Steven B. Wilson
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Joe Gibbs Racing Announces Dave Rogers Will Replace Scott Graves as Crew Chief on No. 19 MENCS Team for Remainder of 2018 Season09 Oct 2018
Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that crew chief Scott Graves will be leaving the organization effective immediately.
Dave Rogers, who has been serving as Technical Director for JGR Xfinity Series Operations, will assume the duties of crew chief for the No. 19 team for remainder of this season. Rogers has previously served in the role of crew chief on the No. 19 in 2016 and part of the 2017 season.
The event coincides with the ongoing kids' initiative by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., the parent company of Texas Motor Speedway, of offering a 12-and-under children's ticket to a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in any seating price range for just $10.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham will be a big part of the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2019 Trade and Race Car show, the 34th annual edition, taking place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA January 18-20, 2019.
Evernham is best known for his work with Hendrick Motorsports and as crew chief for Jeff Gordon which led the team to three NASCAR Cup Series championships and 47 wins during their time together. However Evernham has also been a NASCAR Cup car owner, a race car driver, author, car builder, father, husband, TV and radio personality and an automotive genius.
During his participation in the show Evernham will take center stage on Friday night to talk about his career in the sport and answer questions from the audience. And there will be a special video that will honor Ray for his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame earlier this year.
A fact often overlooked is that the media named Ray the greatest crew chief of all time.
Since age 15 Evernham has worked on race cars. He has designed, built and driven some of the most advance cars known to man.
Filling up a large display area of the show will be race cars that have had Ray’s handiwork during his career.
Jeff Gordon’s Dupont No. 24 rookie season car on which Evernham was the crew chief
Bill Elliott’s No. 9 which won the Brickyard 400 with Ray as the crew chief and owner.
Jim Bauma’s No. 19 asphalt Modified which Ray raced at Wall Stadium, New Egypt Speedway and a few other tracks during his race driving days.
And the Tom Park No. 2p dirt Modified which he won his last pavement race at Flemington Speedway with.
At present Ray is able to share his passion for auto racing and reveal the untold stories of the sport through his TV show titled Glory Road on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2019 Race Car & Trade Show Fueled by Sunoco and Distributed by Insinger Performance, which fills 250,000 square feet of show space with just about everything imaginable in motorsports, includes free seminars, autograph opportunities, a large number of speedway and sanctioning organization displays plus the famous Ms. Motorsports Pageant.
Kansas Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer has been named the Grand Marshal for the Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 20, and Jamie Young, representing the Kansas Lottery’s #1 retail outlet, Lonestar in Salina, Kan., has been named the Honorary Starter for the race.
In addition to Governor Colyer and Young taking part in pre-race activities, Toyota and the University of Kansas Health System, along with Kansas Speedway, will recognize five breast cancer survivors as part of the ceremonies.
Darrell Stuckey, who is a retired NFL Pro Bowler and Kansas City, Kan., native will provide the invocation, and The Band Sayler will sing the National Anthem, while the Overland Park Police Honor Guard will present the colors.
All Kansas Speedway tickets are currently on sale by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com.
Kansas Speedway, a premier motorsports facility in the Midwest, hosts two NASCAR race weekends a year, in addition to hosting approximately 200 other events throughout the year. In the fall, the NASCAR playoffs return Oct. 20-21 with the NASCAR XFINITY Series Kansas Lottery 300 and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400. Also in the fall is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards series finale. To purchase season or single day tickets, call 866.460.RACE (7223) or log onto www.kansaspeedway.com. A limited number of camping spots are available by calling Kansas Speedway’s Ticket Office.
General parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.
Fans can follow Kansas Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kansasspeedway, follow us on Twitter (@kansasspeedway), on Instagram (kansasspeedway) and Snapchat (kansasspeedway).
Kansas Speedway PR
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) winner Ross Chastain will join Niece Motorsports for the second time this season, piloting the No. 38 Niece Equipment Chevrolet Silverado at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event on Friday, November 2.
In August, Chastain made his first start with Niece Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway. The veteran racer turned in a solid performance in the No. 38 Chevrolet, qualifying 10th and finishing the night in 12th.
“I’m really looking forward to working with this Niece Motorsports team again,” said Chastain. “I always have a lot of fun in the Truck Series and am excited to come back and race here any chance I get. Texas is a big deal for team owner Al Niece, but I’m confident that we can put on a strong performance in November.”
The 2018 season has been a busy one for Chastain, who has competed in all three of NASCAR’s major series. To date, Chastain has made 28 starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, 29 starts in the NXS, and five starts in the NCWTS this season.
In September, Chastain broke into the Winner’s Circle in the NXS, after putting on a dominating performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning each stage of the race and leading 180 of 200 laps.
“We’ve seen what Ross is capable of this year, and I’m thrilled to have him behind the wheel of one of our trucks again,” said team owner Al Niece. “Ross gives 100% every single lap he’s on the track, and that’s something that our team really appreciates.”
Niece Motorsports Technical Director Cody Efaw will serve as Chastain’s crew chief for the event.
The NCWTS takes the green flag at Texas Motor Speedway for the JAG Metals 350 on Friday, Nov. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET, broadcast live on FoxSports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
Niece Motorsports PR
This NASCAR Playoff doubleheader weekend at Talladega Superspeedway marks 30 years since former IMSA GTP driver Lyn St. James earned a special place among drivers who have shattered records at the mammoth venue.
The longtime sports car racer stamped her name into the history books at 2.66-mile tri-oval in 1985 by driving a Ford Mustang Probe GTP Prototype to set the record as the first woman to surpass 200 mph on a closed course with a speed of 204.233 mph. But little did anyone know that the performance would be just an appetizer for what she would accomplish three years later in one of Talladega’s most illustrious moments in motorsports history.
The story begins in 1987 when St. James drove on the same team with two-time Talladega winner Bill Elliott en route to them winning that year’s 24 Hours of Daytona in the GTO team class. Later that year, Elliott would set NASCAR’s all-time qualifying mark at Talladega with a speed of 212.809 mph. Since St. James was looking for a way to give herself a chance at earning a NASCAR ride, she contacted Ford, Goodyear, Elliott and his race team, and convinced them to build a race car specifically to set speed records at Talladega.
The project involved a 1989 Thunderbird on a NASCAR chassis built by Ernie Elliott, Bill’s brother. Instead of using a NASCAR 5.7 liter engine, the car was given a 377 CID V8 engine and an ultra-low ride height. Any changes to the rest of the vehicle, which included to its rear roof, rear spoiler and frontal area, were made to “only look stock” and achieve aerodynamics that would minimize drag and maximize speed.
Because of the 200-mph speeds the Thunderbird was expected to go, the car had to be tested in a “proper moving-ground wind tunnel” and the results were mind-blowing. The car was ready for Talladega’s 33-degree banking and its speed records attempt in October 1988, but it was not until then that St. James sat in the car for the first time.
“The car was so heavy, and the tires were so small! I didn’t have a lot of feel,” said St. James, a Phoenix, AZ native who will be at Talladega this weekend to celebrate her accomplishment with media Friday and be introduced to the crowd during pre-race ceremonies Sunday. “As a race driver, you have to be able to adapt to different kinds of cars, that’s your job. But it had this great big steering wheel, and it was so heavy – I couldn’t feel a dorn thing!”
Once all of the necessary permits were finished, there was a total of over 40 international and national records that St. James could either set or break.
To help prepare her for her mission, Elliott utilized a stock Thunderbird to take St. James around Talladega and discussed where she should be (and where she should not be) on the track. He even made adjustments to the suspension and aerodynamics of the real Thunderbird race car. They also communicated frequently in the pits because the fuel cell only held 10 gallons.
“I’d come in and ask Bill what to do,” St. James said. “He’d say, ‘you just have to drive it deep into the turn until it takes a set.’ I’d say, ‘it doesn’t feel like it’s going to turn,’ and he’d say, ‘you just have to wait – it’ll turn all right.’
“Bill is not only an extremely talented race car driver, but he’s also known to be able to set up a car and make the adjustments when needed, which was invaluable.”
To make the task tougher, the mid-afternoon heat was not complimentary for breaking new speed records, and St. James says that if she lost speed from a little mistake, it would take her an entire lap just to get it back.
“It was so frustrating!” exclaimed St. James. “I felt like I never really figured it out.”
But despite these setbacks and her brief experience inside the car, St. James owned the moment on the first day, putting down the fastest lap ever by a woman on an oval track at 212.435 mph and setting 21 other international and national speed records.
St. James could have stopped with those achievements in hand, but she chose to strap in again the next morning (October 11, 1988) when it was cool and surpassed her own closed-course women’s speed record with 212.577 mph and a recorded top speed of 232.400 mph before the Thunderbird’s motor gave out. All told, St. James and her team set or broke 21 FIA international and national speed records, including 16 that could be held either by men or women.
In many ways, the record-breaking driving by St. James was a major milestone in the auto racing world, but it would end up being the catalyst for raising the bar in the sport. St. James held the title of the world’s fastest woman for only a matter of months until Patty Moise set a new closed-course women’s speed record in a specially-prepared Buick at 216.607 mph. Moise then broke the record again in 1990 at Talladega, clocking in at 217.498 mph.
For St. James, she continued chasing her passion for speed, but there was a catch. “The irony in this story is that my goal of convincing Ford that I could race stock cars didn’t happen,” St. James explained.
A few weeks after making history at Talladega, she accepted an opportunity from team owner Dick Simon to drive an Indycar in a private rookie test. Four years later, she was Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500.
The incredible feats St. James accomplished during her brief stock car experience 30 years ago changed motorsports and sealed her place in Talladega’s storied legacy. She would go on to win another 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, both in the GTO team class, in 1990. But while records have been broken and her career turned a different direction than she initially planned, her achievements at Alabama’s acclaimed superspeedway will always hold a distinguished place in her heart.
“I found my home driving open-wheel race cars on high-speed ovals,” St. James said. “I think those laps at Talladega, in first the Ford Probe and then the Ford Thunderbird, helped me to learn and like high-speed ovals. I have so much to be thankful for and grateful for the opportunities. Yes, I worked hard to earn those opportunities, but hard work doesn’t always get results. I love driving fast race cars fast!”
Who will write their legacy during the Fr8Auctions 250 and 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega this weekend? Find out…….
With Major League Baseball’s postseason in full swing, two division runners-up from each league played in a pair of winner-take-all Wild Card games for the chance to continue their postseason. The American League’s New York Yankees and the National League’s Colorado Rockies were able to move on in the playoffs by winning their respective games last week.
As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this weekend, NASCAR’s top series holds its annual “Wild Card Game” of a different sort four races into its own playoffs and during the month of October. Heading into Sunday’s 1000bulbs.com 500, there arguably isn’t a track on the circuit like Talladega, upon which racing is as much of an unknown as its mammoth 2.66-mile oval.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), has found fortune both good and bad during NASCAR’s version of the Wild Card Game. With lessons learned from his now 14-season career, the 2015 Cup Series champion knows anything can happen at Talladega. Starting last year, Talladega moved from a playoff elimination race, which was its place on the schedule the previous three seasons, to the second race in the Round of 12.
Last weekend’s Round of 12 opener last weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway saw Busch battle handling woes at the Monster Mile and run as far back at 17th before making a miraculous recovery late in the race and salvaging an unlikely eighth-place finish. While Busch and the No. 18 team are accustomed to running much better, every point counts in the current playoff format and the top-10 finish enabled Busch to expand his cushion over the ninth-place cutoff spot in the playoff standings to 63 points with two races remaining in the Round of 12.
But Busch and his M&M’S team aren’t fooled at all by the word cushion, which isn’t comforting to hear at a place like Talladega. So far, only Chase Elliott, by virtue of his win at Dover last weekend, is guaranteed a spot in the Round of 8. Despite Busch’s tough day at Dover, his success during the regular season, as well as in the Round of 16, earned him a total of 55 playoff points that will certainly help his cause going into the wild card race at Talladega.
But as Talladega looms, Busch knows one lap, or even one corner, could change a driver’s fortunes quickly.
He has conquered Talladega just once in his career, his lone win coming in April 2008. In his 26 starts at the track, he has 12 top-15 finishes, and four outings that ended in an accident. So, the Las Vegas native knows the winner of Sunday’s 500-mile race will need to have a strong car and some good fortune at NASCAR’s longest track.
As NASCAR prepares for its version of “Wild Card Weekend” at Talladega, Busch hopes to stay in front of the chaos with his M&M’S Camry, then head to Kansas the following week with, at the very least, a strong shot of advancing in the tightly contested NASCAR playoffs.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is once again opening its camping facilities to evacuees seeking refuge from Hurricane Michael.
The facilities available to Michael evacuees at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the same as they were for evacuees of Hurricane Florence last month. The campgrounds, which are equipped to handle thousands of campers during the track’s annual NASCAR weekend, will again be made available free of charge for dry RV and tent campers in the Legends Campground.
A limited number of camping spaces with water, power and sewer are also available for a nominal fee of $20 per night in the Premier Campground.
Located adjacent to the campgrounds, AMS will also open The Rinnai Shower Station camper bath house, allowing evacuees free access to hot showers and restroom facilities during their stay.
Over the last few years Atlanta Motor Speedway has opened its grounds to hundreds of people seeking refuge from powerful storms. During Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Speedway hosted more than 100 campers, and just last month dozens more stayed in the Speedway’s camping areas during Hurricane Florence.
Those interested in RV or tent camping in the free Legends campground at Atlanta Motor Speedway should enter the facility at Entrance "E" off GA Highway 19/41. The Legends Campground is on the right. From I-75 and GA Highway 20, campers should see signs to AMS and follow Lower Woolsey road to Entrance "H" and the Speedway Credential Building. Make a right into Speedway property and then another immediate right onto Richard Petty Boulevard. Follow Richard Petty Boulevard and turn left into Entrance "G". The Legends campground will be on the right.
The Premier Campground is located adjacent to the Legends campground and campers should enter the facility at the main entrance off GA Highway 19/41. The Premier Campground is on the left at the AMS security command post. From I-75 and GA Highway 20, campers should see signs to AMS and follow Lower Woolsey road to Entrance "H" and the Speedway Credential Building. Make a right into Speedway property and then another immediate right onto Richard Petty Boulevard. Follow Richard Petty Boulevard and turn left into Entrance "G". The Premier campground will be on the right.
For on-site assistance or directions, visit the ticket office/gift store building. Atlanta Motor Speedway is located approximately 25 miles south of Atlanta on GA Highway 19/41 and approximately eight miles west of I-75 off of GA Highway 20.
For more information, contact Atlanta Motor Speedway at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
Lawless Alan, driver of the AUTOParkit™ number twenty-five car and a Freshman at the University of Alabama, in only his second professional season won the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Championship at Irwindale Speedway Saturday September 22nd by finishing on the podium for his 22nd time this year. Lawless had to battle the entire race, finishing second, in order to maintain the top points position and secure the championship. Over the entire season, Lawless was on the podium 22 times including 7 first place finishes. The last two months of the season were particularly challenging as he had to commute from Tuscaloosa where he attends the University of Alabama and is studying mechanical engineering. Emerging from the car in Victory Circle right after winning the Championship he broke into a wide grin and yelled, "Roll Tide!".
There were plenty of high fives and champagne on a warm California night for the entire Dasher Lawless Racing Team which is sponsored by AUTOParkit. Mike Dunkleberger, Crew Chief of the number twenty-five car said, "We had the points lead coming into tonight, but knew we needed to run upfront if we wanted to control the championship. This is something the entire team has worked for these past two years. Lawless was diggin' the entire race and never let up. And on that last restart, even though he was in a comfortable points lead, he was going for the win, holy cow he can drive. He was down past the white line going into two trying to pass for the lead. But P2 put us on the podium again and we locked up the championship. I just can't say enough about this team and this young kid, wow, what a talent he is." Shawn Adams, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for AUTOParkit was equally as excited, "Tonight is a perfect illustration as to why AUTOParkit made the decision to have our brand represented by Lawless Alan. He exemplifies the hard work, dedication and drive that it takes to be the best which is in lock step with our philosophy at AUTOParkit. Our company and the people in it work tirelessly every day to continue to be the world leader in the design, manufacturing, construction and operation of fully automated parking systems. It's a fantastic accomplishment that we're able to share not just with the race team, but with our business partners like Siemens, Nord Gear, Vahle, and JD2. The competition of motorsports is no different than the inherent competition of business and at AUTOParkit, just like the race team we work every day to be the best."
The NASCAR Whelen Series ended on Saturday, however Lawless Alan will be running at Daytona International Speedway in the Trans Am Series November 9-11. The race will be broadcast on CBS Sports.
For more information on AUTOParkit, visit www.autoparkit.com.
Dasher Lawless Racing
Two points or, simply put, one position on the track. Two drivers – Guillaume Deflandre and Ulysse Delsaux – will enter next week’s Circuit Zolder Finals separated by just two points in the battle for the ELITE 2 Division title, confirming the division’s reputation as the most unpredictable of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
After beginning the Semi Finals weekend at the iconic Hockenheimring 24 points behind Delsaux in his first season with Swedish team Memphis Racing, Deflandre delivered a third place on Saturday and perfectly positioned himself on Sunday to take advantage of Delsaux’s last lap puncture to grab the lead and the second win of the season. The Belgian also took the points lead by two marks on his French rival.
“We had a lot of fun during both races at Hockenheim. I managed to run a good pace and put pressure on my competitors and we were happy to be able to win move to the top of the championship,” said the 19-year-old Memphis Racing driver, who won his first career race at Zolder in 2017. “It’s great to enter Zolder in first place, but there’s a lot more to do. Since the beginning of the season, we have a very good relationship with Memphis Racing. Alexander (Graff, ndr.) and the team are a good group, we are all progressing together.”
In a season that’s shaping up as a further, impressive step forward in his development both as a driver and as a young man, 21-year-old Ulysse Delsaux already amassed 3 wins and 4 podiums and only a late puncture in the second Hockenheim race deprived him of another dominant win. The Frenchman, who was diagnosed with a form of Asperger Syndrome early in his life and found in racing the perfect way to express himself, is looking forward to the last weekend of the season.
“My best races were undoubtedly Tours and Hockenheim because we’ve been very strong in all sessions and we dominated both weekends. Hockenheim is my favorite track and it was big disappointment to lose the Sunday race, but it’s pointless to look backwards. We will focus on the next race,” said Delsaux.
Both Delsaux and Deflandre went straight from karting to the Euro NASCAR cars and took part in the NWES drivers development program, honing their skills in test sessions in Europe and making their NASCAR debut at the historic Bowman Gray Stadium. Both their careers evolved in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and they’re both within reach of their first major accomplishment.
But the battle for the ELITE 2 division title will not be limited only to to the two young talents, because there are four more drivers within a 50-point gap from the leader with a maximum of 176 points still to be awarded in the NASCAR GP of Belgium. Rookie Cup leader Florian Venturi and Knauf Racing Team driver Wilfried Boucenna sit respectively 20 and 22 points behind Deflandre, while Paul Guiod and Felipe Rabello have a 42 and 43 point gap to fill.
Despite the pressure, Delsaux and Deflandre are both focusing on themselves rather than on the opponents in preparation for the October 20-21 Circuit Zolder Finals.
“I do not put pressure on myself and my strategy is no different from other races. We will just do our best as always and see what we can get,” Deflandre said.
“I will not think about my rivals, we will need to be perfect and as a driver I must prove that I can win the ELITE 2 Division title, so I will do my best as always. I’m doing a lot of work on the simulator and I’m in the best physical and mental shape I’ve ever been. With Fred (Gabillon) we have a great relationship and a very good communication and I believe we can also win the Teams Championship together,” concluded Delsaux.
As customary for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, the Circuit Zolder Finals will be streamed live on will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the EuroNASCAR Facebook page and Youtube Channel, the EuroNASCAR Twitter account, Motorsport.tv and a vast network of websites and social media profiles across the globe.
NASCAR Euro Series PR