Speedway News (10091)
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NASCAR Truck Series 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway now kicks off the 2020 championship playoffs21 Jan 2020 Written by Speedway Digest Staff
The 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series iHeart 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway underwent an exciting new change today – for the third time. First, the race was moved from June to August to create WWTR’s INDYCAR-NASCAR doubleheader weekend. Second, NASCAR announced new pit stop rules for select races, including WWTR’s 200. Today, NASCAR officials announced the expansion of the Truck Series playoffs, adding two more drivers to the eight-team playoffs, and making the WWTR 200 the first race in the Round of 10.
Three races comprise the Round of 10: WWTR (Aug. 21), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario (Sept. 6) and Bristol (Sept. 17). Two teams will be eliminated at the conclusion of the Round of 10.
“The NASCAR playoffs always produce incredible drama and we’re excited that our event will play such an important role in the championship chase,” said Chris Blair, Executive Vice President and General Manager of World Wide Technology Raceway. “Our venue is unlike any other on the schedule and the spectacular racing that we always deliver will make quite an impact to kick start the Round of 10.”
The playoff format previously followed an opening Round of 8, another three races in the Round of 6 and the Championship 4. Brad Moran, managing director for the Gander Trucks Series, said that the emergence of more top-level teams and the heightened degree of competition made the decision to increase the playoff field a natural one.
“The way the format was structured in the Gander Truck Series with the Round of 8, Round of 6, Round of 4, we were leaving some excitement on the table,” Moran said. “Maybe three or four years ago, not so much, but certainly the last couple of years with the series strengthening to the position it’s in right now, we really felt putting 10 teams into the playoffs for a Round of 10 is just going to make it that much more exciting and interesting, and will put a lot of emphasis on winning races, which is what we try to do.”
Moran said that competition officials had been weighing a potential expansion by comparing final standings from previous seasons, ultimately arriving at a 10-driver field for the Gander Trucks tour. It also provides some late-season cohesion: Now all three national series will feature a Round of 8 that cuts the playoff fields in half before the championship finales.
“It seemed like the right number,” Moran said. “We only start 32 trucks, we have a great group of owners, and we did not want to water down our playoffs, but the two additional trucks kind of changes the whole layout. It changes the whole ecosystem of the playoffs. People are going to be that much more aggressive to get one of those 10 spots, and it does marry up with the other two series when we get to the Round of 8.”
WWTR’s Aug. 21-22 NASCAR-INDYCAR Doubleheader Weekend now includes:
- Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline for the NTT IndyCar Series
- iHeart 200 for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
- ARCA Midwest Series (Super Late Models)
- Indy Lights Series
- Indy Pro 2000 Series
- Vintage Indy Registry/Open Wheel Icons exhibitions
For tickets and information, please call World Wide Technology Raceway at (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
One of the most anticipated events on the 2020 Martinsville Speedway schedule was unofficially kicked off today when former NASCAR Modified Tour champion and current NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece tested his modified car today.
Preece was joined by modified veteran Gary Putnam who also brought his car out to prepare for Ryan Newman to drive in the first race for the modified division since 2010 at Martinsville Speedway.
Preece is already excited to be back at Martinsville in his modified.
“I drove my old box truck through the gate this morning and that was pretty cool,” said Preece. “That is a memory I’ll never forget.
“As far as modified goes, it’s the history the modifieds have at this track … you want to come and race here. (Martinsville) is just a special place.”
Also joining Preece was former Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, who added this idea to test a modified car was a long time in the making stating that Preece has been talking to him about it for about two years.
“I told Ryan this is his fault,” said Harvick. “I’m taking a lot of grief from my other half, but obviously this is a great experience for me. It’s way outside my normal, everyday routine and things that I’ve raced.
“I’ve never raced anything like this. Just to drive it was a lot of fun for me and it definitely put a smile on my face. It’s definitely a good experience for me.”
Harvick, whose company KHI Management lists Preece as a client, said today was a result of the relationship he started with Preece a while back.
“For me, we’ve had a great relationship that (Preece) started with Stafford Speedway. Between Ryan and Stafford Motor Speedway, that’s why I drove three hours up here today to come up here and do this,” Harvick said.
“I wouldn’t drive it if I didn’t want to race it. Let’s just make that clear. We’ve talked about that. It’s something that will definitely be on my bucket list to go do.”
Tickets to the MAXPRO Windows Films 200 modified race and the first NASCAR Cup Series race under the lights can be purchased by calling 1-877-RACE-TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Pull those straps tight! The NASCAR Racing Experience returns to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, January 25-26, and the track has announced additional dates racing enthusiasts can experience the ride of a lifetime.
Below is Talladega Superspeedway’s 2020 NASCAR Racing Experience schedule:
January 25-26, 2020
March 21-22, 2020
May 2-3, 2020
September 19-20, 2020
October 10-11, 2020
With the NASCAR Racing Experience, fans can get the thrill of driving a stock car or by taking a NASCAR Ride Along as a passenger. NASCAR Racing Experience offers timed racing sessions, and those who choose to drive will have no lead car to follow and no instructor riding along. Everyone must attend a mandatory drivers meeting with their crew chief for training and instructions prior to hitting the track.
To purchase your next NASCAR Racing Experience, for questions or more information, please visit www.nascarracingexperience.com
Talladega Superspeedway kicks off its 2020 season on April 24-26 with a tripleheader race weekend featuring the GEICO 500 (NASCAR Cup Series), the MoneyLion 300 (NASCAR Xfinity Series) and General Tire 200 (ARCA Menards Series), along with the spring debut of the all-new Talladega Garage Experience. For additional ticket information, call 855-518-RACE (7223) or log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com
NASCAR fans camping in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s infield are getting an express pass to fun during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend.
That’s because the Speedway is implementing another enhancement under its 20 in 20 Initiative that fans have been asking for: a direct shuttle between the AMS Fan Zone and the infield.
New for the 2020 NASCAR weekend, this shuttle will make use of a specialized non-stop path to get fans staying in the infield out to the Fan Zone and all of the games and entertainment that await. Thanks to the new Infield/Fan Zone Express Shuttle, fans in the infield will spend less time traveling and more time enjoying everything NASCAR weekend at AMS has to offer.
The Infield/Fan Zone Express Shuttle is the 14th improvement to come from Atlanta Motor Speedway’s “20 in 20” initiative. All told the Speedway will be announcing 20 individual enhancements to increase fan value and the overall enjoyment of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR weekend on March 13-15.
Tickets and camping locations for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway are available now by calling 877-9-AMS-TIX or visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
The 58th running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA sports car endurance classic is five days away. The rhetorical clock is ticking, leading up to Saturday afternoon when the real clock comes into play.
The Rolex 24, the season-opening race for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, starts at 1:40 p.m. Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Competitors will then face one of motorsports’ most challenging events, a twice-around-the-clock excursion on the 3.56-mile DIS road course. Four WeatherTech Championship classes – Daytona Prototype international (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) – will vie simultaneously for the overall and the separate class titles.
Beneath that overview of one of motorsports premier races lies a plethora of storylines supporting the undeniable resurgence of the Rolex 24 in recent years. That resurgence has coincided with a reimagined IMSA, which has made the 2014 merger of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series a sparkling triumph, to the benefit of North American sports car racing fans.
Each season, it all starts amid the consummate backdrop: the “World Center of Racing” in the city where IMSA was founded in 1969.
Every year at the Rolex 24, the buzz inevitably begins with the entry list. This race is renowned for attracting an all-star field featuring drivers from other racing disciplines such as NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1. This year fits the mold as two-time and reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch heads the must-see list, co-driving the No. 14 AIM VASSER SULLIVAN Lexus in the production-based GTD class, making his Rolex 24 debut.
Other entry-list highlights:
· Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud is entered, as are five other former Indy 500 winners – Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi. Dixon, Pagenaud, Montoya, Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais are the past IndyCar series champions entered.
· There’s more NASCAR flavor in the Grand Sport Class of the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge event on Friday – NASCAR up-and-comers Hailie Deegan, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe in the Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4s. The No. 15 will be piloted by Cindric and Seb Priaulx and the No. 22 by Briscoe and Deegan.
· Back to the Rolex 24, GEAR Racing powered by GRT Grasser is set to compete in the No. 19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with an all-female lineup of Christina Nielsen, Katherine Legge, Tati Calderon, and Rahel Frey. Nielsen and Legge have a combined 13 starts in the Rolex 24 and co-drove on the Meyer Shank Racing all-women’s team at last year’s Rolex 24.
· The defending race champion team from Wayne Taylor Racing returns with an altered lineup in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi. Taylor – also a Rolex 24 champion as a driver in his younger days – is now fielding a team without both of his accomplished sons, Jordan and Ricky Taylor. Jordan has departed Wayne Taylor Racing for the legendary GT organization Corvette Racing. His exit was prefaced last year when Ricky joined Roger Penske’s IMSA team. This year’s WTR roster consists of Dixon, former IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe plus returnees Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi.
Off-track items of note start with this year’s Grand Marshal, the immensely popular – and successful – Christian Fittipaldi, who retired from competition after last year’s Rolex 24. Fittipaldi, nephew of open-wheel legend Emerson Fittipaldi, won the Rolex 24 three times in his career.
There will also be plenty of activities for fans to enjoy throughout the Rolex 24 including:
· Taste of the 24: For the 11th consecutive year, The NASCAR Foundation will host its Taste of the 24 event. Held in the Midway Suites, fans can indulge in delicious foods from Daytona-area restaurants while enjoying live entertainment; they will also be entered to win a Rolex watch.
· Heritage Exhibition: A number of historically significant race cars will be on display all weekend long inside UNOH Fanzone. Cars featured include sports cars from 1965 to 2013 that raced in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, with a strong focus on cars from the various prototype eras. On Saturday morning, the participating cars will turn demonstration laps and a parade lap around a portion of the road course.
· Rolex 24 Boardwalk and Ferris wheel: Fans can visit the infield for a wide selection of food and carnival rides, including one of the largest Ferris wheels on the East Coast, which allows them to watch the race from 150 feet in the air.
· One of the world’s largest autograph sessions: Nowhere else in the world will fans find some of the greatest sports car drivers all signing autographs at the same time and in the same location. The UNOH Fanzone will host the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship autograph session prior to Saturday’s race. With all of the Rolex 24 drivers participating, it’s one of the largest autograph sessions in all of sports.
· IMSA Twenty-Four Premier at ONE DAYTONA: On Wednesday, January 22, before the teams take to the track, race fans can get up close to the cars and drivers during this fan-friendly event at ONE DAYTONA across the street from Daytona International Speedway. From 6-8 p.m., fans can meet some of the biggest names in the sport, watch a live pit stop demonstration and more.
· Car manufacturer and vendor displays: With the paved infield Midway jam-packed with manufacturer and vendor displays, car fanatics can find the latest information on some of their favorite race teams, straight from the makers of the machines themselves.
· Annual Celebration of Speed at ONE DAYTONA: For fans who enjoy exotic cars and want to help a good cause, at ONE DAYTONA on Friday, January 24 from 6-8 p.m., luxury vehicle owners will gather to raise money to help support The NASCAR Foundation.
Tickets for the 58th Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 62nd annual DAYTONA 500 on Feb. 16 and other speedway events can be purchased online at www.
Darlington Raceway will celebrate Daytona Day and the start of the 2020 NASCAR season by hosting its ninth annual Daytona 500 Community Watch Party on Sunday, Feb. 16.
The party will be hosted at Mellow Mushroom, located at 120 Dunbarton Dr., in Florence, S.C. The event will start at 1:30 p.m. and continue until the conclusion of the Daytona 500.
The Community Watch Party will feature a food and drink special courtesy of Mellow Mushroom. Fans who attend will have the chance to win tickets, pit passes and pre-race ceremony wristbands, along with other prizes and giveaways to the NASCAR Cup Series Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend.
“Our ninth annual watch party is a great way for us to engage with our local race fans and celebrate Daytona Day and the start of the 2020 NASCAR season,” track President Kerry Tharp said. “We’re excited that the event will once again be held at Mellow Mushroom for the fourth consecutive year, which is an outstanding venue to watch The Great American Race on February 16.”
The watch party will also feature a video gaming area at Mellow Mushroom where fans will be able to simulate racing at Daytona International Speedway. Top times posted during the contest will receive prizes during the party.
Proud partners of the ninth annual Community Watch Party are Coca-Cola, Crown Beverages and WEGX Eagle 92.9 FM (iHeart Media).
Additionally, with the Daytona 500 quickly approaching, Darlington Raceway will be a presenting sponsor of live coverage from Daytona Speedweeks. Local media partners WWFN 100.1 FM ‘The Fan’ and WEGX Eagle 92.9 FM will broadcast live from Daytona International Speedway on February 13 and 14. The Daytona 500 will also be available live on Eagle 92.9 FM (MRN) beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 16.
“We appreciate all of our local media partners for their assistance in covering the Daytona 500, the Super Bowl of our sport, as well as their involvement in supporting our Community Watch Party,” Tharp said. “We encourage fans to tune-in to either Eagle 92.9 FM or The Fan 100.1 FM on Thursday and Friday evening for live coverage from Daytona, which will feature a wide variety of interviews and news updates from the World Center of Racing.”
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. Fans are encouraged to post their Southern 500 stories and memories at, #Southern500 and #SportClips200.
Darlington Raceway PR
Daytona won't be the only track rocking when the green flag flies on NASCAR's 2020 season. The next best option to being at "The Great American Race" is watching it at "The Great American Speedway" on the world's largest HDTV.
Texas Motor Speedway officially kicks off the opening of the 2020 NASCAR season Feb. 15-16 with its sixth edition of the World's Largest Daytona 500 Watching Party.
Just like in Daytona, though, Speedweeks don't start with the big race. That's why Thursday, February 13 during the Daytona Duels qualifying races, all six Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q locations across North Texas are hosting season kick off parties for race fans.
The parties, both at Rudy's on Thursday and Texas Motor Speedway Saturday and Sunday, give fans multiple ways to get their early-season racing fix --- and their 2020 race tickets.
From 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, fans can purchase 2020 season tickets or O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend tickets at Rudy's, guaranteeing themselves access to an exclusive Q&A session with a NASCAR Cup Series driver on O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 race day (Sun, March 29). On top of that, Rudy's is offering a 20 percent dinner discount that night and one free bottle of BBQ sauce for 2020 TMS season ticket holders.
That weekend No Limits, Texas, plays host to a free infield party for campers and tailgaters highlighted by the season-opening NASCAR races being broadcast live from Daytona International Speedway on the colossal 20,633 square foot "Big Hoss TV."
On-track action begins with the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Feb. 15, (1:30 p.m. CT, FS1) and culminates with the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 16 (1:30 p.m. CT, FOX). Last year's event attracted more than 5,000 fans along with 350 RVs to watch the racing action from Daytona Beach, Fla., on the 12-story tall, high-definition TV located on the Texas Motor Speedway backstretch.
In addition to the racing action and pre-race NASCAR shows on "Big Hoss," there will be free Chevrolet Impala and Camaro SS pace car rides on track Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Fans can even ensure they have the best seat and camping spot available at Texas Motor Speedway for the 2020 season as speedway ticket representatives will be on hand to provide guided tours and let interested ticket purchasers personally select their grandstand seats or camping spots.
The event is open free to the public and fans planning to tailgate or camp can RSVP now by clicking HERE. Fans, however, are not required to RSVP to the event and can just show up for the festivities on either day, including those planning to camp.
Access to the infield via the South Tunnel opens at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 15, for those fans looking to camp overnight and for tailgaters visiting for the Xfinity Series race. Guests are permitted to bring their own food and beverage to the infield throughout the weekend.
The 2020 season at Texas Motor Speedway opens March 26-29 with the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR tripleheader. The opening weekend features the Vankor 350 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race on Friday, March 27; My Bariatric Solutions 300 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, March 28; and the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 29.
Both season tickets and individual tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend are available by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or calling the speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500.
Before he defends his title as 2019 champion in the 62nd annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Daytona International Speedway, Denny Hamlin will participate in a special ticket package for race fans.
Hamlin, who is a 37-time NASCAR Cup Series winner, will be driving the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in “The Great American Race.” If Hamlin would be able to win a third DAYTONA 500, he would tie Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison in the exclusive three-time DAYTONA 500 champion club.
The Denny Hamlin DAYTONA 500 ticket package includes:
- Reserved ticket to the 62nd annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 16
- Denny Hamlin-autographed DAYTONA 500 souvenir
- Exclusive question-and-answer session with Hamlin in a Midway Suite
The Denny Hamlin ticket package is available for $211 per person and capacity is limited. To purchase, fans can visit https://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest news throughout the year.
Norman "Bubby" Jones, a short-track dirt racing standout who competed in the 1977 Indianapolis 500, died Jan. 18. He was 78.
Jones, a native of Danville, Illinois, started 33rd and placed 21st in the No. 72 Bruce Cogle Ford Eagle/Offy owned by Bobby Hillin's Longhorn Racing team.
Dirt specialist Jones had limited asphalt experience before Hillin picked him to replace Jan Opperman in 1977 while Opperman recovered from injuries. But Jones bumped his way into the "500" starting field and ran as high as ninth before an engine valve problem ended his race.
Jones also made a second United States Auto Club (USAC) National Championship start in 1978, finishing 27th at Pocono Raceway. He was unsuccessful in Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempts in 1978 and 1981.
After giving up his job as a barber in a shop co-owned by Indy 500 veteran Larry Cannon to race full time in the early 1970s, Jones thrived on dirt tracks in sprint cars and midgets for nearly two decades.
The quiet, friendly Jones won many races in various series around the country before earning his first USAC victory in 1976, in a Silver Crown car. He also earned his first USAC Midget victory that year, winning the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix.
Those victories launched a streak of success for Jones in USAC competition in the late 1970s. He earned 20 of his 22 career USAC feature wins between 1977 and 1979. Jones enjoyed perhaps his strongest season in 1979, winning 11 USAC Sprint Car features and finishing second in the standings by 32 points to champion Greg Leffler.
Jones then moved to Southern California and reigned over the California Racing Association (CRA), winning that series' Sprint titles in 1983 and 1984.
After retiring as a driver, he stayed in the sport as one of the top crew chiefs in USAC Sprint Car racing during the 2000s, including working for Tony Stewart's team, among others. He also helped develop and promote Perris Auto Speedway in Southern California.
Jones was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1998.
Although SuperSebring 2020 is still two months away, many popular fan hospitality opportunities and corporate hospitality offerings are in limited supply.
SuperSebring 2020 includes IMSA’s 68th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented By Advance Auto Parts (March 21), the FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring (March 20) and both the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race and IMSA Prototype Challenge races (March 19).
Included among the premier ticket options in limited supply:
- The Celebrity Cruises Luxury Lounge, which is new for 2020 and includes a four-day SuperTicket, admission to a climate-controlled VIP hospitality tent, complimentary Yuengling, Mike’s Hard and Pepsi products, meal service on Friday and Saturday as well as driver meet and greets and live entertainment, is selling fast. Admission is $395 per person and tickets are limited. The Celebrity Cruises Luxury Lounge is similar in scope to the popular Club Sebring which sold out almost immediately after going on sale.
- Only three reserved trackside RV spaces remain available. Please call 800.626.7223 immediately to reserve.
- The Porscheplatz Corral, which is located on the outside of Turn 17 and the beginning of the front stretch, provides great views of the circuit’s final turn and the entrance to pit road. Access to this VIP parking area is limited to Porsches of all models and years, and owners can also participate in an on-track parade lap. One, two and four-day tickets are available, and the space is approaching full capacity.
- The Gurney Terrace provides elevated, covered viewing from the Raceway’s pit structure. The open-air space has been enhanced for 2020 with new flooring and other upgrades, and limited seating is provided along with a cash bar and limited food service. Tickets are $245 and fans can bring their own folding chairs for seating.
- The Corvette Corral, a popular parking and hospitality area exclusively for Corvette owners, has reached capacity.
Sebring management anticipates all the options listed above to sell out and encourages fans to reserve space early. Please call 800.626.7223 if you have any questions.
A $15 savings per ticket on one-, two- and four-day SuperTickets is available until Feb. 17, after which all tickets will be offered at gate prices. Parking passes for cars and RVs are also available, and as always, free parking and shuttle service is available outside the Raceway. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.
Buy tickets now at sebringraceway.com.