Speedway Digest Staff
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New Delaware Department of Transportation App now available to help ease fan travel on race weekends
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has introduced an advanced, new smartphone app that will assist those traveling to Dover International Speedway on event weekends, with features like updated news, events, traffic and travel information.
The new DelDOT app, available for Android and iPhone users, can be downloaded for free at either the Google Play Store or the iPhone Apple Store, and includes the following features:
-- Streaming traffic cameras
-- Streaming broadcast of WTMC 1380 AM, DelDOT’s travel information radio station
-- Advisories for accidents and other incidents on the roadways
-- Travel delay updates
-- Average speeds on roadways
-- Virtual travel times
-- Lane restrictions and road closures
-- Red Light Enforcement camera locations
-- Roadway weather information
The features and services this new app offers should help everyone with travel throughout the state, and will especially assist those visiting Dover International Speedway for an event weekend, including the May 31-June 2, 2013 NASCAR tripleheader race weekend and the June 21-23, 2013 Firefly Music Festival.
The constantly updated, real-time information on the app will provide the luxury of making on-the-fly travel changes to get them to the property and enjoying themselves in the fastest possible fashion.
Dover Motorsports PR
The Sherman Theater is excited to announce the full details of this year’s Pocono Raceway Festival in beautiful Downtown Stroudsburg. The Sherman Theater is celebrating the Pocono Raceway Festivals’ 5thyear anniversary on Saturday, June 8 with spectacular show cars, delicious food vendors, games for all ages, carnival rides and musical performances on several stages throughout downtown.
Taking place the day before the Fan Driven 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA – just minutes down Interstate 80 – this free, all-day long music and racing celebration will have something for everyone in the family. The festival was created in part to support Sunday's race at the Pocono Raceway, give the fans that are visiting the region something fun to do on the day prior to the race and provide economic support to the businesses of Downtown Stroudsburg and the greater Pocono region.
The events on Saturday June 8th will begin at 12:00 PM and include a variety of features for all ages. This year the Sherman Theater will feature a rock climbing wall, multiple stages with great music, food vendors, over 100 craft and retail vendors, a full carnival featuring a Ferris Wheel on Main Street and NASCAR show cars. Headlining the music portion of the event at the main stage on Main Street will be Dickey Betts and the Great Southern.
For more information on the 2013 Pocono Raceway Festival or any of the Sherman Theater’s upcoming events, visit the Sherman online at www.shermantheater.com or call theater at (570) 420-2808.
Pocono Raceway PR
Godfather Motorsports owner Dave Moody announced today that Phantom Racing Gear of Lawrenceburg, KY has been named as the Official Apparel Provider of Godfather Motorsports and the No. 30 KOMA Unwind Chevrolet driven by Jerick Johnson.
"Phantom Racing Gear is the kind of family business we are happy to be associated with," said Moody. "Rob and Jereann Crowley and their staff produce vibrant, custom designed screen-printed apparel at affordable prices, with a focus on fast service and outstanding customer communication. They keep our team looking good, and they'll do it for yours, too!"
Phantom Racing Gear specializes in custom-designed T-shirts, hats, hooded sweatshirts and other apparel, and can accommodate any size order, from small operations to large, national teams. Check out their full line of racing apparel on Facebook at Phantom Racing Gear , or contact them at 502-353-4035.
"We're excited to be a part of the Godfather Motorsports family," said PRG's Rob Crowley. "This partnership will allow us to show a lot of people what we do, and once they see our work, I'm confident that they'll love it. We're also happy to sell Godfather Motorsports gear on our Facebook page!"
Jerick Johnson, Godfather Motorsports and the No. 30 KOMA Unwind Chevrolet will make their 2013 season debut on Saturday, April 13 at Southern National Speedway in Kenley, NC, with a 150-lap event sanctioned by the Pro All Stars Series. Time trial qualifying is scheduled for 4:45 pm ET, with racing at 7 pm.
140 BUZZ PR
Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) announced today Kyle Larson will be behind the wheel of a fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) entry for the team at Rockingham Speedway this Sunday. Larson will travel to Rockingham after competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Texas Motor Speedway Friday night. Larson, a 20-year-old NNS Rookie-of-the-Year contender, will make his first NCWTS start of the season behind the wheel of the No. 30 Autism Speaks Chevrolet Silverado. Larson's NNS crew chief, Trent Owens, will also make the trip from Texas to Rockingham and call the race on Sunday afternoon.
In just four previous career NCTWS starts, Larson has collected three top-10 finishes, including a runner-up designation, and led over 90 laps. His last two NNS starts have produced a second- and a sixth-place finish, as he currently sits seventh in driver point standings. Larson will race in the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night in his No. 32 Chevy Camaro and travel immediately following that event to Rockingham for NCWTS practice the following day. This weekend will mark Larson's first "Double Duty" attempt in NASCAR's top-three series.
TSM owners Steve Turner and Harry Scott Jr. felt Rockingham Speedway would be the perfect opportunity for Larson to get in the seat of the No. 30, with previous experience at the one-mile oval in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) competition. Larson was crowned the NKNPSE champion at Rockingham Speedway, after recording a solid sixth-place finish there in 2012.
"We're really excited to get Kyle back behind the wheel of one of our Silverados," commented Scott Jr. "There's no question in my mind he'll excel at Rockingham Speedway, and hopefully we can run well for Autism Speaks. This cause is especially important to me and the rest of Turner Scott Motorsports because it affects us so close to home with Trent Owens and his family. It's an honor to have the opportunity to raise awareness for Autism Speaks, especially during Autism Awareness month."
To bring attention to Autism Awareness Month, TSM has designed a special paint scheme for the No. 30 Silverado to honor Autism Speaks. Larson's machine will feature the signature Autism Speaks blue puzzle pieces, and the name of five-year-old Gray Owens, who is affected by Autism and is the son of crew chief Trent Owens, will be placed above the passenger-side door.
"Autism Speaks is a cause that's obviously very special to me and my family, so I'm thrilled to be a part of the No. 30 team this weekend," Owens said. "Anything we can do to help during Autism Awareness month is really special. We've had success with our NCWTS program at Rockingham and paired with Kyle's talent, I think this will be a great opportunity for everyone involved."
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism. The organization, founded in 2005, raises awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocates for the needs of individuals with autism, as well as their families. Along with Autism Awareness Month, Autism Speaks has also created "Light It Up Blue," a campaign during the month of April that reaches around the world, inviting individuals, businesses, landmarks and more to utilize blue lighting to increase awareness.
"We are grateful to Turner Scott Motorsports for its commitment to our cause and will be cheering on Kyle Larson as he raises awareness in the No. 30 Autism Speaks Chevy Silverado," said Alec Elbert, Chief Strategy and Development Officer at Autism Speaks. "The efforts of our friends at Turner Scott Motorsports to honor Gray Owens exemplify the NASCAR community's ongoing support of the one in 88 families affected by Autism."
Travis Pastrana and the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) team will debut a new look for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) this weekend. The Ford Mustang will sport a red, white and blue patriotic paint scheme instead of the usual neon scheme.
Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race marks Pastrana’s first start in the series at the 1.5-mile track. The RFR driver raced at TMS last season in Global RallyCross, finishing 15th.
The team will also run the paint scheme at Daytona International Speedway over the July Fourth weekend.
Specialty consumer finance company EZCORP today announced its move into one of the nation's premier racing circuits.
EZCORP will join the "Wild Asphalt Circus" at Texas Motor Speedway, partnering with David Gilliland and the Front Row Motorsports No. 38 Ford for the April 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. EZCORP is proud to be part of one of the fastest and most exciting races on the Sprint Cup schedule. Speeds often exceed 190 miles per hour, and the cars shine and the sparks fly in the nighttime setting at the 1.5-mile Forth Worth oval.
"We're extremely excited about our partnership in the NASCAR event at Texas Motor Speedway," said EZCORP Chief Marketing Officer Dan Surdell. "We've been looking at racing as a marketing tool for some time and this is a perfect opportunity to showcase our brand among a very loyal racing fan base.
"We're confident that David Gilliland's No. 38 EZPAWN/EZMONEY Ford Fusion will represent our company well. The car design looks amazing."
The partnership is a perfect match between EZCORP and Front Row Motorsports, which both started with modest beginnings and grew gradually and strategically to greater levels of success.
"That's the kind of partner we love to bring into the sport because we have a lot of similarities," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "And we're thankful they saw the value in that kind of partnership. Texas Motor Speedway always puts on an exciting show and David loves driving there, so we're looking forward to putting a fast EZCORP Ford on track."
The April 13 race airs in primetime on FOX with coverage beginning at 7:30pm ET.
This Saturday night's NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is just another piece of the puzzle for Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 Cromax® Pro team.
In the first intermediate track (high-speed 1.5-to-2.0-mile ovals) event of the year, Gordon finished 25th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. At Auto Club Speedway in California later that month, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion finished 11th.
"We went into California with some concerns," said Gordon, who is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. "I felt like we ran better at California than we did at Las Vegas, but we still have some things that we're working on for Texas to make improvements."
In 24 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Gordon has a lone win (2009), two poles, eight top-fives and 11 top-10's.
"You're always learning from your experiences and I think there are some things we learned in California that will make us better at Texas," said Gordon, whose No. 24 Chevrolet SS will feature a familiar FireStorm paint scheme this weekend. "We're just going to stay focused on each race and continue to work on bettering our intermediate program."
Last Sunday's third-place finish at Martinsville Speedway marked Gordon's 299th top-five - only two away from tying David Pearson for third all-time. That finish on a relatively flat half-mile track could prove valuable this weekend according to No. 24 crew chief Alan Gustafson.
"As crazy as it sounds, things we learned at Martinsville can help at Texas," said Gustafson. "Right now, everything is so new to us (with the Generation-6 car) that we are learning every week.
"I think we've learned at every track we've run on this year. At Las Vegas - as bad as that was for us - it's a piece of the puzzle. You can't shy away from your struggles because it's information that you can use to your benefit. The more time you spend on intermediate tracks the better you understand what is important - and what isn't important - to focus on.
"We have to just keep putting the pieces of the puzzle together."
"We had a terrible truck on the very first run -- we almost went a lap down," Crafton said. "That just says what a never-say-die attitude that this Menards ThorSport team has. We saved our set of (new) tires there to the end and it was go time.
"It was great for Johnny and them to be over in Victory Lane, but man, I thought we were going to have something for him. I was just a little bit too free on that last run to try to run him down. It was one heck of a show, hopefully."
Crafton was a big part of that -- both in his charge through the field at the end but also through creating the finishing scenario. While racing in heavy traffic on lap 207, Crafton's faster truck got into the back of John Wes Townley's truck in Turn 4, causing the young Georgian to get loose in front of Crafton.
Crafton tried to back off to let Townley gather up his out-of-control truck but Chase Elliott, the son of former Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, who was making his Truck Series debut, drilled into Crafton's back bumper and pushed him into Townley again, wrecking Townley and bringing out a caution with 42 laps remaining.
"I got into (Townley) in the middle of the corner and I tried to back off of him," Crafton said. "The 94 (Elliott) piled into the back of me and I was literally on my brakes, off the gas and I'm like, 'I'm along for the ride now, dude.'
"Like I said, I definitely did not mean to wreck (Townley). Hopefully he'll watch a replay and see the other side of it."
For Crafton, the other side was he was able top get his last set of new tires, but the amount of laps it took to clean up the aftermath of Townley's crash deprived Crafton of the laps he needed to catch Sauter at the very end -- as Crafton's truck, after a series of adjustments by Joiner and his crew, was its best when it counted, in the last 25 laps.
It left Crafton looking ahead to two races over the next two weekends, at Rockingham, N.C., and Kansas Speedway.
"Yeah, it was a very good day for ThorSport Racing," Crafton said. "It just shows what this team -- the ThorSport Racing organization -- what we're going to have in 2013. We're going to be a championship contending team -- both of us, Johnny and I.
"This Menards truck was terrible in the first run, but it just shows how good these guys are working on this truck and it was there at the end."
Crafton is now poised to take sole possession of the Truck Series' consecutive starts mark, when he takes the green flag next Sunday at Rockingham Speedway in the second annual North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at The Rock presented by Cheerwine.
Prior to the first off-week of the 2013 season, Casey Mears and the Germain Racing team turned in three top 15 finishes in four weeks. A well-rested GEICO team arrived at Martinsville Speedway this weekend aiming to continue their string of good runs. While the weekend would end well, it certainly didn’t start that way and Mears and his counterparts would first be forced to overcome themselves before setting their sights on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field on Sunday.
The opening practice session on Friday saw Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion rest 39th on the board when practice closed, only to be later betrayed by qualifying which relegated the Bakersfield, CA, native to 41st on Sunday’s starting grid. Fortunately, Saturday afforded the Germain Racing team two practice sessions to work through the kinks and they did so quickly. Mears’ speed picked up considerably, offering hope to the crew who worked feverishly in the garage to make changes to the GEICO Fusion.
A full house stood watch over the beginning of Sunday’s STP Gas Booster 500 where bright skies and perfect temperatures set the scene for 500 laps of racing. Starting 41st at a ½-mile paperclip-shaped racetrack would present Mears with a significant challenge as he worked his way through the field. He picked up six positions on the opening lap and would ultimately crack the top 25 on lap 117, but found himself a lap down to the field on lap 156.
Undaunted, Mears turned consistent lap times and on lap 280 his patience was rewarded. The #56 car of Martin Truex, Jr. found the wall, bringing out the caution flag and allowing Mears and his #13 GEICO Fusion to return to the lead lap after battling to secure the Lucky Dog position. This would serve as a turning point for Mears, who began to travel almost effortlessly around the ½-mile legendary speedway, ascending to the 13th position before Ryan Newman’s flat tire brought out the caution on lap 361. The GEICO team would experience a small setback when Mears made his visit to pit road under caution. Mears’ tire carrier was struck by Jeff Gordon, forcing a delay in the stop and sending the #13 GEICO Fusion back out onto the racing surface in the 17th position, four spots worse than when it entered. Mears also fell victim to two speeding penalties during the race, which twice sent him to the rear of the field, forcing him to work his way through lap traffic and risk peril during his journey back to the front. Mears and his #13 GEICO Ford Fusion only got better as the event wore on and his lap time on the final lap of the race saw him 5th fastest of the top 15 cars.
Despite multiple challenges, Mears and his GEICO team finished a stunning 25 positions better than where they started and crossed the line 16th when the checkered flag halted 500 laps of hard racing.
“This was a great day for the GEICO team and we proved once again that we can figure this car out, work hard and get to the front regardless of the challenges facing us,” Mears said after the race. “I’m so proud of the guys on this Germain Racing team because we had a tough first day here, but they kept digging and were able to make some changes that quickly turned this GEICO Ford Fusion around and made it fast. This place can be tough on you, but we did a good job of fighting it and came out of here with another good finish. I’m happy for GEICO and also our team owner Bob Germain because they’ve put so much faith in us and it’s paying off. We’re looking forward to Texas next week.”
More exciting news was abound when the point standings were released after the race. Mears makes a colossal jump in the Driver Point standings to the 17th position from 21st, while team owner Bob Germain makes a leap of his own and moves to 20th from the 23rd position in Owner Points. Mears sits just 18 points behind Jeff Gordon, who occupies the 12th position.
Next week will find the Germain Racing team heading to the Lone Star State for a little ‘Saturday night under the lights’ racing.
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 13th (Kevin Harvick), 18th (Jeff Burton) and 19th (Paul Menard).
- Menard is tied for eighth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing point leader Jimmie Johnson by 52 markers, while Harvick ranks 14th and Burton 24th.
- The No. 27 Chevrolet team is also tied for eighth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 29 team 17th in the standings and the No. 31 team 25th.
- According to NASCAR's Loop Data Statistics, Harvick was the fifth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run, the ninth-Fastest driver Late in a Run, the ninth-Fastest on Restarts, ranked ninth in Average Running Position (9.016), had the ninth-best Driver Rating (96.3) and had the third-best Speed in Traffic.
- Harvick also spent 479 Laps in the Top 15 (95.8 percent) and made 42 Quality Passes (passes made while running in the top 15).
- Burton spent 385 Laps in the Top 15 (77 percent) and made the second-most Green Flag Passes (76) with 32 of them coming while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
- Menard made 48 Green Flag Passes during the 500-lap event, nine of them taking place while running in the top15 (Quality Passes).
- The RCR entries posted the fastest laps of the race 19 times, with Harvick (15 laps) and Burton (4 laps).
- Jimmie Johnson earned his second Sprint Cup Series win of the season and was followed to the finish line by Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.
- The next Sprint Cup Series race is the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 13. The seventh race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
Paul Menard Earns Hard Fought 19th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Starting from the 16th position, Paul Menard and the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards team faced handling issues throughout the 500-lap event, earning a 19th-place finish when the checkered flag flew at Martinsville Speedway. The early laps of the race looked promising as the No. 27 machine quickly made its way to 12th by lap 38. As the race went on, Menard began to struggle with a loose-handling racecar on entry and exit, and a tight condition through the middle of the corners. Long green-flag runs coupled with handling issues caused Menard to fall a lap down to the leader on two separate occasions during the 263-mile event. The Menards crew never gave up making an array of adjustments to the No. 27 in hopes of remedying the issue. The series of chassis and air pressure adjustments provided some relief to the Eau Claire, Wis., native and he was credited with the "Lucky Dog" pass, allowing him to return to the lead lap both times. Maintaining a top-20 running position throughout the majority of the race, Menard crossed the finish line 19th when the checkered flag flew. Menard's top-20 finish ties him for eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading into Texas Motor Speedway.
Start - 16 Finish - 19 Laps Led - 0 Points - 8
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"It was a tough day for the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards crew. We struggled with handling issues for the majority of the day and never seemed to hit on the right setup. I have to give my team credit though, they never gave up and made a variety of adjustments all day to try and get the car to handle better. We fought hard getting our lap back twice, but we just couldn't gain much track position. We'll keep our heads up and hope for a better result in Texas next weekend."
Kevin Harvick drove the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS to a 13th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon after late-race pit strategy played against the Richard Childress Racing team. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the STP Gas Booster 500 from the 21st position and set his sights on the front of the field, moving into the top 10 by lap 36. As the race progressed, Harvick was able to maintain a position within the top 10, but reported to crew chief Gil Martin that the red and white machine had developed a tight-handling condition. The team worked on the handling of the Budweiser Chevrolet during multiple four-tire pit stops in an effort to combat the handling issue, including a final four-tire pit stop on lap 489 that positioned the No. 29 machine 14th for the final restart. Back under green-flag conditions, Harvick was able to gain one position during the final laps, crossing the finish line 13th. The top-15 result allowed Harvick to gain one position, to 14th, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 21 Finish - 13 Laps Led - 0 Points - 14
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:"The Budweiser team had a solid run today, but it came down to pit strategy at the end, and it didn't work in our favor. Next weekend is another race. We'll move on from Martinsville (Speedway) and put our focus on Texas (Motor Speedway)."
Jeff Burton Battles Back to 18th-Place Finish After Early Incident
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma Chevrolet SS team battled back for an 18th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway after being involved in an early-race incident. Starting the 500-lap event in the 29th position, the South Boston, Va., native showcased he was one of the fastest drivers in the 43-car field by climbing into the top 15 by lap 50, and then the top 10 on lap 60. Burton eventually settled into the 12th position and radioed to crew chief Luke Lambert that the No. 31 Chevrolet was loose entering and tight in the middle of the 12-degree banked corners. However, disaster struck on a lap-172 restart when multiple cars in front of the Richard Childress Racing driver checked up causing an accordion-style wreck that collected 11 competitors, including Burton's black and gold machine. The No. 31 pit crew fixed the moderate damage to the hood and front bumper of the car on pit road without losing a lap to the leader. The 45-year-old driver maintained a top-15 spot on the leaderboard for a majority of the next 300 laps, while fighting a tight-handling condition that developed after the incident. When the checkered flag was displayed, Burton crossed the finish line in 18th-place and maintains the 24th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start - 29 Finish - 18 Laps Led - 0 Points - 24
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"It is disappointing for the No. 31 team to come out of here with an 18th-place finish with a car that was running top-five lap times before the accident. The damage we suffered in the early incident caused a tight-handling condition we just couldn't overcome in the end. We'll look for our luck to change next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway."