Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

The Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), with their Virginia is for Racing Lovers brand, has continued their commitment to NASCAR racing in the Commonwealth, by agreeing to sponsor Martinsville Speedway’s newest fan experience, the SkyDeck.

The Virginia is for Racing Lovers SkyDeck is located above the suites in turns one and two and offers a unique experience with an unparalleled view of Martinsville Speedway.

“The VTC has been a great partner to Martinsville Speedway for a number of years and we are excited to see our relationship continue to grow, year after year,” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “They are committed to racing and are well aware of the tourism that NASCAR in particular brings to our state.”

“Virginia is for Racing Lovers SkyDeck brings the action of NASCAR closer than ever to race fans,” Virginia Tourism Corporation President and CEO Rita McClenny said. “The Martinsville Speedway SkyDeck provides a fun and enjoyable way to see the race with the vibe of a rooftop experience.”

The Virginia is for Lovers SkyDeck Experience is $375 and a SkyDeck ticket is good for both Saturday and Sunday of the First Data 500 race weekend.

In addition to access to the Virginia is for Racing Lovers SkyDeck, the experience includes a general admission ticket to the Texas Roadhouse 200, a reserved seat in the Old Dominion Tower for the First Data 500, a pre-race pit pass, a rotating buffet and eight drink coupons along with free tea and lemonade.

A limited number of SkyDeck experiences remain available.

The First Data 500 race weekend is October 26-28.

The Camping World Truck Series will practice Friday and race the Texas Roadhouse 200 on Saturday.

The First Data 500 is Sunday.

Both races are a part of the NASCAR Playoffs and if the winning driver is a Playoff contender, he will be the first to claim a spot in Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

To purchase a Virginia is for Lovers SkyDeck experience, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinmsvillespeedway.com.

Martinsville Speedway PR

The 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season will come to a conclusion Friday night with the Kansas ARCA 150 at Kansas Speedway. Once Sheldon Creed (No. 28 United Rentals/Hardees/A.M. Ortega Toyota) rolls off pit road for practice, he will officially clinch the 2018 championship.
 
As he clinches the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship, he will do so with a slightly different look to his MDM Motorsports Toyota. Creed's car will carry a purple look in honor of his grandmother, Linda Ortega, who passed away after a battle with cancer in 2014. 
 
“The purple paint scheme is a tribute to my grandmother that passed away from cancer about four years ago," Creed said. "I’ve run a purple paint scheme once a year since she died and it’s something that’s very special to me and my family. She was like the backbone of the family and I wanted to celebrate my first stock car championship by paying tribute to her with the Grammy Strong car.”
 
Creed, from Alpine, California, came to the ARCA Racing Series with a wealth of racing experience despite his youth. Still just 21 years old, he has over a decade of four-wheel racing experience under his belt. 
 
He started his racing career in quarter midgets at eight years of age, before jumping into Championship Off-Road Racing's Trophy Karts. He also competed in short course off-road racing, including the Robby Gordon Stadium Super Truck Series where he was a two-time champion in 2015 and 2016. From there, he transitioned into stock car racing, with starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the NASCAR XFINITY Series as well as a partial season with the ARCA Racing Series.
 
Creed paired with team owners Matthew Miller, Doug Fuller, and Mark McFarland for a full season run at the ARCA championship in 2018. He started the season with four consecutive top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish at Nashville. After two more podium finishes at Charlotte and Pocono, Creed finally broke through for his first career win at Michigan. He backed it up with two additional victories at Gateway and Iowa, propelling him into the series championship lead, a lead he would continue to extend throughout the remainder of the season.
 
Creed also won the ARCA Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge championship, the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge, and the General Tire Pole Award.
 
Entering the Kansas finale, Creed has three victories, fifteen top-five finishes and seventeen top-ten finishes. His average starting position is 4.8 and his average finish is 4.4. He's completed 2,640 of a possible 2,726 laps (96.8%), and he's led 467 laps. And he has a 425-point advantage over teammate Zane Smith (No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix/ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota) in the series championship standings.
 
“Winning an ARCA championship would mean a ton to me because it would be my first stock car championship and when I transitioned from off-road I didn’t know if I’d ever win a pavement championship," Creed said. "To win in ARCA is really special, not just because of all the great drivers that have come before me, but also the really high level of competition that we’ve had to race against all year, especially my own MDM teammate, Zane Smith, and a bunch of other really good young drivers. To come out on top of that group would be pretty cool.”
 
Creed, like all of the competitors who have competed in all of the previous five series events, will receive a 250 point bonus, the fourth and final leg of the 2018 "enter and compete" bonus program which rewards owners and drivers with bonus points following each of the four five-race segments that comprise the season. As such, ARCA has received an entry for Creed and his No. 28 team and when Creed takes to the track for practice, he will receive his bonus points and officially clinch the championship.
 
Team and series officials will initially recognize the championship when Creed rolls off the starting grid to begin the Kansas 150. A championship celebration is planned post-race at the track and ARCA will formally crown Creed as their 33rd national champion in its 66 year history.
 
Practice at Kansas Speedway is scheduled to begin at 11:30 am ET/10:30 am CT on Friday, October 19. General Tire Pole Qualifying is slated for 6:05 pm ET/5:05 pm CT, and the green flag will wave over the ARCA Kansas 150 at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm CT. The race will be televised live on FS1 or FS2, depending on Major League Baseball playoffs. ARCARacing.com will have live timing & scoring, track updates, and scanner audio throughout every on-track session for registered users.
 
ARCA Racing PR

Daytona International Speedway will hold an Open House on Sunday, Nov. 4, giving the Central Florida community an opportunity to explore the state-of-the-art facility.

The Open House will take place between 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. and is free of charge. Fans are encouraged to RSVP to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/OpenHouse and can also walk-up the day of the event.

Fans can check out the amenities inside the venue with guided tours of the Axalta Injector, Trioval Club, start/finish line seating, Harley J’s and Rolex 24 Lounge hospitality venues and the Tower roof.

“The Open House is a great opportunity for current ticket holders to visit areas that they haven’t seen previously as well as guests who have not been to the facility since the completion of the $400 million renovation project in 2016,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “We’re looking forward to visiting with the community and showing off the ‘World Center of Racing.’ ”

The Rolex 24 Lounge and Harley J’s, two of the Speedway’s premium hospitality experiences, will have the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race from Texas Motor Speedway on televisions and will be serving light snacks and beverages.

The Harley J. Earl DAYTONA 500 champion’s trophy will be on display for photo opportunities and there will be special giveaways including VIP experiences, race tickets and autographed items.

Tickets will be on sale for future Daytona International Speedway events including the 61st annual DAYTONA 500 and the 57th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA. Staff will be on-site to view seating areas that are currently available with guests.

Parking is available in the Midway outside the Axalta Injector.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.

DIS PR

ISM Raceway announced today that Whelen Engineering will serve as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series semifinal playoff race at ISM Raceway on Saturday, November 10th.

The Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 will be the first Xfinity Series race officially held at the track following its two-year, $178 million modernization project, part of Opening Weekend on November 9, 10 and 11. The sponsorship marks a continued commitment to the modernization of ISM Raceway by Whelen, which has also been heavily involved in the development of the lighting system for the new, cactus-shaped flag stand which will mark the new location of the start/finish line.

“Whelen has been a great partner within the industry and they have been amazing to work with as we put the finishing touches on our new venue,” said Scott Rovn, Vice President of Sales and Communications at ISM Raceway. “We’re thrilled that they have signed on as the title sponsor for this year’s Xfinity Series semifinal race, the Whelen Trusted to Perform 200.”

Based in Chester, Conn., Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures high-quality audio and visual warning equipment for Automotive, Aviation, and Mass Notification industries worldwide and employs more than 1,500 people at its facilities in Chester and Charlestown, N.H. Whelen has supported NASCAR for more than 25 years through numerous activations.

“We’ve always been about innovation, both within our products and within our partnerships,” said Peter Tiezzi, General Manager of Motorsports at Whelen. “The new ISM Raceway is the epitome of innovation in motorsports venues, and we could think of no place better to hold the very first Whelen Trusted to Perform 200.”

Tickets are available online at ISMRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office.

ISM PR

Kurt Busch is fourth in the point standings and 30 markers ahead of the next cutoff in this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

 

If he performs well in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, he will advance to the Round of 8 for the first time since 2016.

 

And he has the most experience at Kansas.

 

He’s one of only four drivers who competed in the inaugural race at the track Sept. 30, 2001 and have competed in all 25 Kansas races. Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth are the others.

 

Busch drove the No. 97 Ford to a ninth-place finish in that first Kansas Speedway race in 2001.

It’s one track where Busch has never found victory lane, but he has had some success. He finished second there in October 2013 and again in October 2017. He won the pole in June 2011. Busch has three top-five finishes and nine top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval.

 

Additionally, the 40-year-old driver has led 263 laps, has an average starting position of 15.7, an average finish of 16.0 and has completed 94.7 percent – 6,275 of 6,625 – of the laps he’s contested there.

 

Busch’s car will have a bit of a different look this week it will be the No. 41 Haas Automation/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

 

Mobil 1 plays an integral role in SHR’s success. Its lubricant technology helps to reduce frictional loss in the team’s Ford engines to maximize fuel mileage, increase horsepower and turn more rpm, providing an advantage over his competitors. Mobil 1 also helps reduce friction in suspension components to provide maximum tire grip, as well as helping to reduce steering compliance, to give its teams an edge behind the wheel. Not only does Mobil 1 help improve the on-track efficiency of SHR, but the on-track testing helps lead to new lubricant technology developments such as Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which allows drivers to travel up to 20,000 miles, or one full year, between oil changes.

 

In its 16th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.

 

Busch is hoping he can finish strong and find himself in the final eight as he exits Kansas City.

 

TSC PR

Transportation Impact (TI) announced today it will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Bubba Wallace at the Kansas Speedway this Sunday. The parcel spend management firm, headquartered on the Crystal Coast, will increase its associate sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to be the primary sponsor of Wallace Jr. and the No. 43 team during the Hollywood Casino 400. 

TI is one of the fastest-growing companies in North Carolina, having experienced robust growth since its 2008 founding, by helping high-volume parcel shippers reduce cost through innovative audit and negotiation services. These services, along with the company's industry-leading technology, enable businesses large and small to identify and obtain savings they can then use to fund new initiatives, retain employees, or hire new ones.
 
TI co-founders, Travis Burt and Keith Byrd, appreciate the partnership, both from a business perspective as well as a personal one.

"This is a huge opportunity for our company," said Byrd. "Richard Petty Motorsports is one of the most respected brands in racing, and we are very proud to support them this weekend. As a business owner, I want my company to be the best, but not at the cost of integrity, and the Petty team operate on the same principle. It's an honor to be associated with Richard Petty and the virtues of character, sincerity, and candor."

The association between Transportation Impact and RPM began in 2015, and has developed into a strong connection that goes beyond business. 

"We have an amazing relationship with the Petty family and love to be part of NASCAR with them," added Burt. "Bubba has been one of NASCAR's fastest-rising stars the sport and that aligns with our fast growth as a company. There is no better time than to be with Richard Petty Motorsports."

The Hollywood Casino race will air Sunday, October 21, at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.
 
RPM PR

Today, FOX Sports announces a major investment in its Charlotte studio capabilities, outfitting its facility with a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose virtual studio set. The ultra-customizable 60’ x 60’ facility allows for instant 3D analysis of racetracks, cars, race shops and more, with the ability to create unique and changeable spaces within the high-tech studio environment in a matter of hours.

The new set debuts in February 2019 as home to NASCAR Race Hub, the most-watched NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR RaceDay and other NASCAR programming.

“Innovation and ‘what’s next’ thinking have defined the FOX Sports approach from Day 1,” said Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports. “Working with industry leaders and integrating cutting-edge technology has produced one of the most advanced studios in sports. We are extremely excited to show it off early next year as we get viewers ready for the 2019 Daytona 500 on FOX.”

For an early look at FOX Sports virtual studio capabilities:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipvzO5q4GpQ

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the technology behind the mega-popular online video game Fortnite, powers graphic elements for the new studio. Unreal Engine is a complete suite of tools that empowers creators to bring real-time, high-fidelity experiences to PC, console, mobile, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms.

“Unreal Engine gives new meaning to photorealism for real-time renderers,” said Zac Fields, FOX Sports SVP Graphic Tech and Integration. “Being able to blend AR and 3D graphics better than ever before offers us the ability to deliver a seamless transition from the virtual set into the 3D world.”

Production technology elements for the virtual set:

  • Graphic elements powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology
  • The use of set dynamics to tell stories, as the set can transform into remote locations, bringing the location to the FOX Sports studio instead of taking the studio to the location
  • 5 Stype Red Spy encoded cameras, including 1 Steadicam and 1 jib
  • Zero Density studio software, including the most advanced keying features possible on a virtual set. The keying will make use of a 50’ x 47’ green screen area, while maintaining the ability to shoot 360 degrees
  • 3D tracking technology from Blacktrax used to automatically trigger events on the set; whether it’s automated lighting following an analyst on set or augmented reality (AR) being activated by an analyst, this technology opens the door for unique storytelling opportunities
  • Real-time AR using a combination of set elements and 3D graphics (i.e., raising a race car up through the floor or changing the content that texturizes the set)
  • FOX Sports integrating its own custom production workflows, allowing for content to be populated/changed within the virtual set instantaneously

Fox Sports PR

After announcing its first-ever Darlington Raceway 5K Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors under the lights earlier this month, the track is pleased to announce it will donate a portion of proceeds raised from the event to the Boys and Girls Club of the Pee Dee in remembrance of Sgt. Terrence Carraway.

Sgt. Carraway, a lifelong resident of Darlington and 30-year veteran of the neighboring Florence Police Department, was killed in the line of duty on October 3, 2018. He was a dedicated servant to the Darlington and Florence communities having been involved in a variety of community activities that benefited many residents, including children and teenagers.

“With the tragic passing of Sgt. Terrence Carraway we want to honor his legacy by donating a portion of the proceeds from our 5K event to an organization that was important to him and his family - the Boys and Girls Club of the Pee Dee,” Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said. “Sgt. Carraway was revered by many in the Darlington and Florence communities and we encourage people across the region to participate in this event that will honor Sgt. Carraway and the entire law enforcement community.”

Sgt. Carraway was one of seven total law enforcement officers from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and Florence Police Department that were shot in an incident in Florence on Oct. 3. Currently, the other six deputies and officers continue to recover in area hospitals or at their homes.

On Friday, November 9, the track will be hosting the Darlington Raceway 5K presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, a run/walk event that will remember Sgt. Carraway and celebrate all law enforcement that evening. With a 6 p.m. start time, it will be the first 5K raced under the lights at the Lady in Black.

Participants may pre-register online for the event for a fee of $25 per participant by visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com/5K. Day-of registration will be $30 per person.

Packet pickup for the 5K will be available on Thursday, November 8, at the Academy Sports + Outdoors location at 120 Woody Jones Blvd, Florence, SC 29501, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. or on event day at the track beginning at 5 p.m.

The 5K course will start and end at the start-finish line of the race track. All early registrants will receive a t-shirt for their efforts.

Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available by contacting Tyler Grube, Director of Corporate Sales, at 843-395-8877 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame.

Darlington Raceway PR

An unrivaled assortment of fall colors will adorn thousands of classic cars, creative customs and hot rods on Friday and Saturday at the Goodguys 25th Southeastern Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The fan-friendly entertainment coming to America’s Home for Racing this weekend, however, extends beyond four-wheeled examples of artistic ingenuity.

Erin Crocker Evernham – one of the nation’s foremost female racers of the past two decades and the wife of NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief Ray Evernham – will pilot a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro in the Goodguys AutoCross exhibitions on Friday and Saturday. Joining Evernham in the quest for the quickest time around a twisting, challenging, custom-built course in the speedway’s infield will be former Indy car driver Robby Unser. Goodguys AutoCross competitions take place from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. AutoCross roars back on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1-5 p.m.

Fans attending this year’s Goodguys show will also witness a Nitro Thunderfest exhibition of high-performance dragsters at 1 p.m. on Friday and on Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. Additionally, fans can enjoy a tire-squealing, smoke-billowing burnout competition on Saturday at noon and a swap meet and car corral all day on Friday and Saturday.

The Goodguys kids zone returns to the show this year as well, with free arts and crafts, games and prizes for the younger audience.

The Goodguys 25th Southeastern Nationals runs from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Advance single-day tickets to the car show cost $17 and are $20 at the gates, while kids 7-12 get in for just $6 per day and kids six and younger get in FREE.

Fans can buy tickets to the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals online or by calling the speedway’s ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

TICKETS:
Tickets to upcoming speedway events, including the Nov. 1-3 World of Outlaws World Finals presented by Can-Am, are available at the speedway ticket office, online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets/ or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

KEEP TRACK:
Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte by following on Twitter and Instagram or becoming a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.

CMS PR

DGR-Crosley announced today that newly crowned NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion Tyler Ankrum will drive for the team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Ankrum will pilot the No. 54 May's Hawaii Toyota Tundra in his NCWTS debut.
 
The San Bernadino, Calif. native will be making his Truck Series debut just three weeks after being crowned the 2018 K&N East Champion. In his rookie season, the 17-year-old scored four wins, nine top-five's and finished outside of the top-10 in only two races. Ankrum and his No. 17 Modern Meat Co. team led nearly 300 laps during the 2018 season and had an average finish of 4.8.
 
Ankrum will have a team of familiar faces with him as he takes on the 0.526-mile track of Martinsville. His crew chief, Seth Smith, and many other members of his K&N East Championship team will work on Ankrum's No. 54 truck next weekend.
 
"Making my Truck Series debut at Martinsville is huge. So many big names in the sport have made their national series debut at Martinsville," said Ankrum. "I've been dreaming of this day for so long now, I can't believe it's actually happening. It's going to be really cool having Seth [Smith] and my K&N guys there with me."
 
Ankrum has one previous start at the paperclip shaped track which occurred in 2014 when he raced a Late Model Stock Car in the MDCU 300. 
 
"Martinsville is an aggressive track, I've raced there one other time in a late model. I think that little bit of experience will be an advantage and help with the transition. I've already been racing on the simulator and practicing live pit stops with the 54 pit crew because this will actually be the first live pit stop for me. There's a little bit of pressure, but I'm ready for it. I know the DGR-Crosley guys are going to bring me a fast truck, and hopefully we'll be able to get them a solid finish."
 
Aside from having his K&N East team coaching him along, Ankrum will also have veteran Cup Series driver and team co-owner David Gilliland at Martinsville to lean on for advice. 
 
"We are extremely excited to have Tyler in the truck at Martinsville," said Gilliland. "He's been such an important part of our team this year, and it's been awesome to watch him progress and learn each race in the K&N Series. He's proven that he's ready for the next step and I'm glad that everyone at DGR-Crosley is going to be a part of his Truck Series debut."
 
Qualifying for the Texas Roadhouse 200 will take place on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 10:00 a.m., ET with racing action beginning at 1:00 p.m. Both qualifying and the Texas Roadhouse 200 will be broadcast live on FS1.
 
DGR Crosley PR