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Racing News from around the World

On Tuesday, executives of the 600 Festival Association unveiled several new changes for the 2017 series of events that support the May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Most notably, Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola’s three nights of music will take place in Romare Bearden Park located at 300 South Church Street in Charlotte. The new location will allow ticketed customers the comforts of a lawn seat to enjoy the national headliners who will be announced soon. A second music stage, the Mello Yello stage, will be located on Tryon Street at Stonewall Street.

In addition, Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola will be sporting a new look for 2017 with a refreshed logo for the 23rd annual event. The 600 Festival also has rolled out a new website for 2017 that is more user-friendly and informative.

“Since we wrapped up in May, the team has been working diligently on improvements for the 2017 600 Festival events,” said Jacqueline Gafrarar, executive director of the 600 Festival Association. “The new concert location, new logo and new website are just a few of the exciting updates we have for our event attendees.”

This year, event goers can enjoy the May 5 Movies on the Campus event in conjunction with Jiggy with the Piggy in Kannapolis; Haulers on Union in Concord on May 18; the Little 600 at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville May 23; the PNC Speed Street 5K on May 25 in Charlotte; and Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola May 25-27.

CSM Production, formerly known as JHE, has produced and promoted the 600 Festival Association’s events for 22 years.

600 Festival PR

Reigning NASCAR Whelen Euro Series ELITE 2 Division Champion Stienes Longin was solid in his US debut in the Pro Late Model Division at the New Smyrna Speedway. The Belgian came home 14th in the Tower Sealants Pro Late Model 100, enjoying a unique experience and improving his oval racing skills.

“It was challenging out there, having to adapt quickly to a new car and a new track, but I really really had a lot of fun,” said Longin. “We missed some experience of the car and the track to be able compete with the fastest cars, but we kept going better and better, we managed to gain some spots and it the end it was an amazing experience, for which I have to thank all my sponsors, NASCAR, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and Jerome and Anne Galpin.”

Some showers on Thursday delayed Longin’s first contact with the Pro Late Model car fielded by former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie Of The Year Mike Skinner, but the Leuven-native was able to drive for the first time. 

Longin kept making strides in practice and posted the 14th time in qualifying before lining up for the Tower Sealants Pro Late Model 100. The Belgian found a good pace in the race and battled in traffic and through a couple of restarts to climb up towards the top-10, improving lap after lap in the longest oval race of his young career. 

A misunderstanding while letting the leaders by on lap 95 costed Longin a penalty that sent him back to 14th in the final standings, but the experience gained in this first American campaign will be useful as he moves to the ELITE 1 Division in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the 2017 season at wheel of the #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet SS.

The first NWES event of 2017 will be the March 3 Prologue at the Autodromo di Franciacorta, in Italy, while the season will officially kick off on April 8-9 in Spain with the Valencia NASCAR Fest.

NASCAR PR

Houston – February 24, 2017. Shell and Penske Corporation announced today a multi-year continuation of their ongoing business, technical and motorsport alliance. As part of the agreement, Shell and Pennzoil will continue sponsoring Team Penske entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2022 season and beyond. Shell and Pennzoil will also continue to be the preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization.

“Transportation and technology are what keep the world moving. Our alliance with Penske spans most of our downstream businesses and allows us to use the motorsport arena to test and develop more advanced products for the road,” said Bruce Culpepper, President of Shell Oil Company. “Penske runs one of the most successful transportation businesses in the world and has a presence in many key countries with Shell operations. This alliance simply makes good business sense as we now do business together in the U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, Italy and Australia.”

Shell and Pennzoil began their current relationship with Team Penske in 2011 and is an extension of the Shell and Pennzoil racing legacy with the legendary motorsports team. Pennzoil first aligned with Team Penske as part of its IndyCar program in 1983 and won two Indianapolis 500s (1984 & 1988) with driver Rick Mears. And, since forging a renewed alliance in 2011, the partners have parlayed the alliance into unparalleled success on the racetrack, earning more wins in IndyCar than any other organization since that time and 80 total NASCAR national series victories, second most of all competing teams. Team Penske driver Joey Logano has won 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races since joining Team Penske and Shell/Pennzoil in 2013 and delivered Shell/Pennzoil their second Daytona 500 Championship in 2015. The 26-year-old driver finished second in the series point standings last season and won the season-opening, non-points Clash event last weekend at Daytona.

“Penske Corporation is proud to continue its partnership with Shell,” said Roger Penske, Founder and Chairman, Penske Corporation. “Team Penske has enjoyed great success with Shell, both on and off the race track, and we are excited to build on our relationship well into the next decade with our teams, both in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

In addition to the long-term partnership, Team Penske also announced today that it has come to an agreement with Logano to continue driving the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion throughout the length of the Shell-Team Penske extension, solidifying the long-term plans for the perennial championship contender.

Shell will continue to be the "Official Supplier of Lubricants" for Team Penske and the preferred fuel supplier for Penske Truck Leasing and Penske Automotive Group.

For the sixth-consecutive season, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will continue to represent the Shell and Pennzoil brands in 2017. Castroneves will drive the No. 3 Shell V-Power NiTRO+ IndyCar at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Shell and Pennzoil will also be associate sponsors on all Team Penske cars competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Verizon IndyCar Series.

For more than 100 years, Shell has had a track record of forging long-lasting relationships that go beyond the brand and become the very fabric of the people working on the products the company produces. And, for more than 50 years, Team Penske has graced the motorsport arena with more than 425 major race wins across multiple racing series, including 29 National Championships across NASCAR and IndyCar. And, like Shell, for Penske – it’s more than just finding the right sponsor… it’s their global business.

For more information about the Shell-Pennzoil sponsorship, visit www.shell.us/racing. For more information about Pennzoil motor oil formulations, visit www.Pennzoil.com. For more information about Team Penske, visit www.teampenske.com

Team Penske PR

Three-time Daytona 500 winner and four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon will lead the field to the start of Sunday’s Daytona 500 behind the wheel of the new 2017 Camaro ZL1 pace car.

“Chevrolet and I have a great history at the Daytona 500 and it’s an honor to drive the 650-horsepower Camaro ZL1 pace car for the largest, most historic race of the season,” Gordon said.

Chevrolet will also pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Nextera Energy Resources 250 with a 2017 Silverado this evening. A 2017 Camaro SS — featuring a new Krypton Green exterior color — will pace the NASCAR XFINITY Series Powershares QQQ 300 on Feb. 25.

“Chevrolet is proud to pace the Great American Race on the high banks of the iconic Daytona International Speedway,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “The Camaro ZL1 delivers unprecedented levels of technology, refinement and track capability.”

Gordon has plenty of experience leading the field at Daytona. In addition to winning the Daytona 500 in 1997, 1999 and 2005, he shared the overall win last month at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

All three Chevrolet pace vehicles share graphic theme highlights in silver and black, along with selected accessories and personalization features.

Camaro ZL1 Daytona 500 pace car includes:

  • Silver Ice Metallic exterior color
  • LT4 6.2L direct-injected, supercharged V-8
  • All-new 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Magnetic Ride Control
  • Electronic limited-slip differential
  • 20-inch forged aluminum wheels
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires
  • Brembo brakes with six-piston front calipers and two-piece rotors
  • 1.02g max cornering
  • 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Performance Data Recorder

The only content separating the pace car from a production model is unique graphics and an integrated Whelen LED safety lighting system.

Camaro SS Powershares QQQ 300 pace car includes:

  • New, bold Krypton Green exterior color (offered on Camaro LS, LT, SS and ZL1)
  • Unique silver and black graphics package
  • Accessory 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with Chevrolet Performance center caps
  • Accessory ground effects package
  • Accessory smoked taillamps
  • Accessory black bowtie emblems kit
  • Accessory decklid blackout graphic
  • Accessory Brembo brake kit with six-piston front calipers/two-piece rotors and four-piston rear calipers (calipers are custom-painted)
  • Accessory grille in Silver Ice Metallic
  • Integrated Whelen LED safety lighting system

Silverado 1500 crew cab Nextera Energy Resources 250 pace truck includes:

  • Silver Ice Metallic exterior color
  • Unique graphics
  • Accessory one-piece hard tonneau cover
  • Spray-in bedliner
  • Chrome tow hooks
  • Accessory 22-inch six-split-spoke chrome aluminum wheels
  • Accessory performance exhaust system
  • Accessory Brembo brake kit with six-piston front calipers and larger rotors
  • Integrated Whelen LED safety lighting system

Team Chevy PR

Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3” is teaming up with NASCAR this year as crowd favorite Lightning McQueen prepares to return to the big screen June 16, 2017. Plans for the joint effort were shared by “Cars 3” director Brian Fee, Cristela Alonzo—the voice of the film’s elite trainer Cruz Ramirez—and NASCAR’S vice president of entertainment marketing & content development Zane Stoddard today at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida as fans gear up for the DAYTONA 500 (live Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX). Owen Wilson, the voice of Lightning McQueen, will serve as grand marshal for the 59th annual “Great American Race.”

NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suárez and Bubba Wallace will join NASCAR legends Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty as voices in the upcoming film.

“‘Cars 3’ very much pays homage to stock car racing and its rich history,” said Fee. “Our story leans into the drama, emotion and excitement NASCAR fans find at every race.”

“We’re excited to take part in delivering the ‘Cars 3’ experience to our current and next generation of fans, at-track, in school, online and across the country,” added Stoddard. “In addition to all the engaging NASCAR ‘Cars 3’ elements industry-wide, we think our fans will really enjoy the roles of several young drivers in the film.”

According to Lylle Breier, senior vice president, worldwide marketing partnerships and special events for the Walt Disney Studios, the movie inspired an expanded program with NASCAR. “This collaboration marks the biggest between the ‘Cars’ franchise and NASCAR,” said Breier. “We’re looking forward to a fun and exciting season-long program with a host of activities.”

FAST FORWARD

Kicking off at the DAYTONA 500 with the premiere of a new on-air promo, the NASCAR-“Cars 3” collaboration continues throughout the entire race season.

  • The joint effort will include a variety of marketing initiatives, including digital and social cross promotional activities and sweepstakes.
  • Throughout the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, races will feature a “Cars 3” at-track presence via a wide array of promotions.  
  • A co-branded merchandise program with Fanatics—the first of its kind for NASCAR and the “Cars” franchise—will also kick off at the DAYTONA 500 featuring the first film-related product available for fans to purchase. Product will be available at the Fanatics Trackside Superstore continuing at race tracks throughout the season, as well as online at the NASCAR.com Superstore..
  • NASCAR Acceleration Nation, the sport’s youth program, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be featured throughout the full duration of a “Cars 3” nationwide tour.
  • Later this year, NASCAR and Disney will release NASCAR Acceleration Nation and "Cars 3" co-branded in-classroom learning materials for elementary school students

THE VOICES OF NASCAR

The announcement included the introduction of NASCAR greats—from rookie drivers and legends to the voices behind the sport—tapped by Pixar Animation Studios to voice characters in the film.

  • CHASE ELLIOTT, 21, was named 2016’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year after finishing last season tenth in the driver standings. Elliott, who pilots the No. 24 car previously driven by four-time champion Jeff Gordon, lends his voice to second-generation Piston Cup racer CHASE RACELOTT in “Cars 3.” Racelott’s blend of skills, track smarts and top-of-the-line technology make this rookie a real contender.
  • RYAN BLANEY, a 23-year-old, third-generation racer, pilots the No. 21 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series. He voices third-generation racer RYAN “INSIDE” LANEY in “Cars 3.” Known for his racing passion and ability to have fun on the track, Laney races with talent, speed and precision.
  • DANIEL SUÁREZ, who just turned 25, pilots the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion can be heard in the film voicing DANNY SWERVEZ, a next-gen racer who’s ascending the Piston-Cup ladder against all odds. A mid-season replacement, Swervez is a quick learner who pushes himself to the limit.
  • BUBBA WALLACE, 23, won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in 2013, becoming the first African American to win in one of the top three touring divisions since Wendell Scott in 1963. In “Cars 3,” Wallace voices next-gen stock car racer BUBBA WHEELHOUSE, a fast and tenacious young racer who knows how to win.
  • DARRELL WALTRIP, the NASCAR Hall of Fame racer-turned-NASCAR on FOX color analyst lends his voice to DARRELL CARTRIP. Cartrip, a veteran Piston-Cup announcer also heard in “Cars” and “Cars 2,” may think he’s seen it all—but this new season might still have a surprise or two in store.
  • SHANNON SPAKE, NASCAR on FOX correspondent and college football and basketball reporter for FOX Sports, voices on-the-track reporter SHANNON SPOKES in the film. Spokes weaves her way into the middle of the action for in-the-moment interviews, and she’s not afraid to ask racers the tough questions.
  • HOWARD AUGUSTINE “HUMPY” WHEELER JR., the legendary NASCAR promoter and former president and GM of Charlotte Motor Speedway, lends his voice to iconic Dinoco team owner TEX DINOCO in “Cars 3.” Tex, who met Lightning McQueen in “Cars,” would love nothing more than to see #95 decked out in Dinoco blue.
  • JEFF GORDON, four-time NASCAR champion, current NASCAR on FOX analyst, and story consultant for “Cars 3,” lends his voice to JEFF GORVETTE. Gorvette, whose number of top-ten finishes remains unmatched, may have hung up his racing tires—but his heart remains on the track. His ability to succeed at all levels turned hoods wherever he raced. 
  • RICHARD “THE KING" PETTY, team owner and champion NASCAR driver with 200 wins, returns to the role of STRIP “THE KING” WEATHERS. From his humble beginnings on the Piston-Cup circuit to the glitzy sponsorship and media attention, the champion racer now serves as crew chief for his nephew, Cal Weathers.
  • KYLE PETTY, retired NASCAR driver and current NASCAR commentator on NBC, helps bring CAL WEATHERS to life in “Cars 3.” Weathers grew up around the track watching his uncle, Strip “The King” Weathers, tear it up. The veteran racer finds himself taking a step back to make room for the next generation on the track.
  • MIKE JOY is FOX Sports’ lead NASCAR announcer who will call his 38th DAYTONA 500 this Sunday. He lends his iconic voice to on-the-spot radio talk show host MIKE JOYRIDE in the movie. Joyride stays one step ahead in the racing news game by keeping a keen eye on where the racing season is headed.
  • RAY EVERNHAM, winner of three NASCAR championships as crew chief for Jeff Gordon and current consultant to Hendrick Motorsports, lends his voice to RAY REVERHAM, Jackson Storm’s crew chief, and an expert at training in the cutting edge technology and tactics being used by the next-gen racers. Evernham also serves as a story consultant for filmmakers.

LIFE-SIZED CHARACTERS

NASCAR fans can picture themselves with Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez—or at least life-sized cars designed to look like the big-screen characters. The Cruz Ramirez look-alike premiered in Daytona today, alongside #95—the Lightning McQueen car made its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. Comedian and actress Cristela Alonzo got to hang with her character look-alike at the event. “I am excited to be here as race fans get to see these two life-sized characters together for the first time,” said Alonzo.

The Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez look-alike cars are slated to make appearances at select races throughout the season as part of a “Cars 3” nationwide tour. Joining them on the tour will be a look-alike of Lightning McQueen’s on-track rival, Jackson Storm.

GOING GRAND

As was previously announced, Owen Wilson, the voice of Lightning McQueen, will serve as grand marshal of the DAYTONA 500 this Sunday, Feb. 26. Wilson has provided the voice of the red car in all of the “Cars” films.

NASCAR PR

From Daniel Suárez’s historic NASCAR XFINITY Series championship to the efforts from NASCAR tracks, teams, sponsors and partners, the last year represented tremendous progress in the areas of diversity within the sport.

NASCAR and industry leaders will gather Thursday at the Daytona International Speedway to recognize those leading the efforts in shaping a multicultural sport with the 10th Annual NASCAR Diversity Awards.

“Diversity and multiculturalism is a top priority at NASCAR, and the NASCAR Diversity Awards is a great event to honor all those from across our industry who are making tremendous strides in this area,” said NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. “As we continue to see more diversity on the track, in the boardroom and in the stands, we will see a rise in talent and we will appeal to an even wider fan base.  We want to thank our stakeholders and partners for their dedication to the continued growth of our sport.”

The NASCAR Diversity Awards will stream live on FansChoice.tv, beginning at 11 a.m.

To be recognized for their outstanding achievements will be:

  • Daniel Suarez will receive the NASCAR Ignition Award, given to a minority or female NASCAR national series driver that demonstrates leadership both on and off the race track while making contributions to the advancement of the sport. In addition to being the first Mexican-born driver to win a race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and becoming first foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR national series championship, Suarez has been active away from the track in reaching new young and diverse fans.
  • Jesse Iwuji will be given the NASCAR Diverse Driver Award, given to a minority or female NASCAR developmental driver that exemplifies outstanding performance both on and off the race track in encouraging awareness and interaction with NASCAR and motorsports. A graduate of the Naval Academy and a first-generation Nigerian-American, Iwuji has has taken NASCAR directly to the community, whether it’s raising Naval recruitment efforts, STEM education or support of NASCAR Green efforts at a local California school.
  • Peri Karslioglu will receive the NASCAR Diversity Internship Participant Award, presented to the student who has exhibited outstanding performance and leadership skills in academics as well as during their experience in the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program. Karslioglu is a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University and interned with The NASCAR Foundation last year. Karslioglu impressed with her fresh perspective on social media and, industry engagement and marketing efforts, landing a full-time position with the Foundation as a marketing coordinator.
  • ALPFA – the Association of Latino Professionals For America, will be presented the NASCAR Institution Award, which goes to a company that demonstrates a commitment to NASCAR diversity and inclusion goals through its program support and engagement with NASCAR. ALPFA has worked closely with NASCAR since 2014 to promote business-to-business efforts throughout the motorsports industry. Through exclusive events and at-track immersions, ALPFA has led the way in increasing Latino participation in key NASCAR programs.
  • Hailie Deegan will be awarded the Young Racer Award, presented to a minority or female youth between the ages of 8-15 years old that has partaken in some form of competitive racing and has overcome adversity in pursuit of his or her dream of participating in the motorsports industry. The 15-year-old from Temecula, California, Deegan competed in 2016 for Rev Racing in a Legends car in the Bojangles Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway and was one of the youngest drivers to earn an invitation to the 2016 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine.
  • Smithfield will receive the NASCAR Partner Award, given to a company that demonstrates a commitment to NASCAR diversity goals through its program support and engagement. With goals of making better communities throughout our county, Smithfield’s sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and driver Aric Almirola has amplified its outreach efforts and created a difference-making partnership. Last year, Smithfield and RPM partnered for school events in California and Illinois to promote staying in school, working directly with schools with a high-percentage of Hispanic and low-income students.
  • Kenyatta Houston will be presented the NASCAR Diverse Crew Member Award. The award goes to a minority or woman crew member that inspires awareness of NASCAR through competitive performance and outreach activities. A former football player and 2005 graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew program, Houston has been to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series. Outside the race track, Houston continues to give back to the community – from helping the Drive for Diversity Pit Crew program to train the next generation of crew members to volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity and Mooresville Christian Mission.
  • Pocono Raceway will be presented the NASCAR Track Award. The award goes to a track that identified and activated programming geared toward engaging a multicultural fan base by utilizing staff, community outreach and track assets. The “Tricky Triangle” has made significant efforts to reach out to an increasingly diverse population in the Poconos. Last year, it added a Spanish-language promotion for its NASCAR XFINITY Series race and included a video spotlighting NASCAR Diversity intern Antonio Russo as part of its overall activation to highlight family participation.
  • Patriot Motorsports/Circle Track Racing will receive the NASCAR Team Award. The award goes to a team that engaged driver, OEM and sponsor support to effectively reach fans on and off the track in support of NASCAR’s diversity and inclusion goals. Circle Track Racing, owned by John Wood, a driver himself, has provided an opportunity for drivers to gain valuable seat time and experience. Wood and driver Jesse Iwuiji’s Patriot Motorsports are actively involved in self-funded promotion and activation around the race weekends and have continued to go above and beyond in driving awareness to a young and diverse audience.
  • Josh Avila will be recognized with the Industry Ambassador Award. The award spotlights a representative who displays a personal effort to incorporate multicultural initiatives as part of his or her job. Avila has made the track’s multicultural initiatives a major focus for the last decade. Josh has built meaningful relationships with the Hispanic community and his successes have profound impact beyond his track. He spearheaded the first Spanish language section of the FanZone, incorporated Mexican celebrities and drivers into the track’s events and media outreach, and has worked to expand the track’s engagement with the Asian market.

The NASCAR national series championship season gets underway at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, followed by Saturday’s Powershares QQQ 300 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The 59th running of the DAYTONA 500 will be Sunday, with the green flag for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season at 2 p.m. ET, live on FOX, Motor Racing Network Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Tickets for the Daytona 500 are available online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

NASCAR PR

Cole Anderson announced today that he and Bond Suss Racing will be joining forces for a handful of marquee super late model events in the near future. Among the races the duo have scheduled together include the Rattler 250, the North-South Challenge at Nashville, and the inaugural U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

 

 Bond Suss is an accomplished racer in his own right and spent years spearheading the highly successful Kyle Busch Motorsports super late model program. Recent drivers he has guided include Tanner Thorson, Dalton Sargeant, and now Cole Anderson. He has roots that reach back into ASA National Tour and is one of the most respected crew chiefs and car owners in the garage. 

 

 "I met Cole through a childhood friend and fellow racer, Dan Frederickson," said Suss, a native of the midwest. "Obviously, Cole has been fast ever since he started running super late models. I was impressed with his two victories last year in the Southern Super Series at Montgomery and South Alabama. Our first three races will be very competitive and our expectation is to be able to be in a position to contend for the win. I look forward to working with him and helping him develop as he has only been running supers for two years."

 

Anderson is one of the hottest prospects in short track racing, winning big races in the Southern Super Series in 2016, plus multiple events as part of the annual Oktoberfest at Lacrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. He was also classified as one of the top ten drivers in short track racing by a leading media organization at the end of 2016. 

 

 "I'm excited to do a few races with Bond Suss Racing to say the least," Anderson commented. "I'm really looking forward to working with him and his team. Hopefully, we can produce good finishes and maybe a win or two as well. I know he's been very successful but I feel like I just have to do what I've been doing and we will be fine. So far, everything has gone very smoothly and his shop and cars are some of the cleanest and nicest anywhere. I really can't wait to get started." 

 

For more information and the latest updates about Cole Anderson visit his website at www.ColeAndersonRacing.com. He can also be found on social media such as Facebook (/ColeAndersonRacing), Twitter (@Cole_Anderson97) and Instagram (@Cole_Anderson97).

PMG PR

AARP Foundation announced today that  four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon,  former driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS, will join AARP's team of experts as the organization's new Drive to End Hunger Ambassador. Gordon will be featured in a TV spot, debuting during the Daytona 500 on February 26, 2017, that promotes the work of AARP Foundation's Drive to End Hunger.

"By any measure, Jeff Gordon's achievements in NASCAR are impressive. Since AARP and AARP Foundation launched Drive to End Hunger in 2011 and teamed up with Jeff, we have helped provide over 37 million meals to support the more than 10 million older Americans who face the threat of hunger every day," said AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson.  "We are very pleased that Jeff will continue to create awareness about older adult hunger as our Drive to End Hunger ambassador, making a real difference in people's lives."

AARP's primary sponsorship of the No. 24 team to benefit AARP Foundation represented the first cause-driven primary sponsorship in NASCAR.  The multiyear nationwide campaign has raised awareness and funds for the problem of hunger among people 50-plus. The initiative aided in developing long-term, sustainable solutions to the hunger problem.

"What's been accomplished by Drive to End Hunger in a relatively short time is absolutely inspiring," said Gordon, one of the most accomplished drivers in NASCAR history and third all-time in wins. "AARP Foundation and AARP are incredible partners to be involved with, and I'm very happy to continue our work together. It's been an extremely rewarding and humbling experience for me personally."

The priorities of Drive to End Hunger, which is supported through donations from individuals, corporations and other nonprofits, are to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger among adults 50 and over and to provide short- and long-term solutions to the problem of older adult hunger.

For more information or to get involved, please visit www.DriveToEndHunger.org or follow @Drive2EndHunger on Twitter.

AARP PR

Mahindra Racing had a disappointing race in Buenos Aires over the weekend saved only by winning the fastest lap of the race and one FIA Formula E Championship point.

The team’s third annual visit to Argentina didn’t go according to plan and the final classification doesn’t tell the whole story.

Both Mahindra Racing drivers, Felix Rosenqvist and Nick Heidfeld, showed the pace to finish towards the front of the field at the end of 37 laps in the Argentine sun. However, a middling qualifying saw the two drivers start from P8 and P12 respectively.

Not to be deterred by any means, Rosenqvist and Heidfeld picked their way through the field on target to a strong double-points finish with a well-managed energy strategy in their M3Electro racecars – despite high ambient temperatures. But it was the car change pit stop that proved to be problematic each for different reasons.

Rosenqvist’s race was lost when a Battery Management System (BMS) issue prevented him from leaving the pit box for around one minute, while Heidfeld was forced to serve a drive-through penalty when the FIA timing clocked his minimum pit time as four tenths of a second shorter than the required safety minimum. There was little left to do but go for the fastest lap of the race, which Rosenqvist then achieved on lap 31.

It was also a record for the Puerto Madero circuit and cannot be changed in the history books, as the park will undergo redevelopment for a new highway.

Mahindra Racing lies third in the Teams’ Championship and will get its next shot at Formula E honours in six weeks at the Mexico City ePrix on 1 April.

Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team said, "We are disappointed with the result because it is not reflective of what Mahindra can do. Free practice was going quite well, we demonstrated the pace of the car but qualifying is becoming really important in this championship. Overall, Felix drove a fantastic race and picked up the fastest lap again showing the M3Electro is where it needs to be. Nick’s energy strategy was also really good and he was on track for a strong top seven finish after starting in P12 if it wasn’t for the minimum pit timing issue. We now must look towards the next race in Mexico City and continue to aim for the top step of the podium."

This weekend marked the start of the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season as well as the first series event for Canadian driver, Amber Balcaen.

In practice, Balcaen was tasked with learning a new track as well as the handling characteristics of a heavier, full-bodied car. During the open test day on Saturday, February 18th, 2017, Balcaen took advantage of the opportunity to tackle these two tasks with grace and determination. Running as many laps as possible, Balcaen quickly acclimated herself to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race vehicle, building confidence with every completed lap.
 
Sunday's race day scheduled included two practice sessions and qualifying, before culminating with the 150 lap Je tTools 150. Balcaen ended the first practice session in 21st and 22nd positions, respectively, after running her fastest lap in 18.938 seconds with a top speed of 91.245mph.Balcaen later would go on to qualify for the event in 21st position.

During the race, Balcaen was quiet on the radio as her spotter masterfully guided her through traffic. After an early spin on track, Balcaen made a mandatory pit stop to inspect the vehicle for damage, and was ultimately held for a violation.  Balcaen was able to return to track and completed the race in 20th position.
Amber Balcaen:
 
"Finished my first NASCAR K&N race Sunday. I think we need up around 19th or 20th.  This was not the results I was hoping for, I had some bad luck at the beginning of the race. I had a spark plug wire come off and recieved a pit road penalty that put me down a few laps, but I passed cars and progressed a lot. We're in the ball park; I just need more seat time. I learned a lot and only got better. Thanks so much to my team for all their hard work, my sponsors, family, friends and fans for the support!"
Eric McClure: 
 
"Amber brings such a powerful presence to the race team and to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. When preparing for on track activity, she is so focused and you can  tell she wants it. She works hard both on and off the track. She made tremendous progress this week and showed good speed and it was fun to watch her pass cars while getting the valuable experience.  I truly look forward to our next race together."
 
Hal Martin:
 
"Although Amber didn't get the finishing result she wanted, she should be very proud of her accomplishments at New Smyrna Speedway. She showed true grit and tenacity during all on track events. She never gave up and pushed the car to the limit lap after lap. With more seat time, she'll get the results she is after. I look forward to working with Amber in the future."

MMR PR

Hunter Baize, who joined Martin-McClure Racing for his second season of full time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition, had high hopes entering the season-opening Jet Tools 150 at New Smyrna Speedway.  After securing a 29th-place finish in last year's event, the Kentucky native knew a strong finish could set the tone for a solid championship campaign. Working in unity with his new crew, the driver capped successful weekend and finished the event in 7th position.
 
During the open test on Saturday, February 18, , Baize completed 80 laps providing his No. 13 EcoWater Systems of Naples / KnT Sports Cards and Memorabilia team ample time to make adjustments in preparation for the race event. Baize would go on to finish 14th and 12th, respectively, in the two practice sessions ahead of the 150-lap event. Baize later went on to qualify for the race event in 14th position. 
 
After the drop of the green flag, Baize quickly worked his way through the field and planted himself solidly in the top-10. Running as high as 5th position, Baize survived multiple restarts and kept himself near that spot for the majority of the event, before completing the event in 7th position. 
Hunter Baize:
 
"I could not be more proud of my MMR team. We unloaded a good bit off of where we needed to be. But, the entire crew worked extremely hard to provide me a car capable of contending for a top-5 position. We ended with a solid points day, and momentum building towards Greenville-Pickens."
Eric McClure: 
 

"As an organization, we've always set our standards high. As we begin our full-season campaign with Hunter, we're always looking for ways to achieve, then exceed, our expectations. We are pleased with our 7th place finish but are always looking for opportunities for improvement as we vie for our first championship title. I look forward to Greenville-Pickens in April and another strong showing for Hunter and MMR." 
Hal Martin:
 
"In addition to being a co-owner of MMR, I also have the privilege of spotting for Hunter. Hunter brings a cool, confident energy with him but it's obvious that he wants to get as much from the race car as he can get. I'm proud of our first top-10 finish of the season and am excited for our championship run this season."
 

MMR PR