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Racing News from around the World

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Danica Patrick's heart is racing for Aaron Rodgers.

Patrick, a Chicago Bears fan, confirmed Monday she is dating the Green Bay Packers quarterback.

"Yes, Aaron and I are dating," Patrick told The Associated Press.

Rodgers split from actress Olivia Munn in 2017 after three years of dating. Patrick in late November ended a five-year relationship with fellow NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Patrick and Rodgers have been linked romantically since the start of the new year, right before Patrick began promoting her new fitness book.

She told the AP the two first met at the 2012 ESPY Awards and that despite her allegiance to the Bears, "I told him a long time ago I'd always root for him as a player.

"Now I am probably going to cheer for the whole team," she added. "Take out the word 'probably.' Now I'm going to cheer for the whole team."

Patrick is shifting her career off the race track and into the business of her personal brand. She'd like to close her racing career by competing at next month's Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, a farewell she's dubbed "The Danica Double."

Associated Press

School will be in session, sort of, at the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2018 Race Car and Trade Show taking place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA January 19-21.

 In addition to the show, filling 250,000 square feet of show space with just about everything imaginable in motorsports, opportunities to learn are being offered. For just the price of an admission ticket to the show attendees will be able to attend seminars on the basics of racing, legal issues, Micro Sprint racing with Mike Dicely of Hyper Racing, Dirt Late Model Set-Ups with the Bernheisels, Basics of Sponsorship with John Snyder, Safety at the track with Warren Alston and more. Some highly respected people in the industry to be part of the long list of seminars.

Wingless open cock-pit racing has been growing in popularity in recent years. Levi Jones, a seven-time USAC national champion and current top runner Chad Boespflug will help guide local winged racers into the world of wingless Sprint Car racing at a Saturday seminar. They will talk about the changes needed for what will be a new journey for many planning to race the new regional USAC wingless 360 Sprint Car series this year as well as the annual Eastern Storm events for the National USAC Sprint division.

More than 250 racing vehicles and booth displays will be in place for the three day show with three time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart topping the list of participants. In addition former NASCAR Cup winning crew chief and FOX TV personality Larry MacReynolds will be there along with 20-time World of Outlaws Sprint Champion Steve Kinser and rising Sprint Car standout David Gravel along with a long list of local and regional racers.

 A long list of speedways and sanctioning organizations will be offering information on their 2018 season plans.

The Pine Brook Speedway Reunion will be a big part of the show featuring cars and drivers from that era.

 Show attendees will have many, many opportunities to meet racers and collect autographs, take photos and get up close with the many racing vehicles on display during the three days.

 The show opens on Friday, January 19 at 2 p.m. and closes at 9. Doors open on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. The box office and D-Hall exhibit area open one hour earlier each day. Free parking is available.

Check out www.motorsportstradeshow.com or call 609-888-3618 for further information.

MOTORSPORTS 2018 SEMINARS

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Friday, January 19: (Show Hours 2 to 9 p.m.)

5:00 - 6:00 PM: (Room 1) The Basics of Racing - Set-up, tire and general maintenance on Street/Pure/Factory Stock and Front Wheel-Drive (asphalt and dirt) “U-car” divisions. Presented by Roy Anderson of Anderson Race Cars.

6:30 -7:15 PM: (Room 2) Legal Issues in Racing, and with the Racing Business - Presented by attorney Meri Van Blarcom-Gupko of Wiley, Malehorn, Sirota and Raynes legal firm. A practicing lawyer with an auto racing background, she will answer racing-related legal questions that you may have, such as sponsor liability, insurance and what responsibilities you need to be aware of as a racer and/or track operator. Open to racers and promoters/track managers. (Note: Legal questions will be answered at no charge during the presentation).

Saturday, January 20: (Show Hours 11 Am To 9 P.M.)

11:30AM - 12:00PM: (Room 2): NEW DIVISION! The Pennsylvania 600 Restricted Micro Sprint class will make its debut in the area in 2018. Wayne Lesher and Mike Dicely will share their vision for the division from young racers ages 10-16 years old.

1:00 - 3:00 PM: (Room 2): INTRODUCTION TO 600cc SPRINT RACING AND 600cc SPRINT CHASSIS SETUP - An introduction to 600cc Sprint racing and 600cc Sprint chassis setups presented by Mike Dicely of Hyper Racing. The first 15 minutes will be dedicated to offer the basic information needed for a race team considering a move to 600cc Sprints. This is ideal for the beginner, someone moving from Quarter-Midgets or anyone interested in the sport. The next 45 minutes will be dedicated to an introduction to 600cc Sprint chassis setups. There will be a Q & A after.

1:15 - 2:15 PM: (Room 1) - Dirt Late Model Set-ups and Chassis Tuning - presented by Jim Bernheisel, and sons Brandon and Bryan, of Bernheisel Race Components/ Lazer Chassis. The Bernheisel family, one of the sport's experts in dirt Late Model chassis building and driving.

2:30 - 3:30 PM: (Room 1): BRIDGEPORT CRATE SPORTSMAN MEETING - Bridgeport Speedway will be allowing only 602 crate engines in their Sportsman division in 2018. At the meeting Pace Performance, KillerCrate, Bridgeport tech, and Bridgeport’s service centers will be present for comments and questions. All 602 Crate- Sportsman drivers who intend on competing at Bridgeport are encouraged to attend.

3:15 - 4:15 PM: (Room 2): The Basics of Race Team Sponsorship - Presented by race team Media Relations consultant and motorsports journalist John Snyder. The basics you need from writing proposals and who do send them to is covered from an expert who has had winning success for decades with several drivers including Brett Hearn.

3:45 - 4:45 PM: (Room 1) INTRODUCTION TO WINGLESS SPRINT CAR RACING - Levi Jones, one of the most decorated drivers in the history of the United States Auto Club (USAC) and current top series racer Chad Boespflug, will help guide local winged racers into the world of wingless Sprint Car racing. They will talk about the changes needed to your race car, help in set-up as well as what you need to be prepared for in what will be a new journey for many in the northeast with the new regional USAC wingless 360 Sprint Car group starting this year as well as the annual Eastern Storm events for the National USAC Sprint division.

5:00 - 6:00 PM: (Room 1) SAFETY AT THE SPEEDWAY - Presented by Warren Alston, a veteran racing flagger and official; and by profession an Emergency Medical Services Chief and Occupational Health Technician. The first part of the seminar will cover what safety measures are, or should be, in place at local racetracks. Topics will include Safety Terms, Kinematics of Trauma, Scene Survey in an accident, Rapid Assessment (RPM) and Treatment Priorities. It will be followed by an actual demonstration, with a race car, of the “team approach” to remove an injured driver. A “must attend” for racetrack first responders, but also open to fans and track management/officials.

4:30 - 5:30 PM: (Room 2) WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RACING SHOCKS - Presented by Mike Walton and Bruce Harwood of Fox Shocks. Hear from the experts how you can tune your race car with shocks, what effect gas PSI has, linear vs. digressive valving, shock maintenance and how to read a dyno sheet. This informative seminar will conclude with a question and answer session.

5:45- 6:35 PM: (Room 2): Taking Photos at the Track - For the “amateur” or the person looking to enter the business, this seminar provides “the basics” of racing photography. One attendee will get a chance to take photos at the Ms. Motorsports competition, with the professionals! Hosted by award winning racing photographer Bob Yurko of Area Auto Racing News

6:15 - 7:15 PM: (Room 1): SPRINT CAR HELP - Greg Hodnett’s winning crew chief Ryan “Roach” Hand will share his knowledge of preparing a Sprint Car for dirt track competition from the work in the shop to pre-race jobs at the speedway. Hand will be open to answer questions from attendees as well.

Sunday, January 21: (Show Hours 11 Am To 4 P.M.)

Noon - 1:30 PM: (Room 1) - USAC Quarter-Midgets Regional Meeting - With the addition of several new quarter-midget clubs in the area, USAC will be conducting a meeting with new and old members to outline the exciting season ahead for the .25 Midgets both locally and nationally.

AARN PR

Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that 16-year-old Canadian driver Raphael Lessard will pilot the team's No. 51 Super Late Model in 18 events during the 2018 season. Lessard will make his KBM debut Sunday Jan. 28 in the ARCA/CRA Super Series SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga.
 
Lessard is scheduled to compete for the CARS Super Late Model Tour championship and will also compete in several high-profile Super Late Model events this year, including The Rattler at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Ala., the North South Super Late Model Challenge and the All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., the U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, the Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
 
The Quebec native captured the 2016 CARS Super Late Model Tour championship after recording four wins, one pole, 157 laps led, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes across 10 races. He also finished inside the top-10 in three premiere events that year; the All-American 400, the Winchester 400 and the Snowball Derby. In 2017, Lessard added his fifth career CARS Tour win while competing in a limited schedule, captured the pole and won the shootout race for the inaugural U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol and posted an average finish of 11.5 in two ARCA Racing Series starts.
 
"Raphael has put himself on the map in the Super Late Model world the last few years and we're excited to see what he can do behind the wheel of our No. 51 Toyota in 2018," Kyle Busch said. "To be able to win races at such a young age while also learning a new language and how to communicate with his team is pretty remarkable, so we're confident that he's only going to get better as he continues to mature both on and off the track."
 
"I'm really excited to join Kyle Busch Motorsports for the next step in the development of my career and looking forward to the opportunity to learn from Kyle and everyone involved in the Super Late Model program," said Lessard.  "I want to thank Toyota Racing Development, my parents and all of the partners that believed in me and made this possible."
 
KBM PR

Versatile Jimmy Blewett, whose racing resume of 125 career feature wins includes victories on both asphalt and dirt, is ready to race in the NAPA Know How Weekend inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall over the January 26th and 27th weekend.

“I didn’t have my own car ready for the Allentown race and spent the weekend helping my friend Ryan Flores with his car,” Blewett, who races out of Howell, N.J., said. “Now, the red, white and blue No. 76 is ready to win.”

Blewett’s talent as Flores’ setup man in Allentown was evident when Flores moved to the front of the field in both races. A slow tire leak and a cracked oil filter took Flores out of the lead late in each of the two races.

Blewett and well over 70 other Three Quarter (TQ) Midget drivers will be seeking victory in the prestigious Gambler’s Classic, a race first run by Len Sammons Motorsports Productions in 2003.

Only eight men have won the Gambler’s Classic. Anthony Sesely and Erick Rudolph have dominated the recent event history, each winning three of the last six Classics.

Two time past winners are Joey Payne, Lou Cicconi, Jr., and the late Ted Christopher. Andy Mackereth, Jeff Heotzler and Mike Tidaback are the three single Classic winners.

Blewett won ten times in three different classes of race car this past season at Wall (NJ) Stadium en route to winning the Modified championship, his first at the speedway in 15 years.

The fiery speedstar, whose nickname is ‘Showtime’, will go to post in Atlantic City aboard a Lafler chassis TQ Midget with a Dave Orange-prepared engine.

Blewett’s quest for victory in an Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing Fuels race has been a five year chase. Despite several Series second and third place finishes, Blewett remains winless.

That’s a situation that could very well change, particularly in light of the fact that at the 2018 Indoor Auto Racing Series opener over January 5th and 6th, Justin Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., and Scott Kreutter, of Buffalo, N.Y., two drivers who had been trying for their first wins as long as Blewett has, each won for the first time.

Both Bonsignore and Kreutter are expected to provide Blewett with plenty of competition, as will Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., an eight time Series past winner who didn’t score at Allentown but finished second and third in the pair of feature events.

The quest for victory in the prestigious NAPA Know How weekend will begin on Friday, January 26th, with TQ Midgets racing in four 20 lap events to determine the front end of the starting lineup for Saturday’s Gambler’s Classic.

The unpredictible Slingshots and agile Champ Karts will also run Friday night events that will also help set their line-ups for Saturday races.

NAPA Know How Weekend moves into high gear on Saturday, January 27th with the running of a full slate of qualifying races and the 16th annual Gambler’s Classic TQ Midget 40-lap main event. Champ Karts and Slingshots will also run 25-lap features on Saturday.

On Friday, January 26th doors will open for spectators at 6:00 PM with racing starting at 7:30.

The Saturday schedule calls for doors to open at 5:00 PM with racing starting at 7:00 PM.

The early opening of the Boardwalk Hall doors Saturday is to allow fans extra time to visit ‘Fan Fest’, a fun and exciting time for fans of all ages to meet the drivers and car owners, have their souvenir programs and event shirts autographed and have pictures taken with their favorites before the racing starts.

For tickets, contact Ticketmaster, the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, or the Area Auto Racing News office at 609-888-3618.

The finale Series will be a first annual event in New York State, on Friday and Saturday night February 9th and 10th in the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y. For choice tickets, contact the Times Union Center Box Office, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000, or visit online at ticketmaster.com.

AARN PR

Team Penske and Hitachi Group today announced an extension of their partnership for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

After a productive five-year relationship working with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves of Team Penske, the familiar Hitachi branding will transition to the No. 1 Dallara/Chevrolet of reigning INDYCAR champion Josef Newgarden for eight races in the 2018 season.

Additionally, Hitachi will continue as an associate sponsor on Team Penske’s other Verizon IndyCar Series entries – the Dallara/Chevrolets driven by Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 series champion and Will Power, the 2014 title winner, along with a return to Castroneves’ No. 3 car for the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

“Our partnership with Hitachi continues to deliver for both organizations across a wide variety of business platforms,” said Roger Penske. “Hitachi is deeply involved in our on-track performance as they continue to collaborate with Chevrolet on its winning INDYCAR engine program. Away from the race track, our relationship continues to reach new heights with shared success through various automotive and technology projects, along with joint marketing and promotional initiatives. We are excited to build on this success in 2018.”

Hitachi and Team Penske began their partnership in 2012 and it has evolved into one of the successful pairings in the INDYCAR paddock. The industry leaders have aligned for race wins, podium finishes and pole positions and the future is bright with Newgarden, one of the fastest rising stars in motorsports.

“Over the course of my first season with Team Penske, I was able to witness this great partnership firsthand,” said Newgarden, who earned four wins, one pole and nine podium finishes en route to his first series championship in 2017. “I look forward to working with all of the Hitachi employees and partners as we try and build on the tremendous framework of success already in place.”

The activation strategy around the Hitachi Team Penske partnership includes event marketing and execution at key automotive events and industry shows across the globe, to go along with unique at-track experiences and creative social media integration with Hitachi and its partners.

“The sponsorship with Team Penske continues to provide the Hitachi Group with a tremendous opportunity to leverage the success of a great IndyCar racing team, as well as to partner with a global leader in transportation and logistics - Penske Corporation,” said Toshiaki Higashihara, President & CEO, Hitachi, Ltd. “Since 2012, Hitachi has been able to leverage its technology and applications experience, along with data analytics expertise to help Penske build a successful racing team and also optimize other aspects of their business.” “Partnering with Penske puts Hitachi in a strong position to continue to build our global brand around Hitachi’s Social Innovation Business,” he continued.

“We are very excited to continue our partnership with Team Penske in 2018,” said Hideaki Seki, President & CEO for Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., . “Finishing in four of the top five positions in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series final standings and earning a 15th series championship illustrates Team Penske’s commitment to excellence. Hitachi shares the same drive and determination to be the best.”

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida on Sunday, March 11.

Team Penske PR

Joe Gibbs Racing launched a sim racing league in December and more than 250,000 viewers have tuned in for the first four races to watch professional drivers compete against Average Joe's. The eight-race series utilizes the iRacing simulator platform, and with one exception, each race is held Sunday evenings at 8 PM ET throughout the off-season and broadcast live on JGR's Facebook page (@JoeGibbsRacing) and other social outlets.

The first event took place in December at the virtual Rockingham Speedway with an all-star lineup that included drivers such as Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Ryan Preece competing in equally prepared Toyota Camry racecars.  The first four races of the season are available on demand at www.joegibbsracing.com/simracing.  All virtual racecars are prepared equally with a "fixed setup" and each race lasts about one hour or 100 miles.

The series continues tonight, January 14, from Bristol at 8 PM ET. The championship race will take place at Talladega and broadcast live during halftime of the Super Bowl on February 4.

"We think this is a perfect way to provide fans with exciting off-season content while having some fun at the same time,” said Dave Alpern, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Sim Racing is incredibly authentic, and is an affordable point-of entry into our sport while providing the opportunity to compete against some amazing talent. ESports is a fast growing segment of our sports and entertainment landscape and we hope this league engages our fans and builds excitement and anticipation for when the real cars hit the track in Daytona in February.  It also provides an opportunity to integrate partners in fun and innovative ways.  ARRIS modems, for example, are the lifeblood of a simulated racecar and the internet connection that powers it."

At the end of the season, a champion will be crowned and awarded a trophy, $500, and gifts from JGR select partners. 

The full schedule is as follows (subject to change): 

Dec. 10 Rockingham 

Dec. 17 Indianapolis Raceway Park

Jan. 3 (Wednesday) Eldora

Jan. 7 COTA Austin road course

Jan. 14 Bristol

Jan. 21 Dover

Jan. 28 Homestead

Feb. 4 Talladega

JGR PR

Variety could be a word to describe the Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance display at the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2018 Race Car & Trade set to take place Friday, January 19th through Sunday, January 21st at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

Five different racing vehicles, representing a variety of divisions of motorsports, will be part of the display along with the popular Sunoco Race Fuels Prize Wheel that give all attendees a chance to participate and have the chance to win small apparel and other items by spinning the wheel.

Hurlock Auto & Speed Sports of Hurlock, MD will be using their participation in the show with Sunoco to announce their team plans for 2018. Their dirt Modified will be be part of the huge display at the front of B-Hall at the show.

Veteran Dirt Late Model racing talent Mark Pettyjohn will have his new Swartz by PJ1 race car on display. “We are really excited to have our new car on display,” said Pettyjohn. “We are proud to have Sunoco Race Fuel as a marketing partner, their products are the best in the industry and results show it.” In addition to be a winner at eight different tracks over the years, Pettyjohn was the 2013 Three State Flyers Dirt Late Model Series Champion and in 2017 won the Camp Barnes Benefit Race at Delaware International Speedway.”

Philadelphia Racing Engine/Products will have their National Hot Rod Association Competition Eliminator Drag Car there. The I/SM Chevy Cavalier is driven by Richard Schonberger who is a member of the Schonberger family that has been involved in the sport for several generations and operate Philadelphia Racing Engines. Richard also competes in the I/A class within the NHRA Competition Eliminator division driving an Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Alex Mayer will attract attention with his Mayer Motorsports North America Formula 1000 entry out of Harleysville, PA. He is fresh off his 2017 National Championship effort.

Another attention getter will be the two American Racing Mower Association modified mowers one with Insinger Performance sponsorship and the second one sporting the Sunoco Fuels sponsorship. The spec fuel for the series is Sunoco Optima, unleaded non-ethanol fuel for 4-cycle small engines in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. These machines are capable of reaching speeds of 70 mph. The Gas plus Oil Premixed fuel will be the featured product sponsor on the Insinger Performance mower. Also Insinger Performance is launching the Opitimal Premix Non Ethanol Fuel for 2 cycle small engines.

Teams involved with the display will have hero cards and handouts for attendees and will be able to sign them during the three day show.

More than 300 racing vehicles representing all forms of motorsports will be on display during the three days of Motorsports 2018, January 19-21 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

Headlining the show will be three time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart along with 20-time World of Outlaws title holder Steve Kinser, rising Sprint Car talent David GraveL, FOX TV personality Larry MacReynolds and a number of local and regional racing talents.

The show, the 33rd annual edition, offers just about everything imaginable in motorsports and includes free seminars, Oliver Construction Ms. Motorsports Pageant, autograph opportunities and a large number of speedways and sanctioning organizations showing what is new for 2018.

For more information check in at www.motorsportstradeshow.com.

AARN PR

Officials from the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) and FOX Sports have announced a three-year broadcast rights agreement that calls for a minimum of eight ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards events to be televised on FOX Sports in each of the next three years 2018 - 2020.

FS1 will drop the green flag on ARCA’s 66th season of competition at Daytona International Speedway with live coverage of the 55th Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire February 10, 2018.

“With more than two decades of working together under our belts, it’s great to be able to secure another multi-year deal with the team at ARCA,” said Josh Oakley, FOX Sports Executive Director of Acquisitions & League Operations. “We look forward to getting the new deal started as part of FOX Sports’ comprehensive coverage of Daytona Speedweeks in February.”

The 2014 season marked ARCA’s first full year on FOX Sports. NewsCorp, the parent company of FOX Broadcasting Company, rebranded SPEED in September, 2013. ARCA’s relationship with the FOX Sports family of networks reaches back to April 20, 1997, when Speedvision covered the ARCA Racing Series race at Salem Speedway. Cumulatively, Speedvision, Speed Channel, SPEED and FS1 and FS2 have telecast 248 races encompassing 21 consecutive years of covering the ARCA Racing Series.

“ARCA has a well-established history of investing in long-term relationships, and that certainly holds true in the case of our television network partnership,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “The FOX Sports agreement is a cornerstone of our overall broadcast strategy, as it has been for more than 20 years. This is a major, mutual commitment between FOX and ARCA to showcase our product to millions of viewers annually in the highest quality live television production format. Our viewers, sponsors, race teams and tracks directly benefit, and it further stabilizes the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards platform for the near term future.”

According to Nielsen Media Research, FS1 is currently available in 84.5 million homes, while FS2 is rapidly growing and now available in more than 52 million U.S. households.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards features 20 events at 18 tracks on its 2018 schedule. The series has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 racetracks in 28 states since its inception. The series tests the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, annually visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as left- and right-turn road courses.

The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading and most versatile auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.

ARCA Racing PR

Three time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will have two of his most prized possessions on display at the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2018 Race Car & Trade Show Fueled by Sunoco and Distributed by Insinger Performance taking place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA January 19-21, 2018.

The car with which he won the 1997 IndyCar Championship will be a featured attraction, as well as Stewart’s Home Depot #20 NASCAR Cup Series entry with which he won the 2005 Brickyard 400. Both cars are sure to attract a huge amount of attention from the large number of show attendees.

Both cars will be on display during the entire three days of the show while Stewart will be making an appearance on Saturday. He will be interviewed, chat with fans and sign autographs during his show visit that will run from noon until 2 PM.

Another car on display that is sure to catch the attention of the crowd is the NAPA Auto Parts Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro that will be driven by rising star Chase Elliott during the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season.

More than 300 racing vehicles representing all forms of motorsports will be displayed throughout the 250,000 square feet of show space.

Many speedways and sanctioning organizations will be part of the 33rd annual show along with a variety of businesses that offer just about everything imaginable in auto racing.

Also appearing at the show will be former NASCAR Cup crew chief and current FOX TV personality Larry MacReynolds along with 20-time World of Outlaws Sprint champion Steve Kinser and rising Outlaw talent David Gravel.

Many local and regional racing talents will be on hand.

Attendees will be able to participate in a number of free seminars, attend a variety of events including the Oliver Construction Ms. Motorsports Pageant, the Pine Brook Speedway Reunion, presentation of Area Auto Racing News Top Winner Awards and so much more.

One day adult admission is $15 while a three day ticket is priced at $30. For children 6 thru 12 a done day ticket is just $5 while a three day pass is $10. Children under 6 are admitted free.

The show opens on Friday, January 19th at 2 PM and goes until 10 PM. On Saturday the doors open at 11 AM and the show runs until 9 PM and on Sunday the hours are 11 AM to 4 PM.

For additional information check in at www.motorsportstradeshow.com.

AARN PR

Race fans will soon be able to show off their auto racing pride every time they open their wallet. As the Official Bank of Daytona International Speedway® and the DAYTONA 500®, Fifth Third Bank will soon offer fans the new Daytona International Speedway Debit Card.

Fans are invited to come along for the ride and help select the best design for the debit card. They can race to 53.com/racing from Jan. 11-25 to view four unique designs and vote for their favorite. The winning card design will be announced prior to Speedweeks®, which runs Feb. 10-18.

Fifth Third is once again proud to partner with Roush Fenway Racing as a primary sponsor of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.’s No. 17 Ford Fusion this year. Stenhouse captured his first two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ wins while sporting the Fifth Third paint scheme during the 2017 season. His second win was the CokeZero 400® at Daytona International Speedway in July. Some of the debit card designs fans can vote for include the No. 17 Fifth Third car.

"We’re proud to partner with Fifth Third Bank on this unique opportunity to create a Daytona International Speedway Debit Card,” speedway President Chip Wile said. “Daytona International Speedway is a special place to race fans as the home of ‘The Great American Race®’ – the DAYTONA 500. We look forward to seeing the winning card design that will showcase the world’s only motorsports stadium.”

“We are excited to give motorsports fans another fun way to express their loyalty and affinity for the place where so many great races and historic events have occurred – Daytona International Speedway,” stated David Call, Florida Region President for Fifth Third Bank. “Now they can carry it in their wallet and be reminded of their favorite sport every time they use their Fifth Third debit card.”

Contest Details:

  • Voting will take place at www.53.com/racing
  • Voting will begin on Jan. 11, 2018 (5 weeks and 3 days before the 60th anniversary of the DAYTONA 500®)
  • Voting will end at midnight on Jan. 25, 2018
  • Winning card design will be selected in Feb. 2018
  • Debit card will be available in April 2018

In April, new and existing customers will be able to add the Daytona International Speedway Debit Card to any Fifth Third Checking Account1. Customers can go to their local Fifth Third Banking Center or call 1-866-671-5353 to find the personal checking account that best fits their needs. They will be able to use the specialty debit card at millions of locations and access money at over 50,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide2. To learn more, visit 53.com/Racing.

1 Specialty designs available on any card type. Debit Card Fees may apply.

2 ATM network is fee free for Fifth Third Bank customers when using their debit or prepaid card to withdraw cash. When you use an ATM not owned by us, you may be charged a fee by the ATM operator or any network used (and you may be charged a fee for a balance inquiry even if you do not complete a fund transfer). Non-Fifth Third ATM Transaction: $2.75 per transaction; International Point of Sale/ATM Transaction Fee: 3.00% of Transaction Amount; Currency Conversion Fee: 0.20% of the Transaction Amount; International ATM Withdrawal: $5.00; Non-Fifth Third Cash Advance Debit Card Fee: Greater of $5 or 3.00% of the transaction amount up to a maximum of $10.

Fifth Third Bancorp PR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Felix Sabates confirmed to NBC Charlotte Thursday two NASCAR drivers are now part of the group he is assembling in the hopes of buying the Panthers. Sabates, who spoke by phone with NBC Charlotte’s Rad Berky, would not name the two drivers or say if they were current or former drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. or Jeff Gordon for example.

Charlotte Motor Speedway's Smith family talks of joining bid Last week, NBC Charlotte first reported from sources NASCAR owner Brian France was part of the Sabates group. Sabates said Wednesday Bruton Smith, who operates Charlotte Motor Speedway and other tracks across the country, had had discussions with Sabates about joining the group, as did Smith’s son Marcus.

A NASCAR spokesperson would not comment on the significance, if any, of five individuals from NASCAR who were now interested in buying the Panthers. Sabates also said Thursday he has been in touch with Allen & Company, the New York based investment bank that is handling the sale of the Panthers. Sabates said it is now up to the bank to get back to him with more details about filing a formal bid. Earlier this week, NBC Charlotte reported from two sources that there is interest in building a new stadium for the Carolina Panthers in the Carowinds Boulevard area.

Farmer Jim Miller owns 220 acres of land right on the line between North and South Carolina and his property fits the bill. Sabates would not confirm to NBC Charlotte that he is looking at Miller's farm, but he has said if his group does buy the Panthers, they would need a new domed stadium with parking for 20,000 cars. The Miller farm would fit that bill with ample space for high-revenue parking, something an uptown location would likely not be able to offer. And there is this connection: Jim Miller has a son named Steve, whose wife went to school with Felix Sabates' son. Jim Miller is a longtime Panthers fan and said it was intriguing to think about the future and the possibility the Panthers would be playing on the old Miller homestead. “Yeah, that sounds pretty good, doesn't it?” he said with a smile. When Minneapolis built a new stadium, the city was awarded a Super Bowl. Dan McElroy, head of Hospitality Minnesota, said the state had to agree to dedicate 19,500 rooms to the NFL. The NFL requires at least 25-thousand hotel rooms to be available within an hour's drive of any stadium hosting the Super Bowl. Minneapolis has 8,973 rooms in the city and 41,612 in the Metro Area. Charlotte's numbers are even lower. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority says there are 5,285 rooms in uptown and 26,408 in all of Mecklenburg County. Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt says more hotel rooms are being developed in uptown. "Oh, they are coming. Most of them are two to four hundred bed hotels," said Eiselt.

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