Friday, March 27, 2015

Corvette Teams Lead Both Prototype, GTLM Classes

Corvette Teams Lead Both Prototype, GTLM Classes
After Two Rounds In Patrón Endurance Cup
·         PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Takes One-Point Advantage In PC
·         Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT Leads In GTD
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 27, 2015) – Two Chevrolet Corvette teams took the points lead in their respective classes after Saturday’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, Round 2 of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
Action Express Racing used its victory by the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP to capture the lead in the Prototype (P) class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, while Corvette Racing’s No. 3 Corvette C7.R scored its second triumph of the season, which opened with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.
Two rounds now remain in the Patrón Endurance Cup, which encompasses 52 hours of racing for $300,000 in post-season awards. The competition continues with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, June 28, and closes with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Action Express led two of the three segments at Sebring – coming up one point shy of a perfect 15 – to take over the Prototype lead with 27 points. Wayne Taylor Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates are tied for second with 21 points each, with Racing fourth with 20. On the drivers’ ledger, Christian Fittipaldi, Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais hold a two-point lead over Ganassi’s Scott Dixon (27-25).
The No. 3 Corvette Racing team also holds a six-point lead in GT Le Mans. Jan Magnussen, Ryan Briscoe and Antonio Garcia won the Sebring race to extend the gap over the team’s No. 4 Corvette C7.R driven by Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Simon Pagenaud in the team and driver standings, 29-23. Team Falken Tire and the No. 911 Porsche North America entrants are tied for third with 19 points each.
The Daytona-winning No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT held on to a three-point lead in GT Daytona (GTD) over the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia, 27-24. Viper drivers Al Carter and Cameron Lawrence lead Ferrari pilots Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Anthony Lazzaro by the same margin.
The closest battle is in Prototype Challenge (PC), where the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team with drivers Mike Guasch, Tom Kimber-Smith and Andrew Palmer took a one-point lead over the No. 54 CORE autosport team of Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and James Gue, 30-29. After taking the lead in the closing half-hour en route to winning the Rolex 24, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ran the table at Sebring, scoring a perfect 15 points. A year ago, CORE autosport won the three opening races to win the title.
Points in the Patrón Endurance Cup are awarded at specific intervals throughout each race – every four hours in the Twelve Hours of Sebring – with the leader at the end of each segment scoring five points, four points for second, three points for third, and fourth place on back receiving two points. Points will be scored at midway and the finish at Watkins Glen, and at four hours, eight hours and 10 hours at Petit Le Mans.
The Patrón Endurance Cup round winners at each endurance event receive a limited edition bottle of Gran Patrón Platinum, numbered and signed by Francisco Alcaraz, the creator of the Gran Patrón Platinum recipe and Tequila Patrón’s Master Distiller and Blender.

The ARCA Midwest Tour

The ARCA Midwest Tour Presents the First Four Drivers In the 2015 Class of Touring Stars

by Kari Shear-Carlson /  Mar 25, 2015 - The Touring Star Program for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment has been in place since the inception of the series. The program includes the top drivers competing in the ARCA Midwest Tour and some of the best drivers in the country. Past champions, consistent challengers, and up and coming drivers looking to break into the next stage of their racing career, will all be competing against one another for a $30,000 point fund. With the level of competition in this year’s class of Touring Stars, there is no doubt 2015 will be one of the best seasons yet.

2014 ARCAMT Champion & Rookie fo the Year Ty Majeski (Doug Hornickel /

The 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion and Rookie of the Year, Ty Majeski will make his return to the ARCAMT as a Touring Star trying to capture his second consecutive championship in the series. Majeski’s racing did not take a hiatus once he was crowned the 2014 Champion. During what many consider the “off season,” Majeski and his team did a little racing in the South. Rattling against 42 of the nation’s top short track drivers, Ty came home with a sixth place finish in the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway. The team also found success in the World Series of Speed in New Smyrna, FL, where he captured one win and led the the point standings for two nights. Unfortunately a mechanical failure forced their campaign to end one night short.

Cardell Potter (Doug Hornickel /

Wednesday, March 25, 2015



Custer To Pilot JR Motorsports’ No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado In Team’s Trucks Debut
Fresh off its first NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship – powered by the efforts of then-18-year-old wunderkind Chase Elliott (the youngest title-winner in NASCAR national series history) – JR Motorsports makes its first foray into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, debuting at Martinsville Speedway with another teenage prodigy – Cole Custer (the youngest NASCAR national series race and pole winner).

Custer, 17, will pilot the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday’s Kroger 250 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1), the first of 10 scheduled races he will run for JRM this season. Last year in his first NCWTS campaign, he amassed one victory, two poles, two top fives, six top 10s and 150 laps led in nine starts.

JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., has fielded race teams since 2002 and launched its XFINITY Series program in 2006. The team boasts 23 XFINITY Series wins and 42 late model victories, including track championships in 2012 and 2014. Elliott’s XFINITY Series championship paired with Regan Smith’s runner-up showing in points marked the first time in JRM’s history it secured a one-two finish atop the standings.

Kyle Busch Motorsports Looks To Continue Martinsville Streak
For the last four years, Kyle Busch Motorsports has been a fixture in Victory Lane at Martinsville Speedway. The Mooresville-based racing team has won one race each season at “The Paperclip” from 2011-14 (Denny Hamlin, 2011-12; Darrell Wallace Jr., 2013-14). Each of those races was in the fall though; none were won in the spring. KBM rival ThorSport has taken the last two checkered flags in the spring Martinsville showdowns (Johnny Sauter, 2013; Matt Crafton, 2014). Furthermore, Hamlin is not entered in Saturday’s Kroger 250 and Darrell Wallace Jr. has moved on to the XFINITY Series with Roush Fenway Racing, so a fresh face will have to continue KBM’s streak.

Three drivers will attempt to pilot their KBM Toyota Tundra’s past the finish line first: Erik Jones (No. 4), Daniel Suarez (No. 51) and Justin Boston (No. 54). Only Jones has competed at Martinsville. He claims finishes of ninth, 18th and fourth at the .526-mile track. Jones made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville in April 2013.

Moto Family: John Hunter Nemechek Takes Father “Front Row” Joe’s Place For 2015 Debut 
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got a taste of “Modern Family” at Auto Club Speedway last weekend when actor Eric Stonestreet served as the race’s Official Pace Car driver.

This Saturday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will witness the third episode of its “Moto Family” when John Hunter Nemechek makes his 2015 debut in relief of his father “Front Row” Joe Nemechek.

As a driver under the age of 18, Nemechek is limited to racing on tracks that are road courses of 1.25 miles or less in length. Last season, he ran a split schedule with his father, logging six top-10 finishes in 10 starts, with a best showing of fourth. Expectations are high for the younger Nemechek this season after his win at the Snowball Derby – one of the most prestigious events in short-track racing – in December.

Following this weekend’s race, Joe will compete in three of the next four events, lending the seat to John Hunter again at Dover. John Hunter turns 18 on June 11 and will take over the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet full-time at Gateway on June 13.

Standings Snapshot
After a month-long layoff, the high-octane NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back in action at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.

Tyler Reddick is its current standings leader. The 19-year-old Brad Keselowski Racing driver is followed by Matt Crafton (-2), Erik Jones (-7), Johnny Sauter (-15) and James Buescher (-24).

Crafton is the two-time defending series champion. Jones leads all Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates in the standings. Buescher took the Truck Series title in 2012.

Rounding out the top 10 are Bryan Silas (-27), Ben Kennedy (-29), Ray Black Jr. (-29), Joe Nemechek (-29) and Korbin Forrister (-31).

Can Kennedy Build On Strong Atlanta Finish?
“Ken” he do it?

This weekend at Martinsville, Ben Kennedy will attempt to build off his strong Atlanta showing, where he won his first career Keystone Light Pole Award and tied his personal-best with a third-place finish.

History shows he “Ken.”

The No. 11 Red Horse Racing driver will try to top that career-high third-place finish he originally set at Martinsville last spring when he heads back to “The Paper Clip” for Saturday’s Kroger 250. In two other starts at the .526-mile track, Kennedy owns finishes of fourth (fall of 2013) and 16th (fall of 2014).

Rookies Readied For Martinsville At Test
At times, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series can be unkind to rookies. The inexperienced drivers often struggle having to keep up with grizzled veterans like Matt Crafton, Jonny Sauter and Timothy Peters.

Fortunately, the NCWTS rookie testing rule allows first-year drivers to test on tracks they have yet to race on.

Justin Boston, Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric put the extra work in, gaining valuable seat time last Tuesday at Martinsville Speedway – a track that can be unforgiving if a driver is not technically sound.
NASCAR fans will see if practice made perfect in Saturday’s Kroger 250 at “The Paperclip.” Boston and Hemric hope to land in the top 10 for the first time this season, while Suarez attempts to improve on his fourth-place Atlanta showing.

NCWTS Youth Movement
One cool aspect of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is that it acts as a proving ground for young drivers to test their skills.

Saturday’s Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway marks the first race of the season that drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 can compete. Wheelmen from that age group can only race on road courses or tracks 1.25 miles or less in length. Seventeen year olds Cole Custer, Gray Gaulding and John Hunter Nemechek will all make their 2015 NCWTS debuts this weekend. Although the youngest, they are not the only youthful drivers in the series. Erik Jones, Cameron Hayley, Brandon Jones and Matt Tifft, all 18 years old, are also entered at Martinsville. Series points lead Tyler Reddick turned 19 in January. 

For a “by the numbers” overview on the 18-and-under Truck Series drivers, click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015



New Crop Of Impressive Youth Has NASCAR XFINITY Series Popping
The new crop of youth in NASCAR continues to blossom and this week’s average age of the top five in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings is a fresh 21.2. The young contingent’s success continues to emphasize that the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the place that ‘names are made.’

These young gentlemen are the new wave of drivers raising the level of competition in one of NASCAR’s national series. Points leader Ty Dillon, who just turned 23 years old on Feb. 27th, is the eldest of the youth movement; second in the standings belongs to Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher (22 years old), followed by the youngster and 2014 series champion Chase Elliott at the age of 19. Fourth in points belongs to Ryan Reed (21 years old), and rounding out the top five is Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Darrell Wallace Jr. at the age of 21.
Ty Dillon Faces First Slip Of The Season, Still Holds Points Lead
After starting the first four races with four consecutive top-10 finishes, Ty Dillon’s season got loose at Auto Club Speedway last weekend when he posted a 14th-place finish ending his streak of top 10s. Dillon’s slip, while costly to his standings lead, didn’t knock the North Carolina native from the top spot; he still holds a five-point lead over second-place Chris Buescher.

Dillon is having a career season and he has made it clear he is on a mission to win the championship this year. In the first five races he has posted two top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 6.8.

In 2015, Dillon has posted an average running position of 8.8 (fourth-best in the series), a driver rating of 98.9 (fifth-best) and has spent 92.3 percent of his laps completed in the top 15 (third-best).

Following this weekend off, Dillon will be hard to catch. At the next four races on the schedule (Texas, Bristol, Richmond and Talladega), he posted an average finish of 11.0 last season.        

Chris Buescher Closes Points Gap On Standings Leader Ty Dillon
Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher is continuing to put the pressure on standings leader Ty Dillon after the first five races of the season. Buescher’s third top five of 2015 last weekend at Auto Club Speedway has him second in the standings, just five points back from Dillon.

Buescher has been a busy man lately. Not only is he chasing a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but he has also been tapped to drive the Front Row Motorsports No. 34 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in David Ragan’s stead. 

The extra seat time seems to be paying off. In five NXS starts this season, he has posted three top fives and an average finish of 7.8. His season-to-date Loop Data has him ranked fifth in average running position (8.9), fourth in driver rating (100.5) and second in laps in the top 15 (94.4%).

Next week, Buescher returns to his home state of Texas where he has made three starts at his home track (Texas Motor Speedway), posting a best finish of 13th last fall. 

He’s… Back: 2014 Champ Chase Elliott Moves Into Contention
Chase Elliott has climbed the standings leaderboard from 20th to third in the last four races – a gain of 17 positions. As a result the 2014 series champion is right back in the mix for this year’s title just 15 points back from standings leader Ty Dillon and 10 points behind second-place Chris Buescher. 

Elliott turned red hot last season from the second to the eighth race on the schedule when he strung together seven consecutive top-10 finishes including his two wins at Texas and Darlington. This season he is looking to do the same and his last four consecutive top 10s have him on track to do just that.

This season Elliott has posted three top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 9.8. Elliott’s ascension up the standings is due to stellar performance on the track. He has the third best average running position (8.6), fifth best driver rating (100.0), and has the second-highest percentage of laps run on the lead lap this season (97%).

There will be no rest for young Elliott this off weekend, the 19 year old will be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut for Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway.

Sunoco Rookie Standout: Darrell Wallace Jr.
Watch out for Darrell Wallace Jr. this season. Right out of the gate, Wallace has been the man to beat in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings and five races into the season he still holds the lead. 

Eight points separate Wallace (57 rookie points) and second-place Daniel Suarez (49) following last weekend at Auto Club Speedway where the top two rookies finished 12th and 13th respectively. 

Wallace is also doing well in the overall NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings. He is currently fifth, three points behind fourth–place Ryan Reed and 22 points back from the standings leader Ty Dillon. 

In the first five races of the season, Wallace has posted one top 10 and an average finish of 11.4. He is the head of his rookie class in every season-to-date Loop Data category and rivals the rest of the series quite nicely. He is ranked sixth in the series in average running position (10.2), eighth in driver rating (92.0), and sixth in percentage of laps completed in the top 15 with 87.2%. He is also averaging a +7.8 place differential through the first five races of the season.  

Next week in Texas, Wallace will be making his series track debut. Wallace is familiar with the 1.5-mile speedway though; he has made four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at TMS posting three top 10s.

Sunoco Rookie Standings following Auto Club Speedway: Darrell Wallace Jr. (57), Daniel Suarez (49), Ross Chastain (46), Cale Conley (41), Harrison Rhodes (31) and Josh Reaume (16).

Owner Standings Tight After First Five Events
Following the first five races of the season, Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang team leads the JR Motorsport’s No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro team by eight points in the NASCAR XFINITY Series owner points standings.

Kevin Harvick’s win last weekend at Auto Club Speedway jumped the No. 88 team to second in the owner standings, leapfrogging the two Richard Childress Racing (Nos. 3 and 33) teams.

Penske’s No. 22 Ford team led by crew chief Greg Irwin with drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano took the owner standings lead following Logano’s win at Phoenix, and have held on to it thanks to Keselowski’s top 10 last weekend at Fontana.

Both the No. 22 Ford team (3.6) and the No. 88 Chevrolet team (5.4) have posted notable average finishes this season.

Roger Penske is looking to capture his third consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series owner title this season. If he can accomplish the feat he will become the third owner in series history to win three in a row joining Joe Gibbs (2008-10) and William Baumgardner (1995-97). 

XFINITY Series FOX Sports Booth Driver Guests Continue To Delight
Nobody can bring you precise, insightful and relevant commentary during a NASCAR XFINITY Series race broadcast like the actual drivers themselves and this season the stellar NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver lineup in the TV Booth at FOX Sports has been knocking it out of the park. Alongside FOX Sports hosts Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip, a rotation of drivers have been stepping into the limelight and offering their captivating views; the result – pure magic.  

The 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season kicked off with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick covering the Daytona event followed by 2012 NSCS champ Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas. The two traded off the next two races and then we had 2008 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Clint Bowyer take the reins in Fontana.  All three personalities have brought creative analytical commentary that has been resonating with the fans.

While the red hot FOX Sports booth will get the chance to cool down this off weekend, expect all eyes to be locked on next weekend’s broadcast from Texas because four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will make his FOX Sports TV booth debut.  Gordon is one of the most revered drivers in the garage today. Along with his four NSCS titles he brings a lifetime of motorsports knowledge and insight that is almost unmatched. If the audience can expect to see even the tiniest drop of class and eloquent detailed understanding of the sport we have come to know from Gordon, than the fans are in for a treat when he steps in front of the camera on April 10. 

Below is a list of 12 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES races on FOX and FOX Sports 1 for which NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are scheduled to serve as guest analysts:

Race                 Date/Airtime                             Network                                    Driver/guest analyst
Texas               April 10 (8:30 PM ET)                 FOX Sports 1                            Jeff Gordon
Bristol               April 18 (1:30 PM ET)                 FOX Sports 1                            Jeff Gordon
Richmond         April 24 (7:30 PM ET)                 FOX Sports 1                            Brad Keselowski
Talladega          May 2 (1:30 PM ET)                   FOX                                         Jeff Gordon
Charlotte           May 23 (2:30 PM ET)                 FOX                                         Clint Bowyer
Dover               May 30 (2:30 PM ET)                 FOX                                         Kevin Harvick
Michigan           June 13 (1:30 PM ET)                FOX Sports 1                            Danica Patrick
*subject to change

This season, FOX Sports adds coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES for the first 14 races of the year. FOX Sports 1 telecasts 10 of the events while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte and Dover.