Friday, Jun 09
Press Release

Press Release

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Nickelodeon’s iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will invade Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 week, Oct. 11-13.  Look out for the famous shell-backs – Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo -- to bring their fast-action, high-adventure style of fun to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a weekend of family entertainment.

Nickelodeon’s ninjutsu-trained foursome are taking leave from the sewers of New York City and coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a weekend of formidable family entertainment.

The weekend will include:

  • Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show presented by Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, featuring a free concert with Victoria Justice – Enjoy a special concert with Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice, the star of Nickelodeon’s hit series Victorious and the feature film Fun Size, in theaters Oct. 26.  A talented triple threat, Justice is currently out on the road headlining her “Make It in America” nationwide tour in support of the Victorious 2.0: More Music from the Hit TV Show (Nickelodeon/Columbia Records) CD.  This is the follow-up to the first Victorious soundtrack which debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart.  Combined digital sales of music from Victorious total over 2.7 million downloads to date and a third soundtrack is set for release this Fall. The concert will take place on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, on the main stage in the Charlotte Motor Speedway frontstretch, just before the Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.  Special front stage passes are available for adults and children for just $20, which includes a free Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Family Section – Immerse your family in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adventures with a seat in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Family Section, located in Turn Four of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first 3,000 kids who visit the Family Section with a Family Section ticket receive a special Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack.  The entire section will have a great view of the World’s Largest HDTV for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated features and newsbreaks.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Family Fun Zone – The family fun isn’t just in the grandstands; it’s in the unique Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Family Fun Zone in the Turn Four Family Section Concourse.  There will be appearances by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, games, activities and photo opportunities for fans young and old.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles visit the POWERADE Play Zone – Throughout race day, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will visit the POWERADE Play Zone in the frontstretch fan area for photo opps, Ninja adventures and fun. 
  • Unique race broadcast of the Bank of America 500 for young fans – Led by young fans of NASCAR and available exclusively on PRN and Nickelodeon channels, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles broadcast will have a special announcing team of young NASCAR stars covering the Bank of America 500 from the broadcast booth and pit road.  The broadcast will be available at and through the track broadcast.
  • Kids’ Driver Autograph and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lunch Party – See the stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a fun lunch event under the Ford Grandstand on Friday, October 12.  Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse and Elliott Sadler are scheduled to appear.  Tickets are $20 per child and the event is limited to the first 750 kids.  Participants receive a free Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack.

Special Ticket Prices for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Weekend

Special ticket packages for Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles invasion of Charlotte Motor Speedway include the Bank of America 500 Family Four-Pack with tickets for two adults and two kids in the smoke- and alcohol-free Family Section, priced at $118.   Children's tickets are free to the Dollar General 300 with an adult purchase. All children must have a ticket.  For tickets and information call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit

For more great offers, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit

Nickelodeon launches an all-new, CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. (ET/PT) in a special one-hour television event, bringing the turtles up from the sewers with the mythology and comedic sensibility for a new generation of fans. The series stars Jason Biggs (American Pie) as “Leonardo,” Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings) as “Raphael,” Rob Paulsen (Planet Sheen) as “Donatello” and Greg Cipes (Teen Titans) as “Michelangelo.” Additional cast members rounding out this iconic hit franchise include Mae Whitman (Parenthood) as “April O’Neil,” Hoon Lee (Royal Pains) as “Master Splinter” and Kevin Michael Richardson (Penguins of Madagascar) as “Shredder.” The half-hour weekly series is layered with action, fantasy and comedy and draws inspiration from both American and Japanese animation, showcasing a stylistic effect of a printed comic.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will air regularly on Saturdays at 11 a.m. (ET/PT).


Ten different drivers embarked on a 10-city media blitz Tuesday as Day 2 of ‘Chase Across America’ kicked into high gear.

NASCAR’s second-annual cross-country media tour – in which the 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers visit the 10 Chase track markets, New York City and Bristol, Conn. – featured events ranging from pep rallies to baseball games, and boat tours to firefighting lessons.
Below is a rundown of each of today’s events. For more information, photos, audio and video of today’s events, visit throughout the evening and tomorrow.
#NeverForget: Hamlin Visits National Guard On 9/11 Anniversary:In a few weeks, members of the 169th Aviation Regiment National Guard unit in Concord, N.H. will continue the freedom fight and ship off to Afghanistan. Denny Hamlin paid them a visit (and his appreciation) before that could happen. “It's an awesome day for me to be here on 9-11,” Hamlin said. “And these guys and girls are the reason we are still here because of what they do to protect our country. It's really exciting to meet with them before they are deployed for Afghanistan. It means a lot to me just to meet them today.” The troops will attend the New Hampshire race, and Hamlin, ever confident, invited them to his Victory Lane post-race celebration.
Keselowski’s On Fire:How appropriate. Brad Keselowski, on fire right now after scoring more points over the last 10 races (378) than any NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, visited a Chicago-area firehouse and tested his skills at putting out fires. Keselowski joined firefighters at Engine Co. 70 in Edison Park and took part in various firefighting skill challenges. Keselowski received a token of appreciation for his participation: an authentic firefighter’s helmet shield, which he plans to place inside his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge for Sunday’s race. Chicagoland Speedway kicks off the Chase this Sunday at 2 p.m. on ESPN.
Kahne’s A Big Phan:Kasey Kahne, the Chase’s No. 1 Wild Card, attended the Miami Marlins-Philadelphia Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park in advance of Dover International Speedway’s Sept. 30th Chase race. As part of the festivities, Kahne will put his improv skills to the test during a 5th inning sketch with the Philly Phanatic, the Phillies’ famed mascot.
Real Men Wear (And Paint) Pink: Kevin Harvick, a world-class artist when a steering wheel’s in his hand, struggled a bit when the instrument in question was a paint brush. At Talladega Superspeedway in advance of the track’s Oct. 7 Chase race, Harvick helped paint Talladega pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness in October. The usually confident Harvick was anything but during the wall refurbishing portion of the day, saying speed was not his thing when it came to painting. “I’m going to get to Chicago tonight splattered in pink paint, and I’m OK with that,” Harvick said.
DJII Loves RGIII: Heading into today’s visit to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., Las Vegas sportsbooks set the over/under on Robert Griffin III (aka RGIII) mentions by Washington Redskins fanatic Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 52½. Those who bet the “over” won by lunchtime. Of course, that’s all an exaggeration, but Earnhardt did express his excitement over the Redskins’ rookie quarterback throughout his day-long visit to ESPN, which included a go-kart race against SportsCenter anchor Jay Crawford, lunch with fantasy football guru Matthew Berry and appearances on Mike and Mike, Pardon the Interruption, NFL Live and NASCAR Now.
Truex Sneaky Good: Maybe it’s an omen. Martin Truex Jr. visited Sprint’s Kansas campus to meet with media, fans and members of the Kansas and Missouri National Guard. On display: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy. Truex was the first driver to see it as the Chase opens on Sunday. Could he be the last to see it after the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway? Most consider Truex a darkhorse pick to win the title: "In a way it is good, there is less pressure on the team but it is a joke that we are being picked to finish 12th, probably the same people that said we wouldn't make the Chase." Kansas Speedway will host its Chase race on Oct. 21.
Biffle’s Got Some Added Pep In His Step: Greg Biffle, a two-time winner during the regular season, received a champion’s welcome during his trip to Martinsville Speedway in advance of the track’s Chase race on Oct. 28. Three local high schools congregated to “adopt” Biffle as their favorite driver during the Chase, holding a massive pep rally involving upwards of 600 students. Cheerleaders welcomed Biffle with this cheer:
We want a victory
Help him out
Bulldog Fans
Spell it out
One more time
“It was a great program,” Biffle said. “I really enjoy getting to see the kids so excited and so pumped up. It was fun for me to come and see the No. 16 on the scoreboard and the cheers the cheerleaders have been working on and all the people in the stands…so it was a lot of fun, and a satisfying feeling. It was important for me to be able to talk to the students today.”
Bowyer’s A Homecoming King:If Clint Bowyer can free up some time, he’s got a penciled in date for the big Homecoming Dance. Seriously. Bowyer took part in a pep rally of his own involving three Texas high schools in advance of Texas Motor Speedway’s Chase race on Nov. 4. During the rally, Rachel Blum, a 10th grader at Northwest High School asked Bowyer to be her Homecoming date. He said he was busy, but did invite her to be his guest at the race in November. Befitting Texas’ reputation, the event – and its participants – were grand. At one point, Bowyer asked: “Did you see the size of some of those kids? Everything’s bigger in Texas. The high schoolers are even bigger in Texas! That kid was like 6’8, 280.”
Kenseth: The Chase’s Aquaman: Matt Kenseth can wheel an 850 horsepower, 3,500-pound stock car as well as the next guy. But maneuvering the 2,800-horspower, 90-TON United States Coast Guard Diamondback coastal patrol boat? That might pose a problem. Kenseth toured the largest and busiest Coast Guard station in the country – the United States Coast Guard District 7 base in Miami Beach during his stop on the Chase Across America media tour. There, he gave the Diamondback a spin. “Just driving it, it's always cool,” Kenseth said. “I'm always interested in anything with an engine on it and how it works. These things are really technologically advanced, and they had a lot of really neat stuff in there. I really enjoyed learning about the ship. … It has been a great experience. I learned a lot about the Coast Guard today, what they do for us, what they do for everybody. It's great to be out here on the anniversary of 9/11, and obviously the military and the Coast Guard do a lot to protect us and keep us free.” Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the season-finale on Nov. 18.
Gordon A Phoenix Son: Tuesday’s media and fan Q&A sessions in Phoenix with Jeff Gordon quickly morphed into a turn-back-the-clock retrospective. The two major topics of conversation: Gordon’s clutch performance at Richmond International Raceway that earned him a Chase spot, and his mustache. Gordon recently tweeted that if he made the Chase, he’d re-grow the same mustache he sported when he first entered NASCAR in the early 90s. “I don't know if it (bringing back the mustache) will be as hip as Johnny Depp's,” Gordon said. “Although my wife would approve if that." And on racing his way into the Chase: 'This team never gave up and showed that last Saturday night. Now we're just fired up. After Richmond, anything is possible.”
One To Go: Stewart Visits Charlotte Motor Speedway: Next Tuesday, Sept. 18, Tony Stewart will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway for a Q&A with CMS season ticket holders and Bank of America employees. The track will we announce a pre-race country music concert and a military support program with Wounded Warriors for the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 13.
Annual Chase Media Day Set For Wednesday: All 12 drivers will congregate at downtown Chicago’s House of Blues on Wednesday for the annual Chase Media Day. Media availability will run from 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. CT. Following media availability, the 12 drivers will take part in ‘NASCAR Contenders Live’ — the ultimate fan Q&A event, sponsored by Toyota and Sprint. At the event, contenders will share their strategies on how they plan to win the ultimate prize: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy.
  • Back to America's Heartland... Justin Lofton and the No. 6 Lofton Cattle team will return to Iowa Speedway after finishing fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at the 0.875-mile speedway just two months ago.  Lofton rolled off third in the American Ethanol 200 and spent the majority of the evening racing inside the top five as the Lofton Cattle team utilized caution periods to fine-tune the handling of their Chevrolet.  Racing in a three-wide pack with just over 30 laps to go, Lofton was forced off the throttle and lost a few positions as a result.  However, the championship contender methodically hunted down his competition and raced through the field to score a fifth-place finish in just his third NCWTS start at Iowa Speedway. 
  • Always at the track, Lofton goes to 'Dega... Lofton joined his Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) teammate Cale Gale on a trip to Birmingham last week to promote next month's NCWTS race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.  The teammates helped kick off the college football season with a tailgate party at WJOX-FM before visiting third-grade students at Moody Elementary School.  The duo wrapped up their day at a private meet and greet with breast cancer survivors at America's First Federal Credit Union in Trussville, Ala.  The drivers surprised three ladies with autographs and free tickets for the Fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Working hard on & off the track... Lofton continues to stay busy off the track with two of his major business ventures-Weekend Warriors Productions and J6INK.  Lofton will join the Weekend Warriors Productions crew this week on a trip to Nashville, Tenn. to meet with record song writer and producer Billy Austin.  Lofton and Austin hope to work on some opportunities to enable Weekend Warriors Productions to produce videos for additional music artists in and around the Nashville area.  Additionally, Lofton continues to work to expand J6INK-the vinyl, decal and design company launched by the NCWTS star just a few weeks ago.   
  • Fighting for the Championship... With eight races scheduled over the next 10 weeks, the battle is on for the NCWTS championship.  Lofton enters the American Ethanol 200 at Kentucky Speedway in the fifth position, just 31 points out of the championship point lead, and six points behind third place.  The 26-year-old led the standings through three events earlier this season, and notched both his first career win and first career pole during a career-best year.  
  • Meet Justin... Justin Lofton, driver of the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet Silverado, will make an appearance with his ESR teammate Cale Gale on Saturday afternoon at the Chevy Stage.  Located in the midway, fans are invited to meet the ESR driver lineup at 2:45 p.m. ET.  The drivers will answer fans' questions before signing autographs and taking photos.
  • Follow Justin... Follow Justin Lofton, driver of the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet Silverado, on twitter (@jlracing) and facebook(, and visit loftonracing.comfor the latest news and updates.
  • Get the Inside Scoop...  Follow Eddie Sharp Racing on twitter or become a fan on facebook to get real-time updates and behind-the-scenes information:  @TeamESR or
  • Watch and Listen... The fight for the championship continues this weekend as competitors of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series return to Iowa Speedway on Saturday, September 15.  Get ready for all the action with coverage of qualifying from the 0.875-mile track on Saturday, at 6:30 p.m. ET.  Live coverage of the American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee will be aired on SPEED, MRN & SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90, beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.   

From the Driver's Seat

Justin Lofton Quotes... On racing hard at Iowa Speedway"I ran well at Iowa in July, so I'm looking forward to getting back there.  I'm focused on contending in the championship hunt.  As a team, we have all been working to improve on the things we can control and everything else should fall into place from there."


From the Pit Box

Dan Bormann Quotes... On racing with the No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet team in Iowa:  "We're taking the same truck that we raced earlier this season at Iowa Speedway when we finished fifth.  Justin and all the guys on the Lofton Cattle team have been working hard and are staying focused on the big picture with our championship run.  We have proven to be one of the strongest teams all season, and we don't plan on giving up now."


No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet Truck Information

The No. 6 Lofton Cattle Chevrolet team will compete with chassis No. 049 as their primary truck at Iowa Speedway.  It is the same chassis the team utilized earlier this season in Iowa.  In that event, Lofton rolled off third and crossed the finish line in the fifth position.  More recently, Lofton and the No. 6 team utilized chassis No. 049 at Pocono Raceway where the championship contender drove to a ninth-place finish after rolling off 35th.


Justin Lofton PR

Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller has high hopes for a great race at the 1.5-mile oval of Chicagoland Speedway in this Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

With him currently 12th in points and trailing 11th by a mere 15 markers, the Newt Moore led team is going to the Windy City with a good car and set up. Now, they just need to take advantage of the two practice sessions on Friday to qualify and race well on Saturday.

Danny Efland will be wheeling the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet once again. He’s making his 12th start of the season, and third career one at Chicagoland.

After two weeks of night races, the NNS returns to daylight action. Chicagoland Speedway is a fast 1.5-mile track where handling into and out of the corners is paramount. Having a combination of Wallace with his JD Motorsports team already puts them in a good position to succeed.

Mike Wallace Info

  • This will be the St. Louis native’s 442nd career NNS start
  • During that time, he’s won four races
  • This will be his 26th start of the 2012 season
  • During that span, he’s completed 4,179 of 4,428 laps contested (94.4 percent) and led five races for nine circuits
  • Currently 12th in points, Wallace is 15 points behind 11th place
  • Seven of the last nine races have been top-20 finishes
  • With 11 previous starts at Chicagoland Speedway, he’s led two races for 19 laps and completed 1,961 of 2,204 circuits of competition
  • Eight of those 11 races produced a top-20 finish; with 14th being the best in 2002

Danny Efland Info

  • The native of Irmo, S.C. is making his 51st career NASCAR Nationwide Series start
  • This race will make it an even dozen NNS starts for the 2012 season
  • During that span this year, he’s completed 1,356 of 1,815 laps contested
  • This will be his third start at Chicagoland where he’s completed 236 of 401 circuits. An engine problem at the track earlier this year cut his race to only 47 laps

Tune in for the Win

There are two practice sessions on Friday, which will air on ESPN2. The first is 2:40 p.m. ET to 3:50 p.m. with the second from 5:40 p.m. to 7 p.m. Qualifying takes place Saturday at Noon on SPEED TV with race action on ESPN2 starting at 3:30 p.m. All 200 laps of action can be heard on MRN Radio and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90

Mike Wallace Quotes

“Chicagoland is one of those tracks where you have to be really, really good in Turns 1 and 3 when go into those big corners. The banking helps you keep the momentum going, but a good set up and strong motor is what will get you out of there faster.

“Because this is a bigger track than a Richmond, track position is very important. Staying on the lead lap will be important and running with the leaders, avoiding other people’s mistakes and being good on pit road are the keys to our success.

“Chicago is a great area and I enjoy going to check out the sites and great restaurants when we race there. One thing about Chicago, you’ll never go hungry in that town.”

JD Motorsports PR

While the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series shifts its focus on the Chase for the Championship, Leavine Family Racing (LFR) is ready for its own important stretch with driver Scott Speed.


The team saved most of its selected starts for the final three months of the season, starting with Sunday's Geico 400 at the Chicagoland Speedway. In all, LFR and Speed are scheduled to compete in seven of the final 10 races of the season.


"It took a lot of patience early in the season, but the meat of our schedule is still ahead," Speed said. "This is going to be a run that's really going to push everyone at Leavine Family Racing, but I know we're up for the challenge."


Speed will drive the team's familiar red No. 95 JTS Ford Fusion at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. The green flag, scheduled for ESPN, is at 2 p.m. ET.


"We back-loaded our schedule so we could get a better baseline for 2013," crew chief Wally Rogers said. "This will help us create momentum for next year. It also will test our ability to maintain our fleet of cars at a time we're also going to races. We're a small team so everyone has additional duties. But this is what we've been waiting for."


The young team already has made big gains. Speed has created team-bests in qualifying (21st) and race finish (17th) at Watkins Glen International earlier this year. Now it's up to LFR to build on that success.


"We've come a long way this year," Speed said. "Everything we've done has been to build on what we've learned. Now it's time to put all that to work. We've got seven races in the next 10 weeks, so we should learn a lot about our race team."



Marcos Ambrose will travel to Chicagoland Speedway with new faces on his Stanley team this weekend. Mike Ford, previously Aric Almirola's crew chief, will now be at the helm of the No. 9 team. In addition, team members from the No. 43 Cup car will also make the switch with Ford. With new team in tow, Ambrose will look for a win this weekend at Chicago as he is set to make his fourth-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile track.


The Australian native's best finish (11th) and his best start (10th) came in 2009. He has completed 799 of 801 laps attempted at the Illinois track. Ambrose enters this weekend's 400-mile race in 15th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.


Ambrose's car will have a different look this weekend as Stanley will return as the primary partner of the No. 9 Ford Fusion.


Don't forget to tune into Sirius XM Radio on Channel 90, Friday, at 10 a.m. ET for the Morning Drive with Pete Pistone and Mike Bagley to listen to Marcos talk about racing at Chicagoland Speedway and his new crew changes.


Marcos Ambrose's Thoughts on Racing at Chicago: "I'm ready to get to Chicago and work with my new team for the first time this weekend. We've made some big changes at Richard Petty Motorsports this week and I'm excited to see what the future holds. Now that the 'Chase' contenders have been decided, our main focus is to improve upon our program, go out and win races, and look to build momentum for 2013. We've got 10 weeks left in the season and I'm still looking for my first oval win. We've got some tracks coming up on the schedule that I've run really well at earlier this year, and hopefully we can go out and get victory No. 2 soon. We've had good runs on the intermediate tracks this year and I expect much of the same this weekend. We had a rough weekend in Richmond and I'm ready to put that behind me and go out and focus on a win on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway."


Comments from Crew Chief Mike Ford on Working with Ambrose and Going to Chicago: "Marcos is a driver who has proven to win poles and races. Our goal is to take my experiences and make sure we can consistently run up front and continue to win races. I feel like he's at a point where he can win races not just on road courses, but ovals as well. I absolutely think Marcos can win a race before the year is over and that is exactly what we are going to try and do, starting this weekend. We want to close out this season with another win or two. I believe Marcos can do it and I believe our race team can do it. He's on the verge of another win, we just need to get the stars to align in our favor. We've pinpointed a few races where he runs exceptionally well, and we are especially going to focus on those racetracks for the remainder of the year. Chicago is going to be a bit of a learning curve for us as we get to know each other, but I don't think the transition will take long. I expect to go out and run well this weekend with no interruptions to No. 9 Stanley Ford's on-track performance at Chicagoland."



This week's Geico 400 at Chicgaoland Speedway signifies the homestretch of the Sprint Cup season in more ways than one for Travis Kvapil. In addition to kicking off the last 10 races of 2012, Chicagoland Speedway is the closest venue to Kvapil's hometown of Janesville, Wis. The driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota looks forward to having friends and family from his nearby state on hand to watch him compete against NASCAR's best.

The odds look good for Kvapil to have a strong showing in front of his hometown crowd. The No. 93 team has raised the bar on its performances at intermediate track venues. In its first five races at intermediate tracks in 2012, they averaged a 32nd-place finish. In the last four events, they averaged a 26th-place finish. Two of those finishes were inside the top 20, including Kvapil's best finish of the season, a15th-place run at Michigan.

Kvapil has four Cup Series starts at Chicago. His best performance was in 2010, finishing 31st.

Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into Chicago:

"I'm feeling pretty good about our trip to Chicago. If you look at our more recent finishes at intermediate tracks, like Kentucky and Michigan, we've done pretty well there. We've had good runs at those places. I'm excited about taking what we learned at those places and applying it to Chicago. We really struggled at Atlanta, but Atlanta's a pretty unique race track and its surface is quite a bit different than Chicago's. I feel pretty confident that we'll have a good run with the things that we've learned in the past. We'll be fine.

"It's close to home for me. It will be nice to have a few friends and family there. It will be great to return to the Midwest for a few days. It's always nice when you have the people there who have supported you from the beginning. Some of them have cheered me on since I was racing the tracks in Wisconsin. We'll do our best to give them a good show this weekend.

"The mile-and-half tracks are all similar, but each one has some unique characteristics. Chicago's backstretch has an arc to it. Most of the other tracks we go to, the backstretch is straight. It makes your approach into Turn 3 a little better. The car is already pointed in the right direction and turned. You fight some things at other tracks because they aren't like that. Chicago's a great track. It's kind of worn out. It's a little bumpy. It makes for some great racing, so I'm excited to get there."

BK Racing PR

Landon Cassill has taken the No. 83 Burger King/Dr Pepper team to new heights. Cassill's performance last week at Richmond marked his second-consecutive top-20 finish. It was also the team's fifth-straight top-25. It is the first time that the No. 83 team achieved either of those feats. He'll be looking to continue the hot streak in this week's Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Cassill only has two Cup Series starts at Chicagoland. His best finish is 30th, which he scored last season. In Nationwide Series competition, he has two starts. His best performance came in 2008, when he finished 10th. Cassill's best finishes of 2012 came at intermediate tracks. He had 18th-place runs at Michigan and Charlotte.

Doug Richert, crew chief of the No. 83 team, has called five Cup Series races at Chicagoland. He has a pair of 11th-place finishes to his credit. Three of his performances have netted top-20 finishes.

Comments from BK Racing driver Landon Cassill heading into Chicago:

"We've been on a roll the past few weeks. Our team has two-straight top-20 finishes. We've finished in the top 25 the last five weeks. It's awesome to see everyone's hard work paying off. When we started in February, we knew it was going to be a tough road ahead, but we've given it 100 percent each week. It's all starting to take shape. Our cars are getting faster and handling better. Our finishes are improving. It's hard to believe how much the Burger King/Dr Pepper team has already accomplished this season. Hopefully we'll show improvement each race until we hit Homestead.

"Chicago is a great track. It's really wide and the banking is the same in all four corners. The backstretch has a bend to it, so you're basically on the gas and turning the wheel the entire way around the track. It's fun and there's always some good side-by-side action for the fans.

"We've been pretty good at the intermediate tracks this season. We just finished 20th at Atlanta. My best finishes this season were at Charlotte and Michigan (18th place), so I'm excited about going to another intermediate track. Our program has shown a lot of progress in that department and I know we can leave Chicago with a solid run."

BK Racing PR

Front Row Motorsports will feature the message, "One Text or Call, Could Wreck it All" on the hood of David Ragan's No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. The entry will also carry the logos of - The Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving.

"When I'm on the racetrack, I give 100% of my attention to my driving," said Ragan. "It's important to stay focused on the road, whether you are on the racetrack or the interstate. Distracted driving injures and kills far too many people each year - particularly young people. I encourage teens and their parents to visit, take the safe driving pledge, and learn more about the dangers of driving distracted."

In 2010, over 400,000 people were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving includes: using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading- including maps, using a navigation system, watching a video and adjusting a radio, CD player or MP3 player.

David Ragan has finished in the top-25 in each of his five career starts at Chicagoland Speedway, including a career-best finish of eighth.


Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship contender Clint Bowyer joined more than 3,000 students from Byron Nelson, Northwest and Steele Accelerated high schools to help honor local first responders as part of a special 9/11 remembrance assembly held Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Area firefighters, paramedics, police officers and dispatchers took part in a special "Heroes Walk" with cheerleaders lining the grandstands, the bands performing, and students standing and cheering to demonstrate their respect and gratitude. Bowyer, visiting Fort Worth as part of NASCAR's Chase Across America program, expressed his gratitude for the sacrifices made by the first responders and the lasting impact of 9/11 that occurred 11 years ago today.

"I'm proud to have them here," Bowyer said of the first responders on hand. "It's so important to remember them. I can't go anywhere without knowing somebody who wasn't directly affected by it (9/11). My truck driver lost his brother on 9/11. It's incredible the sacrifices that those folks give for our freedom so that we can have a comfortable way of life."

The assembly also included a special competition among the three high schools, with the winning team earning tickets to November's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for its school's entire student body. Selected students from each school took part in an obstacle course that required them to roll tires, push a stock car down the frontstretch and catch a t-shirt out of a launcher.

Byron Nelson High School's team proved victorious and earned the entire student body tickets for the Nov. 4 AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. However, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage and Bowyer wanted to make sure every student that attended the 9/11 remembrance could attend the AAA Texas 500 and they announced that all 3,000-plus students would be receiving a race ticket and also offered a special discount for their families.

"We just gave away over 3,000 tickets to high schoolers," Bowyer said with a smile. "Every year, you always go to NASCAR meetings and they ask the younger drivers, 'How do we get the younger demographic?' Well, Eddie just accomplished that.  He just got over 3,000 future fans of this sport to come watch us race."

Bowyer, in his first season with Michael Waltrip Racing driving the No. 15 Five-Hour Energy Toyota, qualified for the Chase for the fourth time in his career and is riding the momentum of last week's victory at Richmond.

The 12-driver Chase field consists of, respectively, Denny Hamlin (2012 points), five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (2009), three-time Sprint Cup Series champ Tony Stewart (2009), Brad Keselowski (2009), Greg Biffle (2006), Bowyer (2006), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003), 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth (2003), Kevin Harvick (2000), Martin Truex Jr. (2000), Kasey Kahne (2000) and four-time Sprint Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon. Gordon made a dramatic run at Richmond to secure the final Chase spot while notables such as Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards did not make the field.

"This was me going into Richmond, 'Who do you want in the Chase?'" recalled Bowyer with a chuckle. "Do you want Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch or Jeff Gordon to race for a championship? I don't like any of those. I'd rather somebody else win, maybe one of those start-and-parks. Could we possible get one of them in the Chase? Is there any way in this last race that they could get in? I was going to help them. But there wasn't any way."

Despite a stiff field that includes four former Sprint Cup champions and 13 combined crowns, Bowyer likes his chances of capturing his first championship. The pursuit begins Sunday with Round 1 of the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway.

"That's what I love about the Chase," Bowyer said. "If you look at my stats and my records, some of the Chase races are the best races that I have ever had. I'm very much looking forward to the Chase because of that track record and, more importantly, because of the speed in our race cars. These MWR cars are extremely fast week in and week out. The last four races we had a shot at winning all of them and probably should have.

"If you look back at our last five, six, heck, even give us 10 races, we've had some bumps in the road but not near as many as the other guys in the Chase. Martin Truex Jr. and I, and Mark Martin, are capable of winning a few more races in the Chase. If we can do that, we can compete for this championship."

Of the 10 races in the Chase, Bowyer has the AAA Texas 500 circled because Texas Motor Speedway is one of his stronger tracks. He has yet to earn a Sprint Cup victory at Texas Motor Speedway, but he has turned in solid performances with seven top-10 finishes in 13 career starts. He finished a personal-best second in last year's Samsung Mobile 500, but Bowyer desperately wants to be the one hoisting the six-shooters in Victory Lane following the AAA Texas 500.

"I want to leave Texas a full-on sportsman," said Bowyer, who has recorded top-10 finishes in his last four AAA Texas 500 starts. "I want a shotgun (given to the pole winner) to go turkey hunting and pistols just in case the Wild Wild West fires back up. I want guns when I leave here blazing. That's exactly what I want. I've never had those and they're awesome."



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