Thursday, Dec 07
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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HDM Services driver Kyle DeMetro just returned from Mooresville, NC where he completed his final classes at RACE 101, LLC with plans to implement what he has learned at this driver specific course in the off season to prepare for his 2014 DIRT Sportsman Series racing season.

Learning about motorsports is like mastering any other skill, one gets so much more out of the lesson by actually doing than just sitting in a classroom.  Over the course of the year, DeMetro and his classmates have had hands on experience working in all aspects of the business of motorsports.  They have learned how to setup a racecar, received specialized lessons on engines, as well as marketing and branding skills.   During their last session before February’s graduation, the RACE 101 students practiced their marketing and interviewing skills, worked on an ARCA Series speedway car to learn the importance of set up and aerodynamics, and tested their driving skills at the go kart track.

DeMetro will return to Mooresville for graduation in February.  His experience at RACE 101 has been extremely positive, “I went into this program excited to engage my mind and gain more knowledge in racing mechanics and marketing.  Throughout the class we have learned a lot about engines, their geometry, and how they work from an engineering standpoint.  We did several interviews to put our marketing skills to test.  It has been a great experience.  I will apply what I have learned in class towards the rebuild of our (DeMetro Racing’s) car and put it to use in the 2014 season”.

RACE 101 is now accepting applications for the Class of 2014.  For more information on the RACE 101 program, please visit their website at  For more information on DeMetro Racing, please visit or follow Kyle DeMetro on his Facebook page at

Working within the motorsports industry, HDM Services brings a passion to help todays up and coming drivers, as well as the teams that will help to develop their raw talent.  Building on connections in various series, including DIRT, ARCA Racing Series, and NASCAR, HDM Services looks to match drivers and teams with marketing partners that hold the same values.   With services that include marketing partner searches, brand development, social media services, as well as media relations HDM Services has poised itself to be an asset to drivers and teams alike.  For more information about the services that they provide, please visit

Race 101 PR

The Celebration of Automobiles will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a fourth consecutive year on May 8-10, 2014, as the event continues to grow into one of the premier showcases in North America for car aficionados.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser will serve as the honorary head judge during the Vintage and Classic Car Show on Saturday, May 10, the centerpiece of the event. As part of his role, Unser will determine which classic/vintage car will win the prestigious Driver's Choice Award.

"It's a great privilege to be selected as the honorary head judge for the Celebration of Automobiles," Unser said. "I've loved everything about cars since I was a kid. It's going to be so exciting to evaluate all of these incredible vehicles and learn their stories from their owners at a place that has meant so much to me and my family for more than 50 years."

Vintage car owners and automotive enthusiasts from around North America have flocked to IMS since 2011 for the Celebration of Automobiles, which pays tribute to the rich heritage of automotive development at the track. The 2014 Celebration of Automobiles will join the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis IndyCar Series event May 10 on the new-look IMS road course to jump start Month of May activities at IMS leading into the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 25.

The Vintage and Classic Car Show on May 10, featuring beautiful and rare cars manufactured from 1910-70 on display at IMS, is the focal point of the 2014 Celebration of Automobiles. There will be a special spotlight on cars built in Indiana. The new addition to the show is the inclusion of motorcycles from 1910-70.

Other popular features from previous editions of the Celebration of Automobiles will return in 2014, including a welcome reception, owners' lounge, track laps, a driving tour of central and southern Indiana, and an awards dinner featuring Indianapolis 500 legends and an engaging question-and-answer session with Unser and IMS Historian Donald Davidson.

An artist pavilion featuring world-class automotive art is another new attraction for 2014.

"The Celebration of Automobiles has quickly grown into a can't-miss event to kick off the Month of May at the Speedway," said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. "This event and the new Grand Prix of Indianapolis will provide a fun variety of exciting sights and sounds for all fans on Opening Weekend. We're also happy to welcome Al Unser, one of the greatest and most popular legends of the Indianapolis 500, to IMS to serve as the honorary head judge of the Celebration of Automobiles."

The Celebration of Automobiles takes place during gate hours Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10. All activities are included in gate admission for each day.


car2go, an electric carsharing program, is driving in a new ticket package for Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 15-17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The $105 package, valued at more than $200 if priced individually, includes the following:

§  One ticket to the Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 17 in the Turn 1 Grandstands – valued at $105

§  Pre-Race Pit Pass valid for Sunday – valued at $50

§  Exclusive car2go membership – valued at $35

§  One-hour free drive time – valued at $13.99/hour

§  The car2go package includes an exclusive membership with car2go, allowing its members full access to the benefits of the innovative mobility solution.

Additionally, Homestead-Miami Speedway will be a hot spot location for car2go during Ford Championship Weekend. Members will be able to drive their car2go to the Speedway and leave it without minutes accruing and grab another car2go after the race from the designated area at the track.

“car2go is an innovative way to utilize environment-friendly services and we’re pleased to be able to offer this program for our great fans from Miami and around the world,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer.

To purchase the car2go ticket package, please visit, or call 305.230.5255.

Homestead-Miami Speedway PR

Martinsville Speedway will host its 17thAnnual Toy Drive on December 14 and this year there will be fun for racers and runners.

In addition to the opportunity to ride in a real Sprint Cup car or drive your personal car around the track, there will be an early morning 5K race, the Girls on the Run 5K.

The toy drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the infield of Martinsville Speedway while the Girls on the Run 5K will start at 9 a.m.

For the second year fans will be able to lap the historic half-mile track in a real Sprint Cup car. They will be dressed in full racing gear, fire suit, helmet and HANS Device, for the ride along with Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, who has raced stock cars for more than two decades. Cost for the ride-along is a $50 donation to the toy drive.

Those donating a toy or making a $10 donation will again be able to drive their personal vehicles around the track. Pace cars will lead the personal vehicles around the track.

All toys and monetary donations from the day will go to the Grace Network, which will distribute toys to families in need for Christmas.

The Girls on the Run 5K is open to all runners. Entry fee is $25 or $35 for stroller runners. Entry forms may be picked up at the YMCA of Martinsville and Henry County. Proceeds will go to Girls on the Run of Martinsville and Henry County, an organization which inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.

The Martinsville Speedway staff will be manning the infield concession stand for the toy drive, making and serving The Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dog™. Hot dogs and Pepsi products are $1 each, with proceeds going toward purchasing toys.

Santa Claus will be making his annual appearance at the track at noon.

Anyone who would like to donate a toy, but cannot make it to the toy drive, can drop them off at the Martinsville Speedway ticket office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monetary donations can also be dropped off at the Martinsville Speedway ticket office. All checks should be made out to the Grace Network.

The Grace Network, a local group comprised of almost 100 churches, will distribute the collected toys to families in need. The monetary donations will be used to purchase additional toys. All of the toys will remain in the Martinsville and Henry County area.

The car used for the ride-alongs is an authentic NASCAR Sprint Cup car from Andy Hillenberg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing School.

Martinsville Speedway PR

There are two races to go and one thing is certain:

The battle for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship is far from over.

Jimmie Johnson's seven-point lead over Matt Kenseth is precarious going into Sunday's AdvoCare 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Phoenix International Raceway. Remember last year: Johnson came to Phoenix leading Brad Keselowski by seven. Johnson lost the lead -- and ended up losing the championship.

"Last year we were in this situation with a points lead; we had a seven-point lead going into Phoenix and had a very bad race and [lost] a right front tire," said Johnson, the five-time series champion. "Actually had a decent race going … but hammered the wall. Really hurt our opportunity and our chance to win a sixth championship."

Johnson surrendered his seven-point lead at Phoenix last season to eventual champion Brad Keselowski. Worth noting: the points leader entering the penultimate race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has given up his lead over the final two races six times.

Although Johnson currently leads the Wisconsin native, Kenseth has seven wins to Johnson's six, an advantage that could determine the champion if the two are tied in points following the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

After comparing the two drivers' records at Phoenix, most people might give the edge to Johnson, who has four wins, 13 top fives and 16 top 10s in 20 starts. Kenseth's stat line: one win, five top fives and nine top 10s in 22 starts at the one-mile track. While Johnson's numbers are impressive, he hasn't visited Victory Lane at Phoenix since the track was repaved and slightly reconfigured in 2011.

"There's definitely less confidence in the track that we're racing on now, and if you just look at our performance over the years, we won so many races with the old configuration and that old asphalt," Johnson said. "If there was one guy sad to see the old configuration and asphalt go away, that was me. We just had something that worked there and fit my driving style and we were able to win a lot of races."

Johnson finished second in the March race earlier this year, but that's juxtaposed with the 32nd he turned in during last year's Chase race. In his last 14 starts, he's finished in the top five in 12 of them, including three consecutive wins from fall 2007 through fall 2008. His most recent win came in the 2009 Chase race.

Johnson tops six Loop Data categories including Driver Rating (116.4), Fastest Laps Run (538) and Average Green Flag Speed (125.519 mph). Additionally, he has led more laps (932) at Phoenix than Kenseth (212) and third-place Kevin Harvick (420) have combined.

The California driver knows full well that the season is far from over and that there are still a scheduled 712 miles left to run before the intensity and pressure lessens, so don't expect a letdown. Johnson's hopes for a sixth championship could rest on this weekend.

"I'm just not going to put my guard down," he said. "We need to go into Phoenix, race well. … We finished second there in the spring, so I feel strong about our setup and the performance we should have there, but that doesn't guarantee us anything, and we need to go out and have a good strong, clean weekend."

The first 23 NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Phoenix International Raceway have yielded 18 winners coming from the first two rows, including six winners who started on the pole. The last two races were won by the polesitter -- Kyle Busch in March 2013 and Joey Logano in November 2012.

Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise that the key to winning or at least finishing well in Saturday's ServiceMaster 200 (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Phoenix International Raceway is qualifying well.

This plays into Austin Dillon's wheelhouse -- at least this season. Through the first 31 races of 2013, he has started on the first two rows in 18 events, including a series-high seven poles. Four of those poles came in successive weeks -- a series record for most consecutive poles. He's started on the outside of the front row four times this year, while starting third five times and fourth twice. His average starting position of 4.9 is a NNS personal best. Unfortunately for Dillon, he hasn't yet been able to convert any of these solid starts into victories.

In four series starts at the one-mile track, Dillon, who has a six-point lead in the standings over Sam Hornish Jr., has compiled one top-five and three top-10 finishes, which have all come in his last three outings. In March, he placed sixth after starting sixth. In last year's fall race, he also placed sixth from a starting position of third. In March 2012, he posted his best finish at the track, finishing fourth. In two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts he has finishes of seventh and fifth.

Although a good qualifying spot at Phoenix is integral to a good run, how drivers and teams approach the different turns is just as important.

"It's a handling race track where it's very important to work on your car and make sure it's right for the race," Dillon said. "Phoenix International Raceway is a place where getting off of each corner is very big. Entry is important. You need to be stable but you need to be the first one to the gas."

NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Darrell Wallace Jr. has accomplished a lot during his first season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, highlighted by his first national series win at Martinsville two weeks ago. If he's able to continue his current hot streak, he just might add another achievement to his resume -- 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

Wallace's win at Martinsville -- the first by an African-American driver in one of NASCAR's three national series since Wendell Scott won almost 50 years ago at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla. -- cut seven points off Blaney's lead in the rookie standings, down to five. After finishing seventh last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Wallace arrives at Phoenix International Raceway for Friday night's Lucas Oil 150 (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) with a one-point edge over Ryan Blaney in the rookie standings.

In order to maintain his lead in the rookie battle, Wallace will have to manage a track where he's never competed in the series. Blaney only has one start at the one-mile track, finishing a solid fifth in last year's fall event.

"[Phoenix is] another new track for me in the No. 54 Toyota Tundra, but we still have momentum on our side and I'm confident we will have another strong run this weekend," Wallace said. "Hopefully we can get us another top-10 finish and be the top-finishing rookie for the fifth race in a row."

Through the first 20 races of 2013, Wallace has collected five top fives and 12 top 10s and ranks sixth in the overall championship standings, 90 points behind leader Matt Crafton. Wallace has been the top-finishing rookie in eight races, with Blaney and Jeb Burton tied with six apiece.

Crafton, who has a 46-point lead over James Buescher in the standings, is among the favorites at the track. Although he's never won at Phoenix, he sports a healthy 100.5 driver rating and has spent more laps (1,091) in the top 15 in the last eight races than any other driver.


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