Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

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A week ago in Phoenix, Casey Mears and Biagi-DenBeste Racing were fast all weekend and turned in a solid result, scoring an 11th place finish in the Ticket Galaxy 200.  When they arrived in Miami for the NASCAR Xfinity Series season finale, the group aimed to duplicate their effort by putting Mears and his No. 98 GEICO Military Ford Mustang at the front of the field.  Their aim was true and they would find themselves near the top of the board during most of Sunday's 300-mile event.
 
Mears and the No. 98 GEICO Military Ford were quick off of the truck when they took to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the year's final two practice sessions on Friday.  Mears was 16th on the board in the weekend's opening practice before shooting up the scoring chart to sixth fastest in the final session.  The speedy GEICO driver continued his fast ways during qualifying on Saturday when he wheeled around the 1.5-mile oval in just 33.263-seconds, at a speed of 162.343-miles per hour, landing him 12th on Ford EcoBoost 300 starting grid. 
 
When the green flag signaled the start of the final Xfinity race of the season, Mears rolled off of the starting grid from the 12th position, but promptly began passing cars.  He pedaled the GEICO Military Ford into the top-10 in the opening few laps and appeared to have what he referred to as a 'rocket-ship'.  The 16-year veteran was strong throughout the first half of the race and as the event approached the mid-way point, Mears was running in the 10th position and turning top-five lap times. 
 
The Biagi-DenBeste Racing pit crew was expedient on pit road, turning in quick stops during the course of the race and always leaving Mears and the GEICO Military Ford in contention after returning him to the racing surface.  When the checkered flag waved under the night sky, Mears crossed the finish line in the 11th position, closing out the season on a strong note and capping off a fun year that saw him record multiple top-10's in his return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 
 
"I had a lot of fun out there in the GEICO Military Ford.  It was a rocket-ship and if we could've gotten a caution there near the end, we would've definitely been top-10 and maybe top-5," Mears said.  "The car was really good on short runs and it was great to have speed to pass and be able to run up front today like we did last week in Phoenix.  These Biagi-DenBeste guys have done a nice job and I'm glad we were able to finish the season on a good note.  I can't thank GEICO enough for their loyal support, and Fred Biagi and Bill DenBeste for the opportunity to drive this 98 car."
 
Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.
 
You can also follow GEICO Racing on Twitter: www.twitter.com/geicoracing
 
To learn more about Biagi-DenBeste Racing, please visit: www.biagidenbesteracing.com.
 
PMI PR

Roush Fenway Racing will field a driver development team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) in 2018, with Ty Majeski, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe, each a driver in the Ford family of NASCAR race teams, sharing the iconic No. 60 Ford Mustang.  The project is intended to continue the progression and development of the three drivers and will be run by Roush Fenway with collaboration from Ford Performance and Team Penske.  Roush Fenway veteran Mike Kelley, who helped guide Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a pair of NXS championships, will serve as crew chief on the car.

“Driver development has always been part of our DNA at Roush Fenway and Jack Roush has always taken pride in providing opportunities for up and coming drivers,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. “All three of these drivers have exhibited a great deal of potential on and off the track and it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch as they hone their skills together and grow into the next generation of champions in our sport.”

Majeski, who finished 10th in his third NXS start last weekend at Homestead, recently captured his fourth-consecutive ARCA Midwest Tour championship, winning six of the 12 races.  In 32 Late Model races this year, the Wisconsin phenom has scored an impressive 20 wins and 29 top-three finishes. He is coming off a dominating performance in the Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna, where he won the event for the third consecutive year.  Majeski is also the No. 1 ranked iRacer in the world, with over 830 wins in 1,112 starts.

At the age of 19, Cindric has a very diverse racing background.  He has won races in rallycross, IMSA, ARCA, the NASCAR K&N Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).  In only his rookie season, Cindric advanced to the championship round in the NCWTS playoffs at Homestead.  In 2017, Cindric scored eight top fives and 16 top-10 NCWS finishes; including a win this season at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Briscoe, whose family has a rich history driving and owning sprint cars, scored 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes and finished sixth in the points standings in his NCWTS rookie season, including a dominating victory in the season finale at Homestead. He won the 2016 ARCA championship in dramatic fashion, tallying six victories, leading almost 1000 laps and distancing himself from the second-place finisher by over 500 points.

The trio will look to build on the rich history of Roush Fenway’s No. 60 that includes a NASCAR record 93 wins and almost 16,000 laps led. Mark Martin was a dominating fixture in the car in the 90s and Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Chris Buescher each drove the car to NXS championships.

The No. 60 is set to run all of the NXS races in 2018, while competing for the NXS Owner’s Championship. Further details will be made available - and a media availability for all three drivers will be conducted - after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

RFR PR

Garrett Smithley, driving the No. 0 KSDT and Company Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, scored a solid 24th place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Smithley will end the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season 21st in driver standings.

“I can't believe the season is already over,” Smithley said. “It was an extremely tough season, but i think we finished as strong as we could have. We had a goal for top 20 in Xfinity Series driver standings, but missed it by one point. We gave it all we had, and I'm proud of our effort all year long. If it wasn't for Johnny taking a chance on me last year, I wouldn't have just finished my second NASCAR Xfinity Series season, and words can't express how grateful I am to him, Carol, Gary Keller, and the whole team.”

The 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season will take the green flag on February 17th at Daytona International Speedway for the PowerShares QQQ 300.

JDM PR

Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) finished 24th in their final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The team had a phenomenal start to the weekend, finishing first and second practice eighth and 13th, respectively. McDowell finished the first round of qualifying 11th fastest on Friday, but had a slight mishap in the second round, securing a 23rd place starting spot for Sunday’s season finale race.

At the start of the Ford EcoBoost 400, the field only made it to the sixth lap under green flag before the first caution came out for a blown engine. McDowell reported that the handling of his No. 95 Rohto® Jolt™ Chevrolet SS felt fine, but that he did not want to burn up his tires too quickly, as the fall-off at Homestead is significant. McDowell pitted for a new set during the first caution, while the majority of the leaders did not.

McDowell made his first green flag pit stop on lap 40 and controlled the Lucky Dog position for a time. He then reported his No. 95 Rohto® Jolt™ Chevy was extremely tight handling but was able to finish the stage in 21st.

Within the first 10 laps of the second stage, McDowell reported a very tight handling car and went down a second lap on lap 114. He made his second green flag pit stop on lap 132, before a caution came out just under 10 laps later, allowing McDowell to take the wave around and gain one lap back. He went on to finish the second stage in 22nd.

McDowell pitted for tires and adjustments during the caution and was able to gain a spot on pit road to start the final stage in 21st and in position to race for the Lucky Dog spot. On lap 186, McDowell reported that he felt like one of his tires was beginning to go down. He made it just seven laps before the right front tire went completely flat, forcing the team to make an unscheduled green flag pit stop, which put them down a third lap.

In an effort to not lose any more spots, Crew Chief, Jon Leonard told McDowell to save fuel, as they could make it until the end of the race without pitting. The rest of the field began their green flag pit stops, allowing McDowell to gain one lap back. As the fifth caution of the day came out on lap 229, the team was able to take the wave around to put McDowell down only one lap.

McDowell restarted in 22nd as the field went green with 34 laps remaining. While he made it back up to 20th, McDowell ultimately ran out of fuel on the last lap, crossing the start / finish line in 24th.

“Not the day we wanted,” said McDowell. “We went a few laps down there and got off sequence with strategy there. Cautions didn’t fall our way either. We struggled today just being tight, and we just lost the balance a little bit. We did all we could and got a Top-25 finish again. I’m looking forward to next year!”

LFR PR

Ross Chastain, driving the No. 4 Florida Watermelon Association Chevrolet Camaro, finished out the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with a 17th place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Chastain will end the year 13th in Xfinity Series driver standings.

“It feels good to end the year 13th in driver standings,” Chastain said. “It’s a big deal for this team, and at the beginning of the year that was our goal. It’s been pretty incredible to outrun the cars that we did and to put together sponsorships all year. It’s not easy getting to the race track all year. There were times that, as a team, we were looking ahead one to three months and asking ‘How are we going to get to race track? How are we going to pay for this stuff?’ But the whole marketing team and everyone behind the scenes at JD Motorsports with Gary Keller was able to pull it off. They were able to put a car out on the track for me every week that was competitive, and we could go race against the group of cars that we were supposed to be behind. We ended up 17th tonight and beat the cars we needed to beat, so that’s a pretty solid finish to the year. We’re going to spend the off season putting on the new composite bodies, working on sponsorship, and we’ll come back even stronger next year.”

The 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season will take the green flag on February 17th at Daytona International Speedway for the PowerShares QQQ 300.

JDM PR

It’s one of those rare times in the life of a weekly racer when the engines are silent, tools are put away and racing is secondary.

It’s a week of giving thanks and racers are no exception. They will gather around the Thanksgiving table Thursday with family and friends and count their blessings.

“This is the time of year to reflect on and appreciate another safe year of racing along with remembering those who we have lost this year,” said Peyton Sellers, who won his third South Boston Speedway Late Model Stock championship in 2017 while recording three wins. “Racing is a tough sport. We compete on the track and have out differences but when we unstrap we should realize we are a family, a brotherhood that will do anything to help each other. Our difference on the track is what makes us unique.”

South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice couldn’t agree more.

“We were blessed with another year of great racing surrounded by great friends and family,” said Rice. “We are thankful to be working in this sport at this wonderful race track. We are so thankful for the support we get from so many race fans and team. It all is truly a blessing.”

Bobby McCarty just wound down his best year of racing. Even though he finished second to Sellers in the South Boston Speedway Late Model points, he won four races at his home track. He also picked up a huge win in the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway in late summer and contented for the Virginia Triple Crown title.

“I have a lot to be thankful for,” said McCarty. “I’m thankful for my son, my fiancé for dealing with all the late hours working on the race car, my family and friends.

“I’m also thankful for the way my racing career progressed this year. I’ve learned a lot and can’t wait to see what the future has for my team and me.”

It was a break-out season for high school senior Colin Garrett. He captured the Limited Sportsman championship at South Boston behind five wins. He also branched out to other tracks on nights South Boston wasn’t running and picked up his first Late Model Stock win.

“I definitely have a lot to be thankful for this year,” said Garrett, a senior at Halifax High School. “Obviously my wonderful family and being able to have the opportunity to race. I can’t thank everyone who’s been a part of this team all year to get us to the point we did.

“My mom and dad put a lot of effort into my racing as well as my partners and I can’t be thankful enough to them all.”

South Boston’s 61st season will open on Saturday, March 24 with twin 100-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Division, a 50-lap Limited Sportsman event, a 30-lap Pure Stock race and a 15-lap Hornets race.

For the full 2018 South Boston Speedway schedule, visit www.southbostonspeedway.com.

SBS PR

Those looking to give the gift of Daytona International Speedway will find options for fans of all forms of motorsports in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials.

On Friday, Nov. 24 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 27 (Cyber Monday), the “World Center of Racing” will offer the following $60 ticket package specials:

  • Rolex 24 At DAYTONA: General admission stadium and infield access for the 56th anniversary of North America’s most prestigious sports car race on Jan. 27-28 with a Rolex 24 event hat and garage access on Sunday, a savings of 32 percent.
  • DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger/Advance Auto Parts Clash: General admission stadium and infield access for the Sunday, Feb. 11 doubleheader with UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access, a savings of 33 percent.
  • Can-Am Duel: General admission stadium ticket and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access for the 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 15, a savings of 43 percent.
  • NextEra Energy Resources 250: General admission stadium ticket and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 16, a savings of 29 percent.
  • PowerShares QQQ 300: General admission stadium ticket and UNOH Fanzone/Pre-Race access for the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener on Saturday, Feb. 17, a savings of 43 percent.

Kids 12 and under are FREE in general admission stadium seating and UNOH Fanzone for the above Speedweeks events.

There are also ticket package specials for fans of Bike Week At DAYTONA:

  • DAYTONA Supercross: General admission ticket and Trackside Access, which gets you closer to the action than anywhere else on the circuit, can be purchased for $45 – a savings of 31 percent. The longest continuous Supercross event in America takes place Saturday, March 10.
  • DAYTONA TT: Fans can have a premium hospitality experience during the Thursday, March 15 event with Rolex 24 Lounge admission for $99 – a savings of 34 percent – or they can sit atop the infield’s DAYTONA 500 Club with President’s Row Admission for $149 – a savings of 25 percent. The Rolex 24 Lounge option includes access to the Lounge, a stadium seat directly outside the Lounge, souvenir event program, priority parking, snacks and beverages. The DAYTONA 500 Club President’s Row option includes a reserved rooftop seat, dinner, priority parking, UNOH Fanzone and pit access, souvenir event program, snacks and beverages.

To take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday ticket specials, call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.

DIS PR

This past weekend, the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season concluded at the Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. Martin Truex, Jr. was crowned the champion.

Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) finished the year with driver Aric Almirola and 2017 lead sponsor's Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force, STP and Fresh From Florida. 

Sunday night, Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield team finished 18th. 
  
Almirola completed the season with three Top-Five finishes, highlighted by a fourth-place finish in the Daytona 500.  Almirola also collected six Top-10 finishes in 29 races after suffering a back injury at the Kansas Speedway in early May.  Prior to the devastating accident, the team had two consecutive Top-10 finishes at Richmond and at Talladega- where he finished fifth.

Almirola returned to the car at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in mid-July and one week later finished 13th in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The team found success late in the 2017 season with another Top-Five at Talladega and Top-10 results at Kansas and Phoenix.

Regan Smith competed in two races (Charlotte in May and Dover in June) in the No. 43, filling in for Almirola.  Smith was running in the Top-10 late in the Dover race before cutting a tire. Road course driver, Billy Johnson, raced at Sonoma.

RPM made history when Darrell "Bubba" Wallace, Jr. competed in four races in the summer.  Wallace finished 11th at the Kentucky Speedway in his final start.

The introduction to Wallace led the organization to hire him.  The announcement was made on October 25.  Wallace, 24, will compete full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and for the Sunoco Rookie of The Year beginning at the 2018 Daytona 500.

The organization welcomed new partner, Click n' Close, in early November to join the many partners of Petty. 

Moving into December, RPM continues to gain momentum as they prepare for the 2018 season opener in Daytona.

RPM PR

IRG Sports + Entertainment (IRGSE), a leading marketer and promoter of sports and live entertainment experiences, announced today the recent acquisition of Bertil Roos Racing School.

As a pioneer in the industry, the Bertil Roos Racing School has been training students in the art of motor racing for over four decades. Graduates of the European-style, road racing school can be found at every level of racing, from the hobbyist up to the top levels of professional racing. All programs are "arrive and drive," where all you need to bring is a positive attitude.

Bertil Roos will continue to run programs at existing locations and will add resident driving schools at Palm Beach International Raceway, which began the week of Nov. 11, and at Memphis International Raceway in 2018.

"We are pleased to welcome Bertil Roos Racing School into the IRGSE family," IRGSE President and CEO Lou Partenza said. "When we looked for an acquisition, the focus was to find an organization that would add value by complementing IRGSE's existing assets while maintaining a strong culture of delivering value and service to its customers.

"Bertil Roos hit on all of these parameters with an added benefit of a strong, passionate leadership team that is committed to the continued growth and development of the company."

In addition, IRGSE acquired the complete Formula fleet and spares from the Skip Barber Racing School. These vehicles are undergoing complete overhauls and will be permanently situated at the Palm Beach and Memphis Bertil Roos Racing School locations.

Bertil Roos Racing School will service seven track locations in 2018 with a fleet of 45 open-wheel Formula cars and 20 full-bodied cars, along with offering trackside support. Corporate headquarters will be based in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"I am excited to be part of the IRGSE family," said Dennis Macchio, President of Bertil Roos Racing Schools. "Their track assets fit perfectly into our vision for the continued expansion of Bertil Roos Racing School and the residency driving school programs we have developed.

"The resources afforded to Bertil Roos through this venture will allow us to expand both geographically and through the development of additional programs and racing weekends."

For more information about Bertil Roos Racing School including gift certificates, holiday pricing and travel discounts, visit the website at www.racenow.com.

IRG Sports PR

Stage 1
Cole Whitt qualified 33rd to start the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
 
Caution Lap 6 (incident): Whitt relayed the Rinnai No. 72 was tight in the center of Turns 1 and 2 and a little free in and off the corners. Whitt pitted for four tires and fuel. He restarted 32nd
 
Lap 42: Whitt was experiencing loss of rear grip and had fallen a lap down from the leader. He pitted under a green flag for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to the Rinnai No. 72
 
Stage 1 Completion Caution Lap 80: Whitt completed the stage 30th, two laps down from the leader. He relayed the Rinnai No. 72 was really loose in, tight in the center and loose off. Crew Chief Frank Kerr called him to pit for four tires, fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments
 
 
Stage 2
Whitt took the Stage 2 green flag restart 33rd, two laps down
 
Lap 122: Whitt continued to experience the same conditions reporting it had worsened. Under green flag, he came in for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments. He returned to the field 33rd, three laps down
 
Caution Lap 143 (incident): Having just pitted about 20 laps prior, Whitt stayed out on track to take the wave around. He too the green flag restart scored 30th, two laps down
 
Stage 2 Completion Caution Lap 160: Whitt completed the stage 29th, two laps down. He came to pit for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to the Rinnai No. 72
 
 
Stage 3
Whitt was scored 36th, two laps down for the start of Stage 3
 
As Stage 3 became a long green flag run, competitors were forced to make green flag pit stops. The Rinnai No. 72 continued to be loose in, tight in the center and loose off. Whitt came to pit on lap 207 for four tires and fuel. He rejoined the field 31st, four laps down
 
Caution Lap 229 (incident): Whitt was scored 30th, three laps down on the leaderboard. Crew Chief Frank Kerr requested he stay out on track to take the wave around and save fuel confident the Rinnai No. 72 had enough fuel to complete the race
 
Whitt took the green flag restart 27th, two laps down. He fell one position and ultimately closed out the season finale with a 28th place finish in the Rinnai No. 72 in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway 
 
Tristar PR