Speedway Digest Staff
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Today, Ethel M® Chocolates celebrated all things Las Vegas in the brand’s own unique way. The craft chocolate division of Mars Wrigley unveiled the brand’s very first paint scheme that will be featured on fellow Las Vegas native Kyle Busch’s No.18 Toyota Camry during the NASCAR Cup Series race this Sunday, March 7 in Las Vegas.
The hometown duo has teamed up for the special paint scheme that celebrates Ethel M Chocolates’ momentous 40th anniversary of making hand crafted chocolates in the desert. The Ethel M Chocolates’ 40th Anniversary Toyota Camry marks the first appearance from the premium chocolatier across NASCAR’s top three series.
Ethel M Chocolates are a marquis offering, manufactured by Mars Wrigley North America and dedicated to creating premium chocolates with fresh ingredients and no artificial preservatives. 2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of Ethel M Chocolates, a momentous milestone for the brand as it celebrates its ongoing passion for chocolate and the beloved category luminaries who have shaped better moments and more smiles for generations of chocolate lovers.
To further commemorate Ethel M Chocolates’ 40th anniversary, the brand also announced a donation of 40,000 meals to Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, using their involvement in the race weekend to help those in the Las Vegas community who are most in need.
“We’re so excited to honor the Ethel M legacy by kicking off 40th anniversary celebrations in our own backyard alongside fellow Las Vegas legend, Kyle Busch, during this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race,” said William Clements, Vice President, Mars Wrigley Sponsorships. “More importantly, we’re honored to be able to give back to those who need it most through a donation to the Three Square Food Bank, who do fantastic work across our community.”
“In true Ethel M style, they are marking their 40th anniversary by giving an amazing gift to Southern Nevada – the gift of food!” said Three Square Food Bank President and CEO Brian Burton. “As 1 in 5 individuals in our community are now struggling with hunger, we rely on gracious and ‘sweet’ partners like Ethel M to help us realize our vision that no one in our community should be hungry.”
To further build on Mars Wrigley’s purpose to create better moments and more smiles, Ethel M is inviting fans to visit Kyle Busch’s No.18 Ethel M Chocolates 40th Anniversary Toyota Camry on Saturday, March 6. The car will be on display outside of the Flagship Store and Cactus Garden in Henderson, Nev., where residents will have the opportunity to see it in a socially distanced environment and take their own photos with the car. Reservations are free but required to come out and see the car and can be made at Ethelm.com/nascar.
“I always love coming home to race and am honored to have another Vegas native featured on the car this weekend,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 Ethel M Chocolates 40th Anniversary Camry. “When I was a kid, my grandma used to bring me out to the Ethel M Factory and Cactus Garden, and it was one of my favorite places to visit in Vegas. Even during a difficult time, we’re glad to bring a better moment to fans by giving them a chance to connect with the new car in a safe way.”
The No.18 Ethel M Chocolates 40th Anniversary Toyota Camry will take the green flag for the 400-mile race in Las Vegas this Sunday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. ET live on FOX.
For more information about Ethel M Chocolates, including the Flagship store, Factory and 3-acre Cactus Garden in Henderson, the store at Town Square just south of the Vegas strip, the stores at the California Hotel & Casino and McCarran Airport or the Glendale Galleria in southern California, visit www.EthelM.com or follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Coin Cloud, the world’s leading Digital Currency Machine (DCM) company, has announced the giveaway of $100,000 in Dogecoin, the social media darling of the digital currency world. The sweepstakes celebrates the return of a Dogecoin-sponsored race car at NASCAR for the first time in 7 years at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Alsco Uniforms 300, a NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) stock car race.
To mark this occasion, Coin Cloud is putting its support behind the #Dogecar. If Dogecoin-sponsored Car 99 wins first place in the race, Coin Cloud will give away $100,000 in Dogecoin. The prize money will be awarded to 10 lucky Twitter followers at $10,000 apiece, based on current market value.
To enter the $100K Dogecoin Giveaway, follow @CoinCloudATM on Twitter, retweet the giveaway post and comment #DOGECAR.
“Much coin! So speed. Very vroom!” said the Doge when asked to comment. The language of the popular Doge internet meme is well known to its fans. Short phrases in multi-colored Comic Sans font, surrounding the face of a Shiba Inu dog, have become as recognizable as Grumpy Cat. When a couple of programmers joked about a fake altcoin based on the meme in 2013, the response was overwhelming. So they actually created it, and suddenly the joke became a viable digital currency.
“Dogecoin goes viral for a few days every year or so, whether because Elon Musk tweets about it or somebody gets behind a marketing campaign,” explains Chris McAlary, founder and CEO of Coin Cloud. “The demand lately has been huge, our retailers are seeing a buzz around dogecoin at our machines.”
Coin Cloud has offered the buying and selling of Dogecoin for the better part of 4 years. Dogecoin’s latest popularity surge started with a TikTok creator challenge last summer, and received a significant boost in January when a Reddit group pushing GameStop stock turned its attention to the cryptocurrency.
In a perfect storm of social media stardom, it got a final lift thanks to tweets from not just Tesla CEO Elon Musk, but also investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban, rapper Snoop Dogg and rock star Gene Simmons of KISS, among other influencers.
The image of the Dogecoin is no stranger to NASCAR, either. This weekend’s Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas marks the third time Dogecoin-sponsored cars have hit the track. But Car 99, driven by Stefan Parsons, is the first Dogecoin appearance since 2014, when Reddit users again took control. The Dogecoin community on Reddit made history by raising $55,000 to sponsor driver Josh Wise of the Phil Parsons Racing team. By a fascinating twist of fate, team owner and former driver Phil Parsons is Stefan’s father.
“With all the synergy around this event, including the race being held in Las Vegas where Coin Cloud is headquartered, made it a no-brainer to get involved,” McAlary says. “We really hope the Dogecar wins, because this currency has been the ‘Underdoge’ for long enough. It deserves a bigger spotlight.”
Coin Cloud is the only nationwide operator of 100% two-way digital currency machines. Every one of its over 1500 machines is located in retail locations across 45 states empowering customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and 30+ other digital currencies with cash. The free companion Coin Cloud Wallet mobile app, OTC trading and live US-based customer service complete the Coin Cloud ecosystem.
Coin Cloud PR
Indianapolis Motor Speedway played host to Indiana’s first COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic today, with thousands of Hoosiers coming through famed Gate 2 and receiving a vital shot of hope and comfort.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and IMS President J. Douglas Boles both received their vaccines in the early morning. Joining them were Congressman Andre Carson and his father, along with Indiana General Assembly members Roderick Bray, Greg Taylor and Robin Shackleford.
The clinic opened this morning and has been extended through Monday evening, with almost 17,000 Hoosiers pre-registered to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All participants are receiving drive-through vaccinations in IMS garages and will exit the facility traveling alongside the same world-famous racetrack that plays host to the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
“This is a momentous and exciting day for the Hoosier State that IMS is proud to be a part of,” Boles said. “We know getting a vaccination at racing’s greatest cathedral was extra special to so many people who have family history and life-long memories here. I encourage all Hoosiers to receive their vaccine as they become eligible so that Indiana can continue getting back on track.”
Among the many individuals receiving their shots at IMS today were INDYCAR President Jay Frye and NTT INDYCAR SERIES team owner and former Indy 500 driver Michael Andretti.
Holcomb, ever the race fan, described his vaccination as an easy “2.4-second pit stop.”
“Do it. Just do it,” he encouraged Hoosiers. “This is going to help us beat COVID-19.”
Hoosiers 50 and older are eligible for vaccination in the state of Indiana. To learn more, go to: www.ourshot.in.gov.
DIRTcar Pro Stock dynamo Luke Horning maintained the focus of a heavy-weight title fighter throughout the turbulent 2020. He captured his first Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship in addition to the prestigious Albany-Saratoga Speedway track championship, and aims to carry the momentum of that success into the 2021 season.
Horning, from Gloversville, NY, racked up a total of eight DIRTcar Pro Stock wins at three tracks: Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Utica-Rome, and Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Not only did he park the #2H in Victory Lane across New York throughout the season but was also enviably consistent, accumulating 26 top-fives in 32 starts.
He’s proud of the foundation of success that he and his team have built and they are coming in prepared to defend their Albany-Saratoga track championship.
“All those tracks are great to win at,” Horning noted of his 2020 season stats. “Winning at Malta is great because that place is standing room only every week and to get a win there you are beating the best of the best. Lyle [Devore] does a great job there. The facility is top-notch and the track is great. Even if it rains all day they’ll get the race in. A lot of tracks have six-seven drivers that can win. Malta has 15 that are really good and 10 that can go out and win anywhere they go. Getting through traffic is tough but the racing up front is great. They put in that inside jersey barrier in so you can’t dive bomb into the mud anymore and it creates great racing.”
With Glen Ridge Motorsports Park coming into the DIRTcar fold, they have made Fultonville, NY a Pro Stock hub on Sundays with their widened, banked quarter-mile oval. Horning is looking to build a legacy at Glen Ridge.
“Glen Ridge is a tight bullring where you are up on the wheel so to get a win there is a big deal too,” he noted. “I’ll never leave Glen Ridge. Ray from West End and those guys have supported me since the street stock days. We’re now the all-time winners there in the Pro Stocks. You go to Fonda and you hear about Kenny Gates and you go to Malta and you hear about Joe Santoro. That’s something that in a couple of years people will hear about me and Glen Ridge. A lot of these tracks have already been racing for so many years, but I started on the ground floor at Glen Ridge to build my resume.”
Despite all of the success, there was one race Horning wanted back and that was the widely watched OktoberFAST presented by DIRTVision finale at Weedsport Speedway. He started the Feature deep in the field and came a lap away from the signature victory.
“That deal at Weedsport was tough,” Horning said. “I set the fast time in the Time Trials, won the Heat Race, and then started in the back after a bad draw. I really wanted to catch [Nick] Stone on the last lap. That one still bothers me a little bit. You are trying to get through traffic, the track is slick, but you’re running out of the laps. When that race stretched out on green flag laps the leader is gone, you get through traffic.”
Race fans can catch the #2H once again at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, and on the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series tour in 2021.
DIRTcar Series PR
Silverton Casino Hotel has renewed its support of Josh Williams and will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro during Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Silverton Casino Hotel offers 300 deluxe rooms and suites and world-class amenities, all located within an upscale resort. Located at I-15 and Blue Diamond in Las Vegas, this is the company’s third season partnering with Williams in NASCAR’s second-highest division.
“Silverton is pleased to renew our partnership with Josh Williams and be part of another thrilling NASCAR weekend,” said Rob Kunkle, President of Silverton Casino Hotel. “Given the recent state of the economy, we are beyond excited for this electrifying event and to have the ability to offer our continued support.”
During Silverton’s ride with Williams last March in Las Vegas, the Port Charlotte, Fla., driver scored what was then his best finish on a downforce-style race track in Xfinity Series action – a 13th-place run.
Williams considers Las Vegas one of his better venues and hopes to be able to drop that mark into the single digits this year with his first top-10 finish of the season.
“We’ve made a ton of strides as a team over the last year, and we’re racing against some of the best competition in the Xfinity Series now on a regular basis,” Williams said. “We’ve put in a lot of work to make our package better, and I think that showed at the end of last year when we broke into the top 10 a few times. That’s where our goals are now, and we strive to be there every week.
“Las Vegas is a fun track to race at and we kept ourselves in the mix all day last year; that’s what you have to do at this level,” Williams added. “We’ve had some good speed already this year and we expect that to continue. We’re in a good place and just want to keep building momentum here early on.”
Williams sits inside the top 20 in driver points through three of 33 races this season, hoping to build on a career-best year from 2020 as he challenges for a maiden Xfinity Series playoff berth.
With the support of Silverton Casino Hotel, Williams hopes to take a major step toward that goal this weekend.
“We’re excited to have Silverton Casino Hotel back onboard with us and we’re glad to support the city as they rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Williams said. “It’s a big weekend, with NASCAR being in Las Vegas, and we hope to give them a strong result on Saturday.”
Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 300 airs at 4:30 p.m. ET, live on FS1, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Josh Williams PR
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) have entered into a letter of intent to renovate historic Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (NFS) for the potential return of NASCAR events at the legendary racetrack.
The Speedway is the second-oldest operating motor speedway in the United States, dating back to 1904. It has a storied connection with racing, including being a showcase for legendary drivers such as Dale Earnhardt, members of the Petty family and our own Darrell Waltrip.
Subject to approval by the Board of Fair Commissioners and Metropolitan Council, Bristol Motor Speedway would have a long-term contract to lease, manage, and operate Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, as well as assume financial responsibility for track renovations and ongoing maintenance.
“The goal of the partnership is to bring our historic racetrack back to life as a valuable and exciting part of the Fairgrounds,” said Mayor John Cooper. “We have an obligation to maintain the track, so it is smart for Nashville to engage a strong, long-term partner from the auto racing industry to operate it successfully. The business terms in this LOI protect Nashville, with multiple revenue streams to make this a financial success. We can put this landmark back on the national stage. I look forward to working with the Fair Board and the Metro Council in the months ahead.”
Mayor Cooper’s intention is to bring back high-level racing at no cost to taxpayers, and even generate excess revenue from what is currently a money-losing operation. The renovation of the Speedway will be supported by multiple revenue streams including user fees and taxes paid by patrons of the venue, lease payments, a potential naming rights deal. In addition to NASCAR, Metro anticipates revenues from non-racing events, such as concerts and other entertainment events, including events sponsored by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. This letter of intent follows a planning process for the site that includes greenway access, ADA compliance, connectivity to Fairgrounds facilities and integration with the soccer stadium.
Bristol Motor Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, which owns and operates eight state-of-the-art sports entertainment venues nationwide.
Key terms of the letter of intent, signed late Thursday by Mayor Cooper and Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith, include:
- Metro would issue no more than $50 million in bonds for racetrack renovations, as is already specified in the Capital Improvements Budget. Debt service and project-related expenses would be fully covered by revenues generated from racing and non-racing event activities held at the track, including lease payments, and taxes and fees generated by track event patrons.
- Under a lease and management agreement, BMS would pay Metro an annual lease payment for track management and operations and share a percentage of revenues from events. Additionally, for four weeks a year, BMS would lease all Fairgrounds property (except for the MLS stadium and commercial developments) for $1 million annually to host major racing events.
- BMS, which possesses decades of major auto racing design, construction, and operations experience, would serve as development manager for track and facility renovations. Improvements would include safety upgrades, spectator amenities, and new ancillary facilities for both racing and non-racing experiences.
- Noise mitigation would be an integral part of the redesign and track improvements.
- BMS is committed to an extensive community engagement process with neighborhood residents and Nashville organizations.
- The new operating model for the speedway will provide the neighborhoods around the track with schedule certainty so residents know in advance when racing and practice will occur.
- BMS will renovate the racetrack to meet NASCAR safety and design standards necessary to host national series events and modernize NFS as a multi-function facility for non-racing special events to generate tourism-related revenue that is healthy for Nashville.
“We can work together to transform Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway into an amazing multipurpose entertainment destination,” said Smith. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and go to work to fully restore the speedway, recruit national events and breathe new life into a venue that has a legendary status in auto racing history.”
Partnering with Bristol Motor Speedway is an opportunity to preserve and reinvigorate one of Nashville’s unique entertainment assets. “The Historic Fairgrounds Speedway deserves an opportunity to rekindle its great reputation. The relationship with BMS racing is an incredible opportunity to restore this track and bring top tier racing back home,” added Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation.
If the partnership is approved, Speedway Motorsports would expand its nationally acclaimed Speedway Children’s Charities to include Nashville. The organization’s mission is to solve challenges affecting young people, including health, learning, homelessness, and other issues, by supporting local charitable partners. Since 1982, Speedway Children’s Charities has donated more than $60 million to nonprofit partners nationwide.