Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Weekend Action For Southern Mods…

Easter Weekend Action For Southern Mods…
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be the lone NASCAR national or regional touring series in action on Easter weekend as the Bunny Hop 150 is slated for Saturday, April 19 at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.
Four-time tour titlist George Brunnhoelzl III is the defending winner of Caraway’s holiday event, and he brings momentum to the venerable .455-mile oval after a win last week at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., which halted the second-longest winless drought of his career. Brunnhoelzl figures to have plenty of competition from points leader Andy Seuss, however. Seuss has won the last three Caraway races and is one triumph shy of tying Brunnhoelzl’s track record of 10 career victories.
Last weekend may have ended a drought for Brunnhoelzl, but it was the continuation of a hot start for NASCAR Next driver Daniel Suárez. Representing Drive for Diversity, Suárez posted his fourth win of the calendar year with a triumph at Súper Óvalo Chiapas in NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series action. He now has two wins apiece in Toyota Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition in 2014.
The week that was also saw the 2014 season get underway for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, which opened at Circuit Ricardo Tomo in Valencia, Spain. Yann Zimmer won the Elite 1 division opener on Saturday while two-time defending series champion Ander Vilariño reached to Victory Lane on Sunday. Seventeen-year-old rookie Neal Van Vaerenbergh was the Elite 2 division winner both days.


Elliott’s Rookie Campaign Is A Magical Ride
If things continue to play out the way they have so far through the first two months of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be one happy owner come November.
After scoring his second consecutive win of the season Friday night at Darlington Raceway, JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott is doing plenty to turn heads, including his team owner Earnhardt. Elliott became only the fourth driver to win in his first national series start at the 1.366-mile track. When he won the previous week at Texas, Elliott became the second-youngest driver in series history to post a win at 18 years, four months and seven days. Seven days later, however, he became the youngest driver to capture his second victory in any of NASCAR’s three national series.
In addition to his two wins, Elliott has six top-10 finishes in the first seven races of 2014. His only non-top 10 was a still-respectable 15th in the Daytona season opener. Going into the Easter break, Elliott leads the points standings by 13 over his teammate Regan Smith, who hasn’t been too bad either. Smith has started the season with seven straight top 10s, including a victory at Daytona.
As it stands right now, it looks like JRM’s Elliott and Smith are the drivers to beat. One of the two drivers has led the drivers’ standings after each of the season’s first seven races. Smith led the points after the first five races before handing over the reins to Elliott, who also holds a 22-point advantage over Ty Dillon in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year race.
Speaking of the rookie competition, Elliott has simply setting the bar high for everyone else. Dillon is having a stellar year in his own right and would be enjoying a healthy lead in the rookie standings most other years, having already compiled seven finishes of 11th or better.

Veterans Have Experience On Their Side
Although Sunoco Rookie of the Year frontrunner Chase Elliott leads the championship standings, don’t count out the veterans lurking just behind him, primarily Regan Smith, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott.
Smith (13 points back), Sadler (-20) and Scott (-46) all have something on their side that Elliott does not – experience.
Over the next four races – Richmond, Talladega, Iowa, Charlotte – Elliott has zero starts in NASCAR’s three national series. At the same four tracks, the three veterans have a combined 207 national series starts among them – Smith (52), Sadler (121) and Scott (34).   
In last season’s May NNS Talladega race, Smith was out front when the race ended prematurely due to inclement weather. In the August 2012 Iowa race, Sadler beat Justin Allgaier to the checkered flag by 0.649 seconds.  
Through the first seven races of 2014, Smith is the only race winner of the three, winning at Daytona. He’s followed up his win with six more top-10 finishes and boasts a 7.7 finishing position. Sadler has compiled three top fives and five tops 10s with a Coors Light Pole Award at Auto Club. His best finish of the season came at Darlington, where he finished runner-up to Elliott. Scott’s best outing came in a seventh-place performance at Las Vegas. Although he has no other top 10s this season, his lowest finish is only 17th.
In their last visit to Richmond, the site of the next race, the trio finished admirably. Scott was runner-up, while Smith finished third and Sadler eighth.

Bayne Takes On Charleston!
As most of the NASCAR universe takes this upcoming weekend off to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation, there is at least one driver who won’t be taking it easy.
Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne is spending his time off in Charleston, S.C. Will he be enjoying the sights found throughout the historic city? Perhaps, but his itinerary is a little more bold than a couple of tours.
Bayne, along with fellow drivers Blake Koch and Josh Wise, will be competing in the TryCharleston Half-Triathlon Saturday morning. The test of endurance begins with a 1.2-mile swim and then a 56-mile bike ride, before ending with a 13.1-mile run.
Bayne’s drive to compete in such a tasking event, similar to competing in NASCAR races, is an inspiration to many around the country. Last year, Bayne informed the world that he had MS, but that the disease would not prevent him from conducting his life as normal. 

NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
As part of NASCAR’s Race to Green initiative, 90 trees will be planted at James River Park in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, April 24. Among the attendees will be NNS veteran Elliott Sadler, who will pilot the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota carrying a green paint scheme in that weekend’s race. … Jimmy Weller will make his Nationwide Series debut at Richmond next Friday in the No. 55 Chevrolet for Viva Motorsports and SS Green Light Racing. … Josh Reaume will attempt to make his series debut when the series returns to action at Richmond.

NASCAR Next members

Wallace, Kennedy And Kwasniewski Dispense Advice
On Friday, April 25 at noon in Victory Lane at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR will make a special announcement that will positively affect the lives of several young, up-and-coming drivers looking to make names for themselves in the NASCAR ranks.
During the event, NASCAR will announce the 2014 NASCAR Next class.
NASCAR Next alum Darrell Wallace Jr. joined current NASCAR Next members Ben Kennedy and Dylan Kwasniewski on a teleconference Tuesday afternoon where they provided a few tips for potential new members.
“I would say just getting involved as much as possible and doing as much as possible with all of your fellow drivers,” Kennedy said.
Wallace summed up his advice rather succinctly: “(They) just got to stick with it.”
Kwasniewski, however, was cognizant of the potential competition some of these rising drivers might pose for him and his current NASCAR Next colleagues, just as their arrival in NASCAR’s national series might have placed some veterans’ seat time in jeopardy: “We’re going to have to watch these guys and watch them come up, because they’re going to be trying to take away our spots and trying to compete against us to do it.”

Crafton, Sauter Aiming For History At Kansas
ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the only two drivers currently entered in the May 9 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway with wins at the 1.5-mile track.
Sauter drove to Victory Lane in 2010, and Crafton accomplished the feat last season. If either driver wins the Friday night race, he would become the first driver to secure multiple wins at Kansas. There have been 13 different winners in as many races at the track.
ThorSport will also have a third truck there with Jeb Burton making his third consecutive start for the team this season. He has made two starts at Kansas Speedway.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lucas Oil 225 Kicks Off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Weekend


Lucas Oil 225 Kicks Off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Weekend

Joliet, Ill. – April 15, 2014 – Chicagoland Speedway today announced Lucas Oil as the title sponsor of its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this September. The Lucas Oil 225 will hit the track for a night race on Friday, Sept. 12, as part of a triple-header weekend to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway.

“As a longtime supporter of motorsports, Lucas Oil is excited about the opportunity to be a part of one of NASCAR’s premier race weekends in a market like Chicago,” said Bob Pattison, Executive Vice President of Lucas Oil Products. “For the past 25 years, we have put a premium on delivering performance products for racers and customers and we intend to continue that this September with our partnership at Chicagoland Speedway.”

The Lucas Oil 225 falls on the same day as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying and also marks Family Fun Night at the track with post-race fireworks.  Tickets for the Lucas Oil 225 start at just $25 and fans receive $25 off any youth seat with the purchase of an adult admission.

“In addition to establishing itself as an industry leader, Lucas Oil has a long-standing relationship with ISC and within the sport of NASCAR, including partnerships with several of our sister tracks,” said Scott Paddock, President of Chicagoland Speedway. “We’re looking forward to building on that relationship in the Chicago market and delivering a thrilling Lucas Oil night race to kick off NASCAR’s playoffs.”

In recent years Lucas Oil has produced a line of high performance engine oils and gear oils that are second-to-none in the racing industry. “Lucas Oil has made good racing oil for a very long time that really works,” Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas said.  “We are very excited to be the title sponsor for the Lucas Oil 225 in September and look forward to presenting thrilling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racing for the enjoyment of the Chicagoland fans.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Chicagoland Speedway will host the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this September – the first of ten ‘playoff’ style NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in pursuit of the 2014 championship. The Lucas Oil 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off the weekend on Friday, Sept. 12, along with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying. On Saturday, Sept. 13, the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series returns with the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup concluding the weekend on Sunday, Sept. 14.
Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 888-629-RACE, through the Chicagoland Speedway mobile app,  or by visiting the Chicagoland Speedway Administrative office Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm.
The complete 2014 NASCAR schedule at Chicagoland Speedway is as follows:
Date                             Event
Saturday, July 19          NASCAR Nationwide Series & ARCA Racing Series