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NASCAR announced today it has lowered the minimum age for drivers competing in its regional touring series to 15.

The change, effective immediately, will be applied to drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

“We are constantly evaluating the process in which drivers are introduced to the sport and make their way up the NASCAR ladder,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR managing director of racing operations. “This change is the next logical step as the influx of talented young drivers entering NASCAR grows.

“The NASCAR touring series level is a great platform for developing the next generation of our sport’s stars. By making this adjustment, we are increasing the opportunities for drivers and crew members to compete and gain experience at the regional level, and prepare them for the higher levels of the sport.”

In a corresponding move, the Learner’s Permit License for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be applicable for all divisions at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. The Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR's national championship program for its more than 55 sanctioned short tracks across North America. More than 10,000 drivers compete in the series annually.

Last year, NASCAR introduced the Learner’s Permit to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, which allowed drivers and crew members ages 14 and 15 to participate in tracks’ entry-level divisions.

In 2007, NASCAR lowered the age minimum for the regional touring series from 18 to 16. Current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano, then 17, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship that season.

Ryan Truex, driving this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, made his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at age 17 and won the last two East championships. Brett Moffitt, who will take over for Truex at Michael Waltrip Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, broke Logano’s record as youngest series winner in 2009 when he was 16.

In 2008, Ryan Preece was 17 when he set the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour record for youngest winner at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, while Erick Rudolph eclipsed that mark in 2009 at age 17.

 

NASCAR PR

 

In eight short weeks the gates to to North Wilkesboro Speedway will swing open for THE RACE at Historic North Wilkesboro, asphalt super late modelracing's richest event of 2011. The 300 lap Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South race is shaping up to be a short track race fan's dream and the latest entry tally reveals that race teams from nineteen states and four Canadian provinces have filed pre entries for the historic short track race that will be the first ever under the lights at the famed 5/8 mile.

It probably comes as no surprise that North Carolina has the most early entries filed with seventeen The epicenter of southeastern motorsports, familiar names like 2010 PASS South and National champ Preston Peltier, Ryan Blaney, Andy Loden, Jay Fogleman are all signed up and ready to try and claim the $75,000.00 payday. Car builder Robert Hamke has filed an entry with a driver to be determined, and you can bet that the 2007 PASS South Championship car owner wants to add THE RACE to his long list of achievements. Zach Germain is the latest North Carolinian to add his name to the field.

Its hard to believe that a state fourteen hours away would have fifteen pre entries but there's a talented group of Maine super late model racers making the long haul. Led by 2010 PASS North Champion Johnny Clark and two PASS South titleholders in the form of Mike and Ben Rowe, the Maine contingent is a strong one. The list is chock full of super late model winners like Trevor Sanborn, Travis Benjamin,Cassius Clark, Randy Turner and Scott Mulkern. Gary Smith, Scott Alexander, 2010 PASS North Rookie of the Year Joey Doiron , they'll all attempt to make a little short track history on Saturday April 9 when PASS lights up the night at North Wilkesboro for the first time.

The balance of the the 67 early entries are spread across seventeen states and four eastern Canada provinces. Ross Kenseth represents Wisconsin, Augie Grill's the man from Alabama, and Jeff Choquette and Stephen Nasse are representing the Sunshine State. Garrett Evans (Washington) and Ryan Reed (California) will haul from the left coast . Patrick LaPerle (Quebec) John Fleming (Nova Scotia) Lonnie Sommerville (New Brunswick) and Greg Proude (Prince Edward Island) will all try to take the loot back to their native Canada.

D.J. Shaw, Aaron Ricker and Adam Bates will travel from New Hampshire, while Kenzie Ruston and Donnie Wilson call Oklahoma home. Scott Hantz and Michael Bilderback are the first two of several expected entries from Indiana. PASS South winner Justin Wakefield will represent Georgia, Sterling Marlin and Heath Hindman will make the trip from Tennessee and Texas Trey Mitchell is on the list, as are Virginians Brandon Ward and Tim Pinion.

Add them all up and you've already got the makings of a superstar field that will keep fans on their feet from qualifying day on Friday April 2 to the final checker on Saturday April 3. Click on www.proallstarsseries.com to view the complete pre entry list and weekend schedule for THE RACE.

There's still time for race teams to save $50.00 on their entry fee by visiting the PASS web site for your entry blank. Fans can save $10.00 per adult ticket by using the on line ticket order form and purchasing race day tickets in advance.

 

PASS PR


There has been an outpouring of community support since the airing of six-year-old Jordan Jemsek’s story on SPEED’s NASCAR Race Hub last Wednesday night. She is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant, fighting Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML) and people want to know how to help.

Recently, Tom’s Snacks, a part of Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. and a major partner of JTG Daugherty Racing, announced that they will donate $6,500 to help cover the cost to register 100 new potential bone marrow donors that come out for Jordan’s bone marrow drive that will be held on Saturday, March 5th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Gabriel Catholic Church (3016 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211).

“When we heard about Jordan’s story, it struck a chord with all of us at Tom’s Snacks,” said Eric Boonshaft, Senior Brand Manager – Salty Snacks of Snyder’s-Lance. “The least we can do to help is support the drive on March 5th and encourage people to get swabbed.  We are proud to be part of the JTG Daugherty Racing family, and we all share the same goal -- finding a match for Jordan.”

Kay Jemsek, Jordan’s mother, is overwhelmed by the support for her little girl and other patients in need.

“We can’t thank Tom’s Snacks enough for their kindness and generosity in support of the bone marrow drive,” said Kay Jemsek.  “It’s truly overwhelming how many people who have never even met my daughter are coming together to help save her life and the lives of others.  The NASCAR community, with the JTG Daugherty race team at the helm, has made a lasting impression on our hearts.”

Jordan has already inspired over one thousand people to register with DKMS (www.getswabbed.org), the bone marrow donor center that is organizing the drive, after hearing of Bobby Labonte's and JTG' Daugherty Racing’s support. 

“This is an unbelievably generous donation and everyone is utterly overwhelmed by Tom’s Snacks support of Jordan’s bone marrow drive,” said DKMS Americas Donor Recruiter Annette von der Muehlen. “It is people at companies like Tom’s Snacks and Reese Towpower who bring us joy and remind us of the good and kindness in this world. Little Jordan is fortunate to have them and JTG Daugherty Racing behind her. So far over one thousand donors have registered at www.getswabbed.org after hearing of Bobby Labonte's and JTG' Daugherty Racing’s support.  The  generous  contribution  of Tom's Snacks will  cover the registration cost of 100 new potential bone marrow donors. Thank you Eric Boonshaft and everyone at Snyder’s-Lance, Inc.  Thank you Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing. From all of us at DKMS and from the patients you will save, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Jordan’s photo and the www.GetSwabbed.org logo will be carried on the No. 47 Reese Towpower Toyota Camry in the 75-lap Shootout at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday night beginning at 8:10 p.m. ET on FOX.

Here is more information on how people can help. Every day  over six  thousand   patients search the  national registry in hope  to find  a bone marrow donor match.  Sadly, 6 out of 10 patients will never receive the transplant that could save their life. 

REGISTER AS A BONE MARROW DONOR
Charlotte, NC
Saturday, March 5, 2011,
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
St. Gabriel Catholic Church
3016 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC


Registering to become a bone marrow donor is more than a cheek swab; it is a commitment to help save a life. You must be between 18 and 55 and in good general health. When you register with DKMS, you will also be listed on the Be The Match Registry® (operated by the NMDP) and can be found as a donor match for any patient in need of a bone marrow transplant.

The cost to DKMS for registering a new potential bone marrow donor is $65. DKMS does not receive government funding and is therefore dependant on donations from the general public. Every dollar counts!

 

JTG PR

Tom Carnegie, the voice of the famed 500-mile race and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway passed away Friday at the age of 91.  Growing up in Pennsylvania and Indiana, veteran Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 driver John Andretti came to love that voice each May and again later in the summer when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series came to the track.  Andretti comments on the passing of Carnegie and what he meant to motorsports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"Tom Carnegie will always be remembered by not only myself, but my entire family.  I remember going to the track as a kid with my father (Aldo), uncle (Mario) and cousin (Michael) in the month of May and hearing his voice and the phrase, 'A new track record!'  That excitement he made you feel.  He made the hairs on your neck stand.  And the same when he said, 'He's on it!'  These are staples of racing history now because of Tom.

 

"Anything that ever happened at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tom had that special way of making it feel even bigger, greater than anything else happening that day.  The track will remain the same, but its voice will never be.  Tom Carnegie will be forever a part of the history of the Speedway.  My family and I send our condolences to his family and friends."

 

Tickets for the 2011 SHOWTIME Southern 500 are already a hot commodity and they have become even more desirable with the announcement that 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductees and South Carolina natives, Bud Moore and David Pearson, will be featured on the commemorative ticket.

Legendary car owner Bud Moore was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and would become a decorated war hero in World War II before embarking on a remarkable career in NASCAR racing. Moore saw some of NASCAR’s greatest drivers pilot his entries during his time as an owner. Names like Weatherly, Pearson, Baker, Yarborough and Earnhardt became synonymous with Moore’s race teams during a career that spanned more than four decades and produced back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series championships in 1962 and 1963.

Spartanburg, South Carolina native David Pearson made a name for himself by being a gritty competitor on the track that did things his way. Pearson is the second winningest driver in NASCAR history, behind only Richard Petty, with 105 career victories. Having never run a full season makes Pearson’s victory mark even more impressive. In fact, many still argue Pearson is the best NASCAR driver ever, and had he run full-time he would have surpassed the mark set by Petty. In addition to his 105 career victories, Pearson also recorded three NASCAR Cup series championships in 1966, 1968 and 1969.

Both Moore and Pearson are prominently featured on the SHOWTIME Southern 500 ticket along with the race logo and NASCAR Hall of Fame logo making the ticket a true collectible.

“When the 2011 Hall of Fame class was announced in October we were very excited to have two South Carolinians headed to the Hall in 2011,” said Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. “Bud and David have done so much to build NASCAR from its humble beginnings to the major spectator sport it is today and both are well deserving of this special honor.”

You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame.

Darlington Raceway, or the track “Too Tough To Tame” as it is known to many, is where the purest of NASCAR competition meets true southern hospitality. A NASCAR staple since 1950, Darlington Raceway has seen some of motorsports most talented drivers thunder to Gatorade Victory Lane. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the 2011 racing season at Darlington on March 12, 2011. On Mother’s Day weekend, May 6-7, 2011, NASCAR’s biggest stars return to battle the track “Too Tough To Tame” in the Sprint Cup Series SHOWTIME Southern 500® and Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200 Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Darlington Raceway PR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) released today its telecast times for the 2011 season, primarily preserving the earlier and consistent start times established in 2010.

Regular season points races in the Eastern and Central regions of the country will begin at 1 p.m. ET; West Coast events will begin at 3 p.m. ET; and night races will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET (Note: NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, will start at 6 p.m. ET on May 29).

In addition, NASCAR announced new start times for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with six of the first seven races beginning at 2 p.m. ET and the last three races, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The 52nd annual Bank of America 500 from Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races will again be seen on either FOX, TNT, ESPN or ABC.
“The 2011 broadcast schedule strikes the right balance between keeping the start times in familiar slots and highlighting the races down the stretch, building more excitement at the end of the season,” said Paul Brooks, senior vice president of NASCAR and president of NASCAR Media Group. “Continuing to raise the profile of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was also on the top of our list and we believe these new start times for those 10 races will help do just that.”

The preseason non-points Budweiser Shootout at Daytona will be on FOX (8:10 p.m. ET on Feb. 12). In addition, two other non-points events – the Gatorade Duel at Daytona (2 p.m. ET on Feb. 17) and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (7:30 p.m. ET on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway), will be on SPEED.

FOX will have the first 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, beginning with the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 (Feb. 20, 1 p.m. ET) and ending with the June 5 race at Kansas Speedway, the first of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at that track this year.

TNT will have the next six events, beginning with the Pocono 500 at 1 p.m. ET on June 12 at Pocono Raceway and ending with New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s first of two races on July 17 at 1 p.m. ET. In addition, TNT will have the inaugural Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

ESPN and ABC will carry the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. ABC will telecast three races, including the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup “cutoff race” – the Richmond 400 on Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

ESPN will telecast 14 races, including the first race of the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. ET and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. ET.

ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will telecast 33 of the 34 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2011. ESPN2 opens the season with the DRIVE4COPD 300 at 1:15 p.m. ET on Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway. ESPN2 will also telecast the season finale Ford 300 on Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET).

SPEED will air one NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 2011 with the 24th running of the Bubba Burger 250 from Richmond International Raceway on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to SPEED for a ninth consecutive season. As was the case last year, SPEED will show the entire 25-race schedule, opening with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET at Daytona.

The full telecast schedules for all three national series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – are available via the Word and PDF links at the top of this page.

Les Richter, who served as a senior executive for NASCAR following his All-Pro NFL career, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced tonight.

Richter, affectionately known as “Coach” throughout the motorsports industry, passed away last June at the age of 79. He came to NASCAR in 1983 after a successful second career as president and general manager of Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. Richter soon evolved into one of the most important advisors to then-NASCAR Chairman/CEO Bill France Jr. as NASCAR’s popularity expanded. Richter was named NASCAR's Executive Vice President of Competition in 1986 and the Senior Vice President of Operations in 1992.
"On behalf of all of NASCAR, I'd like to congratulate the Les Richter family on his selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Les lived a wonderful life and had a remarkable career that transcended two of our country's major sports. He played a key role in the growth of NASCAR, particularly on the West Coast and his accomplishments on the football field are legendary. This is a most fitting tribute to a great man."
Richter, a native of Fresno, Calif., was an All-American linebacker and guard at the University of California Berkeley and played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954 to 1962 after being acquired from the Dallas Texans for 11 players. The defensive star was picked for the Pro Bowl eight times and was an Associated Press first team All-Pro in 1956.
He previously was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Richter’s last job in motorsports was as vice president of special projects for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., a track he helped come into existence and then become established as a big time sports facility.

CREDIT: NASCAR PR

After a solid 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season, Jack Roush Jr., and Billy Johnson are back in action with sights set on the 2011 championship, but this time they will be piloting a brand new No. 61 Ford BOSS 302R Mustang. The ROUSH Performance team will again add a second car to the stable with drivers Roly Falgueras and new talent Shelby Blackstock who will share the No. 51 Ford Mustang.

The ROUSH Performance team had an impressive 2010 season finishing in the top five in nine out of 10 races, with six podium finishes and two wins. The team fell just eight points shy of the championship while acquiring the most driver and team laps led, and winning in Homestead; marking team owner Jack Roush Sr.’s 400th victory in racing.

“The 2010 season was a great year for us,” says Johnson. “There have been a lot of changes in the off season with a new crew chief, Jeff Campey, and most notably our new BOSS 302R. We learned a lot in both the Homestead and Daytona tests about the car. It’s quick but we have been working hard to make it last over the long haul like our old FR500C and we are preparing to come to Daytona ready for action.”

In 2009 Jack Roush Jr., finished fifth in the driver points. In 2010 he finished third in points with co-driver Billy Johnson.

“If we keep this yearly improvement, we should attain our goals for 2011,” said Roush Jr.

Joining the team and driving the No.51 ROUSH Performance Mustang is Puerto Rican Roly Falgueras and young gun Shelby Blackstock. Falgueras is returning to Grand-Am GS action after a brief hiatus racing GT cars in South America. This will be Blackstock’s first Grand-Am start, but after showing speed in both the Skip Barber series and Mustang Challenge cars, as well as a solid performance in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the up and coming star is surely someone to keep an eye on.

“I’ve kept track of Shelby for a year now and am looking forward to working with him and seeing what the kid can do,” said team manager Brad Francis. “Roly has been doing this for a while now and is a solid addition to the team.”


“I am very excited to compete in my first Grand-Am race,” said Blackstock. “To be driving for such an historic team like Roush is quite a privilege.”

While new to the team, Campey is not new to the game. Having years of experience as a crew chief under his belt ranging from ARCA to NASCAR, he is a great addition to the No.61 program. Combining Campey with Francis makes for a strong combination with decades of experience.

“I love sports car racing and it’s in my blood,” said Campey. “In fact I first started working for the Roush organization in IMSA before moving over to NASCAR years later. The team is already proven winners and we have an outstanding driver lineup with Jack Roush Jr., and Billy Johnson. It’s also an honor to be able to work hand in hand with Brad Francis. We also have a great crew who have been working very hard in the off season preparing our new BOSS 302R and I hope to contribute to this effort to make everyone’s hard work into a year-end championship.”

The 2011 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season will kick off at Daytona International Speedway on January 28.

 

Credit: Roush Fenway Racing PR

 

The 26th annual Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence ceremony was held today, honoring five individuals with the coveted accolades in motorsports media. This year's recipients were Nate Ryan (USA Today), Lauren Stowell (ESPN), Kris Johnson (NASCAR Illustrated), Mark Rebilas (US Presswire) and Brian Tetzler (KWGN/KDVR) for exceptional motorsports media coverage in 2010. The ceremony, which honors the legacy of motorsports journalism pioneer Russ Catlin, was orchestrated by Aflac, the No. 1 provider of voluntary and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States, and held in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence recognize the best motorsports coverage in five categories, including Daily and Other Writing, Local and National Broadcast, and Photojournalism. More than 150 entries were submitted this year, making it one of the most competitive seasons to date.

"We're proud to honor the writers and broadcasters who strive to bring the best possible coverage to the motorsports audience. Their passion helps fuel our industry and keeps fans coming back for more," said Daniel Fleishman, vice president of Corporate Sponsorships and Emerging Markets for Aflac. "We thank them for all the time and dedication they pour into their work and connecting with the fans."

The Indiana University School of Journalism judged the award entries. Winners receive a trophy and $1,000 scholarship from Aflac in their names to the schools of their choice. Their names are also added to a perpetual trophy housed at Charlotte Motor Speedway that lists all past winners.

"We have so many gifted and talented journalists in the motorsports field. To be chosen among them is an incredible honor," said Scott Cooper, vice president of communications for Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We're proud and thankful that Aflac recognizes their contributions to the sport."

The award is the most coveted in motorsports journalism. The 2010 Aflac Motorsports Journalism Awards of Excellence winners are as follows:

Writing - Daily

Nate Ryan - USA Today

Entry: "Junior's Ride Tied to Sports"

Judges' Comments: Timely story that explores the pressure of high expectations; excellent variety of perspectives; provides ample context for understanding current issues in NASCAR; solid reporting.

Scholarship: Northwestern University; Evanston, Ill.

Writing - Other

Kris Johnson - NASCAR Illustrated

Entry: "Taking Flight"

Judges' Comments: Revealing quotations from a variety of sources; addresses a serious and complex issue (safety) from both a physical and emotional perspective; readers "walk in the shoes" of drivers who have crashed; reporter's research and excellent interviewing skills are evident.

Scholarship: UNC Chapel Hill; Chapel Hill, N.C.

Broadcast - National

Lauren Stowell - ESPN

Entry: "Hendrick for Haiti"

Judges' Comments: Connects racing to world events and universal themes of loss and hope, which allow this story to reach a broader audience. The story illustrates these themes by using personal, national and international tragedies. Excellent production values, effective storytelling, and marriage of verbal and visual elements.

Scholarship: South Windsor High School, South Windsor, Conn.

Broadcast - Local

Brian Tetzler - KWGN/KDVR, Denver, Colo.

Entry: "Using iPads at the Track"

Judges' Comments: This story exemplifies quality reporting. It goes beyond "what happened at the track today" by examining the timely issue of technology integration in motorsports. Superior content and production quality.

Scholarship: Marquette University; Milwaukee, Wis.

Photojournalism

Mark Rebilas - US Presswire

Entry: "Lawn Dart"

Judges' Comments: Excellent composition that provides context for the action. Interesting photo that makes a person stop and examine the details. Unusual image that helps tell the story of off-road racing.

Scholarship: Lincoln Elementary School; Mesa, Ariz.

 

Credit: Aflac PR

Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor paced Chevrolet’s qualifying efforts Thursday in the manufacturer’s first event as an official promotional partner of GRAND-AM Road Racing.

Angelelli, driving the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Dallara, qualified outside front row in Daytona Prototype (DP), and Taylor, in the No. 88 Autohaus Camaro GT.R, qualified second in GT for this weekend’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“That was good,” Angelelli said after a fast lap of 1:40.133 (127.990 mph) at Daytona International Speedway. “We have a good car and a good engine…. We’re looking forward to this season. This Chevy-powered car – we’re going to be fast.

Taylor’s fast lap occurred late in the qualifying session.

“I went out basically to try and get a gap in qualifying just get in clean air, no traffic,” said Taylor (1:48.821, 117.771 mph). “I caught traffic in the middle of the session, but once I got a clear lap on that last lap, it was a really good lap. I got a little bit of a lockup in turn one, but other than that it was a pretty solid lap. We have not had one issue with our Camaro – so, so far, so good for a 24-hour event."

Chevrolet announced its partnership with GRAND-AM Road Racing and team lineup earlier in the day.

“It is good to see all of the hard work by the Chevy teams during the off season paid off with front row starting positions in both the DP and GT classes,” said Mark Kent, GM Racing Director. “While starting up front in a 24-hour race isn't critical, it's definitely a morale boost for our teams.”

Other Team Chevy qualifiers: In DP, Antonio Garcia (No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Coyote), sixth, and Alex Gurney (No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley), 10th. In GT, Robin Liddell (No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R), seventh, and Oliver Gavin (No. 07 Banner Racing Camaro GT.R), 19th.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona starts Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Matt Bell, driver of the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R, qualified fifth in Continental Tire Challenge GS. Other Team Chevy qualifiers in GS: No. 00 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R, 16th; No. 62 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R, 21st; No. 6 Mitchum Motorsports Camaro GS.R, 26th; and No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R, 27th.

 

CREDIT: Team Chevy Racing

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced two key additions to the Integrated Marketing Communications team.

Kristi King, who has 17 years of public relations and marketing experience in NASCAR racing, has been named director of communications, competition and joins the sanctioning body’s Integrated Marketing Communications team.
Steve Pegram brings more than 15 years of experience working with high-profile brands, sports and entertainment properties across multiple marketing and promotional platforms and has been appointed director of stakeholder communications. Most recently, he has worked with Motorsports Management International, the leading driver management firm, and Red Bull Energy Drink, where he oversaw motorsports communications and played an instrumental role in launching the start-up Red Bull Racing NASCAR team. Pegram’s first involvement with NASCAR was more than a decade ago in servicing the Miller Brewing sports marketing account for Wunderman, a Young & Rubicam-owned integrated marketing agency.
King, who will be based at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., has worked at Talladega Superspeedway for the past 6½ years. She was the track’s director of public relations from 2004-08 before being promoted to senior director of communications and consumer marketing in 2008. King was public relations director at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C., from 1994 to 2004.
In her new role, King will assist in providing strategic leadership for all competition-related public relations efforts with specific responsibilities geared towards the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"Kristi brings a solid background in our sport along with a high level of energy and creativity,” said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR senior director of communications, competition. “We’re excited about her joining our team.”
Pegram will play a critical role in leading NASCAR’s collaboration with the marketing and communications teams at various entities throughout the industry, especially race teams and track operators. Pegram will be responsible for working collaboratively with the IMC leadership team and across all NASCAR departments – most notably Industry Relations – to identify and then strategically mobilize NASCAR resources to support key promotional initiatives.
NASCAR veteran Jennifer Powell has been promoted to senior manager, stakeholder communications and will report to Pegram as they collaborate on establishing the department.
“Steve’s relationships and strategic experience will be vital to extending NASCAR’s communications efforts with key stakeholders in the sport,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer.
Pegram will be located at the NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C., and will report directly to the chief communications officer.

CREDIT: NASCAR PR