Thursday, Oct 21
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Buddy Kofoid earned his second Oklahoma win in two nights at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League’s Meents Memorial at I-44 Riverside Speedway, with Christopher Bell placing second and Daison Pursley third as Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyotas swept the podium on Friday night.

The victory is the 13th national midget feature triumph for Kofoid in 2021.

The early portion of Friday’s feature would be a two-car duel between Kofoid and Cannon McIntosh as the two traded the lead four times in the first seven laps before McIntosh settled in at the head of the pack, behind them Pursley had taken over the third spot on lap three.

McIntosh, who started from the pole for the second consecutive night as high point scorer in the heat races, would settle into the lead and held the top spot through the midway point of the 30-lap feature. Further back in the field, Bell would work his way up from the 17th starting position into the top-10 in the first 10 laps and into the top five by lap 18.

McIntosh led through lap 22 when Kofoid was able to overtake him for the lead and just four laps later, McIntosh would run into problems, bringing his night to an end after having the dominant car in the field for much of the race for the second night in a row.

From that point on, it was all Kofoid and just a question of who would join him on the podium as Pursley moved up into second and Bell into third after McIntosh’s retirement. Bell would finally move past Pursley on lap 28 to claim second, dropping Pursley back to third and that’s how they would finish.

Brenham Crouch make it four KKM cars in the top five with a fifth-place finish, while Ryan Timms placed sixth, Joe B. Miller was eighth, Kaylee Bryson ninth and series point leader Bryant Wiedeman came home in tenth giving Toyota eight of the top 10, including six Kunz drivers.

After suffering early problems, Brent Crews would finish 18th as Wiedeman expanded his point lead to 360 with just three races remaining as he attempts to become the youngest national midget series champion in history at age 16.

POWRI closes out the Oklahoma triple-header weekend at I-44 Riverside Speedway Saturday night. 

TRD PR

Notes of Interest

 

●  Kevin Harvick has a stout track record at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, especially in his time since joining Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2014. In his last 13 NASCAR Cup Series races at the 1.5-mile oval – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick has only one finish outside of the top-10. That lone result came in last year’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 when Harvick finished 16th after his No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang slipped off turn two while leading and brushed the outside wall as a heavy mist made the track slick. In the 12 races prior, Harvick scored nine top-fives, three of which were wins while three others were second-place results.

 

●  In those three wins at Texas – November 2017, November 2018 and November 2019 – Harvick led a total of 334 laps, which is the exact same lap total for a 500-mile race at Texas.

 

●  Prior to joining SHR, Harvick’s laps-led total at Texas was five, an amount earned over the course of 22 races. In his 14 Texas starts since being a part of SHR, Harvick has led 677 laps. His total of 682 laps led at Texas is the second-most among all NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Only Kyle Busch has led more laps at Texas (1,049).

 

●  Before joining SHR, Harvick’s best finish at Texas was third (November 2016). It was one of just three top-fives and 11 top-10s he had at the track

 

●  Harvick will make his 37th NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas in Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. He and Kurt Busch lead the series in starts at the 1.5-mile oval, with both tied at 36. Texas will mark Harvick’s 751st career Cup Series start and Kurt Busch’s 753rd.

 

●  Harvick’s most recent race at Texas was back in June when he competed in the All-Star Race and finished 15th. It was Texas’ first time hosting the All-Star Race. The non-points event returns to Texas on May 22, 2022.

 

●  Harvick is good at Texas even outside of the NASCAR Cup Series. He has five wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has led a total of 779 laps, the second-most among all drivers despite not competing in an Xfinity Series race at Texas since 2018. Only Kyle Busch has led more laps in Xfinity Series competition at Texas (1,795). Busch led those laps across 23 starts and Harvick earned his tally in 21 starts. In four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Texas, Harvick owns a win (November 2011) and one other top-five – a fourth place drive in his first Truck Series start at the track in June 1998 when Harvick was just 22 years old and still three years away from his Cup Series debut.

 

●  The 2021 season marks the 12th year of partnership between Harvick and Hunt Brothers Pizza. The nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry has sponsored Harvick for years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hunt Brothers Pizza joined Harvick fulltime in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2019 and has been a mainstay in NASCAR’s premier division ever since. With more than 7,800 locations in 30 states, Hunt Brothers Pizza offers original and thin-crust pizzas available as a grab-and go Hunk, perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle or as a customizable whole pizza that is an exceptional value with All Toppings No Extra Charge®. Celebrating 30 years of serving great pizza to convenience store shoppers through its store partners, Hunt Brothers Pizza is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and is family owned and operated. To find a Hunt Brothers Pizza location near you, download the app by visiting app.HuntBrothersPizza.com.

 

●  Said Harvick about his more than decade-long partnership with Hunt Brothers Pizza: “Our fans are pretty loyal to the brands that are on our cars. Many of my pictures come from the standees in the store. People take selfies next to them. There are a number of reasons you have sponsorships – you want that brand recognition, the brand integration. Hunt Brothers Pizza is a very family-oriented company and we’re a very family-oriented group. Those relationships you build through the years with brands that recognize and reflect what you believe in are few and far between. We’ve grown with the Hunt Brothers Pizza brand. They’ve grown with us and been very loyal to us and I think our fans are very loyal to Hunt Brothers Pizza. It’s fun to see that brand recognition and that understanding of loyalty and partnership. You realize how many Hunt Brothers Pizza stores there are as you drive to racetracks.”

 

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

Back in 2017, Texas was repaved and turns one and two were reconfigured. How has the track aged since then and has it changed how you drive the track?

“It changed where you drive on the racetrack. You move up the racetrack, so you don’t have to be as technical through (turns) one and two as you used to. Just put it on the grip strip and hope for the best. It’s still a good racetrack for us, still a lot of good things that have happened for us, and hopefully we can continue that.”

 

Explain a lap around Texas, specifically, how you approach turns one and two and how you approach turns three and four?

“Texas is unique in the fact the two ends are so different. When they changed the racetrack, they made the width of the racetrack a lot wider through (turns) one and two than what it used to be. It’s a lot flatter, as well. It’s a very technical corner both in order to get your car positioned correctly and in order to make your car turn and stay in the throttle. It’s not as technical as it used to be now that the PJ1 is there, but you still have to put your car in the right spot in order to make a good lap time.”

 

Old pavement. New pavement. A reconfigured turns one and two. No matter the surface or the layout, you’ve been strong at Texas. What has made you so consistent at Texas despite a lot of changes to the track over the years?

“I think it’s just been a great racetrack for us. It’s a racetrack that Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and the team put a lot of effort into. Before we got together, I hadn’t won there. But from the moment I went there with this 4 team, we’ve been good. It’s a testament to how hard this team works.”

 

How much would you like to see the return of practice and qualifying like it was pre-COVID to where you could get a baseline understanding of how your car would respond to current track conditions before the race begins?

“You can have some form of practice, but there’s no way you can go back to three-day weekends. It’s too streamlined now and there are too many people who have come to realize we don’t need to go back. We’d be foolish if we went back. If we went back to the original format, I think everybody in this whole sport would flip upside-down and try to figure out who the one person is who decided that was the right thing to do.”

 

The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is out and it features only one off weekend. Are you OK with that as it puts you in a groove of racing every weekend but one, or would you like to see some breaks during the course of the year?

“I don’t mind the one off-weekend, personally. I can manage the season, but I wish we had two weeks off. I really wish they could take that first week and lock the shops and give the guys working in the shops a week that they can take off. Those are the guys who get hammered in this whole thing are the road guys who travel week-to-week and the guys that work in the shop. I like the way that F1 does that. You’re going to have a break between the two TV schedules, anyway. I really wish we could just take care of the guys who are in there grinding away on a weekly basis by doing that. We’re keeping track of wind-tunnel time, we’re keeping track of financials, we’re keeping track of so many things with all those super computers that there’s no way you couldn’t figure out how to do that for a week.”

 

TSC PR

World Wide Technology Raceway – the home of NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA in the St. Louis-Metro East region – will host its second and final Run-What-Ya-Brung Saturday of the 2021 season on October 23. The event will feature a $500-to-win competition for electric-powered cars.

Although electric cars have participated in Ranken Technical College presents Midnight Madness fueled by NOS Energy Drink street-legal events in the past, this is the first time in WWTR history an organized race for EVs – with prize money – will be held at the Madison, Illinois, track.

EV owners drag-racing these silent cars is not new. Drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits – a man who literally owned WWTR’s victory lane throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s – has been developing battery-powered dragsters for almost a decade and the 89-year-old racer set a world record of 189 miles per hour in 2019.

Also on the October 23 bill is roll racing (drag racing from a rolling start) and the VP Heads-up Series (Streetcar, Stick Shift and Top Gun).

Gates will open at 8 a.m. with racing starting at 9 a.m.

Saturday, October 23 – Run-What-Ya-Brung Saturday featuring electric car drag racing

VP Heads-up classes: Streetcar, Stick Shift and Top Gun only.

8 a.m. – Gates open.

8 a.m. -- Tech inspection.

9-11 a.m. -- Roll racing.

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Drag racing.

11:30 a.m. -- VP Heads-up classes time trials.

1 p.m. – First round of VP Heads-up classes eliminations.

2:30 p.m. -- $500-to-win electric car gambler race.

For more information, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.WWTRaceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

WWTR PR

News and Notes: 
 
– Starting Position; 22-year-old Kaz Grala of Boston, Mass. will start the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 from the 32nd position at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Due to no practice or qualifying the starting lineup was calculated by the competition-based performance metrics system; fastest lap in the previous race 15 percent, driver finish from previous race 25 percent, owner points 25 percent, and driver points 35 percent.

 
– Texas Motor Speedway Stats; Saturday afternoon’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 will mark Grala’s second NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the 2021 season for Jordan Anderson Racing (JAR). In two previous starts at TMS in NXS competition Grala raced to a 26th place finish in 2018, followed by 18th the following year. In 2017 Grala made two NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series starts at the 1.5-mile Texas oval claiming two Top-10’s with a 10th and 6thplace finish respectively.
 
Featured Partners

 
- Bommarito Automotive Group; A primary supporter of Jordan Anderson Racing, Bommarito Automotive Group is celebrating almost 50 years in the St. Louis marketplace, the Bommarito Automotive Group currently operates 20 automotive franchises throughout every St. Louis neighborhood led by president John Bommarito and the over 900 dedicated team members. Bommarito is recognized by the St. Louis Business Journal as Missouri’s No. 1 selling automotive group and is currently ranked 52nd in the nation. What once started as a vision to have one Bommarito vehicle in every driveway, is today a reality thanks to the ‘Where Price Sells Cars” mission.
 
For more information on the Bommarito Automotive Group, visit them online at 
Bommarito.com, and follow their social channels on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 
- EasyCare / APCO Holdings; Since 1984, EasyCare has been helping some of the most successful dealerships in the nation drive results in their stores with a full suite of F&I products, forward-thinking training, dealership development, consultative participation programs, and a best-in-class claims experience. EasyCare has the only F&I products named a “MotorTrend Recommended Best Buy” for franchised dealers and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. EasyCare is part of the APCO Holdings, LLC, a family of brands, which has protected over 11 million customers and paid over $3.5 billion in claims. 
 
For more information about what EasyCare has to offer, visit 
EasyCare.com for information about the APCO Holdings family of brands, visit APCOHoldings.com.
 
– Chassis; JAR will bring Chassis No. 103 for Grala to compete with in Saturday afternoon’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 103 last competed for JAR at the Michigan International Speedway in the New Holland 250 with Team Owner/Driver Jordan Anderson driving the No. 31 Chevrolet to a 15th place finish. Prior to Michigan Chassis No. 103 had seen on track action two other times during the course of 2021 season with Tyler Reddick behind the wheel both times. In the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Memorial Day weekend Reddick would steer No. 103 to JAR’s first Top-5 finish with a 5th place finish. Three weeks later Reddick would be credited with the 15th finishing position in NASCAR’s return to Nashville Superspeedway. 

JAR PR

Liberty University and 13-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports have reached a new five-year agreement to extend the school’s support of driver William Byron and his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team in the NASCAR Cup Series.
 
Byron, 23, will continue to carry primary sponsorship from Liberty University in 12 Cup races annually through 2026. This season, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native earned his third consecutive Cup Series playoff berth and second career points-paying win while already setting personal bests in top-five finishes, top-10s and laps led with four events remaining. He has led in 16 of 32 points races in 2021.
 
“We are honored to partner with and support Hendrick Motorsports,” said Jerry Prevo, president of Liberty University. “We feel this partnership will benefit our students at Liberty University in many ways.”
 
Byron is currently a junior working toward an undergraduate degree in strategic communication via Liberty University’s online program. The school began its support of Byron in 2014 when he drove late model stock cars and has been a 12-race primary sponsor since his 2018 Cup Series rookie of the year season with Hendrick Motorsports.
 
“I’m proud to represent an institution like Liberty University,” Byron said. “I had the opportunity to go back to campus last weekend and see how much the school continues to grow. They inspire a lot of people my age to pursue their passions, and I look forward to continuing to represent them on and off the racetrack.”
 
In addition to raising awareness of Liberty University’s educational opportunities, the sponsorship has touched a variety of student programs. Examples include Hendrick Motorsports supporting the School of Engineering’s Formula SAE effort, which focuses on electric car technology, and Hendrick Automotive Group helping develop a degree specialization in automotive dealership management.
 
“We’re delighted to continue our work with Liberty University,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “The partnership impacts so many different areas, and I believe we’re just scratching the surface of the value we’re able to deliver. We look forward to working together over the next five years to take it to the next level.”

Hendrick Motorsports PR

The NASCAR Foundation announced today its four finalists for the 11th annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. Each volunteer represents a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids in different racing communities across our nation. The announcement was made on Fox Sports NASCAR Race Hub ahead of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Oct. 17 on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, named in honor of the foundation’s late founder and chairwoman Betty Jane France, recognizes NASCAR fans who volunteer for children’s causes in their racing communities. Each finalist receives a minimum $25,000 donation for their organization with the overall winner receiving a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to further their efforts.

The 11th annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists include:

  • Erin Collins of Dallas, Texas, a volunteer with the Dallas Hearing Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers medical and surgical treatment, hearing technologies, speech and hearing rehabilitation and education support to those in financial need.  For the past 12 years Erin has dedicated her time to serve kids living with hearing loss, initially volunteering in a fundraising capacity for the organization and eventually creating a youth program to provide a safe space where the kids can be surrounded by peers also living with hearing loss.
  • Jaeleen Davis of Midland, Michigan, a volunteer with Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, a non-profit organization that provides wigs and support services to children ages 3 to 18 throughout the state of Michigan. Jaeleen has volunteered for 13 years with the organization, raising awareness and funds through her Miss America platform, which has also allowed her to introduce bills in Michigan and Ohio to get insurance companies to cover the cost of children’s wigs. 
  • Jeff Harmon of Louisville, Kentucky, a volunteer with Down Syndrome of Louisville, an organization that supports, educates, and advocates for individuals with down syndrome, enabling them to reach their full potential. Having served in both coaching and fundraising roles over the last 18 years, Jeff’s passion and dedication for volunteering has touched hundreds of kids, families and the communities that they’re a part of.
  • Beverly Hodsdon of Exeter, New Hampshire, a volunteer with Richie McFarland Children’s Center, an early childhood program that helps young children reach their full developmental potential while supporting their families throughout the process. Beverly has been a pillar of the organization for 17 years, devoting her time to help in different capacities as a board member, creating fundraising events, bringing the largest donor of the organization, and providing graphic design and marketing services.
     

“This year’s finalists exemplify the values of Betty Jane France and honor her legacy. Each one of them is working to improve the lives of children while incorporating the excitement for our sport,” said Mike Helton, The NASCAR Foundation Chairman. “The fans will have a tough decision choosing one winner. All four of them are unselfish and compassionate people who represent the essence of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.”

The overall winner of the $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation will be determined by an online vote, which is open now. Fans can vote once a day, every day through November 12th at noon ET on NASCARfoundation.org/Award. The overall winner will be announced virtually on November 17th.

To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and the 2021 finalists, visit NASCARfoundation.org/Award.

NASCAR PR

With clouds continuing to linger over the Devil's Bowl Speedway, the lack of much-needed sun has forced track officials to call off events slated for Friday, October 15 as the grounds, primarily the Pits, remain impassable due to Thursday morning's rain.
 
Reducing the 48th Winter Nationals and Lanny Edwards Memorial to a single night affair, Saturday, October 16 is slated to get underway at 8:00 P.M. (CDT).
 
Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for Seniors (60+), Military, and Youth (13-15). Kids 12 and under are free into the grandstands. Pit Passes are $35. Saturday, October 16 is slated to have Pits open at Noon. Grandstands open at 3:00 P.M.
 
Saturday will include IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars as well as USRA Limited Modifieds, and Texas Winged Modifieds.
 
The 2021 season marks the 30th year of competition for the American Sprint Car Series. Spearheaded by the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, the ASCS Nation also includes 11 Regional Tours that encompass both wing and non-wing competition.
 
For other news, notes, and information on any of the tours under the ASCS banner, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com, follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@LucasOilASCS).
 
 
ASCS PR

NASCAR announced today a multi-year extension of its partnership with the world’s largest medical transportation provider, Global Medical Response (GMR). GMR, the parent company of American Medical Response (AMR), will continue to provide medical support and enhance NASCAR’s on-track incident response with its AMR safety team.

“The safety of our competitors is paramount and through our collaboration with AMR, we’ve been able to develop a leading safety model that’s enabled us to strengthen our at-track safety teams and incident response,” said Steve O’Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, NASCAR. “We look forward to our continued partnership with AMR as we find new ways to set the standard for safety in motorsports.” 

The Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR since 2017, AMR provides a doctor and paramedic to the on-track safety team for each NASCAR Cup Series weekend, further strengthening NASCAR’s medical response capability. The AMR team, along with NASCAR Track Services team members, provide immediate response, assessment, and care to on-track incidents using a chase vehicle. Following the success of the enhanced safety model developed in NASCAR, GMR and AMR have gone on to apply the same approach throughout motorsports, extending services to the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), IndyCar and Superstar Racing Experience (SRX).

AMR will also continue to provide a physician to serve as the national medical director for the AMR Safety Team. The medical director is responsible for oversight of all care provided by AMR and works directly with the NASCAR team of physicians and medical liaisons.

"We are honored to continue to serve as the Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR," said Ted Van Horne, Chief Operating Officer, GMR. "Our dedicated team members are extensively trained in motorsports safety and on-track response, and we have a demonstrated record of success in working with the outstanding Track Services and medical teams at NASCAR. We look forward to continuing to share best-practices and providing the highest-quality care to the NASCAR organization.”

AMR is the largest provider of emergency medical transportation services in the U.S. and a leader in pre-hospital care and treatment.

NASCAR PR

As one of the longest running sponsorships in professional sports, Interstate Batteries will continue its on-going partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in a multi-year renewal agreement.

Under the new agreement, Interstate Batteries will continue to serve as the official battery of Joe Gibbs Racing and as the primary sponsor on the NASCAR Cup Series No. 18 Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch for six races while adding support for a third generation of the Gibbs’ family, sponsoring three races with Ty Gibbs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The extension highlights the successful partnership between Interstate Batteries and JGR as the companies continue to celebrate their 30th Anniversary together.

“Norm and Tommy (Miller) really took a chance on us because we literally had nothing when we first went to see them. No race shop. No driver. No crew chief. It was just a dream on a sheet of paper,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “To have a successful partnership for more than three decades it first has to work for business, and I love that part of it. You have to prove value for your partners. But it is the relationships built over time that makes this so special. From Norm and Tommy to the leadership now of Scott (Miller), as well as Lain (Hancock) running operations. Of course, on our end, it’s been J.D. (Gibbs), and now it’s Coy (Gibbs), and of course we have the grandkids coming. When you reflect on all that has happened over the years and everyone that has been involved, I really think God had a role in bringing us together.”

Interstate Batteries has been a part of nearly every major moment in JGR history including the organization’s first win when driver Dale Jarrett won the Daytona 500 in 1993. Interstate Batteries was the primary sponsor on the No. 18 in 2000 when Bobby Labonte captured the organization’s first NASCAR Cup Series Championship and continued to play a key role when Busch won JGR’s most recent Championships in 2015 and 2019.

Together, Interstate Batteries and Joe Gibbs Racing have visited victory lane 32 total times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including twice with Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, 21 times with Bobby Labonte and nine times with current driver Kyle Busch. In addition, Interstate Batteries and JGR have combined to win three NASCAR Xfinity Series races.

“We could not be more excited to continue our 30 plus year relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Norm Miller, Chairman and Owner of Interstate Batteries. “They have consistently been great partners in the battery business and ministry, so it just makes sense for us to all continue together. We are also hoping Kyle Busch and the No.18 Interstate Batteries/M&M’s team can win another NASCAR Cup Championship in a few weeks!”

“The 30 years we’ve spent with JGR as a sponsor on the No.18 in the NASCAR Cup Series has helped establish trust, awareness, and credibility for the Interstate Batteries brand with the pros who install our batteries.,” said Lain Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Interstate Batteries. “As we approach our 70th year in business, we are excited to partner with Coach Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing to write more history together in NASCAR and the automotive aftermarket.”

JGR PR

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