Monday, Feb 06

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished first (Ty Dillon), seventh (Joey Coulter) and 28th (Tim George Jr.).
  • Dillon remains third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, nine points behind the leader, and Coulter ranks sixth in the standings.
  • The No. 3 Chevrolet team is third in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, the No. 22 team fifth in the standings and the No. 2 team 10th.
  • Dillon leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings ahead of Cale Gale.
  • Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum team earned their first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.
  • Dillon earned his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pole award at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
  • According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Dillon earned the second-highest Driver Rating (134.7), and Coulter earned a rating of 93.4 ranking him ninth amongst the competitors.
  • RCR drivers made a total of 84 Green Flag Passes during the Atlanta 200 with Dillon earning 42 passes, Coulter with 36 and George with six passes.
  • Dillon scored an Average Running Position of 2.669 ranking him second in the category, and Coulter ranked ninth with a 10.362.
  • The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum team was ranked as the Fastest Early in a Run.
  • Dillon led for a total of 40 laps during the 130-lap event.
  • Combined, RCR teammates Dillon and Coulter scored the Fastest Laps Run for 26 circuits at the 1.54-mile track.
  • Dillon spent 99.2 percent of the event in the top 15 ranking him third amongst the rest of the field, while Coulter spent 80 percent of his contested Laps in the top 15. 
  • Dillon took the checkered flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway and was followed to the line by Kyle Busch, James Buescher, Parker Kligerman and Aric Almirola.
  • The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 15. The 15th race of the 2012 season is scheduled to be televised live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network beginning at 8:15 p.m.


Tim George Jr. Relegated to 28th-Place Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway Following On-Track Incident


Tim George Jr. earned a 28th-place finish in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after damage from an on-track incident incurred to the No. 2 Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group Chevrolet and forced the team to retire from the race early. George made up an all-RCR front row, leading the 36-truck field to the green flag from the second position alongside polesitter and teammate Ty Dillon. Shortly after the start of the race, the New York native dropped to 12th in the running order, noting that his Chevrolet had developed a tight-handling condition in the center of the corners. Crew chief Gere Kennon directed George down pit road for routine service under caution on lap 32, and the No. 2 Chevrolet team was scored in the 10th position for a lap-35 restart. Shortly after green-flag racing resumed, George was involved in a three-truck incident exiting turn four, causing significant left-side and rear damage to the Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group machine. Although George pitted numerous times for repairs, the No. 2 Chevrolet was unable to continue at a safe and competitive pace and retired from the race with 63 of 130 laps complete, recording a 28th-place finish.


Start - 2              Finish - 28               Laps Led - 0                Owner's Points - 10



"It's really unfortunate for the Applebee's/Potomac Family Dining Group Chevrolet team that we were in that on-track incident. I really believed that we were capable of a top-10 finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Congratulations to my teammate Ty Dillon on earning his career first NASCAR win."




Ty Dillon Earns Career-First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway


Starting from the pole position, Ty Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum team earned their first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday night. Starting from the pole position for the second time this season, Dillon settled into the second position after the green flag waved for the first 10 laps before regaining the top spot. The Welcome, N.C., native reported a tight-handling condition early in the race and a lap-30 caution period provided an opportunity for the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum team to make adjustments, changing four tires and adding fuel. The quick pit stop placed Dillon back in the point position for the restart. The handling issues on the No. 3 Chevrolet improved throughout the course of the next green-flag run and Dillon remained a fixture in the top five for the next 40 circuits around the 1.54-mile track. As the long green-flag run continued, Richmond instructed the young driver to return to pit road on lap 80 for a scheduled service. Shortly after the pit stop, the Richard Childress Racing team discovered not all of the fuel made it into the No. 3 Chevrolet, and the team would not have enough fuel to make it to the checkered flag. A lap-104 caution provided good luck to the team with Dillon scored in the third position. A fast stop for four tires and fuel by the Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum team allotted the 20-year-old driver with the top spot for the lap-109 restart. Battling three-wide for the lead, Dillon slipped to the third position, but continued to click off fast laps times and took over the second position by lap 114. With six laps remaining in the event, Dillon drove past the leader and pulled away to bring home his first Camping World Truck Series victory.  


Start - 1                Finish - 1               Laps Led - 40               Points - 3



"Wow, this is great. The No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum team has given me great trucks all season long. We battled back after the heartbreak last weekend at Bristol (Motor Speedway) when we ran out of fuel, and we came back this weekend and got our first NASCAR victory. I've been waiting for this moment all of my life. I always dreamed about winning a NASCAR race and maybe one day becoming a champion and today, I accomplished one of those goals."


"I really have to thank the Lord for tonight. We had a couple of situations go our way that definitely helped us get to victory lane. The pit crew was amazing. They never give up on me, and I never give up on them. We all believe in each other, and I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip by us. We had a rocket ship tonight. This win is for all the guys that put in all the hours every week and work so hard to get us to this point."



"I couldn't be more proud of Ty and what he did tonight. He has the heart and the drive to win races. I couldn't be more proud from a grandfather's standpoint. He really looked like a pro out there tonight like he had been doing this for awhile."



"I really have to thank Ty, Richard and Mike (Dillon) for giving me this great opportunity. It's such a great feeling. This team has worked so hard this season and after last weekend, this win pulled us all closer together." 




Joey Coulter Finishes Seventh at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Marking his Ninth Top-10 Finish of the Season


Joey Coulter and the No. 22 Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet team finished seventh in Friday evening's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after battling a loose-handling condition throughout the 130-lap event. The 22-year-old driver qualified the Richard Childress Racing entry in the 14th position, and radioed that his Silverado was extremely loose early in the race, but was able to hold a top-20 position during the first 30 laps. When the first caution flag was displayed on lap 31, crew chief Harold Holly brought the Miami Springs, Fla., native to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Quick work by the RCR crew provided Coulter with valuable track position as the No. 22 Chevrolet restarted in the 11th position and he worked his way into the top-10 soon after. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year remained quiet on the radio during the late stages of the event as he battled the handling on his Chevrolet, swapping between tight and loose-handling conditions. Coulter continued to fight and utilized the final restart to improve his track position, ultimately crossing the finish line in the seventh position. The top-10 finish advanced Coulter one, spot to sixth, in the Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 44 points behind the leader.


Start - 14          Finish - 7         Laps Led - 0                Points - 6



"Overall, it was a solid points night for the No. 22 Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet team. This wasn't the finish we had hoped for, but I can't complain about posting another top-10 finish. We have a couple of weeks until Iowa (Speedway); our team will regroup and be ready to compete for the win."



It’s fitting that Trevor Bayne’s first Atlanta Motor Speedway start as a Sprint Cup driver will come in a No. 21 Ford Fusion painted with new colors – the red and blue of Good Sam and Camping World on the top and sides, and the yellow stripe of a rookie on the rear bumper.

Bayne has raced at AMS in the Nationwide Series, but his start in Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 is his first at the 1.54-mile quad-oval track in the more powerful Sprint Cup cars.

Bayne spent Friday’s practice session getting up to speed in his Wood Brothers Ford Fusion, he then went out in qualifying and ran a lap at 182.886 miles per hour to secure the 32nd starting position.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said Bayne caught a bad break when the sun came out just as he began his run against the clock, while his fellow go-or-go-home drivers got to run on a shaded, and therefore, substantially faster surface.

“The sun popped out in turns three and four, so Trevor had to be really careful,” Wood said.

Bayne shouldered most of the blame for his disappointing run on a track he considers his favorite.

“I wasn’t very good on entry [to the turns],” he said. “I couldn’t drive it in as hard as I wanted to, and I couldn’t see. 

“I know it’s a bad excuse, but I couldn’t see in turn one at all with the sun in my face.  Everybody else is dealing with it too, but I just missed my marks down there on both laps.”

Nonetheless, Wood said he was pleased with the way his young driver adapted to driving Sprint Cup cars on Atlanta’s worn, but fast asphalt.

“The Cup car is a lot different that what he’s driven in Nationwide,” Wood said. “It has a lot more horsepower. It’s a different deal because you’re running so much faster into the corners.”

“Trevor caught on pretty quickly. We’ll have two practice sessions on Saturday to work on the race set-up. We’ll be fine.”

Wood Brothers Racing PR

Fresh off his helmet-throwing performance last weekend, Tony Stewart won the pole for Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.787 seconds (186.121 mph).

“That pole is 100 percent due to Ryan Newman,” Stewart said of his teammate, who had qualified earlier in the evening and was able to tell Newman exactly how to set his car up. “He walked back down there to help us before we went out and said there’s a ton of grip out there, you’ve just gotta do it. I was having a hard time convincing myself that’s what I was gonna do.”

Stewart said Newman convinced him to try the high line on turns three and four of his warm-up lap and decide on his way to the start/finish line.

“That’s about 2½ seconds,” Stewart laughed. “I’m not sure if we’d have run the line I’d planned on running we’d have been that fast. It’s awesome having a teammate like. I don’t ever remember being here and seeing anybody run up at the top like he did.”

It was Stewart’s first pole position at the fast superspeedway and his 14th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole. Newman will start inside row nine after qualifying 17th.

 “I’m definitely known as a qualifier,” Stewart said. “I want to run a good lap every time, but I know the bigger prize is on Sunday. It doesn’t mean I don’t want poles, I just don’t normally get them.”

Greg Biffle will start outside the front row after turning a lap in 29.863 seconds (185.643 mph).

“It sort of hurts to qualify second like we did today,” Biffle said. “You know, you ask any driver after qualifying, and they could give you 100 reasons why and what they could have done better. I got down in the middle of one and two and hesitated to push the gas down; I thought the car was loose and waited and waited and thought I was gonna have to run a second lap to make up for it. I come by and they told me I was on the front row. I wish I could do it over again, but it was a great lap to put us on the front row. It gives me a lot of confidence for Sunday, both for track position and for pit selection.”

Kyle Busch will start third with a lap of 29.888 seconds (185.493 mph).

“Qualified third here the last few times,” Busch said quickly before jumping into his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series machine for the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200. “Can’t get enough to get the pole, but whatever. Just missed a little bit. We’ll see what we get in the race.”

Danica Patrick will start 23rd, her best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start of the year.

Alpharetta’s Joey Logano will start the race 9th and Unadilla (Ga.) native David Ragan will start 14th. Failing to qualify were Mike Bliss, Josh Wise, Stephen Leicht and Michael McDowell.










1 02 Tim Brown, Cana, Va. Hayes Jewelers/T & C Motorsports Chevrolet Tommy Lythgoe Mark Ruhmann
2 09 George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y. Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet Howard Harvey George Brunnhoelzl Jr.
3 1 Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C. Citrusafe/Adams Towing Ford Philip Smith Scott Widener
4 4 Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C. Trantham Moorefield/Wendell Edwards Ford Gary Myers Mike Queen
5 7 Thomas Stinson, Hampton, Va. Cowarding Jewelers Chevrolet Mark Hunter Mark Hunter
6 11 Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H. Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet Eddie Harvey Eddie Harvey
7 12 Mike Norman, Lewisville, N.C. Lewisville Motor Company Ford Mike Norman Kenny Minter
8 24 Darryl Lacks, Forrest, Va. Bass Automatic Transmissions Chevrolet Wliiam Lacks William Lacks
9 25 John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C. Shady Grady Racing Chevrolet Grady Jeffreys Grady Jeffreys Jr.
10 37 Joe Scarbrough, Richmond, Va.* Hyperion Stud Chevrolet Vicky Castegren Johnathan McLullen
11 40 Frank Fleming, Mt. Airy, N.C. Jerry Hunt Auto & Truck Sales/Adams Towing Ford Gina Fleming Chris Fleming
12 44 Brandon Ward, Winston-Salem, N.C. Crane & Rigging Chevrolet Bryan Fishel Jim Hire
13 51 Kyle Ebersole, Hummelstown, Pa.* Ebersole Excavating, Inc. Chevrolet Bob Ebersole Bob Ebersole
14 65 Danny Bohn, Freehold NJ* Rifenburg Construction/Rustoleum Chevrolet Eddie Bohn Eddie Bohn
15 77 Gary Putnam, Concord, N.C. Stock Car Steel Chevrolet Marcy Putnam Michael Larochelle
16 79 Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass. Hill Ent., Coors Light, Anna Bells of RC Pontiac Sandra Hill David Hill
17 80 Michael Speeney, Newtown, Pa.* UNC Charlotte Motorsports Chevrolet Michael Speeney Bruce Hilleman
18 88 L.W. Miller, Dushore, Pa. TaxSlayer/Speedco Chevrolet Danny Baker Tony Templeton
19 97 Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, La. O.B. Builders Chevrolet Bryan Dauzat Bob Rahilly

STEWART TO THE BRAVES? – Tony Stewart has a heck of an arm, and he proved it last weekend at Bristol when he heaved his helmet at the hood of Matt Kenseth’s car. That arm did not go unnoticed, and Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he received a small token of appreciation.

Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark presented Stewart with an Atlanta Braves jersey with his name and car number, adding that the Braves wanted him on standby in case they need a reliever this fall.

Stewart accepted the jersey with a chuckle, then posed for photographers before taking questions. He said he had talked to Kenseth and both had moved on, adding that there was “too much to do” these last few weeks to linger on what happened in Bristol. 


NAPA EXTENDS SPONSORSHIP OF MWR – Michael Waltrip announced Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that his NASCAR Sprint Cup team will continue with Martin Truex Jr. behind the wheel and NAPA on the hood, continuing one of the sport’s longest sponsor relationships.

“They are one of the key companies that allowed me to start chasing my dream as a team owner,” Waltrip said. “I know Martin, when he puts on that NAPA uniform today, is going to feel better than he ever has about who he is and where we’re going. We’re just really happy to have this commitment. Think about where we’ve come from – you can imagine. I don’t need to explain it to you.”

The announcement had larger ramifications than just for Truex and Waltrip, as was evidenced by NASCAR President Mike Helton’s presence. Not only did NAPA sign a multiyear extension, but they signed on as a full-time sponsor – something that has become rare in the sport.

“(That) means the consistency of the Truex 56 NAPA Toyota lives on, and that’s important today,” Helton said. “To have that primary sponsor that will be on that car every weekend all season, that’s something we should not overlook.”

NAPA has long been associated with NASCAR, beginning with track sponsorships in the 1970s and extending to team associations in the 1980s. NAPA joined forces with the newly formed Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007, and Truex came on board in 2010.

“My biggest fear was this deal falling apart and us not being able to realize our potential,” Truex said. “I feel like we’re not where we can get to yet and I’m very, very happy that we’ll be able to continue down that path.”

Truex has 13 top-10 finishes, is fifth in points and could clinch a spot in the Chase this weekend at Atlanta.

“This has been a good race track for us, and we feel like this is a place where we can come here and win, and there would be no better place to win than here in NAPA’s backyard,” Truex said.

Perhaps buoyed by the new confidence his car owner portended, Truex hopped in his No. 56 NAPA Toyota, turned three laps, and sat atop the speed chart with a lap of 185.220 mph.


KYLE BUSCH AIMING FOR WIN – In seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch has four wins and six top-five finishes. He has never finished outside the top-10. To say he is a favorite for tonight’s Grit Chips 200 might be a slight understatement.

Although it’s his first start in the Camping World Truck Series this year, Busch hit the track with his usual swagger, running his No. 18 Dollar General Toyota straight to the top of the speed chart in the first practice session with a lap of 178.482 mph (31.062 seconds).

Busch will be a busy man this weekend, running all three races at AMS, including Saturday’s NRA American Warrior 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, an event he won in 2008.

“I’ve always said that I felt like it’s an opportunity to get out there on the race track and feel what the tires are like, feel what the track conditions are like, what they do from day to night, what they do from a green race track to rubbered up,” Busch said. “To me, it’s all about getting that track time. And making sure you’re feeling all the correct things that you’re feeling. Sometimes you get a false sense of security in the Cup car; it’s loose, but how loose is it? And I get to understand more of that when I drive more vehicles.”

Despite Busch’s instinctual understanding of how to drive Atlanta, he still has a measure of frustration with the fast track, where he has been unable to find Victory Lane in eight Nationwide Series races.

“It’s been an Achilles’ heel for me, I guess,” Busch said. “The Cup races there, I’ve either been really good or mediocre or really bad. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to keep the grip in my car for the long haul, as long as you need throughout a run.”


GRESHAM HAPPY TO BE HOME – Atlanta Motor Speedway has been like a second home to Max Gresham, who grew up just a few miles away and spent his summer evenings racing his Bandolero and Legends cars in the track’s Thursday Thunder series. Friday he made his debut on the “big track,” turning his first practice laps on the 1.54-mile quad-oval.

“It’s just about everything I dreamed of and thought it was gonna be,” Gresham said. “I loved to come and watch Cup qualifying, watch ‘em go off in turn one, hauling the mail. It’s driving by the seat of your pants, just like you’d think it was.”

Gresham will start tonight’s Grit Chips 200 NASCAR Camping World Series race, the first of five this season with Eddie Sharp Racing, in 30th position.

“It’s a lot of fun going that fast, especially on a track that’s as worn out as AMS,” Gresham said. “We’re coming along, and I’m creeping up on it at a pace that’s good for me. I wish it could have been a little bit better, but it’s a brand new team for us – we just came together about a month ago – and we’re all still trying to learn each other.”

Gresham grew up in Griffin, Ga., about five miles south of the speedway, and he began racing a Bandolero car at the tender age of 8. He spent three years racing Bandoleros, then another two racing Legends cars, racking up 12 victories at his home track.

He remembers how that young kid would look out the windshield of his Legends car from the quarter-mile frontstretch Thunder Ring and dream about running someday on the “big track” terminology that isn’t easily discarded. 

“Sometimes I’m having so much fun I forget what I’m doing,” Gresham said. “It brings back a lot of memories, just driving through the gates. It’s a very emotional weekend for me and my family just to finally be out here racing.”

Atlanta Motor Speedway PR

Anyone who has ever been to a NASCAR event at Richmond International Raceway knows the patriotism runs deep throughout the grandstands. The Saturday, September 8, pre-race ceremony before the Federated Auto Parts 400NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race takes the American spirit up a notch as four U.S. Olympians will join United States Marine Sgt. John Peck to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

·         LaShawn Merritt, born in Portsmouth, VA, won two gold medals in 2008 (Beijing): 400m and 4x400m relay. Merritt suffered a hamstring injury two weeks before the London Games and did not finish the 400m qualifying heat.

·         Kellie Wells attended James River High School in Richmond and Hampton University. In the 2012 Olympic Games, Wells won a bronze medal in the 100m hurdles.

·         Terrence Jennings hails from Alexandria, VA and earned a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in tae kwon do.

·         T’erea Brown, of Hampton, VA, finished 6th in the 400m hurdles in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Sgt. Peck is a United States Marine who lost all four limbs during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan after an IED exploded in 2010. This happened just two years after he tore the right front lobe of his brain when his vehicle ran over an IED. When Peck recovered from his first injuries he felt compelled to go back to be with his brothers in combat. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Gary Sinise Foundation are building a Smart Home for Peck in Spotsylvania, VA.


In response to Hurricane Isaac, Lowe’s announced today it will expand its relief efforts by teaming with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson at Sunday’s NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. As part of Lowe’s Racing for Relief program, Lowe’s will match the race earnings of Team 48, with a minimum donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Together, Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports also will donate $48,000 toward the cause.

The donations will support American Red Cross disaster relief and help provide food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by Hurricane Isaac.

“Lowe’s heartfelt thoughts go out to those impacted by this disaster, many of whom are a part of our Lowe’s family,” said Joan Higginbotham, Lowe’s director of community relations. “By partnering with organizations like the American Red Cross, we’re able to ensure that immediate support and supplies continue to reach those in need.”

Lowe’s introduced Racing for Relief in 2000. To date, the program has helped disaster relief efforts for hurricanes, tornadoes and floods by raising more than $620,000. Since partnering with the Red Cross in 1999, Lowe’s and its customers have contributed more than $23 million for disaster relief.

“Lowe’s has been a great partner on and off the track in supporting local communities in their times of need,” Johnson said. “Team 48 is honored to join Lowe’s and be a part of Racing for Relief to help the many families and NASCAR fans affected by Hurricane Isaac.”

Individuals can join forces with Johnson and Lowe’s to help provide assistance. Lowe’s stores throughout the United States are accepting donations to the Red Cross at every register. Donations also can be made at Lowe’s American Red Cross Online Donation Site, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Team Lowes Racing PR


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