Speedway News (5490)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Toyota Camry driver Matt Kenseth captured the top starting position for Sunday’s TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway (Richmond). With a speed of 121.076 mph, Kenseth will lead the field to green on Sunday afternoon. He will be joined by Wood Brothers Racing driver Ryan Blaney on the front row, which is his third front row start this season.
Drivers participated in three rounds of knockout qualifying to determine the starting order. In the final round, Kenseth held on to the coveted first place starting position to earn his first pole position of the season.
“It’s a tough track. It’s such a fine line because you have to be patient and not overdrive it but you can’t underdrive it either,” said Kenseth. “It’s just kind of a fine edge and I felt like my first lap the last round I did really good in 1 and 2 not into 3 and 4 and the opposite in the second lap. I didn’t feel like I had the perfect lap but I had good speed.”
Rounding out the top-five were fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex, Jr. followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Logano. Truex has had a strong season so far, and his third-place qualifying adds to his resume.
“We gained on it. I felt like our first round I felt really good about the car,” said Truex. “We were able to be fifth I think with only running one lap. We were second of the cars that had only run one lap, so I felt really good about it and we went out in the second round and the first lap was awful. The car just wouldn’t hook up and then the second lap it got better, but I still didn’t feel like we got back to where we were in the first round. So we made some changes and the third round was for sure better, but I felt like we were still missing something. I should’ve run three laps and I might’ve been even quicker, but all in all it was a good job by the guys and third is a great starting spot here. Up front where we need be. Hopefully, we can keep her up front all day.”
On Beach Whiskey Outback Steakhouse Qualifying Day, Verizon IndyCar Series stars Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Sebastien Bourdais, Graham Rahal and Ed Jones got an up-close look at The Phoenix Raceway Project Powered by DC Solar. Along with Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber, the drivers had the opportunity to “test drive” prototypes of the new grandstand seating and helped celebrate a key milestone in the construction process.
The entire field for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix also signed the first 30-foot steel beam that will be used in construction of the new grandstand.
Fans have been the foundation of racing at Phoenix Raceway and an integral part of the modernization project. To ensure that fans are forever a part of the history at Phoenix Raceway, they are able to sign their names on the steel beam next to their favorite driver’s signatures throughout the weekend.
Nathan’s Famous has been named as the official hot dog of Richmond International Raceway (Richmond). While the track has had many signature food items through the years, Nathan’s Famous is the first official hot dog in Richmond history. From its original restaurant in Coney Island to thousands of supermarkets across the country, the partnership will connect NASCAR fans in Richmond to an American Original Hot Dog.
“Our partnership with Nathan’s Famous will bring this well-known brand to NASCAR fans at Richmond,” said Richmond President, Dennis Bickmeier. “We look forward to fans enjoying an American Original Hot Dog as part of our two NASCAR race weekends.”
There will be two new style of hot dogs available for fans this weekend in Richmond. The Chaos Dog will be a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog wrapped in Smithfield bacon topped with chorizo meat chili, pepper jack cheese, house pickled jalapenos, and house-made creamy slaw. The new Three-Quarter Mile Dog will feature a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog with traditional condiments. These new offerings will be sure to bring the chaos of quality and flavor to fans’ palates.
“Nathan’s celebrates family and fun, and aligning with a popular family-friendly track like Richmond International Raceway is a natural fit for us,” said Wayne Norbitz, Nathan's Famous executive board member and former 26-year president. “We couldn't be more excited that race fans will now be able to enjoy our premium hot dogs during all of the excitement of racing at Richmond!”
Team Penske has been no stranger to Talladega Superspeedway’s Gatorade Victory Lane in recent years. Roger Penske’s drivers - Brad Keselowski, the defending GEICO 500 champion and Joey Logano - have combined to capture the past three checkered flags at the mammoth 2.66-mile Superspeedway and hope to give Penske a fourth straight in the GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 7.
With a triumph in the GEICO 500, Penske would join some pretty elite company. Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) and Hendrick Motorsports are the only teams to make at least four straight trips to Talladega Superspeedway’s Gatorade Victory lane.
Hendrick pulled off four-in-a-row from 2006-07 with a trio of drivers that included Brian Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, and Jeff Gordon. DEI holds the ultimate mark of five consecutive from 2001-03 with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who reeled off a record four straight, and Michael Waltrip, who added one more.
“Talladega has been good to us,” said Keselowski, already a two-time winner in 2017. “Talladega has been a track for us that’s been a great catalyst for success. I don’t know why that is, but it’s a track where if you’re capable of winning here, I think you show a certain level of attitude and swagger that carries your way through the rest of the year.”
Team Penske’s dominance began in October of 2014 when Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford, earned his third career Talladega victory. That day, he assumed the lead from Ryan Newman in overtime and took the checkered flag after 194 heart-pounding circuits.
The following spring, Earnhardt Jr. claimed his sixth career win at Talladega before Team Penske reigned again, and they have been atop the Talladega world ever since. In the fall ’15, Logano, who pilots the No. 22 Ford, led 28 laps and bested Hendrick Motorsports teammates Earnhardt, Jr. and Gordon. A year ago, in the GEICO 500, Keselowski dominated, leading 46 laps and fending off Kyle Busch before Logano made his second trip to Gatorade Victory Lane last fall. In the process, Logano became the first recipient of Talladega’s newest tradition - the Vulcan Trophy.
“Winning at Talladega is always fun,” Logano, who is still searching for his first win of ’17, said. "Even when you’re coming off turn four you don’t know if you’ve got it (the win) because so many things can happen before the start-finish line (Extended 1,250 feet towards Turn One from the middle of the tri-oval). For Team Penske to have the success we’ve had at Talladega, it has been memorable.”
A Talladega Superspeedway tradition since the spring of 2014, the Freedom Trophy – which proudly displays the five branches of the United States military – will be presented to the winner of the Sunday, May 7, GEICO 500 by Colonel Christopher C. Barnett.
The Freedom Trophy is presented to each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) winner by a member of one of our country’s military. Members from all five branches – Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard - have stood alongside a MENCS driver in Gatorade Victory Lane, handing the victorious driver the one-of-a-kind trophy.
Since the summer of 2016, Col. Barnett has been an instructor of Leadership and Warfighting at the Air War College (AWC), located on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Prior to joining the AWC faculty, he served as the Vice Commander, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, and Vice Commander, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ramstein AFB, Germany.
Barnett is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and AWC. He is also a certified command pilot, with more than 3,000 flight hours and 200 combat hours in a variety of H-60 aircraft. For his efforts relating to the combat search and rescue of an F-14 crew in Iraq on April 1, 2003, he was awarded the Air Force Special Operations Command "Pilot of the Year Award."
Four different drivers have been presented the Freedom Trophy at Talladega Superspeedway - Denny Hamlin (2014), Brad Keselowski (’14 & ’16), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (’15), and Joey Logano (’15 & ’16).
“At Talladega Superspeedway, we take great delight in supporting our nation’s military,” Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway Grant Lynch said. “We are thrilled to have Col. Barnett in attendance to present the Freedom Trophy to the winner of the GEICO 500 and can’t thank him enough for his service to our country. It will be an incredible chance for all our fans in attendance to show their appreciation to Col. Barnett and other members of our military. There’s nothing we take more pride in than showing support for those who fight for our freedom so that we can put on spectacular racing action at Talladega.”
Chicagoland Speedway and Nickelodeon today announced that the number-one entertainment brand for kids is the entitlement sponsor of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 17, dubbed the Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. The announcement was made atop the 360 Chicago Observation Deck by Chicagoland Speedway President, Scott Paddock and Nickelodeon Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing, Anthony DiCosmo.
“Following the success of last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, we are ecstatic to continue our relationship with Nickelodeon in 2017,” said Paddock. “This blend of exciting racing and family entertainment is the perfect formula to launch the Playoffs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series kick off at our Magnificent Mile and a Half.”
This Sept. 14-17 marks the second partnership for Chicagoland Speedway and Nickelodeon, who last year partnered to bring fans the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400. This is the seventh consecutive year Chicagoland Speedway will kick off the Playoffs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
”Our partnership with Chicagoland Speedway and NASCAR continues to build momentum and drive fan excitement,” said DiCosmo. “We’re thrilled to return to Chicago with the next installment in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series – the Tales of the Turtles – and create an action-packed weekend on and off the track for NASCAR and Turtles fans alike.”
During the Tales of the Turtles 400 race weekend, attendees will be able to enjoy fun family activities with appearances by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumed characters and more. The Tales of the Turtles 400 ticket package includes a meet and greet with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a race ticket and the new Tales of the Turtles DVD.
The official Tales of the Turtles 400 race shirt will be available on the NASCAR.com Superstore today at 2:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. ET.
The announcement, which was made on National Superhero Day, marks the kickoff of Chicagoland Speedway’s brand-new initiative to recognize everyday heroes leading into and on race day. Chicagoland Speedway will give fans the opportunity to nominate their own personal hero to receive a VIP race day experience and serve as race Grand Marshal. Fans can nominate their hero at www.chicagolandspeedway.com/hero.
Creative elements for the Tales of the Turtles 400 race will be inspired by Nickelodeon’s season five anthology series, Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This season captures seven distinct stories featuring Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo’s past and future, including their early days in New York City, encounters with villains and friends, and a peek into their distant, but wild future. Throughout the season, fans can expect to see both new and familiar friends and foes as each tale unfolds. New episodes premiere throughout 2017 on Nickelodeon.
Since its launch in 2012, Nickelodeon’s all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has re-energized these iconic characters of this wildly popular franchise. Currently in its fifth season, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is seen in over 170 countries and territories and translated in 45+ languages. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows four mutant turtles—Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo—trained in the art of ninjutsu by their mutant rat sensei, Master Splinter, who teaches the turtles to battle evil from the New York City sewers.
Nickelodeon has a long-standing relationship with NASCAR, teaming up with the motorsports giant on several programming and racing events. On the track, the network has sponsored several races including last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. On-air both brands have collaborated on and Hammer Down, which aired on Nicktoon’s NickSports block.
Calling all citizens of Birmingham! Talladega Superspeedway, located just 40 minutes east of Birmingham, and its upcoming May 5-7 triple-header weekend is an easy and quick way to escape reality. Come join in the fun, Birmingham, and experience Talladega, which will once again put on the most spectacular racing in motorsports, featuring the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series, and the General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards events.
“We have a wide variety of exciting things to offer the fans from Birmingham, our closest big city, with both on-track action and off-track festivities,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. “We have unbeatable ticket offers for families, a college ticket offer and incredible VIP upgrades. There is something for everyone. While we are ecstatic that Birmingham race fans come to our events, we also love sending out-of-area fans to the Magic City to stay for the weekend in hotels and experience the incredible sights and sounds that it has to offer. We love Birmingham and share a unique connection with it as some of our early races here were called the ‘Vulcan 500.’ Birmingham has always been a part of us, and today we are proud to award our ‘Vulcan Trophy,’ symbolic of the Vulcan statue that overlooks Birmingham, to our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup winners.”
The track generates an annual economic impact of more than $380 million and creates thousands of jobs for workers throughout the Alabama economy. About 70 percent of race fans come from out of state with half of those fans traveling as far as 300 to 900 miles to attend a race weekend. Talladega Superspeedway helps drive those fans to the Birmingham area for accommodations with DEGARooms.com.
“It’s a huge time for Birmingham as hotels are occupied and restaurants are extremely busy during Talladega’s race weekends,” added Lynch. “We appreciate being a partner to the city of Birmingham.”
Dale Eanrhardt Jr. will be making his final start in the GEICO 500 after announcing his retirement at the end of 2017. The six-time Talladega Superspeedway winner’s most recent visit to Gatorade Victory Lane at the 2.66-mile venue came in the 2015 GEICO 500. Team Penske will be gunning for its fourth straight Talladega triumph with drivers Brad Keselowski (defending champ of the GEICO 500) and Joey Logano.
In addition to the competition on the track, Talladega is NASCAR’s Party Capital with Friday (May 5) evening’s “The Big One on the Blvd,” featuring NASCAR drivers in a mardi gras-style setting and overseeing four incredibly entertaining fan competitions on Friday night. Then, it’s time for the traditional Saturday (May 6) Night Infield Concert with The Charlie Daniels Band with up-and-coming country artist Chris Shrader serving as the opening act. Admission to the concert is FREE to anyone with a GEICO 500 ticket.
Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD) today reported its results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.
The Company historically reports a loss in the first quarter due to the seasonality of our motorsports business. No major events were promoted during the first quarter of 2017 or 2016; therefore, our revenues were minimal.
Operating and marketing expenses of $1,054,000 in the first quarter of 2017 decreased from $1,206,000 in the first quarter of 2016 primarily due to lower employee costs.
General and administrative expenses of $2,008,000 in the first quarter of 2017 were consistent with the $1,954,000 in the first quarter of 2016.
Costs to remove long-lived assets of $286,000 represent costs incurred during the first quarter of 2017 to remove the remaining grandstands, seats and structures that were taken out of service and written off in 2015. We started the removal project during the fourth quarter of 2016 and incurred a total cost of approximately $489,000.
Depreciation expense decreased to $821,000 in the first quarter of 2017 from $896,000 in the first quarter of 2016. The 2016 expense included approximately $91,000 of increased depreciation expense due to a change in the useful life of assets that we decided to renovate during 2016.
Net interest expense was $48,000 in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $59,000 in the first quarter of 2016.
Loss before income taxes was $4,108,000 for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $3,962,000 for the first quarter of 2016. The results for 2017 include the $286,000 of costs to remove long-lived assets while the 2016 results include the $91,000 of accelerated depreciation expense. On an adjusted basis, excluding these items, loss before income taxes was $3,822,000 for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $3,871,000 for the first quarter of 2016.
Net loss for the first quarter of 2017 was $2,405,000 or $.07 per diluted share compared with a loss of $2,343,000 or $.06 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2016. Net loss, adjusted for the aforementioned items, was $2,238,000 or $.06 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $2,289,000 or $.06 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2016. At March 31, 2017, the Company’s total indebtedness was $6,360,000 compared with $7,580,000 at March 31, 2016.
As previously announced, on August 25, 2016, we entered into a definitive agreement to sell our Nashville Superspeedway facility along with some related equipment and other assets. A second amendment was signed on March 22, 2017 to extend the agreement. Closing is now anticipated during the third quarter of 2017. The assets of Nashville Superspeedway are reported as assets held for sale in our consolidated balance sheets.
This release contains or may contain forward-looking statements based on management's beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties which could cause results to vary materially. Please refer to the Company's SEC filings for a discussion of such factors.
Dover Motorsports, Inc. is a leading promoter of NASCAR sanctioned and other motorsports events in the United States whose subsidiaries own and operate Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware and Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tennessee. For further information, log on to dovermotorsports.com.
|DOVER MOTORSPORTS, INC.|
|CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS|
|In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts|
|Three Months Ended|
|Operating and marketing||1,054||1,206|
|General and administrative||2,008||1,954|
|Costs to remove long-lived assets||286||-|
|Interest expense, net||(48||)||(59||)|
|(Provision) benefit for contingent obligation||(41||)||14|
|Loss before income taxes||(4,108||)||(3,962||)|
|Income tax benefit||1,703||1,619|
|Net loss per common share:|
|Weighted average shares outstanding:|
|DOVER MOTORSPORTS, INC.|
|RECONCILIATION OF GAAP LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES|
|TO ADJUSTED LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES|
|AND RECONCILIATION OF GAAP NET LOSS TO ADJUSTED NET LOSS|
|In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts|
|Three Months Ended|
|GAAP loss before income taxes||$||(4,108||)||$||(3,962||)|
|Accelerated depreciation (1)||-||91|
|Costs to remove long-lived assets (2)||286||-|
|Adjusted loss before income taxes||$||(3,822||)||$||(3,871||)|
|GAAP net loss||$||(2,405||)||$||(2,343||)|
|Accelerated depreciation, net of income taxes (1)||-||54|
|Costs to remove long-lived assets, net of income taxes (2)||167||-|
|Adjusted net loss||$||(2,238||)||$||(2,289||)|
|GAAP net loss per common share - basic and diluted||$||(0.07||)||$||(0.06||)|
|Accelerated depreciation, net of income taxes (1)||-||-|
|Costs to remove long-lived assets, net of income taxes (2)||-||-|
|Adjusted net loss per common share - basic and diluted (3)||$||(0.06||)||$||(0.06||)|
|During the first quarter of 2016, we began a renovation project of certain track related assets at our Dover International Speedway facility which was completed in the first quarter of 2017. As a result, we shortened the service lives of these assets which resulted in accelerated depreciation being recorded in the first quarter of 2016.|
|Costs to remove long-lived assets represents costs incurred to remove and dispose of certain grandstand seating at our Dover International Speedway facility.|
|The components of GAAP net loss per common share for the three months ended March 31, 2017 do not add to the adjusted net loss per common share due to rounding.|
|The above financial information is presented using other than generally accepted accounting principles ("non-GAAP"), and is reconciled to comparable information presented using GAAP. Non-GAAP adjusted loss before income taxes, adjusted net loss and adjusted net loss per common share - basic and diluted are derived by adjusting amounts determined in accordance with GAAP for the aforementioned accelerated depreciation and costs to remove long-lived assets. Income taxes are based on our approximate statutory tax rates applicable to each of these items. We believe such non-GAAP information is useful and meaningful to investors, and is used by investors and us to assess core operations. This non-GAAP financial information may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other entities and should not be considered as an alternative to loss before income taxes, net loss or net loss per common share - basic and diluted, which are determined in accordance with GAAP.|
|DOVER MOTORSPORTS, INC.|
|CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS|
|March 31,||March 31,||December 31,|
|Prepaid expenses and other||1,515||1,820||1,104|
|Prepaid income taxes||-||2||-|
|Deferred income taxes||-||1,408||-|
|Assets held for sale||26,000||26,000||26,000|
|Total current assets||28,972||30,884||27,541|
|Property and equipment, net||52,326||53,105||52,723|
|Deferred income taxes||-||531||-|
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY|
|Payable to Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc.||8||10||7|
|Income taxes payable||103||-||218|
|Total current liabilities||7,408||8,590||4,785|
|Revolving line of credit, net||6,360||7,580||3,840|
|Liability for pension benefits||4,013||3,689||4,143|
|Provision for contingent obligation||1,843||1,713||1,802|
|Deferred income taxes||11,223||14,087||12,911|
|Class A common stock||1,851||1,851||1,851|
|Additional paid-in capital||101,929||101,764||101,858|
|Accumulated other comprehensive loss||(3,370||)||(3,099||)||(3,392||)|
|Total stockholders' equity||51,503||49,705||53,805|
|Total liabilities and stockholders' equity||$||82,350||$||85,364||$||81,286|
|DOVER MOTORSPORTS, INC.|
|CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS|
|Three Months Ended|
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:
|Amortization of credit facility fees||16||24|
|Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation||-||(27||)|
|Deferred income taxes||(1,703||)||(1,620||)|
|Provision (benefit) for contingent obligation||41||(14||)|
|Changes in assets and liabilities:|
|Prepaid expenses and other||(460||)||(692||)|
|Payable to/receivable from Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc.||1||54|
|Income taxes payable/prepaid income taxes||(115||)||(1||)|
|Liability for pension benefits||(88||)||(72||)|
|Net cash used in operating activities||(2,178||)||(1,119||)|
|Purchases of available-for-sale securities||(95||)||(2||)|
|Proceeds from sale of available-for-sale securities||93||1|
|Net cash used in investing activities||(237||)||(333||)|
|Borrowings from revolving line of credit||3,580||3,100|
|Repayments on revolving line of credit||(1,060||)||(1,420||)|
|Repurchase of common stock||(105||)||(103||)|
|Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation||-||27|
|Net cash provided by financing activities||2,415||1,604|
|Net increase in cash||-||152|
|Cash, beginning of period||1||1|
|Cash, end of period||$||1||$||153|
Dover Motorsports PR
Under the bright sun in a cloudless sky, Nick Meeson crossed the historic Richmond International Raceway finish line to become the winner of the inaugural Checkered Flag 5K sponsored by Bon Secours and Midlothian Athletic Club (MAC). Meeson ran a course record 16:589 to become the first non-driver to win a race held at the track.
“It is an honor to be a part of and win the inaugural Checkered Flag 5K,” said Meeson, Richmond Ticket Sales Account Executive. “It was an amazing experience to run the historic track and represent my Richmond colleagues.”
The inaugural Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run provided runners, and race fans, the opportunity to run the thousand plus acre Richmond Raceway Complex. Participants viewed the track in a way unlike any fans before them completing a 5K crossing the historic Richmond start/finish line. The Checkered Flag 5K will give participants a unique view of the track, but also helped the local community through Richmond’s charitable arm, RIR Cares, a donor advised fund of the NASCAR Foundation.
One participant who had a unique view of the track during the Checkered Flag 5K was Richmond’s President Dennis Bickmeier. As a runner in the race, Bickmeier set a personal course record completing the race in 25:38.4. He was not the best Bickmeier on the day as his son, Joshua, ran a 24:33.7 in the Checkered Flag 5K.
“As the official start to our four-day spring race weekend, the Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run provided an opportunity for participants and fans to connect in a new way at Richmond,” said Bickmeier. “From running past campers to jogging with race fans, this was an amazing experience I look forward to making an annual tradition at the track. We thank Bon Secours and Midlothian Athletic Club for their generous sponsorship of this inaugural event.”
Gray Gaulding, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver with BK Racing, returned to his home track to compete in the first race of the season at Richmond. Gray finished with a 22:28.7 as he raced fans during the race and signed autographs following the finish line.
“For my second 5K, this was an awesome experience to have so many families on the track,” said Gaulding. “It was a memorable time to talk and race with NASCAR fans. Thanks to Richmond for allowing me to be a part of the inaugural Checkered Flag 5K.”
The Checkered Flag 5K was not the only race on the track as youth had an opportunity to bond with other children as part of the Kids Fun Run. The family-friendly race gave families the opportunity to create their own new memories on the historic Richmond track. The Bickmeier family took a moment to bond with his youngest son, Nate, who ran away with the winner’s trophy in the Kids Fun Run.
As the founding sponsor for the Checkered Flag 5K, Bon Secours continued their long-time support of the Richmond community. An organization known for bringing compassion to health care and helping people live a life of health and wholeness, Bon Secours was a great partner for the new 5K event.
“We are delighted to be the founding sponsor of the inaugural Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run,” said Jamie Gordon, Director of Sports Medicine, Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “Through this event, we captured the excitement of the sport of racing and combined it with helping families stay healthy and active while engaging in sporting activities. We’re pleased to partner with Richmond International Raceway to inspire people and communities in Richmond.”
As a sponsor for the Checkered Flag 5K, MAC continued their support of a healthy life in the Richmond community. MAC is a full-service health club that provides the highest quality of personal training, customer service, tennis, racquetball and group fitness. The organization’s goal is to provide an atmosphere of comfort and safety through their world class service.
"The Midlothian Athletic Club was honored to be a part of the Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Run with Bon Secours Sports Medicine and Richmond International Raceway,” said Robert Goodman, General Manager of MAC. “This event was a great opportunity for the MAC to help create a more fit RVA and become more involved with the NASCAR community."
After crossing Richmond historic start/finish line, participants celebrated with post-race festivities including photos in Gatorade Victory Lane, food trucks and craft beer on pit road, and received an official Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run hat.
RIR Cares is a donor advised fund of The NASCAR Foundation. The organization holds multiple fundraisers throughout the year, including Track Laps events, Turn Left Golf Classic, National Night Out, and the Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run. RIR Cares partners with the Richmond Flying Squirrels Charities to present the Turn Left Golf Classic each fall. As the signature event on the RIR Cares fundraising calendar, the event raises funds for organizations in our area.
Richmond International Raceway (Richmond) hosted 400 eighth grade students from schools in central Virginia for the inaugural STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) educational event, Speed Into Science, sponsored by the Gene Haas Foundation and M&T Bank on Thursday, April 27. As part of the event, students had the opportunity to learn with Stewart-Haas Racing driver Cole Custer.
“The future of the sport is in good hands with young drivers like Cole Custer, who are willing to commit to share their experience and knowledge with the bright minds of tomorrow,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “We believe it is our responsibility as a track to support our community through educational programs like Speed Into Science. With like-minded partners in the Gene Haas Foundation and M&T Bank, this event will have an even greater long-range impact on students in central Virginia.”
Custer, driver of the No. 00 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS), is running full-time this season for the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing NXS team. Custer is also competing for the Sunoco rookie of the year. In 2016, he made five XFINITY Series starts with JR Motorsports, where he also competed in the Camping World Truck Series. The ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race will be his fourth race at Richmond and his second NXS race at the track. Custer claimed his first top ten finish in the series in 2016’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond. In the Truck Series, he has two career wins and finished tenth in points last season.
“It means a lot to get to teach kids the science of racing because they're the future of our sport,” said driver of the No. 00, Custer. “There is obviously a lot of science that goes into racing that people don't know about and letting kids see that is awesome. It's extremely important for kids to know the science behind racing because that’s what makes racing so interesting. The students get to take what they learned in the classroom and experience in person the hands-on science that goes into racing.”
"The Gene Haas Foundation believes in America's youth,” said Joe Custer, president, Stewart-Haas Racing. “Tomorrow's leaders are in our classrooms today; those students that strive to excel by participating in programs like STEM should be commended and we are thrilled to support them."
"In 1999, Gene Haas founded the Gene Haas Foundation. Growing up with a strong social conscience instilled by his family, Haas initially formed the foundation to fund grants that target needs of the local Ventura community where Haas Automation is located. These grants support the underserved of the community primarily children,” said Kathy Looman, Foundation Administrator at the Gene Haas Foundation. “Over the years, the foundation has grown and expanded embracing the ‘teach a man to fish’ principal. The foundation has granted over 35 million dollars in grants to school programs focusing on scholarships for manufacturing technology students. This STEM field is anticipating two million open jobs over the next 10 years. The foundation has granted a total of over 50 million dollars in grants since its inception in 1999."
Speed Into Science consists of four turns (i.e. stations), developed alongside local science teachers, focusing on force and motion, chemistry, sound, and thermal energy and friction. The first turn uses distracted driver and airbag simulators, and crash barrier experiments to teach force and motion. The second turn uses hands-on chemistry experiments that let the kids see chemistry happening before their eyes. In turn three, pace car experiments with Doppler speakers, police radar and race engine power demos teach students about sound. The final turn uses infrared video imaging, tire heat and measurements, for students to learn about thermal energy and friction. The curriculum for the event was developed in partnership with RVAStem and a group of amazing volunteer teachers.
“M&T Bank is honored to partner with Richmond International Raceway and the Speed Into Science program,” said Cecilia Hodges, President of M&T Bank's Central and Southern Virginia Region. “In addition to this program, our existing partnerships with the Flying Squirrels, Richmond Children’s Museum and Central Virginia Children’s Book Bank, support programs that promote education, literacy and foster vibrant communities. M&T Bank understands that the vitality of the communities we serve is crucial to our continued success, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to support quality education.”
In addition to science turns, each registered classroom received four videos to show in the weeks leading up to Speed Into Science. The videos featured special guests, including Cole Custer, talking about each of the four turns students experienced at the event.