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David Gilliland Racing (DGR) announced today that long time crew chief Jerry Baxter will join the team to lead the No. 15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) entry with driver Tanner Gray for the 2022 season. Baxter brings a wealth of knowledge to the young NCWTS team with over 35 years of experience in NASCAR.
The 2022 NCWTS season will mark Gray’s third full-time year, and first under the guidance of Baxter. Baxter returns to the NCWTS after spending the last two seasons as a crew chief in the Cup Series. In his NCWTS career, the California native has 16 wins, 59 top-five and 104 top-10 finishes, and 10 pole awards. Most recently in the NCWTS, Baxter guided Brett Moffitt to four wins in 2019.
“Jerry’s passion and history with the Truck Series will be a great addition to DGR,” said David Gilliland, co-owner of David Gilliland Racing. “His experience will be able to provide Tanner with the tools he needs to be a successful driver.”
Baxter’s experience in the NCWTS dates back to 1998 with driver Boris Said at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Said started from the second position and went on to win the event after leading 47 laps under Baxter’s tutelage. Throughout his NASCAR career, Baxter has called 84 Cup Series and 194 Xfinity Series races in addition to 186 NCWTS races.
“I’m thrilled to be joining DGR and working with Tanner,” said Jerry Baxter, No. 15 crew chief. “Tanner is a great young man and he’s eager to perform well behind the wheel. I’m looking forward to working with him and helping him get to the next level.”
Baxter’s first on-track activity with Gray is scheduled to be at the NCWTS manufacturer's test at Atlanta Motor Speedway on December 6.
“I can’t wait to work with Jerry,” said Tanner Gray. “He has a lot of experience across the sport and a proven track record in the Truck Series. I’m still learning week in and week out, so it will be nice to have consistency next season with a veteran voice in my ear. I’m excited to work together to get the No. 15 Ford Performance F-150 running up front where it belongs.”
The opening 2022 NCWTS race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway will be televised live on FS1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on February 18.
Brody Roa Takes on 54th Annual Western World Championships in Arizona This Week – Kcrp and Turkey Night Still to Come
Brody Roa will close his USAC/CRA 2021 sprint car racing season this Friday and Saturday at the “54th Annual Western World Championships” at the Arizona Speedway. The two nights of action will be Roa’s last at the track that will be making way for redevelopment at the end of the month.
Roa heads into the final two races of the 2021 USAC/CRA Sprint Car campaign second in the championship point standings. He will take his first green flag in qualifying 56-points out of first place. His never give up attitude will be on full display at both races as he tries to close the gap and take the top spot.
This week’s race will be Roa’s second at Arizona Speedway in 2021. Five weeks ago on October 2nd, an impressive late race charge saw the “Pride of Garden Grove” finish third in the 30-lap main event. Last year at the Western World, Roa got clobbered while battling for second on the first night. The extensive damage forced crew chief Zac Bozonich and the crew to roll out a backup car for night number two. After running as far back as 19th in the final, he came charging back to finish 10th. In 2019, he also placed 10th at the finale of the Western Worlds. Roa’s best recent finish in the Western’s came in 2017 when he placed sixth in the finale.
Last week Roa participated in the “25th Anniversary Oval Nationals” at Perris Auto Speedway. The veteran driver came into the three straight nights of racing 75-points out of first place in the championship standings. By the time the final checkered flag ended the finale of the historic race on Saturday night, he had shaved 19-points off the disadvantage. His highlight of the weekend on the famous Riverside County half-mile clay oval came on Friday. It was a night that did not start out like normal for the Garden Grove, California inhabitant as he qualified an uncharacteristic 27th fastest out of the 37-cars on hand. A seventh-place finish in his heat was followed by an 11th in the B main. That forced Roa to a rare provisional to get into the A main where he put on a show. Starting on the back row in 25th, the veteran driver passed 15 cars and ended up 10th! Opening night of the Ovals saw Roa start 14th in the 30-lap main and finish 13th. In the 40-lap finale on Saturday, he began the race in 16th and raced his way up to 12th.
While many teams have already packed it in for the season and others will be done after this weekend, Roa will still have two races to go. As soon as he is done in Arizona, he will drive home and journey to the Kern County Raceway Park for Monday’s “George ‘Ziggy’ Snider Classic.” The 30-year-old racer will be driving Jason May’s brand-new #8M Eagle Chassis at the Bakersfield track. The last time Roa drove for May was the third weekend in April when he won an open competition 360 show at Kern County on Friday and followed that up with a USAC West Coast 360 victory 24-hours later at the Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. Roa and May will team up again on Friday and Saturday November 26th and 27th for the historic 80th running of the “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at the Ventura Raceway.
Fans who would like to see Roa in action this Friday and Saturday can find the Arizona Speedway at 48700 N. Ironwood Dr, in San Tan Valley, Arizona (85140). Gates will open at 3:00 p.m. each day with racing at 7:00. The track website is at https://www.arizonaspeedway.net/ and the office phone is (480) 926-6688.
Those wishing to see him in action on Monday in the #8M can find Kern County Raceway Park adjacent to Interstate 5 at 13500 Raceway Boulevard at Interstate 5 and Enos Lane in Bakersfield (93311). The KCRP website is at https://www.arizonaspeedway.net/. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with racing at 7:00.
Roa will have team merchandise, which makes great Christmas gifts, available for his fans at both races. For those unable to attend races in person, the BR Performance online store is packed with great items including t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, beanies, baby onesies, plush blankets, jigsaw puzzles, stickers, notebooks, tote bags, wine tumblers, mugs, bandana pet collars and more. To see check it out, please visit the following website https://www.brodyroa.com/shop/.
Roa and the team would like to thank the following for being part of the 91R’s 2021 campaign. HD Industries, Biker Bruce Fischer, Inland Rigging, Burris Racing, Sander Engineering, ALR Virtual Services, Caltrol, Competition Suspension, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Baldwin Filters and Jambo BBQ Pits. In addition, the veteran driver offers thanks to Fastenal, Coopers Propane, Total Lubricants, Marina Pools, TJM Oilfield Distribution, Certex, and Biker Bruce for sponsoring the #8M.
If you or your company would like to jump on board and receive recognition during what is going to be a very busy 2022 season, please give the two-time USAC champion racer a phone call or drop him a note at the contact information at the top of this release. You can also contact him if you would like to put him in your car in a USAC National Series race when his west coast schedule permits.
To view Roa’s online portfolio and learn more about the team, please click on the following link https://www.teamwithbrody.com/. Fans can also check out the team website at https://www.brodyroa.com/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/br91r/. To keep up with May Motorsports, please check out and “like” its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/MayMotorsports8M
The 2022 Stafford Speedway schedule has arrived. 24 race days make up the 2022 calendar highlighted by 12 special events kicking off with the 50th anniversary of the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® April 23rd and 24th. Weekly racing will continue to be the core of the Stafford Speedway schedule with the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light Modified, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions running weekly from May through September.
“Weekly racing continues to be very important to us at Stafford,” explained Stafford Speedway CEO Mark Arute. “The racing in each of our weekly divisions this year was excellent. There’s endless talent in all 5 Stafford divisions and we’ll continue to put those teams and drivers in the spotlight.”
The 2022 season will begin with the previously announced 50th Spring Sizzler® featuring two days of racing highlighted by a $15,000 to win 100 lap Open Modified event. A new addition to Spring Sizzler® weekend will be the PASS Super Late Models who are set for their first appearance at Stafford since 2012. Click here for more information on the 2022 NAPA Spring Sizzler.
The Open Modifieds will return to the half-mile once per month in 2022. The Call Before You Dig Open Modified 81 will kick-off the events Friday, May 20th and will be followed by the Bud Light Open 80 on June 10th, GAF Roofing Open 80 on July 1st, and the Lincoln Tech Open 80 on Friday, August 19th. New for 2022, the Tri-Track Modified Series will make a trip to Stafford Speedway Saturday, September 24th as the headliner for the 49th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final.
“We’re excited to have the Tri-Track Modified series back at Stafford after the incredible CBYD Modified Classic in 2020,” continued Arute. “The dates didn’t line-up to have them on the calendar in 2021, but they will be back in a big way in 2022 headlining the 49th NAPA Fall Final.”
Each of Stafford’s 5 weekly divisions will run an extra distance event with the SK Modifieds® going beyond their 40 lap distance twice. First with the 50 lap Senator’s Cup July 15th and again for the 9th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K. The Limited Late Models will run 5 extra laps on June 17th while the Street Stocks will compete in their annual Midstate Site Development Firecracker 30 on June 24th. Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz Night will be held July 8th and will feature a 40 lap event for the SK Light Modified division. Finally, the Late Models will run their extra distance event September 2nd in the Paradiso Insurance Late Model 50.
“We are building off the success of the last few seasons,” continued Arute. “The drivers, teams, and fans have all rallied behind Stafford in so many ways, 2022 will be a season that will make everyone proud to call Stafford Speedway their home track. We have multiple facility improvements currently underway that fans and drivers will love. We may even have a few more surprises up our sleeve. See everyone at the Spring Sizzler.”
Season tickets for the 2022 Stafford Speedway season are now available online and by calling the track office. All pricing remains the same from 2021. Click here to order your 2022 season tickets. Weekly and Open Modified number registration is also now available online, click here to register your team for 2022. For the full schedule, please visit staffordspeedway.com/schedule.
For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.
Stafford Speedway PR
On Saturday, Nov. 20, DIRTcar Racing is set to celebrate the champions of the Northeast including Matt Sheppard, Billy Dunn, Matt Janczuk, and more at the annual DIRTcar Northeast Banquet.
During the ceremony, championship points payouts will be awarded for the Super DIRTcar Series ($129,000), DIRTcar 358 Modified Series ($25,350), DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series ($16,800), and the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series ($6,250), totaling more than $225,000 in cash payout to more than 140 drivers.
Super Matt Sheppard won his record-setting eighth Super DIRTcar Series championship while Billy Dunn raced to his first career DIRTcar 358 Modified Series title.
Rookie of the Year awards in each division will also be announced and recognized for the Super DIRTcar Series as well as each division, totaling another $2,350 in awards.
Matt Janczuk will be honored for his first DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series championship and Chad Jeseo will be honored with his DIRTcar Pro Stock Series title.
Not only are the stars of the Series honored but the blood, sweat, and tears of weekly racers are rewarded as well. This year five DIRTcar Northeast divisions were included in the Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship including DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series, DIRTcar Pro Stocks, and the new DIRTcar 4 Cylinders. More than $47,000 will go out to drivers who support their local DIRTcar sanctioned race tracks.
VP Racing Fuels will also distribute $27,000 in fuel certificates over the four divisions as well.
Stay tuned to DIRTcar.com and SuperDIRTcarSeries.com for upcoming schedule announcements and more.
Super DIRTcar Series PR
After a great 5th place finish in the ARCA West Series final in Phoenix last Saturday, Jean-Philippe Bergeron will now head to New Smyrna Speedway to compete in the 56th Florida Governor’s Cup behind the wheel of the Pro Late Model #15 owned by Race Car Solutions. Jean-Philippe finished 5th in the World Series of Asphalt standings last February on the ½ mile oval with the same team. Race Car Solutions (RCS) is a well-established team in Florida that specializes in advanced car preparation and driver development. So Jean-Philippe, who goes by the nickname “Bergy,” will find himself in familiar territory on Saturday for this annual race that brings together the best Pro Late Model and Super Late Model drivers in the southern United States. “I know that RCS is putting together some high-performance cars that can run up front. I’m looking forward to racing with them again. I will finish my racing season at the same place I started it at the beginning of the year!” said the driver who would like to do a full season in the ARCA series in 2022. “Nothing is decided yet. We are thinking about it and obviously looking for financial partners that would allow us to confirm a full season in the ARCA series. The Festidrag development partners are delighted with the performances that Jean-Philippe has accomplished in the last few months. He has shown great maturity, adaptability and talent,” added Martin D’Anjou, CEO of Festidrag Développement.
The green flag for the race program will be given on Saturday at 7:00 pm. The 50-lap event has 15 drivers registered to date, including Michael Lira, who was Jean-Philippe’s spotter at the World Series of Asphalt earlier this year. The RCS teammate will change roles on Saturday and will be back behind the wheel of the #5 car after a 4-year absence. Fans of Jean-Philippe Bergeron are invited to follow Festidrag’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/festidrag) for all the details of the event.
JP Burgeron PR
NBC Sports once again produced a number of viewership milestones for its 2021 NASCAR coverage, including year-over-year viewership increases for both the Cup and Xfinity Series and and NBC Sports’ most-streamed seasons for both series on record.
NBC Sports’ 2021 NASCAR Cup Series viewership across NBC and NBCSN produced a Total Audience Delivery of 2.562 million viewers, according to Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics, slightly up vs. viewership for the comparable races on NBC and NBCSN in 2020 (2.560 million viewers), excluding weather-impacted races.
The Cup Series season was capped by Kyle Larson’s first-career championship last Sunday at Phoenix Raceway on NBC, which produced a TAD of 3.274 million viewers (1.95 HH rating, 3.214 million TV-only), up 6% from last season’s championship race on NBC (3.093 million viewers) to rank as the most-watched fall Phoenix race since 2018.
Additional Cup Series viewership highlights:
- More than half (11 of 20) of the race windows saw year-over-year viewership gains vs. 2020, including six consecutive races from Michigan (Aug. 22) to Las Vegas (Sept. 26);
- Indianapolis (Aug. 15 on NBC) and Michigan (Aug. 22 on NBCSN) were the highest-rated sports events of their respective weekends;
- Indianapolis, Michigan, Road America (July 4 on NBC) and Daytona (Aug. 28 on NBC) made NBC/NBCSN the most-watched TV network during their window.
The 2021 Cup Series also featured the first-ever simul-streamed races on Peacock (Texas, Martinsville and Phoenix) and delivered NBC Sports’ most-streamed NASCAR season record in terms of Average Minute Audience (30,000 viewers) and total minutes (109 million minutes). The Phoenix Cup and Xfinity Series races rank as NBC Sports’ most-streamed NASCAR races on record.
Knoxville led all markets for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series on NBC and NBCSN with a 5.3 local rating, followed by Greenville-Spartanburg (4.6) and Greensboro-High Point (4.2). Following are the Top 10 markets for 2021 campaign:
NBC Sports also saw viewership gains for its coverage of the 2021 Xfinity Series, producing a TAD of 982,000 viewers to rank as its most-watched Xfinity Series season since 2018, up 6% vs. 2020 (924,000).
Saturday night’s championship race in Phoenix on NBCSN produced a TAD of more than 1 million viewers (1.030 million), up 4% vs. last year. This season also marked NBC Sports’ most-streamed Xfinity Series year on-record in terms of AMA and total minutes.
NBC Sports PR
Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced today that Dave Elenz will join the organization as crew chief of the No. 43 Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, piloted by Erik Jones, for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) campaign. Dave Elenz announcement.jpg
The Gaylord, Mich.-native, is a seven-year NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) veteran crew chief – including five full-time seasons with JR Motorsports. The 2022 season will mark Elenz's first full-time season as crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series.
As crew chief, Elenz won back-to-back NASCAR Xfinity Series championships with William Byron in 2017 and Tyler Reddick in 2018. In 228 NASCAR Xfinity Series combined starts, Elenz has recorded 15 victories, 77 top-five finishes and 149 top-10 finishes.
“In 2001, when I started in NASCAR, my goal was to contend for a NASCAR Cup Series championship-title as a crew chief,” Elenz said. “The past seven years at JR Motorsports has prepared me for the next chapter in my career. Working with champion-caliber drivers like William (Byron), Tyler (Reddick), and Noah (Gragson) has not only fueled my desire to move up to the next level, but has also prepared me to the fullest for that next step.
“I appreciate Noah’s support and encouragement on this decision. I have immense gratitude for everyone at JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports and their continued support over the years. I cannot thank them enough. I am excited to start my next chapter with Erik (Jones) and Richard Petty Motorsports.”
A graduate of Clemson (S.C.) University, Elenz began his career at Jasper Racing in 2001. The 40-year-old held tenure at Ginn Racing from 2003 to 2007 and at Red Bull Racing Team from 2009 to 2011. At Red Bull Racing Team, Elenz was a part of the organization’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory (Michigan) in 2009 as the lead engineer.
In 2012, Elenz joined Hendrick Motorsports as an engineer. Working alongside crew chief Chad Knaus, Elenz was an engineer on Jimmie Johnson’s NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning team in 2013. Elenz joined JR Motorsports as a crew chief for the 2015 season.
“I have watched Dave’s career develop, and I have always been impressed with him as a person and as a competitor,” Philippe Lopez, competition director for Richard Petty Motorsports, said. “As a race engineer, he has won races and a championship in the NASCAR Cup Series, and as a crew chief he has won races and championships in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a very diverse group of drivers. I am very excited to have him take on the role as crew chief for Richard Petty Motorsports as we rollout the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the 2022 season.”
With the 2020 NASCAR season in the rearview, America’s Home for Racing is transforming into America’s Home for the Holidays, with Speedway Christmas set to open Nov. 19. For those who haven’t experienced the magic of Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the largest drive-thru lights-to-music event in the country is more than just the 4 million lights strung along a 3.75-mile drive-thru course. Back by popular demand for 2021, FOX Charlotte Movie Nights at Speedway Christmas will once again offer a bevy of classics on the 16,000-square-foot Speedway TV every Thursday through Sunday and throughout the week of Christmas, to be enjoyed drive-in movie style.
“Spending time with family is as much a part of the tradition of the holidays as leaving out Christmas cookies for Santa,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “What better way to get into the spirit of the holidays than to pack up the family in the car, enjoy the twinkling of millions of Christmas lights and take in a holiday classic drive-in movie on one of the biggest HDTVs in the world.”
Below is the schedule for the upcoming FOX Charlotte Movie Nights:
- Nov. 19-21: “Home Alone 2” presented by United Site Services
- Nov. 25-28: “Christmas Vacation” presented by CookOut
- Dec. 2-5: “The Grinch” presented by Food Lion
- Dec. 9-12: “Christmas with the Kranks” presented by Lidl
- Dec. 16-26: “Elf” presented by AutoBell
- Dec. 30-Jan. 2: “A Christmas Story” presented by CookOut
Designated parking in front of the 16,000-square-foot Speedway TV will ensure every guest has a perfect view. Guests can tune their car radio to a dedicated low-frequency FM station to dial in the audio from the comfort of their vehicle. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the infield Christmas Village this year.
Speedway Christmas opens Friday, Nov. 19, featuring more than 4 million sparkling LED lights along a 3.75-mile course that takes guest around the legendary track, through the infield and under the concourse. Many of the lights will be synchronized to lively Christmas music that guests can listen to on their car radio as they wind through the show. In addition, the Christmas Village is back for 2021. Visitors can grab a photo with Santa, enjoy a replica Bethlehem Village or get a head start on holiday shopping with local crafters and vendors on-site. The Christmas Village is open every Thursday through Sunday night and throughout the week of Christmas.
Speedway Christmas will be open nightly from Nov. 19 through Jan. 16, with the exception of limited private bookings and Christmas Eve. Tickets are sold per vehicle, starting at $30 Monday-Wednesday and $40 Thursday-Sunday. Guests can skip the lines and beat traffic with a new, dedicated Fast Pass lane, accessible off of Morehead Road at entrance P. The Fast Pass lane is open Thursday through Sunday and costs $70 per vehicle.
Tickets are available online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or at the gate upon entry.
Keep track of all of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s events, share their photos and join the conversation by following on Twitter and Instagram or becoming a Facebook fan. Fans can also keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.
He was an iconic reporter but also an iconoclast.
The late Robin Miller, who passed away in August at the age of 71, is the winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award for the third quarter of 2021, NMPA president Reid Spencer announced Wednesday.
Miller rose to prominence as an IndyCar journalist during his lengthy career with the Indianapolis Star, where he worked from 1968 to 2001. Among writers covering the IndyCar Series, Miller was acknowledged as the foremost authority, given his knowledge of the garage and the depth of his contacts.
From a journalistic standpoint, Miller pulled no punches and earned well-deserved acclaim—and no small amount of controversy—for his no-holds-barred approach to reporting.
Born in 1949 in Anderson, Indiana, Miller also worked for ESPN, Speed, Autoweek, Car and Driver and Racer magazine, to name a few. At the time of his death, he was reporting for Racer and for NBCSN.
Miller announced in July 2021 that he had been diagnosed with terminal leukemia. He passed away on August 25. In October, Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted an invitation-only celebration of his life that was limited to 400 of his friends. Attendees included speedway owner Roger Penske and IndyCar legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
Miller was selected for the third-quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award by vote of the NMPA membership.
Also receiving votes were Bubba Wallace, who teamed with PGA Tour pro Harold Varner III to raise more than $200,000 through the Drivers Fore! Change golf tournament; and the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, which joined with volunteer groups to raise more that $127,000 for local charities during NASCAR race weekend in July.
Miller is now eligible for the year-end NMPA Pocono Spirit Award, to be voted by NMPA members. Marcus Lemonis of Camping World was the first-quarter winner. Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation received the second-quarter award.
Established in 1992 and supported by Pocono Raceway, The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.