history with UMC and its elite group of healthcare professionals, and it is a pleasure to welcome UMC as our official hospital,” LVMS President Chris Powell said. “Through LVMS Medical Director Dr. Dale Carrison, Assistant Medical Director Dr. Tressa Naik and their dedicated peers, we’ve been able to provide NASCAR’s most talented drivers with top-notch care for many years. It’s exciting to take that relationship to the next level with this partnership, and we’re happy that UMC will be a part of a bright future at LVMS.”

In support of its mission to promote successful medical outcomes for patients, UMC offers Nevada’s only Level I Trauma Center, only Designated Pediatric Trauma Center, only Burn Care Center and only Center for Transplantation. UMC also remains committed to offering the latest breakthroughs in medical technology, including an advanced robotic surgery program.

“UMC’s world-class team offers Nevada’s highest level of care, and we take tremendous pride in extending this care to the world-class drivers competing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” UMC CEO Mason VanHouweling said.  “As a community-focused organization that has served Southern Nevada since 1931, UMC remains committed to supporting the institutions and organizations that make Las Vegas such an amazing place to live.”

LVMS PR

Blind dance instructor Gary Ferrer and his ballet folklorico group, St. John’s Angels, are scheduled to perform at Viva La Fiesta - a popular Hispanic festival area in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 race weekend at Auto Club Speedway – March 17-18, 2018.

Wearing colorful costumes that reflect the traditional culture of Mexico, the ballet folklorico group will perform on Saturday, March 17 at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday, March 18 at 8:30 a.m.

Born and raised in Mexico, Gary Ferrer, a successful photographer and dance instructor, lost his vision after being stricken by meningitis in January 2016. After spending months in the hospital, the San Bernardino resident decided to focus his energy on helping the community and share his passion for dancing by offering free folklorico dance lessons for kids in San Bernardino.  Teaching traditional Mexican dance and fitness has helped Ferrer overcome his health condition and make a difference in the community. His ballet folklorico group now performs throughout Southern California.

With a race ticket, fans will receive access to the Viva La Fiesta area and O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone featuring NASCAR driver appearances, autograph sessions, Monster Energy stunt shows, and other family fun.

Tickets start at $30 for NXS 300 and $45 for the Auto Club 400. Kids 12 and under with a Lefty’s Kids Club membership get free general admission showing their membership card to the NXS 300 race with a paid adult. 

To purchase tickets, call 1-800-944-RACE (7223), shop online at www.autoclubspeedway.com or stop by the Auto Club Speedway ticket office at 9300 Cherry Ave. in Fontana. #FastestSunday #AutoClub400.

ACS PR

Coming off of his impressive top-20 finish in the season-opening race at Daytona, Vinnie Miller is excited to race his No. 01 JAS Expedited Trucking Chevrolet Camaro at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). Saturday’s Rinnai 250 will be the first of many races in the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season in which the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 01 will be sporting the JAS Expedited Trucking red, white, and blue paint scheme.

This will be Miller’s first time racing AMS, but he hopes that momentum from his Daytona finish and help from his teammates will lead to a successful weekend.

“I’m really excited to race in the Xfinity Series at Atlanta this weekend,” said Miller. “It will be the first race with our sponsor JAS Expedited Trucking, and I am looking forward to driving the red, white, and blue JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Camaro!  From what I’ve heard, Atlanta is a tough track and definitely a ‘Drivers’ track.  I understand that saving my Goodyear tires will be bonus at the end of the race. I learned a ton from my teammates last weekend in Daytona, and honestly, I’ll be leaning on them a lot this weekend.”

The NASCAR Xfinity Series with practice is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying will start at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, and the Rinnai 250 will get the green flag at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on FS1.

JDM PR

Ross Chastain kicked off the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with a top-ten finish last weekend at Daytona, and he’s hoping to keep it going this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS).

Saturday’s Rinnai 250 will be Chastain’s fourth time racing at AMS in the No. 4 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet Camaro.

“Last week was a great week for JD Motorsports, and we’re determined to make this week great, too,” said Chastain. “It feels really good to have some momentum entering the season, and I’m looking forward to a great race in Atlanta for the No. 4 team.”

The NASCAR Xfinity Series with practice is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying will start at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, and the Rinnai 250 will get the green flag at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on FS1.

JDM PR

After a long wait, Matt Mills is ready to be back behind the wheel of a NASCAR Xfinity Series racecar this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mills will be driving the No. 0 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet Camaro for Saturday’s Rinnai 250.

Mills will have JF Electric on board as an associate sponsor.

“I’m just really excited to be making my debut this weekend,” said Mills. “I was itching to get in the car at Daytona, but instead I just had to sit back and learn. This weekend’s main focus is to go out there, get seat time, gain respect from everyone, and take care of the equipment.”

The NASCAR Xfinity Series with practice is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying will start at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, and the Rinnai 250 will get the green flag at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on FS1.

JDM PR

After a stellar top-five weekend in Daytona, Garrett Smithley is more excited than ever to return to his home state of Georgia for the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). Smithley will be piloting the No. 15 JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet Camaro for Saturday’s race.

Smithley made his debut with JD Motorsports at AMS in 2016, finishing in the top-25 despite it only being his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

“I’m still blown away by our performance at Daytona,” said Smithley. “Our guys worked so incredibly hard this off season to give us good cars, and it showed last Saturday. Now eyes are forward to Atlanta. I couldn’t think of a better track to follow up our top-five. It’s my home track, my favorite track, and I know we can turn some more heads this weekend.”

The NASCAR Xfinity Series with practice is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying will start at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, and the Rinnai 250 will get the green flag at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on FS1.

JDM PR

Perhaps no other driver on NASCAR’s national touring series circuit has a closer connection to Atlanta Motor Speedway than David Ragan. There’s the phrase “home track,” and then there’s just “home.” And home is exactly what the 1.54-mile speedway, located 25 miles due south of downtown Atlanta, is and has been for the 32-year old Georgia driver almost from the very beginning.

Before he was turning laps in stock cars on NASCAR’s biggest stage, Ragan was quite literally growing up on and around – and you might even say with – AMS. He was even along for the ride when track was being redeveloped into its current iteration over two decades ago.

“Atlanta Motor Speedway has a special place in my heart,” said Ragan. “I lived in one of the condos there in 1996 when they were resurfacing the racetrack. Every morning I would sit there at the glass and see the bulldozers and grading equipment tearing down the track and repaving it.”

With Ragan’s father, Ken, stepping in to run Atlanta’s fledgling Legends racing program at the time of the track’s reconfiguration and installation of the quarter-mile “Thunder Ring” in the mid-1990s, living at the race track was one of several perks for the aspiring young driver.

Undoubtedly, though, the best perk of them all was one that forged an eternal bond between him and the track itself. Though completely unauthorized – and unbeknownst to anyone else at the time – Ragan unofficially became the first driver ever to take laps on what was then the newly configured layout.

“I made a bunch of laps there in my father's El Camino one Saturday afternoon, just riding around the race track while it was being worked on before the security guards realized there was somebody on the track.”

That deep-seated bond with AMS will come full circle for Ragan this Sunday, when he makes his 400th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on that very same asphalt. But it was the Thunder Ring where Ragan’s driving career began in earnest. Between 1998 and 2000, he ran more than 40 races in both Bandolero and Legends cars, cutting his teeth on what is still to this day one of the toughest quarter-mile asphalt tracks in the Southeast.

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Both David and his father were cornerstones in the now 21-year-strong program that has graduated dozens of young drivers into professional racing’s upper-most levels.

Fast forward three years from Ragan’s Legends days, and he was already contending for wins in the ARCA Racing Series by 2003. He then got his first taste of NASCAR’s national-level competition when he ran a 10-race partial schedule in the Camping World Truck Series for owner Tom Eldredge a year later in 2004.

Another three years after that, Ragan arrived at the top as a fresh-faced 21-year-old, ready to take on the best of the best that stock car racing had to offer. He signed on with Jack Roush in 2007 to drive race cars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and he hasn’t looked back since. With a fifth-place finish in the 2007 season-opening Daytona 500, just his third career start at NASCAR’s top level, Ragan set off on a journey that quite literally hasn’t missed a beat in 11 years.

In 399 Cup Series starts entering the Atlanta Race Weekend, including that first Daytona 500 back in 2007, Ragan has seen it all – two wins, two poles, several team changes and even a fill-in stint for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing in the eventual championship-winning No. 18 car in 2015.

With all the places he’s been and all the things he’s accomplished behind the wheel of a race car, it’s fitting that his 400th Cup Series start will come at his home, Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“It’s very special just to have made it to 400 starts. I think that’s a huge accomplishment,” Ragan said. But “for it to happen at Atlanta Motor Speedway is pretty neat. I couldn’t have scripted it any better. Atlanta Motor Speedway is where I got my start racing in my Bandolero car. It’s a special place to me and my family, and it’s pretty cool that I’m going to run my 400th race there.”

Ever gracious and humble almost to a fault, it’s not lost on Ragan how rare a feat 11 consecutive years without missing a single race at the elite level of stock car racing really is.

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“As a young kid, I dreamed of being able to race at some of these large tracks and to get my NASCAR license,” he said. “I remember being so happy when I got my first NASCAR license when I was an 18-year-old going to race in late-model stock cars.

“So to be able to have raced at all these different tracks and to have met a lot of great people and to have done all of that consecutively and to have been fortunate enough not to be injured and to be able to continue racing and have team-owners that would let me drive their cars, that’s something really special.”

Through it all, he credits his father for setting him up for success from the very beginning. A former stock car racer himself at the top level of NASCAR competition, Ken Ragan has been a key player in the world of motorsports both near his longtime home in Middle Georgia and on the national stage itself.

Without his father’s guidance, know-how and unwavering support from his Legends days at Atlanta in the late ‘90s all the way through to that first Daytona 500 in 2007, the younger Ragan knows a lot of what he’s been able to accomplish would not have been possible.

“My dad’s involvement in the sport really paved the road for me to make a career in motorsports,” said Ragan. “I wouldn’t necessarily say just his driving – my dad started 50 Cup races and some Grand National and ARCA races – but he owned race tracks and race teams. He owned engine shops. He is an employee of Speedway Motorsports today. I think the relationships he made along the way and my family members made along the way helped a lot.

“We didn’t have a huge checkbook and unlimited funds when I was young and trying to hone my skills and get established as a young kid that wants to race. The relationships my father made over the years helped me get that engine from someone or go test somewhere or get some free passes when we needed to bring a sponsor to a race.

“That helped a lot to get a few doors opened for me. I had to work hard to keep those doors open, but without my father being involved in the sport in the 1980s, it would have been hard for me to break into the sport.”

Now in his 12th straight year of Cup-level competition and on the second year of his second stint with Front Row Motorsports, Ragan’s focus is on finding consistent success to go along with his consistent streak of races. With two wins under his belt with the team, one each in 2011 and 2013, he doesn’t see the team’s relatively small size as a disadvantage.

Instead, he considers their collective history and the camaraderie built over time in the shop as a foundation on which they’ll build success in the still-young 2018 season.

“2018 is looking on paper to be an exciting year for myself personally and for Front Row Motorsports,” he said. “I feel like Front Row is one of those teams that, we’re a close-knit family and everybody in the shop and the mechanics on the road, we’re good friends. We get along, and it’s a small team, and we all have a pretty big impact on the program itself.”

As far as his 400th start at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, it’s certainly not out of the question for his milestone homecoming race to be a winning one.

“I have had a little success there in all three series,” Ragan said. “I have been in contention for some wins and have a few top-fives and top-10s, but it would be really cool and special to win at Atlanta or to just have a really good day. Atlanta Motor Speedway is a cool track and I like going there.”

Whether or not he’s victorious in his 400th career start on Sunday, Ragan’s legacy as among the most celebrated Georgia drivers in the history of the sport will be preserved long after the checkered flags fly, as he works ever-diligently towards his next career milestone.

AMS PR

Roush Yates Engines and Nikon Metrology (Brighton, MI) announced a multi-year partnership program, demonstrating Roush Yates Engines’ commitment to partnering with the best-in-class companies. With over a 100 years of experience Nikon provides world-class precision equipment and metrology solutions to the manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and medical fields.

“We are proud to have Nikon as our new partner,” said Doug Yates, President & CEO, Roush Yates Engines. “We are always looking for partners that are at the top of their class. The Nikon brand is one built on innovation and quality. Their premium CMM equipment is world-class and a perfect fit for Roush Yates Engines.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with one of the most respected engine builders in the motor sports industry,” adds Andy Stults, Marketing and Communications Manager at Nikon Metrology. “Roush Yates Engines provide the highest performance and most reliable engines for teams at the racetrack, as their winning record proves. The parts in their engines require the utmost precision and quality in order to meet performance demands. We greatly value this partnership with Roush Yates Engines and are proud that our technology is helping ensure they continue to meet their need for high-performance, high-reliability components.”

Nikon’s LC15Dx Laser Scanner provides a unique 3D visualization of dimensional quality using Color Mapping. In addition, Nikon’s unique ESP3 technology maintains accuracy, speed and data quality by adapting the laser settings in real-time, improving efficiency and part quality data accuracy. “These advanced capabilities allow our team the ability to measure and analyze a larger array of parts, each with varying geometry and materials, with a single piece of equipment,” said Chad Johnson, Roush Yates Engines Quality Manager.

"In addition, Nikon’s CMM Manager software, provided for all of Roush Yates Engines CMM’s will save considerably on programming time,” Johnson added.

The iNEXIV Vision System was also added to the Roush Yates Engines lineup of inspection equipment. This CNC video measuring system is ideal for both large and tall mechanical parts and uneven surfaces, in addition to providing a broader XYZ measurement range, which is ideal for analyzing complex geometry engine components.

Nikon’s LC15Dx Laser Scanner provides a unique 3D visualization of dimensional quality using Color Mapping. “This allows our team the ability to measure and analyze a larger array of parts, each with varying geometry and materials, with a single piece of equipment,” said Chad Johnson, Roush Yates Engines Quality Manager. Nikon’s unique ESP3 technology maintains accuracy, speed and data quality by adapting the laser settings in real-time. This improves efficiency and part quality data accuracy.

RYE PR

Michigan International Speedway will host the inaugural MIS Charity Dinner presented by Consumers Energy on June 9. Fans will enjoy a night of entertainment in the track’s 50 Years of Racing Exhibit Presented by Consumers Energy in the fan plaza.

The event, a first of its kind will feature a strolling dinner, dessert and drink stations, live and silent auctions, music by Pro DJ, a photo booth and so much more. It will take place during the FireKeepers Casino 400 weekend allowing fans to watch nonstop racing on track with the LTi Printing 250 and a unique racing experience that evening.

“We are excited to host the inaugural MIS Charity Dinner presented by Consumers Energy during our June event weekend,” MIS President Rick Brenner said. “This event will allow our fans to celebrate the track’s rich racing history in the 50 Years of Racing Exhibit we have planned for the weekend.”

Legends of Racing will be the theme for the event as fans celebrate the rich history of Lawrence LoPatin’s vision.

Fans can purchase tickets to the event starting at $90 or guests can make it a weekend experience starting at $179. The weekend experience includes a center grandstand ticket to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, a ticket to the NASCAR XFINITY Series LTi Printing 250 on Saturday and the Charity Dinner Presented by Consumers Energy. Fans can purchase an individual ticket or a weekend package at www.mispeedway.com/charitydinner or by calling 888-905-7223.

“We're proud to celebrate 50 years of MIS, not only powering a terrific fan experience but supporting this special anniversary Charity weekend," said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of customer experience. “As a company with roots that reach back 130 years, Consumers Energy appreciates the important role that MIS has in enriching Michigan, and we are privileged to be part of this inaugural event that showcases MIS’s special brand of fun while helping two great charitable causes.”

The MIS Charity Dinner presented by Consumers Energy will start at 6 p.m. and guests can immediately make their bids for the silent auction items. But make sure you keep a watch so you don’t get out bid throughout the evening.

As part of the MIS Charity Dinner presented by Consumers Energy, fans will have the opportunity to stroll through the 50 Years of Racing Exhibit. It will include memorabilia and cars celebrating the rich history of Michigan International Speedway through the decades.

Fans will want to check back for special announcements and additional features for the Charity Dinner.

The MIS Charity Dinner will benefit both the MIS Cares Fund and the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Foundation Patient Immediate Needs Fund.

As a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation, MIS Cares’ mission is to assist and inspire youth within our community. MIS Cares supports youth in our community through grants and scholarship programs. MIS Cares is the official charitable fund of Michigan International Speedway and a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.

The Patient Immediate Needs Fund helps remove financial barriers that can keep patients at Henry Ford Allegiance Health from accessing care.  Donations will go towards gas cards, bus tokens, food cards, clothing, utility assistance, eyeglasses, dentures, home health safety items and other essential support for patients and caregivers.

The Charity Dinner is only part of the track’s season-long 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2018. In addition to the 50 Years of Racing Exhibit, the speedway will post videos and photos that celebrate the history of the two-mile oval at www.mispeedway.com/50years. Fans will also want to follow the track’s social media channels to see the all the great drivers and iconic moments celebrated. 

Tickets to the two NASCAR weekends are on sale now. Tickets start at $35 for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 10 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Aug. 12. Fans can find the perfect campsite for their families and friends in any of the different campgrounds at the track starting at $160. Fans can purchase tickets and campsites at www.mispeedway.com or by calling 888-905-7223.

Children 12 and under are free on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, children 12 and under tickets start at $15.  Children 12 and under can attend three days of NASCAR action for just $15, ensuring families a weekend of fun at affordable prices.

All fans who have a Sunday admission can enjoy a free Saturday post-race concert. Fans can stay after the LTi Printing 250 in June for the post-race concert featuring 38 Special. After the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in August, The Cadillac Three will play the free concert. All fans with a Sunday ticket will gain admission to the concert! The concert will take place behind Turn 3.

And if you want an all-inclusive camping option that includes an RV rental, MISCAMPING.com is the spot for you. They can customize a package to fit any fan’s specific needs.

MIS PR

Announced today, Team Penske and Siemens, a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, have entered into a new technical partnership. Under the multi-year agreement, Siemens will help enhance Team Penske’s performance with full access to a wide variety of software products to enable advanced digital design and simulations. Team Penske race teams will utilize Siemens’ software across their computer-aided design (CAD), engineering, simulation and machining platforms. Utilizing this software, Team Penske can create a digital twin of their race cars, which can help engineers simulate engine configurations, innovate new parts and predict race results in real-time.

“Team Penske is excited to welcome Siemens as a key technical partner, beginning with the 2018 season,” said Roger Penske. “Siemens is a company and a brand that is known worldwide for its superior technology and engineering. Our teams will benefit from Siemens’ expertise and support and we look forward to helping grow the Siemens footprint in the world of motorsports.”

Team Penske is partnering with Siemens PLM Software to adopt an integrated virtual environment for digital modeling and simulation. Siemens’ PLM tools allow Team Penske to keep large amounts of data well organized and accessible for review by anyone within the team, and also enables engineers to quickly iterate through design concepts with the digital twin to arrive at near-optimum solutions within a high-intensity, short timeframe environment. The digital twin is the key to making effective, data-driven design changes at a very rapid pace, and thus, helping improve the results at the racetrack every week.

“We are proud to team up with Team Penske, an American icon in motorsports. As a racing team with extremely challenging requirements on development time and accuracy, Team Penske will be able to fully leverage the unique capabilities of our software solutions,” said Lisa Davis, Managing Board member of Siemens and CEO of Siemens USA. “Our integrated industry solutions, combined with the expertise of the entire design and racing team from Team Penske, will help create world-class vehicles.

Utilizing Siemens’ PLM tools allows Team Penske to quickly analyze thousands of electronic data streams full of critical on-track performance information, and apply changes to the race car’s digital twin. These changes are then reviewed for performance and durability in a virtual environment, which allows low-cost, high fidelity simulation of the results. With Siemens’ technology, Team Penske is able to capitalize on this streamlined digital process and quickly transition to the physical stages of manufacturing, quality assurance, installation onto the race car, and validate performance in the physical environment. This entire process can be completed with high-impact components in as little as a few hours.

“We are excited to partner with Team Penske and be a part of their strong legacy of championship racing,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, president and CEO, Siemens PLM Software. “We look forward to supporting Team Penske with our software to help streamline designs, speed results, and deliver the most successful racing teams yet.”

The partnership will also include Siemens as an associate sponsor on the Team Penske cars competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. Siemens branding will be featured on all Team Penske Indy cars and on the uniforms worn by Team Penske drivers and teams competing in NASCAR.

The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season began last weekend with the 60th running of the Daytona 500, where Team Penske cars earned fourth- and seventh-place finishes.  The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida on Sunday, March 11.

Team Penske PR