Friday, Sep 30
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Jimmie Johnson is in an odd, yet productive, and some may say predictable cycle when it comes to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Johnson has won each of the races leading into Pocono’s 400-mile events this year. He won at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in June and leading into Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400, Johnson is once again coming off a victorious weekend. In fact, it was a record-setting weekend as Johnson won an impressive fourth Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The win also put him in elite company as one of five drivers with four or more wins. Jeff Gordon, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears and Michael Schumacher are the others.

Johnson’s cycle of finishes the past two seasons at Pocono has been just as consistent. He has finished fourth in his last three races at the “Tricky Triangle.” A win at Indianapolis is often an indicator of a good Pocono run, both tracks having similar driving characteristics with their unconventional shapes. However, Johnson’s two wins at Pocono occurred in 2004, when he swept the season, meaning he has never won at the 2.5-mile triangular oval in any of his championship years of 2006 through 2010.

He has been fairly consistent at the odd-shaped track, however. His nine top-five finishes and 14-top-10s in 21 races places him second in NASCAR’s driver rating system. Except for a 42nd-place finish in June 2007, he has finished 15th or better in every race.

Johnson’s successful run at Indy bodes well for a good finish at Pocono. Could it be another fourth-place showing, making it his 11th top-five finish of the year? Or could it be a victory, which would be his fourth of the season? The outcome is predictably unknown.


Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) is pleased to announce a new relationship with Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), a global hotel franchising company with over 6,100 hotel locations worldwide. The Silver Spring, Md.-based company, Choice Hotels International, and KBM, owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kyle Busch, will develop a multi-platform digital strategy to increase Choice Hotels franchise brand awareness among NASCAR fans. Additionally, the new relationship will allow the team, its corporate partners, and fans to enjoy exclusive rates at Choice Hotels properties in NASCAR race markets.


"We look forward to working closely with Choice Hotels International to secure success for their organization and great rates for our fans," said team owner and driver Kyle Busch. "This program offers a unique approach to mine and our team's great fans and to the many families who travel within the NASCAR circuit."


"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Choice Hotels International and to be the forefront of a marketing strategy within NASCAR, that implement's their services through our partners and our fans," said John Paysor, KBM Chief Operating Officer. "The online services and social media exposure that Choice Hotels International provides will be a great benefit to our family of sponsors, fans and business clients."


KBM has a strong team to launch the program with creative and innovative business-to-business and marketing strategies with Ryan Kingsbury; Interactive Marketing Manager, Butch Cox; Sponsorship Manager, Andy Gee; Public Relations Manager and Amy Stein; Marketing Manager. 


"In addition to their success on the track, Kyle Busch Motorsports has proven capable of delivering measureable results to its corporate partners through the implementation of innovative digital strategies that connect them with a very brand-loyal fan base," said Grant Pearce, Sports Segment Sales Manager for Choice Hotels International. "At Choice Hotels International, we believe that our customer-focused approach to business and travel fits well with NASCAR's dedicated and growing fan base. Teaming up with one of the sport's most recognizable names will allow us to increase awareness of the great rates that we offer at our more than 6,100 franchise locations worldwide, many which are located in race markets."   


Kyle Busch, who has registered 105 victories across NASCAR's top three divisions, appreciates the fans and corporate partners who support him. "Attending a race weekend can be an expensive proposition for our fans. Therefore, we have developed a program that will provide not only our corporate partners, but also our avid fans, with great rates at some of the most respected properties around the world. This way, it's affordable for everyone to travel to and enjoy their favorite race track," proclaimed Busch.



Join NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano, as well as NHRA Top Fuel veteran Doug Herbert and Erica Enders, the first female to win an NHRA Pro Stock race, to help speedway president Marcus Smith wave the green flag on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s fall Season of Speed during the Parade of Power on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

For the second straight year, vehicles representing every form of motorsports that will compete this fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte will parade from Concord Mills Mall to the speedway’s Avenue of Flags on Bruton Smith Boulevard. A map of the complete parade route is available online at The free event begins at noon.

“We had such an outstanding turnout for last year’s Parade of Power and got such a positive response from fans that we were eager to bring back this great event to kick off one of the busiest fall seasons in recent memory here at the speedway,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Following the parade, drivers and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will hold a fan forum to discuss activities surrounding the speedway’s fall Season of Speed.

Scheduled to appear:

Joey Logano, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry
Doug Herbert, NHRA Top Fuel driver and founder of B.R.A.K.E.S. Driving School
Erica Enders, first and only female driver to win a NHRA Pro Stock race
Marcus Smith, president and general manager, Charlotte Motor Speedway

Fans in attendance can participate in a question and answer session with the drivers and the first 100 fans to arrive at the speedway Wednesday morning will be invited to an autograph session in the speedway ticket office following the fan forum. Children 13 and under can take a ride in a monster truck and photo opportunities will be available with the cars. The POWERADE Play Zone, which includes the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Van, face painters and a bounce house will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Fans can also enjoy live music and inexpensive refreshments during the event.

As part of a one-day-only promotion, fans who purchase tickets to any fall Season of Speed event will also have the chance to spin-to-win other great prizes, including camping chairs, collectible diecast cars or tool kits.

The Parade of Power will feature more than 27,000 horsepower, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, Nationwide Series cars, a World of Outlaws late model car, a monster truck, an NHRA Top Fuel dragster, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Modified cars, speedway Toyota Camry pace cars, classic cars and more.


Taking on the iconic Bristol Motor Speedway for 500 laps in August isn’t for the faint of heart. Plenty of drivers will tell you the steeply banked oval is one of, if not the, most demanding tracks on the NASCAR schedule.

So, for those drivers who decide to pull double duty by first running in the Food City 250 Nationwide Series event Friday, Aug. 24, before taking on the .533-mile oval for 500 laps during the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup race Aug. 25, the challenge can be quite daunting.

If Danica Patrick is intimidated by the thought of braving the newly revamped BMS, she definitely isn’t showing it. In fact, she is looking forward to what would be her first Cup start at Bristol as she attempts to manhandle the place for a total of 750 laps.

“I look forward to going to Bristol again,” said Patrick. “I look forward to going there every single time. It’s a track I really enjoy because of the banking in the corners.”

Patrick has two previous Nationwide starts at BMS, but both have come in the spring. She finished 33rd in her Bristol debut in 2011 and had a 19th-place showing this past March.

Not only will the Food City 250 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race be her first attempts under the lights at BMS, she also will be facing a different track surface. Over the summer, the progressive banking in the upper grove of the track was eliminated, tightening up racing space.

“It’s going to be more challenging now without the top line having the increased banking,” said Patrick. “It’s going to make it a little more of a bump-and-go kind of racing… but that can still be fun, as long as I’m the one bumping.”

The 30-year-old Patrick, who becomes the first woman to compete in a Sprint Cup event at BMS since Janet Guthrie did so in 1977, says competing in both races should help her efforts.

“I also look forward to going back there in a Nationwide car because I’m going to be in the Cup car,” she said. “I find that every time I run the Cup car (at the same track), the Nationwide stuff goes better.

“Hopefully, we can get our first great result on a short track.”


The Honorable John A. Boehner

Speaker of the House of Representatives

H-232 Capitol Building

Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Mr. Speaker:

We write to urge your continued opposition to the Kingston-McCollum Amendment to the House DOD Appropriations bill – an amendment that would eliminate the U.S. Armed Forces’ use of professional sport sponsorships as a means to achieve military recruiting and retention goals.  For good reasons, a similar amendment has already failed twice in the 112th Congress – once by a vote of 148-281 (Roll Call vote #90) and again by a vote of 167-260 (Roll Call vote #512).

Since the end of the civilian draft in 1971, the Services branches, with Congressional support,  have  employed  a range of marketing tools to remain connected to the American people and, in particular, the young men and women whose commitment to our armed forces is critical to defending our freedoms at home and peace around the world. As major companies and nonprofits know well, sports marketing is a unique opportunity to reach young adults.  Accordingly, sports marketing has long been an important element in the U.S. Armed Forces’ efforts to reach young adults and active duty personnel regarding the military’s mission and objectives that serve our country.

Today, while most Americans view military service as admirable, military recruiting is more challenging than ever as young adults are more difficult to reach through traditional media and local channels. Unfortunately, it is in this environment that the military’s discretion to use sports marketing has come under attack in Congress. The Kingston-McCollum Amendment to the DOD appropriations bill, which recently passed in the House Appropriations Committee, would place restrictions on the military’s ability to leverage sports marketing – its most efficient tool – to reach our young men and women. The amendment would directly inhibit the military’s recruiting efforts at and around professional sports events.

Professional sport sponsorships by the Services branches have made a direct impact on military recruiting. For example, in 2010, the Army’s recruiting efforts at NASCAR events resulted in 46,000 qualified leads. Similarly, the Services branches’ partnerships with the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and the IZOD IndyCar Series have created numerous points of contact, such as at games and local community events and online, to engage with young adults on the possibilities and rewards of military service. The benefits from these types of sponsorships offset the minimal costs to taxpayers.

Given the success of the military’s use of professional sports to reach out to the American people, we encourage you to support the U.S. Armed Forces and enable them to continue to have the same access to media and venues as world leading businesses and nonprofits. Please work to remove the Kingston-McCollum Amendment from the House DOD Appropriations bill.

National Basketball Association
National Football League
Major League Baseball
IZOD IndyCar Series

cc: The Honorable Eric Cantor

cc: The Honorable Kevin McCarthy

cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

cc: The Honorable Steny Hoyer

cc: The Honorable Hal Rogers

cc: The Honorable Norman Dicks

cc: The Honorable Howard McKeon

cc: The Honorable Adam Smith

cc: The Honorable Bill Young, the leader in personal and business GPS trackers, announced today its sponsorship of Phil Parsons Racing's No. 98 entry this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Mike Skinner will carry's colors aboard his Ford Fusion in Sunday's Pennsylvania 400., headquartered in East Windsor, New Jersey, will serve as Skinner's primary sponsor with its logos on the hood, quarter panels and TV panel of the car. It will be's first partnership with Phil Parsons Racing.


"We're very excited to be a part of this sport and our partnership with Phil Parsons Racing," said Alfred Demola, president of "NASCAR racing is a great fit for us to showcase our products. Much like a race team, we want to gather and report as much information as possible about a driver's performance. Whereas a race team focuses on making its car go faster, we provide tracking and satellite technology that allows you to monitor a driver in your family or business. Whether it's to make sure your teen doesn't break the speed limit or stays within a certain range, or just verifying that your sales force are making all of their appointments on time, we will provide you with the most accurate and current information at industry-low pricing. We look forward to being a part of this team and the sport for a long time to come."


Skinner has 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono. He has earned one pole and four top-10 finishes. His best performance came in 1997, which he finished in sixth place. He looks forward to his first weekend with

"Everyone at Phil Parsons Racing is thrilled to have onboard our Fusion this week at Pocono," said team owner Phil Parsons. "They're a perfect fit for NASCAR Racing. I know our fans will love their technology and what they offer. is basically your full-time spotter when it comes to your family and your business. You'll know everything that's going on with their driving. I'm proud to have them on our car and look forward to racing with them this weekend."



Johanna Long Iowa Preview

Wednesday, Aug 01

Johanna Long will be back behind the wheel of the No. 70 ML Motorsports Chevrolet at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, August 4 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The U.S. Cellular 250 event can be seen live on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30 pm ET. Fans can also listen to racing action on MRN Radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 90.

Iowa Speedway - Long and the No. 70 Foretravel Motorcoach team are eager to get back to Iowa Speedway after having a solid run here in May. The 20-year-old rookie fought tight conditions at the beginning of the 250-lap event, but after good adjustments made by the crew, she was able to battle back and finish 22nd.

Last Race Recap – Long and the ML Motorsports team took to the track of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in front of their hometown crowd on Saturday, July 28. The young driver raced inside the top-20 throughout the 100-lap event and was battling for the top-15 spot before her drive shaft broke with 30 laps remaining. The team made repairs in the garage and sent her out onto the track. Although Long was 10 laps down, she was unwilling to give up as she race to the end.

This Week’s No. 70 Foretravel Motorcoach Team-Long and the ML Motorsports team will be taking Chassis No. 63 to Iowa Speedway. Chassis No. 63 was last utilized on May 20 at Iowa where the team finished 22nd.

Johanna’s Appearance schedule – Johanna is excited to meet with kids at Blank’s Children Hospital prior the Friday afternoon’s practice session. She will be visiting and signing autographs for the kids and their families at the hospital from 11:00 am-12:00 pm CDT.

Johanna will also be participating in the NNS autograph session on Saturday, Aug. 4 from 1:45-2:30 pm CDT located in the concourse.

Johanna on Driving at Iowa Speedway: “Iowa Speedway is a blast to race at. The track is a lot of fun to get around and there is always a great crowd that comes out to watch. The energy at this track is absolutely amazing. We had a pretty strong car here back in May, we just couldn’t catch a break. Hopefully we can take what we learned here earlier in the season and capitalize on that going into Saturday’s race.”


Carl Edwards will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series next weekend at Watkins Glen International to race the No. 60 Subway Ford Mustang.  It will be Edwards’ first appearance in the series this season after running full time the past seven years.  Subway, which also sponsors Edwards in the Sprint Cup Series, will be the primary sponsor at The Glen.

“I’m very excited about running the No. 60 Subway Ford Mustang in my first Nationwide Series race of the year,” Edwards said.  “It’s great to have Subway on board and it will be fun to be back in the 60 car.  The Nationwide race at Watkins Glen is almost like a Sprint Cup event because of the length of the race.  It’s a very long and tough race, and there is a lot of competition with all the road course specialists.  There are always a lot of really fast guys there, so it’s a race that will test the equipment and our strategy.  The guys are working very hard on the car and it would be big to win a road course race there.”

“Subway is pleased to cheer Carl on for his first Nationwide Series race of the season,” said Subway director of sports marketing, Paul Bamundo.  “The race next weekend at Watkins Glen is perfect timing for Subway with avocado season underway, and our primary paint scheme will highlight this super food. We have a great partnership with Carl, and we’re excited to add this race to our schedule with him."    

In seven Nationwide starts at Watkins Glen, Edwards has earned two top-five finishes and led 25 laps.  He has, however, claimed victories on road courses at Montreal and Road America in Nationwide competition.  In 17 Nationwide starts on road courses, Edwards has two wins, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.


2011 Daytona 500 champion Trevor Baynewill make a special appearance on “Good Morning America” Thursday, August 2, on ABC at 8:30 am. Bayne was a guest on the popular show last March after his improbable Daytona 500 win.


The segment will feature Bayne and the all-new 2013 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion stock car, the model that was just approved for ‘13 competition by NASCAR this past Monday. 


Bayne’s historic Daytona 500 victory as a 20-year-old, driving for Wood Brothers Racing in only his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start last season, propelled him into the spotlight and on a whirlwind media tour from Los Angeles to New York City.


Ford Racing PR

Regan Smith's Indianapolis performance (not the result) has the Furniture Row Racing driver feeling upbeat about this Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. 

"Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway are similar and if we can put another fast car on the track then we will be in position to have one of our best weekends of the season," said Smith, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet. 

Smith almost had his best weekend of 2012 in Sunday's Brickyard 400. He ran in the top-10 for nearly the first 100 laps. But as he was looking to make a pass for the lead on Lap 100 of 160, his car made contact with another car, suffering left front-end damage and dashing any hopes of a stellar finish. His handicapped car took the checkered flag with an 18th-place result.

"The Indy finish was disappointing, but the silver lining was that we had a fast car," explained Smith. "We've been struggling for speed this season, but based on Indy I am pumped to be going to Pocono. Indy has given us a strong baseline setup for Pocono, which makes the confidence level rise a few notches."

Though Pocono and Indy are both 2.5-mile tracks with a little banking, Smith says he has all the confidence in new crew chief Todd Berrier to make the necessary tweaks to the No. 78 Chevy. The Pennsylvania 400 will be Berrier's second race since joining Furniture Row Racing.

"Todd has the experience and his intensity level to make the car better is very cool," stated Smith. "He has a lot of ideas right now and I like his confidence. I feel comfortable around Todd and also feel like we've been working together for a long time."

In the June race at Pocono, Smith attacked the newly-paved Pocono Raceway surface. He qualified seventh and fought hard to finish 16th.  

"I enjoy racing at Pocono, it's a unique track -- I guess that's why they call it the tricky triangle," noted Smith. "We have the potential to start turning things around this weekend. A performance like we had at Indy without any hiccups would be the right formula for our Furniture Row Racing team."

Berrier echoes many of the Smith's feelings. 

"It's been a smooth transition and I like everyone's intensity level," said Berrier. "We had a good start at Indy, but it wasn't perfect. But I do get the feeling that we're all on the same page and that's a major first step when change takes place. The potential is there to get those top-10 or better finishes."

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