NASCAR Wire Service
Kansas Speedway could be a Playoff driver’s ticket to the Championship 4
KANSAS CITY, KS.: Kyle Larson put an exclamation point on his NASCAR Cup Series regular season title by earning the first of the Championship 4 positions last week with a victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
It marked the second consecutive and third overall Playoff win in seven races for Larson, whose performance extended his career best win tally to eight, heading into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The remainder of that Championship 4 Round field is very much up for grabs. Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, is second in the Playoff standings, but holds only a 17-point edge on the cutoff line. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin is third, nine-points to the good and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch – the only former champion currently among the top four – is eight points above fifth-place Chase Elliott.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski, a two-time winner at Kansas, is ranked sixth, 15 points out of the top four. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr., also a two-time Kansas winner, is 22 points back and defending Kansas Playoff winner Joey Logano, a three-time winner at the track, is 43 points back.
While Larson has been a dominant force at 1.5-mile tracks – he has three wins at those venues and led a series best 1,187 laps – Kansas Speedway has been a bit of a challenge for the Hendrick Motorsports driver. He finished 19th in the Spring race there, although he led the most laps. But he has only three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 13 Kansas Speedway starts. His best finish was runner-up in the 2014 Playoff race.
Already a career year for the 29-year-old Californian, Larson has led a personal best 2,267 laps – second at the team only to Hendrick Motorsports executive Jeff Gordon, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who led 2,610 laps in 1995.
With Larson a sure-thing in the Championship 4 Round, the remaining three positions are still to be decided and the competition for them is close, the racing increasingly intense by Playoff and non-Playoff drivers alike.
Ryan Blaney’s second-place rank in the standings is his highest ever at this point in the season. But like Larson, Blaney has had challenges at Kansas. He was 21st in the Spring race there. Six times in 13 starts Blaney has finished inside the top-10 and conversely, six times he has finished 25th or worse. He has only one top 10 in his last five Kansas starts (seventh in 2020 Playoffs).
Denny Hamlin, who led the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings for 22 of the first 23 races of the season, has won three times at Kansas – tops among active drivers, a mark tied by Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.
Hamlin was 12th at Kansas in the Spring and has led laps in the last four races there. The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has six top-10 finishes, including two victories in seven Playoff races this season, the lone exception an 11th-place effort last week. He’s led laps in all Playoff races this season – three times 100 or more laps in a race.
Busch, who won at Kansas in May, has certainly improved his record at the track in recent years. He has scored 11 of his 13 career Top-10 finishes in the last 13 races, including the pair of victories. His Playoff run has been inconsistent, however – with four Top-10 finishes and three finishes 21st or worse.
“We seem to have gotten a set-up or a hold of this place,’’ said Busch, who drives the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. “Hopefully we don’t screw that up this time around and we can continue our strong runs and our fast pace of being able to have a shot to win.’’
Kyle Busch holds a slim eight-point advantage over reigning series champion Chase Elliott for the final transfer position into the championship race; not much wiggle room come Sunday.
Elliott won at Kansas in 2018 and has seven top-10 finishes in 11 starts. All four of the drivers currently below the cut-off line have won at Kansas previously and are former NASCAR Cup Series champions.
Keselowski and Truex each have 13 top-10 finishes, most among Playoff drivers, and a pair of victories at Kansas. Logano has the three wins and comes into the weekend as defending winner of this Playoff race.
“It’s obviously not the position you want to be in, but we’re not out of it,” Truex said. “We have two shots to win at tracks we’ve had success in the past. There’s an outside chance of making it on points, but you can’t count on that with how strong the teams we are racing are. At the end of the day, I’m not going to give up and our team isn’t going to give up, so we’re going to do all that we can in these next two weeks and see what happens.”
Among those not currently in the Playoffs, the veteran and former series champion Kevin Harvick is particularly good at Kansas. He also has a series-best three wins. And is coming off close runner-up finishes to Busch in May and to Logano in last year’s Playoff race – the combined margin of victory in the two races only .64-seconds. He has five runner-up finishes and a series-best 18 top-10 runs.
-NASCAR Wire Service
On November 7th, Live Fast Motorsports and Pala Casino Resort and Spa join forces on NASCAR’S Championship Weekend.
Pala Casino Spa Resort is Southern California’s entertainment capital with live entertainment nightly, national headliner and tribute concerts, three state-of-the-art entertainment venues, as well as exciting Las-Vegas style slots and table games.
“We couldn’t be more proud to have Pala join Live Fast Motorsports on NASCAR’s Championship Weekend. Having a partner like Pala continue as a great sponsor of our sport is a huge honor for us and the entire industry. We can’t wait to see the #78 in the Pala colors out there for our final week of our first season in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Matt Tifft said of the partnership.
“It is very exciting to return as a car sponsor for the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Coley McAvoy, spokesperson for Pala. “We are very pleased to be supporting the No. 78 car and team, Live Fast Motorsports.”
Make sure while considering your vacation plans, to head to palacasino.com today and enjoy the world class entertainment offered!
About Pala Casino Spa Resort
Pala Casino Spa Resort includes a Las Vegas-style casino with 2,000+ slot machines, 70+ table games, and a 15,000-square-foot smoke-free casino area including a nine-table Asian gaming area; a 507-room hotel; five swimming pools with two hot tubs and 14 luxury cabanas; a 10,000-square-foot, full-service spa and salon that features 17 treatment rooms, two cabanas and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Pala also offers live entertainment daily at the Center Bar, complete with state-of-the-art art sound and lighting, nine restaurants and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Pala Casino Spa & Resort is an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner for 15 consecutive years.
For more information, visit www.palacasino.com, www.facebook.com/palacasino, or www.twitter.com/palacasino.
-Live Fast Motorsports
Axalta Unveils Fresh Paint Scheme for Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 Car to Showcase New Brand RAPTOR®
GLEN MILLS, Pa., Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Axalta (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, today unveiled a brand-new paint scheme for Hendrick Motorsports’ iconic No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE that spotlights Axalta’s newest acquisition, U-POL, and its RAPTOR® brand. William Byron will race the eye-catching design – featuring a rugged charcoal base with striking, bright green accents – at the NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 24 and in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7.
Axalta completed its acquisition of U-POL, a leading supplier of paint, protective coatings and accessories primarily for the automotive aftermarket, in September. U-POL’s portfolio of high-quality automotive refinishing products and accessories includes RAPTOR®, a durable and tough bed liner and protective coating that can be tinted to any color and offers superior protection across a range of different industries from 4×4 customization to large agricultural, earthmoving and construction machinery.
“We are thrilled to be able to use our presence in NASCAR and our partnership with Hendrick Motorsports to highlight U-POL and the RAPTOR brand,” Troy Weaver, Senior Vice President, Global Refinish said. “RAPTOR is the industry standard when it comes to bedliners and protective coatings and we are proud to now offer it as part of the Axalta product portfolio and showcase it to race fans. The new paint scheme will look great on track and we hope to see it in victory lane.”
Axalta’s presence in racing dates back to the early 1990s, headlined by a partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon that launched in 1992. That relationship has continued through nearly three decades with Axalta remaining a primary sponsor for Hendrick Motorsports, while providing paint for all four of the organization’s Cup Series teams. Axalta’s motorsports involvement has now spread to more than a dozen series across the globe, including Formula 1, MotoGP, IMSA and WEC.
For more information about RAPTOR®, visit raptortough.com.
Axalta is a global leader in the coatings industry, providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable coatings solutions. From light vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, building facades and other industrial applications, our coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enhance durability. With more than 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, the global team at Axalta continues to find ways to serve our more than 100,000 customers in over 130 countries better every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. For more information, visit axalta.com and follow us @axalta on Twitter.
RAPTOR® is a durable protective coating and bed liner that is designed to tolerate the toughest climatic conditions and can be applied to a wide range of substrates from steel, wood, concrete and plaster to plastics and composites. Resistant to common fuels, U.V., scratches and stains, RAPTOR® is available at local paint distributors and auto parts stores, such as O’Reilly, NAPA and AutoZone, and can also be purchased from online retailers like Amazon.
-Axalta Coating Systems, Ltd.
Salisbury, NC (10/19/2021)--StarCom Racing will be partnering with Chariton Valley and Creek Enterprise, LLC for the Hollywood Casino 400 this Sunday October 24th at Kansas Speedway. Chariton Valley will be highlighting their SHOELACE Business Communications Solutions on the #00, which is an advanced HPBX system integrated with your business network and staff to provide superior HD call quality, video conferencing and mobile phone applications that tie your business with customers.
Kirby J. Underberg, President and CEO of Chariton Valley, stated, “Creek Enterprise is assisting Chariton Valley in our growth trajectory. As our construction partner, they help us bring fiber to businesses through their quality fiber installation. We thank Creek for the generous opportunity to be a part of this weekend’s NASCAR race and to feature SHOELACE Business Communications Solutions, Chariton Valley’s Hosted PBX service, on their sponsored race car.”
The SHOELACE Business Communications Solutions ties together your business needs by offering feature-rich solutions, low up-front costs, and a seamless platform. With SHOELACE Unified Communications Hosted PBX, Chariton Valley is delivering a best-in-class phone system that allows you to buy only what you need. In conclusion, they take care of all the details – phones, equipment, installation, training, and ongoing service – so you can focus on your business.
Jason Derby, President of Creek Enterprise, stated, “It is our pleasure to partner with Chariton Valley, Missouri’s premier communications provider for nearly 70 years, during this weekend’s NASCAR event at the Kansas Speedway. As a strategic customer of ours, we are jointly working to expand Chariton Valley’s fiber presence while also sharing the news of their high-quality Hosted PBX service, SHOELACE. SHOELACE is an excellent solution to seamlessly integrate your business voice, video conferencing, and mobile phone environments.”
About SHOELACE Business Communications Solutions
SHOELACE Business Communications Solutions, an advanced Hosted PBX system, integrates with small and large business networks to provide superior high-definition call quality, video conferencing and mobile phone applications. The feature-rich, seamless platform and best-in-class phone system simplify and tie together business communications all at an affordable price. SHOELACE Business Communications Solutions is powered by Chariton Valley, Missouri’s premier communications provider with nearly 70 years of experience connecting businesses. Learn more at www.shoelacecv.com.
About Creek Enterprise, Inc.
Creek Enterprise, Inc., is an integrated information services company which has been in business since 2003. Since our inception, we have seen continued business growth through our focus on developing deep client partnerships, meeting our commitments, and delivering high quality exceptional services. Our team is armed with a unique background, a breadth of experience, and a proven business outcome track record. As a business partner, it is our mission to “Enable the Digital Enterprise” for all our clients by designing, developing, and implementing efficient technical infrastructures through the following integrated portfolio of services:
• IServices: Information Technology services in the areas of Web, Mobile, and Enterprise Application development, along with, Infrastructure design, deployment, and maintenance services
• Commspec: Structured Cabling, VoIP systems, and physical security services in the areas of surveillance and access controls.
• Engineering: Design, Drafting, and GIS for the Outside Plant (OSP) and Inside Plant (ISP) networks within the telecommunications industry
• Telecommunications Construction:Aerial and buried Fiber and Copper construction and maintenance services
• Creek Plastics: Manufacturer of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) communications conduit and pipe to house and protect fiber optic cables as well as other types of data or communication transmission lines.
Headquartered out of Adrian, Michigan, Creek Enterprise has offices in 14 cities across 8 states throughout the United States. For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at www.creekenterprise.com.
About StarCom Racing
StarCom Racing, a NASCAR Cup Series Team, based in North Carolina was launched in September 2017. SCR purchased a Charter in 2018 and ran a full schedule in 2019. SCR was formed by a collective group of seasoned NASCAR specialists, as well as successful business entrepreneurs from SCR’s parent company, StarCom Fiber. For more information on StarCom Racing, please visit www.starcomracing.com.
Entry List Notes:
No. 13 David Star - MBM Motorsportss
No. 15 Ryan Ellis - Rick Ware Racing
No. 53 Joey Gase - Rick Ware Racing
No. 66 Chad Finchum - MBM Motorsports
No. 77 Justin Haley - Spire Motorsports
No. 96 Parker Kligerman - Gaunt Brothers Racing
5th: No. 4 Kevin Harvick
10th: No. 99 Daniel Suarez
13th: No. 21 Matt DiBenedetto
22nd: No. 78 BJ McLeod
23rd: No. 66 David Starr
27th: No. 13 Timmy Hill
30th: No. 22 Joey Logano (p)
Owner Points Notes:
The No. 51 of Rick Ware Racing (Petty-Ware Racing Charter) will need to gain four-five points on the No. 15 (teammate) in order to avoid potential Charter repossession by NASCAR.
Cup Series Open Car Results:
23rd: No. 66 David Starr - MBM Motorsports
27th: No. 13 Timmy Hill - MBM Motorsports
36th: No. 37 Ryan Preece - JTGD Racing
Video Source: NASCAR.com / NASCAR YouTube
FORT WORTH, TX.: The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway had dramatic ups-and-downs all Sunday afternoon with the victorious exception of Kyle Larson, who absolutely dominated the race – leading 256 of 334 laps and holding off the field on seven different re-starts in the final 125 laps alone.
Larson’s win by .459-seconds over Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron was his series best – and career best – eighth of the season and 14th of his career. Most importantly, it punched his ticket into the Championship Four at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7 – the first time in the 29-year old Californian’s career he will get to race for the NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy.
“This is unreal,” a smiling Larson said. “I knew we had a good shot to win today. Our car was amazing, probably the best 550-package, intermediate car we’ve had all year.
“This is so cool. And we get to race for a championship in a couple weeks. This is crazy.”
With a two-lap shootout to settle the checkered flag, the end of the race was dramatic up front. For much of the day, it was disastrous just behind. A 12-car incident on Lap 32 eliminated nine cars early on.
Playoff drivers Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. all suffered late race problems that impacted the championship standings with only two races remaining now to decide which three drivers join Larson in that Championship race at Phoenix.
Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford was sidelined after suffering a rare engine problem and both Hamlin and Truex were involved in collisions. Logano finished 30th – worst among the eight Playoff drivers. Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota soldiered on despite the heavy damage in two incidents and he finished 11th. Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was unable to finish the race after a hard hit in Turn 4 following a collision with Daniel Suarez. Truex finished 25th.
All these incidents were part of rapid-fire caution periods in the final third on the race; 11 on the day plus an 11-minute red flag. And on each ensuing re-start – no matter which driver was directly behind him – Larson was able to pull away and hold the lead.
“I just got good pushes from behind me, really,” said Larson, who also added a series best 16th stage win.
“I tried to stay patient on the throttle to keep them to my back bumper and thankfully, I was able to just barely clear them every time going into [Turn] 1 and not have to fight off [Turn] 2.
“So thanks to William [Byron], Tyler [Reddick] and [Brad] Keselowski, anybody who was behind me, especially Brad on that last restart.”
Ironically, the only member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team not still Playoff-eligible, Christopher Bell, finished best among his teammates Sunday, taking third place just ahead of Penske Racing’s Keselowski and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick.
Penske driver Ryan Blaney, Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott, JGR’s Kyle Busch, Richard Childress’s Tyler Reddick and Trackhouse Racing’s Suarez rounded out the Top-10.
-NASCAR Wire Service
Liberty University Signs Five-year agreement to extend partnership with Hendrick Motorsports through 2026
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 15, 2021) – Liberty University and 13-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports have reached a new five-year agreement to extend the school’s support of driver William Byron and his No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Byron, 23, will continue to carry primary sponsorship from Liberty University in 12 Cup races annually through 2026. This season, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native earned his third consecutive Cup Series playoff berth and second career points-paying win while already setting personal bests in top-five finishes, top-10s and laps led with four events remaining. He has led in 16 of 32 points races in 2021.
“We are honored to partner with and support Hendrick Motorsports,” said Jerry Prevo, president of Liberty University. “We feel this partnership will benefit our students at Liberty University in many ways.”
Byron is currently a junior working toward an undergraduate degree in strategic communication via Liberty University’s online program. The school began its support of Byron in 2014 when he drove late model stock cars and has been a 12-race primary sponsor since his 2018 Cup Series rookie of the year season with Hendrick Motorsports.
“I’m proud to represent an institution like Liberty University,” Byron said. “I had the opportunity to go back to campus last weekend and see how much the school continues to grow. They inspire a lot of people my age to pursue their passions, and I look forward to continuing to represent them on and off the racetrack.”
In addition to raising awareness of Liberty University’s educational opportunities, the sponsorship has touched a variety of student programs. Examples include Hendrick Motorsports supporting the School of Engineering’s Formula SAE effort, which focuses on electric car technology, and Hendrick Automotive Group helping develop a degree specialization in automotive dealership management.
“We’re delighted to continue our work with Liberty University,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “The partnership impacts so many different areas, and I believe we’re just scratching the surface of the value we’re able to deliver. We look forward to working together over the next five years to take it to the next level.”
Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries Renew Partnership; Primary Sponsorship for Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs
As one of the longest running sponsorships in professional sports, Interstate Batteries will continue its on-going partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in a multi-year renewal agreement.
Under the new agreement, Interstate Batteries will continue to serve as the official battery of Joe Gibbs Racing and as the primary sponsor on the NASCAR Cup Series No. 18 Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch for six races while adding support for a third generation of the Gibbs’ family, sponsoring three races with Ty Gibbs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The extension highlights the successful partnership between Interstate Batteries and JGR as the companies continue to celebrate their 30th Anniversary together.
“Norm and Tommy (Miller) really took a chance on us because we literally had nothing when we first went to see them. No race shop. No driver. No crew chief. It was just a dream on a sheet of paper,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “To have a successful partnership for more than three decades it first has to work for business, and I love that part of it. You have to prove value for your partners. But it is the relationships built over time that makes this so special. From Norm and Tommy to the leadership now of Scott (Miller), as well as Lain (Hancock) running operations. Of course, on our end, it’s been J.D. (Gibbs), and now it’s Coy (Gibbs), and of course we have the grandkids coming. When you reflect on all that has happened over the years and everyone that has been involved, I really think God had a role in bringing us together.”
Interstate Batteries has been a part of nearly every major moment in JGR history including the organization’s first win when driver Dale Jarrett won the Daytona 500 in 1993. Interstate Batteries was the primary sponsor on the No. 18 in 2000 when Bobby Labonte captured the organization’s first NASCAR Cup Series Championship and continued to play a key role when Busch won JGR’s most recent Championships in 2015 and 2019.
Together, Interstate Batteries and Joe Gibbs Racing have visited victory lane 32 total times in the NASCAR Cup Series, including twice with Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, 21 times with Bobby Labonte and nine times with current driver Kyle Busch. In addition, Interstate Batteries and JGR have combined to win three NASCAR Xfinity Series races.
“We could not be more excited to continue our 30 plus year relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Norm Miller, Chairman and Owner of Interstate Batteries. “They have consistently been great partners in the battery business and ministry, so it just makes sense for us to all continue together. We are also hoping Kyle Busch and the No.18 Interstate Batteries/M&M’s team can win another NASCAR Cup Championship in a few weeks!”
“The 30 years we’ve spent with JGR as a sponsor on the No.18 in the NASCAR Cup Series has helped establish trust, awareness, and credibility for the Interstate Batteries brand with the pros who install our batteries.,” said Lain Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Interstate Batteries. “As we approach our 70th year in business, we are excited to partner with Coach Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing to write more history together in NASCAR and the automotive aftermarket.”
-Joe Gibbs Racing
Bob Pockrass reports, a tentative deal between 23XI Racing and Front Row Motorsports to acquire one of FRM’s charters has collapsed.
Because of that, 23XI Racing could speak with Spire about one of its charters, as the team is expected to have at least two next year. It’s also possible, Front Row Motorsports remains a tw0-car operation in 2022.
HARRISBURG, N.C. (October 13, 2021) – –Ryan Preece and the JTG Daugherty Racing team are proud to have Little Hug Fruit Barrels prominently covering the No. 37 Camaro ZL1 1LE at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500.
“I think all of us growing up had Little Hug Fruit Barrels,” Preece said. “Whenever you took a break from playing outside, you ran inside and grabbed a Little Hug. My favorite flavor was grape. I would have a grape Little Hug and it was a good refresher.”
With NASCAR’s fans being the most loyal to sponsor brands, it is no wonder Little Hug continues to be a longstanding sponsor in the sport and is a mom and kid favorite for school time, play time, or any time.
“We have really enjoyed this first season working with Little Hug and they are an iconic kid-flavored drink that can be paired with a snack, served at parties or have anytime,” said JTG Daugherty Racing team owner Tad Geschickter. “The brand is all about fruity fun flavors and we look forward to highlighting the brand with Ryan and the No. 37 Little Hug Camaro team at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.”
The fun, barrel-shaped fruit flavored drink is a nice match for Preece, who grew up in Berlin, Connecticut down the road from Little Hug parent company Harvest Hill Beverage Company that is based in Stamford, CT.
“I learned recently that Little Hug’s parent company is based in Connecticut not far from where I grew up,” Preece said. “That makes me even more proud to have them on our Camaro at Texas.”
Preece returns to the 1.5-mile Fort Worth, Texas oval thirsty to add to his one top-five, four top-10, and eight top-15 finishes this season in the 334-lap event. In Preece’s last visit to Texas Motor Speedway, he finished 18th (10/28/20), and is set to improve upon that with his fruity fun No. 37 Little Hug Camaro ZL1 1LE.
“We’re looking forward to Texas and we feel like we’ve been moving forward in the right direction,” Preece said. “We learned a lot when we were there last time and feel good about having a strong finish for Little Hug.”
Live coverage of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway begins at 2 PM ET on Sunday, October 17th on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
About Harvest Hill Beverage Company:
Little HUG Fruit Barrels have always been a mom and kid favorite for lunches, parties or anytime. First introduced in 1974, the fun, barrel-shaped 8 oz fruit flavored drink was the first single-serve kids drink on the market. Each fruit barrel contains just 1 gram of sugars and 5 calories. Distributed Nationally through food, mass, dollar, convenience, club & drug channels. The Little HUG brand is part of Harvest Hill Beverage Company based in Stamford, CT, owned by the private equity firm Brynwood Partners. Harvest Hill also markets some of America’s most beloved beverage brands, including SunnyD®, Juicy Juice®, and Daily’s Cocktails®. For more information on Harvest Hill, please visit www.HarvestHill.com.
NASCAR Article via NASCAR.com
CONCORD, N.C. — A top NASCAR official in charge of the Next Gen car’s development said that Goodyear tire tests are planned for two short tracks — historic Bowman Gray Stadium and Wythe Raceway’s half-mile dirt track.
John Probst, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, spelled out other details — some final, some in-progress — for remaining tests of the NASCAR Cup Series’ 2022 vehicle Monday. The news came during Day 1 of the Next Gen car’s first organizational session at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
The tire test for the Next Gen car at Bowman Gray is intended to prep for the Feb. 6 Clash at the Coliseum exhibition, which will be held in Los Angeles at a similar quarter-mile paved layout. Dates for that test at the Winston-Salem, N.C., venue have not been confirmed, Probst said.
The Wythe Raceway test will be held on the high-banked half-mile dirt layout in Rural Retreat, Va., on Nov. 16. Camping World Trucks driver and dirt-track veteran Stewart Friesen will drive the Next Gen car there to prepare for Bristol Motor Speedway’s dirt-track event April 17. Probst said the selection of Friesen as the test driver was designed to prevent a Cup Series regular from getting a sneak preview of the Next Gen car’s performance on dirt.
An additional tire test is planned at a to-be-determined date for Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is undergoing a full repave and reconfiguration ahead of its two NASCAR race weekends next year.
Organizational tests had previously been announced for this week at the Roval, Nov. 17-18 at Charlotte’s oval layout, and Dec. 14-15 at Phoenix Raceway. Probst said an organizational test had also been established for Jan. 11-12 at Daytona International Speedway, in what could be considered a revival of the Preseason Thunder winter test days that last ran in 2014.
Probst said that three more organizational tests are likely to be scheduled, one at Martinsville Speedway, one at an intermediate-sized track (Las Vegas or Kansas, Probst indicated), and a third track also TBA — a road course, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and Homestead-Miami Speedway among those under consideration. “So we’re working through those scenarios, but there’d only be four total — Daytona counting as one of them next year,” Probst said.
The prospects of seeing Cup Series cars at Bowman Gray for the first time in 50 years, even if only for testing, has the ring of nostalgia to it. The tight circuit known as “The Madhouse” is NASCAR’s first weekly track, having hosted events since 1949. NASCAR’s top division competed at Bowman Gray from 1958-1971, and founder Bill France Sr. was active in the promotion of its earliest race meets.
The proposed quarter-mile track at the Los Angeles Coliseum takes inspiration from Bowman Gray Stadium’s layout, a flat quarter-mile around a football field. But a tire test there prompts the question of whether a similar one-off event could one day happen with Cup Series cars at the Madhouse.
“That’s fascinating you say that, but that’s for another part of our company to work on. I would say that that is right now 100% in preparation for the Coliseum. I think that it’s not a case that we’re going there, I don’t expect it to go more than about four or five hours. We just want to go there, turn a bunch of laps just to make sure that the tires — when we’re going through formats for that event — I think that we just want to know, can we run 150 laps in a row, can we run 75 laps in a row?”
Probst also hinted that a special guest appearance was possible.
“I think I won’t ruin it, but I think we’ll have a pretty cool driver for that, too. It’ll be a good story. … It’s not finalized yet, but it’ll be pretty cool.”
Entry List Notes:
No. 15 Garrett Smithley-Rick Ware Racing
No. 53 Joey Gase-Rick Ware Racing
No. 66 David Starr-MBM Motorsports
No. 77 Justin Haley-Spire Motorsports
No. 78 BJ McLeod-Live Fast Motorsports
Cup Series Playoffs:
Advancing to the Round of 8:
No. 5 Kyle Larson - Hendrick Motorsports
No. 11 Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 19 Martin Truex Jr. - Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 12 Ryan Blaney - Team Penske
No. 18 Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 9 Chase Elliot - Hendrick Motorsports
No. 22 Joey Lagano - Team Penske
No. 2 Brad Keselowski - Team Penske
No. 4 Kevin Harvick - Stewart-Hass Racing
No. 20 Christopher Bell - Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 24 William Byron - Hendrick Motorsports
No. 48 Alex Bowman - Hendrick Motorsports
Cup Series Open Car Owner Points within the Cup Series Owner Points:
26th: No. 37 - JTG Daugherty Racing
35th: No. 16 - Kaulig Racing
39th: No. 33 - Team Penske
40th: No. 96 - Gaunt Brothers Racing
41st: No. 66 - MBM Motorsports
CONCORD, NC.: Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 featured a frequent winner, a couple of unlikely heroes and occasional villainy.
Kyle Larson took the checkered flag after 109 laps at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course to win for the seventh time this season and advance to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Larson won for the third time on a road course—the most ever in series history in a single season—in a race that featured the violent renewal of the Bristol-born rivalry between Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott.
And Larson’s victory was no stress-free Sunday drive. Car chief Jesse Saunders and hauler driver Steven Legendre changed the battery and alternator belt on Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet under caution and kept him on the lead lap at the end of Stage 2, after the voltage dropped and put Larson in danger of elimination from the Playoff.
“It wasn’t looking too good,” Larson said of the electrical problems that beset his car. “Thankfully, everybody on our 5 car did a great job of staying calm. (Crew chief) Cliff (Daniels), as always, did a great job of communicating with me what was going on, getting the battery changed, the alternator—whatever was going on to get our battery running.
“I knew I was going to have some sketchy moments. I had to work my way through traffic, stay calm, and we had some good restarts there at the end… It was just a fun race there and a lot of craziness all day long.”
The victory was Larson’s first at the Charlotte Road Course and the 13th of his career.
Harvick failed to advance from the Round of 12 for the first time since the inception of the elimination format in 2014. His race ended in the SAFER barrier on Lap 99 after he locked up the left front tire on his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford and shot straight into the wall.
“I just pushed it in there too hard and I got the tire locked up and I couldn’t stop it,” Harvick said. “I felt like I needed to go get a couple spots back that I had lost, and I got the left front locked up, and I couldn’t get it to turn.”
“Karma,” Elliott’s spotter, Eddie D’Hondt, said on the radio with understandable satisfaction, given that Harvick had spun Elliott into the wall in Turn 8 to jeopardize the reigning Cup champion’s chances of advancing to the next round.
But Elliott did advance after recovering to finish 12th, joining Larson, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. in the Round of 8.
Joining Harvick on the sidelines were Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman and William Byron, who led a race-high 30 laps but lost track position after a bump from race runner-up Tyler Reddick entering the backstretch chicane after a restart on Lap 90.
Byron missed the corner and had to come to a full stop before continuing. Later, he was running third before hitting the wall on the penultimate lap. Needing a victory to advance to the Round of 8, Byron instead finished 11th.
Harvick’s shot into Elliott’s back bumper on Lap 55 appeared to be retaliation for the Sept. 18 Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where, in Harvick’s view, Elliott cost him a victory by taking his line in the late stages of the race—after Harvick had run Elliott into the outside wall and cut a tire on the No. 9 Chevrolet.
Asked whether his intent was payback for the Bristol race, Harvick said, “Sometimes real life teaches you good lessons.”
Chris Buescher finished third on Sunday—his first top five of the season. Kyle Busch was fourth, followed by Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Logano, Bell, Blaney and Bowman.
Notes: Larson is the first driver since Kasey Kahne in 2006 to win both the Coca-Cola 600 in May and the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne won both races on the 1.5-mile oval. The ROVAL became the venue for the fall race in 2018… Larson enters the Round of 8 as the No. 1 seed with 4,065 points, 35 more than second-place Hamlin… The victory was Hendrick Motorsports’ 36th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the oval and ROVAL events and the NASCAR All-Star Race… Team Penske is the last organization with all off its Playoff drivers still eligible for the championship—Keselowski, Logano and Blaney.
-NASCAR Wire Service
Rick Ware Racing Joins Ford Performance and Forms Alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Yates Engines for 2022
Mooresville, NC (October 11th, 2021) – Rick Ware Racing (RWR) will join the Ford Performance family at the start of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, with the launch of the new Next Gen car. In addition to a new manufacturer, RWR has formed an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and Roush Yates Engines.
With a rich and extensive history, Rick Ware Racing has been part of the racing fabric in the USA for over 30 years. The team currently competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, NTT INDYCAR Series and NASCAR Pinty's Series. The team most recently claimed the 2020 Asian Le Mans Series Championship and won invite to 24 Hours of Lemans.
"I am really excited about what 2022 has in store for RWR," commented team owner, Rick Ware. "We have been waiting for the Next Gen car to become a reality and step up our program. RWR has had a great relationship with SHR over the years, from Cole Custer making his Cup series debut with us, to utilizing their development pit crew over the years. I am excited to have an engineering alliance with a great team like SHR, to be able to assist in building our cars and have the support thru this major development process, all the way thru the 2022 season. Partnering with Roush Yates Engines and SHR is the logical next step in continuing to grow as an organization."
“Rick and his team have been great to work with over the years and we are looking forward to growing the existing relationship” commented Joe Custer, a President at Stewart-Haas Racing.
In addition to the Stewart-Haas Racing alliance, RWR has agreed to a multi-year Roush Yates Engines package, starting in 2022. The engine program will include a leased engine package, that includes the 2021 Next Gen testing, as well as the full season in 2022 and 2023.
Doug Yates commented, "We are excited to welcome Rick Ware Racing to the Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines Family. We look forward to working together for the debut of the Next Gen Car and 2022 NASCAR race season."
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season opener, The DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway is set for February 20, 2022. For more information on Rick Ware Racing, visit www.wareracing.com, or follow along on social media; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
-Rick Ware Racing
GMS Racing has announced Driver Ty Dillon will return to full time Cup Series racing in 2022. The team will run the No. 94.
This story will be updated.
GMS Racing Press Release:
GMS Racing is proud to announce that Ty Dillon has been signed to drive full-time in 2022 as the flagship driver for the team’s inaugural entry in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Dillon, who has competed in over 160 NASCAR Cup Series races since 2014, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table as GMS Racing makes the big step up to the top rung of the NASCAR ladder. To his credit, the Lewisville, NC native has one win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, three wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and nine wins in the ARCA Menards Series, where he was crowned champion during the 2011 season.
“It’s such an honor to be able to drive for GMS Racing as they take the step into the NASCAR Cup Series for the first time, and that they have chosen me as their driver for the future. It’s been a challenging year off from racing full-time but I’m so excited to return. I don’t think that there is going to be another driver that is more hungry than I am next year to get back out there and prove what I am capable of in the Cup Series. I am excited for our future and am ready to get to work,” said Dillon.
Chevrolet will continue to serve as the team’s manufacturer across all series, strengthening a relationship that dates back to the team’s roots in ARCA in 2011. Every GMS Racing race car or truck to hit the track has been a Chevrolet vehicle, delivering wins across ARCA, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.
GMS Racing will field the No. 94 Chevrolet for Dillon, a number that has historical significance to Team President, Mike Beam. Over 25 years ago in 1995, Beam partnered with legendary NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Bill Elliott to spearhead Bill Elliott Racing, a team that fielded the iconic No. 94 entry throughout the late 1990’s. The original Bill Elliott Racing shop is still a part of the GMS Racing campus today, hearkening back to the team’s roots and past success.
“We are excited to welcome Ty to the GMS Racing family. Going full-time cup racing in 2022 is a big step for us and I can’t think of a better driver than Ty to lead us into our first year in NASCAR’s top series,” said Beam.
The No. 94 Chevrolet will be featured as an alliance with Richard Childress Racing, one of the most established race teams to compete in the sport, garnering six NASCAR Cup Series championships and over 200 wins combined across the top three NASCAR national series. In addition, ECR Engines will supply Dillon and the No. 94 team with Chevrolet power throughout the season.
The newly paired duo’s first outing will take place at the NASCAR Next Gen test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Monday, October 11th, and Tuesday, October 12th. More information, including sponsorship and crew chief pairing will be announced at a later date.
“GMS is always looking forward and I believe this is the next step for the team in that process,” said Team Owner Maury Gallagher. “We have the goal to be a championship caliber team in any series in which we compete, and I am excited to watch the team grow in the coming years.”
Reaume Brothers Racing will partner with Toine Hezemans & Ernst Berg and Team Hezeberg to form “Team Hezeberg powered by Reaume Bros” to run a part time Cup Series entry with Euro driver Loris Hezemans and teammate in Europe, former F1 champ Jacques Villeneuve in 2022.
Loris Hezemans will test Next Gen car Monday and Jacques Villeneuve to test Next Gen car Tuesday at the Charlotte Roval.
Team Hezeberg will focus on the six Cup Series races and maybe some short tracks in 2022. The team will also look into a full time season in 2023.
Josh Reaume of Reaume Brothers Racing says it’s likely at least one Camping World Truck entry for RBR next year and part-time Xfinity as well as the part-time Cup entry with Hezemans (Team Hezeberg). Also entertaining conversations and having talks about entering Daytona 500 (obviously as an open car). Crew chief TBD.
This story will be updated when more information is obtained.
Richard Petty Motorsports and Power to the Patients Join Forces to Put Patients in the Driver’s Seat in the Race to Lower Healthcare Costs
(New York, NY, October 6) – Richard Petty Motorsports and Power to the Patients announce a partnership for the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 on Sunday, October 10, 2021. Power to the Patients will be the primary partner of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE driven by Erik Jones at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will feature the Power to the Patients’ logo and call to “Demand Hospital Prices.”
Richard Petty Motorsports and Power to the Patients formally announced their partnership and revealed the unique paint scheme of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at a live event today in Times Square. They were accompanied at the car’s unveiling by patients who have joined the race to lower the cost of healthcare through price transparency. These patients’ lives have been harmed and devastated by unexpected hospital bill overcharges that could have been prevented with access to competitive and fairer prices.
This grassroots campaign informs healthcare consumers, including patients, workers, unions, and employers, of their right to control their healthcare decisions by choosing the best care at the best prices and lowering their cost of care and coverage. NASCAR drivers are among the world’s best, and if we all get behind the wheel like them when it comes to our healthcare, we can win the race to drive down costs. On January 1, 2021 a federal law required all hospitals to post their actual price upfront. Starting July 2022, the transparency in coverage rule takes effect, requiring health insurers and health plans to post their actual prices so all Americans can enjoy systemwide price transparency.
Unfortunately, hospitals have hit the brakes on this movement by refusing to comply with the law. The Biden Administration is about to finalize a federal order to meaningfully increase penalties on noncompliant hospitals that will put price transparency in overdrive. The No. 43 Power to the Patients Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE informs patients that they can shift their healthcare into a higher gear by demanding prices to lower their costs and give their families financial certainty.
“Our team joined the ‘Power to the Patients’ movement to provide awareness to combat hidden prices of healthcare. A patient’s right to access information regarding their healthcare is crucial, and we are honored to join the campaign. Power to the Patients empowers patients and their families with an understanding of the financial obligations of their medical decisions.” – Brian Moffitt, CEO at Richard Petty Motorsports
“It’s beyond exciting for Power to the Patients to be in the NASCAR arena with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports and driver of the iconic No. 43, Erik Jones. We’ve teamed up to put patients in the driver’s seat by raising awareness about their right to upfront hospital prices. Too often going to the hospital has put patients’ financial health in the balance, but as more and more demand hospital prices and make informed decisions they’ll save their hard-earned money and win the race against runaway healthcare costs.” – Kevin Morra, Power to the Patients
About Healthcare Price Transparency
For years, hospitals were able to obscure their prices until weeks or months after care, surprising patients with exorbitant bills that too often burdened them and their families with crushing debt. Even in the same hospitals, prices for routine care such as C-sections and MRIs can vary by ten times depending on the payer. But, on January 1, 2021 a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule took effect requiring hospitals to provide actual prices, including discounted cash prices and all contracted rates by payer and plan. The healthcare industry resisted and even sued unsuccessfully to avoid following the rule. According to a recent study by PatientRightsAdvocate.org, only 5.6% of American hospitals are fully complying with the law.
Healthcare price transparency has drawn broad bipartisan support across multiple presidential administrations and in both the House and the Senate. That’s why members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are calling for stiffer penalties for hospitals that don’t publish their prices as required.
Polls confirm that 90% of the country supports healthcare price transparency. Through its awareness campaign, Power to the Patients strives to inform every American that “Prices are Now a Patient’s Right” and encourage everyone to exercise this right. As more and more Americans “Demand Hospital Prices,” they’ll not only put pressure on hospitals to meet their transparency obligations and put themselves in a position to compare prices and save money, but also drive down the cost of healthcare as providers are forced to compete.
About “Power to the Patients”
Power to the Patients is a non-profit organization that advocates for transparency in healthcare prices. Created in the wake of a new federal rule that took effect January 1, 2021 requiring hospitals to publish the actual prices they charge, the group has since forged a grassroots movement that’s committed to empowering patients to take charge of their physical and financial health.
Celebrities from multiple fields – film, sports, theater, music, and comedy – have joined the movement in the race to lower healthcare costs through consumer empowerment. Acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey joined the movement after “seeing the devastation the high cost of medical bills can create in people’s lives.” Award-winning actresses Susan Sarandon and Cynthia Erivo came together to film a stirring PSA that aired during this year’s Academy Awards.
About Richard Petty Motorsports
A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. Petty Enterprises recorded 268 victories, and Richard Petty Motorsports has recorded five victories, for a total of 273, respectively. Richard Petty Motorsports has business partnerships with national and global leaders. Today the race operation fields the famed No. 43 in the NASCAR Cup Series with driver Erik Jones. The team is headquartered in Welcome, N.C.
For additional information, news and the latest updates, please visit www.richardpettymotorsports.com or connect with RPM on Facebook (Richard Petty Motorsports), Twitter (@RPMotorsports) or Instagram (@richardpettymotorsports).
-Richard Petty Motorsports
Salisbury, NC--StarCom Racing is proud to announce its support of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame with the paint scheme it will be racing at the Bank America Roval 400 to be held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
The car—designed and sponsored by Bos Klein—features the colors of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame with their logo prominently featured on the hood. The car also displays the CheckIt4Andretti logo on the rear panel.
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame celebrates extraordinary athletic achievement and leadership. North Carolina’s sport’s history is legendary with the state claiming some of the greatest athletes of all time—Michael Jordan, Kay Yow, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and so many more. Through community partnerships, the Hall of Fame enables student-athletes to reach their athletic and academic excellence and works to preserve the athletic history of North Carolina.
At the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame & Museum, visitors experience what it feels like to be part of the story, the history, the shared greatness as they walk among legends. For more information about how you can support the Hall of Fame or visit the museum, visit their website at ncshof.org
About StarCom Racing
StarCom Racing (SCR), a NASCAR Cup Series Team based in North Carolina and launched in September 2017, fields its 00 Chevy with up-and-coming Driver Quin Houff. SCR purchased a NASCAR Charter in 2018 and continues to make strides each day to build and better its program in this industry. SCR was formed by a collective group of seasoned NASCAR specialists including its Team Manager, Former Daytona 500 Champion, Derrike Cope, along with successful business entrepreneurs from SCR’s parent company, StarCom Fiber. Race fans can learn more about StarCom Racing by visiting www.StarComRacing.com for up-to-date team news and merchandise. Also, you can engage with StarCom Racing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StarComRacing, Instagram: @starcomracing and Twitter: @starcomracing
About Bos Klein
Bos Klein is a collaborative agency that brings together experts in the fields of media, design, communications, and technology. We are committed to the integrity of our creative process, which provides clients with the tools to effectively establish cultural codes—disseminating brands, stories, and strategies; arming our collaborators with a powerful and precise voice within the market and culture. Learn more: https://bosklein.com/
Teaching Career Skills and Collegiate Scholarships Highlight New Trackhouse Program with Pitbull’s SLAM! School
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2021) – In 2020, Justin Marks wrote on a white board how he planned to define success once his soon-to-be Trackhouse Racing team became a reality. Of course, he wanted to win and establish the team among the top tier of NASCAR Cup Series organizations, but he wanted to redefine the word “winning” for his new organization.
“I want Trackhouse to stand for something beyond just racing,” said Marks, who founded Trackhouse less than two years ago.
“We are committed to effecting positive change in the community and help the underserved with career opportunities which may not have otherwise existed. Wins in communities with underrepresented youth are the ones that last a lifetime. Those of us fortunate enough to enjoy success have an obligation to give back to society.”
Today, Marks announced a program with Pitbull’s SLAM! Charter School in the Little Havana section of Miami that was designed to fulfill that promise. Trackhouse Racing will donate a primary paint scheme on its No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro with driver Daniel Suárez, along with marketing elements on Pitbull’s 2022 concert tour, to SLAM! All money raised from the donation will be dedicated to the students’ collegiate scholarship fund.
Trackhouse representatives have worked with SLAM! teachers and administrators on developing the fall curriculum where the students in the SLAM! Marketing Academy are learning about the sport and business of NASCAR, including career and life skills. Students will research and identify prospective corporations, build sales and marketing presentations, develop oral presentation skill and teamwork. Trackhouse executives and the students will make the final presentations with all of the sponsorship funds earmarked for collegiate scholarships.
Marks announced Pitbull as a partner of Trackhouse Racing in January and the two have collaborated on impactful youth education programs.
“It is truly a blessing to have Trackhouse get so involved with the SLAM! students,” said Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull.
“Justin is an amazing person and from the very start, we agreed there is only one race and that is the human race. All these kids need is an opportunity to grow and show what they can become. This partnership with Justin and Trackhouse has been incredible, and this is only the beginning.”
Trackhouse President Ty Norris presented to the students during the first two sessions and said he could see great potential in the room.
“My first question to students asked how many of them had ever seen a NASCAR race?” Norris recalled. “One hand went up. By the time we are done, an entire school will know about NASCAR, watch our events, understand how the business works and become fans of NASCAR.
“The best part is these students, if they work hard, may earn scholarships to pursue their collegiate dreams. Given the financial challenges many of these students face this scholarship may be the difference in pursuing a prosperous professional career and the streets. If we can impact one student, one life, we will all win.”
ABOUT SLAM: SLAM! is a non-profit educational organization operating public charter schools nationwide. GRAMMY®-winning international superstar, entrepreneur and education advocate Armando Christian Pérez (Pitbull), opened the first SLAM! school in Miami in 2012. The SLAM! network has since expanded to 12 tuition-free charter schools in Florida, Nevada and Georgia. The newest K-12 campus will open in Mesa, Arizona in August 2022.
SLAM schools expose students to careers in sports medicine, media production, marketing and the arts. SLAM creates a national platform for students to gain industry experience while developing on-the-job skills. Students can earn college credits through robust dual enrollment and Advanced Placement programs. For more information on SLAM! charter schools, visit slamfoundation.org.
About Trackhouse Racing: Trackhouse Racing, a division of Trackhouse Entertainment Group, was founded in 2020 by Justin Marks, who established the company’s headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. In October 2020, Trackhouse announced it would field the No. 99 in the NASCAR Cup Series with driver Daniel Suárez. In January 2021, Trackhouse announced Armando Christian Perez (a.k.a. Pitbull) as a partner and transcendent ambassador. Trackhouse announced on June 30 that it had purchased Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operation effective immediately following the NASCAR Cup Series race on Nov. 7, 2021. Trackhouse Racing will field two full-time Cup Series entries in 2022. Ross Chastain will drive the team’s No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro joining Suárez who will drive No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro.
Cup Series at the Charlotte Roval Entry List and Notes:
Cup entry list for Sunday on Charlotte road course has 39 cars. Allmendinger in the 16. Joey Hand in the 52.
*=Open Car (Non Charter)
No. 15 Josh Bilicki - Rick Ware Racing
No. 16 AJ Allmendinger - Kaulig Racing*
No. 37 Ryan Preece - JTG Daugherty Racing*
No. 52 Joey Hand - Rick Ware Racing
No. 66 Timmy Hill - MBM Motorsports*
No. 77 Justin Haley - Spire Motorsports
No. 78 Kyle Tilley - Live Fast Motorsports
YellaWood 500 Results:
Cup Series Driver Points Post Talladega:
Cup Series Owner Points Post Talladega:
Cup Series Open Car Owner Standings:
27th: No. 37 - JTG Daugherty Racing
36th: No. 16 - Kaulig Racing
39th: No. 33 - Team Penske
40th: No. 96 - Gaunt Brothers Racig
41st: No. 66 - MBM Motorsports
42nd: No. 36 - Front Row Motorsports
43rd: No. 13 - MBM Motorsports
44th: No. 55 - BJ McLeod Motorsportd
45th: No. 62 - Beard Motorsports
TALLADEGA, AL.: An opportune caution and a sudden rain shower helped make Bubba Wallace the second African-American driver ever to win a NASCAR Cup Series race.
Wallace held the lead in Monday’s rain-delayed YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway when Ryan Preece turned into the outside wall off the bumper of Chris Buescher’s Ford to cause the fifth caution of the event.
As the cars circled under the yellow, rain drenched the 2.66-mile race track. NASCAR brought the cars to pit road on Lap 118 of a scheduled 188. After another shower thwarted track-drying attempts, NASCAR called the race and declared Wallace the winner.
Wallace is the first black driver to win a race in NASCAR’s premier series since Wendell Scott took the checkered flag at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 1, 1963.
It was the first victory for 23XI Racing, a team that debuted this year with driver Denny Hamlin and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as co-owners. Drivers outside the respective Playoffs won all three Talladega races in NASCAR’s top three divisions this week. All were first-time winners.
Wallace’s victory came at the same track where the sport came together to support him after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and after a noose—later found not to be directed at Wallace—was discovered in his garage stall.
“Man, I’m just so proud of everyone at 23XI,” Wallace said. “New team coming in and getting a win late in the season. I know a lot of history was made today, I believe, which is really cool, but it’s about our guys, about our team, about what was done.
“I appreciate Michael Jordan, I appreciate Denny for believing in me and giving me the opportunity… It’s pretty fitting that it comes here at Talladega.”
Wallace was choked up when asked about the historic significance of his achievement.
“I never think about those things, and when you say it like that, it obviously brings a lot of emotions, a lot of joy to my family, fans, friends… You’ve got to stay true to your path and not let the nonsense get to you and stay strong, stay humble, stay hungry.
“There’ve been plenty of times when I wanted to give up. You surround yourself with the right people, and moments like this that you appreciate.”
Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano improved their chances of transferring into the Round of 8 in the Playoff with second- and third-place finishes. Kurt Busch was fourth, followed by Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, Hamlin and Kevin Harvick.
The wreck that ultimately made a winner of Wallace severely damaged the Playoff hopes of William Byron, whose Chevrolet was collected by the spinning car of Preece. Byron was relegated to 36th in the finishing order and likely will need a victory in Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte to advance to the Round of 8.
“He (Preece) was just coming down the track, and I was kind of trying to run a third lane,” Byron said of the wreck. “Just part of Talladega. We’ll go to the Roval, try to win that one and advance that way.”
Byron was the last of three Hendrick Motorsports drivers to get swept up in an accident. Kyle Larson was the first. By the time the first sudden rain shower of the day darkened the asphalt in Turns 1 and 2 and forced a stoppage on Lap 74, Larson’s fortunes already had taken a turn for the worse.
A strong push from Byron’s Chevrolet turned Justin Allgaier’s Camaro sideways as the cars thundered through the tri-oval on Lap 56. Allgaier shot up the track into Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, severely damaging the front suspension and the sheet metal on the driver’s side of the car.
Larson was able to make minimum speed after a restart on Lap 65. The caution for the five-car wreck that crippled Larson’s car also encompassed the end of Stage 1, won by non-Playoff driver Chris Buescher.
On Lap 67, Larson shredded his right front tire, which was cocked at an angle toward the outside wall when he resumed racing. He lost three laps on pit road and fell to 39th in the running order as his crew made frantic repairs.
Attrition elevated Larson to 37th at the finish, but he lost the security he had as a six-time winner in the series this year. The regular-season champion leaves Talladega second in the standings but just 22 points above the current cutoff for the Round of 8.
A multicar chain-reaction wreck after the resumption of the action brought an early end to Alex Bowman’s afternoon. On Lap 98, Chase Elliott pushed the Chevrolet of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. into the rear bumper of Bowman’s Chevy, turning the No. 48 Camaro into the outside wall and out of the race.
“The 9 (Elliott) just shoved me one last time there, and it got the 48 loose,” Stenhouse radioed to his team.
Bowman was fighting for the race lead when he was turned by the contact from Stenhouse’s car.
“Yeah, just dumped over on the left rear and turned us around really bad,” Bowman said. “Bummer for the Ally 48 team. We had a fast car; we were leading there. That’s just superspeedway racing and the box that we’re put in by these racetracks. You’ll have that. Bummed to have torn up race car, but we’ll move on and try to go win the Roval.”
Kyle Busch was another victim of the Lap 98 wreck, but the two-time Cup champion remains nine points above the current cut line—tied with defending champion Chase Elliott—heading to the Round of 12 elimination race on Sunday at the Charlotte Roval.
Harvick is nine points below the cutoff, with Bell 28 points in arrears and Byron and Bowman 44 and 52 points on the outside, respectively.
-NASCAR Wire Service