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Jefferson Pitts Racing (JPR) has announced that 28-year-old Northwest dirt late model standout Joey Tanner will drive for the team in the Star Nursery 100 Clash on The Clay in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West series opener at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday, Feb. 28.
Tanner won 13 of the 20 races in which he competed with his family-owned dirt late model team last season and has over 91 feature wins, three championships and two ROY titles in a 16-year career, that started at age 12, and has included late model racing on both pavement and dirt at tracks across the nation. He brings with him a strong opportunity for JPR to reach victory lane in the only dirt-track race on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedule this season.
“We’re glad to have Joey racing for us at Las Vegas,” team co-owner Jeff Jefferson said. “Joey is a proven winner who has shown the ability to adapt to different tracks and different surfaces as well. He has tested for us in the past and we benefited greatly from his input. We feel Joey gives us a legitimate threat to win the race and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Hearing Jefferson’s comments, Tanner smiled. “I feel very confident in our chances to win this race. It may be my first-ever K&N race, but I believe my experience on both dirt and pavement speaks for itself. I can't thank Jeff and Jerry of JPR enough for giving me this opportunity. It's been a lifelong dream of mine and their support and belief in me are unbelievable.”
Asked about how this opportunity came to be, Tanner said his relationship with the team began a year ago at a familiar track to him. “Last year, I went and helped JPR test at Willamette Speedway, a track I won the 2018 dirt late model track championship at, to help them prepare for the first dirt race in Vegas. I was very impressed with their equipment and was also intrigued by the fact that K&N cars would be racing on the dirt. I've known Jeff Jefferson and his brother for a long time, going back to the NASCAR Northwest Tour days and racing at Yakima Speedway, where the Jefferson name is very well known, so the history and friendship between his family and my own was already made. In December, I had a close family friend, Rick Suran, owner of Eastside Paving, approach me about sponsoring me to race the K&N race on the dirt in Las Vegas if it was to happen again this year. Rick and my family both thought that this particular race was the one that would benefit me the most for my racing career and that it was finally time to make my jump into the NASCAR ranks. Once the race date was announced, we were able to put the deal in place for me to compete. I chose JPR because I believe in their program, their equipment and team owners Jeff Jefferson and Jerry Pitts. I thought my best chance to win was with them, based on history and our relationship.”
The Star Nursery 100 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West takes place on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, on The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This will be the second time the series has run this event. The event will be taped for television by NBC Sports Network, airing on Tuesday, March 5, at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Jefferson Pitts Racing PR
On the heels of NASCAR’s most prestigious event, the Daytona 500, The NASCAR Foundation has started the nomination process for one of the sport’s most prestigious off-track honors, the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.
The award honors the philanthropic ideals and vision of the late Betty Jane France, who started the foundation in 2006. Nominations will close on Friday, March 22. The nomination form can be accessed online at NASCARfoundation.org/Award; completed forms can be submitted via e-mail or regular mail.
The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a NASCAR fan in recognition of community service that has significantly impacted the health and wellbeing of children, which was a lifelong focus of France’s philanthropic efforts – and her vision for The NASCAR Foundation’s focus.
Four award finalists and the charitable causes they represent will be announced in November; after a one-month on-line vote, the award winner will be announced during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards in December. Each finalist will receive a minimum $25,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation, with a $100,000 donation provided to the award winner.
“We are coming off an outstanding year when the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award really connected with our fan base,” said Nichole Krieger, executive director of The NASCAR Foundation.
“The connection produced nominees that embodied what our award is all about. They loved their work, but they also loved NASCAR. We anticipate a similar turnout this year and are excited to see the nominations start coming in.”
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered an appeal of a P6 level penalty issued on January 30 to David Gilliland (owner), Ty Gibbs (driver) and Chad Walter (car chief), relative to the No. 17 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team at New Smyrna Speedway.
The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2019 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12-5.3.7 and 12-220.127.116.11.5.
The original penalty assessed: Car owner (David Gilliland) had been fined $5,000; assessed with the loss of 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship Car Owner points for the 2019 NKNPSE Season; had been suspended from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East until the completion of the third NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event; and placed on NASCAR Probation through December 31, 2019. Driver (Ty Gibbs) had been fined $5,000; assessed with the loss of 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship Driver points for the 2019 NKNPSE Season; had been suspended from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East until the completion of the third NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event; and placed on NASCAR Probation through December 31, 2019. Car chief (Chad Walter) had been fined $5,000; and suspended from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East indefinitely.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
- That the Appellants violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
- That the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalties assessed by NASCAR to team owner David Gilliland and driver Ty Gibbs.
- That the Panel rescinds the Penalty assessed by NASCAR to car chief Chad Walter
The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
- Mr. Dixon Johnston
- Mr. Bill Mullis
- Mr. Dale Pinilis
The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book.
Where: River Spirit Expo Center - Tulsa Expo Raceway 4145 E 21st St, Tulsa, OK 74114
Early Parking: December 30, 2019
All Parking: December 31, 2019
Event Dates: January 1, 2020 - January 4, 2020
Late Entry ($125 per class entered): December 7, 2019 - December 18, 2019
At Race Entry ($125 per class entered): December 31, 2019
Entries can be paid by Cash, Master Card, or Visa. No personal checks are accepted without prior approval. Entry includes Sunday Pit Pass.
Fax Entries To: (918) 836-5517
Call Entries To: (918) 838-3777
Enter Online At: http://www.tulsashootout.
Oklahoma 600cc Modifieds
After closely monitoring the weather for the last several days and with an extremely poor forecast for the rest of the week, officials with the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and Dillon Motor Speedway felt it best to postpone this weekend’s Winter Meltdown 200.
It has rained non-stop in the Dillon area for several days, and with more rain coming and possible weepers in turn four at the speedway, everyone felt postponing this weekend's event was in the best interest of all involved. And, with several teams traveling from New England and Canada, and states such as Florida, Georgia, and others, and with more rain being forecasted for the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, the decision was made to postpone today in the hopes of saving money for all the teams and fans.
Several dates later this year are currently being looked at by PASS and Dillon Motor Speedway officials to try and reschedule the Winter Meltdown 200. A final decision will be announced in the coming weeks. The PASS opener will now move to Saturday, March 30 and the inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway in Virginia. For further updates please go to ProAllStarsSeries.com or monitor our Facebook and Twitter pages.
PASS Series PR
Nominations open today for The NASCAR Foundation’s Ninth Annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which honors the philanthropic ideals and vision of the late Betty Jane France, who started the foundation in 2006.
The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a NASCAR fan in recognition of community service that has significantly impacted the health and wellbeing of children. Since its inception, the award has produced $1.4 million in donations to charities represented by each year’s four finalists, impacting the lives of approximately 300,000 children in need.
Four individual award finalists and the charitable causes they represent will be announced in November; after a one-month on-line vote, the award winner will be announced during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards in December. Each finalist will be guaranteed to receive a minimum $25,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation, with a $100,000 donation provided to the award winner, as determined by the online vote.
“We are coming off an outstanding year when the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award really connected with our fan base,” said Nichole Krieger, executive director of The NASCAR Foundation. “The connection produced nominees that embodied what our award is all about. They loved their work, but they also loved NASCAR.
“We anticipate a similar turnout this year. We are excited to see the nominations start coming in.”
Nominations will close on Friday, March 22. The nomination form can be accessed online at NASCARfoundation.org/Award; completed forms can be submitted via e-mail or regular mail.
INDYCAR announced today the planned introduction of the next step to improve cockpit safety for all drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series.
All cars participating in an April 24 open test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval will be fitted with Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP), a titanium piece made by Dallara.
AFP, which stands a little more than 3 inches tall and averages three-quarters of an inch in width, is designed to deflect debris away from the driver. It will be positioned in front of the cockpit, along the chassis centerline. The piece has passed the same strength tests as Dallara's roll hoop.
Versions of AFP have been explored through on-track and simulator testing since 2012. New technology made this a practical option now.
NTT IndyCar Series teams received information about the planned AFP adaptation today. All cars entered in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in May will be fitted with the piece, and they will carry it through the rest of the season.
"Safety is a never-ending pursuit, and this is INDYCAR's latest step in the evolution," INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. "There are more details to come about the phases to follow."
A halo-type device was considered, but it cannot be fitted to the current version of INDYCAR's chassis.
INDYCAR has done extensive testing with a windscreen developed in conjunction with PPG Aerospace, including on-track sessions at ISM Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2018. Neither driver who tested the windscreen reported problems, but recent testing at PPG's facility in Huntsville, Alabama, proved that work remains before INDYCAR could implement its use.
Winston Cup Champion and Motorsports Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace is gathering some of his fastest and most famous faces in NASCAR for the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s first ever Rusty Wallace Charity Ride on Wednesday, Aug. 7. The public is invited to join the kick-off party in Rapid City’s Main Street Square, which will feature Rusty’s famous #2 car, “Midnight,” and a host of NASCAR celebrities. Those who register for the ride will receive fun swag, enjoy riding through the beautiful Black Hills with the celebrities and a private reception at the Buffalo Chip. One hundred percent of riders’ fees will benefit The NASCAR Foundation and South Dakota Special Olympics – Rapid City Flame. Also, NASCAR memorabilia and a special VIP race experience will be just two of the items on the auction block at the Rapid City event.
“I’ve never met anyone more genuinely nice than Rusty Wallace,” said Rod Woodruff, President of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. “Right from the beginning he was excited about this event, helping the charities and bringing his NASCAR buddies to join the fun. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Rusty and bringing this ride to Sturgis Rally fans.”
The World’s Fastest Superstars
As a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and 55-time race winner, Rusty Wallace is one of America’s greatest racecar drivers. He is one of the top five money winners in NASCAR history with nearly $55 million in career earnings and ranked eighth best all-time career total victories. Wallace won at least one race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series for 16 straight seasons, the third longest winning streak in history. He is a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, making him one of only 20 individuals to have completed the “triple crown,” of America’s auto racing halls of fame.
Other famous faces expected to attend the Rusty Wallace Charity Ride this August include:
- NASCAR Vice Chairman, Chairman of The NASCAR Foundation and AMA Pro Racing Board of Managers Mike Helton
- Current NASCAR Cup Series champion contender Clint Bowyer
- Members from Team Penske race team
- Drag Racing Hall of Famer Don “The Snake” Prudhomme
- Off-road champion and Hall of Famer Walker “The Legend” Evans
- Off-road championship racer Evan Evans
Reservations and VIP Experiences
Registration for the Rusty Wallace Charity Ride is now open at RustyWallaceRide.com or by calling 605-347-9000. 100% of the rider fee of $185 per person will be donated to the charities and includes:
- Special Kick-Off Party at Rapid City’s Main Street Square
- Ride from Rapid City Main Street Square to the Sturgis Buffalo Chip
- Live NASCAR memorabilia and special race event auction
- Ride T-Shirt
- Meet-and-greet opportunities with some of NASCAR’s most famous celebrities
- Entry to the private Ride reception at the Buffalo Chip - hors d’oeuvres, beer and non-alcoholic beverages
- Silent auction at the Buffalo Chip
- Sponsor Swag Bag
The first 50 to register for the Rusty Wallace Charity Ride will receive a free 5-Star upgrade including:
- Free group photo
- Priority ride placement
- Reserved parking at both ends of the ride
- Opportunity for a photo of you sitting in Rusty Wallace’s famous #2 NASCAR at Main Street Square.
(Weight restrictions apply as the car has been constructed around the size and weight of the official NASCAR driver)
VIP Upgrade Package #1 is $55 per person and includes a Buffalo Chip general admission camping day pass good for Wednesday, Aug. 7. All Buffalo Chip concerts, races and events are free with a camping pass.
VIP Upgrade #2 is $850 per person and includes all of the above, VIP parking, entry to the NASCAR VIP dinner and VIP amphitheater seating for concerts on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Sturgis Buffalo Chip/Rusty Wallace Charity Ride PR
Team Bleekemolen, one of the best touring car and GT teams in Europe, is joining the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series grid in 2019. Sebastiaan and Michael Bleekemolen will make their Euro NASCAR debut by sharing the #69 HSU Payroll Services Ford Mustang.
The Dutch team, founded by former Formula 1 driver Michael Bleekemolen, is winning championships and races the highest level in Europe since 1985 and most recently conquered the Gentleman and Teams Championships in the Central Europe Renault Clio Cup in 2018 and the Benelux Renault Clio Cup Championship in 2016. Team Bleekemolen will be supported by long-term partner HSU Payroll Services and is currently looking for drivers to field a second car.
A multiple time Clio Cup Champion, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen will drive the #69 Mustang in the ELITE 1 Division after sampling the Euro NASCAR car in the latest NWES Recruitment Days at the Autodromo di Franciacorta in December.
“The Recruitment Days were the dealbreaker because we knew the series, and the Hezemans family spoke very enthusiastically about it to us, but when we drove the car, after 3 laps we completely fell in love with it. It was a fantastic experience. This is a race car as it is supposed to be, one in which you really have to push to go fast,” said the 40-year-old Haarlem, Netherlands native, who is not setting a specific goal for 2019. “We always choose series where there is a lot of competition and Euro NASCAR is extremely competitive. It’s hard to say now where we will be, but we want to fight for the podium. Our partners at HSU Payroll Services make everything possible for us and they were really enthusiastic when we told them about joining NWES, so I think we can offer them a really good product!”
Sebastiaan’s father Michael, a former Formula 1 driver who amassed a huge experience throughout his career, found the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series the ideal environment to expand the team’s programs.
“The car is so nice to drive and it really surprised me. The championship’s structure is very smart with ELITE 1 and ELITE 2 and the costs to race are kept low. There is nothing like it in Europe! Plus there is also a lot of competition and that’s what made my decision,” said the 69-year.-old driver, who will compete for the ELITE 2 and the Legend Trophy classifications. “In Franciacorta the car ran all day without any problem and that was also impressive. It is difficult to say what we can do because we have little experience with this car, but we can count on a great team and I’m confident we can have our say.”
Team Bleekemolen will complete its Euro NASCAR car and undergo a series of test in the upcoming weeks before heading to Spain for the April 13-14 NWES season opener at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, in Valencia.
NASCAR Euro Series PR
In preparation for his NASCAR Whelen Euro Series campaign, 2018 NWES Junior Trophy winner Loris Hezemans put up an impressive performance at New Smyrna Speedway in the World Series of Asphalt Racing. In what was his American NASCAR debut, the 21-year-old Dutch driver led laps and finished third twice in the very competitive Pro Late Model Division, closing the week third in points with three top-5s and six top-10s in 7 races. His two third place finishes represent the best result ever for a Euro NASCAR driver in the Pro Late Model Division.
“Speedweeks has been an amazing experience for me, I have learned a tremendous amount as well as proven that a European driver can be successful in the US,” said Hezemans. “I would like thank Mike, Dustin and Jamie Skinner as well as the whole ATF & Gunslinger crew who have been simply great all week! And of course NASCAR and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for providing such competitive series in the US and in Europe. Racing NWES prepared me perfectly for the environment, the procedures and the rules I found here, greatly speeding up my adaptation to Pro Late Model racing.”
Putting his Euro NASCAR experience at work, Hezemans was impressive throughout the week, racing like a veteran among some of the best Pro Late Model drivers, but his best race was definitely the most prestigious of the Speedweeks: Friday’s 100-lap Zack Donatti Memorial. Piloting the #5H ATF & Gunslinger Toyota Camry fielded by former Truck Series champion Mike Skinner, Hezemans was second in qualifying by a mere .006 seconds, but the inversion gave him the 5th place on the grid. He managed to climb back to second and took the lead in a late restart, but had to set up for third under the checkered flag, bringing home the best result for a Euro NASCAR driver in Pro Late Model.
"I could hold onto the lead for about 8 laps until the #81 came flying as he had really saved his tires very well, while I used them a little too much to come back to the front. I tried to defend second but the tires were too far gone. The final third place is still a great result, I am really happy with it, " said the Dutchman.
Hezemans will now switch focus back to the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, where he’s aiming at the title at the wheel of the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang after finishing 4th with 1 win in his debut season in 2018.
“We are looking to fight for the NWES Championship and win it! I think I can take a huge amount of experience and knowledge back home for our NWES oval race in Venray as well as hopefully open up possibilities to further race in the US and continue developing career in NASCAR,” concluded Hezemans.
The 2019 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will kick off in Valencia, Spain on April 13-14 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo with the traditional Valencia NASCAR Fest.
NASCAR Euro Series PR