Monday, Jun 05
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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This summer, the best way to get up close and personal with members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family will be on the track, literally. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, some of NASCAR’s top drivers will give up their usual pedal-to-the-metal speed to join Coca-Cola for a brisk walk at three of the sport’s most popular tracks.

The program kicks off this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway when Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Darrell Wallace, Jr. join fans for some active, healthy fun at the first of three Coca-Cola Family Track Walks this season. In its fourth consecutive year, the Coca-Cola Family Track Walks program provides thousands of fans with the chance to get out and get active by taking a lap of their own with their favorite drivers – on foot.

“Coca-Cola Family Track Walks are a great way to participate in some active family fun this racing season. We’re excited to give fans amazing access to some of their favorite drivers and a unique vantage point from the actual track,” said Andy McMillin, vice president Coca-Cola trademark, Coca-Cola North America Group. “It’s a program that truly embodies the Coca-Cola values by providing fans with fun, optimism and delicious refreshment -- and, just like our new ‘Get The Ball Rolling’ initiative, Coca-Cola Family Track Walks encourages active, healthy living, education and family togetherness.”

This year, fans can get moving with Coca-Cola on three legendary tracks:

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 24
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway, September 1
  • Chicagoland Speedway, September 15

The season’s first Coca-Cola Family Track Walk event also will include access to an exclusive iHeartRadio Coca-Cola Open For Summer Concert featuring country superstar and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice winner, Trace Adkins, as well as Josh Thompson. Following the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk, participants and military service members are invited to watch the performances. The iHeartRadio Coca-Cola Open For Summer Concert featuring Trace Adkins and Josh Thompson also will air across Clear Channel Mainstream Country stations nationwide during a 60-minute Memorial Day special broadcast event on Monday, May 27.

During each Coca-Cola Family Track Walk, fans can enjoy entertainment including games, music and Q&A sessions with drivers. All events are free to ticket and credential holders for the corresponding race weekend.

Away from the track, fans can visit throughout the year for more information on upcoming events and tips, sweepstakes and exclusive content featuring their favorite Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers. This summer Coca-Cola has set a goal to inspire 3 million people to get active. The initiative, “Get The Ball Rolling,” encourages millions of Americans to rediscover the joy of being active through a variety of Coca-Cola sponsored activities and events. To help “Get The Ball Rolling” Coca-Cola will host a summer long sweepstakes to give away Shine by Misfit™ activity trackers and red soccer balls every day from June 21 – September 2 on The Shine activity tracker is an elegant device that allows users to track activities, such as swimming and biking, while syncing with their smartphones. For more information on “Get The Ball Rolling” visit

Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for more than 50 years and has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998. Through its partnerships with International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Coca-Cola refreshes racing fans at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. A signature part of the brand’s NASCAR association is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – a group of top drivers that includes Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler and Darrell Wallace, Jr.

Coca-Cola Co. PR

Carlisle Companies Incorporated (NYSE:CSL) will once again host a group of active duty U.S. Marines and their guests at a NASCAR event at this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.Carlisle is a sponsor of Penske Racing and Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Keselowski is the current Sprint Cup Series champion and he currently sits seventh in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series standings. Carlisle supplies components for the wiring harnesses and clutch friction material for the No. 2 Ford. The Carlisle logo, which is prominently displayed on Keselowski’s car, will be replaced this weekend with the Marine logo to honor Marines worldwide.

Carlisle has arranged for the Marines to arrive on Saturday May 25th and spend two nights in the Charlotte area as they enjoy the Memorial Day weekend experience. Race day activities include a private meet and greet with Keselowski, attendance at the drivers’ meeting and driver introductions as Carlisle’s guests of honor during the weekend.

David Roberts, Chairman, President and CEO of Carlisle and a United States Marine Corps veteran, is looking forward to this weekend’s events.

“The Marines we are hosting this weekend embody the spirit of the Marine Corps Worldwide,” said Roberts. “These brave young men and women have recently returned from a combat theatre and inviting them to join us at the Coca-Cola 600 is just our way of thanking them for their sacrifices in defending the freedom we enjoy in the United States of America. Giving them the opportunity to experience this unique event is the least we can do to welcome them home.”

Penske Racing PR

The sunshine in turn three at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday hampered Trevor Bayne on his qualifying lap, but a sunny day was just what Bayne and the crew of his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion needed to qualify for the Wood Brothers’ 1,400th Sprint Cup start.

Should the rain have made its way to the track just 2 hours sooner, most likely qualifying would’ve been cancelled. The Woods, with their limited schedule, would have missed the race, as they had the fewest attempts to qualify at this point in the season, of the teams entered in the Coca-Cola 600.

Bayne will line up 29th for his team’s milestone start, and just being in the starting field is a great relief, and a proud moment, for team co-owner Eddie Wood.

“We all feel very fortunate to be where we are today,” Wood said. “We couldn’t have done it without having great drivers in our cars over the years, from my dad in the beginning to Trevor Bayne today.”

“And we couldn’t have done it without the support of Ford Motor Company. They’ve been right there with us through the great times and the struggles.”

“The people at Ford and Motorcraft/Quick Lane have been like family to us for more than 60 years.”

The significance of 1,400 starts wasn’t lost on Bayne, but he’s more focused on the present, and a bit disappointed in the outcome of his qualifying lap of 190.409 miles per hour, which represented a significant improvement over his best lap in practice, which was at 188.022 mph.

“The results aren’t what we wanted at all, but the thing was stuck through [turns] one and two,” he said. “I felt like we had to be on the pole off of two, but then I got over to turn three where the sun was shining, and it was just so hot and slick”

“If we could have gone out late at night, I honestly think we had a shot at the pole as good as our car was in the shaded areas. In those hot areas we were just way too tight.”

Wood Brothers Racing PR

IT’S A PILLOW, IT’S A PET, IT’S A SPONSOR: NASCAR might have a stronghold on the under-12 market after this weekend, based on its newest team sponsor announcement. Pillow Pets announced a multi-race sponsorship of Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 NASCAR Nationwide Series car fielded by Roush Fenway Racing Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I know the kids love it, and it’s neat for me because we have a lot of young fans in NASCAR, and sometimes it’s hard for them to connect to what the sponsor is,” Bayne said. “Now with Pillow Pets on our car, they’re excited. I’ve had so many kids today like at the Roush Fenway fan day come up and want a Pillow Pet, and we were able to give them one.”

Prior to the announcement, Bayne handed out special red-white-and-blue patriotic bear Pillow Pets to media members, many of whom were thrilled to have such a coveted gift to take home to the little ones. Even team owner Jack Roush admitted to hoarding the little stuffed pillows.

“I’m really excited, because I’m going to be a big hit when I go home,” Roush said. “I have five grandkids 10 years old down to six months, and they’re gonna think that their granddad is the coolest guy.”

Bayne’s bright pink car will make its debut Saturday in the HISTORY 300 race at Charlotte. It will also race in Indianapolis and Dover.

“I was excited about (being here) last week,” said Caleb Barber, public relations and marketing coordinator for Pillow Pets. “But I had a chance to go to fan day at Roush Fenway Racing, and now I’m blown away. Just seeing the fans up there interacting with the drivers, and how much they love these guys. We’re excited to reach into this new audience. Thanks for giving us such a warm welcome.”

The company will also provide patriotic Pillow Pets to nearly 2,000 military members recently returning home as part of the speedway’s “Welcome Home Our Troops” program.

GREATEST SHOW ON DIRT: The stars of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series and the NDRA Crate Late Model Series will battle it out in the heart of NASCAR country in two action-packed feature races at the Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown Friday.

Fans can get up close to their favorite drivers and get autographs during a free autograph session located on the concourse at 4:45 p.m., prior to on-track action Friday night. Tony Stewart Racing's Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz along with Kasey Kahne Racing's Cody Darrah and Daryn Pittman areamong those expected to participate. The first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a commemorative event poster to use.

The Circle K NOS Energy Outlaw Showdown will feature daring, never-before-attempted stunts by Dr. Danger and Mr. Dizzy. At 5:30 p.m., Dr. Danger and his crew will attempt a six-in-one stunt by jumping two cars off ramps into a pyramid of cars.

Before the A-Mains, Mr. Dizzy will attempt to spiral a 29-foot limousine over cars across the frontstretch, getting the crowd amped up for the racing action.

Both stunts will be filmed by the HISTORY Channel and featured in an upcoming series set to debut later this year.


NASCAR VS. THE FIREFIGHTERS: NASCAR crew members will have the chance to prove their mettle next weekend as they compete alongside firefighters in what’s being billed as the “toughest two minutes in sports.” NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray will be on hand to cheer on the competitors in the Firefighter Combat Challenge presented by LiftMaster Sunday at Gate 18 (outside turn 2) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR crew members and Firefighter Combat Challenge competitors will be outfitted in complete firefighting gear and will compete in teams of five in challenges such as climbing a five-story tower; hoisting, chopping, and dragging hoses; and rescuing a life-sized 175-lb. victim as they race against the clock.

Kids can get in on the fun as well, taking part in a scaled-down version of the challenge, which will be set up all weekend.

GOODYEAR GIVES BACK: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced Thursday its fourth annual “Gives Back” charitable campaign benefiting the Support Our Troops organization.

To launch this year’s campaign, Goodyear has replaced the Eagle logo on their racing tires with desert camouflage lettering that reads “Support Our Troops” on all NASCAR tires used during all of the 10 Greatest Days in Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“There is probably not another organization in sports that has a better connection to the military than NASCAR,” said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires for Goodyear. “It is something that really fits: NASCAR and the military; the military and NASCAR. We have been supplying tires to the sport for over 56 years. And on top of that, Goodyear has had a relationship with the military for over 100 years. Our message is pretty simple: We want to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices the military and their families make every single day. What better weekend to do that than Memorial Day weekend? On behalf of Goodyear, I’m proud to be able to do this program one more time.”

This year’s program will also include a charity auction featuring autographed NASCAR memorabilia, at-track activities and multiple opportunities for race fans to participate. Race fans can bid on items by going to

In fact, during Goodyear’s announcement, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards bid $100 for one of his used tires.

“This is pretty neat for me to bid on one of my own tires,” said Edwards, “I hear there’s a blimp ride on here too, if you can help me find that. That would really be cool. This online auction is amazing, and Goodyear is matching the proceeds up to $50,000.”

Another way for fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway to get involved this weekend was the care-package-stuffing that happened Thursday in the garage area. About 30 race fans volunteered their afternoon at the track to stuff almost 5,000 care packages with Sprint hats, Stewart-Haas shirts, Goody’s powder, Boy Scouts’ popcorn, lip balm from Great Clips and 5-hour Energy drinks.

Marcia and Marvin White were filling care packages Thursday in honor of their son Kerry, a member of the U.S. Air Force who is currently stationed in Germany.

“I knew I wanted to do this, because I knew I was helping the troops, and I was helping my son,” said Marvin White, a National Guard veteran himself. “We’re here 'til the end.”

Fans like the Whites had a chance to rub elbows with a few celebrities during their time stuffing boxes as well, watching as Ryan Newman entered the tent and stuffed boxes. Matt Kenseth, Miss Sprint Cup and several crew members also stopped by to help the effort.

The Goodyear Gives Back program has donated over $700,000 to supporting troops and their families to date.


The "Monster Makeover" at Dover International Speedway in 2009 included the elimination of all grass on the front stretch and in Turn 4 to make way for a new entrance to pit road, as well as a wider drive lane in that area.


Luckily, the fans of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) will see the return of the grass with Max Gresham at the "Monster Mile" next week as his No. 8 Chevrolet will carry the only grass in the infield in the form of a special Trimmer Assist paint scheme.


Trimmer Assist will be the primary sponsor on Gresham's No. 8 Chevrolet from Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) for the Lucas Oil 200 on May 31. Gresham captured his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in 2011 at the 1-mile high-banked concrete oval.


The No. 8 Trimmer Assist Chevrolet will feature a green and blue fading paint scheme with a silver trimmer on both sides of the car and red trimmer string intertwining with the paint scheme.


In addition to the No. 8 Trimmer Assist Chevrolet sponsorship at Dover, Trimmer Assist served as an associate sponsor for the AmWINS Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week, when Gresham finished third in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.



In an 11th hour agreement, Bebida Beverage Company (BeBevCo.) announced today that investors of the KOMA Unwind® Liquid Relaxation (@KOMAUnwindNews) brand will team up to enhance the company’s social media presence in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) contest at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

KOMA Unwind with driver Kyle Fowler in the No. 79 Town & Country Ford Mustang will kick off this summer’s social media campaign by asking consumers to “Get Social And Relax” by “liking” the KOMA Unwind brand on Facebook (

Developed by BeBevCo., KOMA Unwind relaxes those who drink it. It also helps them improve both the duration and quality of their sleep with flair and favor. KOMA Unwind is formulated to relax the body, mind and soul. It is the perfect lifestyle beverage for those who can appreciate extreme relaxation.

The relaxation or “anti-energy” drink category is a new category to the beverage industry. This type of drink is dedicated to helping consumers achieve a level of relaxation without the use of pills or alcohol.

BeBevCo. CEO Brian Weber said, “Social Media is very important to us and we have a great following on Facebook, but we’re always eager for more “likes” to let everyone know what we’re doing and more importantly, where they can find us. Through our Facebook page, you learn about our marketing endeavors, view stories and testimonials from other KOMA Unwind fans, plus much more.”

He added, “We’re happy to be partnered with Go Green Racing and Kyle Fowler for the History 300 and we wish them the best of luck in Saturday afternoon’s race.”

The History 300 is the 10th race on the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule. The green flag is scheduled to waive shortly after 2:30 p.m. with live coverage on ABC, affiliated PRN radio stations and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90.

BeBevCo PR

Continuing its long history of supporting the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR's three major national series, is waving the green flag on the fourth annual "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefitting the Support Our Troops® organization.

To launch this year's program, Goodyear will again transform its race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with desert camouflage lettering that reads "Support Our Troops" on all NASCAR tires used during Memorial Day Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The commemorative tires are one of a number of initiatives planned as part of this year's program, which includes a charity auction featuring autographed NASCAR memorabilia and VIP experiences, along with at-track activities and multiple opportunities for racing fans to participate. All proceeds from the program benefit Support Our Troops®, a nonprofit nationwide organization that works to bolster the morale and well-being of America's troops and their families.

"Memorial Day Weekend is a time for all of us to reflect on the incredible sacrifices soldiers and their families make every day to protect our freedom," said Gary Melliere, Goodyear's general manager of sponsorships. "Goodyear is proud to continue its longtime support of the military with this program, and we hope all NASCAR fans will join us in helping to raise funds for this great cause."

Fans can get involved in this year's "Goodyear Gives Back" program by visiting to bid on authentic Goodyear NASCAR tires autographed by the drivers who used them, as well as other unique items including VIP motorsports experiences and memorabilia, and rides on the iconic Goodyear Blimp. All auction proceeds go directly to Support Our Troops®, and Goodyear will match the funds raised through the charity auction up to $50,000.*

During the program, which runs through July 8, 2013, consumers can also make direct donations to Support Our Troops®, send messages to troops through the Goodyear website and purchase Goodyear Gives Back merchandise through the auction link (while supplies last).

"The Goodyear Gives Back program has played a very important role over the years in helping to raise awareness and funds to better the lives of U.S. Armed Forces and their families," said Martin C. Boire, executive director of Support Our Troops. "We want to thank Goodyear and NASCAR for continuing to give racing fans a fun opportunity to support our service men and women through this program."

To date, the Goodyear Gives Back program has provided more than $700,000 in cash and product donations that have gone directly to supporting the troops and their families. This year's program launch is part of a strong effort made by the racing community to show its support of the military this Memorial Day race weekend, including the launch of "NASCAR: An American Salute," which highlights the sport's ongoing support of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans. This year, the NASCAR program is galvanizing the industry, partners and fans around an effort to touch the lives of one million military service men and women and their families. Goodyear is also supporting Charlotte Motor Speedway's Patriot Partners bus sponsorship program, which is bringing thousands of troops to the 54th running of the Coca-Cola 600 from Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C.

"Goodyear continues to be a great NASCAR supporter as we unite to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "We hope that the Goodyear Gives Back program, in conjunction with the 'NASCAR: An American Salute' initiative, will continue to encourage NASCAR fans to express how thankful we are for those who serve our country and their families, while also raising money to help support them."

To continue its show of support for the military, representatives from Goodyear, NASCAR and a group of volunteers teamed up at Charlotte Motor Speedway to fill care packages for the troops with personalized "thank you" cards and other essential items donated by Goodyear and NASCAR sponsors and partners. For the second year in a row, UPS Trackside Services will provide shipping and manage the delivery of the care packages from Charlotte to active duty troops in Kuwait and Afghanistan. UPS is the Official Logistics Provider of NASCAR and has committed to hire more than 25,000 veterans over the next five years.

Goodyear, the largest producer of military tires in the U.S.,has a longstanding history with the U.S. Armed Forces, with more than 100 years of commitment to building innovative and reliable tires and equipment to support and protect our troops. Goodyear's commitment extends beyond products and charitable donations; priding itself on hosting events at U.S. military bases throughout the year, bringing service men and women and their families a chance to interact with drivers and take rides on the Goodyear Blimp.

Goodyear PR

Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson selected the final two charities to be featured on the 2013 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope from a pool of media nominations. 

The Humane Society of Charlotte and Encompass Early Education and Care Inc. were chosen to appear on the helmet that Johnson will wear during race weekend activities at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Aug. 18, 2013. Each organization also will receive a grant of $10,000 and a special Blue Bunny ice cream party.

The Humane Society of Charlotte is a community resource committed to improving the lives of companion animals through adoption, spay/neuter, and education.

The Humane Society of Charlotte was nominated by Larry Sprinkle of NBC Charlotte.  According to Mr. Sprinkle, “the Humane Society of Charlotte saved the lives of over 3,400 dogs and cats last year.  This organization works tirelessly to make sure that every one of their shelter animals finds a special home.”

Sprinkle praised the HSC, saying, "In my 40 years in Charlotte broadcasting and involvement with shelters, I've never seen a group work so intently on their mission."  

Encompass Early Education and Care is a not-for-profit organization providing the highest quality education and care for children and support for families with a commitment to compassion, quality, and advocacy.

NASCAR Illustrated’s Jay Pfeifer, who nominated Encompass Early Education and Care, said, "Encompass provides early education to families throughout my hometown of Green Bay, Wis.  Thanks to sliding-scale tuition, Encompass makes this invaluable service available to everyone - not just to the families who can afford it."

The Humane Society of Charlotte, located in Charlotte, N.C., and Encompass Early Education and Care Inc., located in Green Bay, Wis., join International FOP Association, Ruth’s Reusable Resources, Denver Kids, Inc., Miracle League of Pensacola, Chelsea's Hope, Me Fine Foundation, Against Abuse, Inc., Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Make-A-Wish Iowa as charities that will be featured on the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope.

Jimmie Johnson Foundation PR


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