Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in 2011, but he got his money’s worth in his debut at NASCAR’s highest level.
Driving the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford for the only time in his career, Stenhouse completed all 402 laps of a Coca-Cola 600 that went overtime.
“Don’t do what I did,” Stenhouse said of his first foray with NASCAR’s elite. “My first start was in the 600. I hit the wall of Lap 9. We qualified ninth. I hit the wall I think two more times after that. But it ended up, the way everything worked out, we ended up finishing 11th.
“I had a really fast car, but you’ve got to be patient. I think this race… I’ve been good during the day and struggled at night. I’ve had cars where you kind of stay the same throughout the whole night. I do think that, with this (2019) package, you’re going to have a lot of comers and goers when the temperature changes and the sun goes down.”
Stenhouse believes last Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race may be a good predictor of what happens in the Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET Sunday on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
“I felt like my car, during the day in practice (for the All-Star race), was driving really good and had OK speed,” Stenhouse said. “But once it cooled off, everybody else’s car started driving better, and the ones with more speed prevailed, so we struggled when the sun went down.
“So we brought a little bit different package here (for the 600) versus the ideas that we had going into the All-Star Race.”
Even though Stenhouse’s first Cup start came in NASCAR’s longest race, he doesn’t view the grind of 600 miles as a negative.
“It wasn’t hard to begin with,” he said. “It’s just more laps. I put a ton of training in anyway. Even when I didn’t put a ton of training in, I felt prepared. Hydration is key, and I feel like everybody in the garage is a lot smarter than they used to be when it comes to hydration. That’s the key.”
FOR KYLE LARSON, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TROPHY, NOT THE MONEY
Last Saturday night, after transferring from the Monster Energy Open, Kyle Larson held off Kevin Harvick to win $1 million in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
On Wednesday night at Millbridge Speedway near Salisbury, N.C., Larson wheeled an Outlaw Kart to victory in the 51-lap main event and collected a total of $6,401, including lap money.
But for Larson, it’s not about the cash.
“I was born a race car driver, so that’s really all I ever think about, especially this time of year when I have a lot of race to look forward to,” Larson said. “I would like to race a car every day if I could.”
“I’d race for 500 bucks. I felt like I had to race even harder to win that race last night (at Millbridge). It feels just as good. Especially, last night felt really good with all the issues that I had throughout the night with my kart and engine and wing and pipe and all of it. To get the win was really cool.”
The All-Star race win, however, may mean more in the overall scheme of things. It was a welcome boost for a driver who has endured a skein of hard luck in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet this year.
“Winning always helps confidence,” Larson said. “And even with the struggles we’ve had this year, I haven’t really felt like I’ve lost confidence in being able to run good. It’s been bad luck that’s made us have bad finishes, not us running around 25th.
“I feel like we’re always running around the top 10 when we have our issues. I feel like we’ve always been pretty close, so to get that win last week was sweet. I hope it can help the momentum and confidence.”
DRIVER SHANE LEE TO HEADLINE NEW NASCAR XFINITY SERIES TEAM
Shane Lee proved his mettle in 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts with Richard Childress Racing last year, posting three top 10s and best finish of fourth at Kansas Speedway.
With the advent of H2 Motorsports, headed by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Matt Hurley, Lee will make his 2019 debut in the No. 28 Toyota Supra at Iowa Speedway in mid-June and continue in the car throughout the balance of the season.
Former Furniture Row Racing competition director Pete Rondeau will serve as Lee’s crew chief. Circuit City will sponsor the car.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Lee said during Thursday’s announcement of the new venture at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It’s a great opportunity for me. I met Matt at a couple of races last year, and we talked about a racing deal.
“Probably about January, he talked about wanting to get into racing, and we just sort of went from there. He went down the line and hired some really good people. We got the sponsorship from Circuit City, and then with TRD (Toyota Racing Development) coming on board, it gave us credibility.”
William Byron will start from the pole position in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver No. 24 claimed the top spot with a qualifying speed of 183. 424 mph. With his pole on Thursday, Byron becomes the youngest Coca-Cola 600 pole-sitter.
For Byron, this is his second pole of his NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series career. His first pole came at this year's Daytona 500.
"This is awesome, a dream come true," Byron told FS1 after qualifying. "Obviously, i grew up in Charlotte so i came to this race every year. It's a dream come true to qualify on the pole next to Hendrick Motorsports across the street over there. Can't think of a better way to start the weekend.
This is Hendrick Motorsports 12th pole in the 600, which leads above all teams.
Rounding out the top five were Aric Almirola in second (183.069 mph), Kyle Busch in third (182.933 mph), Austin Dillion in fourth (182.766 mph) and Kevin Harvick in fifth (182.741 mph).
Due to inspection issues several weeks ago in Kansas, Chase Elliott was forced to qualify early and would end up 12th. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson will start 15th.
Kyle Larson, who won last Saturday's Monster Energy All-Star Race, will start in the 25th position on Sunday.
Live coverage of the 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 begins on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX.
Andretti Autosport clearly found the perfect setup combination this afternoon during single-car qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Robert Megennis led the Indianapolis-based team to an emphatic sweep of the top four starting positions for tomorrow’s Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires. Megennis, 19, from New York, N.Y., will start from the pole position for the jewel in the crown of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season at the historic 2.5-mile “Brickyard” oval, with teammate Oliver Askew, from Jupiter, Fla., alongside on the front row.
Ryan Norman, from Aurora, Ohio, and Indianapolis native Jarett Andretti, making his Indy Lights debut for his uncle Michael’s team, will share row two of the grid tomorrow. Championship leader Rinus VeeKay, from Hoofddorp, Netherlands, will start a lowly ninth for Juncos Racing.
Overnight rain and thunderstorms caused track activities to be delayed a little this morning, but the weather conditions improved dramatically to ensure the Indy Lights teams were able to complete their scheduled 45 minutes of practice in advance of qualifying. Megennis, who claimed his first pole – and race win – two weeks ago on the Indianapolis Grand Prix road course, laid down a marker by posting the fastest lap of 45.8135 seconds for an average speed of 196.449 mph.
Warm and humid atmospheric conditions allied to a blustery wind this afternoon that left several teams scratching their heads and ensured slower speeds for qualifying. But while some teams struggled, the first sign that Andretti Autosport had found the sweet spot with their stable of Dallara-AER IL-15s came when Andretti, running third as the qualifying order was set by the reverse of championship positions, jumped immediately to the top with a two-lap average of 192.822 mph.
Norman, who took to the track sixth in line, was the first to eclipse Andretti’s mark with a two-lap run at 193.033 mph. Then, after the two BN Racing/Team Pelfrey drivers, David Malukas, from Chicago, Ill., and Englishman Toby Sowery, posted respective averages of 191.304 mph and 192.178 mph, it was Megennis’ turn to take over at the top. His first lap was the first to top the 194 mph mark, and while his second lap was fractionally slower at 193.992 mph, it was comfortably enough to establish himself at the top with only teammate Askew and VeeKay yet to make their two-lap runs.
Askew’s first lap was fractionally quicker than Megennis’ two-lap average but, in common with all bar Malukas, who had been unable to turn any meaningful laps during practice due to a mechanical problem, his second lap wasn’t quite fast enough to prevent Megennis from claiming his second pole of the season.
VeeKay, the final runner, managed a two-lap average of 192.124 mph, mere fractions adrift of Juncos Racing teammate Dalton Kellett and Sowery, good enough for only ninth on the grid, but if there was any consolation, his two laps were the most consistent – separated by a scant 0.009 – of the entire field.
Current NBCSN NTT IndyCar Series television broadcast analysts and former Indy Lights champions Townsend Bell (2001) and Paul Tracy (1990) will give the command to start engines for tomorrow’s Freedom 100 Presented by Cooper Tires at 12:55 p.m. EDT. The green flag for the 40-lap race will be waved by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion and current INDYCAR Race Steward Arie Luyendyk at 1:05 p.m.
The remarkable story of British Formula car racer Billy Monger will be featured on Sunday morning’s edition of ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine show E:60. The program airs at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
Just last weekend, 20-year-old Monger won the first race of his young career at the prestigious Pau Grand Prix. The win itself was remarkable, but the story behind the win: extraordinary.
Just over two years ago, Monger suffered life-changing injuries when doctors were forced to amputate his legs after a horrific crash at Donington Park in Derby, England. Despite his injuries, less than one year after the accident, improbably, he was back racing again.
Now driving a car specially modified for his condition, Monger is not only racing, but he has dazzled, and his dream to become the first disabled Formula 1 driver, against all odds, remains in reach.
The 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge is the world's largest single-day sporting event, so fans attending the race Sunday, May 26 should start their Race Day preparation with two important facts - plan ahead and arrive early.
One of the largest crowds in decades is expected for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," so fans can best ensure a stress-free day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by arriving by the time all public gates open at 6 a.m. (ET).
"The Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge continues to ride a surge of momentum," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "We expect another amazing Race Day turnout this Sunday.
"With that, it's important to remember that we want folks to plan ahead so they know where they're going to park and to be patient when they come in through the gates. The earlier you can arrive, the better. There's so much to see and do inside the track, even hours before the green flag."
A perfect way for fans to prepare for Race Day is to visit the special Plan Ahead section of the IMS website, ims.com/planahead , a special interactive page that serves as a home base for fans attending the Speedway during the Month of May.
The "Plan Ahead" page features detailed information about the entire fan experience at IMS, including directions, parking, track map, schedule, camping, gate regulations, tickets, ADA accessibility and much more.
Seasonal conditions are forecasted for Sunday unlike the near-record heat of last year, but it's still important for fans to begin hydrating well before they arrive at the track and continue to drink water at the track. Fans are permitted to bring coolers no larger than 18" x 14" x 14", with the reminder that no glass bottles are allowed.
Gates at IMS open at 6 a.m. following the traditional cannon blast. From there, fans looking to beat traffic and avoid longer lines can take advantage of many fun opportunities, including:
•IMS Museum: The Museum, which opens at 6 a.m. on Race Day, features this year a special exhibit honoring the legendary Mario Andretti and the 50th anniversary of his Indianapolis 500 victory in 1969. Learn more about the Museum's world-renowned attractions here: www.indyracingmuseum.org.
•Fan Midway: The IMS Midway, located in the infield, includes many fun amenities for fans, including karting on an oval track, eSports, vendor displays and much more.
•Shopping and Food: A wide array of 103rd Running and special Mario Andretti 50th Anniversary attire and collectibles will go fast, so don't miss out! Shop for family and friends while supplies last. All concessions and retailers will open at 6 a.m. As part of a new partnership between IMS and Square, fans will have more than twice as many credit card points of sale to pay with all major credit cards and mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Play, at IMS concessions stands on Race Day. Cash also is accepted.
•Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks: The Borg-Warner Trophy will begin an epic march to the iconic Yard of Bricks at 8:45 a.m. from the IMS Museum. Line up outside the west side of the Museum for a chance to see one of the most famous trophies in the world - escorted by the Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers - begin its journey to Victory Podium.
•IMS Red Carpet: Many celebrities, including superstars Matt Damon, Christian Bale and Kelly Clarkson, will walk the IMS Red Carpet, located just north of Pagoda Plaza, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The fans lining up in the viewing area earliest will have the best view of Race Day celebrities.
•Epic Pre-Race! Be in your seat for it: This year's pre-race ceremonies will serve as a fitting, stunning tribute to our nation's military heroes and continue as America's greatest Memorial Day Weekend sporting tradition. Be in your seat early to ensure you see every can't-miss moment.
Other Important Race Day Tips for Fans
•IMS App and Twitter: Download the Brickyard Mobile app, available on both iPhone and Android. Also follow the IMS (@IMS) account on Twitter for the latest Race Day information.
•Cooler, Backpack Restrictions: No coolers larger than 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches can be brought into the facility, which will be strictly enforced. Fans will be allowed to bring one cooler and one standard backpack or book bag per person.
•Smoke-Free Grandstands: Smoking (including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and vapes) will not be permitted in any IMS grandstands. Fans wishing to smoke will be asked to do so 20 feet away from buildings and seating entrances. Smoking will continue to be allowed in the IMS infield.
•Parking: All IMS exterior parking lots open at 5 a.m. on Race Morning, while interior lots open at 6 a.m. All IMS exterior and interior parking is sold out, including ADA parking.
•Georgetown Road Gate Access: Gates on Georgetown Road have a new configuration for 2019. Fans with grandstand seats north of A Stand are encouraged to walk north along Georgetown Road, instead of entering at Gate 1, to access multiple pedestrian gates for quicker entry and to reduce congestion behind the stands.
•Gate 2, Gate 10 Access: Gate 2 and Gate 10 are not accessible via car on Race Day without a pre-paid parking pass. Fans with a pre-paid parking pass in Turn 3 can enter IMS through Gate 2 or Gate 10, with Gate 10 recommended.
•Scooters: IMS has worked closely with stakeholders, including the Town of Speedway, public safety officials and Lime and Bird, to create an option for those who wish to ride scooters to the Indianapolis 500. The Race Day route for scooters is east/west along 10th Street, which is closed to public traffic on Race Day.
The parking location for scooters is at 10th Street and Allison Way. Scooters are not allowed on IMS grounds or on any other route or parking location in the Town of Speedway. So those using this new travel option must enter the town via 10th Street rather than 16th or 30th Street.
•Airport Shuttle: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers round-trip shuttle services from the Indianapolis International Airport for purchase, providing safe and stress-free travel to the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. To reserve your air-conditioned Race Day shuttle service, visit ParkMobile.io or purchase tickets at the airport on Race Morning.
The shuttle will depart from the airport and arrive at the Main Gate parking lot located across from Gate 2 on 16th Street. Shuttles will begin departing starting 60 minutes following the conclusion of the race.
Visit the Transportation section of ims.com/planahead for more information.
•Road Closures: To increase the safety and security of race patrons, the Speedway Police Department will close Georgetown Road and 16th Street to all vehicular traffic during the running of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
Georgetown Road will be closed south of 25th Street beginning at 7 a.m. After Georgetown Road is closed, no vehicular traffic, including placarded traffic, will be allowed to access the roadway. Race patrons with pre-paid parking passes who are accustomed to entering IMS Gate 7 must enter through Gate 2 (W. 16th Street) or Gate 10 (30th Street).
Upon completion of the race, Georgetown Road will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the vast majority of race pedestrian foot traffic clears from the roadway (approximately one hour after the race).
In addition, 16th Street will be closed between Olin Avenue on the east to the 16th Street roundabout on the west from 11 a.m. until the race ends. In addition, 16th Street will not be accessible from Polco Street, as it will be blocked at 10th Street.
Once 16th Street is closed, traffic traveling east on Crawfordsville Road from the west will be turned around at the 16th Street roundabout. Traffic traveling west on 16th Street from downtown will be diverted south on Olin Avenue.
•Exiting the Facility: Fans are encouraged to remember to be patient when leaving IMS after the race. There's no need to rush to your car, as parking lots are held until law enforcement deems the roads safe for vehicular traffic. This process takes slightly more time but keeps everyone safer when heading home.
•More Traffic, Road Information: Drivers can learn the locations of work zones and highway restrictions by calling INDOT's TrafficWise at 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or viewing an online map at pws.trafficwise.org or visiting @TrafficWise on Twitter. ISP will offer updates on traffic and parking on Twitter and Facebook.
For more information regarding access to IMS, visit IMS.com. For additional information, follow on Twitter the Indiana State Police @IndStatePolice, the Speedway Police Department @SpeedwayPD or listen to radio stations WNFI-AM 1070 or WIBC-FM 93.1.
The Speedway Police Department can be reached for non-emergency services by dialing 311 on a cell phone. The goal of 311 is to provide an easy-to-remember number for non-emergency services while freeing up 911 lines for timely emergency response.
•Tickets: Visit IMS.com to purchase tickets for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26, and for more information on the Race Weekend schedule at IMS.
Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) will start from the pole in tonight’s ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after turning a lap of 29.686 seconds/181.904 miles per hour in General Tire Pole Qualifying. Self also won the GT Pole Award at the last series race at Toledo Speedway.
“I have won four poles in something like 100 career stock car starts and two of them have been the last two weeks so maybe I am figuring this qualifying thing out,” Self said. “I actually thought I left a lot on the table on that lap. I came on the radio and apologized to my guys and they came back and said ‘why are you saying you’re sorry you’re the fastest one so far’.”
Self is a two-time winner so far in 2019, with wins at Five Flags and Salem, and leads the series standings by 30 points over Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford). Braden will start from the 14th position after a lap of 31.176 seconds/173.21 miles per hour.
Defending NHRA Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray (No. 54 Durst/Valvoline Toyota) will start alongside Self on the front row after a lap of 29.802 seconds/181.196 miles per hour. Gray scored his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win two weeks ago at South Boston Speedway.
Daytona winner Harrison Burton (No. 20 Fields/Sports Force Parks Toyota) qualified third at 29.855 seconds/180.874 miles per hour, Codie Rohrbaugh (No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet) qualified a career-best fourth at 29.864 seconds/180.820 miles per hour, and Nashville winner Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) qualified fifth at 29.916 seconds/180.505 miles per hour.
Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet), defending series champion Sheldon Creed (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet), Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestline Ford), Riley Herbst (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota), and Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) rounded out the top ten qualifiers.
The twenty-minute timed session was interrupted twice by accidents, first involving Willie Mullins (No. 3 Crow Wing Recycling Ford) and then moments after the session resumed by C.J. McLaughlin (No. 09 SciAps Chevrolet). Both teams are attempting to make repairs in time for the start of the race.
The green flag will wave over the General Tire 150 field tonight at 9 pm ET. The race will be live on FS1, while ARCARacing.com will have live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat throughout all on-track activity free for ARCA for Me members. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.
ARCA Menards Series PR
Brody Roa put the previous week’s 14th place finish at Bakersfield in his rearview mirror and he set a new track record in qualifying and placed second in the USAC Southwest Series’ “Hank Arnold Memorial” last Saturday night at the Central Arizona Speedway. This week, he will try to retake the point lead in the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series at the annual “Salute to Indy” at Perris Auto Speedway.
The long journey to Arizona quickly paid dividends for the Garden Grove driver and his team with fast time in qualifying and the new track record of 15.133 on the Casa Grande oval. The veteran racer backed that up with a second-place finish in his heat race.
Roa started the 30-lap main event on the outside of the third row. The track proved to be hard on tires and hard to make passes on. For most of the first half of the race, Roa kept the #91R in sixth before moving up one spot on the 13th lap. As the four cars in front of him wore out and popped their right rear tires, Roa had taken care of his right rear well enough to end up with the lead with two laps to go. However, one of the drivers who blew a tire earlier, came back with new rubber and snatched the lead from Roa with one lap to go.
With a tire that was void of tread, Roa came home second. The finish allowed him to expand his lead in the USAC Southwest Series standings to 48-points going into the next race at Arizona Speedway on June 1st.
Through his first dozen sprint car races in 2019, Roa has an impressive record with three wins and 10 top fives. Only one time has he finished out of the top 10.
Before he heads back to Arizona, Roa will be at Perris this Saturday for the USAC/CRA “Salute to Indy,” a race that began in 1948. After leading the points for much of the early going this season, he comes into Saturday’s race in second place, but he is only 20 points out of first.
For fans who would like to attend this Saturday’s race, the spectator gates will open at 5:00 P.M. and the first race will be at 7:00.
Perris Auto Speedway is located at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris (92571). The track website is at http://perrisautospeedway.com/ and the office phone is (951) 940-0134.
Colorful Brody Roa t-shirts are available now at the track or via mail. If you cannot make it to a track and would like to order one, please use the following link https://www.brodyroa.com/?post_type=product. You can see the design below.
Car owners, if you are looking for someone to shoe your car during the 2019 season, look at Roa’s schedule below. He is available to race on any night not already on his racing calendar. Contact him at the phone number and E-mail address in this release.
Fans wishing to stay completely up to date with Brody Roa and the BR Performance squad can do so on the team’s website http://www.brodyroa.com/ and Facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/br91r/
The BR Performance team would also like to thank the sponsors that make the regular season possible. HD Industries, Burris Racing, “Biker” Bruce Fisher, Molecule, K-1 Race Gear, Norma Leonard, Lee Leonard, NGK Spark Plugs, Baldwin Filters, Driven Racing Oil, Wilwood Brakes, and Coffman Racing Graphics. If you or your company would like to join BR Performance’s team for a championship run in 2019, please call 714-932-7994.
1/15/19 Tulsa Expo Raceway Chili Bowl 13th A
1/19/19 Tulsa Expo Raceway Chili Bowl 12th C
2/27/19 Las Vegas Motor Speedway USAC West Coast 1st A
2/28/19 Las Vegas Motor Speedway USAC West Coast 4TH A
3/2/19 Central Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest 3rd A
3/8/19 Canyon Speedway (AZ) USAC/CRA & Southwest 2nd A
3/9/19 Canyon Speedway (AZ) UASC/CRA & Southwest 3rd A
3/30/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA (with WoO) 1st A
4/13/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA 3rd A
4/20/19 Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest 6th A
4/27/19 Canyon Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest 1st A
5/4/19 Ventura Raceway (CA) USAC/CRA 5th A
5/11/19 Bakersfield Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA 14th A
5/18/19 Central Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest 2nd A
5/25/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
6/1/19 Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest
6/8/19 Canyon Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest
6/29/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
7/5/19 Knoxville Raceway (IA) USAC National ***
7/6/19 Knoxville Raceway (IA) USAC National ***
7/6/19 Santa Maria Raceway (CA) USAC/CRA ***
7/13/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA & Southwest
7/18/19 I-69 Speedway (IN) USAC National
7/19/19 Plymouth Speedway (IN) USAC National
7/20/19 Kokomo Speedway (IN) USAC National
7/21/19 Lawrenceburg Speedway (IN) USAC National
7/24/19 Terre Haute Action Track (IN) USAC National
7/25/19 Lincoln Park Speedway (IN) USAC National
7/26/19 Bloomington Speedway (IN) USAC National
7/27/19 Tri-State Speedway (IN) USAC National
8/17/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA & Southwest
8/31/19 Calistoga Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/1/19 Calistoga Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/2/19 Petaluma Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/5/29 Merced Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/6/19 Ocean Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/7/19 Santa Maria Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/14/19 Canyon Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest
9/21/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA
9/28/19 Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC/CRA & Southwest
10/26/19 Central Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC Southwest
11/7/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA/Southwest/National
11/8/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA/Southwest/National
11/9/19 Perris Auto Speedway (CA) USAC/CRA/Southwest/National
11/15/19 Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC/CRA/Southwest/National
11/16/19 Arizona Speedway (AZ) USAC/CRA/Southwest/National
Brody Roa PR
Anybody that likes an underdog story is going to love this one.
Trey Crews is a throwback racer. He has zero full-time employees on his Late Model Stock team that competes at South Boston Speedway. It’s all volunteer labor from folks who have 40-hour-a-week jobs away from racing. In fact, Crews’ work keeps him out of town most weeks, so he isn’t even around to work on the car himself most nights.
But there he was Saturday night, his bright orange, blue and white racer parked in Victory Lane, celebrating a win with his team. Oh, did we mention … he’s also a Late Model rookie. This, his first win, came in just his sixth career Late Model start.
“There were a lot of emotions Saturday night. After all that hard work to win a Late Model race at one of the best short tracks and some of the best competition in the country,” said Crews. “There was a lot of happiness, a lot of emotion.”
It’s not like he backed into the victory. The 18-car field included two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champions, Lee Pulliam and Peyton Sellers. He started the 100-lapper on the outside pole, took the lead on the first lap and quickly built up almost a straight-away margin. After a competition caution, he stayed out front, holding off four-time national champ Pulliam over the final 37 laps.
“A lot of hard work and tears went into this. A lot of people didn’t believe with the way we do this that we could win,” said Crews, who was the track’s Limited Sportsman champion last year. “We’re a smaller team. People do this for a living now. We’re the little guys … we work on it when we get off from our day jobs.”
It’s a small, core group of volunteers that keeps Crews running. There’s Crews, Steve Stallings, a long-time backer who also turns wrenches, Luke Covington, Brian Tanner and his dad, H.E. Crews. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series crew chief Marcus Richmond helps via phone when he can.
“It’s volunteers, people who love racing the way I love racing,” Crews said of his team.
What makes Saturday’s win even more unlikely is that until late Friday, the team had no intention of racing. That small circle of teammates had too much other going on to get the car ready. Crews had to work Saturday morning. Covington was in a wedding. The rear end was out of the car.
“We got the rear end back in the car Friday and managed to get 20 minutes of practice,” said Crews. “We knew we had speed then and decided to race Saturday.
“The only person that could be there Saturday was my dad. Other folks, family and friends, came out and got things ready for when Luke and I got there,” explained Crews, who is sponsored by Stallings Collision Centers, Owen Farms, Mincey’s Graphis, Team Industrial, Red Ball Oxygen and BST Shocks. “I missed the first practice because I was working. All I had to do was jump in when I got there. It was unbelievable everything that had to fall into place.”
Crews was fast from the drop of the green, but the night wasn’t without challenges. Mike Jones challenged him early as did Daniel Silvestri. Then after the final caution, Pulliam was on his bumper.
“Pulliam pushed me. He definitely was there after that last caution. He gave me a good run for my money. I had to find speed somewhere else, so I moved up the track and the last 20 laps I was back in the comfort zone.”
Crews says it has been an amazing few days since the victory.
“The support after this win has been phenomenal. Everyone has called and congratulated me and told me how happy they were,” Crews said. “You know, a lot of people have said smaller teams couldn’t do this, that it’s hard in this day and time to compete like we do. It just makes me want to do it that much more.”
Action returns to South Boston Speedway June 1 with the NASCAR Late Model Twin 75s, a six-race program featuring twin 75-lap races for the Late Model Stock Division. There will also be a 50-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race, a 15-lap Budweiser Hornets race and a 25-lap for the regional touring Southern Ground Pounders.
Grandstands open at 5:30 p.m. with the first race set for 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and children 12-and-under are admitted free with a paying adult.