Speedway Digest Staff
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Richard Petty Motorsports Medical Update on Michael Annett
After further evaluation by two different doctors in North Carolina, it has been determined that Richard Petty Motorsports driver Michael Annett has suffered a fracture and dislocation of his sternum. He will immediately undergo surgery for his injuries in Charlotte. He suffered the injury as a result of an accident during Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Annett will not be able to compete for an indefinite amount of time as he heals from the surgery. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will drive the No. 43 Pilot Flying J Ford this weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway as the team evaluates its options moving forward.
Richard Petty Motorsports' primary concern is the health of Annett and getting him the proper treatment he needs for a full recovery.
Bowman Returns Home to Tucson, A.Z.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year contender, Alex Bowman, returned home to Tucson, A.Z. to visit with fans, local radio stations, and his alma mater.
Wednesday, February 27th will be chock full of appearances for the up-and-coming driver beginning with interviews at two local radio stations, 92.1 KFMA and 96.1 KLPX. Bowman will then take a walk down memory lane, stopping by the Driver's Education class of his alma mater, Ironwood High School. He will keep on the education tip by visiting Canyon Del Oro High School's Automotive Technology class, and then head back for another round of radio interviews for 99.5 KIIM and 1290 KCUB. Bowman will wrap up the day with a meet and greet session at Precision Toyota of Tucson from 5-7 PM MT.
"I'm excited to go back to Tucson," Bowman said. "I'm looking forward to returning to my Driver's Ed class at Ironwood High School. I almost failed it in high school, so this time, I'm hoping to do a little better. And I'll be happy to check out the new Toyotas at Precision Toyota of Tucson. My favorite is the 4Runner and I haven't seen one up close yet, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. Hopefully, I'll see a lot of friends at the autograph session and relive some old racing stories. I'm just ready to hang out with family for a couple days and then get to racing back at Phoenix International Raceway."
RAB Racing PR
With the 2013 season now underway, NASCAR®driver Greg Biffle will once again be racing with the environmentally sustainable, 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid as a new standard in the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. Novec 1230 fluid balances performance requirements with favorable environmental and safety properties, giving Biffle added reassurance and peace of mind.
On March 3 at the Phoenix raceway, the car will showcase the Novec brand name on the hood.
Additionally, the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion will feature a system using Novec 1230 fluid throughout the entire 2013 racing season. Biffle’s car had previously been upgraded with Novec 1230 fluid through Roush Fenway Racing, who jumped on board early in 2012 to help protect Biffle, as well as the environment.
The No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is the first racecar that incorporates a sustainable fire suppression fluid. Metalcraft, Inc., an international leader in fire suppression, equipped the cockpit of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion with its Fire-Trak™ branded fire suppression system using Novec 1230 fluid. The Fire-Trak system and 3M’s Novec 1230 fluid received NASCAR approval in 2012.
3M researchers developed Novec brand products to be a safe, sustainable chemistry used to replace ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, potent greenhouse gas such as HFCs and agents that have undesirable toxicity. Novec 1230 fluid has an exceptional environmental profile with zero ozone depletion potential and a global warming potential of one. It stays in the atmosphere only five days, compared to HFC-236fa that lingers for 240 years.
“Novec 1230 fluid is environmentally sustainable now and into the foreseeable future, unlike HFCs that are targeted for phase-down by international treaties and the European Union.,” said Joe Ziemba, marketing manager at 3M. “We’re proud that the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion is putting 3M technology to work to help it keep racing toward a bright future.”
Novec 1230 fluid is a clean extinguishing agent that is stored as a liquid but is discharged as a gas that leaves no residue. The fluid does not damage sensitive electronics or equipment in the racecar and provides a wide margin of safety if deployed in an enclosed area near Biffle. It also does not affect the surface of the racetrack, keeping it clean for other drivers. Novec 1230 fluid comes with 3M’s Blue SkySM Warranty, offering peace-of-mind protection against future regulatory bans or restrictions. And when used in commercial buildings, it offers an opportunity to earn innovation credits toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota - Phoenix Preview
No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer gets his first chance to drive NASCAR’s new Gen-6 Toyota on a mile oval this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowyer said racing the new car on the flat Phoenix track will be far different than racing on Daytona’s high banks where he finished 11th in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
After Phoenix the Sprint Cup Series will race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track, the half-mile track at Bristol and the 2-mile high speed oval at Auto Club Speedway in California. All provide unique challenges to the drivers and teams seeking advantages with the new car.
ON PHOENIX: “Now the racing really begins. In the next couple weeks you are really going to see who the strong teams are that are going to be competing for a championship all season long. Daytona is its own deal - its own type of racing. Now as we move on to Phoenix and Vegas you are going to see who has figured out this new car and who still has some work to do. That’s the beauty of the start of the NASCAR schedule - we visit virtually every type of racetrack in the first six weeks - Superspeedways, short tracks, 1.5 and two-mile tracks - it’s all there. I’m excited to see where we are compared to the other teams. I think we’re in a pretty good spot.
“Last season we left Daytona in the exact same position as we did this year - with an 11th place finish. Then we got to Phoenix and we cut down two tires in the first 30 laps and that put us behind for the rest of the afternoon and put us in a little bit of a whole to start the year. If we can have a solid race in Phoenix I think we’ll be in a great position to start the season.”
Kyle Busch: And Now, for the Rest of the Season
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams spend more than two months during the offseason preparing for the season-opening and most prestigious race, the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Despite all that preparation by the more than 43 Sprint Cup drivers, followed by 12-plus days spent in Daytona by those that go the distance, only one driver-and-team combination emerges victorious from the big race on the 2.5-mile superspeedway oval. It’s typically the driver and team that found the perfect blend of help from others on race day and a hefty dose of racing luck in the ultimate battle of restrictor-plate, big-pack competition. And that victorious driver and team is the only one that gets to hoist the Harley J. Earl trophy in racing’s most famous victory lane.
For Kyle Busch and the entire No. 18 M&M’s Toyota team for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), there’s Daytona, and then there’s the rest of the season. After Sunday’s 55th Daytona 500, the grueling, 36-race marathon-like schedule heads out West to the second race of the 2012 season – Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway.
Busch started the year on a high note by notching a win in his Budweiser Duel 150-mile qualifying race Feb. 21 at Daytona. But while challenging for the lead on lap 151 of Sunday’s 200-lap Daytona 500, his engine let go and he was sent to the garage early. While bitterly disappointed, Busch and the M&M’s team know there isn’t any time to sulk as the long season commences.
As they now head to the mile oval in Phoenix, Busch, crew chief Dave Rogers and the rest of the M&M’s team are comforted in knowing their fate is much more in their own hands. Handling and driver skill have much more to do with a team’s success at Phoenix than Daytona. The mile oval will be first real test of their new 2013 Toyota Camry, as NASCAR has moved to a new sixth-generation racecar (Gen-6) for all of its makes.
The Las Vegas native will hope to equal and better both February and November Phoenix performances in 2012, when he led 289 of the 631 total laps available to him. Circumstances at the end of both races kept him from Phoenix’s victory lane, where Busch paid his one and only visit during just his second Sprint Cup start there in November 2005.
In 16 Sprint Cup starts at the “Diamond in the Desert,” Busch has one win and 10 top-10 finishes, including four in a row in 2007 and 2008, and he won the pole for the spring 2006 race and the race last November.
This weekend, Phoenix marks the beginning of the rest of the season and the M&M’s team is already focused on gaining the wins and consistency it will need over the next 25 races in hopes of again joining the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Parker Kligerman: "Let's Go Places" West
After recording his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) top-five finish last week in the season-opening event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Parker Kligerman heads west with confidence on his side and his manufacturer adorning his KBM entry. Kligerman will carry the Toyota "Let's Go Places" paint scheme on his No. 77 Camry in Saturday's Dollar General 200 fueled by Amerigas at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (PIR), in the first of three March races on the west coast.
With a strong run at Daytona last week, Kligerman and his crew picked up right where KBM's Nationwide Series team left off at the end of 2012. KBM's NNS entry has posted top-five finishes in five of the last six races and qualified in the top five in four straight. Not only is the team surging, but its young driver's comfort level behind the wheel of a Nationwide Series is increasing each time he hits the track. The 22-year-old driver has finished 12th or better in each of his last five NNS events, spread across the last three seasons.
Kligerman is hoping that his third career start at PIR in one of NASCAR's top three divisions will be the charm. The Connecticut native, who is making his first NNS start at the 1-mile tri-oval, has found misfortune in both of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and failed to finish both events.
While the driver may not have left the Arizona track with desirable finishes, crew chief Eric Phillips has taking a liking to the unique layout at PIR. Phillips' drivers have visited victory lane in the last two Truck Series races in "The Valley of the Sun." Last year, Phillips guided Brian Scott to his second career Truck Series victory and in 2011 the Illinois native called the shots when Kyle Busch led the final 107 laps en route to the win.
As the Nationwide Series travels to places west, Kligerman and his No. 77 Toyota Racing crew are hoping to continue their hot start. While they know that they are bound to experience some bumps along their 33-race journey, the young driver and his crew know that it is eminent not to dig themselves in a hole early this season if they hope to be championship contenders come November.
Allmendinger to Drive 51 Guy Roofing Chevy at Phoenix
He's back. A.J. Allmendinger is returning to Phoenix Racing to compete in the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway. He'll be piloting the No. 51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet in his fifth Sprint Cup Series start with team.
Allmendinger is no stranger to the "Desert Jewel." He has eight previous Cup Series starts at the one-mile oval and has driven to four top-15s and two top-10s. He has started on the front row three times, including one pole, which he captured in 2010.
Phoenix Racing has made 16 Cup Series starts at Phoenix. Their best finish came in 2005, with Johnny Sauter taking the checkered flag in ninth place.
Allmendinger comments on his return at Phoenix International Raceway:
"This will be good. It's been a few months since I've been in a stock car. I haven't been in one of the Gen 6 cars yet, so I think it will take a little time to get acclimated to it. Phoenix International Raceway is a great place for me to get back behind the wheel. I've always enjoyed the race track. It will definitely feel different, but I'll be ready to go.
"It definitely helps to go to a track that I enjoy already. It's a tough race track, especially with the repave. It starts off so slick when we make our first few laps, then it gains grip. It picks up a ton of grip pretty quickly, then it goes back to being slick for the race. It's definitely a challenging race track. I know the guys will have a good race car ready for the weekend. I was really impressed with their run last week at Daytona. It showed that they're putting together solid equipment and have a good feel for the new car. I think for the first 30 to 45 minutes I'll have to ease into it and get used to the new car, but after that, I'll be up to speed and ready to go.
"Of all the tracks we go to, this is one of the most technical and challenging. It takes finesse and you have to hit your marks nearly perfect every time. There's barely any banking, which means it's easy to slip and slide if you come into the corners too hot. You also have to be mindful of your brakes. It's easy to use them up in the early stages of the race and not have any left for the end. I think that's what I enjoy so much about the track. You have to be on top of your game to have a good day there. I'm really looking forward to hopping in the Guy Roofing Chevy this weekend."
Phoenix Racing PR
Alex Bowman, No. 99 Port of Tucson Toyota Camry, Phoenix Preview
News & Notes:
- This Week's Port of Tucson Toyota Camry ... Alex Bowman will pilot RAB Racing with Brack Maggard chassis No. 44 in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. This Toyota Camry made its debut in 2012 at Iowa Speedway in May, where Travis Pastrana recorded a 26th-place finish after experiencing a part failure in the closing stages of the event. Pastrana then raced this chassis to the front of the field at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September, leading his first laps of NASCAR competition. Most recently, Bowman piloted this chassis to a 15th-place finish at PIR in November.
- Welcome Back ... Port of Tucson returns this weekend as primary sponsor of the No. 99 Toyota Camry. Port of Tucson is a multi-faceted rail facility in Tucson, providing a wide variety of rail-oriented transportation options in and around the southwest.
- Home Sweet Home ... Bowman, a native of Tucson, grew up just over 125 miles southeast of Phoenix International Raceway. He began his career racing quarter midgets in his home state at the age of 7. Since then, he has claimed six poles, six wins, 13 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 21 ARCA Series starts; five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 14 NASCAR K&N East and West Series starts; one top-five and four top-20 finishes in five Nationwide Series races.
- Bowman at Phoenix ... Bowman has raced at Phoenix International Raceway once before in Nationwide Series competition, positing a 15th-place finish in November's Great Clips 200. Bowman has also raced here in K&N Pro Series West competition. In 2011's running of the Casino Arizona 150, Bowman posted a second-place finish.
- RAB at Phoenix ... RAB Racing has fielded Nationwide Series entries at Phoenix International Raceway nine times since 2008, with drivers Jason Bowles, Bowman, Brian Scott, John Wes Townley and Kenny Wallace. The team's best showing at the Avondale oval is a 10th-place finish, which was posted by Wallace in 2011's running of the Bashas' Supermarkets 200.
- Rice at Phoenix ... Crew chief Chris Rice has sat atop the pit box as a Nationwide Series crew chief at Phoenix International Raceway seven times in his career, posting one top-10 and four top-20 finishes. His highest finish at the one-mile oval is seventh, where he posted in 2003 with driver Scott Wimmer.
- Get to the Points ... As we head into the second race of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Bowman currently occupies the second position in the drivers' point standings, only one point behind leader Sam Hornish, Jr. Owner Robby Benton holds down the third position in the Nationwide Series owners' point standings, only six points out of the lead.
- Top Rookie... Following Bowman's impressive third-place in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway last weekend earned him the top spot in the Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year point standings. Bowman won two contingency awards following the 120-lap event including the Mobil 1 Oil Driver of the Race and Sunoco Rookie of the Race.
- Catch the Action ... Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway will be televised live Saturday, March 2nd beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network. NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying will be televised live Saturday, March 2nd beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET on SPEED.
- Get Social ... Don't miss any updates from Bowman and RAB Racing. Follow them on Twitter @AlexBRacing and @RAB_Racing.
Alex Bowman Quotes:
"I'm really excited to head to Phoenix and be close to home. We were pretty good last year there and I think we've made even more improvements. I'm ready to race on a normal track and get away from the superspeedway for a little while, where handling will be more important. I'm ready to use the Windows 8 Surface to pinpoint what the car is doing at different points on the track and really add to the car's full capability. I'm also pumped up to have everyone from Port of Tucson be there and adorn the hood of our Toyota Camry. I've had a lot of experience at this track driving in a number of different cars and am looking forward to working with my crew chief Chris Rice to get this Camry to the front of the field."
Chris Rice Quotes:
"I'm excited to come out of Daytona with a solid finish. It shows how hard we're working here at the shop and Alex did a phenomenal job during the race getting into position to finish well at the end. Phoenix is home for Alex, so I put a lot of pressure on myself for him to do well here. He did a good job at Phoenix last year and we've since tested the setup so we have an extensive set of notes to go off of for this weekend. Though the track configuration has changed, it's still the same old Phoenix. You have to work on forward drive and have track position at the end to run well."
RAB Racing PR
Darlington Raceway sprints into history with new book
Darlington Raceway has been part of the landscape of South Carolina and of NASCAR for over six decades and a new nostalgic book celebrates the history of the track through extraordinary vintage images.
From races run on dirt and clay to the paved speedways of today, the historic events, colorful characters, and memorable moments of “The Lady in Black” are revealed in more than 200 vintage images.
Author Cathy Elliott sees Darlington Raceway as “more than just a race track that comes alive once a year,” and describes why many locals consider the speedway part of the family. “Darlington is an integral member of her community, part of its very identity. Everyone in town has at least one story about the track,” Elliott said.
The book’s forward was written by Darlington Raceway vice president and general manager Terry “Mac” Josey, who has been part of the track’s staff for over 20 years, witnessing many of the great moments in the Lady in Black’s history.
Darlington Raceway is Arcadia Publishing’s first historical race track book to be published as part of a new licensing agreement with the NASCAR Library Collection, which provides a high level of authentication and quality to NASCAR-licensed books.
Captivating highlights of Darlington Raceway:
· Provides a comprehensive visual story of the evolution of both the speedway and the sport of NASCAR racing, from the Raceway’s inaugural race to the most recent event
· Feature images from both the Darlington Raceway collection and local residents, presenting a more personal view of the track
· Offers a rare, behind-the-scenes look at what a NASCAR driver really experiences on a race day
· Illustrates even the non-stock car racing events at Darlington Raceway that reinforces the fact that the track is not merely a structure to the Darlington-area community
· Showcases include drivers like Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson
The book is available now at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or from the publisher at www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. For more information visit: www.arcadiapublishing.com/NASCAR.
Darlington Raceway PR