Speedway Digest Staff
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NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. and his Foundation, The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation (MTJF), have joined forces with Auto-Owners Insurance to produce 500 limited-edition mini helmets. Truex’s helmet, fire suit, and paint scheme for both August races at Michigan International Speedway will have matching designs to bring awareness to MTJF.
Auto-Owners Insurance Group, among the nation’s largest insurers and recognized for exceptional financial strength and stability, created this fundraising campaign to give back to MTJF. The mini helmets were designed as a fundraiser to support the wonderful work Truex and his partner Sherry Pollex do through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and SherryStrong.
“Martin is not only an outstanding driver and ambassador for Auto-Owners, he’s a true humanitarian and we couldn’t be prouder to support the incredible work he and Sherry do through their foundations,” said Mary Pierce, Senior Vice President - Marketing & Sales Auto-Owners Insurance Group.
Starting today, fans can go online to the MTJ Foundation merchandise store https://shopmtjf.org/ and purchase the limited-edition #MartinsMiniHelmet. Helmets autographed by Truex and Pollex are available for $60. All proceeds will support the foundation’s childhood and ovarian cancer initiatives.
Auto-Owners has been very generous to the MTJ Foundation as a longtime supporter of Catwalk for a Cause as well as donating paint schemes on Truex’s Toyota Camry. For the past several years, Auto-Owners employees have also come together to support the foundation by making donations to have their names printed on the hood of Martin’s car. Corporately, Auto-Owners has matched employee contributions to maximize its collective impact towards the foundation’s goals.
Currently, The MTJ Foundation is in the building process of two projects with Novant Health after making a $1.2 million gift. The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children’s Emergency Department at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center will be the only one of its kind devoted exclusively to caring for children and teens open 24 hours a day, seven days a week serving the Lake Norman, North Carolina communities.
The SherryStrong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic is currently scheduled to open in October in Charlotte and will enhance the current Novant Health Integrative Medicine program, which takes a holistic approach to managing the physical and emotional effects of cancer treatment, recovery and survivorship by combining a range of complementary therapies and healthy lifestyle practices with modern medicine.
Additionally, MTJ Foundation recently made a $750,000 transformational gift to Atrium Health where the funds will be used to support integrative medicine programs at Levine Cancer Institute and pediatric cancer programs at Levine Children's Hospital.
For more information and to donate to MTJ Foundation, please visit: https://www.
MTJ Foundation PR
Ten time NASCAR T.P.Trailers Modified division point leader Craig Von Dohren, looking to become the first 11-time champion, sits in the number two spot in the Modified standings helped by a strong second place finish in Saturday night’s 50th Annual Forrest Rogers Memorial. Von Dohren finished second to Brett Kressley who took the victory and the $10,000 first place money. With 1594 counters Von Dohren has a 67 point edge over second place Doug Manmiller who is looking to earn his first track title.
In the exciting NASCAR T.P.Truck Equipment Sportsman division Brian Hirthler holds a slim 33 point lead over Brad Arnold with 1195 tallies.
Holding third spot in the Modified point chase, part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, is veteran Jared Umbenhauer with 1424 points. In fourth spot is multi-time champion Duane Howard who has earned 1374 counters. And rounding out the top five is another 10 time champion Jeff Strunk who has tallied 1313 points. There have been 44 drivers earn points after six point events being run. Interesting to note is that Von Dohren is the only feature winner in the top five standings.
Veteran racer Ryan Beltz is third in the Sportsman standings with 1109 tallies followed by Jack Butler with 1093 and Chris Esposito at 1080. Top five are separated by just 115 points. A total of 48 drivers have earned points in the NASCAR T.P.Truck Equipment Sportsman.
The chase for the Grandview NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series championships continues next Saturday, August 8, with the T.P.Trailers Modifieds and T.P.Truck Equipment Sportsman in action. A full slate of qualifying events leads up to a 30-lap feature for the Modifieds and 25-laps for the Sportsman. Spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m. with racing action at 7:30 p.m. Adult admission is just $15 while youngsters 12 admitted FREE.
On August 15th there will be another of the popular tripleheader shows when the Outlaw Vintage Racers join the Modifieds and Sportsman. Adults will again be charged just $15 while youngsters under 12 get to see all the action for free.
Check in at www.grandviewspeedway.com for more info.
Grandview Speedway PR
JD Motorsports with Gary Keller (JDM) is proud to announce that 11-time IMSA/SRO World Challenge winner Jade Buford will make his second-career NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) start driving the No. 6 Big Machine Hand Sanitizer Chevrolet at Road America on August 8th.
Buford, who calls Nashville, TN his home, made his NXS debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course earlier in the month with SS-Greenlight Racing. On the July 4th race date, Jade drove the No. 07 Chevrolet to a respectable 14th place finish in just his first ever stock car race.
With a sports car racing background that spans over a decade, Buford looked to NASCAR for his next challenge. Buford’s GT4 record includes race wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Barber Motorsports Park, and Sebring. Along with the race wins, Buford has amassed several pole positions as well, including one at Road America in Pirelli World Challenge competition. He looks to translate that valuable experience into his efforts this weekend at the historic Wisconsin track.
Backing Buford’s second NASCAR-sanctioned start will be Big Machine Hand Sanitizer, owned by Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta. Borchetta, a road course racer in his own right, co-drives with Jade on various road racing divisions in SVRA competition.
Heading into Road America, Buford looks to build on his finish in his last outing at Indianapolis. Now more familiarized with the heavier stock cars, he believes he can improve in multiple ways. With plenty of laps around the 4.048-mile road course, a Top 10 finish should not be out of the question.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Road America this Saturday for the second road course race of the year. Be sure to tune in live on NBC Sports Network or MRN radio at Noon Eastern Time for coverage of the Henry 180. For all things JDM, follow along on our social media pages @JDMotorsports01. #TeamJDM
Team Penske announced today that Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series Champion, has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in the No. 2 Ford Mustang.
In his tenure with Team Penske driver, Keselowski has earned 31 Cup Series and 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series victories and brought the team its first NASCAR Championship when he won the Xfinity Series title in 2010.
“We are pleased that Brad will continue to be a part of our organization,” said Roger Penske. “Brad not only demonstrates talent and skill on the track, but his leadership away from it and his dedication to our partners have had a huge impact in making our organization one of the best in NASCAR. I am proud that we will be able to able to keep the continuity we have with Brad, Ryan and Joey and look forward to competing for more wins and championships together.”
Keselowski joined Team Penske in 2010 and immediately impressed, winning six races that year en route to the Xfinity Series Championship – the first NASCAR title for Roger Penske. He continued by winning the team’s first Cup Series title just two years later in 2012. He’s also been part of four Xfinity Series Owners’ Championships and passed Mark Donohue in 2019 as the team’s winningest driver.
“I have been racing for Team Penske for the vast majority of my NASCAR career and to continue to represent Roger Penske, our partners and his organization is exactly where I want to be,” said Keselowski. “We’ve accomplished a lot of things together over the years, including winning both the Cup and Xfinity Championships, the Brickyard 400, the Southern 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. Now, my goal is to win the Daytona 500, another championship and continue to build Team Penske into the best NASCAR team in the garage area.”
Through 20 races this season, Keselowski has already locked himself into the Cup Series playoffs with three wins, eight top-fives and 15 top-10s. He currently sits second in the Cup Series point standings heading into this weekend’s doubleheader event at Keselowski’s home track – Michigan International Speedway. Both Saturday (4pm ET) and Sunday’s (4:30pm ET) races can be viewed live on NBCSN.
Team Penske PR
Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota to vie for coveted Michigan Heritage Trophy at Michigan International Speedway
The competition has always been fierce in the NASCAR Cup Series - between drivers, teams and even the three manufacturers (OEM) – Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. When that stage shifts to the OEMs backyard, the stakes become even greater.
Such is the case again this year, when, for just the second time in NASCAR history, NASCAR Cup Series races will be contested at the same track on consecutive days, with Michigan International Speedway (MIS) serving as the site. The NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 will be held on Saturday, August 8 at 4:00 pm (NBCSN), while the Consumers Energy 400 will take place the following day at 4:30 pm (NBCSN). The top-finishing OEM from the weekend Cup Series events will be presented with the Michigan Heritage Trophy, which has been awarded by MIS since 2013. The distance for each race will be 312 miles.
In an effort to bring even greater awareness to the significance of the Heritage Trophy, this year the NASCAR Cup teams will be saluting their respective manufacturers during the course of both races, with each car featuring the decal of their manufacturer in the “contingency space,” which is located on left front-quarter panel of the car. In addition, the hashtag #HeritageTrophy will be included on each car as well.
The Heritage Trophy gives well-deserved bragging rights to the winning manufacturer of the Michigan race weekend. For the 2020 historic doubleheader, an OEM must win one or both NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway. If one OEM sweeps both races, that OEM will be declared the winner of the Heritage Trophy. If different OEMs win on August 8 and 9, then the award will go to the OEM with the most points earned by top 10 finishers of both races.
This year’s salute to the manufacturers is being done in partnership between Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR and the Race Team Alliance, on behalf of its member teams.
“The Michigan Heritage Trophy is one of the more unique and coveted prizes in NASCAR,” said Michigan International Speedway President Rick Brenner. “The competitive spirit at any race, especially at MIS, isn’t just confined to the drivers, and this trophy allows the winning manufacturer to boast about their accomplishment. We are thrilled that the race teams have joined us this year in recognizing the prominence of this trophy to our sport and in the state of Michigan, and look forward to an amazing doubleheader of racing in the Cup Series this weekend.”
“The Race Team Alliance is happy to assist in this salute to the OEMs and bring greater awareness to the historic rivalry associated with the Heritage Trophy,” said Race Team Alliance Executive Director Jonathan Marshall. “What makes this especially exciting is the fact that the OEM Tribute takes place in Michigan – home to the auto capital of the world.”
The race teams fully understand the importance of their respective manufacturer taking the honors for a full year. This is especially true for Michigan native Greg Ives, crew chief for Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro for Hendrick Motorsports. Ives grew up in Bark River, in the Upper Peninsula, and graduated from Michigan Tech University in Houghton.
“We race to win trophies every week, but Irish Hills of MIS pose the battleground for the manufacturers,” Ives said. “Michigan was my first NASCAR track I went to as a kid and with this being my home state track, I look forward to capturing the Michigan Heritage Trophy not only for the 88 Hendrick team, but also for our partner in Chevrolet.”
GMS Racing announced today that Kris Wright will run a select schedule with the team in 2020. Wright will pilot the No. 21 Chevrolet in the ARCA Menards Series at Michigan International Speedway on August 9 and the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course on August 16.
Wright made his ARCA West debut at the Utah Motorsports Campus double header in June where he finished second and third in the two events. Wright finished second in the LMP2 class in the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Wexford, PA native claimed the IMSA Prototype Challenge Championship (LMP3) in 2018 and was the IMSA Prototype Challenge Rookie of the year in 2017.
"I'm really excited to be making my first ARCA and NASCAR starts with GMS and Chevrolet," said Wright. "You always want to be doing it with the best team. I'm a Chevy guy from birth so it's a dream come true."
The VizCom 200 from Michigan International Speedway will air live Sunday August 9 at 1pm ET on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold TrackPass. The Gander Trucks event at the Daytona Road Course will air live at 12pm ET on Sunday August 16 on FS1 and MRN. Sponsorship for both events will be announced at a later date.
GMS Racing PR
"Our involvement with Front Row Motorsports has been very well-received over the last few years," said Brian Paulson, Lubricants General Manager. "There's been a lot of excitement among our customers and especially with John Hunter's strong performance in his rookie season, we're looking forward to continuing our partnership and seeing the Mystik Lubricants colors on the No. 38."
CITGO Petroleum Corporation began its partnership with FRM in 2018 with its CITGARD brand. After a successful stint with the team, Mystik Lubricants was introduced to the NASCAR family in 2019 as part of an increased commitment with FRM.
"It's great to see Mystik Lubricants back with our Front Row Motorsports team in 2020," said Nemechek. "Their products help power our farmers' equipment across the country, and that's so important for our economy. I'm proud to race with Mystik."
"We've had a lot of growth this season and we're seeing the excitement with our partners, too," added Nemechek.
Fritz Sports & Event Enterprises continues to oversee the partnership.
"We are thrilled to see Mystik Lubricants join the Front Row Motorsports family again in 2020," said CEO Doug Fritz. "This partnership has been beneficial for everyone involved and we look forward to continuing that positive momentum."
Plan B Sales and GMS Racing are excited to announce the design of the No. 23 Chevy Silverado Brett Moffitt will pilot for Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway in November. The paint scheme will be a tribute to retiring seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, and a throwback to the infamous No. 48 Chevrolet he piloted in 2007, for his second Cup title.
Plan B Sales felt the most fitting way to show their appreciation for Johnson's contributions to the sport would be racing this throwback scheme as Moffitt pursues his second NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series title this season.
"Brett has been a part of the Plan B family and a great ambassador for our company over the years," said Brent Powell, owner of Plan B Sales. "Last year we partnered with Brett and GMS for the Phoenix race, but this year is different with it being the season finale and Jimmie's final weekend. It truly is an honor for us to showcase this throwback for Jimmie and hopefully see Brett clinch his second championship in our truck."
Moffitt, who has raced as part of the Championship Four the past two seasons, has been anxiously awaiting this announcement as well. "In my mind, Jimmie is the G.O.A.T." said Moffitt.
"I have looked up to him, leaned on him and had the utmost respect for everything he has done for our sport," Moffitt continued. "This is the coolest paint scheme I've had in my career because of how much respect and admiration I have for Jimmie. I'm rooting for him to go out on top, and maybe we'll both get the chance to celebrate a championship in Phoenix later this year."
Additional details and promotions for this truck design will be announced over the coming weeks. The preorders for the 1:24's and 1:64's diecasts are now live and only available at PlanBSales.com.
GMS Racing PR