Monday, November 24, 2014

Strong Star Critical For Success In ’15 Patrón Endurance Cup

Strong Start In Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours Of Sebring
Critical For Success In ’15 Patrón Endurance Cup
Three Of Four 2014 Winners Led Following Florida Endurance Classics

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2014) – Teams in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will look to get the 2015 season off to a strong start in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, to maximize points in the season-long Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
Last year, two of the four class winners in the unique four-race competition built up solid leads following the two Florida events. The No. 54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09 (Prototype Challenge) and No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia (GT Daytona) teams each left Sebring with healthy leads, while eventual Prototype champion Action Express Racing held a one-point advantage.
Only the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR entry trailed after two rounds in GT Le Mans (GTLM), making up the deficit in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the season-ending Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta.
The opening two rounds are critical in the $300,000 Patrón Endurance Cup because they award points at four segments in the Rolex 24 on Jan. 24-25 and at three segments at Sebring on March 21. Points at Daytona are awarded at six-hour intervals, with five points for the leader, four for second, three for third and two for all other positions. At Sebring, points are scored at four-hour intervals.
You try to build your strategy around being in the lead when you approach the specific hour marks where the points are awarded, and it becomes a big part of calling each race,” said Action Express Racing Team Manager Gary Nelson. “Of course, you are there to win each event, but you’re constantly aware of how decisions made to win a particular event can have a major effect on your Patrón Endurance Cup and TUDOR Championship goals.
“If you can build a points lead for your team in the Patrón Endurance Cup standings coming out of Daytona and Sebring, you can breathe a little easier, but you can never relax because a nice lead can go away just as quickly. In 2014 we led the championship for the entire season, but we did not lock it up until very late in the final event of the season at Road Atlanta. Winning the Patrón Endurance Cup can make a nice bonus if you happen not to win the TUDOR Championship, but if you can get both you know you’ve had a great year, as Action Express Racing proved in 2014.”
The event at Watkins Glen International on June 28 awards points at the three-hour mark and the finish, while competitors in the finale at Road Atlanta on Oct. 3 receive points at the four- and eight-hour marks and the finish.
Last year CORE autosport scored a near-perfect 19 points (out of a possible 20) in the Rolex 24 and scored 12 points at Sebring, while AIM Autosport also scored 19 points at Daytona and 11 at Sebring to forge a 12-point advantage with two races remaining.
“Winning the Patrón Endurance Cup shows that we not only are able to finish up front for the last little bit of each race, but we were consistent front-runners every time they handed out points at those events,” said Colin Braun, who joined Jon Bennett and James Gue in capturing PC honors. “When we looked at the Patrón Endurance Cup prior to last season, half of the season is there in the first two races. We had a strong enough driver line-up where we never found ourselves behind the eight ball, and that allowed us to score a lot of points at Daytona and Sebring. Winning the Patrón Endurance Cup was important to our efforts, and we worked hard to achieve that goal.”
The next official activity for the TUDOR Championship will be the Roar Before the Rolex 24 testing at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 9-11, 2015. Opening practice and qualifying for the Rolex 24 will be on Thursday, Jan 22.

Monday, November 17, 2014

NASCAR Next Alumni Sweep Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards

NASCAR Next Alumni Sweep Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards
Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Ben Kennedy Take Rookie Honors in Respective
NASCAR National Series
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2014) – For the first time since the NASCAR Next initiative was created in 2011, three of its alumni captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards in NASCAR’s national series. Kyle Larson took home the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Chase Elliott added the accolade to his resume in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Ben Kennedy earned the recognition competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

“The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class is a testament to the massive effort put towards developing our next generation of stars through the NASCAR Next initiative,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president of Industry Services. “We congratulate all three honorees and look forward to watching them accomplish great things in the future.”
The winner of last season’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Larson, 22, is only the sixth driver to also claim the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He defeated runner-up Austin Dillon by 89 points behind eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. A graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity (D4D) program, Larson placed second in three races and won a Coors Light Pole Award. He pilots the No. 42 Target Chevrolet SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Elliott – 18 years, 11 months and 18 days – became the youngest and first rookie champion in NASCAR national series history when he captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series title. The No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet driver won three races and ended his season on a streak of 14 top-10 finishes. A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott will return to the series next season to defend his title. He finished 47 points ahead of second-place Ty Dillon in the final NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award standings.

Kennedy, 22, was the highest rookie finisher in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-best eight races. Kennedy tied Tyler Reddick atop the rookie standings, winning the tiebreaker thanks to a final championship points position of ninth. Kennedy drove his No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado to a career-best third-place finish at Martinsville in March.

“Sunoco has been a proud supporter of NASCAR’s rising stars through the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program for the past decade,” said Cynthia Archer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Sunoco. “This year’s award winners represent the youthful exuberance and competitive drive that define this award and we couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds as their careers advance.”  

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier 
No. 51 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Ford EcoBoost 400 Post-Race Report
Allgaier Ends Season on a High Note

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 17, 2014) - Justin Allgaier made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) in front of a sold out southern Florida crowd. On Friday, Allgaier earned his best-career NSCS starting spot of 14th in the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy. Allgaier battled in the top 20 for most of the evening to close out his 2014 rookie season with a 15th-place finish in the BRANDT Chevy for HScott Motorsports.

The green flag dropped shortly after 3:00 p.m. EST yesterday in the Sunshine State for the last race of the 2014 NSCS season. On lap five, Allgaier radioed in that his BRANDT Chevy was really good getting in to the corner, but it was tight in the center. Shortly thereafter on lap 10, the caution came out for debris and crew chief Steve Addington called Allgaier down pit road for fuel, four Goodyear tires and chassis adjustments to improve the handling. He restarted 22nd on lap 14 and worked to gain positions through several runs.

As the sun began to set over the speedway and the track temperature cooled, the No. 51 machine's tight-center condition subsided and Allgaier was able to maintain a top-20 position. By the time the eighth caution of the evening rolled around at lap 206, Allgaier told Addington that he liked the previous adjustment so well that he wanted more of it. After going back to green on lap 212 and running a couple of laps, Allgaier relayed that Addington's adjustment had gone just a tick too far. When the ninth caution of the race came out at lap 220, Addington was able to make a slight adjustment with air pressure to improve the BRANDT Chevy's handling. Allgaier took the green flag again at lap 225 in the 20th position. He quickly worked his way up to the 16th position when the 10th caution fell at lap 236. Even with a few more late-race cautions and restarts, Allgaier brought the No. 51 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy home in the 15th position for the final race of the season.

Allgaier's 15th-place finish last night at HMS tied with the Charlotte October race for his best NSCS career finish to date. The HMS race concluded HScott Motorsports' first season in the NSCS and Allgaier's rookie season.

Justin Allgaier on Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We had a good weekend at Homestead [Miami Speedway]. We qualified really well and had a solid race too. I brushed the wall a little bit during the race, but my pit crew was able to help me out and pull the right-rear fender back out. The BRANDT Chevy really took off once the sun went down and Steve Addington made great adjustments. I can't believe we're done with the last race of the season. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were in Daytona getting ready for the Daytona 500. Overall, I learned a lot this year and worked with great people. I can't thank everyone at HScott Motorsports and BRANDT, and all of our other great partners enough. Without them I certainly wouldn't have this opportunity and I'm looking forward to driving for Harry [Scott Jr.] in the BRANDT Chevy again next year."
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Start: 14th
Finish: 15th
Driver Points: 29th

Saturday, November 15, 2014

BRAD KESELOWSKI TO START FROM POLE ECOBOOST 300

BRAD KESELOWSKI TO START FROM POLE FOR TONIGHT’S FORD ECOBOOST 300

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2014) — Brad Keselowski’s qualifying runs continue to impress fans at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as the driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series claimed the front spot for tonight’s Ford EcoBoost 300.

Although Keselowski didn’t qualify on the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, he did break a track record yesterday, with a new top qualifying speed of 181.238 mph.

Twice, the pole winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Nationwide Series has won the race (2005 and 2011). The most recent case came from Keselowski, when he won the Ford EcoBoost 300 in 2011 while racing in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The pole is his 19th pole and 10th top-10 start in the 2014 Nationwide Series season. This is his second pole in eight races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Although Chase Elliott has already clinched the NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship title, the Owner’s Championship is still up for grabs tonight following the completion of the Ford EcoBoost 300, with Keselowski and Team Penske the frontrunners to take the title.

“I honestly didn’t expect to get the pole,” Keselowski said. ”We were able to find a little extra speed and it’s good to be starting on the pole.”

The Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will begin at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90. For ticket information for the Ford EcoBoost 300, call (305) 230-5255 or visit www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.