Speedway Digest Staff
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On Thursday, Aug. 23, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and defending winner of the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, visited the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta to host a dolphin race between two of the aquarium’s resident dolphins.
The two dolphins, nicknamed “Jimmie” and “Dale” for the event, went head-to-head to determine which one was the fastest dolphin in Atlanta. Gordon waved the green flag to signal the start of the race and “Jimmie” claimed victory with Gordon waving the checkered flag. Gordon awarded “Jimmie” with a trophy full of fish for his win. He also asked “Jimmie” if he’d be ready to race against 42 other dolphins, which was answered with an emphatic shake of his head, “no.”
The event at the Georgia Aquarium was to promote the upcoming AdvoCare 500 at AMS. Gordon explained why he loves racing at Atlanta to the media attending the event. “I think one of the reasons so many drivers and teams love Atlanta is the track does have a lot of grip, a lot of banking, a very fast race track, especially when you look at the qualifying speeds,” said Gordon. “But when you see what happens in the race, it’s very fast but it has a lot of fall off, so the tire wear is significant, the balance of the car changes throughout a run. As a driver, you have to drive through those things and it puts on one of the best races because its three and four wide grooves, and so many different grooves that can make the car run faster through one end of the racetrack versus the other. So I know it’s a favorite of mine for all those reasons, and that’s the case for a lot of other drivers. It’s an older surface, but we find today that those older, abrasive surfaces seem to be one that offers some of the best racing in the series.”
If Gordon can log another win next weekend at AMS, he will tie Bobby Labonte for the most Cup wins at the track among active drivers. Dale Earnhardt, Sr. still holds the record for most Cup wins with nine victories.
Penske Racing and Miller Lite announced today they will honor Rusty Wallace’s 2013 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a special, throwback paint scheme on the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in Saturday night’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).
The paint scheme will be an exact replica of the scheme Rusty used to sweep both races at BMS in the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series season, including his landmark 50th career victory in the March 26 Food City 500. Brad Keselowski, current driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, will attempt to continue the tradition and pull off the same season sweep this weekend.
“Rusty had a tremendous ability to excel on short tracks and demonstrated that unique talent many times, especially at Bristol,”said Roger Penske. “The 2000 season was really a special year for us there. I’m honored that we could help recognize Rusty’s crowning achievement.”
The No. 2 Miller-sponsored car from Penske Racing has scored a total of 10 wins at BMS, with seven of those wins coming with Wallace in the seat. Wallace tallied 37 NSCS victories as driver of the No. 2 car that he made famous.
“As the first driver to get behind the wheel of the No. 2 Miller-sponsored car in 1991, Rusty Wallace had a brilliant career and made a big contribution to the ongoing success of the Penske-Miller partnership over the years, which now continues with Brad Keselowski,” said Adam Dettman, MillerCoors sports and entertainment marketing director. “We were able to visit Victory Lane with Rusty at a variety of different racetracks, but he loved winning at Bristol. He always placed a premium on this half-mile track, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to honor him and the legacy of the Blue Deuce in this way.”
Wallace is part of the five-member class that will receive induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next May. The Hall chose BMS – site of nine of the 55 wins by Wallace during his illustrious career – as the perfect venue to honor the career of the 1989 NSCS champion.
The career totals for Wallace in the Miller-sponsored car at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” are spectacular. In 30 Bristol starts he garnered seven wins, 16 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s. In the iconic No. 2, Wallace led 3,404 laps at the track. His first win in the No. 2 came on April 14, 1991. Those stats are part of an impressive legacy of the Penske Racing No. 2 car at BMS. In 43 starts the No. 2 car has picked up 10 wins, 20 top-five finishes, 28 top-10s and has led a total of 4,075 laps.
“Being elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame is such an enormous honor,” said Wallace. “This sport has done so much for me and I hope that I can keep giving back to it for many years to come. I couldn’t think of a better place to be honored for my induction than Bristol Motor Speedway. I’m very proud of my record there; it’s such a special venue where everyone wants to win.”
Penske Racing PR
Former NASCAR Winston Cup (currently Sprint Cup) owner Jim Mattei will sell an expansive, historic ranch estate with three separate residences and a ranch manager's home, located on 517 acres of rolling pastures, wooded hills and open spaces at the foothills of the North Carolina Mountains, just 50 miles north of Charlotte, at a live auction Without Reserve on September 27 th. Originally part of the old stagecoach road that ran through Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA, Rocky Creek Ranch has never been on the market and has only had two owners in the last 110 years. NYC-based Concierge Auctions will handle the sale in cooperation with Derek Rowley of Mountain Sotheby's International Realty and Mary Boykin and Carol Hickman of Sotheby's International Realty in Palm Beach, Florida.
"Rocky Creek Ranch evokes the ultimate in peace and tranquility, with the added bonus of modern day recreation and amenities. It is an outdoor lovers' utopia thanks to easy access to horseback riding, shooting sports, hayrides, mountain biking and hiking and riding trails," Rowley stated. "The property is unique in so many ways, particularly since it has multiple homes, which lends a variety of uses. The possibilities are endless."
The first of the four residences at Rocky Creek Ranch – also known as 196 Old Stagecoach Lane – is the Mill House, which sits on a bluff overlooking the meandering Rocky Creek, close enough to be heard from the porch. This stone home has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a screened-in sleeping porch with its own fireplace and a large playroom. Toward the front of the property lies the largest of the three residences, the Gate House, which has four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, a gourmet chef's kitchen, great room, formal living and dining rooms, a large game room with a built-in entertainment center and a three-car garage. Selling fully furnished, its spacious, open floor plan, large deck and fenced backyard provide ample space for family entertaining. Also selling furnished, the Bunk House is an authentic log cabin, tucked under an oak and maple tree canopy. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sleeping loft and a central stone fireplace, which makes for a true log cabin experience. The property also includes a two-story idyllic farm-style residence for a full time ranch manager.
The Lake Pavilion is the common gathering place of the entire property. Here, residents can cook and dine in the screened-in porch; relax, fish or feed the ducks off the spacious deck suspended over the lake; lay out and swim from the lakefront beach; play on the children's playground; or retreat just a few steps away to the covered patio with additional seating and dining space. Equestrian lovers will appreciate the nearby grand stable overlooking the lake complete with a fully-outfitted tack room, horse washing bay, lounge with kitchenette, full bath and a riding ring and pastures.
"We have sold a number of our assets over the past 10 years through the auction process, including our race facility," stated the seller, Jim Mattei. "Since we live in Palm Beach, we simply aren't able to enjoy Rocky Creek Ranch as much as we used to. Having witnessed Concierge's success with selling other one-of-a-kind properties, we are confident they will achieve a fair, market-driven price."
Rocky Creek Ranch has a rich history, which has been delicately preserved by only two owners in the last 110 years. The property was originally settled in 1827 by Baker Holland, a wagon maker from Maryland. The road alongside Rocky Creek was the center of much activity, as it ran through Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Georgia. There were wagon shops, a general store, a doctor's office and a grist mill, and the property became a popular community center within the northern part of the county. After the Holland family sold the property, it eventually ended up in the hands of Thomas Summers in 1903. Summers' granddaughter Elsie Hall then inherited the land. The current owners purchased the property from Elsie in 1999 and named it Rocky Creek Ranch. They have worked diligently to preserve the history and natural beauty of this one-of-a-kind property.
"Concierge Auctions continues to attract luxury buyers nationwide who seek to purchase the most premier, incomparable properties," stated Laura Brady, Vice President of Marketing for Concierge Auctions. "Rocky Creek Ranch could be utilized in a variety of ways, be it a vacation home, a full-time residence or a corporate retreat. The sellers are committed to finding a new steward for the property, and we look forward to finding out who that will be on September 27 th."
Rocky Creek Ranch is located minutes from historic downtown Statesville, which was first settled in 1753. It is home to Fort Dobbs State Historic site, the only North Carolina Historic Site associated with the French and Indian War. Statesville is located approximately 50 miles north of Charlotte and is in close proximity to a corporate airport with a 7,000-foot runway. The area enjoys four beautiful and distinct seasons.
The auction of Rocky Creek Ranch will be held on September 27 th. A 3% commission is offered to the buyer's representing broker. The property is open for preview daily from 1 to 4 p.m. by appointment only. See Auction Terms and Conditions for full details. For more information visit RockyCreekAuction.com or call 877.705.9361.
Concierge Auctions PR
Justin Lofton and the No. 6 Millennium VIP Group Private Jet Services Chevrolet raced through the field in a fight for the championship on Wednesday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway ("World's Fastest Half-Mile). After damaging his No. 6 Chevrolet during his qualifying attempt, Lofton had to start near the back of the pack and raced through the field from the 32nd position on the World's Fastest Half-Mile. The championship contender closed in on the competition to race all the way up to the 10th position before the checkered flag waved.
Starting near the back of the field, Lofton paced himself to move up the leaderboard during a long green-flag run at the beginning of the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The 26-year-old picked up 20 positions before coming down pit road during the lap 82 caution period. With the truck just a little loose, the Millennium VIP Group Private Jet Services team went to work changing four tires, adding fuel and making a wedge adjustment to Lofton's truck before sending him back on the track.
Lofton continued to stalk the competition, slowly picking up position after position to move into the top 10 by lap 180. As cautions bred cautions during the closing laps of the 200-lap event, the field bunched up, resulting in some damage to the No. 6 truck. On lap 193, one of the frontrunners engine sputtered causing the rest of the field to step on the brakes. Lofton's teammate Cale Gale was turned off the nose of another competitor and spun into the inside wall as everyone else tried to avoid making contact. Lofton couldn't get slowed in time, and ran into the back of the truck in front of him causing damage to the nose of his truck. With the hood bent up, Lofton continued to run as best he could for the final green-white-checkered restart. Coming to the checkered flag, Lofton was racing side-by-side and got pushed up out of the groove while two other competitors dove to the inside to take positions. As a result, the championship contender crossed the finish line in the 10th position.
"We really fought hard to work our way up through the field," commented Lofton. "We got a couple of breaks along the way, but lost an opportunity at the end when the No. 9 truck got in to us in turn three coming to the checkered. It cost us a couple of spots, but we finished top 10. For starting in the 32nd position, I would say it was a pretty good race at Bristol."
Leaving the World's Fastest Half-Mile, Lofton is still sitting in fourth place in the championship point standings, just 31 points out of first place. Nine races remain in the 2012 season.
Cale Gale and the No. 33 Rheem team had a day full of ups and downs on Wednesday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway ("World's Fastest Half-Mile"). The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender nabbed his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) pole to lead the field to the green, but finished the race with a trip to the infield care center after making hard contact with the inside wall with just seven laps remaining.
With a fast truck, Gale paced most of the opening practice session and posted speeds inside the top 10 throughout final practice on Wednesday afternoon. A few hours later, Gale strapped in the truck and ran a 15.656-second lap-his quickest of the day-to secure the pole position at the World's Fastest Half-Mile.
Wednesday's NCWTS event was the debut of a new track configuration at Bristol Motor Speedway where the upper groove was removed. As a result, passing became more challenging than it had been in years past. Gale decided to lead the field to the green from the outside line, but when the No. 17 truck got a good jump off the start, Gale quickly settled into the second position.
A long green-flag run kicked off the UNOH 200 and there was little movement inside the top-five competitors throughout the opening 80 laps. A caution on lap 82 finally gave the field a chance to mix it up. Well inside their fuel window to make it the distance, everyone came down pit road. Gale called into the crew to report that his truck was a little snug when he was racing by himself, but got a little loose when racing around other competitors. Still overall pleased with the handling of the Rheem Chevrolet, the team opted to service Gale's truck with four tires, fuel and no adjustments before sending him back on the track.
As the laps wound down, tempers started to heat up and cautions became more and more frequent. Gale was involved in an incident on lap 161 as a result of hard side-by-side racing, but was able to drive away with just minor damage to the rear bumper of the Rheem Chevrolet. Gale stayed in the hunt racing inside the top five before briefly dropping to the sixth position on the lap 170 restart.
With just seven laps to go, the No. 29 of Brad Keselowski sputtered on fuel in front of the field while running second. Gale, who was running sixth, checked up to avoid contact with the truck in front of him, but got turned by the truck behind him. The contact sent Gale hard into the inside wall and resulted in terminal damage to the right side of the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet. Gale climbed out of his Chevrolet and took the short ambulance ride to the infield care center. Within minutes, Gale was released from the care center and credited with a 28th-place finish in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"Today was a wild day," commented Gale. "I'm so proud of my Rheem team for all their hard work and getting the pole this afternoon; but I'm so disappointed in how everything ended tonight. We've had such great trucks from Eddie Sharp Racing all season, but it just seems like we haven't had any luck. I can't thank Jerry [Baxter, crew chief] and the guys enough for all their hard work and standing by me all season; we had a strong truck tonight and we were definitely coming for a top-five finish. I feel like our team has really bonded and that we're on the right track; hopefully we'll be able to carry the momentum of the pole award and strong run into the race at Atlanta next week."
Children of Drivers, crew members will sing National Anthem Prior to start of Irwin Tools Night Race
Without question one of racing’s most popular renditions of the national anthem comes each year at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the IRWIN Tools Night Race.
Building on the tradition, Motor Racing Outreach brings the children of NASCAR drivers and crew members together to sing the anthem before the green flag falls on the Aug. 25 event.
Prior to the start of the Food City 250 Friday Night, Technical Sergeant Frances Kness, a member of the Band of the Air Force Reserve, will sing the anthem. Kness is stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Robins, Ga.
Presentation of colors on Saturday will come from the Tennessee Army National Guard while Lt. Trint R. Callison of the Tennessee Army National Guard will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance prior to both Friday and Saturday’s events.
Cherokee High School’s NJROTC will present colors Friday while the Tennessee Army National Guard will present colors Saturday.
Friday’s flyover will feature a KC-135 from the Tennessee Air National Guard. Saturday’s flyover features a pair of T-45s from Naval Air Station Meridan.
When fans flock toRichmond International Raceway September7-8 for the “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR Weekend, they will notice several new amenities, as well as some returning fan-favorite activities. Those who don’t already have tickets for the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race can log on to www.rir.com for tickets and information. Here is a list of the great amenities awaiting fans:
General automobile parking at Richmond International Raceway has always been and continues to be absolutely FREE.
Bring Your Own Food & Beverage
Did you know fans are allowed to bring in their own food and beverage inside the gates of Richmond International Raceway? The maximum allowed cooler size is 14”x14”x14” – large enough for 36 12-oz beverages. No glass containers are allowed.
Video Scoring Tower
RIR’s Video Scoring Tower remains the largest in NASCAR, displaying live race action, pre-race ceremonies, post-race Chase celebration, various events happening on Raceway property and many pre-produced videos and graphics. Additionally, fans can stick around after the checkered flag to watch Gatorade Victory Lane celebrations and post-race driver interviews from the Media Center both September 7 and 8.
Virginia 529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia
Kids 12 and younger can enjoy their race day in the Virginia 529 Kids Zone powered by the Science Museum of Virginia, which is a playful and educational environment featuring inflatable moon bounces, as well as scientific exhibits that will enrich their minds. While there, parents can sign their kids up for the free RIR Kids Club, with benefits including an official membership card, Kids Club gift, e-newsletter, birthday e-card, special ticket offers and contest opportunities.
Available on Apple and Android devices, RIR’s free mobile app provides fans with a customizable schedule with reminder notifications; interactive GPS map with search capabilities; detailed Midway, parking and facility maps; seating charts; first aid, Will Call and ATM locations; “Friend Finder” to locate your friends on property and a race weekend postcard where you can take a photo with an RIR background to upload to your social media accounts.
Miller Lite Party Zone
Miller Lite brings the ultimate tailgate party to fans on race weekend, featuring live music, tailgate games, a mechanical bull, the Miller Lite show car and cash bar serving great tasting Miller Lite and food items for sale. Located near the Midway on the Amphitheater Hill, the Miller Lite Party Zone is the place to be from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. While in there, fans have access to the Miller Lite Party Bar, which is loaded with big screen televisions.
Nearly all of the grandstand seats have been widened and now measure 22 inches wide.
More than twenty 42” televisions have been installed throughout the concourse, underneath the grandstands.
Outside of the grandstands, Richmond International Raceway offers one of the best interactive and shopping experiences in all of racing, the Midway. The Midway features track and driver souvenir merchandise rigs, interactive displays, games, giveaways, music and more/
The Virginia Industry Business Expo (VIBE), located on the Midway, adjacent to the Old Dominion Building, is an indoor display area, featuring displays and exhibitions from regional businesses, open to the public on Friday and Saturday.
Bristol Motor Speedway invites you to the 15th annual Ford Transporter Parade, Thursday August 23rd. It’s a Bristol tradition and an event you will not want to miss.
Featuring the brightly-colored, multi-million dollar machines that haul your favorite Sprint Cup Series cars from track-to-track across America, the parade is an amazing 10-mile trip through Bristol, Tenn., down Volunteer Parkway (Hwy. 11E) to “The Last Great Colloseum” that is Bristol Motor Speedway.
The parade leaves Bristol Mall at approximately 9 PM, following Food City Race Night. Be sure to look for the famous fireworks and the Food City big cart along the parade route.
DeVault Memorial Stadium | 1501 Euclid Ave., Bristol, VA
Executive Business Park | 1241 Volunteer Pkwy., Bristol, TN
Avoca Little League Park | 2432 Volunteer Pkwy., Bristol, TN
Bristol Motor Speedway | 151 Speedway Blvd., Bristol, TN
AND DID YOU KNOW…
Fans are welcome to enter the BMS grandstands to watch the haulers park before all the on-track action begins. Gate 10 opens at 9 PM for fans. It’s a rare chance for fans to get a behind-the-scenes look.
Special this year will be the addition of children from the Make a wish foundation and Children’s Miracle network riding in the transporter drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
East Tennessee/Southwest Virginia’s country sensation Daisi Rain will be playing at the Bristol Mall from 5:30-7:30 pm and the performance will be sponsored by BVU Optinet.
BMS will also host an iBelong season ticket holder reception held at the Bristol Mall at 4:30 PM.
Transporter driver intros begin at 8 PM. Don’t miss this special event!
Five Oak native Fain Skinner has been anxiously waiting for his chance to get back on the track since his notable run at Daytona International Speedway this past February. This Friday he will have his chance as he returns to Bristol Motor Speedway for the second time in his career.
Skinner will pilot the Carportempire.com/Keensbuildings.com #41 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing.” I can’t express enough gratitude towards Carport Empire and Keens Buildings for giving me this opportunity again. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the seat but I cannot think of a more exciting track to return to than Bristol. I expect to build upon that experience and have a successful run for Carportempire.com” said Skinner.
RWR/Fain Skinner PR
Brad Keselowski and the No. 29 Reese Towpower RAM team finished 25th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night.
After starting fourth, Keselowski steered his No. 29 Reese Towpower RAM to the second position during the early stages of the race. On lap 81, the caution flag flew for the first time, and Keselowski came into the pits for four new tires and fuel. Another caution came quickly on lap 87 with Keselowski restarting fourth. Keselowski made his move on lap 113 as he moved closer to the top of the leaderboard by passing Todd Bodine to reclaim the second position.
With Keselowski maintaining second behind leader Timothy Peters, there would be a number of key upcoming decisions for the Reese Towpower team as cautions continued to fall on laps 146, 155, and 160. In an effort to keep pace with the leader, the No. 29 team chose to decline service in favor of track position. The yellow flag was displayed yet again for on track incidents on laps 169 and 186, but the track position move initially paid off as Keselowski managed to keep his second position heading towards the end of the race.
A final caution flag on lap 194, however, proved to be one too many for Keselowski heading into a green-white-checkered restart. On the final lap, as he hung on to second place, Keselowski ran out of fuel and coasted to his pit box to finish 25th.
"It really was a bummer that we didn't get a better finish from a solid race in the Reese Towpower RAM," said Keselowski. "I can't thank the guys in the shop enough for preparing tonight's truck and can't wait to get back for my next race in the series."
Reese Towpower will be back on the No. 29 RAM looking for Brad Keselowski Racing's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win on September 29, 2012 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the Smith's 350 at 8:00 P.M. EDT on the SPEED Channel.