Speedway Digest Staff
Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest
It all started with a DM.
When Abacus Racing owner Brent Cox reached out to Logan Seavey via a direct message on Instagram in late 2022, it turned out to be a most fortuitous decision that instantly altered the fortunes for both driver and team.
Just one year later, they were celebrating one of the most dominant USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship seasons in series history. Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) earned his second midget series championship after taking the crown during his Rookie season of 2018 while Abacus scored the entrant title in what was their first year of chasing the entire series schedule.
Their 280-point final championship margin was the largest in nearly two decades since Bobby East’s title in 2004. In one year, Seavey doubled his career feature win output from eight to 16, and his run of 22 consecutive top-10 finishes to end the season tied Jason Leffler’s record set in 1997, as fate would have it, the very same year Seavey was born.
Seavey and Abacus Racing’s big year with USAC wasn’t excluded solely to the National Midgets. In October, they wrapped up the USAC Silver Crown championship in conjunction with Rice Motorsports, making Seavey the first driver since Levi Jones in 2011 to collect multiple USAC national championships in a single season. The success earned Seavey $100,000 in total USAC point fund money for the year between his success in the two disciplines.
Furthermore, Abacus Racing became just the second entrant to win multiple USAC national titles in the same season, joining Curb-Agajanian in 2012-13.
It’s almost incomprehensible to think back to 2022 and realize that Seavey was down and out on his fortunes in midget racing. A winless season saw him bounce around to multiple teams while trying recapture the magic of prior years, leaving him disenchanted at the state of affairs. But soon, a message from out of the blue and a new ride were able to bottle up that passion and breathe new life into Seavey on the midget side of things.
“After the last year and a half, I didn’t really have any desire to go midget racing,” Seavey admitted. “I was just going to be focused on our sprint car stuff and go from there. (Abacus) roped me into this midget deal and now I’m having a lot of fun and enjoying it. That certainly helps to keep me going and keeps me excited about midget racing. It was not on the top of my list to go try and race for a midget championship this year, but once you start having fun again, it makes going to the races a lot easier and having success doesn’t hurt either.”
Seavey’s 2023 season began on the right path when he was victorious during January’s running of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. However, the result came in a one-off appearance for the Swindell SpeedLab team. The test to see if the success would ultimately translate to Abacus was a steady rise, beginning with Seavey grabbing the team’s first USAC top-five out west in 2022, followed by the team’s first win and first championship in 2023. Personally, for Seavey, the bulk of it all started with just getting right mentally first and foremost, and when he and Abacus clicked, it was like sweet, sweet music.
“It’s just about getting your confidence back and getting in cars you’re comfortable in that have speed,” Seavey explained. “Kicking it off with a Chili Bowl win this year was as good as you could start a year. Then to come out here and get in this car and have such good chemistry with these guys and to have speed every night, it’s really cool knowing that when I strap into this thing, we’ve got a shot. That’s what it takes, and once you lose that, it’s tough to get back. We started the year really well, and just never really slowed down. Sometimes you get up and you can fall down quickly and lose it. We got up and stayed up all year.”
Compared to how the season unfolded, the early season had its hurdles early in the going. In Seavey and Abacus’ first five USAC Midget starts of 2023, there were three finishes of 12th or worse. The exact turnaround of the season can be pinpointed toward one key moment in June’s USAC Indiana Midget Week round at Circle City Raceway.
There, a surefire victory went by the wayside just three laps from the finish line due to an ignition switch failure. Initially thinking his Indiana Midget Week title hopes were kaput, Seavey won the next night out at Gas City I-69 Speedway in dramatic fashion and rallied to his second career IMW championship and first since 2019.
After Circle City, Seavey found himself mired sixth in the USAC National Midget standings, 110 points out of the lead, but from that point forward, he was practically unstoppable. He won again in July at Nebraska’s Jefferson County Speedway and once more in August at Macon (Ill.) Speedway just hours after winning the USAC Silver Crown race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds earlier that same afternoon. In doing so, he became just the third driver to win multiple USAC national events at two different racetracks in a single day: Billy Vukovich (1967) and J.J. Yeley (2004).
September was purely magical as Seavey picked up a Firemen’s Nationals win at Wisconsin’s Angell Park Speedway and backed it up with a second straight triumph at Gas City, which was followed by a complete sweep of the USAC portion of the 4-Crown Nationals at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway where he won the Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown features all within a single evening, the third driver to achieve the feat after Kyle Larson in 2011 as well as Jack Hewitt who, in 1998, won all four crowns with the UMP Modifieds included.
By November, Seavey had such a substantial point lead, he could’ve taken a victory lap around the state of California. Nonetheless, he added two more wins to his total at Bakersfield Speedway and at Merced Speedway while wrapping up the title with three races remaining following a string of 20 top-five results in a span of 22 starts in his Abacus Racing/Honest Abe Roofing - Indy Custom Stone - Laura Kopetsky Tri-Ax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.
It’s been quite a road for Abacus Racing’s Brent Cox whose idea of forming a racing team came to him in September of 2020 while he was watching a USAC National event from Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway on FloRacing while sitting in his garage. Cox, who is an accountant by trade, graduated from Ball State University and was among the founders of CG CPAs. It’s been a perfect marriage between the two parties with Abacus’ racing acumen and a championship level driver who had regained his midget racing mojo.
“We got their first top-five out here on this swing last year, and to now have 20-something top-fives and eight wins, it’s incredible,” Seavey exclaimed. “I feel like I’m far enough along to where I’m getting better at being able to communicate with (crewmen) Kirk (Simpson) and Johnny (Cofer) about what I need in the car and not being scared to throw my opinion out there and tell them what I need. Or if they make a change I don’t like, they’ll listen to me and go back on it or change something. I feel like I know what I need in the car, and especially throughout the year, I’ve gotten better at just knowing what feels right for me and what makes me able to run the car as hard as I need to.”
In nearly every category, Seavey and Abacus were top-shelf, leading the most feature laps (214) while earning the most top-fives (21) and top-tens (24) and fast qualifying times (4) in 27 series starts on the year. As Seavey full well knows, it’s not a cake walk no matter who you are, and it takes the right people and the right equipment in your corner to make it all work.
“These midget races are no joke,” Seavey iterated. “If you’re not comfortable running these races 99 percent every lap, these guys will eat you up. It’s tough. You’ve got to run your car really hard all the time, and if your car’s not good, you can’t do that. I’m at the point where I feel like I’m confident enough in myself that I know what I need and I feel like I can help Kirk and Johnny make the right decisions, and usually, we’re pretty dang close to the same page anyway. There have been a few times when they’ve wanted to go one way and I’ve wanted to go the other way, and they usually back me up and will go with me, and it's been working so far.”
In all, 13 drivers raced to a USAC National Midget victory in 2023. Ryan Timms (Oklahoma City, Okla) added three to the win column, including the season opener in May at the Belleville (Kan.) Short Track and again in June at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway and in September at Angell Park.
Also at the Belleville Short Track, Zach Daum (Pocahontas, Ill.) landed his first USAC victory in nearly nine years, and it just so happened to take place in the same locale as his last one, albeit at a slightly smaller version of it. His 2014 victory came on Belleville’s 1/2-mile-high banks, which he promptly took a victory lap around after winning this past June.
Just one week prior to his high school graduation in May, Jacob Denney (Galloway, Ohio) was victorious at Missouri’s Sweet Springs Motorsports Complex, then scored the Indiana Midget Week opener in June at Tri-State Speedway. Two-time USAC National Midget champion Buddy Kofoid (Penngrove, Calif.) picked off a couple Indiana Midget Week wins in June at Circle City and Lincoln Park Speedway.
Bryant Wiedeman and Gavin Miller both became first-time USAC National Midget winners in 2023. Wiedeman (Colby, Kan.) finished third in series points and scored a home state victory at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds with a pass for the lead coming to the white flag. Miller (Allentown, Pa.), meanwhile, earned win number one at Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway to become the first Keystone State winner since Steve Buckwalter in 2010. As a result of his win and eighth place finish in the standings, Miller was named the 2023 Bob Stroud USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year, just the third Pennsylvanian to do so after John Andretti in 1983 and Andrew Layser in 2019.
Tanner Thorson (Minden, Nev.) started his own team and took it to victory lane twice in July’s Midwest Midget Championship at Jefferson County and then became the first multi-time Jason Leffler Memorial victor in August at Wayne County Speedway in Illinois.
Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) posted a victory in his first USAC Midget start of the season in September at Eldora while RMS Racing teammates Thomas Meseraull and Justin Grant followed up a week later with substantial victories at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
After a long winless drought to open the season, RMS swept the event with Meseraull (San Jose, Calif.) leading wire-to-wire in the first of two BC39 prelims. Grant (Ione, Calif.) followed suit with a triumphant performance during the night two prelim as well as in the $20,039-to-win finale before finishing second overall in the season standings for the second occasion in as many seasons.
The California swing in November was practically owned by Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, Calif.) who went on an undefeated tear with the series, winning all three of his starts on the year. He took two at Placerville Speedway’s Hangtown 100 before becoming a four-time Turkey Night Grand Prix winner in the season finale at Ventura Raceway.
Additionally, Spencer Bayston (Lebanon, Ind.) captured his first USAC National Midget win in more than five years during a November stop at California’s Merced Speedway for Australia’s Dyson Motorsport.
Six drivers started all 27 feature events in 2023: Seavey, Grant, Timms, Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.), Taylor Reimer (Bixby, Okla.) and Jade Avedisian (Clovis, Calif.). Avedisian made history in May when she became the first woman to lead the USAC National Midget point standings in the 68-year history of the series.
Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) was a frequent frontrunner with the series, bagging five runner-up finishes in limited duty. At Ventura, he made the biggest charge of any driver with the series in 2023, racing his way up 17 positions from a 23rd starting spot to finish sixth.
In his rookie year of Super Late Model racing, Gio Ruggiero was tasked with the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule driving the Wilson Motorsports No.22. The schedule saw seven different racetracks that the Seekonk, MA teenager had never seen before.
After a third-place result in the final points standings, it’s safe to say that Ruggiero passed the test with flying colors. He won the Winchester 400 in his first try, becoming the first driver to do so since Ryan Lawler in 2007. Before that, he won his first-career Super Late Model race at Hickory Motor Speedway by passing NASCAR Cup Series competitor William Byron on the final lap and beating him in a photo finish.
Additionally, he became the first driver to win both the ASA/CRA Super Series and ASA Southern Super Series championships in the same year, all while also winning Rookie of the Year crowns in each respective series.
“I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go with moving up from a Pro to a Super, but I had high hopes,” said Ruggiero. “I think we did have a pretty solid year, winning the Winchester 400 in my first year in a Super and winning that race at Hickory. Those two were big confidence boosters and I’m looking forward to carrying the momentum into the Snowball Derby.”
Ruggiero had three Super Late Model starts in 2022; his debut coming in a Southern Super Series race at Montgomery Motor Speedway before contesting the All American 400 and Snowball Derby. After that, he had CRA SpeedFest and the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing to get ready for the 2023 ASA STARS season.
He led 17 laps in the opener at Five Flags and finished sixth at Madison, but otherwise the first three races were a struggle. Then came his win at Hickory, where he led 76 laps and beat a NASCAR Cup Series championship four competitor. He took off after that, winning the Winchester 400 while also finishing second in the Redbud 400 at Anderson.
“We started off the year with a bit of a learning curve with Speedweeks and SpeedFest before that. I was transitioning to a new team and a Super Late Model compared to a Pro, so having that extra horsepower was something that I had to learn. I was a little bit frustrated with myself at the beginning of the year because I was struggling a little bit the first couple races. Once I started to get a handle on the Super and started to figure it out, I think I improved a lot and got a lot better.”
He also won a standalone ASA/CRA Super Series race at Salem Speedway in June, kicking off his CRA championship season with his second Super Late Model victory. His worst finish with CRA was ninth in the Glass City 200 at Toledo, and he clinched the championship by simply taking the green flag in the Winchester 400.
The Southern Super Series title came to Ruggiero in a vastly different fashion than the CRA championship. The Hickory win was his only one with the Southern Super Series, as consistency was key to his championship in the Southeast. He had top-five finishes in six of the nine races, and beat Matt Craig by just 25 points for the title.
“That was cool as well for sure. We also won the Rookie of the Year in both, which is pretty cool to me. I’m really proud of everybody on the team. The Wilson Motorsports crew works so hard putting in so any hours in the shop, so much hard work and effort into the cars to make them fast for us. We definitely showed that we were consistently good to win both championships there.”
With a full year of Super Late Model experience under his belt, Ruggiero is looking forward to what the 2024 season has to offer. In particular, he is ready to get a second crack at the early-season races now that he has more experience under his belt.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to race with Toyota Racing and Wilson Motorsports next year in Super Late Models. I’m hoping to see what more we can do next year. Like I said, I struggled in those first few races of the season so now I get a second chance at them with more experience all over again.
For more information on the ASA STARS National Tour, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: ASA STARS National Tour | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS PR
South Boston Speedway officials have announced updates to the track’s 2024 season schedule including a special event to kick off the season.
The speedway’s Saturday afternoon, March 23 season-opening event will feature the stars and the high-horsepower open-wheel cars of the SMART Modified Tour. Races for the track’s Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division will also be part of that event.
“We’re looking forward to kicking off our 2024 season with a huge event,” said South Boston Speedway General Manager Brandon Brown. “The SMART Modified Tour always puts on a great show, and when you pair them with our Sentara Health Late Models and Virginia State Police Heat Hornets, our fans are going to be treated to an incredible show to start the year. The level of competition on the SMART Modified Tour is at an all-time high, and the series has had great, exciting races over the years here at South Boston Speedway. Our Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division and Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division will kick off their chase for the 2024 division championships in style, too.”
South Boston Speedway will go under the lights for the first time in 2024 on Saturday night, April 13 to host its NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series opener featuring the track’s four NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions, the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division, the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division, and the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division.
“There will be a lot of excitement as we bring our four NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions together for the first time in 2024,” Brown remarked. “We saw a high level of competition and a lot of great racing throughout our four divisions last season, and everyone is excited and looking forward to see what is in store for 2024.”
The track’s four NASCAR-sanctioned racing divisions will return to action the following weekend, on Saturday night, April 20. It will be the first of two occasions when the track will host events on back-to-back weekends.
NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing will return to South Boston Speedway on Saturday night, May 4. Due to a schedule change, the speedway will host a NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series event a week later, on Saturday night, May 11. That will be the second instance of events on back-to-back weekends.
The May 11 event is an event that was originally scheduled for May 18.
“After the announcement of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule we learned May 18 was the date NASCAR set for the All-Star Race Weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway,” Brown explained.
“With the tremendous popularity and interest that surrounds the NASCAR All-Star Race and its accompanying events each year, we felt it would be in everyone’s best interest to move our event off of that weekend and host it a week earlier.”
South Boston Speedway officials have also announced that the track’s annual CARS Tour event that had been held in October in previous years, is moving to mid-September in 2024. The track will host the CARS Tour on Saturday night, September 14, and will feature the CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car Tour and the CARS Tour Pro Late Model Tour. A support class might be added as part of that event.
“The CARS Tour will again bring some of the most exciting action and personalities in Late Model racing to South Boston Speedway,” Brown said. “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with the CARS Tour and bring another incredible event to our fans next year.”
Highlights of the 2024 season include the track’s showcase pre-Fourth of July 200-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car Division event, the first race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown, on Saturday night, June 29 and a 150-lap race for the Sentara Health Late Model Stock Car Division on Championship Night on Saturday night, August 31.
The season-opening event featuring the SMART Modified Tour on March 23, the 200-lap kickoff race of the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown on June 29, the Championship Night event on August 31 and the CARS Tour event on September 14 comprise the track’s four special events for the 2024 season.
In another schedule update, the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience has scheduled two visits to South Boston Speedway in 2024, the first on Sunday, April 21 and the second on Saturday, October 5.
The latest news and updates from South Boston Speedway can be found on the speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, and the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Ho Ho Ho! Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health is unwrapping up another week of holiday magic, rolling out a lineup of holiday festivities that will make a visit to America’s Home for Racing merry and bright. One of the country's largest drive-thru, lights-to-music events features much more than just the 5 million lights strung along this four-mile drive-thru course. On top of the eye-catching light show, this week’s lineup features festive film screenings and unique vendors, promising something special for each guest.
Christmas Short Films
SpeedwayTV will bring to life a variety of holiday treasures as everyone’s favorite Christmas short films presented by Food Lion, air this Thursday through Sunday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night. These Christmastime tales will surely put everyone in a merry spirit as “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland,” “Jack Frost” and more shine on the 16,000-square-foot big screen. Bring blankets and hot cocoa and prepare to be swept up in the magic of storytelling on the world’s second largest HDTV. Movie nights are free with Speedway Christmas admission.
Farm and Fleece Alpaca Ranch
Learn how to bundle up the right way this winter with our featured vendor of the week, Farm and Fleece. Known for their high-quality alpaca fleece products, Farm and Fleece will bring a touch of cozy warmth to the Christmas Village. Add a personal and unique touch this holiday season with the opportunity to purchase soft and warm garments available in the Speedway Christmas Village this Thursday through Sunday.
A Sweet Stroll Under the Stars
Take a leisurely stroll through our walking trail of delights filled with a life-sized candy land as oversized candy canes and giant lollipops fill the infield. It's more exciting than finding the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory! This whimsical walking trail will be open nightly at 6 p.m. in the Christmas Village every week, Thursday through Sunday. Access to the Christmas Village is included with Speedway Christmas admission.
SEASON OF GIVING:
Queens City News Toy Drive
‘Tis the season of giving as Charlotte Motor Speedway teams up with Queen City News for a children’s Christmas toy drive. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive $5 off admission to Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health from Nov. 27 through Nov. 30.
Speedway Christmas presented by Atrium Health is open nightly through Jan. 7 (closed Christmas Eve). Tickets are sold per vehicle (up to 15 passengers) starting at $35 Monday through Wednesday and $45 Thursday through Sunday. For just $75, guests can skip the lines with the Fast Pass Lane, accessible off of Morehead Road at entrance P. The Fast Pass lane is only open Thursday-Sunday.
Tickets are available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or at the gate.
For those who want the security without the hefty price tag, finding the best affordable dash cam for cars under $300 is crucial. It's about balancing cost with functionality, ensuring you don't compromise on quality while sticking to a budget.
Nexar One Connected Dash Cam - $280
- 4K Video Resolution
- 140° Recording Angle
- Live Parking Incident Detection
- Real-Time Emergency Alerts
- Cloud Storage
- Nexar Connect Subscription
The Nexar One dash cam offers a driving experience that's both high-tech and reassuring. Its 4K resolution ensures that every detail of the road is captured with crystal clarity. The live parking incident detection and real-time emergency alerts mean you're always informed about the safety of your vehicle, even when you're not around. It's like having a guardian that watches over your car in all conditions, providing both a deterrent against incidents and a reliable witness should the need arise.
Vantrue N4 - $260
- 3-channel recording (front, inside, and rear)
- 4K front camera resolution
- 1080p rear and interior camera resolution
- 24-hour parking mode
- Optional GPS mount
- Supercapacitor for temperature resistance
Using the Vantrue N4 feels like having a vigilant co-pilot. The clarity of the recordings is impressive, capturing details that are often missed by lower-resolution cameras. The triple-channel coverage offers a comprehensive view of your vehicle’s surroundings, which instilled a sense of security.
Garmin Dash Cam Tandem - $295
- Two 180-degree field of view lenses
- 1440p resolution for the front-facing lens
- 720p resolution for the interior-facing lens with NightGlo technology
- Voice control capabilities
- Built-in GPS and Galileo sensors
With the Garmin Dash Cam Tandem, it's like there's a watchful eye on both the road and the cabin at all times. The dual lenses work in harmony to provide a comprehensive record of your journey. Its voice control feature allows for effortless operation, letting you stay focused on driving while it discreetly does its job.
Choosing the best dash cam under $300 means considering what features are most important to you. Whether it's the comprehensive coverage of the Vantrue N4, the cold-weather resilience of the Nextbase 622GW, the unobtrusive design of the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2, or the exceptional value of the Vantrue N1 Pro, there's a dash cam to meet your needs. Remember, the best dash cam is the one that fits your individual driving habits and provides peace of mind, mile after mile.
Things just keep getting bigger and better for the CARS Tour Late Model Series as it embarks on its 10th season of competition as the Southeast’s premier asphalt late model series.
Today the CARS Tour ownership group, comprised of motorsports icons Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Justin Marks, announced the addition of zMAX® as the series’ new entitlement sponsor for the upcoming 2024 season and beyond. The group also rolled out the 2024 zMAX CARS Tour schedule and confirmed the renewal of FloRacing as its official streaming partner for all 19 events.
“This year we committed ourselves to helping grow an already-established CARS Tour, and regional asphalt racing as a whole,” said Harvick. “Having the opportunity to bring on a respected brand and partner like zMAX does so much for the health and professionalism of the zMAX CARS Tour.”
Produced in Harrisburg, N.C., zMAX Micro-lubricant® is used in thousands of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, outdoor equipment, airplanes and firearms to reduce carbon buildup, lubricate vital parts and extend engine life. Used by professionals and every-day car-lovers alike, the zMAX family of products has a prominent presence in a number of motorsports, including NASCAR, NHRA and USAC. zMAX is manufactured by Oil-Chem Research Corporation, a division of motorsports entertainment company Speedway Motorsports.
“A zMAX partnership with the CARS Tour is a grassroots commitment to building future competitors and fans in motorsports,” said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. “I’d like to thank Dale, Kevin, Jeff and Justin for this opportunity. We look forward to marketing zMAX from the garage to the grandstands and we’re thrilled to see the CARS Tour returning to North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2024.”
For the second consecutive season, all 19 of the zMAX CARS Tour events will be livestreamed on FloRacing. The video streaming service, which became the official streaming partner of zMAX CARS Tour earlier this year, is a subscription-based company dedicated to growing grassroots motorsports.
“We feel that CARS has truly become the premier short track asphalt tour in America, and we could not be happier to have the series back on FloRacing,” said General Manager of FloRacing, Michael Rigsby. “Dale and the entire team with CARS are committed to growing short track pavement racing, and that's truly evident by all they've done over the last year. 2024 is going to be a big, big year for CARS, and we are beyond thrilled to highlight that.”
In addition, the newly-minted zMAX CARS Tour released its 2024 season schedule, which kicks off at Southern National Motorsports Park (Kenly, N.C.) on Saturday, March 2, with Pro Late Models, the first of its two divisions. The Late Model Stock Car division will begin its season at the same track one week later, on March 9.
“There is a lot to unpack and a lot to be excited about this season – two trips to North Wilkesboro and adding Orange County to the schedule,” said Earnhardt Jr. “It’s going to be tough competition for the drivers and a great show for our fans in the stands, and for those watching on FloRacing. Our partnership with FloRacing has helped tremendously in building exposure and excitement around the zMAX CARS Tour. I’m looking forward to continuing that.”
Highlighting the series schedule are back-to-back PLM and LMSC races at North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 14 – 15. The zMAX CARS Tour will return to the .625-mile short track on Oct. 19 for the season finale, where it will crown both its series champions.
2024 zMAX CARS Tour Schedule:
- Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (PLM) – March 2
- Southern National Motorsports Park, Kenly, N.C. (LMSC) – March 9
- New River All American Speedway, Jacksonville, N.C. (LMSC) – March 23
- Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – April 6
- Orange County Speedway, Rougemont, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – April 20
- Ace Speedway, Altamahaw, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Friday, May 3
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (PLM) – Tuesday, May 14
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (LMSC) – Wednesday, May 15
- Tri-County Speedway, Granite Falls, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – May 25
- Langley Speedway, Hampton, Va. (LMSC) – June 1
- Dominion Raceway, Thornburg, Va. (LMSC) – June 15
- Caraway Speedway, Sophia, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Wednesday, July 3
- Hickory Motor Speedway Throwback, Hickory, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – July 27
- Ace Speedway, Altamahaw, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Friday, Aug. 9
- Wake County Speedway, Raleigh, N.C. (LMSC) – Aug. 24
- Florence Motor Speedway, Florence, S.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Friday, Aug. 30
- South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Va. (LMSC/PLM) – Sept. 14
- Tri-County Motor Speedway, Granite Falls, N.C. (LMSC/PLM) – Oct. 12
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (PLM) – Friday, Oct. 18
- North Wilkesboro Speedway, Wilkesboro, N.C. (LMSC) – Oct. 19
All races will take place on Saturdays unless otherwise noted. Schedule subject to change.
CARS Tour PR
“NASCAR is saddened by the passing of Norris McDonald, a true giant in motorsports journalism. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.” – NASCAR
Toyota revealed today a newly-designed NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Toyota Camry XSE race car that will make its debut in the 2024 NCS season. The Camry XSE Next Gen follows the Toyota Camry TRD Next Gen, which produced 18 victories and 25 poles during the last two seasons of competition.
Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) and Calty Design worked together to ensure body styling characteristics replicated the recently unveiled 2025 Toyota Camry XSE as closely as possible. New features of the Toyota Camry race car include a distinctive hammerhead styling on the front facia with an upper grille slot that is tied into the updated slim and wide headlights.
The outside of the larger lower grille area also features C-shaped corner vents, while the hood features new character lines and new hood duct exits. The back facia of the car includes revised quarter panel styling and chamfered bumper corners on the back of the corner panels that blend into the rear bumper. These features, along with updated thinner taillights, give the new Camry race car a more sculpted appearance.
“The 2024 Camry XSE race car will properly highlight Toyota’s attention to detail as has been showcased in the new street version Toyota Camry. We are excited to bring this car to the race track and continue to achieve success with it for years to come,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports, TMNA (Toyota Motor North America). “The amount of work put into this car’s production cannot be overstated, and we thank everyone at TRD and Calty Design for their efforts in creating a premier vehicle for our team partners to compete for wins and championships.”
Toyota continues to be the only manufacturer in NASCAR to showcase three nameplates across the three national series – the Camry in the NCS, the GR Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and the Tundra TRD Pro in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS). Since joining the NCS and NXS in 2007, Toyota has earned 180 NCS wins and three NCS championships along with 201 NXS victories and four NXS titles. And since its entry into the NCTS in 2004, Toyota has claimed 228 wins and nine Truck Series championships.
“The foundation of Toyota’s presence in NASCAR is our commitment to continuous improvement on and off the race track. Our Camry XSE race car reinforces that mantra and accurately reflects the key design attributes of the all-new production Toyota Camry,” said David Wilson, president of TRD. “As we prepare for the 2024 season, we look forward to working closely with our race team partners to optimize the performance of the newly-designed Camry race car so we can continue our legacy of leading laps, winning races and competing for championships with the Camry nameplate.”
With the addition of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, eight Toyota Camry XSE’s will compete on track every weekend, starting with the Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race in Los Angeles, California, in February.
For additional images of the newly-designed Toyota Camry race car, please visit ToyotaRacingMedia.com.
Kyle Cummins, one of the premier drivers on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship tour, will compete on the full schedule in 2024 with the newly established Petty Performance Racing team.
The Princeton, Ind. driver will kick off the upcoming season in a ride owned by Jerry Petty of Litchfield Park, Ariz., CEO of Avanti Windows & Doors LLC which sponsored Cummins sprint car ride throughout the 2023 campaign.
In 2023, Cummins equaled his career high with four USAC National Sprint Car feature victories and finished sixth in USAC points for the Rock Steady Racing team with which he had driven for all but one season dating back to 2015.
Cummins’ USAC National Sprint Car win total stands at 18 entering the 2024 season which presents a new opportunity and challenge for the 36-year-old driver who made his USAC debut back in 2003.
“I’m grateful for Jerry providing me with this exciting and challenging opportunity as well as trusting me to be a part of his transition to a team owner and entrant into dirt track racing,” Cummins stated. “Jerry has offered up a lot of support to the sport in recent years and his commitment to becoming a team owner just shows his continued passion for the sport and his confidence in me. We are excited to build this team over the offseason and can’t wait to get to Florida and see what the rest of 2024 has in store.”
Cummins has been an ardent supporter of USAC Sprint Car racing, accumulating 227 career starts while ranking inside the top-40 all-time in both feature victories and starts. Meanwhile, Petty has been the primary sponsor for such events as Knoxville Raceway’s Corn Belt Clash and Cocopah Speedway’s Western World Championship in addition serving as the primary sponsor for multiple USAC Sprint Car teams.
Cummins and Petty Performance Racing’s debut will arrive in February of 2024 in the state of Florida where the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season will begin with seven events in the Sunshine State between February 9-17, and where Cummins was a feature winner in February of 2023 during the series’ most recent visit.
Leading off the 2024 season is the 15th annual edition of Winter Dirt Games at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park on Friday-Saturday, February 9-10, at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track with a practice night set to begin the festivities on Thursday night, February 8. The first night of racing in Ocala on Friday will pay $6,000-to-win while Saturday night’s weekend capper will pay $7,500-to-win.
USAC National Sprint Car action then moves on down the road to Volusia Speedway Park on Monday-Tuesday, February 12-13, for two consecutive nights of racing on the half-mile dirt oval as part of the DIRTcar Nationals, culminating in a $10,000-to-win finale on Tuesday. As a change from this past year, the Volusia events will be full points-paying events.
Rounding out the Sunshine State trip is a return to Bubba Raceway Park for three more consecutive nights of USAC National Sprint Car racing on February 15-16-17. The first two nights will pay $6,000-to-win with Saturday night’s finale paying $10,000-to-win.
Kyle Larson took the lead on lap 27 and led the final 72 laps, holding off Corey Day late to win the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ 82nd annual ARP Turkey Night Grand Prix in front of a sold-out crowd at Ventura Raceway, Saturday night.
Logan Seavey would lead the race early with a host of drivers trading the second position with Ryan Timms, Kale Drake and Wiedeman all in the mix. Eventually, Timms would claim the spot and begin to close on Seavey.
On lap 26, Timms would take the lead, only to see Seavey attempt to slide back across him heading into turn one on lap 27, forcing Timms to lock it up to avoid Seavey and come to a stop, collecting his Keith Kunz Motorsports teammate Drake in the process. Each was able to continue, but were forced to the back of the field, effectively eliminating them from contention.
On the restart, Larson would take the lead with a turn three slider on Seavey and would never relinquish the lead beating Corey Day to the finish line by .224 seconds.
Carson Macedo would finish third, followed by Bryant Wiedeman, Jacob Denney, Emerson Axsom and Buddy Kofoid as Toyota-powered drivers captured six of the top seven finishing positions on the night.
The Turkey Night Grand Prix officially closes out the 2023 campaign. The 2024 midget racing season will kick off in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the Chili Bowl Nationals, Jan. 8-13.
Toyota Notes and Season Highlights:
- Fifteen different Toyota-powered drivers from nine different teams combined to register 40 national midget feature wins during the 2023. In addition, Toyota Development driver Jade Avedisian became the first woman ever to win a national midget championship taking the Xtreme Outlaw crown on the strength of five wins, while KKM’s Gavin Miller earned USAC Rookie of the Year honors.
- Toyota-powered drivers have now won 14 Turkey Night Grand Prix events, with the first coming in 2007 with Dave Darland. Bobby Santos, Bryan Clauson, Caleb Armstrong, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Tanner Thorson, Logan Seavey and Justin Grant also earned victories Turkey Night victories with Toyota power.
Toyota-Powered Drivers USAC Turkey Night Grand Prix Feature Results
Kyle Larson – 1st
Carson Macedo – 3rd
Bryant Wiedeman – 4th
Jacob Denney – 5th
Emerson Axsom – 6th
Buddy Kofoid – 7th
Jesse Love – 9th
Cade Lewis – 10th
Gavin Miller – 13th
Mariah Ede – 15th
Kale Drake – 16th
Jade Avedisian – 18th
Spencer Bayston – 19th
Just in Grant – 20th
Cannon McIntosh 21st
Ryan Timms – 23rd
Taylor Reimer – 24th