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Local Country Trio, Temecula Road To Perform National Anthenm and Pre-Race Concert At NASCAR Xfinity 300 Race21 Feb 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Local country artists, Temecula Road, will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the NASCAR NXS 300 on March 17, 2018 with pre-race activities starting at 1:30 p.m. at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. In addition, they will headline the pre-race concert at 12:00 p.m. in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone. The young stars are a perfect fit to kick-off the NXS 300 race which features young NASCAR drivers battling for the checkered flag on one of the fastest and oldest two-mile oval tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
The country music trio is comprised of sisters Emma and Maddie Salute and longtime friend Dawson Anderson. With talent far beyond their teenage years, Temecula Road has an impressive online following with their series of song covers. A mashup video of the trio singing portions of 2016’s top 20 country songs in a mere 3 minutes garnered them over 7 million views online.
Named after nearby wine country where they grew up, Temecula Road is signed to Buena Vista Records and has released three songs to date — “What If I Kissed You,” “Hoping” and “Everything Without You” all of which combined have surpassed over 3.6 million streams. The band was named one of Huffington Post’s “Top Country Artists To Watch” as well a Radio Disney “NEXT BIG THING” artist, putting them in great company with previously featured acts Shawn Mendes, Fifth Harmony and fellow country artist Kelsea Ballerini.
Temecula Road has opened for Martina McBride, Josh Turner, Joe Nichols, Sara Evans, Eli Young Band and Love And Theft and joined Jessie James Decker on a nationwide, sold out tour. Their covers have earned praise from Carrie Underwood, Brett Eldredge, Dan + Shay, Cam, and RaeLynn.
With a race ticket, fans will receive access to the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone including the Temecula Road concert, NASCAR driver appearances, autograph sessions, Monster Energy activations, celebrity appearances and other family fun.
Kids 12 and under with a Lefty’s Kids Club membership get free general admission showing their membership card to the NXS 300 race with a paid adult. Tickets start at just $30. Gates open to the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone at 9:00 a.m. and the NXS 300 race starts at 2:00 p.m. PT and airs on FS1. For more information go to www.autoclubspeedway.com.
Follow @AutoClubSpeedway on Facebook/Instagram and @ACSUpdates on Twitter and tag photos using #FastestSunday and #AutoClub400.
When it comes to iconic NASCAR car numbers, your first thought is probably Dale Earnhardt, Jr. when you see 88, Jimmie Johnson when you see 48, and Richard Petty when you see 43. Each one a motorsports legend now and forever, they’ve given meaning to those numbers through countless memorable performances over the span of their careers.
As for the No. 9, it’s without a doubt the Elliott family from Dawsonville, Georgia who immediately comes to mind. Both NASCAR Hall-of-Famer, Bill, and son, Chase, have made the 9 synonymous with success through two generations of racing, touching parts of six decades along the way. In the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Sunday, Chase will reignite the legacy of the Elliott 9 racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in Atlanta for the first time in nearly 15 years.
The elder Elliott used No. 9 when he arrived on the NASCAR scene in the spring of 1976. Building a legacy from the very beginning, he used the now iconic number in both of his Daytona 500 wins in 1985 and 1987, his 1988 Winston Cup Series championship, his 2002 Brickyard 400 victory and for seven of his record 16 Most Popular Driver seasons.
Though he ran different car numbers at different points throughout his career, the unassuming driver from the North Georgia mountains will always and forever be associated with the 9. It became more or less a trademark that carried with it an air of a true family racing tradition.
When Chase burst onto the racing scene not much more than a decade ago, he took after his father both with his innate skill as a driver, and with the same number festooned to the side of his car. Beginning with karts and then Bandolero cars in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thursday Thunder program in the late 2000s and continuing up through Legends racing, late-model competition, the ARCA Racing Series and eventually into the lower levels of NASCAR, the younger Elliott always sported the No. 9 or a variation of it, just like his Dad.
In 2014, Chase won three XFINITY Series races, Rookie of the Year honors and the overall series championship with the 9 on his door and did similarly well in the same series a year later in 2015. By that point, as far as anyone anywhere in the motorsports world was concerned, Chase had done plenty to carry the legacy of the Elliott 9 well into another decade and another generation, with lots of racing still left to do.
“The No. 9 being what it is, is special to me just because of the history I've had with it,” said Elliott. “Obviously, I would have never chosen that number to start racing with if it wasn't for my dad. I have a lot of history with it myself with our XFINITY Series championship in 2014, and all my short track races were all in that number. It's just kind of home to me.”
So it was somewhat strange when, in 2016, Chase Elliott stepped into the No. 24 car for Hendrick Motorsports in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after four-time series champion Jeff Gordon called it a career at the end of the 2015 season. Of course, though, it was an immense honor for a young rookie driver to inherit the number the great Gordon had made eternally famous over the course of his highly lucrative career.
“I’m just very honored that he is supportive and is OK with me driving that number that he’s done so much to make it what it is,” said Elliott at the time. “I think it’s an honor for me more than anything. Jeff wanted the 24 car to stay at Hendrick Motorsports, and for a guy who has been around and has done everything he’s done to make this place (HMS) what it is, how can you not have respect for that?”
And so for two years, Elliott drove the No. 24 car at the top level of NASCAR competition. And despite going winless through both of those seasons, he excelled as a young driver taking on the best of the very best, racking up 38 top-10s, 22 top-fives and even winning the pole position in each of his first two Daytona 500 appearances.
Still, Elliott lived under the shadow of “Gordon’s” No. 24 and the legacy he had left after more than 20 years at the top of the sport.
Then, in 2017, when it was announced that Kasey Kahne would not be returning to Hendrick Motorsports in 2018 and that William Byron would replace him at the four-car Cup Series team, an opportunity presented itself for Elliott to reassume more familiar numerical territory. In an announcement leading into NASCAR’s “throwback” weekend at Darlington Raceway in the fall of last season, the Hendrick shop revealed plans for Byron to take over the No. 24 the following season and for Elliott to return to his roots and the venerable No. 9.
“I wasn’t sure I’d ever drive the 9 again, Elliott said. “It’s a huge deal to my family and everyone back home (in Georgia), and I hope all of our fans will be pumped to see it back on the racetrack. There’s a legacy attached to that number, and I want to carry it on. I think it’s awesome that Hendrick Motorsports wanted to do this. It’s impossible not to be excited.”
Combined with the opportunity to revivify a longtime family tradition and a release from the pressure of running the renowned No. 24, Elliott was glad to begin a new chapter as he entered his third season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” he said. “It’s definitely home for me in that number. It’s what I started racing with. It’s the number I have really always run except these last two years, so it’s pretty special. The history is certainly there, and I am excited to carry it forward.”
His Hall-of-Fame dad couldn’t agree more.
“It was a great opportunity for us to have Chase use Jeff’s (Gordon) number the last couple of years,” said Bill, “but for me, it’s fun to see him in the 9 car. I grew up driving the 9 all of those years and I’ve watched Chase drive the 9 at the short tracks and then through the XFINITY Series and then on to drive the 24 in the Cup Series. I think it will be fun. I think it will be really well received from the fans. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The funny thing, though, is not only will Chase be following in his father’s footsteps as far as the number on the side of his car, but he has, in many ways, mirrored the start of Bill’s Cup Series career when it comes his results on the track.
Though both were formidable foes and could run alongside the best drivers on the track in their early years in the series, the wins did not – and haven’t – come easy for either Elliott in Cup Series competition.
It took Bill 116 races and eight runner-up finishes before he visited Victory Lane for the first time in 1983. Similarly, through 77 Cup Series starts over two-plus seasons, Chase has finished third or better 13 different times – and has had his fair share of bad luck after great runs – without scoring a win.
“Actually, there's some similarities in how he (Bill) got started,” said Chase. “He finished second a lot before he won a race too. Kind of weird. But I think I've run second almost as many times as he has before he won his first race. I think that's probably the biggest similarity we've had so far.”
It must run in the genes.
But whether or not his naturally modest demeanor will allow, he knows that first win is well within reach. With his superior on-track abilities, a strong history of winning in the Hendrick Motorsports shop and some of the best in the business putting fast race cars underneath him week in and week out, it’s never been a matter of “if” he’ll win at the Cup Series level, but when.
“You never know what tomorrow brings, much less a couple years down the road,” Elliott said about his career outlook. “But I think I'm fortunate to be in a situation where (car owner) Mr. (Rick) Hendrick has put a lot of trust in me to do well. He's had a reputation – his company – of winning, winning championships, winning races. I haven't really done that for him, but I'd love to do my part.”
Will being in the No. 9 going forward be that magical missing piece he needs to push himself over the edge and finally into Victory Lane?
“I don’t think so,” he said frankly. “I can’t see the outside of the car from the inside. So, at the end of the day, is it going to make me go any faster? No, probably not. Do I think it looks better? Yes, I do. Is it my favorite number? Yes, it is. Has it always been my favorite number? Yes, it has been. So, all those things are great. I’m very luck and honored to carry the number that I’ve carried for a number of years before this year, so it’s like getting back home to me from that sense. But no, I don’t think it’s going to make me go any faster or slower.”
Still, it’s can’t hurt to try something new, especially when it means so much to so many people, driver and family included.
“I think anybody that’s followed me for any period of time probably associates me with that number, and I think it just fits. I mean, if you could choose your favorite number to race with, I think everybody would, wouldn't you?
His father won three times at Atlanta driving the No. 9 car in the 1980s, and if Chase has anything to do with it this weekend, he’ll follow yet again in the footsteps of Awesome Bill and put the 9 back in the same Victory Lane he did so many times in a Bandolero car not all that long ago.
Beginning with the season-opening Danville Toyota Twin 100s on March 24, children 12 and under will be admitted free to all South Boston Speedway events. Youngsters must be accompanied by a paying adult.
“Everyone in racing needs to do everything we can do to get more young people involved in our sport” said South Boston Speedway General Manager Cathy Rice. “This is a way for us to make race night more affordable for parents. With our new pricing, a night of racing at South Boston Speedway will be one of the most affordable nights of family entertainment anywhere in the area.”
In the past, children six and under were admitted free while admission for children 7-12 was $5.
With a new playground unveiled last year, Rice said youngsters have something to keep them busy if they need a break from the racing action.
“We know that sometimes children have short attention spans. That’s the reason we built the new playground. Now if they get tired of watching the race, they can head over to the playground and have fun playing,” said Rice.
Racing returns to South Boston Speedway on March 24 with the Danville Toyota NASCAR Whelen Late Model Twin 100s featuring twin 100-lap races for Late Models, a 50-lap race for the Limited Sportsman Division, a 30-lap race for the Budweiser Pure Stocks and a 15-lap race for the Budweiser Hornets.
Light the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza presented by Smithfield to raise awareness for your charity and community organization21 Feb 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
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)
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 DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.
Dover Motorsports 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 LivingSocial.com 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
More Than 1,000 Students to Put Fuel-Efficiency Records to the Test at Make The Future California in Sonoma20 Feb 2018 Written by Steven B. Wilson
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: www.shell.com/ecomarathon.
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 www.BristolTix.com or call 423-BRISTOL.
According to Richard Childress, it goes back to Austin and Ty Dillon’s days racing Bandoleros. Their mother had to separate them in the back seat during a long ride home from Cincinnati, Ohio to North Carolina. Their competitive nature overwhelmed sibling love, at least for the moment.
That competitive nature has served the duo well at Martinsville Speedway, a half mile that demands a willingness to ruffle the feathers of teammates, siblings and rivals alike.
Recently etched into the history books as winners of the 2018 Daytona 500, Austin and Childress are now focusing on the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, a race that has seen the 27 year-old post top-5 finishes in consecutive seasons.
“Martinsville is awesome. It is all the drama in the world,” Austin said. “You can’t get enough of it. I wish there were 1,000 Martinsvilles. Beating and banging is a lot of fun.”
Childress noted that Austin’s background on dirt tracks has helped him adapt at Martinsville.
“Austin really likes Martinsville. I think a lot of that comes from running short-tracks back in the day and running a lot of dirt,” Childress said. “You have to have a little car control at Martinsville, especially how to work the throttle and work the brakes and I think he just got accustomed to that from other styles of racing. He really enjoys it. He has a good time there.”
That sibling rivalry could lead to an interesting moment for Richard Childress the grandfather if Austin and Ty ever find themselves up front during the late stages of a race at the Half Mile of Mayhem.
“I think that when it came down to the end of the race if those two were racing each other they’d be aggressive with each other,” Childress said. “They’re very competitive.”
Austin and Ty confirmed Childress’ suspicions when asked if they would spin each other with a grandfather clock trophy on the line.
“If I’m behind Ty with three (laps) to go am I dumping him for the win? I’d wreck about anybody for the win,” Austin said. “Especially at Martinsville to get one of those grandfather clocks and put the 3 back in victory lane. Mom probably wouldn’t talk to me for a while, but maybe she would get over it.”
Ty’s answer was also definitive, and came before the end of the question.
“I’m going to move Austin to win the race. Sorry. He knows it. I know it. It’s going to happen,” Ty said. “No doubt. I don’t care (if mom is mad). Sorry mom, you’ll get over it. Austin, you’ll get over it. But I am going to win the race.”
When it comes to Childress wearing a car owner hat, however, he said he always looks forward to the quick trip across the border from his home in Welcome, NC to Martinsville.
“I’ve always enjoyed going to Martinsville. I always think about the fun trips. It was always just fun,” Childress said. “All our cars have run pretty well up there through history.”
The Dillons and Childress will arrive in Martinsville in just a few weeks with their sights set on a victory in the STP 500.
The STP 500 weekend presented by whosyourdriver.org is March 23-25.
The weekend starts with a practice day for the truck series on Friday, followed by the cup series Hauler Parade.
On Saturday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is in action with the Alpha Energy Solutions 250. Following the race the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will qualify for Sunday’s STP 500.
The STP 500 is the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race on the East Coast, after the “West Coast Swing” and the first short-track race of the season. Last year, Brad Keselowski won the race, becoming the first driver to win in a Ford at Martinsville since 2002.
Youth 17-and-under are free on Friday and Saturday and $25 on Sunday.
Tickets to both races are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Next month, NASCAR is making its only stop in sunny Southern California, so there is no better time for Auto Club Speedway to name Southern California-based SPY Optic as the Official Sunglasses of Auto Club Speedway and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 race weekend scheduled March 16-18, 2018.
“SPY is a recognizable lifestyle brand and our shared passion to create memorable experiences makes this a great fit for us,” said Dave Allen, President of Auto Club Speedway. “Adding SPY to our infield supports our efforts to add value and unique activations for our NASCAR fans to enjoy all weekend.”
SPY Optic will have a large infield activation to interact with the thousands of avid NASCAR fans that make Auto Club Speedway home for four-days during the NASCAR Auto Club 400 weekend. Along with daily giveaways, they’ll host tailgating festivities for infield guests with food, games, and a place to relax and escape the sun.
“Motorsports played an integral role in the creation of the SPY brand and continues to be an important part of our culture today,” says Curtis Ellis, SPY Brand Director. “We’re excited to partner with Auto Club Speedway on a race in our backyard where we can get back to our roots and connect with fans face-to-face at one of the most exciting events of the year.”
Across the NASCAR circuit, Auto Club Speedway’s infield has been described as a “mini-city” with over 1,900 RVs decked out with NASCAR décor, thousands of bicycles cruising, and fans sharing their passion for racing. In addition to NASCAR race weekend, Auto Club Speedway hosts over 300 days of track activity including racing schools, club racing, car shows and other motorsport events.
For a chance to win prizes daily from SPY Optic, stop by their activation area in the infield during race weekend.
out SPY Optic and their therapeutic Happy Lens™ sunglasses, visit www.spyoptic.com.