Wednesday, Mar 22
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Keen Parts, a leading supplier of Corvette restoration parts and accessories, is pleased to sponsor Jeffrey Earnhardt in the Virginia 259 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway, September 6, 2013.

Tradition continues with a General Motors affiliated company sponsoring an Earnhardt in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The No. 79 Ford Mustang will feature GM Licensed Keen Parts on the No. 79 #Forvette.

Passion and fire, a will to win, coupled with Jeffrey's down home country boy lifestyle, owner Tom Keen believes that only an Earnhardt can make this happen - to feature a Chevrolet Corvette parts and accessories company on a Ford Mustang.

When asked why a Corvette parts business would sponsor a Ford, Tom Keen says, "We're a small business wanting to support this kid who is a good hearted, hardworking racer who is driven to succeed. We believe Jeffrey has the talent, drive, and ambition to succeed in NASCAR; because of that, we want to support Jeffrey, be it a Chevrolet or Ford."

The green flag drops at 7:30 pm on the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide

Series race with coverage on ESPN2, MRN Radio, as well as Sirius XM Channel 90.

Jeffery Earnhardt PR

Coming off a 16th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jeff Green and the No. 14 Hefty®/Reynolds® Race team headed south to Atlanta Motor Speedway looking to continue the team’s momentum and have another solid finish.  Unfortunately with 19 laps remaining, Green was involved in an accident on the front-stretch that relegated the team to a disappointing 29th-place finish.  As a result, the TriStar Motorsports team dropped one position to 23rdin the NASCAR Owner Standings.   

Green started the Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 in the 26th position and was able to advance one position by lap 10.  Battling an extremely loose-handling car throughout the first green-flag run, the team took advantage of the first caution period on lap 35 to bring the Reynolds Wrap® Camry to pit road for service.  The team changed four tires, added fuel, and made huge swings at the chassis with air-pressure, track-bar, and wedge adjustments in hopes of helping the car’s handling.  Once the stop was complete, Green returned to the track in the 26th position, one lap down to the race leader.

On the restart, Green quickly moved into the “lucky dog” position and as luck would have it the caution flag waved three laps later.  Still batting a loose-handling condition on the No. 14 Camry, Green brought the car to pit road for another round of chassis adjustments and fuel. When the race resumed on lap 48, Green was scored on the lead lap in the 24th position.

As the race progressed, Green continued to battle a loose-handling car, yet he was still able to maintain his position. Shortly before the halfway marker of the race, a round of green-flag pit stops shuffled him back to the 25th position.  Green, however, was able to work his way back up to the 24th position by lap 102.

Two additional attempts at fixing the loose-handling condition were made in the later stages of the event, but the No. 14 car never responded to the changes.  With 19 laps remaining, the team’s bad day turned worse when Green, who was running in the 24th position, and another competitor got together on the front-stretch, resulting in a heavily damaged silver and blue Camry.  Unable to finish the event, the TriStar Motorsports team was credited with a 29th-place finish.  

Driver, Jeff Green Quotes:

“I’m really disappointed with how we ran tonight.  I hate it for everyone on the team and for Hefty® and Reynolds®.  After practice we thought we had a decent car in race trim and on older tires, but unfortunately, it was too loose in the race and no matter the adjustment, the car wouldn’t respond.  To make matters worse, we wrecked with less than 20 laps to go racing a car that wasn’t for position.”   


Roush Fenway Racing’s Travis Pastrana finished 17thSaturday night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race from Atlanta Motor Speedway, after a strong showing, that had Pastrana in the top-10 much of the night.

“I had a great car,” said Pastrana.  “The first half of the race was the best of my career so far.  I had an incident with Nelson Piquet that made us pit early and hurt us pretty bad.  Then I made a bad call on what I needed and we fell off the pace substantially.  It was the second race this year I crossed the finish line backward through the grass. But, it was fun racing [Brian] Vickers and [Elliott] Sadler at the end, even though it wasn't the position I had hoped to be battling them for.”

The NNS made the trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second night race in as many weeks.  Pastrana, who led his first NNS laps at Atlanta, came into the weekend very excited, calling the track his favorite on the circuit.

Pastrana qualified 11th for the 300-mile race at the 1.5-mile track.  The No. 60 settled into the top-15 for the opening green flag run of the race.  When the caution came out on Lap 36, Pastrana radioed that the car was decent on the short run, but on the longer run the car was loose entering the center and tight in the center.  Crew Chief Chad Norris called Pastrana into the pits for four tires and fuel as well as wedge and air pressure adjustments. 

Shortly after a Lap 40 restart, Nelson Piquet bumped into the No. 60 in an effort to avoiding Kasey Kahne’s spinning car.  Pastrana received slight left side damage and scraped the wall with the right side.  Under the caution, Roush Fenway teammate Chris Buescher inspected the damage for Pastrana and radioed that the car looked fine.  Spotter Jason Hedlesky and Norris agreed that the damage was minimal and did not require a pit stop.

The race returned to green on Lap 48, with Pastrana radioing that there was a lot of tire smoke in the cockpit.  He decided to feel out the tire rub, electing not to pit.  Just a few laps later, Pastrana told the crew that the car felt really good.  His lap times reflected the handling, as Pastrana worked his way into the top-10.

On Lap 87 the No. 60 made its way down pit road a few laps early as Pastrana radioed that he felt a vibration.  The team took four tires and fuel and made another wedge adjustment.  After green flag pit stops cycled through, Pastrana was back in 10th.

On the next run, Pastrana dropped back to 15th, telling the crew that the car was tight in the center and very loose off the center.  On the final lap, Pastrana found himself in 15th, while racing with Vickers.  The tight racing got the No. 60 loose, with Pastrana sliding backward through the grass to cross the finish line 17th.


After qualifying 17th for Saturday's Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Parker Kligerman maneuvered his way into the top 10 in the early stages of the race as he and crew chief Eric Phillips worked on dialing in his Camry. As the race progressed into the second half, the handling on the No. 77 Toyota went from tight to extremely loose and the Connecticut native began drifting backwards outside of the top 15. Kligerman communicated to his crew that he believed a shock had malfunctioned, upsetting his car across the many bumps on the seasoned track, and with just under 40 laps remaining surrendered a lap to eventual race winner Kevin Harvick. A late caution allowed the team to take the "wave around" and return to the lead lap, leaving the youngster in the 18th spot for the final restart with 12 laps remaining. Over the course of the final run, the 23-year-old driver muscled his way past two competitors and salvaged a 16th-place finish.


"We ended up 16th -- it just wasn't our night," Kligerman said.  "We really probably had a car that I felt like was a top-10 and during the first portion of the race we got into the top-10 and started to stay there and then we're not sure if something broke or something happened, but we really were then relegated back to about an 18th-place car.  We were able to salvage a 16th at the end. We're not sure what happened, but we'll be sure to inspect everything.  None of these guys gave up and we salvaged at least a better finish than we ran there at the end.  We'll move on to Richmond where we just recently tested and had a good test, so hopefully we can go out there and have a good run." 


After finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, in the two practice sessions, the No. 77 team entered Saturday evening's qualifying session optimistic of earning a top-10 starting position. Kligerman's lap of 31.304 seconds at 177.102 mph earned him the 17th starting spot for the 195-lap race. After his lap he communicated that his Camry was "really tight," but both driver and crew chief felt that being tight in the early stages of the race would be beneficial when the hot Atlanta sun went down and the track temperatures cooled.


By the time the first caution of the race occurred on lap 36, Kligerman was only able to advance two spots as he communicated that his Camry was still really tight, especially in traffic. Phillips summoned his driver to pit road, where the over-the-wall crew executed a four-tire and fuel stop and returned their driver to the track scored in the 12th spot for the lap-40 restart.


Kligerman had a strong restart and by the time that the field returned to the start-finish line had moved up to the 10th spot. He remained 10th when a one-car spin slowed the field for a second time and communicated that his Toyota was "a little better from what I can tell so far."


When the green came back out on lap 48, the talented youngster once again gained a position on the restart, advancing up to ninth on lap 49. As a long green-flag run ensued, Kligerman exclaimed that his Toyota was "really, really tight" as he began subsiding. By lap 80 he had fallen back to the 17th spot, just before regularly scheduled stops began. On lap 91, the No. 77 machine came down pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop and returned to the track scored in the 16th position when pit stops cycled through.


Shortly after returning to the track, a debris caution occurred, slowing the field for the third time. With only one car behind him on the lead lap and the young driver once again experiencing a tight-handling Camry, Phillips elected to come down pit road to fill the car with fuel and lower the track bar in an effort to improve its balance.


Kligerman took the lap-108 restart from the 17th spot and once again was able to pick up several spots. By lap 110, his Camry had advanced into the 12th spot, but his time in the top 15 would be short lived. As he described his Toyota as "wrecking loose on entry and unable to get through the bumps," the 23-year old slid back to the 18th spot and on lap 154 went a lap down to Harvick.


On lap 181, Jeff Green and Ken Butler made contact, sending Green hard into the frontstretch wall and bringing out the final caution of the race. When pit road opened, Harvick and other lead lap cars visited pit road, so Kligerman and several other cars a lap down stayed on the track and took the "wave around."


The No. 77 Camry took the final restart from the 18th spot. Both driver and crew chief hoped for another quick caution which would allow them to put on the final set of fresh Goodyear tires and make one final adjustment, however, the race would remain caution free until the end. Despite still battling a very loose Toyota, Kligerman was able to muscle his way up to the 16th spot and was closing in on Brian Vickers in the 15th spot when the checkered flag waved.


Harvick picked up his first Nationwide Series win on 2013, the 40th of his career. KBM owner Kyle Busch finished 0.579 seconds behind Harvick in the runner-up spot. Sam Hornish Jr. finished third, Kasey Kahne fourth and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five finishers.


There were four caution periods totaling 20 laps. Seven drivers led a lap, exchanging the lead 11 times. Twelve drivers failed to finish the 24th event of 2013.


Kligerman remains 10th in the Nationwide Series championship standings with 23 of 33 races complete, 1118 points behind series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. The Kyle Busch owned No. 77 remains 13th in the owner's championship standings, 223 points behind the series-leading No. 22 team.


Kligerman and his No. 77 Toyota Racing team head to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Sept. 6 for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. Live television coverage of Saturday's 187.5-mile event begins with NASCAR Countdown at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.



The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) made its one and only stop of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) for a Saturday night, Labor Day weekend race. The weekend began with the first practice session on Friday evening under cloudy conditions. The final practice session of the weekend was held on Saturday morning, before qualifying followed in the afternoon.  Justin Allgaier and the Wolf Pack Energy Services team ran a total of 67 laps between the two practice sessions which earned them a qualifying spot of 21st out of 40 cars. Saturday's qualifying session experienced a brief delay after a quick rain shower over the 1.54-mile track. Allgaier laid down a lap time of 31.198 seconds which put him in the 14th-starting spot for the Great Clips/Grit Chips 300. After maintaining a top-15 position all night during the 195-lap race, Allgaier brought his No. 31 Wolf Pack Energy Services Chevrolet Camaro home in the 11th position for Turner Scott Motorsports.  


Allgaier took the green flag on Saturday night under warm and humid conditions at the Hampton, Ga. track. He quickly worked his way up to the 10th position on lap 5. After settling into a race pace, Allgaier was in the 12th position when he radioed to crew chief Scott Zipadelli that he was lacking grip on lap 23. Allgaier was able to advance his position to the 11th spot when the first caution of the race came out at lap 36 for an accident on the backstretch. Zipadelli made the call for Allgaier to bring his No. 31 Wolf Pack Energy Services Chevy down pit road for Sunoco fuel, four Goodyear tires and adjustments. After a great pit stop by the Wolf Pack Energy Services pit crew, Allgaier restarted in the ninth position on lap 40. It wasn't long before the second caution of the race came out at lap 43 with Allgaier in the 11th position. Zipadelli told Allgaier to stay out on the track since he had been on pit road just a few laps before the second caution.


Allgaier restarted in the 11th position on lap 48 and worked his way up to the 10th position on lap 59. Allgaier relayed to Zipadelli that his car was leaps and bounds better after the last set of changes. Allgaier continued to work the race track until his first green-flag pit stop of the evening at lap 92 when he came down pit road for fuel, four tires and adjustments. After the green-flag pit stops cycled through, Allgaier was scored in the 14th position. On lap 103, the third caution of the race came out and Allgaier told Zipadelli he was saving his tires as much as he could. Zipadelli made the call for Allgaier to stay out on the track and he restarted 14th on lap 108. Allgaier worked his way up to 10th on lap 110. During the second long green-flag run of the race, Allgaier reported on lap 142 that he was tight in the center and loose off. Allgaier came down pit road for his third and final pit stop of the night at lap 148 for fuel, four tires and adjustments. After green-flag pit stops cycled through, Allgaier was in the 12th position. As the green-flag laps continued, Allgaier went one lap down on lap 172 when he was passed by race leader Kevin Harvick. When the fourth and final caution flew at lap 181 for an accident on the frontstretch, Allgaier took the wave around, which put him back on the lead lap for the remaining laps of the 195-lap race. After restarting in the 11th position on lap 188, Allgaier was able to maintain the position in his No. 31 Wolf Pack Energy Services Chevy until the checkered flag flew. With Allgaier's 11th-place finish Saturday night at AMS, he's currently fifth in the NNS Driver Point Standings.


"It was a hot and slick night at Atlanta [Motor Speedway]," said Allgaier. "Track position was very important with all of the long green-flag runs. We finished 11th and built a little buffer on our points position. I'm looking forward to Richmond [International Raceway] and getting back to a little short-track racing under the lights."


The NNS heads to Richmond International Raceway Friday night for the Virginia529 College Savings 250. Television coverage begins with NNS Countdown on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. EDT.  



NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Larson kicked off his weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) with the announcement that he will be racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season, taking over the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. His exciting weekend didn't end there, as Larson earned a top-five finish in his first NNS race at AMS, having previously raced at the 1.54-mile track just one other time, earning a sixth-place finish in last year's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.


Larson and the No. 32 Cessna Chevrolet did well in the weekend's first practice session, running the ninth-fastest time in Friday night's session. Larson went on to record the 19th-quickest time in final practice before qualifying 13th for Saturday night's Great Clips/Grit Chips 300. After the drop of the green flag, Larson fell back a few positions and radioed crew chief Trent Owens and the Cessna team to report that his No. 32 machine was loose. Despite his report, the young driver continued to run solid lap times and moved back into the 13th position on lap 21. On lap 33, Larson's car snapped loose on him, but he was able to catch it and continue to maintain his position.


A few laps later, the first caution flag of the race waved and Owens called Larson to pit road for four tires, fuel and track-bar and air-pressure adjustments. After a solid pit stop by the Cessna crew, Larson restarted the race in the 10th position on lap 41. The Elk Grove, Calif. native quickly gained three spots, moving into seventh before the caution flag was displayed again on lap 43. Owens kept Larson on the track under the second caution-flag period, and the rookie restarted in seventh on lap 49.


Larson continued to lay down impressive lap times as he worked his way towards the front, entering the top five for the first time on lap 60. The 21-year-old was quiet on the radio as he continued to gain positions, taking over the third-place position on lap 85. As green-flag pits stops began, Larson remained on the track until he led a lap before coming to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. After green-flag pit stops cycled through, Larson was running in fifth when the third caution flag waved for debris on lap 104. Larson radioed to say his Cessna Chevy was beginning to be too free again, but Owens kept his driver on the track and Larson restarted in fifth on lap 109.


Larson moved back to the ninth position, radioing on lap 120 that he was "just too loose." Larson was still running in the ninth position when he came back to pit road for another green-flag pit stop at lap 145. The No. 32 Cessna team changed four tires, added fuel and made adjustments to their car, and when green-flag stops cycled through, Larson was scored in the seventh position after another solid effort by his pit crew. On lap 166, Larson radioed to say that the changes the team made had helped the car, but he could "still stand to be tighter." Larson held steady, remaining in the eighth position, until the final caution on lap 182. Owens brought the young driver back to pit road for four tires, a can of fuel and their final adjustment of the night. After restarting in eighth on lap 189, Larson took just two laps to rejoin the top five. He maintained his position throughout the race's final laps before crossing the finish line in fifth, earning his seventh top-five finish and 14th top 10 of the season.


"I've got to thank my Turner Scott Motorsports team for all the hard work that they put into this finish," said Larson. "They definitely improved our car throughout the weekend, and they gave me really great pit stops all night. It's been a really awesome week for me, with the announcement that I'll be racing in the Cup Series for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next season. I'm really glad we were able to cap such an exciting week with a top-five finish at Atlanta."


The NNS returns to action on Friday night for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Television coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN2. You can also listen to the race live on MRN Radio or SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90.




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