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Michael McDowell will bring his extensive road course-racing background to Front Row Motorsports for the Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International race weekend, as he'll get the nod to pilot the No. 35 Dockside Logistics Ford in the Sprint Cup Series' second road race of the season.
McDowell, whose racing career was built on twist-and-turn tracks in the open-wheel and sports-car ranks before moving to stock cars, will compete under the Front Row banner for the first time. The six-year Sprint Cup veteran has raced the 2.45- and 3.4-mile courses of The Glen in multiple series outside of his stock car endeavors, with results that include two top-five and three top-10 finishes in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen will be McDowell's fifth Cup start at the course.
Dockside Logistics' return to the No. 35 Ford comes as the company expands with a new shipping facility in Savannah, Ga. The 175,000-square-foot facility now allows customers shipping options from both Charleston, S.C., and Savannah. Dockside also recently expanded its scope of services to include Export Packaging and Crating.
Comments from Dockside Logistics team driver Michael McDowell heading to Watkins Glen:
"This is a unique opportunity. I'm excited to drive the 35 car. We tested there last week and had a couple good days. Road course races are an opportunity for me to shine a little bit. Even though in the Sprint Cup Series, everybody is very good at it and very competitive. You used to have sort of an uphill battle if you weren't a road course regular, but it definitely feels like less of a disadvantage when you get to the road courses now.
"I've been in NASCAR since 2008 and have had a few opportunities on the road courses, mainly with Joe Gibbs Racing. Jumping into the 18 car in the last couple years allowed me to show my abilities on the road courses. Since then, there has been more development as far as getting opportunities to go test for teams. It's cool, and I'm just happy to be one of the 43 guys who will race the course this weekend.
"I've run a lot of races at Watkins Glen. I ran the Six Hours of The Glen (sports car race) multiple times, short endurance races in prototypes and GT cars. I've run Continental Tire races there. I never did an open-wheel race there. All the series that I ran in never went there. But not counting Sprint Cup, I've probably raced there about 10 times.
"The esses up the hill are definitely a challenge, and the bus stop is fun. It's a good passing opportunity and always brings excitement. I really wish we could run the full course there. It's so much fun. If there's going to be a race where predominantly circle-track guys run well on a road course, it's Watkins Glen. It's less challenging than Sonoma or Road America or Mid-Ohio. So, it kind of balances things out a little more than some of the other road courses."
Starting the 250 lap race from the 24th position, Bliss quickly jumped three spots within the first 15 laps. "I'm having trouble arching it in," said Bliss as he settled into the 20th position on lap 50. As Bliss explained his discomfort, the first caution fell. Bliss took the opportunity to hit pit road where the crew worked tirelessly to improve the conditions of their No. 19 Tweaker Energy Shot Toyota, gaining one spot to 19th as he returned to the track.
Settling in for a long green flag run, Bliss hung on to his loose handling race car. As he and Crew Chief Paul Clapprood discussed their next move, the second caution came out at lap 140. Still trying to tighten up Bliss' Tweaker Energy Shot Toyota, Bliss hit pit road for (include changes made) and the crew sent him back to the track 19th.
With two more opportunities to tighten up their Camry, Bliss and his crew never gave up. Maintaining the 19th position for more than half of the 218.75-mile event, Bliss gained ground on the competition and picked up one spot in the closing laps to finish 18th.
"We made a great effort with what we were dealing with all race long," said Bliss, who claimed his 16th top-20 finish of the season. "I wish we could have earned a better finish for Tweaker. I appreciate my crew, they tried everything to try and balance our car. There was no pleasing it this time."
Cole Whitt and the No. 44 TriStar Motorsports crew welcomed Ferguson back on board their Toyota Camry at Iowa Speedway. Looking to build on their 16th place finish there in June, it appeared that Whitt and his crew started from right where they left off after qualifying 16th for Saturday night's 5th Annual US Cellular 250. Beginning under the mid-western sun and ending under the florescent lights of "America's Place to Race", the 250 lap event produced side-by-side, action packed racing. Whitt who battled a tight car for most of the race, managed to avoid the events four caution flags to claim 20th in his eighth race while driving for TriStar Motorsports.
"My guys worked really hard trying everything they could think of to find a balance in our car," said Whitt. "I greatly appreciate Ferguson coming on board again. I really wish I could have finished better for them."
NASCAR Technical Institute Celebrates 10 Years of Fueling the Industry with Graduates Who Are "Chosen by Industry. Ready to Work. Ready to Race."
NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) is celebrating "10 years of starting careers" as the exclusive educational partner of NASCAR and the first and only technical school in the world to offer a specific NASCAR developed curriculum for those interested in motorsports and/or automotive service careers.
NASCAR Tech is hosting a North Carolina Pit Party from 6:30-8:30 p.m. EDT on Tues., Aug. 6, at its 146,000 square-foot campus in Mooresville.
U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC 9th District) will join senior management and other dignitaries from NASCAR and Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in presenting a decade of accomplishments and celebrating the school's more than 5,000 graduates that are successfully employed in the automotive and motorsports industries.
NASCAR Tech was forged out of a unique partnership between UTI and NASCAR to develop a curriculum that provides new generations of technicians to serve NASCAR motorsports and automotive services industries. In addition to the NASCAR-specific programs, the campus offers specialized classes developed by Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. and is proud to claim that 4 out of 5 graduates from NASCAR Tech find employment in careers within their field of study.
"NASCAR Tech sets the standard for how an educational institution can be a great partner to industry, and open up career opportunities for students," said UTI Chief Executive Officer Kim McWaters. "I would like to thank John White, our chairman, for his vision to form this partnership with NASCAR, and recognize NASCAR for being such a tremendous partner, helping us ensure that our students receive the relevant training they need for a successful career in motorsports."
NASCAR Tech is one of 11 campuses operated by UTI, the leading provider of post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional technicians in the automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine and motorsports industries.At the 10-year celebration, guests will have a chance to meet some of the star drivers from NASCAR and get an up-close look at a few of the actual race cars that run every Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
"When NASCAR partnered with UTI more than 10 years ago, we knew this campus was going to be successful in its goal of providing skilled technicians to the automotive and motorsports industries," said Mike Helton, president of NASCAR. "The industry-driven curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities and instructors offered by NASCAR Tech are the best in the country, and are the reason why NASCAR Tech is the official educational partner of NASCAR."
In 2008, the campus started a program that lets NASCAR Tech students actually build engines used in NASCAR racing. About 100 students per year with excellent grades, attendance and professionalism scores participate in the program, which is sponsored by K&N Filters. Last year, Kyle Larson driving for Rev Racing, NASCAR's "Drive for Diversity Team," won the K&N Pro Series Championship with NASCAR Tech, student-built engines. This is a testament to the level of training NASCAR Tech students receive and how prepared they are for careers in motorsports after graduation.
Hertz (NYSE: HTZ) and Penske Racing enter their first NASCAR Nationwide Series race on a road course on August 10 th as defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski takes the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang to Watkins Glen International (WGI) track in New York. To help get racing fans to the track, Hertz is offering discounted rates of up to 22% off their Hertz rental when they mention corporate discount number (CDP#): 2222222 at time of reservation.*
"The uniqueness of this course will make for an enjoyable weekend and it will be interesting to have Brad drive the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang for the first time on a road course," commented Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The diversion from the oval-shaped track will add an extra element of excitement to the race. We're confident the No. 22 team will excel at this course's differed tasks, mirroring the success they've shown throughout the season."
"Road course racing has become some of the most-exciting racing of the year," commented Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to represent Hertz in the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang at Watkins Glen. Hertz and Penske Racing have proven to be a great combination so far this season. I'm anxious to make my mark by picking up my first win at Watkins Glen."
Most recently, driver Joey Logano had a first-place finish in the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway. The track for this weekend's race, The Cheez-It 335 at the Glen, is one of a few road courses where drivers get to turn both left and right with many twists and turns in both directions and this will be the first time Hertz is represented on a road course. They do so with a No. 22 Penske Racing team that has one win and three top-five finishes in the last three races at WGI.
In January, Hertz and Penske Racing entered a multi-year agreement with Hertz serving as a 2013 primary sponsor for select races on the No. 22 Penske Racing car competing in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. Hertz will have branding presence on the team's uniforms and equipment as well as on the Nationwide Series car. The No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang raced this season at Dover International Speedway in the Monster Mile and at Chicagoland Speedway with Penske Racing driver Joey Logano coming in first place as well as at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In addition, Hertz is co-primary sponsor on the No. 22 Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup Series at the fall race hosted at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Hertz is committed to offering its customers the most technologically innovative products and services available to keep customers "Traveling at the Speed of Hertz." This includes Hertz 'Carfirmations'; 'Gold Choice', which gives Gold members the power to keep the car they reserved or simply choose a different car from the Gold Choice area; and e-Return, with the fastest car rental drop-off that includes an email receipt within hours. These are all complimentary services for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members, which is currently free to join. In addition, Hertz continues to expand the presence of its ExpressRent Interactive Kiosks that let customers rent a car, with or without a reservation, through a live, face-to-face video kiosk.
* Hertz Racing discount is subject to all applicable terms and conditions and blackout dates may apply.
Two of America's great pastimes came together with the first-ever GoBowling.com 400, a two year sponsorship program that renamed the August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ace after the great sport of bowling. Pocono Raceway and Strike Ten Entertainment, the sponsorship activation arm of the bowling industry, rolled out the groundbreaking, multi-faceted partnership deal, bringing together two of the nation's favorite sports brands: NASCAR and GoBowling.com, the official brand of bowling.
With comedian Dane Cook serving as Grand Marshal, fans also had a chance to see the most famed car in NASCAR featuring the GoBowling.com branding – the No. 43 Ford Fusion, made famous by legendary driver Richard Petty. The freshly rebranded car was now operating with GoBowling.com as the primary sponsor via a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Strike Ten Entertainment. The car, driven by Aric Almirola, completed the GoBowling.com 400 in the 20th position.
"This groundbreaking partnership joins two great American pastimes while leveraging the power of NASCAR to introduce the GoBowling.com brand to millions of new consumers and to further elevate the profile of our great sport," said Frank DeSocio, president of Strike Ten Entertainment. "We're also so proud to associate the GoBowling.com brand with Pocono Raceway and Richard Petty Motorsports, two iconic American brands that share our values of fun, family and sportsmanship."
In addition to the renaming of the race as the GoBowling.com 400 and the introduction of the GoBowling.com No. 43 Ford Fusion, Pocono Raceway and Strike Ten Entertainment deployed an integrated sponsorship campaign that extended across multiple platforms that included traditional marketing, digital and social media as well as event activations. The program also included the GoBowling.com 400 "Stop Your Thirst & Start The Race" Sweepstakes, which provided grand prize winner Justin Small of Rock Hill, South Carolina with an opportunity to be 'Honorary Race Starter' and wave the green flag that started the 400-mile race. The contest was conducted across approximately 2,100 participating bowling centers nationwide with Small receiving round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations and VIP tickets to the race.
"There's no brand more powerful than bowling and we're absolutely thrilled to bring the GoBowling.com 400 to Pocono Raceway and align two sports that are Americana at its best," said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President and CEO. "This is also a very exciting partnership for our raceway, for our staff and for me on a personal level as bowling is an activity that I regularly enjoy with my wife and my daughters."
The partnership program also included a series of GoBowling.com-themed bowling league promotional contests and in-center marketing elements, as well as other initiatives that were rolled out across thousands of participating bowling centers.
GoBowling.com is the website to visit to learn more about the 2,100+ bowling centers around the country. Fans can learn about their local bowling centers, promotional offers, bowling tips and more.
David Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team finished in the 31st position on Sunday afternoon at the track known as "The Tricky Triangle."
Following a rainy weekend in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania where two of the three practice sessions were cancelled for inclement weather, Reutimann, like many drivers, started Sunday's race with just 10 laps of practice. The driver picked up seven tenths-of-a-second between practice and qualifying to secure the 35th starting position for Sunday's GoBowling.com 400.
With limited practice time to fine-tune their setup for the differing track conditions, Reutimann started the race with his No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry a bit loose. With a long race and many scheduled pit stops, Reutimann's team approached each trip to pit road as an opportunity to improve their car. The BK Racing team made a variety of chassis adjustments, and ultimately hit on a track bar adjustment that seemed to help Reutimann navigate the three vastly different turns at Pocono Raceway.
Shortly after finding the proper adjustment, contact was made between Reutimann and the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson, which knocked the track bar mount loose from the frame of the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry chassis. As a result of the damage, Reutimann had to come into the garage for repairs to his machine. The BK Racing crew worked quickly to repair their Toyota Camry and Reutimann returned to the track. However, being scored several laps behind the leader, the driver was eliminated from contention at "The Tricky Triangle." By the time the checkered flag waved, Reutimann was scored in the 31st position.
"We had a strong No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry this weekend," commented Reutimann. "With only 10 laps of practice going into today's race, a lot of drivers weren't really sure what to expect. Our car was a bit too free at the start of the race, but our BK Racing team did a great job making adjustments each pit stop until we found a set up that we liked. Unfortunately, we made a little contact and brushed against the wall--the contact was hard enough that it actually knocked the track bar mount loose from the frame and forced us into the garage for repairs. The guys did a great job getting us back on the track, but once you're stuck laps down, there's only so much ground you can regain. I'm excited to get to Watkins Glen International next weekend. We had a strong road course car at Sonoma [Calif.] Raceway last month, and I'm looking forward to another good run at a road course."
BK Racing PR
Travis Kvapil and the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 26th at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Competing at the speedway nicknamed "The Tricky Triangle," Kvapil was poised to have his best finish of the season when a late-race accident left his team fighting for a lead-lap finish.
Rain washed out practice on Saturday afternoon leaving many Sprint Cup Series teams to start the race with less than 15 laps of practice. Kvapil completed just 13 practice laps during Friday's sole practice session to prepare for qualifying and Sunday's 400-mile event. The No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper team picked up nearly a full second from practice to record a 50.678-second qualifying lap and secure the 23rd starting position.
When the green flag waved for Sunday's GoBowling.com 400, Kvapil's No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry was just a bit free, but the driver asked for no chassis adjustments during the day's pit stops. Crew chief Dale Ferguson and the team worked to fine-tune the handling of their Camry through air pressure adjustments, and were able to utilize pit strategy to gain additional track position.
Racing solidly inside the top 20 throughout most of the day, Kvapil was en route to one of his best finishes of the season. Working lap 110, with just 50 laps remaining in the event, Kvapil was battling side-by-side with Danica Patrick for the 17th position. Contact was made sending both cars spinning across the track in turn 2, and resulted in several other competitors being collected in the accident.
With moderate damage to the body of his car, Kvapil made a series of pit stops during the ensuing caution period allowing his team to make repairs to his Toyota Camry. The team carefully planned the length of their stops to ensure that Kvapil would remain on the lead lap of competition. With a little BearBond on the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, Kvapil was able to make it to the finish line of the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway and was scored with a 26th-place finish.
"We had another great No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry today," commented Kvapil. "We had a solid race all day, and were in position for a great finish. Unfortunately we got caught up in an accident in the tunnel turn with about 50 laps to go. My BK Racing team did a great job making quick repairs to keep us on the lead lap. We raced in the top 20 for most of the afternoon, but the damage we sustained in the wreck removed us from contention for that top 20 finish. I'm excited to get to Watkins Glen next week. We had a good road course car at Sonoma [Calif.] Raceway last month, so I'm looking forward to another competitive race."
BK Racing PR
Max Gresham, driver of the No.8 AmWINS Group, Inc. Chevrolet for Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR), finished 13th in his first race at the Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) on Saturdayin for the Pocono Mountains 125.
The 20-year-old driver was so excited at the end of the race, he couldn't remember if the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series planned to return to the 2.5-mile "Tricky Triangle" again this year.
"A 13th-place finish, that's not bad," Gresham said to his crew chief Chris Showalter. "Do we come back here again?"
Inclement weather at the Pocono Raceway forced the cancellation of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, but did not put a damper on Saturday's Pocono Mountains 125. The starting lineup was set by speeds from the first practice session, placing the Eddie Sharp Racing driver 17th heading into the 50-lap shootout.
A gamble by crew chief Chris Showalter to go with two tires on his final pit stop allowed Gresham to gain much-needed track position, and he finished the Pocono Mountains 125 in the 13th position.
The Saturday afternoon skies gave way early enough to have a beautiful day for racing. The track conditions, however, would be extremely different from the single practice session on Friday. During the race, the No. 8 Eddie Sharp Racing team made both track bar and air pressure adjustments on pit stops to help Gresham with the handling on the AmWINS Chevrolet Silverado.
Gresham's crew chief, Showalter, and his spotter Lorin Rainer, decided to bring in their driver for two right-side tires making the final pit stop of the day on Lap 45. The quick and flawless work by the AmWINS pit crew helped Gresham gain three positions. Additionally, the benefit of two cautions in the last 10-laps gave the Gresham the advantage of fresh tires for the restarts, giving him the edge to pass five trucks in the final laps.
The Milner, Georgia, driver said he was happy with the way his Chevrolet Silverado performed in the final 10 laps.
"We just needed a few more laps and we would have had another Top 10 finish," Gresham said.
The 13th-place finish helped Gresham improve to 16th in the current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, just four points from 15th.
Gresham is in his first full season of racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
With half of the season in the books, Eddie Sharp Racing is taking what they've learned thus far, and will apply it to the remaining races to figure out optimal strategies looking forward to continue the progress and strides they have made this season.
"But all in all, it was a good race for our AmWINS Chevrolet," Gresham said. "We keep getting better and better each week."
Gresham's next chance will come Saturday, August 17 at the Michigan National Guard 200 at the Michigan International Speedway.
Max Gresham PR
Sunday was a big day for Kasey Kahne fans everywhere. The rest of this week will continue to get better.
Kahne blasted past Jeff Gordon on the final restart with two laps remaining Sunday to notch his second NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the season. He’s now eighth in the points, and with those two wins, is pretty much assured a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
With Sunday’s win came the opportunity to watch Kahne in the seventh race of the Chase, the Goody’s™ Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger at Martinsville Speedway on October 27 at a reduced price.
Kahne took the victory in his No. 5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet SS and that means a $5 savings on tickets in the Blue Ridge Tower, rows 17-66. Regular price is $79. Order now through Sunday, August 11th to receive the special savings with the Kasey Kahne Offer for $74. Call toll free at 877-722-3849 or visit us online to take advantage of the offer.
Advance tickets for the Goody’s™ Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger are available in all areas of the grandstands. Advance tickets start at just $37.
Martinsville Speedway PR