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Eight talented teenagers are among the 50 TQ Midget competitors who have entered the 2018 Indoor Auto Racing Series fueled by VP that will begin it’s season on Friday and Saturday, January 5th and 6th inside Allentown, Pa.’s PPL Center.
Each of these young drivers are confident of success - despite what is certain to be the toughest competition they will have yet faced in their budding careers.
Local driver Briggs Danner, 16, of Allentown parlayed a Quarter Midget driving career into a fourth place finish in his rookie season at Kutztown’s Action Track, USA in the tough SpeedSTR class. The third generation driver also made his debut this year in the Sportsman division at nearby Grandview Speedway.
Danner, with support from Ironton Telephone, the sponsor of the Allentown Indoor race, will be making his first ever start indoor and in a TQ Midget.
Cerubic Andrew Molleur, at age 15, is even younger. Molleur also graduated from Quarter Midgets. The Shelton, CT high-school student moved into the the asphalt SK Modified division this season at Waterford Speedbowl where he was a three time feature winner and just missed out on the championship.
Tyler Thompson, 17, from Fulton, N.Y., spent the 2017 season racing dirt Sportsman cars throughout New York State and at Canada under the Team Tapout Race Team auspices. Thompson made a late season start at N.J.’s Bridgeport Speedway and was a contender for victory. Thompson’s family has purchased the second of two Jimmy Blewett Lafler chassis cars for hisTQ debut. Thompson was fast in his indoor series debut last January in a Champ Kart inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Cole Mullen, 17, was a contender for the 2017 ATQMRA Rookie of the Year honors during the outdoor season. The second-generation driver from Brick, N.J. finished one spot behind the top rookie in the tenth spot in the standings. Cole finished one position ahead of his father, Ronnie, who was also an ATQMRA rookie this past year.
The Catalano brothers, Tommy. 19 and Timmy. 17, are third generation runners out of Ontario N.Y. The brothers compete weekly during the outdoor season against their mother Amy in asphalt Modified competition in western New York. Tommy, a regular on the Race of Champions series, won the Spencer and Holland Speedway track championships this season.
Tommy nearly won the 2017 Ironton Telephone Allentown TQ Midget race before settling for a hard earned podium finish. Timmy made his debut in the 2017 Atlantic City event and proved to be a quick study.
Another second generation entrant, Anthony Payne 18. of Fair Lawn, N.J., also has prior Indoor Auto Racing Series experience. As an entrant in the 2017 races, Payne learned the intracacies of driving TQ Midgets on tight concrete courses from his father Joey, an accomplished TQ Midget and Full Size Midget multi-time champion.
The Paynes, father-and-son, are a formidable team. Joey Payne, in fact, is a two-time Indoor Auto Auto Racing Series winner, in the Atlantic City Gambler’s Classic (2004, 2007).
For one of the teenage-sensations to win on the series they’ll have to beat experienced, proven winners including defending series champion Ryan Flores of Mooresville, N.C. who won both events in Allentown last year. Erick Rudolph, whose 2017 Atlantic City win gave the Ransomville, NY driver a series high eight indoor victories can never ben counted out. His win total also includes a win in Allentown the previous season.
Anthony Sesely, three time Atlantic City winner, will return to his own No. 16 full-time this season.
Canadian Super Modified ace Mike Lichty is a former series winner who rejoins the series this year with a brand new car. Tim Buckwalter of Royersford, Pa. comes to Allentown after winning both the SpeedSTR and 600cc Micro Sprint title in 2017 at the Kutztown Action Track.
Top asphalt Modified drivers entered includes local favorites Earl Paules and Zane Zeiner. Nationally known drivers in the field includes Conn. NASCAR stars Ryan Preece, Justin Bonsignore and Keith Rocco as well as New York star Andy Jankowiak.
Preece, a NASCAR Xfinity series winner this year for Joe Gibbs Racing, wlll be driving the same car that was designed and built by Donnie Preece and the late Ted Christopher. It will be repainted white and will carry the same number 6 that Preece for Ed Partridge to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Touring Series car owner title. Bonsignore finished second to the team in the NASCAR standings.
Dirt Modified racing will be well represented as well. New York state DIRTcar drivers Ryan Bartlett, Mike Maresca and Billy Whittaker. New Jersey dirt Modified driver Danny Bouc, a winner at New Egypt Speedway this year, will be moving up indoors from Champ Kart to TQ Midget competition. Mike Iles, a former series winner, will also be full-time in his always sharp No. 711.
The Ironton Telephone Allentown event schedule calls for racing to start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Three Quarter (TQ) Midgets will run a full program of racing with feature events both nights. Champ Karts will be racing in a complete show on Friday night, with the Slingshots on Saturday night.
For choice tickets, contact the PPL Center Box Office by phone at 610-347-TIXX (8499), online at pplcenter.com. Those wishing to avoid online fees may purchased directly at the Box Office, but are encouraged to do so in advacen, the 2016 event was a sell-out.
It is the first of a three-race Indoor Auto Racing Series. The series moves next to the NAPA Auto Parts Indoor Auto Racing Weekend in Atlantic City. For tickets, contact Ticketmaster, the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, or the Area Auto Racing News office at 609-888-3618.
The finale will be a first annual event in New York State, on February 9-10, 2018 in the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y. For choice tickets, contact the Times Union Center Box Office, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000, or visit online at ticketmaster.com.
Haudenschild to Compete for Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing in 2018 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Season14 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
With his first year of ownership under his belt in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series (WoO), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is partnering with Richard Marshall to form Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing. The duo are turning over the reins of the No. 17 NOS Energy Drink sprint car to Sheldon Haudenschild, the 2017 WoO Rookie of the Year.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing,” Haudenschild said. “This is a great opportunity for me and my career. I’m honored to work with a great group of guys. We’re all looking forward to kicking off our season in Florida in the No. 17 NOS Energy sprint car.”
The second-generation driver scored 12 top-five and 41 top-10 finishes in his rookie campaign going on to earn the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year title for the 2017 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
“I’m really excited to form a partnership with Ricky,” Richard Marshall said. “Ricky was the one that brought me back into the sport five years ago and Bryan Clauson brought us all together. We’re all excited to have Sheldon, 2017 Rookie of the Year, behind the wheel of the No. 17 this season. He has brought a new level of excitement to the team already. I believe this combo is a winning formula, and we can’t wait to get to Volusia to kick off the season.”
"NOS Energy is all about horsepower and fierce competition and we couldn't be happier to join up with Stenhouse Jr. Marshall Racing to make a run at the 2018 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series title," said Lauren Albano, Marketing Director for NOS Energy. "Winged 1,400 pound race cars putting out 900 horsepower on 1/4-mile dirt tracks all over the United States, what's not to like?!. To enter the '18 WoO season with this year's WoO Rookie of the Year Sheldon Haudenschild behind the wheel of the No. 17 NOS Energy Drink sprint car puts NOS Energy in a position to not only win races, but to fight for the prestigious WoO championship. Let's go racing!"
In his first year as an owner in the World of Outlaws, Stenhouse Jr. scored his first victory at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway in June with good friend Kyle Larson behind the wheel. Overall, the team scored one win, six top-five and 23 top-10 finishes.
“I think we have a good opportunity next year with Sheldon transitioning over after Jac (Haudenschild) drove for us this season,” Stenhouse said. “Jac really helped us evaluate our cars and helped us know what we needed to improve. The chemistry of the team is strong which is very important.
"Matt Wood really helped me be able to start up this team. Matt was a great mentor and overall just a great friend. He has decided to step away and do a little more racing with his family out on the west coast, but he’s still a great supporter. An opportunity arose allowing Richard (Marshall) and myself to become partners for next season. Richard’s support throughout the dirt community shows his passion for the sport.”
The NOS Energy Drink No. 17 sprint car team will kick off the 2018 season at Volusia Speedway Park on February 9 for the DIRTcar Nationals in Barberville, Florida.
Stenhouse-Marshall Racing PR
Ford Performance Teaming Up Young NASCAR Stars, Veteran Racer for IMSA Continental Tire Opener at Daytona14 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Ford Performance is in the midst of a NASCAR youth movement and when the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge kicks off in Daytona on Jan. 26, four of its NASCAR drivers will be on full display.
Ford Performance Development Driver Chase Briscoe, along with Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski will be mentored and joined on track by IMSA champion driver Scott Maxwell as part of a two-car Mustang GT4 team in the GS class that weekend.
“We have an outstanding group of young drivers coming up and we feel putting them in this kind of environment with Scott Maxwell will benefit them for the rest of their careers,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “You have to be good on all types of tracks to compete for a NASCAR championship and this will give each of them valuable road course experience in our exciting Mustang GT4 with Multimatic Motorsports.”
Briscoe, 23, was announced as the first driver of Ford Performance’s Driver Development Program last year and he’s coming off a season that saw him take home his share of honors in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver awards after qualifying for the series Playoffs and winning the Ford 200 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Cindric, 19, was a teammate of Briscoe’s at Brad Keselowski Racing in 2017 and won his first major NASCAR race in September at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. That helped him qualify for the inaugural NCWTS Playoffs, where he advanced to the Championship 4 at Ford Championship Weekend and finished third. Cindric has road racing experience, including a successful run in Multimatic Motorsport’s Ford Shelby GT350R-C program.
Custer, 19, enjoyed a standout rookie season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the newly-formed team at Stewart-Haas Racing. He had a solid Playoff run that saw him advance to the Round of 8 and win his first series race in the season-ending Ford 300.
Majeski, 23 and a former three-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion, made his debut with Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017 and competed three times. He qualified in the Top 10 for each event and finished the year on a high note with a 10th-place run in Homestead.
It was recently announced that Briscoe, Cindric and Majeski will share the full-time No. 60 Roush Fenway-prepared Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY series in 2018, in collaboration with Team Penske and Ford Performance.
All four drivers will benefit from the expertise of Maxwell, whose credentials include the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS championship in 2016 with co-driver Billy Johnson and victories at some of the sport’s marquee venues, such as Sebring, Daytona and Le Mans.
Driver pairings for the four-hour endurance event will be announced at a later date. All five drivers will participate in a three-day test session at Daytona International Speedway, beginning Jan. 5.
COLE CUSTER – “I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’ve never done any endurance racing, but I’m looking forward to having some fun and learning what it’s all about. This is obviously a big race and great way to start the season. Being able to race with the other guys is going to be a lot of fun as well because we’re all pretty much the same age and have a lot in common. I never thought I would get the chance to do something like this, but road course racing has really grown on me. I think it’s fun to learn the different sides of things and this is going to be a chance for me to learn as a driver and make myself better.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC – “For me with my background some of my biggest moments in the early part of my career have been with Multimatic racing Mustangs in the Continental Tire Series, so for me I’m coming home. I come from a different background than the other guys and I think we’re going to have a lot of fun, learn a few things and hopefully bring home some hardware because I know those Mustangs are pretty strong around Daytona. Scott and I have become really good friends and he’s been a big help to me in my career and I look forward to being teammates with him again and having a little fun throughout the weekend.”
CHASE BRISCOE – “This is something I certainly never thought I would get an opportunity to do, but I’m super-excited for it. This will be something new and I’m going to do a lot of it this year, so I think it’s going to be a good learning curve. I’ve only run two road courses my entire life and even though we ran decent, I didn’t feel like I ever knew what I was doing. Hopefully, I can get to the point by the end of this year where I know what I’m doing on a road course. Even though I’ll be driving two different kind of race cars, the principals of how you drive and the technique it takes will be something I can learn. I’m also looking forward to having a teammate and competing in an event where both of you have an impact on how well you run.”
TY MAJESKI – “I have virtually no road course experience at all. I’ve been on one road course my entire life and that was this past summer when I was sent out to the Ford Performance Driving School in Utah. Outside of that I have not been on a road course, so this will be great for me to get some experience and be around people who know a lot about it. I’m looking forward to working with Chase, Austin and Cole as well. They’re good guys and I’m excited for the opportunity Ford has put in front of us. It will be a learning experience, but it will be a lot of fun working with those guys and learning together.”
SCOTT MAXWELL - “The Ford Mustang GT4 has been a great project from the start, and I'm glad to get back in the seat in Daytona. It's just a fun car to drive. I'm happy to work with the young NASCAR drivers Ford has signed up, too, to help these drivers get acclimated."
Ford Performance PR
Bill McAnally Racing announced today that Derek Kraus will drive the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry for BMR in 2018, as he contends for the championship in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
The 16-year-old Stratford, Wisconsin driver took Rookie of the Year honors in the series this past season and was part of the BMR lineup that dominated the competition.
In addition to running the full 15-race schedule in the West division of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Kraus is also slated to compete in select events in the East division in 2018.
“We’re excited to announce that Derek will take the wheel of the No. 16 NAPA Toyota,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “We were very impressed with his performance this past season and we will work hard to carry that momentum into next year.
“We look forward to seeing Derek continue his development,” McAnally said. “We’re confident he has what it takes to be a NASCAR champion.
“In addition to his performance on track this year, Derek also did a remarkable job in representing BMR and our partners,” McAnally said. “He has a great passion for racing and is an outstanding representative.”
The 2018 season will mark BMR’s 28th year of sponsorship by NAPA AUTO PARTS.
“We take great pride in representing NAPA AUTO PARTS,” said McAnally. “They are the ones who make the championships possible. We can’t thank everyone at NAPA enough for all they do.”
Kraus takes the seat vacated by Todd Gilliland, who drove the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry to back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017. Gilliland, Chris Eggleston, and Kraus gave BMR a 1-2-3 finish, respectively, in the K&N West championship standings for 2017. They combined to win 11 of 14 series races this past season, with Kraus getting a victory in the season finale.
“I have big shoes to fill in going to the No. 16 NAPA Toyota, where Todd won two championships,” Kraus said. “We want to keep that going and win another championship, and get more wins. I think we can do that with all the great people at BMR.”
He credits the teamwork at BMR for the success.
“This year it showed,” he said. “Everyone worked together really hard in the shop and at the track. I think it’s really neat how everyone at BMR works together.”
Kraus made the transition to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this past season after competing in super late models at multiple tracks in 2016. He continued to race in select super late model events in 2017, on his off weekends from K&N West competition.
Kraus began his racing career as a 7-year-old competing in the Wisconsin State Go Kart Series in 2008. Success in karting led him to move up to the Midwest Bandolero Series, where he won championships in 2013 and 2014. He followed that up with a championship in the Midwest Truck Series in 2015. In addition, he also won rookie titles that year in the American Ethanol Super Truck Series and at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Among his accomplishments, he became the youngest driver to win an ARCA Midwest Tour Series race, breaking a 25-year-old record set by Matt Kenseth.
BMR captured its third straight title in 2017 and eighth K&N West championship overall – a record for the series and the NASCAR Regional Touring level.
Steven Aghakhan,14-year-old nabs championship at NASA SoCal Super Unlimited and Lamborghini's new Huracán Super Trofeo13 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
USRT development driver and La Cañada High School student Steven Aghakhani recently secured the NASA SoCal Super Unlimited Class Championship. 2017 just became an even bigger success for the 14-year-old in his rookie season, Lamborghini announced it will be shipping the Huracán Super Trofeo to him in 2018.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse unveiled the new Huracán Super Trofeo EVO is ready to make its world debut. The new racecar raises the already high standards of the previous model with entirely redesigned aerodynamics. The aim was to maintain the same high downforce of the previous model, while achieving higher overall aerodynamic efficiency and so less resistance to forward travel with improved stability. The car will make its official track debut in the spring of 2018 in three continental series of Lamborghini Super Trofeo, in Europe, Asia and North America, where all the cars lined up will have the EVO configuration. The new body kit was developed by the team of motorsport engineers at Automobili Lamborghini, working in partnership with Dallara Engineering and Lamborghini Centro Stile.
Aghakhani started racing go-karts when he was 7 after spending time at the race track with his dad. His father, Armik Aghakhani an avid racer and car collector, has been fully supportive of his son’s passion for racing. When Steven was ready to move from go-kart racing to exotics, he began training with Michael Essa (2013 Formula Drift Champion). Steven was named US RaceTronics’ development driver at the age of 13 and has set record speeds for his age. He continues to make his mark on the sport as he becomes the youngest competitor to enter and podium in events across the country.
“It has been a really exciting year for myself and the team,” said Steven Aghakhani. “I can’t wait to get the Evo on the track next year and it’s great to be working with Lamborghini on this. I’m extremely thankful for everyone involved.”
More information on Steven’s amazing journey and accomplishments can be found at: stevenracing.com.
Steven Racing PR
Jimmy Zacharias will make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut during the season opening event at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 11.
Zacharias, who earlier this year captured his sixth NASCAR track championship at New York’s Chemung Speedrome in the Sunoco Modified division and his fourth New York state NASCAR championship, will pilot the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Chevrolet for team owner Ted Marsh.
The deal to put the 26-year-old racer in the legendary Marsh Racing No. 31 came about thanks largely to his 13-year-old cousin, Garrett Zacharias.
“Garrett, who collects hero cards, sent the team’s Facebook page a request,” Zacharias explained. “Dar, who oversees the team page, was impressed by the wins and championships that Garrett had already accumulated in his young career, later reached out to Garrett to be a guest on the Jack Dodson’s Racing Insider News With Scott Allen Facebook Live Show, which is held weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.
“Jack, who was familiar with Jimmy because of his multiple championships at Chemung, requested that he be a guest as well. Jimmy and Dar started talking about the show and the 2018 season and the deal kind of came together from there all in the last week and a half or so.
“We’re going to start at New Smyrna and see how it goes,” said Zacharias, who met team owner Ted Marsh for the first time in person on Monday at the Marsh Racing shop. “He’s a good guy, Monday was my first time meeting him and the team. It seemed like we knew each other for a while and we just hit it off and had a good day talking.”
The chance to race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is a big step for Zacharias, who has made a name for himself as one of the most dominant drivers in Chemung Speedrome history the last few years.
Zacharias has won six of the last seven track championships in the Sunoco Modified class at the three-eighths-mile asphalt oval and won seven races this year at Chemung en route to his sixth track title.
The New York native hasn’t just stuck to asphalt racing. In recent years he has also begun racing on dirt and this year he picked up a pair of dirt victories in a sportsman modified, his first victories on dirt.
In addition to competing at New Smyrna Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Feb. 11, Zacharias also hopes to bring his modified with him to compete during the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
“I’m trying to take my modified to do Speedweeks with that,” Zacharias said. “I’ve been racing there since I was 14 years old with the SK modifieds and the tour-type modifieds. I want to keep that streak going, but we’re going to focus on the K&N deal.
“We’re going to do testing here and get as much seat time as we can and hopefully have a good run.”
Quality Choice Property Improvements in West Elmira, N.Y., and Midstate Basement Authorities in Ithaca, N.Y., have both signed on to sponsor Zacharias during his K&N East debut, but the team is still looking for additional sponsorship.
“We’re still looking for marketing partners if anyone is looking to come on board the tour-type modified or the K&N car for Speedweeks,” Zacharias said.
For additional information about Jimmy Zacharias, follow him on Twitter at @JimmyZacharias or visit www.facebook.com/
Jimmy Zacharias PR
Track Enterprises, a racing promotion company based in Macon, IL, has announced its 2018 special event schedule. The new slate includes the traditional stops for ARCA at the Illinois dirt miles, in addition to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis and a fourth year visit to Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. Track Enterprises added a fifth ARCA event last season, in Elko, MN, which makes a return to the schedule. This season, a sixth ARCA race will be promoted by the company at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, MO. Other series that are part of this year’s events include the USAC Silver Crown Series and Sprint Cars, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the Southern Super Series, the CARS Tour, World Of Outlaws, along with UMP Modifieds and Sportsman.
The first event of the season is a fourth year stop at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Saturday, April 7. The ARCA Racing Series will be on track for the Music City 200 plus a huge combo event for the ARCA/CRA Super Series, Southern Super Series, and the CARS Super Late Model tour. With ARCA as well as three of the best touring Super Late Model tours in the country, this is a can’t miss event in a fun destination city.
Next up will be "The Week Of Indy", a series of events promoted by Track Enterprises that were highly successful in 2016 but took a hit from Mother Nature this past season. It all begins on Wednesday, May 23 with the Tony Hulman Classic at the Terre Haute IN Action Track, featuring the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars and UMP Modifieds. On Thursday, May 24, the annual Hoosier Hundred for the USAC Silver Crown cars is on tap at Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Joining the Champ Cars will be the UMP Modifieds for a $2,000 to win special event. Wrapping up "The Week Of Indy" for TEI, will be the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway, featuring the USAC Silver Crown cars and the USF2000/Pro Mazda combo.
On Friday, June 22, ARCA heads back to the St. Louis, MO area for the first time in 10 years. It will be the seventh time that the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has visited Gateway Motorsports Park but the first time since 2007, when the late Bryan Clauson claimed victory. 10-time ARCA champion, Frank Kimmel, has also found victory lane at the track. It's part of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series weekend at the track, with truck practice part of the Friday ARCA schedule.
In late June and early July, Track Enterprises’ officials turn their attention to three of the tracks that they promote on a weekly basis, Lincoln and Macon Speedways in Central Illinois as well as the Terre Haute Action Track in Indiana. On Friday, June 29, the Terre Haute Action Track is a stop for not only the Summer Nationals Hell Tour Late Models but also the World Of Outlaw Craftsman Late Models. Last year, the attempt at that event was rained out. On Sunday, July 1, the Summer Nationals, will be thrilling fans at the Lincoln Speedway ¼-mile, much like one season ago as the Late Models will be joined by Midgets and Modifieds. The series will then visit Mighty Macon Speedway on Thursday, July 5 for the Herald & Review 100.
Returning to the Track Enterprises schedule for the second straight year is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Elko Speedway in Elko New Market, MN. The 2017 event was as exciting as it gets with drivers racing to the line four-wide, while crashing, vying for the top prize. New York's Christian Eckes claimed the victory in a photo finish. Brennan Poole, Frank Kimmel, and Grant Enfinger also have victories at the track. The 2018 edition of the race will be on Saturday, July 14.
Arguably the biggest event on the Track Enterprises season takes place on Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19 at the Illinois State Fair. It’s the annual stop for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the USAC Silver Crown Series. The UMP Sportsman are back on for another season of racing at the fair. What makes the event so unique and exciting is the rarity of ARCA cars on dirt mixed with the excitement of the state fair.
The ARCA dirt theme continues two weeks later as the DuQuoin IL State Fair races are set for Sunday and Monday, September 2 and 3. Joining ARCA will be the USAC Silver Crown cars and UMP Modifieds. Racing at the Magic Mile was phenomenal, as always, in 2017.
Changing dates this year will be the Lucas Oil Raceway events leading up to the Brickyard 400 at IMS, moving from July to September. Track Enterprises will be hosting a couple of shows in town with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Friday, September 7. The USAC Silver Crown Champ Cars will run the Rich Vogler Classic the following night, Saturday, September 8 and will be joined by a new and unique event. That race will be the Speed51 Super Select, a race for winners in big Super Late Model events across the country. Event details with eligibility requirements, etc. will be released in the near future.
A new event to the Track Enterprises schedule will be held at the Terre Haute Action Track on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13. The Wabash Clash will see the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars on Friday, October 12 and the World Of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Cars on Saturday, October 13. The DIRTcar UMP Scott's Custom Colors Modifieds will also be on track both days.
In addition to the special events listed above, Track Enterprises also promotes the full slates at Macon IL Speedway, Lincoln IL Speedway, and the Terre Haute IN Action Track.
Presale tickets will go on sale in the near future through the Track Enterprises office and online. Stay updated with Track Enterprises news and info at www.trackenterprises.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/
2018 Special Event Schedule
Saturday, April 7-ARCA Music City 200 @ Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (Nashville, TN)
Wednesday, May 23-"Week Of Indy" Tony Hulman Classic @ Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Thursday, May 24-"Week Of Indy" Hoosier Hundred @ Indiana State Fairgrounds (Indianapolis, IN)
Friday, May 25-"Week Of Indy" Carb Night Classic @ Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis, IN)
Friday, June 22-ARCA Racing Series @ Gateway Motorsports Park (Madison, IL)
Friday, June 29-Summer Nationals vs. WoO LM @ Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Sunday, July 1-Summer Nationals, Midgets, & Mods @ Lincoln Speedway (Lincoln, IL)
Thursday, July 5-Summer Nationals H&R 100 @ Macon Speedway (Macon, IL)
Saturday, July 14-ARCA Racing Series @ Elko Speedway (Elko, MN)
Saturday, August 18-USAC Silver Crown Series @ Illinois State Fair (Springfield, IL)
Sunday, August 19-ARCA Racing Series @ Illinois State Fair (Springfield, IL)
Sunday, September 2-USAC Silver Crown Series @ Du Quoin State Fair (Du Quoin, IL)
Monday, September 3-ARCA Racing Series @ Du Quoin State Fair (Du Quoin, IL)
Friday, September 7-ARCA Racing Series @ Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis, IN)
Saturday, September 8-USAC Silver Crown Series @ Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis, IN)
Friday, October 12-USAC Sprint Cars Wabash Clash @ Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Saturday, October 13-WoO Sprint Cars Wabash Clash @ Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Track Enterprises PR
Henry County, the Racing College and Nelson Motorsports were all on display at the nation’s largest racing trade show in America, the Performance Racing Industry Show, over the weekend in Indianapolis.
One of Nelson Motorsports’ Late Model Stock cars was the centerpiece of ARBodies’ display at the PRI Show with Henry County and Patrick Henry Community College’s Racing College displayed prominently on the car.
PRI is a professional-only show, with each of the more than 50,000 in attendance employed in the racing industry. Most are buyers representing more than 1,000 companies from 70 countries and all 50 states.
Barry Nelson, owner of AutosbyNelson and Nelson Motorsports, said his onsite team handed out fliers about Henry County’s available business sites and the Racing College throughout the show.
“It was an honor for ARBodies to ask us to be there with the caliber of cars (on display). All the cars there had a good pedigree. But our car was the real deal, too,” said Nelson, who was at the show for two days and talked to many show attendees about what Henry County has to offer.
“People knew about Henry County because of Martinsville Speedway. Lots of people picked up fliers for the county’s business sites. On Friday, trade schools toured the show and lots of them picked up Racing College information.”
Nelson Motorsports maintains a stable of three Late Model Stock teams for drivers Timothy Peters, Bobby McCarty and Brandon Pierce and has developed a reputation throughout the southeast for fast, beautiful and winning cars. Peters won the nation’s biggest Late Model race, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway earlier this fall while McCarty scored a win in another premier event, the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway, in August.
“The PRI Show is the biggest business event in the country for motorsports and we are proud to be a small part of it,” said Henry County Administrator Tim Hall. “With Henry County’s available business sites and our long history of motorsports, we ae perfectly situated for the PRI market and the businesses represented there. We thank Barry Nelson and his team for including us.”
Greg Hodges, vice president for academic and student success services at Patrick Henry Community Colllege, agreed with Hall.
The first two dates NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Recruitment Days were a resounding success: no less than 80 drivers coming from all over the world and with the most disparate backgrounds took the wheel of a Euro NASCAR car in four days and were all impressed by the fantastic “Pure Racing” feeling of driving the cars that bring NASCAR to Europe. Selected drivers will receive financial help for their 2018 season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.
Four NWES cars flawlessly underwent a total of over 120 hours of intense testing, confirming the car’s excellent reputation for reliability and maintenance and many special guests joined the tests both in France and Italy to have fun driving Euro NASCAR. NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte drove in France, while in Italy Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat, motorcycling icon Marco Melandri, WTCC driver Kris Richard and Italian TV commentator Guido Meda all had a taste of the NWES car.
Thirteen countries were represented in the two test meetings. Among the 80 drivers attending the tests and featuring the most different backgrounds, 2016 FIA European Touring Car Cup champion Kris Richard flew in straight from Qatar after finish 6th in WTCC’s last round of the season, 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup Winner Jean Glorieux, Bathurst 12h winner Wolfgang Reip, TCR driver Mathieu Detry and endurance driver Maxime Pampel joined from Belgium, while Pegasus Racing team owner Julien Schell and GT driver Romain Monti represented France. V8 Thunder Champion Alexander Graff joined from Sweden, while from Italy came 2013 Auto GP champion Vittorio Ghirelli and 2014 Euro V8 Series champion Francesco Sini, from the Netherlands GT and touring car top driver Loris Hezemans, from South Africa F4 driver Stuart White, from the UK 19-yo Ginetta driver Alex Sedgwick and from Ireland karting talent Ross Hayes. Three drivers with NASCAR experience flew straight from the US: Max Tullman, Will Rodgers and Nicolas Hamman. All of them found an immediate similarity between the cars they drove in the States and their European counterparts, adapting quickly and consistently posting fast laps.
The drivers participating in the NWES Recruitment program also received advice from some of the protagonists of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series: two-time points runner-up Frederic Gabillon and 2010 champion Lucas Lasserre attended the French date, while two-time champion Anthony Kumpen and 2015 ELITE 2 Champion Gianmarco Ercoli visited in Italy.
The drivers selected for the next step in the NWES Recruitment Program after the first two tests will be announced in the upcoming weeks and will receive financial help for their 2018 Euro NASCAR season from the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and its partners.
Quotes from the track
BOBBY LABONTE - “It was great to be back behind the wheel of a NWES car to know more about it and work on shaving off the last tenth of a second to be more competitive if I’ll have the chance to race again,” said Labonte, who in 2017 took part in the Brands Hatch weekend finishing in the top-10. “I was impressed with everybody that I talked to while I was there and took the time to ask me questions. I tried to give them the best advice that I could and everybody was super nice and very appreciative.”
DANIIL KVYAT - “It was good fun! My friend Alex Caffi asked me if I wanted to have some fun and try something new so I took the opportunity. I immediately had good confidence with the car and it’s good fun to drive it,” said Kvyat, who is focused on his Formula 1 career and took the test as an opportunity to drive something completely new for him. “I really enjoyed myself today. The car is easy to handle and has nice reactivity in the chicanes. It’s very nice and easy and funny.”
MARCO MELANDRI - “I always loved cars and when I have this kind of opportunities I like to take them. These cars are like social networks: unfiltered. It’s just you, the engine, the gearbox, the steering wheel and the pedals. It’s just you making a difference and it’s very funny, it’s like a big go-kart.”
KRIS RICHARD - “It’s amazing. I didn’t expect it. You go out and you can immediately handle it easily with the throttle. The back is coming a little bit on the exit and you can catch it. You can go on the kerbs The gear shifting is perfect. There’s the right amount of power and torque. I love it!”
GUIDO MEDA - “It’s awesome. I think this is the perfect car to let people understand what it means to drive doing things with your hands and feet. There’s nothing between you and the car and it becomes an extension of you and the American V8 sound further adds to it. I would never stop driving it!”
FREDERIC GABILLON - “There was a very interesting mix of young talents and experienced drivers and they all loved the car. It is a very positive initiative to let as many drivers as possible to experience what it means to be in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and I am very happy to have helped new drivers learn the car.”
ANTHONY KUMPEN - “This program is a great initiative. New drivers are getting to know Euro NASCAR. I talked to a lot of them and they are all astonished by how good the car drives and I’m sure we’ll see many of them on the grid in 2018.”
NICOLAS HAMMANN - “The car is a blast to drive, even in this cold conditions. It is very well balanced and responsive, you can carry good speed in the corners. I really enjoyed driving it and I had a lot of fun!”
WILL RODGERS - “We put down some very good laps. I’m getting more and more comfortable in the car and I’m having a lot of fun. I love driving these cars, There are differences with what we drive in the US but it works very well. I can imagine the racing is spectacular so I’m really looking forward to do some races next year.”
MAX TULLMAN - “It’s a lot like a late model, but on a road course and it’s a lot of fun. I like The car balance is perfect, it feels light and reactive and it’s a lot of fun even in very cold weather. I think the fact it can run 3 seasons on an engine and a gearbox makes it really attractive for teams and drivers.”
NASCAR Euro Series PR
Car owners and Three Quarter (TQ) Midget chassis builders are completing their efforts for the annual Indoor Auto Racing Championship Series Fueled by VP, which kicks off on Friday and Saturday night, January 5th and 6th inside Allentown, Pa.’s PPL Center for the Ironton Telephone sponsored events.
In recent months more new cars have been built and race proven machines stripped and re-engineered than ever before. Every team that doesn’t own a Laffler Chassis, winner of the last three series titles, is out to knock them off the top of the hill.
Heading the list is a new car being built at DART Engineering’s shop in Pipersville, Pa. by BJ McDonald. The car will be driven by Canadian Super Modified standout Mike Lichty.
Lichty, a past TQ Midget winner of Indoor races with the Series, will replace his older, yet tested tough TQ Midget, with the new DART car when he makes his debut with it in Allentown.
The former ISMA champion will then held to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for the 16th annual NAPA Know How weekend on Friday and Saturday, January 26th and 27th. In his only start with the series last year, Lichty drove a Lou Cicconi owned Laffler Chassis to a fifth place finish at the series finale in Atlantic City so he knows what a Laffler chassis has to offer.
Tim Nye of Troutman, N.C. has built three new cars for the Indoor Auto Racing Series. Two of them will be driven by the Catalano racing brothers, Tommy and Timmy. Nye also has built a new car for his brother Shawn. The three new cars will be powered by 750cc engines while Tim Nye’s older car will continue to go to post with a 600cc motor.
Mark Lafler of Ransomville, N.Y. will be well prepared for the new the competition. Lafler has built nearly 24 cars that have been driven to victory and four Indoor Auto Racing Series championships, three by Lafler’s ‘house car’ driver Erick Rudolph and one last year by Ryan Flores, a Lafler customer. On his route to the title last year, Flores swept both nights in Allentown and Rudolph won the series finale in Atlantic City and the season opener in Trenton.
Lafler will have two of his latest design cars at Allentown, one for Rudolph and another for Joey Payne, who has won two Atlantic City Gamblers’ Classics. While the two new cars are updated models, Lafler has said that the differences in his cars from year to year are subtle, and sometimes, not necessarily desirable, he’s always looking for something new and is not afraid to experiment.
Long time TQ Midget builder Colin Martin has a very fast Spitfire Chassis No. 36 ready for his driver Buddy Sload. The 2016 ATQMRA outdoor series champion was fast at the 2017 indoor series finale in Atlantic City last year and a big outdoor winner outdoors this season.
Lou Cicconi’s No. 75, a car designed for the 2016 series by Super Modified championship car owner/builder John Bodnar, will be driven this year by Tim Buckwalter. This time, Cicconi, has had Clyde Booth, another noted Supermodified builder, revamp the car. The team made its debut outdoors at Wall Stadium’s Turkey Derby at the end of November. It left the track with more design changes planned prior to the indoor opener.
Also in this category is Andrew Krause, the asphalt Modified standout from Holmdel, N.J. Krause originally purchased a Drinan car that has been rebuilt at least twice. He’s got more alterations planned for this year’s competition.
Another strong New Jersey entry will come from Anthony Sesely, a three time winner in Atlantic City. Sesely’s No. 16 will again be his race proven Hyper Micro Sprint entry powered by a 600cc engine, rather than a 750. Dirt Sprint car racer Brett Hichalski of Penndel, Pa. will again be following Sesely’s lead using a Hyper with a 600.
Indoor series regulars from New York state and New England are excited about the first ever series event to be held inside Albany, N.Y.’s Times Union Center. This event, set for Friday and Saturday, February 9th and 10th, will be the series finale.
Always exciting Andy Jankowiak of Buffalo, N.Y. will be returning to run the entire series with a car he built and debuted last year in the series finale. The car was blindingly fast in Atlantic City last year, but engine issues hampered his effort.
“I cut the car apart once after I built it new and cut it apart after last year’s races,” Jankowiak said. “It will be a faster race car this winter.”
Jankowiak’s former ride, the Trey Hoddick home-built No. 49, will be returning with Scott Kreutter as the lead driver. Kreutter was teamed last year with Ted Christopher, an eight time indoor series winner who died in a plane crash in September.
While the new cars and redesigned machines might seem to be favored, two top New Englanders will be driving tried and true machines.
Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn. will be driving the same car that was designed and built by Donnie Preece and the late Ted Christopher. It will be repainted white and will carry the same No. 6 that Preece has run in the Ed Partridge NASCAR Whelen Modified Touring Series.
Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn. will be driving the car formerly driven by Ryan Preece. Rocco has never raced a TQ Midget indoors. The car was originally built by DART Engineering, but Preece made many changes to it in recent years.
Chad Jones of Quakertown, Pa. was so happy with the performance of his Shaw built TQ Midget for New Hampshire last year that’s he’s purchased a second one which will act as either a back-up ride, or one for another driver this season.
Other drivers are standing pat with existing cars.
Mike Maresca of Hannawra Falls, N.Y. will be driving his Lafler chassis No. 7. Maresca ran this car for the first time last year, at Atlantic City where he finished 13th. Maresca will have a teammate in Central New York car dealer and fellow DIRTcar series driver Billy Whittaker, who will drive a second Maresca owned Lafler.
Justin Bonsignore of New York’s Long Island, second in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points this season, will be back with his tested Lafler chassis. Pa. drivers Earl Paules, ATQMRA 2017 champion Ryan Tidman, Matt Roselli and Micro Sprint expert Brandon Azzalina will also have Lafler chassis race cars. Asphalt Modified expert Zane Zeiner of Bath, Pa. will be returning in a Lafler chassis he’s been tweaking over the years.
A field of over 50 TQ Midgets will do battle at the Ironton Telephone sponsored Allentown events. The schedule calls for two complete shows of TQ racing starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Champ Karts will be racing in a complete show on Friday night along with the TQs, with the Slingshots joining them on Saturday night’s card.
For choice tickets, contact the PPL Center Box Office by phone at 610-347-TIXX (8499), online at pplcenter.com. The 2016 event was a sell-out.
The series moves next to the NAPA Auto Parts Indoor Auto Racing Weekend in Atlantic City on January 26th and 27th. For tickets, contact Ticketmaster, the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, or the Area Auto Racing News office at 609-888-3618.
The finale will be a first annual event in New York State, on February 9-10, 2018 in the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y. For choice tickets, contact the Times Union Center Box Office, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000, or visit online at ticketmaster.com.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedule annually features a wide mix of venues – from historic bullrings and half-mile short tracks to fast speedways and technical road-courses – designed to provide a platform for the sport’s top rising young talent to make their impact.
With the announcement of the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule, add one more variable: Dirt.
Next year’s 15-race schedule will include a stop on Thursday, Sept 13 to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. The race will be part of the weekend that kicks off the 2018 playoffs for NASCAR’s three national series at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the half-mile clay oval promises to further test the series’ stars.
It will be the series’ first race on dirt since 1979 at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West opens the season and crown the champion at Kern County Raceway Park, the state-of-the-art, high speed half-mile that has been a staple of the series since it opened in 2013. The green flag on 2018 will be Thursday, March 15 and will be a prelude to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series / NASCAR XFINITY Series weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The champion will be crowned on Saturday, Oct. 27.
NASCAR Next driver Todd Gilliland celebrated his second straight K&N Pro Series West title this past fall at Kern.
“The NASCAR K&N Pro Series features a strong roster of race tracks designed to bring out the best in the drivers and teams,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “Many of the tracks have historic ties to the West Series, and we’re excited about the new venues that have been added to the schedule. The fans are going to get a fantastic opportunity to watch these drivers battle it out over the season.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series will have two combination events that feature the East and West together. The first will be at the traditional crossover event at Iowa Speedway on Friday, July 27, as part of the NASCAR XFINITY Series weekend. The second will be a brand-new event at Illinois’ Gateway Motorsports Park on Friday, Aug. 24. Last year, NASCAR announced changes to the scoring format for the two combination races, allowing drivers to compete for both series’ championships, and Gilliland came within eight points of accomplishing that historic feat.
Other highlights of the 2018 schedule include:
- The K&N Pro Series West will run twin 100-lap championship events at Tucson Speedway. The .375-mile track will host the series on Saturday, May 5.
• Success on short tracks will again go a long way toward deciding the tile. In addition to Tucson, the series will run at the quarter-mile Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino, California, on Saturday, May 19; Colorado National Speedway (.375-mile) in Erie, Colorado, on Saturday, June 9; Douglas County Speedway (.375-mile) in Roseburg, Oregon on Saturday, June 30; Idaho’s Meridian Speedway (quarter-mile) on Saturday, Sept. 29; and All American Speedway (third-mile) in Roseville, California, on Saturday, Oct. 13.
- Evergreen Speedway, which has hosted 54 West races since 1967, will anchor the summer swing between Iowa and Gateway. The series visits the .625-mile track on Saturday, Aug. 11. The series will make its first trip of the season to Washington state on Sunday, July 15 at the half-mile Spokane County Raceway.
- The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will again an integral part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series road-course weekend at California’s Sonoma Raceway with its race on Saturday, June 23.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series broadcast schedule on NBCSN will be announced at a later date.
2018 NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST SCHEDULE
Kern County Raceway Park
Orange Show Speedway
San Bernardino, Calif.
Colorado National Speedway
Douglas County Speedway
Spokane County Raceway
Airway Heights, Wash.
Gateway Motorsports Park**
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track
Las Vegas, Nev.
All American Speedway
Kern County Raceway Park
*100-lap twin features
**Combination event with NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE