Steven B. Wilson

Steven B. Wilson

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

The Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by Smithfield, is known around the sporting world as the symbol of Dover International Speedway, one of the unique venues in all of motorsports.

Now, charities and non-profit organizations have the opportunity to promote their causes using one of the mid-Atlantic’s most recognizable landmarks.

A handful of months per year, the Monster Mile will light up the Monster Monument in the dominant color of certain organizations, causes or special community events and holidays.

“We consistently receive tremendous feedback when we light up Miles,” said Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian. “We have decided to make it an ongoing effort so we can, literally, bring light to so many organizations, causes, events and holidays.”

Colors already scheduled in 2018 include:

  • Green – (Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl, St. Patrick’s Day; February and March)
  • Blue – (Autism Awareness; April)
  • Pink – (Breast Cancer Awareness; October)

Organizations can make suggestions and requests in several ways, including using the hashtag #LightUpMiles on social media and sending recommendations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that there is no application process but the Speedway will keep a list of appropriate requests and use those suggestions whenever appropriate.

If an organization is selected, in addition to lighting up the Monster Monument, it can receive the following:

  • Tickets to upcoming NASCAR tripleheader weekends
  • An ad in the Dover souvenir program
  • Table space along the vendor midway on NASCAR weekends
  • An auction/donation item

Built in 2008, the Monster Monument stands 46-feet tall and is the largest fiberglass statue at any sporting venue in the world. The base of the monument pays tribute to race winners at Dover International Speedway and features dedications to legendary drivers who are recognized for their special accomplishments earned on the Monster Mile’s high-banked, one-mile concrete oval.

Dover International Speedway is hosting two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in 2018, on May 4-6 and Oct. 5-7.

In the Spring, the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race is set for Sunday, May 6, preceded by the “OneMain Financial 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, May 5 and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 4. In the Fall, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race is set for Sunday, Oct. 7, preceded by the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Oct. 6 and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Oct. 5.

For tickets or more information, call 800‐441‐RACE or visit You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.

Dover Motorsports PR

Veteran racer Akinori Ogata (@AkinoriOgata) returns to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) trail this weekend at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway driving the No. 63 MB Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado for Saturday afternoon’s Active Pest Control 200 benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The Kanagawa, Japan native is set to embrace his seventh career NCWTS start and first since an appearance at Atlanta’s fast 1.5-mile speedway last March.

“I’m very thankful to be competing back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Ogata who resides in Mooresville, N.C.

“I’m grateful to be back with Mike Mittler and MB Motorsports and look forward to a solid outing on Saturday afternoon.”

Motorsports veteran Rick Ren will serve as crew chief for the second Truck Series race of the season.

Four of Ogata’s career Truck Series starts have come for the St. Louis-based MB Motorsports.

His career best Truck Series finish also came with the mainstay organization at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in his team debut in 2015.

Rewinding back to Atlanta last year, the 44-year-old drove for Beaver Motorsports, started 32nd but finished 30th after exiting the event due to an oil leak. This year, Ogata has high hopes for a better result.

“Even though I didn’t have the chance to run the entire race, the track time at Atlanta was priceless,” he explained. “It’s a very sensitive track because of its worn surface. I’m relying on my team and crew chief to help me get into a comfortable and competitive rhythm, so we can make some gains during the race and have a solid finish.”

Ogata’s efforts this weekend at Atlanta will be supported by Nisshinbo.

Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing Inc. (NAMI) is part of the Nisshinbo Group, consisting of 59 subsidiaries and 40 affiliates worldwide. Nisshinbo was established in 1907, when it was producing yarns and threads.

In the 1940s, Nisshinbo was called upon to manufacture automotive friction materials and developed a process using woven fabric embedded with friction material. As the automobile has evolved, so have Nisshinbo brakes and friction materials to serve diverse applications in the global transportation market. Nisshinbo continues the evolution with a library of more than one thousand different recipes, each specific to customer applications.

North American operations are dedicated facilities serving OEM transportation manufacturers in the NAFTA market. NAMI is Nisshinbo's state-of-the-art facility located in Covington, Georgia.

Additionally, SEAVAC, a supplier of PVD coatings and other surface technologies will serve as an associate marketing partner for the 130-lap race.

“I’m very grateful to have Nisshinbo and SEAVAC support me this weekend at Atlanta,” sounded Ogata. “We didn’t have the best result last year at Atlanta and I owe to both of them to see the checkered flag on Saturday afternoon to express my appreciation.”

Ogata began his racing career in Japanese Motocross at age 14. After a decade of riding that included around 30 feature victories, he shifted to Dirt Midget Car racing, becoming a winning driver at Twin Ring Motegi.

Ogata's assimilation to American racing began in 2003, driving Late Model Stock Cars at North Carolina's Hickory Motor Speedway. He continued in Late Models after moving to the United States in 2010 and later graduated to the NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East, where he competed in 12 races over three years, scoring five top-20 finishes.

Since graduating from the K&N Pro Series East, Ogata has competed in at least one Truck Series race since 2014.

For more on Akinori Ogata like his Facebook page (Akinori Ogata Racing) or follow him on Twitter @AkinoriOgata.

The Active Pest Control 200 benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (130 laps / 200.2 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 23 from 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 24 beginning at 10:35 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90).

Akinori Ogata PR

Brendan O'Brien, public relations and marketing professional, has been named Marketing Specialist for Memphis International Raceway (MIR).

O'Brien brings seven years of experience to MIR, including a broad marketing background with specific expertise in digital and social media. Throughout his career, he has helped a variety of brands and companies establish and expand their digital marketing efforts, maximizing results through strategic marketing solutions, analytics, social media and brand engagement.

O'Brien graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of arts in 2010. He worked as a Client Associate with Merrill Lynch in Phoenix, and served as Senior Digital Manager for the online marketplace in Tucson, Ariz., for four years. In December 2015, he moved to Memphis after accepting a position as Email Marketing Specialist for Archer Malmo, a leading public relations agency with offices in Memphis and in Austin, Texas. He is an avid motorsports enthusiast who is excited to bring his skills and experience to the team at MIR.

He will report directly to MIR President, Pam Kendrick, in his new position.

"Brendan is a motivated individual who is determined to build strong relationships and doesn't shy away from leadership roles," Kendrick said. "His experience with social engagement and analytics, strategic marketing and brand engagement is valuable in making sure our racers, fans and partners receive maximum value from our events."

Among his duties, O'Brien will maximize the presence of Memphis International Raceway through social media and create marketing strategies at the grassroots level, as well as working with both local and national media.


Race fans and music lovers will come together again this summer to celebrate three weekends of world-class entertainment at Iowa Speedway. The NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series returns for the fourth consecutive year, featuring a star-studded lineup complementing seven thrilling races. As in seasons past, each installment of the NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series will take place at the Party Pavilion following the conclusion of the first race of each event weekend.

“This lineup of music heavy-hitters for the fourth NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series is a testament to our mission of offering a compelling racing product while enhancing the overall fan experience,” said Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt. “The return of the NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series is simply another way for fans to enjoy a full weekend at Iowa Speedway beyond the racing.”

The 2018 NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series kicks off on Saturday, June 16, following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Iowa 200. After the stars of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series find the “Eye of the Tiger,” Iowa Speedway fans will see “The Search is Over” as rock legend, Survivor, takes center stage at the Party Pavilion overlooking Turn 4 immediately following Casey’s General Store’s Victory Lane celebration.

Ultimate guitar-shredding showman, Ted Nugent, will keep fans cheering following the conclusion of the ARCA Racing Series Iowa 150 on Saturday, July 7. INDYCAR will speed things up the following day with the 12th running of the Iowa Corn 300, as the stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series solidify Iowa Speedway’s affirmation as the Fastest Short Track on the Planet.

The NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series will close out in style on Friday, July 27, highlighted by rising country music star Dylan Scott. Scott’s friendly charm and rhythm and blues-inspired music will be on full display following the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Store 150.

Anchoring the 2018 season is the NASCAR Xfinity Series U.S. Cellular 250 on July 28. After the roar of the engines has subsided, Iowa Speedway will host its fifth annual Post-Race Party on the Frontstretch. A tradition born in Iowa – opening the catchfence for fans to party on the track – has become universally revered by everyone.

Season, Weekend and Individual Event tickets are on sale. Payment plans are available and offer great flexibility to fans who want to pay over time. Iowa Speedway is committed to maximizing the value of the investment made by our fans. To that end, there have been no price increases for the 2018 season; all products and packages have retained their 2017 season prices.

Iowa Speedway PR

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suárez will be attending the Greater Milwaukee International Car and Truck Show on behalf of PEAK and Milwaukee Area Technical College. Suárez will be on hand to meet fans, sign autographs and take photos with those in attendance on Tuesday, February 27 from 6 – 8 p.m. CT in Room 201 at the Wisconsin Center located at 400 W. Wisconsin Ave.

“This is a great event and I’m very excited to be attending,” Suárez said. “PEAK is a great partner for both me and Joe Gibbs Racing, and I’m impressed with the work they are doing here with the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Mr. Hurvis does a lot to provide opportunities for so many different people and I’m proud to be associated him and PEAK. The event will be a great chance for me to learn more about what the students at MATC have going on and maybe take some of that information back to working on my own cars at home.”

Suárez competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). In 2016, Suárez became the first Mexican-born driver to win a race in any of NASCAR’s top-three national series when he won the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Michigan International Speedway. That same year, Suárez earned NXS championship honors by winning the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In January 2017, Suárez was moved to the MENCS ranks to drive the No. 19 Toyota Camry for JGR. During his rookie season, he earned one top-five finish and 12 top-10s overall. This season, PEAK is featured as an associate sponsor on Suárez’s Camry and will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 19 car at Chicagoland Speedway on July 1, 2018.

The Greater Milwaukee International Car and Truck Show is presented by the Automobile Dealers Association of Mega Milwaukee (ADAMM) and produced by Motor Trend Auto Shows. The Show will be open to the public Saturday, February 24 through Sunday, March 4 at the Wisconsin Center (400 W. Wisconsin Ave.). Show hours are Saturdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. each day, and Friday 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults (13 and over), $9 for senior citizens (62 and older, valid MondayThursday only), and $6 for children ages 7-12. Children 6 and under are admitted free. Kids 12 and under are admitted free on Family Days, Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4. Purchase e-tickets at to save $1 on adult admission and receive a free one-year subscription to Motor Trend™, sponsored by ADAMM.


Campaigning in his first full-time season with Empire Racing Development Group, hotshoe Devin Dodson will make his first appearance in 2018 next month, competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned event at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Dodson, 18, is making a transition from the Southeast Limited Late Model Series (SELLMS), where he finished second in the championship standings last season, to the late model ranks with the No. 9 Ford Mustang team this season.
Hailing from Bishopville, Md., last season was Dodson's first on asphalt. Previous to 2017 in the SELLMS, the fan favorite competed at Delaware dirt tracks, where he had proclaimed success and multiple victories.
"We learned a lot from last season on asphalt," Dodson said. "It was a nice transition from dirt and I think we learned what to do and what not to do. I feel like this season we are much more prepared. I think we're going to come out even stronger then last season and be much more competitive."
Late last season, however, Dodson and supporters made a change from Orion Motorsports, who he competed with in four races in the SELLMS, to Empire Racing, a developmental team for the accredited Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Richard Petty Motorsports.
In doing so, Dodson was able to receive seat time in three events driving the blue and black No. 9 Ford for Empire Racing, competing in both the Thanksgiving All-Star Classic 400 at Southern National Motorsports Park and the Myrtle Beach 400 -- two marquee late model events.
"I feel like the switch to Empire gave me a big boost in confidence," Dodson expressed. "We were able to qualify on pole in the limited late model event at Myrtle Beach, but then unfortunate circumstances took us out of our first two late model races.
"Either way, I still felt very proud in what we did accomplish in those starts and our speed on the racetrack.."
After those starts, Dodson was able to sign a deal with Empire to compete with their late model program full-time this season, running alongside teammate Thad Moffitt.
Along with confirming the fresh deal, the former dirt standout was able to spend time earlier this month with the team during the Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona Int'l Speedway, which is the season-opening race for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Empire Racing fielded two cars in that event, which gave Dodson a chance to view how their operation works in the ARCA Series. 
"I feel like my relationship with Empire grew a lot in being able to go spend time with them during the ARCA event," Dodson explained. "I strongly believe I can learn a lot from Mike 'Grumpy' Cheek this season and even my teammate Thad Moffitt. I think we have a ton of potential, for sure."
However, the offseason is now behind Dodson and his mind is focused on his opening race at Myrtle Beach, which is where he concluded last season. Having track time under his belt at that short track in South Carolina, he also expects that to give him a slight advantage.
"I'm really looking forward to this season. I have some track time at Myrtle Beach now. I expect to come right out of the gates swinging. I'm confident in our No. 9 Ford Mustang team. I think we will be right up front contending each and every week."
More details about his season debut and other information concerning Dodson's season will be released in the coming weeks.
For now, follow along with Devin on Facebook and keep tuned to his social media pages as he prepares to host contests and other unique events for his fans -- which will include giving out FREE Devin Dodson merchandise.
Devin Dodson PR

McDowell on Daytona

"Daytona was great for us. We had a fast Love’s Ford all day, we earned stage points in every stage and came home with a top-10. It was a great start to our season. But, for me, Atlanta is when the season really starts. Daytona is obviously big and it’s important, but you don’t know what you have until you get to Atlanta. Everybody works their guts out in the off-season with procedures and processes trying to find speed, and then you get to Atlanta and you see where you’re at. So, everybody’s anxious to get there and get Friday going.

"Atlanta’s a tough place. It’s worn out, tire wear comes into play and a lot of other variables. But the good thing is it’s Atlanta -- it's been the same the last few years and it gives you a good indication of where you’re at."


Shell, in conjunction with Sonoma Raceway and Speedway Motorsports Inc., will welcome student teams from up to 100 high schools and universities across North and South America to Make the Future California featuring Shell Eco-marathon Americas, April 19-22, 2018.

Make the Future California provides a platform for innovation, collaboration and conversation around the world’s energy challenges, as part of a global series of events through 2018. At the heart of these events is Shell Eco-marathon - one of the world’s leading energy efficiency competitions for students - that, for the past 30 years, has been challenging future engineers and scientists to go the farthest with the least amount of energy.

For the past 11 years, students competing in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas have designed, built and tested ultra-energy-efficient vehicles, with some achieving more than 3,500 miles per gallon. 2018 marks the 12th edition of Shell Eco-marathon in the Americas and the return to California where the first Shell Eco-marathon Americas student challenge took place in 2007 with less than 20 teams competing on the inside track of the California Speedway in Fontana.

“We are excited to return to California, a hub for technology and innovation, as we bring together students, energy entrepreneurs and global and local partners to demonstrate collaboration and ignite conversations about how to meet the growing energy demand while reducing future CO₂ emissions,” said Bruce Culpepper, U.S. Country Chair and President, Shell Oil Company. “These ambitious students from all over the Americas have been preparing for the ultimate energy-efficiency challenge, and their bright ideas and innovations on the track show us all what could be possible for the energy solutions of the future.”

“The Shell Eco-marathon program helps to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers for tomorrow's energy challenges,” said Shanna Simmons, Shell Eco-marathon Global Technical Director. “This competition provides students an opportunity to create a real impact in the world today by encouraging innovation and real solutions to address the global energy challenge.”

More than 1,000 student participants from across the Americas have worked for months to plan and construct their ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. By maximizing elements such as streamlined design, lightweight materials and driving strategy, teams aim to set new fuel efficiency records in two Shell Eco-marathon competitions at the iconic Sonoma Raceway in April:

  • Shell Eco-marathon Mileage Challenge: students compete to see whose vehicle design can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel.
  • Shell Eco-marathon Drivers' World Championship Regional Final: energy efficiency and speed unite in a race to crown the regional champion and secure a place in the Drivers' World Championship Grand Final, which will be held in London, 2018.

Student teams can choose to participate in one of two vehicle categories:

  • The Prototype – challenges teams to enter futuristic, streamlined vehicles designed purely to reduce friction and maximize efficiency.
  • The UrbanConcept – focuses on more “roadworthy” energy-efficient vehicles.

For both vehicle categories in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas event, teams can choose to compete with one of three drivetrains based on five official energy sources:

  • Internal combustion: gasoline, diesel, and ethanol
  • Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Battery electric technologies

Teams from Across the Americas Take on the Challenge Year-After-Year
Participating teams in 2018 include the Université Laval from Quebec, Canada, which last year recorded 2,731.1 miles per gallon with its ultra-energy-efficient gasoline powered prototype vehicle for first place in their energy and vehicle category. Last year’s runners-up, Brigham Young University and Mater Dei High School from Evansville, Indiana, will also be heading to Sonoma Raceway in April.

This year’s UrbanConcept competitors will include Mater Dei Supermileage Team, returning for their 12th year in the competition, who recorded top energy efficiency stats with 723.4 miles per gallon in its gasoline powered vehicle last year. Minnesota’s Saint Thomas Academy, Alden-Conger High School, and New York’s Newburgh Free Academy, last years’ podium placers, will also compete again this year.

Notably, Louisiana Tech University, which won the Vehicle Design Award in 2017 with its custom-designed UrbanConcept car, is aiming to take the top honors at Sonoma Raceway. This year, the team has partnered with Louisiana Tech’s School of Design to enhance branding and promotion for the team and represent the new era of the program.

Events Surrounding Make the Future California Add Value
In 2018, Shell will help shape the future of sustainable mobility in the Bay Area by uniting the industries and individuals that will help drive a cleaner, brighter future. Shell events related to Make the Future California in April will foster dialogue about future energy challenges and near-term solutions, including:

  • Powering Progress Together, April 19: This year in San Francisco, Shell will convene leading thinkers at this action-focused event aimed to foster conversation about the future of energy. The event will invite fresh thinking, and encourage collaboration, dialogue and debate.
  • Synergy Food Truck: The unique Synergy Truck was developed by Shell Eco-marathon student participants who collaborated to re-imagine every aspect of the food truck experience using new energy technologies. The food truck will also be onsite during the Shell Eco-marathon events at Sonoma Raceway.
  • Shell B2B Showcase: Various businesses within Shell will be featured on site, such as Shell’s New Energies group based in San Francisco, showcasing hydrogen and electric automotive mobility; Shell Lubricants and its hyper-fuel-efficient Class 8 tractor-trailer, Starship; and the nearby Shell Martinez Refinery.

For more information on Shell Eco-marathon Americas, including additional details on vehicle class requirements, official rules and details on prizes, please visit the Shell Eco-marathon website at:

Sonoma Raceway PR

While the legendary No. 3 has long been associated with Dale Earnhardt Sr., the revered number holds a special place in Bristol Motor Speedway lore with eight wins, including two of the greatest finishes in NASCAR history.

Last weekend Austin Dillon piloted the No. 3 DOW Chevrolet Camaro ZL 1 to victory at the Daytona 500 utilizing an Earnhardt-like move on the final lap. Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress, was a part of the Victory Lane party when Earnhardt celebrated with his lone Daytona 500 win in the black No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet 20 years earlier.

Fans around the country and on social media were joyous at the iconic number returning to the top of the leaderboard at Daytona. Should Dillon be able to also take the checkered flag at the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 15, it would be a fitting continuation to the incredible legacy of the No. 3 for NASCAR fans throughout east Tennessee as well as around the globe.

While the number will always be associated with Earnhardt, there have been nine different drivers who’ve piloted the No. 3 around the famed high banks of Bristol. In addition to Earnhardt and Dillion, others included legends such as David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Buddy Baker, Charlie Glotzbach, Bobby Isaac, Richard Childress and Ricky Rudd.

1971- Glotzbach pilots the No. 3 to Victory Lane at BMS
Charlie Glotzbach was the fourth driver to pilot the No. 3 at BMS but the first to get the number into Victory Lane. Glotzbach’s 1971 Chevrolet was the class of the field in a caution-field race with the Indiana native finishing three laps ahead of second place Bobby Allison at the Volunteer 500, the July precursor to the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. The win was Glotzbach’s fourth and final of his NASCAR Cup Series career and Chevrolet’s first since the 1967 season. In addition, the result was the first victory for the iconic Monte Carlo, the winningest car model in NASCAR history.

1984- Earnhardt’s first Bristol rodeo in the No. 3
Dale Earnhardt Sr. single-handedly made the No. 3 one of the most successful car entry numbers at Bristol Motor Speedway, but his BMS success did not start with the same number. The Intimidator’s first two Bristol starts in 1979 and 1980 came behind the wheel of the No. 2 Osterlund Motorsports machine, with the North Carolina native winning both. In 1984, Earnhardt began his iconic partnership with Richard Childress Racing and the legend of the 3 was born.

1987- #3 and #43 finish P1-P2
One of the biggest storylines following the 2018 Daytona 500 was the one-two finish of Dillon and Bubba Wallace, who is now the full-time driver of the legendary No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL 1 for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Stats geeks in the sport were immediately curious about the last time the two iconic numbers finished P1 and P2 in an event. Yes, you guessed it: the answer involves The Last Great Colosseum.

In the Spring race of 1987, Earnhardt piloted his No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet to victory, his fifth victory in seven races to start the season. Finishing second was Richard Petty in the No. 43 STP Pontiac. The P2 finish was Petty’s last top two finish at BMS.

1995- Earnhardt vs. Labonte 1
The Bristol lore of Earnhardt first reached a fever pitch during the 1995 Night Race. A colossal battle between the Intimidator and The Iceman, Terry Labonte, ended with a bang: Earnhardt sent Labonte spinning across the finish line. The two-time NASCAR Cup champ was able to hold on to P1. The winner’s circle photo from the race is one of the most memorable in stock car racing history with Labonte’s crumpled up No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet steaming with smoke.

1999- Earnhardt vs. Labonte 2
The 1995 finish seemed hard to beat, but the duo of Earnhardt and Labonte added a second act to their last lap tangles in the 1999 Night Race. A fantastic late-race drive by Labonte set up the showdown. The Texas native was able to get around the No. 3 before Earnhardt employed his patented bump and run move. The crash proved to be an instant classic in NASCAR history with Labonte spinning out and Earnhardt powering by to take the win. In Victory Lane, Earnhardt claimed his move on Labonte was simply an attempt to “rattle his cage,” but it ended with NASCAR’s most popular driver being booed louder than ever before.

2014- The Return of the 3
Following Earnhardt’s passing in 2001, the No. 3 remained off the track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series until 2014. Dillon took over the reins of the No. 3 as a rookie. He raced to an 11th place finish in his first Bristol start. The eldest grandson of Childress has now competed in eight Cup races at BMS with a top finishing position of fourth.

Following his Daytona 500 victory, Dillon hopes to ride that momentum straight to his first BMS Cup win at the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 15. Tickets for the Food City 500 weekend are still available. Two-day weekend packages start at just $89 for adults and $10 for kids (12-and-under). For more information, visit or call 423-BRISTOL.


With the second race of the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season set in the heart of Georgia this weekend at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Austin Wayne Self and his Niece Motorsports team seek a top-10 finish in Saturday afternoon’s Active Pest Control 200 benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Self, a native of Austin, Texas will return to the 1.5-mile speedway for the first time since his rookie season in 2016 and is optimistic that his No. 22 Don’t mess with Texas Chevrolet team can duplicate or better his 16th place performance nearly 24 months ago.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Atlanta,” said Self. “It’s one of the most unique race tracks on the circuit, especially with its aging surface. We made great strides during the race a couple years ago and I think after a few laps on Friday, we can get our Niece Motorsports team in that same position.”

The 22-year-old Self also sees Atlanta as an opportunity to propel his team forward after a strong performance was derailed last weekend at Daytona. Throughout last Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona, Self and the Joey Cohen led team remained in the hunt for a top-10 finish – but when a late-race accident started, Self’s No. 22 Chevrolet was left a victim of circumstances and ultimately a 20th place finish.

Still, Self knows that his Niece Motorsports team flexed their muscle and is confident in the performance they delivered.

“Daytona was really good for us, even with the finish,” added Self. “Daytona allowed the chance for me and Joey (Cohen, crew chief) to really work on our lingo. I was very content with our qualifying effort and I think we gave everyone a preview of our capabilities.”

With Atlanta serving as the middle of a three-week consecutive stretch for the Truck Series, Self knows that a good finish on Saturday will help propel them to Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, one of his favorite tracks on the tour, a week later.

“Atlanta is one of those places where handling and tire management is key,” noted Self. “Speed is important – but handling will be the ultimate decider for putting yourself in a good position for a solid finish.

“I think the pace is going to slow down considerably from the start of the weekend until the checkered flag. I think the stages will be important. If you’re not in a good position for the first stage – you can work at the end of that stage to get the truck better, so you can be better for Stage 2 and ultimately the final stage.

“I feel like we had a missed opportunity at Daytona with knocking out some stage points. Hopefully, we’re in the right place to pick up a few on Saturday.”

Like last year, the Don’t mess with Texas campaign and AM Technical Solutions will support Self in his 42nd career start.

The Don’t mess with Texas campaign is part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) litter prevention program, which includes Don’t mess with Texas, Adopt-a-Highway, and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. 

For more than 30 years, Don’t mess with Texas has made tremendous progress educating Texans about the impact of littering on the state’s economy, environment and physical landscape.

In 41 NCWTS races, the 2015 ARCA Racing Series rookie of the year has one top-five (second at Daytona 2017) and three top-10 finishes. The Texan maintains an average finish of 18.9 during his three years of competition.

For more on Niece Motorsports, please visit
For more on Austin Wayne Self, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.

The Active Pest Control 200 benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (130 laps / 200.2 miles) is the second of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., Feb. 23 from 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. A final practice session is set for 4:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 24 beginning at 10:35 a.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). 

Niece Motorsports PR