Speedway Digest Staff
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Global storytelling organization I Am Second will make its way to NASCAR’s Auto Club 400 on March 1, appearing on Richard Childress Racing’s No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. The I Am Second logo and website will be prominently featured on the car driven by Tyler Reddick.
I Am Second aims to inspire individuals to be Second in their lives by putting God and others first by sharing true stories of real people overcoming struggles and surrendering to God in powerful short video format. Its website, iamsecond.com, features more than 100 short films from athletes, actors, cultural influencers, models, musicians and more.
“We are pleased to have this opportunity to introduce fans both at the racetrack and watching at home to I Am Second,” said I Am Second Vice President John Humphrey. “We are grateful for the exposure to I Am Second and hope that people will be encouraged by the real, raw and honest I Am Second stories of lives transformed found on iamsecond.com.”
Since its founding in 2008, I Am Second has been involved in promotion and outreach to the racing community. Several drivers -- including Darrell Waltrip, Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell and more -- have appeared in I Am Second’s flagship White Chair films, and the nonprofit has received numerous sponsorship and hosting opportunities at races, including the Daytona 500.
“We are honored to showcase the I Am Second ministry on the No. 8 Chevrolet starting this weekend in Fontana,” said Torrey Galida, president of RCR. “Their powerful and creative stories inspire individuals to transform their lives and we are sure that message will resonate well with NASCAR fans.”
For more information about I Am Second, visit iamsecond.com.
I Am Second PR
Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith and Atlanta Motor Speedway are upping the ante for the $100,000 bounty to beat Kyle Busch during the March 14 Georgia 200, and driver charities will bank the rewards.
NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick and Gander Outdoors Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis placed a $100,000 bounty on NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series ace Kyle Busch, payable to any NASCAR Cup Series driver who can beat him in a truck race. With Georgia native Chase Elliott now on the entry list, the March 14 race at AMS is promising to be a high-stakes, thrilling affair.
Smith and AMS have raised the stakes, vowing to give $5 to a driver charity from each eligible ticket purchase.
Race fans who purchase a ticket to the March 14 NASCAR doubleheader – which includes the Georgia 200 bounty challenge race (1:30 p.m. on FS1) and a NASCAR Xfinity Series race (4:00 p.m. on FS1) – can now choose the driver and driver foundations that will benefit.
Eligible drivers currently include Busch, the NASCAR Cup Series champion who has currently won seven straight NASCAR Truck Series races; Harvick, who stirred the pot when he put the initial $50,000 up as a bounty; and Elliott, the first Cup driver to accept the challenge for the Georgia 200 at AMS. If additional challengers emerge, the drivers and their respective charities will also become eligible.
“The anticipation for this race and the buzz around this bounty is growing every day,” Smith said. “Where the drivers saw a chance to inject more fun and excitement into this race, we see a chance to step it up even more and help some people in need through some very worthy driver charities.”
Fans can ensure their ticket purchase helps the driver charity of their choice by purchasing through the AMS ticket office (877-9-AMS-TIX) and stating the driver and foundation of choice or by going to https://www.
The Georgia 200 and NASCAR Xfinity Series race are part of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend March 13-15. Tickets and camping locations for Georgia’s NASCAR weekend can be obtained by calling 877-9-AMS-TIX or visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
As Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway enters its 70th season of racing in 2020, it will usher in a new generation of management to launch the Hampton, Virginia track into a new era.
Vaughan Crittenden has been named the stock car racing track’s Promotor and General Manager, track owner, Bill Mullis, announced this week.
Crittenden, 28, is among the youngest to serve in this role in the NASCAR Roots Division and succeeds Chuck Hall, who will remain a part of the speedway team.
“Vaughan is like a racehorse,” Mullis said of Crittenden, who has served as the track’s Director of Media since 2013. “We just need to saddle him up and let him loose.”
Hailing from Middlesex County in Virginia, Crittenden earned his undergraduate degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University, concentrating in digital video and cinema and minoring in Sports Communications.
Immediately after college, Crittenden worked as a photojournalist for WHSV before founding his own video production firm, Riverdale 24 Productions, where he produced promotional videos for commercial clients and provided marketing support to organizations on the integration of strategic video content.
In 2017, he joined the Richmond Raceway team as its Manager of Communications where he led the video efforts of the NASCAR track, producing national commercials, and developed a video series narrated by legendary broadcaster and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ken Squier. In that role, he also worked closely with the marketing teams at the Daytona 500, Talladega Superspeedway and Martinsville Speedway, as well as consulted with professional athletes and their public relations teams on promoting upcoming events.
Coming to Langley Speedway in this new role, Crittenden said, is a lot like coming home.
While his career has taken him to large NASCAR tracks across the country, Langley Speedway is where he “spent most Saturdays and Sundays since 2004,” said Crittenden.
Shortly after getting hooked on watching racing as a young boy in the 1990s, Crittenden caught the “racing bug,” immediately fell in love with the sport and got behind the wheel himself.
“I’ve always been blown away by the sights and sounds of the track,” Crittenden said. “It’s huge. It’s exciting. It’s full of energy. From the first very race I saw live in Richmond, when I felt the cars going by and smelled the fuel, I was hooked.”
Crittenden started racing with the Hampton Roads Kart Club and spent his early driving career working his way up the ranks.
That was when Mullis first met Crittenden.
“His mom used to bring him over and drop him off at my house with his go kart,” Mullis said. “He didn’t know a thing about racing, and couldn’t turn a wrench.”
But he learned. And he learned quick.
Mullis became Crittenden’s crew chief and helped him race over the years, and in return Crittenden would work in the pits for Mullis, who formerly raced.
Eventually, Crittenden’s ability outside the kart became evident to Mullis and “I could see how he had so much depth, was truly an artist, and was filled with talent outside of just helping me turn wrenches.”
Crittenden said he’s looking forward to taking his experience as a driver, a spectator and working on the marketing and promotions of larger tracks to “bring Langley into the next generation. It’s ready for a new image, to move forward into a new era, and for new programs to enhance the fan experience.”
“We have a great opportunity here and now to grow Langley Speedway’s presence nationwide, while also developing stronger connections and partnerships throughout the community and state,” Crittenden said.
Langley Speedway’s racing season officially kicks off on March 28 and its annual Day of Destruction – a demolition derby event – will be held on March 7.
Langley Speedway PR
Pocono Raceway is reporting a major increase in ticket sales ahead of the first-ever NASCAR Doubleheader Week, taking place at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ from June 25-28, 2020. The Raceway will host five NASCAR and ARCA races in four days, including two NASCAR Cup Series races taking place on back-to-back days – a first in NASCAR history.
Many of the Raceway’s 2019 initiatives remain in place for this summer’s epic motorsports event. Kids, ages 12 and under, will continue to receive free admission to the 100 and 200 Levels of the Grandstand, as well as Fan Fair, for all days during the NASCAR Doubleheader Week. A Saturday and/or Sunday adult Grandstand ticket holder can select up to four complimentary kids tickets with their purchase. Kids can camp for free, as well. The Raceway also recently announced the return of the Tricky Track Pack, available for either Saturday or Sunday, which includes four 100-Level Grandstand tickets, four Coca-Cola soft drinks and four hot dogs for only $125.
“Everyone seems to be embracing the doubleheader concept and fans are sharing their excitement about our event this June,” said Pocono Raceway President, Ben May. “We made a conscious effort to not increase ticket prices this year, to still allow for kids to attend all events free of charge and to continue initiatives Raceway guests have enjoyed over the last few summers. Our staff remains committed to offering fans the best possible experience and they get double the value for their dollar with more on-track action than ever before at Pocono. These factors have resulted in an increase of year-to-year ticket sales, which are not commonly seen this early in the season. We have more announcements on the horizon which will further enhance this incredible, bucket-list event of the summer.”
The Raceway’s carnival, Fan Stage and Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Kids Zone will return in Fan Fair and are free for all gate admission ticket holders, as well as children. Coolers are always welcome and daily Grandstand parking will remain free for all NASCAR Doubleheader Week events.
Also returning this year is Pocono Raceway’s Worry-Free Weather Guarantee. Fans can buy with confidence ahead of our events as the ticket guarantee is included with the purchase of Saturday and/or Sunday NASCAR Cup Series race tickets at Pocono. If a NASCAR Cup Series race is postponed due to inclement weather and the ticket holders is unable to attend the rescheduled date, Pocono Raceway will mail a check for the face value of those tickets to the ticket account holder. This guarantee comes with no additional costs or fees for the purchaser.
Tickets for the 2020 NASCAR Doubleheader Week are available while supplies last. To purchase tickets, visit www.poconoraceway.com/tickets or call 1-800 RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929.)
The 2020 NASCAR Doubleheader week will open with ARCA Menards Series practice, qualifying and the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 race on Thursday. On-track action on Friday will include NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (Gander Trucks) practice and qualifying, along with two NASCAR Cup Series (Cup Series) practice sessions. Saturday’s events will feature NASCAR Xfinity Series (Xfinity Series) practice, Cup Series qualifying to set the field for that day’s race, a 150-mile Gander Trucks race and a 325-mile Cup Series race. Xfinity Series Qualifying, the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons Xfinity Series race and a 350-mile Cup Series race, with the starting field being set by a lead-lap invert based on the finishing order from Saturday’s Cup race, rounds out the bucket-list motorsports week on Sunday.
Note: All events, dates, race lengths and times are subject to change without notice. Children must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder for gate admission and at all times while on Pocono Raceway property. Certain terms, conditions and fees may apply for ticket purchases.
Pocono Raceway PR
NBC Sports Group and Dorna Sports announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement today in which NBC Sports has acquired the rights to present all MotoGP races across its platforms beginning in 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.
NBC Sports opens the 2020 MotoGP calendar with coverage of the Qatar Grand Prix from Losail International Circuit on Sunday, March 8, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, the first of 20 MotoGP races that will air on NBC and NBCSN in 2020.
Four races will air on NBC in 2020, beginning on Sunday, May 3, at 1:30 p.m. ET with the Spanish Grand Prix from Circuito de Jerez. Additionally, NBC will air the Dutch TT from the TT Circuit Assen on Sunday, June 28, at 4:30 p.m. ET; the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, October 25, at 3 p.m. ET; and the season finale in the Comunitat Valenciana in Spain on Sunday, November 15, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Five of the 20 MotoGP races in 2020 will air live on NBCSN, including the Grand Prix of the Americas from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Many of the races in the latter part of the 2020 MotoGP season will air immediately following live NASCAR coverage on NBCSN.
All race coverage that airs on NBC and NBCSN will stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Live coverage of all 20 races will continue to stream on MotoGP VideoPass, both live and OnDemand, as will each and every session of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. Full WorldSBK VideoPass access will also remain available.
“Our agreement with MotoGP further cements NBC Sports as the Home of Motorsports and enhances our comprehensive racing portfolio,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “We’re excited to bring MotoGP to viewers across the country and showcase the world’s premier motorcycle road racing series.”
"I am delighted to announce this agreement with NBC Sports Group and see MotoGP broadcast on NBC and NBCSN,” says Manel Arroyo, Managing Director of Dorna Sports. “A giant of sports and motorsport broadcasting such as NBC will prove a valuable partner, and in an important market for MotoGP both now and historically. Some of our greatest MotoGP and WorldSBK Champions are American and have contributed such incredible chapters to the history of motorcycle racing, and we are delighted to see more of those chapters now have a new home thanks to this agreement with NBC Sports Group."
MotoGP joins NBC Sports’ comprehensive motorsports portfolio, which features exclusive coverage of the second half of the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series seasons, as well as the entire INDYCAR season, including the Indianapolis 500; IMSA; the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship; Supercross and American Flat Track.
In addition to its MotoGP coverage, NBC Sports will present six races of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) on NBCSN in 2020, beginning Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. ET from Australia.
Below is NBC Sports’ full 2020 MotoGP telecast schedule:
|Sun., March 8||Qatar Grand Prix*||NBCSN||12:30 p.m.|
|Sun., March 22||Thailand Grand Prix*||NBCSN||3:30 p.m.|
|Sun., April 5||Grand Prix of the Americas||NBCSN||2:30 p.m.|
|Sun., April 19||Argentina Grand Prix||NBCSN||2:30 p.m.|
|Sun., May 3||Spanish Grand Prix*||NBC||1:30 p.m.|
|Sun., May 17||French Grand Prix||NBCSN||7:30 a.m.|
|Sun., May 31||Italian Grand Prix||NBCSN||7:30 a.m.|
|Sun., June 7||Catalunya Grand Prix||NBCSN||7:30 a.m.|
|Sun., June 21||German Grand Prix*||NBCSN||6:30 a.m.|
|Sun., June 28||Dutch TT*||NBC||4:30 p.m.|
|Sun., July 12||Finnish Grand Prix*||NBCSN||1:30 p.m.|
|Sun., August 9||Czech Grand Prix*||NBCSN||8:30 p.m.|
|Sun., August 16||Austrian Grand Prix*||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Sun., August 30||British Grand Prix*||NBCSN||6:30 p.m.|
|Sun., September 13||San Marino Grand Prix*||NBCSN||2:30 p.m.|
|Sun., October 4||Aragon Grand Prix*||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Sun, October 18||Japanese Grand Prix*||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Sun., October 25||Australian Grand Prix*||NBC||3 p.m.|
|Sun., November 1||Malaysian Grand Prix*||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Sun., November 15||Valencia Grand Prix*||NBC||1:30 p.m.|
*denotes same-day delay
Below is NBC Sports’ 2020 WorldSBK telecast schedule:
|Mon., March 2||Australia*||NBCSN||6 p.m.|
|Sun., March 29||Spain*||NBCSN||2:30 p.m.|
|Mon., April 20||Netherlands*||NBCSN||12:30 a.m.|
|Sun., May 10||Italy*||NBCSN||5:30 p.m.|
|Sun., September 20||Catalunya||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Mon., October 12||Argentina*||NBCSN||3:30 p.m.|
*denotes delayed coverage
NBC Sports PR
Darlington Raceway is celebrating ‘NASCAR Champions…Past, Present and Future’ for its throwback weekend celebration on Sept. 4-6, 2020. Another champion will be crowned in 2020 and Darlington Raceway will host the opening round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which will declare its 72nd champion since 1949.
Each month, the track is recognizing NASCAR Cup Series champions from specific decades – this month (February) is the 1960’s.
In the 1960s, drivers became more household names as the sport continued to grow from its grassroots efforts in the 1950s. Some of the most legendary names (which are celebrated even today) in the sport’s history had careers and championships that started in the 1960s. Many of the decade’s champions became NASCAR Hall of Famers such as Richard Petty, David Pearson, Ned Jarrett and Rex White.
“There’s no question that the 1960s was a decade of growth, not only for NASCAR, but for drivers and their own personal brands,” Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp said. “Winning NASCAR championships in the 1960’s propelled the careers of drivers such as Richard Petty, David Pearson and Joe Weatherly. Winning stock car championships in the 1960’s was recognized as a significant achievement for the drivers and truly did help make them household names as the sport continued to rise in popularity.”
Here’s a look at the five different champions from the 1960s:
1960 NASCAR Grand National Champion – Rex White
Rex White took the points lead in June of 1960 and went on to win his one and only NASCAR championship. White thoroughly dominated the 1960 campaign, posting the most wins (six), top-five (25) and top-10 finishes (35) in 40 starts. By comparison, championship runner-up Richard Petty finished the season with three wins, 16 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes, respectively. White would win 15 more races and finish second and fifth in the 1961 and 1962 seasons before retiring in 1964 at age 35. White was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.
1961 and 1965 NASCAR Grand National Champion – Ned Jarrett
Ned Jarrett, a 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, scored two NASCAR Grand National Championships in the decade, 1961 and 1965. He won only one race during the 1961 campaign but won a tight points battle with Rex White.
The 1965 championship saw Jarrett race with a back injury throughout the middle part of the season. After winning the 1965 Southern 500 by a record 14 laps, Jarrett firmly held the points lead over rookie Dick Hutcherson and went on to win his second championship. He had 13 wins during the 1965 season with 42 top-five finishes in 54 starts.
1962 and 1963 NASCAR Grand National Champion – Joe Weatherly
Joe Weatherly won his only two NASCAR Grand National Championships in back-to-back years in 1962 and 1963. He dominated the 1962 season by winning a series-best nine races and posting 39 top-five and 45 top-10 finishes in 52 starts.
In 1963, he drove for nine different team owners during the season. Despite winning only three races (compared to second-place Petty’s 14 wins), Weatherly won the championship due to the fact that he was more successful at superspeedway tracks, which awarded more points back then. He averaged an eighth-place finish at superspeedways, compared to 17th for Petty.
Weatherly, a 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, lost his life in a 1964 crash at the Riverside, Calif., road course. The stock car museum at Darlington Raceway has been named after Weatherly since 1965.
1964 and 1967 NASCAR Grand National Champion – Richard Petty
Richard Petty won the NASCAR championship twice in the 1960s (1964 and '67). His 1964 title featured nine wins, 37 top-five, 43 top-10 finishes and a DAYTONA 500 victory. He dominated the first of his seven championships, winning the title by nearly 6,000 points.
In 1967, Petty showed his dominance again by winning a record 27 races, including his one and only Southern 500 at Darlington. His May victory at Darlington that same year gave him 55 career NASCAR Cup Series wins passing his father Lee as the all-time series leader. He also won 10 races in a row in 1967 in what is considered one of the dominant seasons in NASCAR history.
Petty was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 as part of the inaugural class.
1966, 1968 and 1969 NASCAR Grand National Champion – David Pearson
David Pearson won three NASCAR championships in the 60s (1966, 1968 and 1969). His 1966 campaign featured 15 victories, seven more than Petty’s eight that year. The Spartanburg, S.C. native had equally impressive championship seasons in 1968 and 1969, where he won 27 races and posted 78 top-five finishes in 99 starts over those two years.
The “Silver Fox” as he was known, ended his storied career as the second winningest all-time driver in series history with 105 victories. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011. As the 60s concluded, Pearson left the decade with more championships (three) than Petty (two).
The Tradition Continues on Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series Southern 500® is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. Throwback Weekend coverage will once again be covered in its entirety on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM. The NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020.
Darlington Raceway PR
Richmond Raceway will host the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for an open test on Wednesday, March 25. The test will be held the week following the season-opening race, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. For the first time in 11 years, Richmond will welcome fans to view INDYCAR athletes taking their first laps at America’s Premier Short Track “under the lights” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The full-field test is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with an hour dinner break. Five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and 2019 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske will return for the open test after taking the first laps at Richmond in a decade during last fall’s Firestone tire test.
Former NTT INDYCAR SERIES champions Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Will Power (2014) of Team Penske (2016), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012) of Andretti Autosport and Tony Kanaan (2004) of AJ Foyt Racing will be among the estimated 24 drivers showcasing their skills as part of the open test. In January, Kanaan announced a five-race oval track schedule that includes Richmond for his final season as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES regular in 2020.
To view the test, fans will have free access to watch the open test in Chaos Corner Powered by Larry’s Hard Lemonade in Turn 4. Fans will enter at the Main Gate between Laburnum Ave. and Richmond Henrico-Turnpike and follow signage to the Midway. Public parking will be located outside of Gate 70. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Coolers will be allowed, but no glass.
Media access for the test will be announced in the near future with information on the schedule, competitors and driver availability, among other information.
For the first time in 11 years, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will race at Richmond “under the lights” on June 26-27. Richmond has a storied history with INDYCAR, having hosted nine events between 2001-2009. On June 29, 2001, Richmond became the first track shorter than a mile in distance that INDYCAR raced on. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES completed its 10,000th lap in series history at America’s Premier Short Track in that first race won by Buddy Lazier.
Dixon (2003, 2009) and Sam Hornish Jr. (2002, 2006) are tied for the most wins in INDYCAR history at Richmond. Hornish, who is retired, is a three-time series champion (2001, 2002, and 2006). Kanaan (2008) joins Helio Castroneves and Dixon as the only active NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers who have won races previously at Richmond. To learn more about the history of INDYCAR at Richmond, visit richmondraceway.com/records.
Tickets for the return of INDYCAR to America’s Premier Short Track on June 26-27 start at $25 with special youth 16-and-under pricing at $10. Tickets are available for purchase in-person at the Richmond Ticket Office, via phone at 866-455-7223, or online at richmondraceway.com. Tickets will also be available for purchase in Chaos Corner Powered by Larry’s Hard Lemonade for the open test.
For more on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, visit indycar.com.
Richmond Raceway PR
The legendary Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY features three DIRTcar sanctioned Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship divisions every Sunday night as well as highly anticipated special events including the Super DIRTcar Series, Empire Super Sprints, Monster Trucks, and even a music festival.
Some of the greatest drivers to ever strap into a race car in the Northeast have contested the Central New York half-mile clay oval. Before it was dirt, NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richie Evans was an icon at the track. Today, seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard, 2019 Utica-Rome Speedway track champion Erick Rudolph, and many more vie for supremacy in series races as well as Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship action.
Race fans can count on a premium level of competition every Sunday night in Vernon, NY with three DIRTcar sanctioned divisions in action. Last year, Erick Rudolph fended off Billy Dunn and Pat Ward to take his first Utica-Rome Speedway track championship in the exciting DIRTcar 358 Modified class.
In 2019, the dynamic DIRTcar Sportsman Modified driver Matt Janczuk took the track championship over front-runners Kyle Inman and Alan Fink. In the DIRTcar Pro Stocks, Nick Stone had a close track championship win over Josh Coonradt. Mike Welch finished third.
The Utica-Rome season comes into 2020 with a roar on Sunday, April 19 with a $2,500-to-win DIRTcar Big Block Modified Spring Break special. All three of Utica-Rome’s DIRTcar Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship divisions will be in action as well including a $1,500-to-win DIRTcar 358 Modified race.
All the above drivers put on an incredible show every year at NAPA Super DIRT Week and fans can experience that thrill every Sunday night at Utica-Rome.
Highlighting Utica-Rome Speedway’s dynamic 2020 schedule are the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds and Empire Super Sprints. On Sunday, September 6, the stars and cars of the Super DIRTcar Series roll into Utica-Rome for a $7,500-to-win 100-lap Feature. The points race will be hot in this late-season battle.
In what has become a Fall classic, the speedway opens up the racing action for NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIX on Tuesday, October 6 when the DIRTcar 358 Modified Series and the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series take on the half-mile speedway. This will be the second stop at Utica-Rome for the 358 Series as the second Series race of the year takes the green on Sunday, May 10 in celebration of Mother’s Day. Each event will boast a nice, hefty $4,000 winner’s share.
The DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series also makes three stops in Vernon, NY in 2020. First is the Father’s Day special on June 21 where a Central Region event pays $1,000 to win. The newly formed Eastern Region races on Sunday, August 2 for the Jan Corcoran Memorial. Then the Series joins the 358s during NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIX on Tuesday, October 6 as a part of the fall Championship Series which also pays $1,000 to win.
The Empire Super Sprints are in town three times on three holiday weekends. The first falls on Sunday, May 24. Then, Utica-Rome caps off Central NY Speedweek on Sunday, July 5. The final visit is Sunday, September 6.
There’s more to do at Utica-Rome Speedway than just world-class racing. FrogFest Featuring country singer Dylan Jakobsen on Saturday, May 30.
Nearby the track, visitors can check out the famous Turning Stone and Vernon Downs Casinos. If you want to slow down from the pace of the race track, stop in at the Bull Farm Antiques and Market. For some great tunes and food, schedule your lunch or dinner at the Nothin’ Fancy Country Rock Saloon.
DIRTcar Series PR
The 2020 Indoor Auto Racing Series Championship Series fueled by VP Racing Fuels, TQ Midget, Champ Kart, and Slingshot championships will be determined on Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, 2020 inside the New York State Exposition Center in Syracuse. NY.
Tickets are available in advance at a range of different prices through links on www.indoorautoracing.com and the venue box office the day of the events.
While much of the Syracuse weekend revolves around the torrid point championship chases, the entry of New Englander Mike Christopher, Jr., who will be making his first start in a TQ Midget, is noteworthy.
Christopher will race a team car to Scott Kreutter, which was built by Buffalo, NY’s Trey Hoddick. Christopher’s uncle, the late Ted Christopher, won eight Indoor series feature events and two Series championships. “TC”, who the championship Cup for the TQs is now named, was driving for Hoddick before his death in a plane crash in September of 2017.
The race for the 2020 BELFOR Concrete Series TQ championship has become essentially a four driver race with the two features in Syracuse remaining.
Buffalo. NY area driver Andy Jankowiak, the Atlantic City race winner the last two years, leads the standings with 256 points. Matt Janisch, of Nazareth, PA, who has been consistent in the first three races but hasn’t won, is just two points behind Jankowiak - a virtual dead heat.
Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY, a four time Series champion (2012, 2015, 2016, 2019), lurks just 14 points off the leader’s place. Rudolph, the 2019 DIRTcar 358 Modified champion, won one of the two races in January held in Allentown, PA. Tim Buckwalter, Douglassville, PA, a teammate of Rudolph, sits fourth just 21 points off the pace.
The point award differential between finishing first and second is ten points. The spread between first and last in a feature is 83 markers. With a complete show including a 40 lap feature both nights in Syracuse, one bad night by any of the front runners could torpedo their bid for the title.
Rudolph came into the 2019 inaugural running of the Syracuse event in a battle with Justin Bonsignore and others for the championship. Bonsignore, the 2018 champion, appeared to have the upper hand after winning on Friday’s inaugural event in the new building, but this hopes dissipated after he crashed heavily on Saturday night.
The large point spread and two complete shows in Syracuse could open the door for teenage sensation Briggs Danner of Allentown, PA who is 36 points out of the point lead. Anthony Payne, Fairlawn, NJ, who rides 44 behind the lead and Ryan Bartlett of Watertown, NY, who is 66 points out of the lead, also have a chance at the title should the leaders struggle.
The points chase in both the Slingshot and Champ Kart classes is more sharply defined.
Scott Neary, Columbia, NJ is atop the leaderboard with a 35 point margin over Brett Bieber and Cody Kline.
Kurt Bettler, winless in the four Series Slingshot races in 2019, outpointed Danny Buccafusca to win the title. An even dozen Slingshot hopefuls came into the finale with a mathematical chance to win the coveted title.
Tyler Brown has a 44 point bulge on Todd Crenshaw and a 54 point margin over Ron Midford, Jr. in the Champ Kart division. Brown, of Richfield, Pa., the hired gun of Jason Simmons’ multi-car race team out of Fulton, N.Y., won the Saturday night event in Syracuse last year. Brown has previously won Indoor Series events in Albany, N.Y.’s Times Union Center in 2012 and this year in Allentown, Pa. to start the 2020 season.
Six Champ Kart competitors were in contention for the Series crown last season with Brandon Rucszek winning the laurels ahead of Ryan Kendall and JJ Pacovich.