Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Kingsport Speedway is looking for some dirt racing fans to make their way over to the “Concrete Jungle” in March.

Speedway officials released the track’s 2021 schedule Thursday with the first race slated for Friday, March 26. It’s the same weekend as the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and the hopes are some Cup Series fans will come check out the NASCAR Advance Auto Weekly Series action at Kingsport’s 3/8-mile oval.

That event comes after three weeks of testing starting on March 6. The Kingsport Speedway schedule runs through Sept. 10 with ticket prices the same as last season — $12 for adults and kids 12-under free.

Despite the challenges of 2020, Kingsport Speedway was able to have a full season of racing.

“There was so much shut down in 2020 and events that didn’t happen. We were happy to bring everybody in the Tri-Cities some short track racing,” Kingsport Speedway General Manager Karen Tunnell said. “Getting the schedule out, it gives everybody something to look forward to.”

Late Model Stock returns as the featured class. Other classes include Sportsman, Mod 4, Pure 4 and Pure Street. A new racing class is also set to debut.

“We’re in the process of building a V-6 entry level class, really affordable where around $1,500 you can get in a car. We’re working on the rules now,” Tunnell said.

The track is offering other affordable ways to get behind the wheel. Kingsport Speedway is debuting time-trial Tuesday, where you bring your street car and make passes to turn a fast lap. They’re also working on the Kingsport Miniway schedule and will have rental karts to test through the week.

The high-powered karts were purchased from NASCAR driver Blake Jones.

A special event for spectators, the popular Southeast Super Truck Series is scheduled to return June 19.

Kres VanDyke is the defending Late Model Stock track champion. Other 2020 champions were: Kyle Barnes (Sportsman), Kevin Canter (Mod 4), Billy Byington (Pure 4) and Tony Dockery (Pure Street).

Full Schedule: Tentative and subject to change. All times Eastern standard.

(LM) Late Model - (SPTS) Sportsman - (PS) Pure Street - (P4) Pure 4  (M4) Mod 4 - (V6)

March 6th - Open Practice 12 pm to 5 pm

March 13th - Open Practice 12 pm to 5 pm

March 20th - Open Practice 11 am to 4 pm

March 25th - Open Practice 3 pm to 9 pm

March 26th -1st Race Model City Night LM, P4, PS, M4, SPTS

April 2nd - Twin P4, LM, SPTS, PS, M4

April 9th - OFF

April 16th - Mountain Empire Fence Co Twin SPTS, P4, PS V6, LM

April 23rd - OFF

April 30th - Chain Race, Twin PS, M4, P4, LM , SPTS

May 7th - Twin LM, SPTS, M4, P4, PS

May 14th - Patriot Mining Night LM, SPTS, P4, PS, V6

May 21st - LM, SPTS, PS, P4, M4

May 28th - Legends Tribute Night LM, SPTS, P4, PS, V6

June 4th - LM, SPTS, P4, PS, M4

June 11th - Triple K Trucking Night LM, SPTS, P4, PS, M4

June 18th - OFF

June 19th - Southeast Super Truck Series

June 25th - Q Bargain Outlet Night LM, SPTS, P4, PS, M4

July 2nd - WQUT Independence Night **FIREWORKS** Twin P4, PS, LM, SPTS, V6

July 9th - OFF

July 16th - Hot Rod Car Show Night LMSC, SPTS, P4, PS, M4

July 23rd - LMSC, SPTS, P4, PS, V6

July 30th - Patriot Recycling Night Twin Pure Street, LM, P4, M4, SPTS

Aug 6th - Big Rig Night LM, P4, PS, SPTS, V6

Aug 13th - Twin P4, LM, PS, SPTS, M4

Aug 20th - Twin LM, SPTS, V6, P4, PS

Aug 27th - Twin M4, LM, SPTS, PS, P4

Sept 3rd - Twin SPTS, LM, V6, PS, P4

Sept 10th - Championship Night LM, SPTS, V6, M4, PS, P4

KPS PR

NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. and long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex have been recognized as fourth-quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award winners for the establishment of the Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic.

On November 5, 2020, Truex and Pollex celebrated the opening of the center at Novant Health’s new Weisinger Cancer Institute in Charlotte. The Sherry Strong center was established through the efforts of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and the Sherry Strong initiative.

Pollex has waged a years-long battle against ovarian cancer and announced in December a recurrence of the disease. She and Truex have focused their charitable activities on cancer research initiatives specific to ovarian cancer and childhood cancers.

Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine, a holistic center that addresses the physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental needs of cancer patients to promote health and wellness, provides integrative therapies such as oncology massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga and nutritional counseling that will work in conjunction with traditional care programs. These services are offered to Novant patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Members of the National Motorsports Press Association voted Truex and Pollex the winners of the fourth-quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award.

Also receiving votes were Bobby Labonte, whose foundation teamed with High Point, N.C., non-profit LEAP (Literacy Empowers All People) to provide food for impoverished families during the holiday season; and Brad Keselowski, whose Checkered Flag Foundation joined forces with Suiting Warriors and Ike Behar to outfit veterans in tailored suits as they begin their search for employment following their service.

Truex and Pollex are now eligible for the year-end NMPA Pocono Spirit Award, to be voted later this month by NMPA members, as are first-quarter award winner Wood Brothers Racing, second-quarter honoree Bubba Wallace and third-quarter award winner Josh Williams.

The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.

NMPA PR

Rowdy Energy, the enhanced hydration formula energy drink created by two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, announced today that it will partner with Pit Pay, the only mobile pit pass app for the motorsports industry, to be co-primary sponsors for two-time Chili Bowl champion Rico Abreu’s entry in this year’s Chili Bowl Nationals. The 35th annual running of the prestigious indoor event will take place Jan. 11-16 at the Tulsa Expo Raceway, a quarter-mile dirt track located inside the River Spirit Expo Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Abreu, who will once again compete for Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM), captured back-to-back Chili Bowl titles for the Toyota powered organization in 2015 and 2016. Across 10 Chili Bowls, the 28-year-old driver has finished inside the top five in four of his eight A-Main appearances, including a fifth-place result last year.

“I’ve known Rico quite a few years now and we were texting back and forth and when the idea of sponsoring him in the Chili Bowl came up, I was interested and thought maybe Kyle (Busch) would be as well, so I reached out to him with the idea of co-sponsoring Rico to promote Pit Pay and Rowdy Energy,” said Frank Bolter, founder and owner of Pit Pay. “The Chili Bowl is an event that has a lot of eyes on it, but not only from race fans. It’s such a well-run event that track owners and promoters throughout the country are paying attention, so we felt it was a tremendous opportunity to gain exposure for our company as we look to increase the number of tracks around the country that use our mobile Pit Pay app in its second year.”

“Rico is a two-time Chili Bowl winner and one of the most popular drivers in all of dirt racing, so when Frank reached out to me about co-sponsoring his Toyota for this year’s event, I felt that it was a great opportunity for Rowdy Energy to be a part of this prestigious event with a driver that can deliver results for our brand both on and off the track,” said Kyle Busch, co-founder of Rowdy Energy.

“The Chili Bowl is one my favorite weeks of the racing season and I’m especially pumped up this year to have two new and exciting companies onboard my KKM Toyota,” Abreu said. “I feel like my style is a perfect fit for the Rowdy Energy brand and I’m confident we can help Kyle sell some product because during Chili Bowl week there will be a lot of the fans that need help staying hydrated and focused after they watch all the action in person or via the broadcast every night. The Pit Pay App makes the process of checking into tracks more efficient for grassroots racers and by increasing awareness of this technology I look forward to being able to use it at more tracks around the country this year.” Abreu spent the majority of his 2020 season racing winged sprint cars, where he picked up two wins in the Midwest Open Wheel Association Sprint car Series, one win during Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek and one win on the All Star Circuit of Champions. He made four Indiana Midget Week starts with KKM in June, with a best finish of sixth, and earned a top five in POWRi among his limited midget schedule this year.

Every lap of the preliminary Chili Bowl action from Monday, Jan. 11 through Saturday, Jan. 16 – heat races, qualifying features, the Race of Champions and Saturday’s “alphabet soup” qualifiers – will be streamed live to FloRacing (FloRacing.com) subscribers. The Chili Bowl Nationals C-, B- and A-mains on Saturday night, Jan. 16, will continue to air live on the MAVTV Motorsports Network and LucasOilRacing.tv.

KBM PR

Southern California race fans who want to get a real feel of what it is like to drive a true race car on a legendary racetrack can do so when the Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience returns to Perris Auto Speedway on March 18th and 21st.

The two sessions will allow fans to either drive a car on the famous half-mile clay oval by themselves or they can do a ride along with a race car driver.  Cars available for fans to steer on the track at the Experience include a Legends Modified, Late Model, Big Block Modified, UMP Modified or a Sprint Car.  A description of each of the cars is available at the following link.  https://dirtracewithkenny.com/cars/

Packages range from five to 50 laps.  To make reservations or for more information, fans can call (401) 543-FAST or go to the Experience website https://dirtracewithkenny.com/.

Fans can stay up to date on track and driver news on The PAS social media efforts at the links below.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perris-Auto-Speedway/113876798686480?ref=hl

Twitter: Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/perrisautospeedway/

Website: http://perrisautospeedway.com/

 PAS PR

As the beginning of the season draws near, GMS Racing is excited to announce its crew chief lineup for the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and ARCA Menards Series seasons. Familiar pairings and new partnerships highlight the lineup. Most notably, GMS now has all four 2020 NCWTS Championship 4 crew chiefs on its roster with the addition of Jeff Hensley as crew chief while Chad Norris moves to competition director for the 2021 season.

No. 2 NCWTS Team Jeff Stankiewicz returns for his second full-time season with Sheldon Creed. The 2020 Championship winning crew chief reunited with Creed mid-season in 2019 after winning the 2018 ARCA Menards Series championship together. Stankiewicz has seven NCWTS wins as a crew chief including five in 2020 en route to the series championship.

No. 21 NCWTS Team Kevin “Bono” Manion returns for Zane Smith’s sophomore season. The pair racked up two wins and 13 top-10 finishes in 2020 en route to a second-place finish in the championship standings. Manion has six NCWTS wins, 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and five NASCAR Cup Series wins in 19 years as a crew chief in the sport.

No. 23 NCWTS Team Jeff Hensley rejoins the organization as the crew chief for Chase Purdy and the No. 23 team. Hensley has 18 NCWTS wins in 395 races atop the pit box through 17 seasons in the series. Hensley was previously with GMS in 2016 and served as crew chief for Spencer Gallagher.

No. 24 NCWTS Team Chad Walter shifts to the No. 24 Silverado to crew chief for Raphael Lessard in 2021. Walter has five wins in 208 NXS starts as crew chief and led Tyler Ankrum’s team to a playoff berth in 2020 in his first season as a NCWTS crew chief.

No. 26 NCWTS Team Charles Denike moves to captain the No. 26 crew for Tyler Ankrum in the 2021 season. 2020 marked Denike’s first full-time season as crew chief and produced two memorable wins, with Chase Elliott at Charlotte in May 2020 as well as Sam Mayer’s commanding win of Bristol in September.

No. 21 ARCA TeamChad Bryant joins GMS as crew chief for the No. 21 ARCA entry piloted by Jack Wood. Bryant has been a fixture in the ARCA Series for the last eight years and has two wins in 41 starts as crew chief in that time.

Competition Director Chad Norris will move to take over the role of Competition Director. Norris has one NCWTS win at Kansas in October of 2020 and four NXS wins and over 15 years of experience in the sport.

“We are excited to have our crew chiefs return for the 2021 season with the addition of crew chief, Jeff Hensley,” said Mike Beam, President of GMS Racing. “Hensley returning to GMS will bring more veteran knowledge to our powerhouse crew chief line up. Chad Norris fulfilling the Competition Director role will be a great addition to our management team. Norris will work along-side Technical Director, Tom Ackerman, to elevate our truck program and to make it more competitive. We are also happy to welcome Chad Bryant to our ARCA program. Bryant brings a wealth of knowledge and also has a passion to develop young talent that will make our Drivers Edge Program thrive. I have great faith in each one of these individuals and I can’t wait to see what the 2021 season has in store.”

GMS Racing PR

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame nominating committee is pleased to announce that Ted Halibrand, one of motorsports most influential safety and performance innovators, and Sam Hornish Jr., the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, have been added to the 14-person ballot for the 2021 class of the IMS Hall of Fame.
 
Ballots for the 2021 class have been mailed to the IMS Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which is comprised of nearly 150 distinguished media and racing officials.
 
The 2021 class of inductees will be determined by the Selection Committee’s vote, and new members of the Hall will be announced this spring.
 
The inductees will be honored and formally added to the Hall at the annual IMS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Special Recognition Dinner presented by Firestone on May 27. Due to cancellation of the ceremony in 2020, the 2020 inductees – Janet Guthrie and Dale Earnhardt – also will be honored at the 2021 event.
 
Halibrand was a prolific producer of racing equipment and a key advocate for motorsports safety. Born in 1916 in Paterson, New Jersey, Halibrand became enamored with the local racing scene during the Great Depression, then moved to Southern California just before World War II for an engineering job with Douglas Aircraft and worked on midget cars at local dirt racetracks in his spare time.
          
By working on airplanes during the war, Halibrand learned about the weight-saving benefits of magnesium. He used the metal to cast racing wheels, and in 1947 formed the Halibrand Engineering Company. The term “mag wheels” quickly became synonymous with high performance in the racing and muscle car communities.
 
Lee Wallard won the 1951 Indianapolis 500 using Halibrand “mags,” beginning a 14-year streak in which every winning car used Halibrand-produced components. Bill Vukovich used Halibrand disc brakes in his 1953 “500” win, marking the first major race victory worldwide for a car using disc brakes.  
 
Halibrand’s list of notable customers grew exponentially in the 1960s, including the likes of Carroll Shelby, Mickey Thompson and the Ford Motor Company’s Le Mans GT40 program.
 
As the “rear-engine revolution” took hold in United States Auto Club (USAC) Championship racing, Halibrand produced a chassis in 1964, the Shrike, that was built almost entirely out of magnesium. Lloyd Ruby won the 1964 Phoenix 200 with a Shrike, marking the first victory for an American-built rear-engine car in USAC competition.
 
Halibrand served on USAC’s safety committee from its creation in 1956, was named chairman in 1968 and maintained that vital role until his death from a heart attack in June 1991. He is widely recognized as one of the key figures in the evolution of racing safety, from the mid-century era of frequent driver fatalities or serious injuries to a safer sport at the end of his life.
 
Hornish, a native of Defiance, Ohio, was one of the dominant drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES during the early 2000s, having worked his way up the open-wheel racing ladder of karts, U.S. F2000 and Toyota Atlantic competition.
 
He debuted in INDYCAR with the small PDM Racing team in 2000 and quickly impressed the paddock with two top-10 finishes in eight races.
 
Hornish joined Panther Racing for the 2001 season, a combination that secured back-to-back INDYCAR SERIES championships in 2001-2002, earning a total of eight wins and 20 podium finishes over the two seasons. Hornish’s talent was further displayed in winning several of the closest races in INDYCAR history, including the series’ closest finish ever in 2002 at Chicagoland Speedway: a margin of victory of .0024 of a second, or roughly 3 inches, over Al Unser Jr.
 
Hornish moved to Team Penske in 2004, saying he felt the team gave him the best opportunity to win the Indianapolis 500. He achieved that goal with Penske in 2006 in one of the most dramatic finishes in “500” history, becoming the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 with a last-lap pass.
 
After winning the pole for the 2006 race and dominating the speed charts during practice, Hornish’s opportunity for victory appeared to be dashed when he was assessed a drive-through penalty after a pit infraction on Lap 150. To make matters worse, Hornish didn’t serve the penalty until Lap 163 of the 200-lap race due to an extended caution period.
 
After a daring but unsuccessful passing attempt for the lead on Lap 198, Hornish was a full second behind the leader, rookie Marco Andretti, with one lap to go. But Hornish rallied  and passed Andretti 500 feet from the finish line, winning by .0635 of a second.
 
Hornish won his third INDYCAR championship in 2006 and moved to NASCAR after the 2007 season, finishing his INDYCAR career with 19 victories in 116 starts. His career-best finish in NASCAR Cup Series competition was fourth, and he drove in the Brickyard 400 five times.
 
The IMS Hall of Fame, which is permanently enshrined in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, honors and celebrates individuals for their contributions and achievements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was founded in 1952 under the auspices of the Contest Board of the American Automobile Association (AAA), and was moved to the original IMS Museum in 1962 under the direction of then-Speedway president Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr.
 
IMS PR
 

Racers of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hobby Stock division recently gathered for a meeting to discuss rules for the upcoming season at the paved ¼-mile oval.

In what was a very well-attended and positive get-together, track management and drivers collaborated to bring a better perception to the rules. With all said and done there will be a few minor updates to the current set of procedures.

“We had a great meeting with the guys and I was very happy with the turnout,” said track promoter Keith Hoffman.

“This class is so essential to Mahoning Valley Speedway with such a supportive group of teams and that’s why we felt it was important to have them voice their opinions with the rules. There was some great input and after taking in all the info it was determined that just a few minor changes where needed to continue on what this class is all about – an affordable entry level division.”

Drivers likewise expressed their thanks to Hoffman from the past year with having him as track promoter and the many positives he had initiated.

The updated Hobby Stock rules are accessible on the track’s website, www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com

2021 will mark the ninth season for the division. It started in 2013 at first with just three cars but since has developed into a thriving class. This past season alone there where 63 different drivers that scored points and at the season ending event Corey Edelman collected a record $1500 first place prize.

2020 also saw the Rookie Hobby Stock division formed which is an offshoot intended to nurture new drivers into the realm of stock car racing.

Mahoning Valley Speedway’s 2021 season will get underway with Test and Tune and Opening Day Fast Time days on March 13-27 which will lead into Opening Day on Saturday, April 3 at 2:00 pm and is round one of the five race Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series, kicking off with the Bill Teel Tribute.

Please log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway for updated info and news. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.

MVS PR

The oldest operating motor speedway in the world is ready for two big events in 2021, featuring a number of popular touring series. The Milwaukee Mile, located at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, WI, will host events on Sunday, June 20 and Sunday, August 29. Tickets for the two Track Enterprises promotions are set to go on sale Monday, January 11.

After a one year hiatus due to the pandemic of 2020, the ARCA Midwest Tour will return to the Mile on Sunday, June 20 to headline a Father’s Day Special. In racing’s return to the oval in 2019, Roscoe, IL driver, Austin Nason, bested a field of 36 drivers to take the victory. The Midwest Truck Series, Mid American Stock Cars, and Upper Midwest Vintage Series will also be on track for the event.

A second exciting event is set for Sunday, August 29, as the ARCA Menards Series will make its first appearance at the track since 2007 when Frank Kimmel claimed the victory. Other former ARCA winners at the Milwaukee Mile include Dean Roper, Dave Weltmeyer, and Phil Bozell. The Big 8 Late Model Series will also be in action.

“We had a great event in 2019 with full fields in all of the classes and a lot of fan support. Everyone is looking forward to seeing the Super Late Models on track again in June as well as ARCA’s return in August,” stated Track Enterprises promoter, Bob Sargent.

Reserved tickets for the two events go on sale Monday morning, January 11 at 9 A.M. central time. Advanced sale reserved tickets are $25 each, a savings of $5 per ticket. Tickets for kids 11 and under are $5. To order, go to www.trackenterprises.com or by calling the Wisconsin State Fair Park box office at 414-266-7100. Representatives will also be on site Monday and Tuesday for those who want to stop by to purchase in person.

For more information on the event, visit the Track Enterprises website at www.trackenterprises.com or call 217-764-3200. For information on the ARCA Midwest Tour, visit www.midwesttour.racing or www.arcaracing.com for details on the ARCA Menards Series.

Track Enterprises PR

With the safety of traveling fans, teams and officials in mind and a projected forecast of heavy rain and snow for Friday, followed by frigid temperatures Saturday, DIRTcar Racing and Cherokee Speedway officials have been forced to postpone Saturday’s Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series event. Officials are actively working to find a suitable reschedule date.

 

For more information on the Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series and to stay up to date with all the latest news and content, follow the tour on Twitter @DIRTcar_Racing, like @DIRTcar on Facebook and follow @dirtcar.official on Instagram.

 

Fans don’t have to wait long to next see Late Models on DIRTVision; the 2nd annual Sunshine Nationals is coming up next weekend, Jan. 14-16 at Volusia Speedway Park. Four classes of Late Models, including the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series season-opening races, the DIRTcar Pro Late Models plus 602 Crate Late Models and the Florida Late Model Challenge Series – don’t miss it!

 

Drydene Xtreme DIRTcar Series PR

 

Kaulig Racing has announced it is anticipating a limited NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) schedule for the upcoming 2021 season.
 
While it is no secret the team intends to expand to a full-time NCS team in its future, Kaulig Racing plans to get its feet wet with select races in 2021, including road course and superspeedway events, in addition to the 63rd annual Daytona 500.
 
“Kaulig Racing is always building toward the future, and I believe this is the next step in that process,” said team owner, Matt Kaulig. “We have the ultimate goal of becoming a powerhouse team in the Cup Series, and we are excited to continue our team’s growth.”
 
Following a stellar 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season, including a Championship 4 race appearance and the team’s fifth-consecutive playoff berth, Kaulig Racing has its sights set on the next level.
 
“From where we started in a go-kart shop to a now championship-contending team, I have seen the growth of Kaulig Racing first-hand over the last 5 years,” said team president, Chris Rice. “It has been a privilege to be able to have Matt Kaulig’s trust in establishing ourselves as a competitive team in one of NASCAR’s top series, and I am confident we are ready to take that next step as an organization.”
 
As the team actively seeks partnership opportunities for the 2021 NCS season, Kaulig Racing expects further announcements regarding drivers and potential events to come at a later date.
 
Kaulig Racing PR
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