Rick Ware Racing (RWR) is proud to announce that 2009 Trans Am Series Champion, and Rolex Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series driver, Tomy Drissi has joined their organization. Tomy Drissi’s arrival marks the beginning of the newly formed alignment with Sprint Cup Series team, Max Q Motorsports #37 for RWR at the upcoming road course events and possibly some premier oval track dates as well.
Drissi will drive the #37 RWR-Rise of the Planet of the Apes Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend for the organization and then race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen and Montreal later this season as well as the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona road race that strangely he has wanted to race his entire career but never given the opportunity until now.
“Having Tomy Drissi in our camp marks exciting times for RWR,” stated Rick Ware. “I have watched Tomy race his entire careerand to have him race for us and our alignment with Max Q Motorsports will provide another avenue for our marketing partners here at RWR.”
Rick Ware Racing PR
Rick Ware Racing (RWR) is proud to announce that current Trans Am and Rolex Grand Am Series driver, Doug Harrington will pilot the #41 New Orleans Voodoo Ford Mustang at Elkhart Lake Wisconsin’s, Road America this weekend.
Harrington joined Rick Ware Racing over the winter as the organization made its debut at Daytona International Speedway for the running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the GT Class finishing an impressive 11th.
“Harrington impressed us all during the tests and in the race. He is really quick and should adapt very smoothly to the heavier Nationwide Series cars,” stated Rick Ware.
Harrington recently finished second at VIR last month in his own Trans Am Series car in preparation for the Bucyrus 200 at Road America.
“I have always wanted to race in NASCAR and thanks to RWR and the Arena Football Leagues, New Orleans Voodoo, I have the opportunity to compete against NASCAR’s elite road racers,” said Harrington. The Arena Football League’s, New Orleans Voodoo will be also making their debut in a cross marketing program set up with Rick Ware Racing.
“The paint scheme is awesome for the New Orleans Voodoo and we look to represent them well this weekend. We had the pleasure of visiting a home game last month and the fans are pumped to see their teams colors turn left and right this weekend,” claimed Ware.
Rick Ware Racing PR
Infineon Raceway received a special delivery on Tuesday, thanks to the United States Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, "Guardians of the Golden Gate."
The Coast Guard arranged for safe delivery of the winner's trophy for this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. A Coast Guard MH65C Dolphin helicopter, departing from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, landed on the road course on Turn 11 with the trophy safely stored.
From there, two raceway handlers, dressed in black suits and wearing white gloves, secured the trophy and stored it in a safe place until Sunday's race.
The crewmen who hand-carried the trophy from the MH65C Dolphin were Chief Petty Officer Trevin Dabney and Second Class Petty Officer John Fisher. The pilots of the aircraft were Lieutenant Christian Polyak and Lieutenant Ryan Hawn.
"We often fly rescue missions to inland locations and need to practice landings at unusual places, so learning the approaches and landing here is just another layer of training and good experience for the crew," said LT Hawn. "Showing the public how we operate also supports our recruiting efforts, so we appreciate the opportunity to fly in and safely deliver the trophy to the fans, race crews, and drivers."
The Coast Guard will return on Sunday as part of the ceremonial fly-by moments before the green flag is dropped on the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Matt Kenseth, by his own admission, rarely qualifies well. But an unlikely starting position of third combined with a typically strong race car earned Kenseth and the No. 17 team a solid second-place finish in Sunday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Adding to the list of accolades, the team also took home a pair of contingency awards.
Kenseth, who led the charge for Roush Fenway Racing by putting the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion third in qualifying with a lap of 188.620 mph, led three times for 17 laps. Thanks to a late-race caution, a hard-charging Kenseth was able to close on eventual race-winner Denny Hamlin over the final five laps. After getting loose while attempting a last-lap pass for the race win, Kenseth hung on to cross the finish line just .281 seconds behind Hamlin.
“Every race is important to me, but if you can do good, it is probably extra special for Jack [Roush] and Ford and those people around here and headquartered here,” said Kenseth. “When you come to a track you feel like maybe is one of your better tracks, you want to take advantage of that at your good places. You want to try to perform when you can.”
For his efforts behind-the-wheel, Kenseth earned his third American Ethanol Green Flag Restart of the Race Award this year which goes to the eligible driver that records that fastest average speed on restarts and finishes the race on the lead lap. Kenseth’s crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, also captured his second DIRECTV Drew Chief of the Race Award given weekly to the crew chief of the driver who has demonstrated the best qualifying and race effort based on starting and finishing positions during the weekend.
The awards are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.
Kenseth moved up from seventh to sixth in the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase standings and now trails teammate and points-leader Carl Edwards by 41 heading into Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway (3 p.m. ET, TNT).
Official winners of this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:
v AMERICAN ETHANOL GREEN FLAG RESTART: Matt Kenseth
v COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Kurt Busch (188.699 mph. 38.156 secs.)
v DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Jimmy Fennig (crew chief for Matt Kenseth)
v GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Greg Biffle (183.575 mph, Lap 13)
v MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Mark Cronquist, JGR, No. 11
v MOBIL 1 OIL DRIVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Ryan Newman
v MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Bob Osborne, 0.101 secs (crew chief for Carl Edwards)
v O’REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: Kyle Busch (21 places)
v SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Andy Lally
Ryan Newman took a stroll through the rich history of racing at the International Speedway Corporation’s Archives and then put his formal education to the test by participating in “Is Ryan Newman Smarter than a Grade School Student?” with approximately 250 Volusia Country elementary students as part of Coke Zero 400 Media Day.
Newman, driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing and 2008 Daytona 500 champion, kicked off his Coke Zero 400 Media Day activities by visiting the ISC Archives – a treasure chest of racing artifacts and memorabilia.
“It’s neat to see the history,” Newman said. “Seeing some of the special things . . . the different trophies, the different flags, the significance of Daytona in the world of racing, it’s really special.”
Newman has his own dedicated place in that history at the ISC Archives, a unique display of memorabilia from the historic 50th running of the Daytona 500, which he won in 2008 for Penske Racing.
“I’ve always had an appreciation for the history of motorsports in general,” Newman said. “I’ve always been a fan of stock cars. Getting that opportunity to win the Daytona 500 was really special. It being the 50th running was even more special and having my dad spot for me.”
Following his visit to the Archives, Newman stopped by the ISC Contact Center and visited with employees. He even took some ticket orders over the phone to the surprise of a few lucky race fans.
In the afternoon, students from five different Volusia County elementary schools – Indian River, Pine Trail, Port Orange, Spruce Creek and Sugar Mill – were in attendance for the trivia game show “Is Ryan Newman Smarter than a Grade School Student?”
Newman, who graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Vehicle Structural Engineering, answered 10 first-round questions on a variety of topics such as Science, Math, Social Studies, English and Geography. For every question Newman answered correctly, DIS donated $100 to Volusia County Schools.
Newman also correctly answered the “bonus round” question and earned a special prize for every student in attendance – a ticket to the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 2.
“The Coke Zero 400 is a family-friendly environment,” Newman said. “We want the kids to come out and enjoy the time with their parents. I think a lot of these kids will get that opportunity. It’s fun to have interaction with them even when it’s their off-season in the summer. It was a lot of fun.”
In conjunction with Joy Mining Machinery's recent announcement to join the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with driver Josh Richards and Kyle Busch Motorsports, Rising Star Management Group launches JoyRacing.net. The interactive website features the latest news from the Joy Racing camp, team and driver information, photos, videos, links to social sites and a state-of-the-art fan zone.
The unique website will give users access to interactive fan forms, chat pages, games and multimedia content about the Joy Racing brand and keep fans up-to-date about the company's involvement in racing. The fan-focused site is designed to keep followers involved with the Joy Racing brand and informed about Richards' first season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series while offering incentives for frequent visits to the site. Once fans create an account, each time they login they earn points and have various opportunities to earn additional points based on site activities such as a Winners Picks program, interactive games and a Crazy Captions photo section. Points accumulate for site activity and culminate with a grand prize awarded at the end of the year. Fans will also have the opportunity to communicate on a race day chat page and post on a fan forum.
Please visit JoyRacing.net to follow Joy Mining Machinery and Josh Richards in their venture into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Rising Star Management PR
Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced the three-day NASCAR weekend will be extended, offering activities on Monday morning following the AdvoCare 500.
Returning for the second year, Breakfast on Bruton will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage area on Monday, Sept. 5. Breakfast on Bruton was created by Atlanta Motor Speedway chairman Bruton Smith as a way to thank fans for attending the Sept. 2-4 racing events at the speedway. Fans will be asked to show their ticket from Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 for admission.
Beginning at 8:00 a.m., those in attendance will also be able to drive their own vehicles around the 1.54-mile oval for $30 in the Speedway Children’s Charities’ “Laps for Charity.” For an additional $10, participants can have their picture taken afterward in Victory Lane. All monies collected from both experiences will go to Speedway Children’s Charities.
Atlanta Motor Speedway PR
No matter the result of Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, this will be a memorable weekend for five-time Infineon Raceway winner Jeff Gorvette. Er, Jeff Gordon.
Gordon, a native of Vallejo, Calif., has a busy weekend planned. On Friday, he will practice and qualify the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet at Infineon while also traveling the world as Jeff Gorvette -- assisting buddies Lightning McQueen and Mater -- in Disney- Pixar's new release Cars2.
On Saturday after practice, Gordon and family will celebrate daughter Ella's birthday (she turned four years old on June 20). On Sunday, the all-time leader in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road course victories will attempt to reach double-digit wins at Infineon and Watkins Glen International combined.
"There's no doubt this is probably my favorite weekend of racing, regardless of what happens on the track," said Gordon. "It's just a magical time for me with my daughter's birthday party, seeing my biological father and other family members, and seeing friends I went to elementary school with and raced with out here.
"It's just a special weekend and it puts me in an incredibly positive frame of mind going into the race on Sunday."
Along with five wins here, Gordon has five poles, 11 top-fives and 14 top-10's in 18 starts. He has led 437 laps, which is 276 more laps than the nearest active competitor, Mark Martin. To put that in perspective, Martin could lead wire-to-wire in the next two events here and he would still trail Gordon by 56 laps in that category.
But the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has not led a lap here in four years, and the No. 24 team has worked hard to correct that.
"We've struggled on the road courses recently, and that's not something we're accustomed to," said Gordon, who is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. "It's not something we like, so we tested at Mid-Ohio and have been working really hard to make improvements.
"I'm hoping that test will get us closer to being more competitive this weekend.
"This is a very challenging track. On a road course, you typically want to attack the braking zones. Here, with the elevation changes and the off-cambered corners, you have to be very careful not to over-attack or drive too hard.
"Hopefully we find the right balance with speed this weekend."
But before Gordon battles the NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars in northern California on Sunday, Gorvette will race into theaters beginning Friday.
"My role is fairly small," said Gorvette. "Lightning McQueen and Mater and some of his buddies are in the movie, and I'm one of their new buddies. It's an international spy thriller, so they go all over the world.
"It was a blast."
A blast -- like every race weekend at Infineon for Gordon.
Performance Plus/Jeff Gordon PR
Justin Marks and fiancée Erin Peppers spent the off weekend by becoming husband and wife.
The couple were married on Saturday, June 18th at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Buford, GA, surrounded by 200 of their closest family and friends. The reception followed in the grand ballroom at the 1,100-acre resort.
Surprise guests included Justin’s close friends, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Michael McDowell and Andy Lally who flew in from the Cup race in Michigan, and good friend Mark Morton, who is a Grammy nominated metal guitarist, that flew in from a concert in Montreal.
While on the alter, Morton surprised the couple by playing a song he had written for the pair, then he gave them the guitar he played as a memento.
The couple is currently honeymooning in Anguilla.
Justin and Erin met in the fall of 2006 in Salem, Ind.
Erin is originally from Auburn, Ga. and works at KartSport North America.
Turn One Racing PR
With the stroke of a pen today at Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed Senate Bill 322 into law, making stock car racing the official state sport and adding to the legacy of fabulous firsts at the historic 1.5-mile superspeedway.
Perdue was joined by a host of special guests on hand to watch the bill signing ceremony, including Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway; NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Bobby Allison; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan; and a group of fourth
and fifth grade students from Lake Norman Elementary School and Mt. Mourne IB School in Iredell County, who originated the bill. In addition, 12 grassroots Legend Car and Bandolero drivers, industry leaders and dignitaries who are members of the North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council and Charlotte Motor Speedway fans were in attendance.
"Sometimes it takes really bright kids to tell all of us grown-ups what we ought to be doing. And that's what these students are about today," said Perdue. "They found something that should have been right under our noses because we all love NASCAR, we love Charlotte Motor Speedway, we get really excited during race season. So it's pretty cool for these students to understand that we needed to do better."
The students worked to get the legislation passed for more than a year and the bill was ratified last week by the state's General Assembly. In proposing the legislation, the students pointed to motorsports' $6 billion annual economic impact to North Carolina and noted that Charlotte, N.C., and the surrounding region is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and more than 90 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. More than 200 businesses in Cabarrus County support the motorsports industry, which employs nearly 20,000 people in the region.
"It feels really good to know that the bill has finally passed and nobody disagreed with making stock car racing North Carolina's state sport, it feels really rewarding," said Sierra Bice, a student at Lake Norman
North Carolina now joins other U.S. states with an official state sport, including Alaska (dog mushing); Colorado (snowboarding and skiing); Massachusetts (basketball); Minnesota (hockey); and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming (rodeo).
"When you think about North Carolina and you think about racing, it really has been unofficially the state sport for so long and I think today to have the governor sign a bill that makes racing the official state sport is really neat and special," said Smith. "It's an exciting time and a real privilege for Charlotte Motor Speedway to be such a big part of the governor's trip today."