Monday, May 23
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Fans looking to get out of the grandstands and truly experience the raw speed and power of a 600-horsepower NASCAR race car on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 1.54-mile surface can do so this summer with a special offer from Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE).

Beginning now, RPDE will offer high-speed three-lap Race Rides for $59 ($109 value) with each ticket purchased to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 1. This discount, a $50 discount over the regular rate, is also available to customers that have already purchased AdvoCare 500 tickets.

Race Rides purchased through this special offer will take place on Thursday, Aug. 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Fans will ride shotgun for three thrilling laps in a 600-horsepower NASCAR race car as they experience Atlanta Motor Speedway first-hand leading into the AdvoCare 500 race weekend.

Those looking to purchase this discounted Race Ride will need to obtain a voucher number through the AMS Ticket Office prior to purchasing their rides from RPDE.

Richard Petty Driving Experience offers real-life NASCAR racing thrills, putting customers as close to being in the race as they will ever get. Programs include eight to 50-lap driving experiences where participants have the chance to climb behind the wheel and experience the feel of a 600-horsepower stock car. Riding shotgun with one of RPDE’s professional driving instructors for three high-speed laps is also an option.

Couple the hands-on experience of riding shotgun in a 600-horsepower stock car with the high-banks and lightning-quick speeds of the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway, where many of racing’s greatest moments have taken place, and it is easy to see why this deal is a must for the racing fan looking to get as close as they can, right inside a NASCAR stock car!

To reserve this special Race Ride promotion, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX. To learn more about Richard Petty Driving Experience drive and ride programs visit www.drivepetty.com or call 1 (800) 237-3889.

AMS PR

Danica Patrick enters this weekend not quite knowing how many laps she will race on Saturday night.

She might race 40, or she might race 130 depending on what happens with the Sprint Fan Vote and the Sprint Showdown. Both are part of the non-points Sprint All-Star event Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Twenty-two drivers are already locked in the 90-lap Sprint All-Star race by virtue of either a Sprint Cup race win in 2012 or 2013, an All-Star Race win at some point in the last 10 years, or a Sprint Cup championship in the last decade.

Patrick, who has only 21 Sprint Cup starts in her career, does not meet those requirements but has two other ways she can lock herself and the GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet team into the Sprint All-Star Race. She can finish first or second in the 40-lap Sprint Showdown, which takes place right before the Sprint All-Star Race, or win the Sprint Fan Vote. Fans can vote for Patrick until 5 p.m. EDT Saturday at NASCAR.com or on the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app, where votes count twice.

Patrick’s No. 10 GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the logo of GoDaddy Cares for this weekend’s Sprint All-Star festivities. GoDaddy Cares is GoDaddy’s charitable branch whose unique “Round Up for Charity” program in which customers who purchase a domain name or a product at GoDaddy have an option of rounding up their purchase to the nearest dollar. Customers then select a charity of their choice from an extensive list offered by GoDaddy.

Three of the charities on that list are featured on Patrick’s GoDaddy Cares Chevrolet SS this weekend:

n Hope for Haiti: Hope for Haiti is a Naples, Fla.-based charitable organization operating in Port-au-Prince and out of Les Cayes in the south of Haiti. Serving in the most remote areas, Hope for Haiti’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, through education, nutrition, and health care. For more than 20 years, the organization has been working in partnership with the Haitian people to connect, heal, and empower communities on the path toward sustainability.

n National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF): The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor Janelle Hail. NBCF continues to grow every year to help more and more women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and providing free mammograms to women in need.

n VEX Robotics / REC Foundation: The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC) seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the United States and internationally.

For more information on GoDaddy Cares, visit: www.GoDaddyCares.com

TSC PR

If there was one person who best described the attitude of everyone involved in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, it would be former track President H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, who once called it a race in which the owner of the car tells the driver, “Bring me back the trophy or the steering wheel.”

While it’s uncertain whether team owner Joe Gibbs has said this to Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Bites Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the talented young driver certainly would be expected to do just that, even without the urging of the man who cuts his paycheck.

Busch locked in his spot for this year’s All-Star event – comprised primarily of 2012 and 2013 Sprint Cup race winners, plus past All-Star Race winners and past series champions – via his one series win in 2012 and two wins in NASCAR’s top series thus far in 2013. This year’s wins came at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in March and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in April.

The Las Vegas native not only has earned the title of All-Star, he’s become one of the dominant forces in the elite Sprint Cup Series. His win at Texas last month was the 26th of his Sprint Cup career, and Busch now has 112 career wins in NASCAR’s top three divisions – Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck.

Busch was regarded as a potential star when he entered the Sprint Cup ranks full-time in 2005 as a raw 18-year-old, but he’s quickly transformed that star potential into bonafide all-star status since joining JGR at the beginning of 2008. And he’s continued to shine well into what is now his sixth season with JGR.

As a competitor who has tried to focus on racing smart during points-paying events week in and week out, Busch views Saturday’s non-points-paying All-Star Race as his annual opportunity to throw patience out the window at his own discretion.

Busch will debut a new scheme he hopes to find in victory lane on Saturday night with SNICKERS Bites. The brand new hunger-satisfying innovation that offers the trademark SNICKERS combination of chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougat shrunk down into small, no fuss, “pop ’em in your mouth” milk chocolate cubes. The unwrapped treats are ideal for sharing, whether while watching a movie, attending a gathering, or for fans cheering Busch to victory lane.

So, as fans keep an eye out for the SNICKERS Bites Toyota come Saturday night, there’s nothing more than money and pride on the line. Whether Busch brings back the trophy or the steering wheel, it’s a safe bet he’ll be exciting to watch.

TSC PR

No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer never imagined he would get the opportunity to race under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the chance to win $2 million in the Sprint All-Star Race. Bowyer, who won three races in 2012 to qualify for the non-points race, makes his fifth start in the high-stakes race Saturday night.

QUOTES

SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE:“The Sprint All-Star race is such a great event for everyone involved - it normally brings out great racing, tempers and a mad dash to the finish. It’s different than the races each weekend in about every way. You have to win a race to get invited. It’s a pure money event - points don’t mean a thing. The format changes a little each year, but the only thing you have to remember is the guy that finishes first in the last 10 laps segment is walking home with a lot of cash. And I love cash! And so do all the other guys and we’ll do about anything we can to get to that finish line first. There is over $1 million on the line - and two million if you win every segment. It is going to be crazy from start to finish. It’s going to be one heck of a show for the fans and I hope to be standing there with a mountain of cash at the end.

“When I started racing in Kansas we would take off at the drop of the hat to go race in a $5,000 to win night out at the dirt track. Guys would bring their best stuff and try all sorts of things to get that big payday. There would be hard racing, fights and all kinds of stuff that would erupt over that kind of prize. This Sprint All-Star Race is just like that - but for the chance to win up to $2 million if you win the event and take home the Bruton Smith Bonus. To say it will be crazy won’t even begin to describe it.”

MWR PR

2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski and his Checkered Flag Foundation (CFF) have a fun-filled party planned for Memorial Day featuring a live concert from "The Lost Trailers." The good news? You're invited!

 

 The event, themed "Remembering Our Heroes," will feature cycling events in the morning and then conclude in the evening with a first-class dinner provided by the 220 Cafe, a live 90-minute concert from Nashville Recording Artists, "The Lost Trailers" and a silent auction full of collectible memorabilia ranging from drivers' suits and sheet metal to autographed guitars to fully stocked gift baskets from national and local merchants. All proceeds from the event will benefit CFF and its mission to support those who have sacrificed for the rest of us.

 

The all-day event, which begins with the combined start of the 20, 50- and100-kilometer social bike ride at 8:30 a.m. from Penske Racing, will also feature a Celebrity Trike Challenge with local businesses taking on NASCAR teams on big-boy tricyles in head-to-head competition. Keselowski and his Penske Racing teammates will take on challengers from Brad Keselowski Racing, JR Motorsports, Motor Racing Outreach, military teams and more! Sponsorship for the event has been graciously provided by Penske Racing, Carlisle, Lionel, Draw-Tite, and Miller Lite.

 

According to Keselowski, the foundation's president and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, the event is geared toward a wide audience with the importance of the Memorial Day holiday in mind.

 

"When you think of Memorial Day, you think of a day you spend remembering those who have made great sacrifices for us to do what we like to do, which in my case is driving a race car mostly in circles," Keselowski said. "I can't think of a better way to spend the holiday than by spending it with my friends, supporters, veterans and current military members celebrating our nation's heroes for a worthwhile cause. I also think it's pretty cool that the guys from 'The Lost Trailers' are going to play for us. It will be a great day."

 

"We are very excited to be headlining Brad's Checkered Flag Foundation's Memorial Day celebration," said The Lost Trailers founder Stokes Nielson. "We feel very honored to be a part of this celebration. We hope people will bring their family and friends to have a great time with us while remembering and celebrating those who have sacrificed for our great nation."

 

Costs for the individual events are:

 

*  $35 for the 100-kilometer social ride; $30 for the 50-kilometer social ride; $25 for the 20-kilometer social rides (fees go up $5 if you register the day of the event). Entry fee includes technical t-shirt, in-race route support, a custom finisher's medal and a post-race lunch with beverages and karaoke included. Register here:    Cycling Registration

 

*  $500 donation for the four-person Celebrity Trike Challenge, which includes four technical         t-shirts and finishers' medals for all. Field will be capped at 30 teams. Top-three teams will be invited to a private meet and greet with "The Lost Trailers" band members. 

Register here: Trike Challenge Registration

 

*  $55 per person or $350/table of eight for entry to the dinner and concert. Includes dinner and beverages, as well as entry to the concert. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Penske Racing Gift Shop (200 Penske Way, Mooresville, NC  28115) or at Brad Keselowski Racing (380 Performance Drive, Mooresville, NC 28115). You can also visit www.checkeredflagfoundation.org. Admission will be limited to 500 guests. Discount available to military (active, Reserve, retired with ID) and first responders. 

 

Dinner/Concert Registration here: 

 

Remembering Our Heroes Memorial Day Fundraiser

 

Checkered Flag Foundation PR

Matt Crafton's led the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' championship standings a few times in his career, but heading into Friday evening's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with his No. 88 Fisher Nuts / Menards Toyota atop the points could come at no better time for Crafton.

 

First, he and wife Ashley celebrated the birth of their first child, daughter Elladee, just 18 days ago, on April 26.

 

"I need to get back to racing, so I can get some rest," Crafton said, chuckling. "I'm always excited to go to the racetrack -- but usually you go to the racetrack and you don't get much sleep because you're worried about everything, the night before the race -- you think about everything. This week, I'm excited to get to the racetrack so I can get some sleep."

 

Crafton smiled again when he noted how cool it'll be this weekend -- the first race after nearly a four-week break -- when he goes home each night to his wife and newborn child.

 

But if you're the competition, there's nothing humorous about what Crafton and Joiner are in the midst of doing to the Camping World Truck Series, in company with Crafton's fifth-year ThorSport Racing teammate, Johnny Sauter and their four-race-old partner, two-time Truck Series champion Todd Bodine.

 

Crafton won his first career Truck race at Charlotte in 2008, about a year before he took the series' lead for the first time in his career. The year before, in 2007, Crafton began a consistent streak of running at a very competitive level in the trucks.

 

In 151 races since the start of the 2007 season, Crafton's been in the top 10 in the championship standings after 144 of them. He's currently riding a string of 21 consecutive races in the top 10 in the standings and Charlotte, considering it's a high-speed 1.5-mile oval similar to Kansas -- the series' most recent race where he won on April 20 -- has Crafton quivering with anticipation.

 

"I'm super-excited about this Charlotte race -- even more than I usually am," Crafton said. "With all the momentum that the team's carrying into this race... I know the guys are still on Cloud 9 from the Kansas win and I'm up there with them, from the win and having our child. So I'm super-stoked about it."

 

The racetracks' similar nature is certainly part of that and is partly responsible for Crafton having seven consecutive top-10 finishes at Charlotte.

 

"Charlotte's definitely not as new as Kansas," Crafton said of the latter, which was repaved and reconfigured last season while Charlotte was last repaved in 2006 but is still in good shape. "The two tracks will race very similarly, without a doubt. We're taking the same truck to Charlotte and we're starting out the exact same way we rolled off the track at Kansas (and into Victory Lane)."

 

The fact that Sauter's been a capable wing-man doesn't hurt either Crafton or Bodine's winning potential. Sauter won the 2013 season's first two races in his No. 98 Carolina Nut Co. / Curb Records Toyota and had a healthy lead in the championship -- with ThorSport holding the top two spots for the first time in 45 races, or since Crafton and Sauter were one-two following the May Dover race in 2011, the first time ThorSport had achieved that plateau.

 

A penalty for a technical violation in opening inspection at Kansas resulted in a 25-point penalty to Sauter, which leaves him tied for second in the championship with rookie Jeb Burton, 13 points behind Crafton. But with 18 races remaining this season, Crafton isn't losing sight of the prize.

 

"What our team has done so well at, consistently, is all this mile-and-a-half stuff," Crafton said. "It's been a leaps-and-bounds improvement from where we were at the start of 2012, when we had just switched manufacturers (from Chevrolet to Toyota).

 

"That's the coolest thing to me, is how well we've ran with our Toyotas on all the mile-and-a-half stuff. When we switched, our short-track program didn't struggle near as much as our mile-and-a-half program did, and all that comes down to is all the guys at ThorSport working super, super-hard to make these Tundra trucks so good on these mile-and-a-half tracks."

 

NASCAR has scheduled a 4.5-hour practice session Thursday split from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET and 2-4:30 p.m. That roughly matches Friday's only official practice, from 10:30-11:50 a.m.; and it also dovetails with Friday's 4 p.m. qualifying session.

 

But since the race will be held at nightfall Friday, Crafton can't get too excited about all the scheduled practice. He actually said Friday morning's session would offer the closest comparison of track conditions.

 

"I"m excited whenever we get to test," Crafton said. "But to be totally honest, it's going to be good to a point but a waste of time at the same time because we don't race during the middle of the day at Charlotte. We'll try to do most of our race practice on Friday morning because that's when the temperatures will be coolest.

 

"Realistically our test needed to start off at 4 or 5 o'clock, and then go into the evening, because there isn't a racetrack that changes more, from day to night, than Charlotte does. So we just need to look at our notes really good and see what we did during the day and see if we can correlate that into going into the evening."

 

The season's fifth race, 134 laps and 201 miles, is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start, with live television on SPEED Channel, beginning with "The Set-Up" pre-race show at 7:30. MRN Radio has live radio coverage, also beginning at 7:30.

 

Thorsport PR

When the field takes the green flag for Friday night's N.C. Education Lottery 200, Kyle Busch will be looking to cash in on his fifth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (CMS). In seven career Truck Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Busch has visited victory lane a track record four times, including in the 2005 event when he picked up his first of 30 career wins in NASCAR's third division.

The Las Vegas native enters Friday night's 134-lap event with wins in his last two Truck Series starts at Charlotte. In 2011, he spun near the halfway mark of the race and then rallied for an emotional victory as he was paying remembrance to Zahra Baker - a 10-year-old Hickory, N.C. girl who was found slain in 2010 shortly after meeting two of Kyle Busch Motorsports young drivers at a Speedway Children's Charities event held at CMS. After Busch collected the checkered flag, he immediately walked to Bakers picture on the side of his truck and was "kissed by an angel." In 2010, the Toyota Racing driver led a race-high 69 laps en route to the second victory for his newly established Truck Series program.

 

Unlike winners of the N.C. Education Lottery, NASCAR's loop data shows that the driver of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra hasn't lucked into his wins at CMS. Busch leads all drivers over the last eight Truck Series events at the venue in almost every single loop data category, including the most telling ones: Driver Rating (129.2), Average Finish (3.6), Laps Led (335), Fastest Laps Run (205) and Green Flag Speed (174.556 mph).

 

If you're looking to make millions of dollars, you can support Friday night's race sponsor and take a one in 175,711,356 chance at winning the North Carolina Mega Millions jackpot. If you're looking to win a friendly bet, or you happen to be in Busch's hometown and in search of a safe bet, history says that Kyle Busch's odds of winning Friday night's N.C. Education Lottery are four in seven.

 

KBM PR

Henderson Motorsports with driver, Caleb Holman, will be returning to action in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this Friday night. Holman plans to qualify for his third event of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.

After coming off of a strong, but disappointing run at Rockingham, Holman and team are eager to get back to the track.

“Rockingham was a bit of a downer. We were running within the top 15 and something happened to the upper A frame, which resulted in losing about 10 laps, so we’re all excited to get back on track after that solid run, even though we didn’t have the results that we had hoped,” said Holman.

If Holman qualifies his way into the North Caroline Education Lottery 200 Friday evening it will be his second start at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series.

The 75 machine will be carrying a new look under the lights Friday night as Alpha Dog, the official premium hot dog of Charlotte Motor Speedway, comes on board.

“We are extremely honored to represent the Alpha Dog organization. We hope to bring them the exposure they deserve and put that Alpha Dog/Food Country USA Truck up front,” said team owner, Don Henderson.

Qualifying will take place Friday afternoon and the green flag will fly for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at 8pm.

Henderson Motorsports PR

The Michigan National Guard is proud to announce the continuation of its partnership with Michigan International Speedway to include the sponsorship of the August 2013 truck race, the Michigan National Guard 200.  

“We are excited to announce the Michigan National Guard as sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at MIS in August,” track President Roger Curtis said. “It provides a great opportunity for the Michigan National Guard to spread its message and communicate with its target audience. We look forward to continuing our long-term support of the military.”

While the Michigan National Guard has always had a presence at the races, this marks the first time the organization has sponsored a race.

As the title sponsor, it allows the Michigan National Guard the opportunity to market its brand to its target audience through television, radio and print mediums on a state and nationwide basis. It also gives the organization access to a tremendous social media network already built by MIS and NASCAR.

“Our partnership with Michigan International Speedway connects many of our troops to a sport they really enjoy while also providing us a venue to show the public what the Michigan National Guard is all about,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, Michigan adjutant general. “Michigan is the automotive capital of the world and it only makes sense that our Guard members are at the forefront of such a spectacular event.”

The partnership will allow the Michigan National Guard to connect with the citizens of Michigan and potential recruits through NASCAR. The two share the same values of teamwork and competing to be the best, making for a natural partnership.

The Michigan National Guard will also continue to partner with Michigan International Speedway for race activities at all of the events held at MIS in 2013.

MIS continues its long-time support of military initiatives through various ticket programs and support throughout the year.

MIS PR

NASCAR announced today that NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief Adam Stevens (No. 54 team) has been fined and placed on probation for violations during this past weekend’s event at Darlington Raceway. In addition, the team’s car chief Christopher Landis has been placed on probation for the remainder of the year.

Stevens has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Landis has likewise been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

The rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book); 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel area will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. Addition of body fillers of any type, to the underside of the body, chassis or suspension components will not be permitted.  All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.)

The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on May 9.

NASCAR PR

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