Friday, May 29, 2015

Von Moltke Scores First TOTAL Pole Award

Von Moltke Scores First TOTAL Pole Award In Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS
Team Repairs Car, Earns Top Spot In TUDOR Championship GTD Qualifying At Detroit
DETROIT (May 29, 2015) – For much of Friday afternoon, Dion von Moltke wasn’t sure he would even get a chance to qualify after a practice incident in the rain earlier in the day forced Paul Miller Racing and Audi Customer Racing to make repairs to his No. 48 Castrol Edge Audi R8 LMS.
But not only did the team repair the wounded car in time for the qualifying session, von Moltke dug deep and avenged the incident by earning his first career TOTAL Pole Award in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class with a lap of one minute, 33.546 seconds (90.437 mph). The Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers on the streets of Belle Isle begins Saturday at 12:05 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 2, Noon ET; FOX Sports 1, 2-4 p.m. ET).
“When the car came back, we were initially wondering if we’d even make the race tomorrow,” said von Moltke, who along with co-driver Christopher Haase leads GTD points. “We have the best team in the paddock; the guys did an unbelievable job. We were able to roll out about five minutes before qualifying.
“I lost the car [in practice] and before I even knew it was gone,” he added. “I probably just made a mistake, hit a bump, and then hydroplaned. It can happen, but it’s not what you want. It was really unfortunate, but luckily, I’ve got the best team in the paddock to fix this.”
It was an impressive qualifying effort for von Moltke, who was 0.715 seconds quicker than runner-up Ben Keating in the No. 33 Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R. Keating – who will immediately fly from Detroit to France following the race to practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans – lapped the 2.360-mile street circuit in 1:34.261 (89.751 mph).
The No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage of Danish speedster Christina Nielsen rounded out the top-three at 1:34.338 (89.678 mph).
The 15-minute session was stopped early for an incident involving the No. 97 Turner Motorsports BMW Z4 of Michael Marsal with three minutes remaining. Marsal was able to continue with minimal damage, but will start from the back of the GTD grid.
Race day begins Saturday with a 20-minute warm-up session at 8:15 a.m. ET. Fans can follow of the action live on or the all-new IMSA mobile app.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015



NASCAR Next Drives Into Dover

Four current NASCAR Next drivers – Cole Custer, Austin Hill, John Hunter Nemechek and Jesse Little – will test their skills in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Little will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, while Custer, Hill and Nemechek will be competing in their 11th, fourth and 13th starts respectively.

Custer, Hill and Nemechek have made only one start each this season. Hill placed 30th at Daytona. Custer and Nemechek finished 16th and 29th, respectively, at Martinsville.

Last season, Custer became the youngest NASCAR national series winner (New Hampshire), as well as the youngest NASCAR national series pole winner (Gateway). Nemechek produced high expectations for this season after winning the prestigious Snowball Derby last winter. Hill has racked up four career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East wins along with 16 tops 10s in 27 starts.

Little has posted strong results in the NKNPSE. He has one NKNPSE win, three poles 11 top fives and 19 top 10s in 39 starts. Little earned the series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in 2013.

In addition to Custer, Nemechek and Little, NASCAR Next alumni Erik Jones, Ben Kennedy, Cameron Hayley and Ryan Blaney are also on the entry list.

Jones Aims For First Trucks Win Of 2015

For most drivers, going five races without a win is not considered a drought.

It is for Erik Jones.

The No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports driver has never competed in more than four consecutive races without a win until now. He will try to turn around his luck in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200.

What makes the drought sting even more: He probably should have won the last two NCWTS races.

Three weeks ago at Kansas, Jones led a track-record 151 laps before running out of gas and finishing 11th. A week later at Charlotte, he led a race-high 88 laps and looked like he was going to pull off the victory until a late-race caution. Following the caution Kasey Kahne took the lead from Jones and beat him to the checkered by .005 seconds – tied for the second-closest finish in NCWTS history.

Jones ranks second in the NCWTS standings, trailing two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton by 16 points. He has three top fives and four top 10s with a high finish of second (Daytona and Charlotte).

Early Leader: ThorSport Ranks First In Owner Standings After Five Races

ThorSport Racing, the longest-tenured team in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history, is in the lead for its first-ever owner’s championship. The Sandusky, Ohio-based organization’s No. 88 truck leads Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 by 16 points and Brad Keselowski Racing’s No. 19 by 18 points.

Two-time defending driver champion Matt Crafton has helped ThorSport build its lead with two wins, four top fives and five top 10s in five races as it tries to knockoff the winner of the last two owner titles, Kyle Busch Motorsports.

ThorSport has competed in the NCWTS since 1996. The team has made 777 series starts and has notched 18 wins in 21 years of Truck Series action.

Blaney Back In The Saddle For BKR

A familiar face will take the reins of the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford for his season NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway – Ryan Blaney.

Blaney raced full-time for BKR the last two seasons, finishing runner-up in last year’s final standings and winning the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. He has won one truck race the last three seasons.

Blaney’s teammate this weekend, Tyler Reddick, has picked up right where Blaney left off in the No. 19 truck. Reddick ranks third in the NCWTS standings on the strength of one win and four top-five finishes. The Corning, California native placed fourth at Charlotte in his last start.

TUDOR Championship Takes On The Motor City For Round 5

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
Next Race: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers
The Place: Raceway at Belle Isle Park
The Date: Saturday, May 30
The Time: 12:05 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX Sports 2,, 12 p.m. (ET); FOX Sports 1, 2 p.m. (ET)

TUDOR Championship Takes On The Motor City For Round 5
 Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Grand Prix presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers is not only one of the shortest races on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule, it is one of the most prestigious, with teams competing in the “Automotive Capital of the World.”
This year’s 100-minute event takes on additional content, as the Prototype Challenge (PC) class joins the Prototypes and GT Daytona (GTD) classes for the first time on the 13-turn, 2.360-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
The TUDOR Championship joins the IndyCar Series in the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, continuing the legacy of competition in the Motor City dating back to Formula One races on a temporary circuit near the Renaissance Center beginning in 1982. Racing moved to Belle Isle Park – an island in the Detroit River – in 1992. Over the years, both the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila PatrĂ³n and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series raced on Belle Isle. Last year, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic was a key component of the inaugural TUDOR Championship schedule.

Bragging Rights: Chevrolet Vs. Ford Battle Highlights Prototype Class

The TUDOR Championship lead Prototype (P) class features a classic Ford vs. Chevrolet battle in the Motor City.
With the Renaissance Center – General Motor’s world headquarters – clearly visible from Belle Isle, Chevrolet enters the race with both history and momentum on its side. The defending race-winning No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP of Ricky and Jordan Taylor already has a 2015 victory, at Long Beach, the only other street circuit on the schedule.
The No. 90 Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante won the most recent race on the schedule, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Action Express Racing has two  potent Corvette DPs, the No. 5 Mustang Sampling of defending class champions and Sebring winners Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox DP of Eric Curran and Dane Cameron.
Ford brings Scott Pruett and Joey Hand to the show in the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley, coming off a second-place finish at Long Beach. Pruett was a former Trans-Am winner at Detroit.
There are two spoilers in the mix to challenge the American makes.
Honda flexed its muscle in the most recent round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where Ozz Negri led every practice session and John Pew qualified a career-best fourth in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2/Honda. The pair came back from contact early in the race to finish a season-best third.
Fans of automotive ingenuity will be watching the Mazda Motorsports Mazda Prototypes, powered by SKYACTIV diesel engines, led by the No. 07 Castrol/ModSpace Mazda of Tom Long and Joel Miller.

Prototype Challenge Set For Belle Isle Debut
The stars are aligning for RSR Racing entering the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, the first visit for the TUDOR Championship Prototype Challenge (PC) class at the Belle Isle Circuit.
The team is coming off the first victory of the season, with Chris Cumming and Bruno Junqueira winning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 11 AutoMaxUSA ORECA FLM09. It’s a home race for RSR Racing, which is based in East Lansing, Mich., 90 minutes from the circuit. In addition, team owner Paul Gentilozzi is the leading SCCA Trans-Am winner at Belle Isle, winning in 1998 in a Camaro and in 2000 and 2001 in a Jaguar XKR.
“We feel that the Detroit Grand Prix ranks at the top of important races in North American motorsports,” Gentilozzi said. “Great racing traditions and a challenging track entertain real race fans. For the PC class to remain relevant, being at this event is essential. Both of our drivers have recent experience on this configuration, and we feel our momentum from Mazda Raceway and experience makes us a contender to make it two in a row.”
RSR Racing faces stiff competition in its bid for another victory. Defending class champion CORE autosport has yet to win in 2015, although Jon Bennett and Colin Braun have posted three consecutive runner-up finishes in the No. 54 Flex-Box/Composite Resources ORECA to capture the points lead. Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith opened the season with back-to-back triumphs at Daytona and Sebring for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, and are two points behind in the standings.

GT Daytona Brings Tight Points Battle To Motor City
The points lead in the GT Daytona (GTD) class is up for grabs entering Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic. Four driver pairings – all yet to win in 2015 competition – are grouped within seven points heading to the Motor City.
Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke – co-drivers of the No. 48 Castrol Edge Audi R8 LMS – currently hold a one point lead coming off a season-best second-place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with a total of 87 points.
Townsend Bell, who finished 14th in last Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, and Bill Sweedler are second with 86 points. Their best finish in the No. 63 Robert Graham/Royal Purple Ferrari 458 Italia was third at Sebring. Scuderia Corsa is the defending GTD winner of the event.
Second-place finishers in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen have scored 83 points in the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America. Seven points out of the lead with 80 points are James Davison and Christina Nielsen, drivers of the No. 007 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin Vantage.
Patrick Lindsey and Spencer Pumpelly are fifth in the standings with 76 points, coming off their victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America.
Andy Lally and John Potter are sixth with 70 points, and recently prepared for the event with a two-day test at Watkins Glen.
“John and I have never seen the podium at Belle Isle, so we’re trying to take what we learned at the Watkins Glen test and make it positive,” Lally said. “Hopefully, we can get closer to the top step of the podium at Detroit.”
TUDOR Championship, ETC.
Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen will co-drive the lone domestic entry in the GTD field when they share the No. 33 Dodge Viper SRT GT3. All Vipers are built in Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly in Detroit. Texas-based Keating is the nation’s leading Viper dealer. He opened the year with a class victory in the Rolex 24 driving one of his team’s Vipers. Detroit-based TI Automotive is a prominent sponsor on the Viper.



Dillon, Smith, Wallace And Suarez Will All “Dash 4 Cash” At Dover
NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Ty Dillon, Regan Smith, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Daniel Suarez earned their chance to compete for $100,000 this weekend at Dover International Speedway in the seventh running of the “Dash 4 Cash” program.

For the first time, Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the "Dash 4 Cash" qualifier last weekend, which determined the four eligible drivers that will compete this weekend at Dover for one of four $100,000 payouts throughout the season. The best finishing driver among Dillon, Smith, Wallace and Suarez at Dover will take home the cash and also become eligible to win a total of $1 million dollars at the end of the season. An additional $600,000 will be awarded if one driver wins the first three “Dash 4 Cash” awards and then wins the final race outright at Darlington Raceway, bringing their total winnings to $1,000,000.

The three tracks joining Dover (May 30) in the Dash 4 Cash program are Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 25), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 21) and Darlington Raceway (September 5).

At Dover, the winner of the first round and top three finishers who are eligible to receive NASCAR XFINITY Series driver points will qualify for the second round of the “Dash 4 Cash” at Indianapolis.

Of the four “Dash 4 Cash” eligible this weekend at Dover, Darrell Wallace Jr. (12.0) has the best average finish; followed by Ty Dillon (12.3) and Regan Smith (18.1). This will be Daniel Suarez’s series debut at Dover. 

Monster Of A Points Battle Heads To The Monster Mile
Ty Dillon chopped Chris Buescher’s NASCAR XFINITY Series points lead in half (from eight to four points) this past weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and now has his sights set on retaking the points lead this weekend at Dover.

Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon is just four points back from Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher after posting his eighth top-10 finish of the season. Dillon’s championship focus is apparent this season; he has posted three top fives and an average finish of 8.1 through the first 11 races.  

Both drivers have fared well at Dover. Dillon has made four starts posting three top 10s and an average finish of 12.3. Standings leader Chris Buescher has made two starts at Dover with an average finish of 7.5.

Good Chance Dover Delivers A First-Time Winner
It has been more than a decade since the three former Dover winners who are entered this weekend have won at Dover International Speedway, making the chances of a first time NASCAR XFINITY Series winner in the Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It Or Ticket (May 30 on FOX at 2:30 p.m. ET) pretty good.

Matt Kenseth (last won at Dover on 9/23/2000), Jeff Green (9/22/2001) and Morgan Shepherd (9/13/1986) make up the three previous NXS winners at Dover this weekend.

Of the three, Kenseth has had the most success at Dover. In 20 starts he has posted two wins, 11 top fives and an average finish of 13.6.

Sunoco Rookie Update: Suarez Not Letting Up On Points Leader Wallace
This past weekend Charlotte Motor Speedway was the site of some big happenings for the top two Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Daniel Suarez. Not only did Wallace post his NASCAR XFINITY Series career-best finish (fifth), but both drivers qualified for the ‘Dash 4 Cash’ program this weekend at Dover.

Wallace is just eight points ahead of the Suarez in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after 11 races.

The two rookies have nearly mirrored themselves in performance this season. Both have posted one top five and four top 10s. 

“That’s the goal – the goal is to finish races and finish races in the top-10,” Suarez said. “This is what we’re trying to do. I believe that we’ve been running stronger in the top-10 and this is what I like and this is my goal for now.”

Wallace does hold the slight advantage in average finish this season with a 10.7 compared to Suarez’s 15.3.

Also in Wallace’s favor this weekend is his previous experience at the one-mile speedway. He started from the pole and finished 12th at Dover in 2012 while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Suarez will be making his series track debut at Dover this weekend.

Erik Jones Turns 19 On Race Day At Dover
Erik Jones, the young Joe Gibbs Racing upstart, will celebrate his 19th birthday on Saturday – NASCAR XFINITY Series race day. Jones can become the first driver in series history to win on his birthday. In NASCAR’s national series competition four drivers have won on their birthday:  Kyle Busch (Richmond, 5/2/2009), Matt Kenseth (Las Vegas, 3/10/2013), and NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (twice: North Wilkesboro, 3/27/1977 and Atlanta, 3/27/1983) did it in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Ron Hornaday Jr. (twice: Bristol, 6/20/1998 and Milwaukee, 6/20/2009) did it in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Jones will be in the No. 54 JGR Toyota this weekend making his series track debut at Dover International Speedway.

Jones’ 2015 season has been full of success; in his 11 starts he has posted three poles, one win, six top fives and an average finish of 11.4.

Austin Dillon Goes For Two-In-A-Row
Austin Dillon, winner of last weekend’s race at Charlotte, now has the chance to become the first driver to win two-in-a-row this season.  

Dillon dominated last weekend’s race leading 163 of the scheduled 200 laps en route to his third career perfect driver rating (150.0) performance in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Dillon’s previous perfect ratings came at Kentucky in 2012 and Las Vegas earlier this season.

Dillon’s win last weekend also moved the No. 33 Chevrolet team to second in the NXS car owner standings 63 points back from the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. 

Dillon has made four series starts at Dover posting four top 10s and a pole.

Team Penske Taps Blaney For Owner Points Leading No. 22
For the second week in a row Ryan Blaney will be back in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford for car owner Roger Penske.

Blaney is part of a trio of drivers (Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano) commanding the No. 22 Ford this season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Through the first 11 races the No. 22 team has posted three wins, seven top twos, nine top fives, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 3.5.

Blaney had made just one series start at the one-mile speedway, posting a 13th-place finish.

Autism Speaks Special Decals: The following 12 NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will have special Autism Speaks decals on their cars this weekend at Dover International Speedway: Darrell Wallace Jr., Blake Koch, Cale Conley, Jeff Green, Eric McClure, John Wes Townley, Brennan Poole, Dakoda Armstrong, David Starr, Jeremy Clements, Chris Buescher and Peyton Sellers. … 

Milestones: Jeff Green will attempt to make his 400th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start this weekend at Dover. Green is sixth on the all-time NXS starts list; five starts behind his brother David Green in fifth (404). … Elliott Sadler will attempt to make his 275th career NASCAR XFINITY Series start this weekend at Dover. Sadler is 26th on the all-time NXS starts list; five starts behind Michael Waltrip in 25th (279). … Matt Kenseth can post his 200th career NASCAR XFINITY Series top-10 finish this weekend at Dover. Kenseth is third on the all-time NXS top-10 finishes list behind Kevin Harvick (240) and Kyle Busch (210).