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NBC Sports surrounds its first race of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with fan-centric elements and pre-race features as part of the nearly 20 hours of trackside coverage from Chicagoland Speedway this weekend. Pre-race coverage from Chicago begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN with Countdown to Green, and will welcome race fans back to NBC Sports’ NASCAR coverage with one-on-one interviews and long-form features ahead of the green flag on Sunday on NBCSN.

Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NBCSN will include:

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s interviews Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson prior to the race on Sunday about the famous “Slide Job” finish to the 2018 Chicagoland race;
  • The first installment of NASCAR America’s “Behind the Driver” series will showcase an individual who has been instrumental in making Joey Logano a NASCAR Champion.
  • NBC Sports’ motorsports reporter Rutledge Wood and analyst Kyle Petty will doi their best “Blues Brothers” impersonation;

Additionally, NASCAR America Fan Fridays return this Friday at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN live from Chicagoland Speedway. The program will originate from the Peacock Pit Box amongst the fans at Chicagoland and will include numerous driver interviews.


TONIGHT’S EPISODE OF NASCAR AMERICA MOTORMOUTHS TO FEATURE GUEST TY DILLON

Tonight’s episode of NASCAR America Motormouths at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN will feature special guest [what team?] Ty Dillon. Dillon, who matched a career best with a sixth-place finish in the Daytona 500 earlier this year, will join Marty Snider and Dale Jarrett on the NASCAR America set as fans call in to ask their questions ahead of this weekend’s race at Chicagoland. Motormouths Wednesdays are all about the viewers, providing regular opportunities for fans to call in to NASCAR America and speak with hosts, analysts, and a rotation of current drivers live on NBCSN.


HIGHLIGHTS FROM NBC SPORTS’ “ON HER TURF” INTERVIEW WITH NASCAR K&N DRIVER HAILIE DEEGAN

Today’s episode of the “On Her Turf” podcast featured 17-year-old stock car driver Hailie Deegan. Deegan grew up racing off-road and on dirt but transitioned to competing on asphalt in 2016 to pursue a career in stock car racing. She began her career in NASCAR in 2018 at the K&N Pro Series level and is the only female to have won races in the series, doing so in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Deegan joined host Kathryn Tappen to discuss where she draws her confidence from, growing up in a racing household, her goals moving forward, Kevin Harvick’s importance in her career, how she sees “frenemies” every day and keeps her priorities straight, and the one thing that scares her in a race car. Click here to listen to the full interview.  Following are highlights from the interview:

Deegan on her accomplishments at only 17 years old: “I try really not to focus on what I’ve accomplished, but what I need to do next, what I’m working towards. I’m never really just satisfied with where I’m at. I always just want to get better, improve more, learn as much as I can because obviously I have a lot to learn and a lot to get better at so it’s all about improvement to me.”

On finding success as a female in racing: “I’ve learned that you just have to be aggressive. A lot of people assume about being a girl that they’re a little more laid back, they’re not as aggressive, they’re still trying to get to the same level as the guys, but I think that even if you ask some of the other guys, they can say that I am an aggressive driver just because I know what it’s going to take to make it. I see why a lot of other girls haven’t made it. I feel like I can depict why other girls aren’t making it and I don’t want to make the same mistakes.”

Deegan: “There are so many different pieces of the puzzle and you have to be an aggressive personality. There’s quite a few girls who just don’t have the aggression in their personality. I feel like I grew up in a very aggressive family and my dad just being from motocross industry, it’s an aggressive, very tough sport, so that’s where I learned from him.”

On where her confidence comes from: “I think it just comes from watching everyone at this high level in the racing community. Seeing how much room there is for a girl to take over (not take over a series) but be involved in NASCAR. I just see so much room for someone to be in there and I want to be that person, and I definitely want to be one of the first to accomplish things at the high levels of NASCAR.”

On the best advice from her father: “Remember, go out there and have fun, but you’re having the most fun when you’re winning.”

On her career goals: I just want to make it to the top levels of NASCAR, be able to win at the top levels - whether its Trucks, Xfinity or Cup, I just want to be able to go and perform at my best.”

***

Following is this week’s NASCAR programming on NBCSN:

DATE COVERAGE TIME (ET)
Wednesday, June 26 NASCAR America Motormouths 5 p.m.
Thursday, June 27 NASCAR America Motorsports Hour 5 p.m.
  K&N Pro West - Sonoma 6 p.m.
Friday, June 28 NASCAR Xfinity Series First Practice – Chicago 4 p.m.
  NASCAR America Fan Friday 6 p.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Final Practice – Chicago 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 29 NASCAR Cup Series Practice – Chicago 11 a.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying – Chicago 12 p.m.
  NASCAR America 1 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Final Practice – Chicago 2 p.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Countdown to Green 3 p.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Chicago 3:30 p.m.
  NASCAR Xfinity Series Post-Race Show 6 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – Chicago 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 30 NASCAR America 1 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Countdown to Green 2:30 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Race – Chicago 3 p.m.
  NASCAR Cup Series Post-Race Show

6 p.m.

NBC Sports PR

For ARCA Menards Series championship leader Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota), it’s been a very interesting 2019 season to this point. It’s his first run at the series championship, and he’s had success to this point winning three races at Five Flags Speedway, Salem Speedway, and Michigan International Speedway. But there have been some challenges, too. Post-race rules infractions have cost Self and his team 75 points, which considering his narrow 30-point advantage over second-place Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet) could make a significant impact at the end of the season.

But for now, Self and his Venturini Motorsports team aren’t counting points. At least not yet. They’re still in race win mode, with the knowledge that winning races scores the maximum amount of points so it’s the proverbial two birds with one stone. But coming to Chicagoland Speedway for Thursday’s Bounty 150, the Venturini’s home track, performing well is all the more important. Even in the tightest of points battles, it wouldn’t matter. All that matters is running well in front of team owners Bill and Cathy Venturini’s hometown crowd.

Giving his team owners a solid performance is a priority, but the fact Chicagoland is his favorite track on the ARCA Menards Series schedule makes this an event he’s had circled all season long.

“Running well and getting the Venturini family a win here is definitely a big part of it, but it’s’ probably my favorite track on the schedule,” Self said. “Two years ago we had a dominant lead and a dominant night until we had a tire go down with two laps to go and we lost that one. We came back last year and put it all together and won the race. I love that track and I love the way it races. It’s a little more difficult as far as intermediate tracks go. It’s a little wore out, it’s a little bumpy and I like the attitude of it. If we could go back there and win it would be a big deal. It’s fun to go there and win for the Venturinis.”

With deep ties to the region, the Venturinis know all of the good area food hot spots but Self isn’t sure there’s enough time during his visit to make it them all.

“They definitely know the food around there,” he said. We do the fan rally in Joliet on Wednesday night so ze don’t have a lot of extra time. If we were there an extra few days I would really like to spend some time with them there and have them show us all around and tell me all about their history there.”

Self is a noted big track expert. He likes the way tracks larger than one mile race, and he’s had a lot of his success in the ARCA Menards Series on tracks longer than a mile. Oddly enough, he believes drivers feel the speed more on short tracks than they do on the wide open tracks like Chicagoland Speedway.

“To me it feels like you’re cruising down the highway,” he said of the speeds at Chicagoland. “To me Madison feels a lot faster because everything is so fast and abrupt. At the mile and a half tracks, even though you are going a lot faster, you’re a lot more gradual with the things you’re doing in the car. You aren’t using a lot of steering input. You aren’t using a lot of brake. The track is so wide everything feels smoother until something goes wrong and then you really start to feel the speed.”

Practice at Chicagoland Speedway is set for 1 pm ET/12 noon CT, with General Tire Pole Qualifying set for 5:35 pm ET/4:35 pm CT. The Bounty 150 will take the green flag shortly after 8 pm ET/7 pm CT and will be televised live flag-to-flag on FS1. ARCA for Me members can access free live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New members can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. Discounted tickets are available at nearly 75 Chicagoland-area Menards locations for just $10. For more information, visit ChicagolandSpeedway.com.

ARCA Menards Series PR

In a collaborative effort between AM Racing and Win-Tron Racing, the two organizations announced today the return of NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) veteran Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) to the ARCA Menards Series (AMS) for Thursday night’s Bounty 150 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Self, 23, will drive the team’s No. 32 Chevrolet with support from Win-Tron Performance and IceBox Helmet Coolers.

“I’m excited about getting back and racing in the ARCA Menards Series,” said Self the 2014 ARCA Menards Series Rookie of the Year.

“Win-Tron Racing has had some very competitive finishes this year and I know they are going to bring me a fast race car and I look forward to the opportunity to pull double duty this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.”

Self, a native of Austin, Texas last competed in ARCA nearly two years at Road America (Wisc.) where in a second entry for Win-Tron Racing he finished sixth after starting 12th in 2017.

In all, Self in five years of competition in ARCA has 47 career starts with one win, 13 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes. In two starts at Chicagoland, he finished a track-best 12th after starting fourth in 2015.

Win-Tron Racing has run a select schedule in the ARCA Series in 2019 with drivers Gus Dean and AM Racing development driver Cole Glasson.

Self who will compete in Friday night’s Camping World 225 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) race at Chicagoland is hopeful to run more ARCA races this season.

“We’re still looking at the schedule, but I think you’ll see me in or a race or two more after Chicagoland,” added Self. “I know that Kevin (Cywinski, Win-Tron Racing owner) and Jamie (Jones, crew chief) have put together a very competitive car and I look forward to our chance to go out there and contend for my second career ARCA win.”

Cywinski who serves as team manager of Self’s Gander Truck Series team says having Self compete in both races at Chicagoland will undoubtedly prove to be beneficial.

“Austin will do us a great job at Chicagoland,” sounded Cywinski. “The extra seat time will allow Austin to stay focused and bring back some positive feedback to not only the ARCA program but also acquire critical track time that should prove to be beneficial for the Truck Series program this weekend too.”

For more on Austin Wayne Self, please visit awsracing.com, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.

Learn more at Win-TronRacing.com, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @WinTronRacing.

For more on AM Racing, please visit AMRacingteam.com, like their Facebook page (AM Racing) or follow them on Twitter @AMRacingNASCAR. 

The Bounty 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs. June 27 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:35 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 7:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Central).

AM Racing PR

Brett Hearn's The Big Show 11 lived up to its name and surpassed all expectations. In a 111-lap race that few will soon forget, five-time NAPA Super DIRT Week Champion Stewart Friesen passed race promotor and eight-time Series Champion Brett Hearn on lap 110 to steal the win in dramatic fashion. In third place, Mat Williamson and his Buzzchew Racing team were catching the dueling leaders but had to settle for the final step on the podium when the checkered flag fell.

With a grin from Malta, NY to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Stewart Friesen climbed out of his car and said, “Boy am I happy he [Brett Hearn] decided to make this race 111 laps.”

That indeed was the difference between Brett Hearn writing a check for $11,111 to himself, or Friesen. On lap 110 Friesen wound up his Big Block Modified up on the cushion between turns three and four before launching his DKM chassis No. 43 underneath Hearn’s black Madsen Motorsports No. 20 going into turn one. Friesen fended off a counterattack by The Jet and held on to take the checkered flag.

Friesen started seventh and as the race progressed he made his way into the top 5. From that vantage point he started to feel like a fan again while watching two of his childhood heroes race wheel-to-wheel just ahead of him. He describes the scene: “Brett is one heck of a race promoter as well as a race car driver. He hasn’t lost his touch. When him and Billy [Decker] rubbed there, I was like man these guys have been racing since the beginning of time, they gotta be wearing themselves out. They were just fighting tooth and nail. It was a lot of fun to watch. It’s been a privilege to grow up watching those two guys.”    

Friesen added, “Thanks to all the fans. I know it’s a work night but it’s so awesome to see this place jam-packed,” he said while waving to the substantial crowd gathered in Victory Lane.

Due to his commitments to the NASCAR Gander Mountain Truck Series, it appeared unlikely that Friesen would be able to qualify for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego Speedway without racking up some serious air miles. That is until he earned a guaranteed starting position with his Big Show win. Race fans will be eager to watch the No. 43 Halmar Racing machine work its way up through the field from the back of the pack. “That just saved us a lot of money on flights, so we’ll see you Sunday morning,” Stewart exclaimed.

You couldn’t help but feel for the living legend Brett Hearn after the lap 110 pass. But rest assured on this night nothing could ground The Jet. “It’s a win for me just to see people smiling and happy with the show. Everything worked out just absolutely perfectly, so I won this race before I even took the green. What a great night. To have the show run so smoothly, the entertainment be so good on the track, and to be in the lead with ten to go was just fantastic,” said Hearn.

In front of his massive The Big Show 11 banner in Victory Lane, Hearn had nothing but praise for the race winner. “Stewart Friesen is probably the most diverse driver we’ve seen in decades. He’s definitely one of the best there’s no doubt about it,” Hearn noted.

He described his struggles late in the race, “We ran ourselves out of right rear tire. He [Friesen] always knows how to pull a little bit extra out in the last few laps. He knew what lap it was that he needed to pull it out.”

Despite being on the wrong side of a dramatic late-race pass, Hearn was thrilled with the car and his race. “The funny thing was that we were bad on Friday night (for Albany-Saratoga Speedway’s Hoosier Racing Tire Weekly Championship program) and I didn’t know what to expect tonight. To pull it off the trailer and put in fast time like that was good for us. Winning the Heat Race was good for us. And to be in contention to win with a few laps to go, that was good for us.”

When asked about adding the extra eleven laps, Brett Hearn laughed and said, “Yeah hindsight is 20/20!”

Mat Williamson and Buzzchew Racing only have a handful of races under their belts together, but if the team continues to post podium finishes like this, they’ll soon be in the hunt for a Championship. The great result is also coming off of a disappointing Heroes Remembered 100 at Weedsport Speedway, so that made it a little sweeter. 

“We were pretty dejected after Weedsport and team worked their tail off and here we are back on the podium. We had to keep our confidence up and I know the guys were behind me and they can put one helluva race car together for me to drive,” Williamson said.

There is little doubt that the team has a tremendous amount of potential. Williamson noted that a brand new Billy the Kid motor was under the hood of his Big Block Modified and that certainly played a part in his The Big Show 11 success. 

It’s always a team effort. Looking over his car Williamson said, “I can’t say enough about the determination of the Buzzchew guys. They want to win.”

That’s the kind of resolve a team needs to succeed at the highest level of Big Block Modified racing.

Gypsum Racing’s Larry Wight was the KSE Hard Charger Award winner, and he should get two awards as he made the charge from the rear twice. Wight started in the twenty-second position and by mid-race had worked his way into the top 10. Then the No. 99L appeared to make significant contact with the wall, but Wight motored on. With 42 laps to go, Wight slowed and brought out the caution flag. He came back up through the field again and passed up to twelfth. 

The next Super DIRTcar Series race is on Sunday, June 30 at Cornwall Motor Speedway. Come celebrate Canada Day with the $7,500-to-win O’Canada 100. However, if you can’t make it to the race track, be sure to tune in with our partners at FloRacing. They provide the Super DIRTcar Series with season-long live HD streaming including all DIRTcar Northeast divisions at NAPA Super DIRT Week.

Don’t forget to follow the Super DIRTcar Series on Facebook and Twitter for live and daily updates, photos, videos, and more.

The Big Show 11 (111 Laps)

1. 44-Stewart Friesen [7]; 2. 20-Brett Hearn [4]; 3. 88-Mat Williamson [8]; 4. 6H-Max McLaughlin [10]; 5. 9s-Matt Sheppard [12]; 6. 91-Billy Decker [3]; 7. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [6]; 8. 35-Mike Mahaney [2]; 9. 26-Ryan Godown [13]; 10. 25-Erick Rudolph [5]; 11. 43-Keith Flach [18]; 12. 99L-Larry Wight [22]; 13. X-Chad Phelps [1]; 14. 27j-Danny Johnson [11]; 15. 42p-Pat Ward [19]; 16. 3j-Marc Johnson [24]; 17. 115-Kenny Tremont [20]; 18. 21A-Peter Britten [16]; 19. 19m-Jesse Mueller [17]; 20. 111-Demetrios Drellos [26]; 21. 2L-Jack Lehner [27]; 22. 60-Brian Berger [23]; 23. R2-Rusty Smith [28]; 24. 18-Anthony Perrego [21]; 25. 3d-Matt Delorenzo [15]; 26. 97-Bobby Hackel [9]; 27. 48T-Dave Rauscher [25]; 28. 2rj-Ronnie Johnson [14]

KSE Hard Charger Award: 99L-Larry Wight[+10]

Contingency Sponsor Awards:

VP Race Fuels $50 – Mike Mahaney

Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux $100 – Brett Hearn

Cometic Gaskets $50 – Larry Wight

Comp Cams $50 – Erick Rudolph

Fox Racing Shox $50 – Erick Rudolph

JE Pistons $50 – Matt Sheppard

MSD Ignition $50 – Brett Hearn

MSD Ignition $25 – Anthony Perrego

NGK Spark Plugs $50 – Matt Sheppard

DART $50 – Erick Rudolph

Drydene $50 – Billy Decker

ASI Racewear $50 – Jimmy Phelps

Hoosier Racing Tire (1 Free) – Matt Sheppard

Product Prizes

Bicknell Racing Products – Stewart Friesen

Comp Cams – Stewart Friesen

JE Pistons – Peter Britten

KSE Racing Products – Larry Wight

Wrisco Aluminum – Stewart Friesen

NGK Spark Plugs – Danny Johnson

DART – Mat Williamson/Demetrios Drellos

Drydene – Kenny Tremont

Super Dirtcar Series PR

Returning to the seat of the No. 22 Crestliner Ford Fusion for his scheduled penultimate ARCA Menards Series race of the season, Ty Majeski (@TyMajeski) seeks his third win of the season in his fifth start in Thursday night’s Bounty 150 at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway.

Majeski returns to the No. 22 Ford team led by veteran and NASCAR championship crew chief Paul Andrews on the heels of his CBR teammate Corey Heim delivering his career-best fourth place finish this past weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. With momentum beside him, Majeski turns to the Windy City and looks to continue to impress in his limited ARCA return which carries an average finishing position of 2.0.

“I feel really good about heading into Chicago,” said Majeski. “I feel like it is my best 1.5-mile track. It has a ton of character and you’re able to move around and find speed.

“We went for it in my last ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway and were just a corner short of our third win of the year. I think we can go to Chicago this weekend and look to finish what we started there.”

To stay fresh in the seat, Majeski took advantage of his off weekends in ARCA and competed in several Late Model events in the Midwest with similar results. “Had a good couple of off weekends,” added Majeski. “We raced our Super Late Model three times and came home with two seconds and a win.

"It’s awesome to have a great opportunity to jump in competitive cars when I have a hole in my schedule. I love Super Late Models and I’ll always come back and run them when I can.”

Majeski enters Chicagoland Speedway with plenty of experience on his side at the 1.5-mile intermediate race track. In his two previous ARCA outings, Majeski has earned back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2016 and 2017 respectively – finishing a track best seventh after starting second in 2017 for car owner Briggs Cunningham.

“I have plenty of experience at Chicagoland I’m all hoping that will pay off for us this week,” added Majeski who sits 17th in the championship standings despite only competing in four races.

“Of course the track will have aged a little bit from the last time I’ve been there and the weather conditions will be different racing in the summer compared to the fall, but I know Paul (Andrews, crew chief) is going to bring a good car to the track and it will be up to me to capitalize on it.”

Following Chicagoland, Majeski isn’t scheduled to return to the No. 22 Ford until the season finale at Kansas Speedway in October. Majeski hopes an opportunity will present itself to race more in ARCA with CBR this season, but if not, it’s been a whirlwind season.

“When we started this program together, we all hoped it would go like this,” sounded Majeski. “It’s been a great few races and I think we’ve made the most of them. We still have two more we want to win!

“I think we have proved we are a force to be reckoned with each and every race we enter. We find a way to be in contention to win even if we don’t have the fastest car. That’s just a testament to Paul Andrews and the entire No. 22 team. I can’t wait for Thursday night.”

Majeski, 24, is sharing the No. 22 Ford Fusion ride with newcomer Corey Heim who returns to the No. 22 Ford Fusion in two weeks for the Menards 250 at Elko (Minn.) Speedway on July 13, 2019.

For more on Ty Majeski, please like him on Facebook (Ty Majeski Racing) and follow him on Instagram (@tymajeski_) and Twitter (@TyMajeski).

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.

The Bounty 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs. June 27 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:35 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 7:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Central).

CBR PR

Continuing to grind through a seven-week consecutive ARCA Menards Series stretch at Chicagoland Speedway, Joe Graf Jr. (@joegrafjr) and his Chad Bryant Racing team head to Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway focused on another top-five finish in Thursday night’s Bounty 150.

This past weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Graf led his second laps of the 2019 season, and while a late race gamble on fuel turned dry in the closing laps, the No. 77 team led by championship crew chief Chad Bryant is still upbeat heading to the Windy City.

“We feel pretty good despite our 11th place finish at Gateway,” said Graf. “I think as a team we executed a lot on Saturday, but we took a gamble and it just didn’t pan out. That’s racing sometimes. I’m eager to get to Chicago and end this stretch of ARCA racing on a positive note.”

20-year-old Graf will make his second start at Chicagoland Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval. Last June, he finished a respectable 13th after starting 14th in just his second intermediate track of his career.

“I’ve learned a lot since last year,” added Graf. “Just about how to handle these cars, move them around the air by myself or around other cars, you are always learning. We’ve shown that our Chad Bryant Racing cars have speed on the bigger tracks this year, I’m hoping to earn our second top-five of the year on Thursday night.”

For the 12th straight race, EAT SLEEP RACE, a racing lifestyle apparel company headquartered in New Jersey returns as the primary sponsor of Graf Jr.’s No. 77 Chevrolet for the 150-mile race.

“I’m really proud of the effort from everyone to help put EAT SLEEP RACE’s name out there on a weekly basis,” he added. “We’ve got some stuff up our sleeve for the rest of the year and can’t wait for all that to be unveiled soon.”

Bryant explains that while the No. 77 team finish at Gateway didn’t reflect their performance, it was a relatively good boost to the second half of the 2019 season.

“I’m proud of Joe,” Bryant said. “He wheeled that car at Gateway and was up front for a lot of that race. While we didn’t have the finish we had hoped, there’s a lot of good vibe around our team right now and I hope we can capitalize on that at Chicagoland.”

Entering Chicago, Graf Jr. has one win, seven top-five and 14 top-10s in 30 career ARCA Menards Series starts in two seasons of competition. A fourth-place qualifying effort at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May 2018 is his best time trials effort to date.

For the 12th race of the season, Graf will carry the in-car camera myFace logos for his second start at Chicagoland Speedway. myFace is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with craniofacial conditions.

Every hour a child is born in the United States with a craniofacial difference, which uniquely impacts both the body and spirit. In the U.S. approximately 600,000 individuals have been diagnosed with a craniofacial condition.

For more on Joe Graf Jr, please like him on Facebook (Joe Graf Jr.) and follow him on Twitter (@JoeGrafJr) and visit his brand new website at JoeGrafJr.com.

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) and follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). Also, visit the new ChadBryantRacing.com.

The Bounty 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2019 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs. June 27 with an hour and a half practice session planned from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 4:35 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 7:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).

ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the day’s festivities. All times are local (Central).

CBR PR

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West hits the midway point of the season with a visit to Roseburg, Oregon this week for the Clint Newell Auto Group/Toyota 150 presented by ENEOS and NAPA AUTO PARTS at Douglas County Speedway on Saturday.

 

The tight 3/8-mile fairgrounds track has been the site of some thrilling short-track racing with the K&N West and based on action in the series during the first half of this season, fans are anticipating more drama on Saturday.

Hailie Deegan, who drives Bill McAnally Racing’s No. 19 Monster Energy / NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry, has attracted plenty of attention in her young career. The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Temecula, California has three career series wins – all on short tracks and all featuring a last-lap pass. In her most recent win earlier this month, she spun out her BMR teammate – Derek Kraus – to take the victory and chip away at his lead in the championship standings.

 

The two BMR drivers are 1-2 in the championship standings, as Kraus leads by the smallest of margins – with just a one-point advantage over Deegan – as they head to Roseburg.

 

A win in the season opener put Deegan first in points at the start of the year, making her the first woman to lead the championship standings of a series at the regional or national levels of NASCAR. She has continued to be in the spotlight, winning the pole last weekend at Sonoma Raceway in a K&N West race that included drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series.

 

Kraus – a 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Stratford, Wisconsin who wheels the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry – moved atop the standings after the third race of the year. His lead was all but erased, however, with mechanical trouble at Sonoma.

 

A repeat win at Roseburg would be beneficial to him in regaining a substantial lead. He took the victory in last year’s K&N West race there, while Deegan had to settle for second.

 

Joining Kraus and Deegan in the BMR lineup this year is Brittney Zamora in the No. 99 ENEOS / NAPA Filters Toyota Camry. The 20-year-old from Kennewick, Washington also encountered a mechanical issue at Sonoma and is looking to rebound strong as she makes her first appearance at Roseburg in K&N West action. Zamora is second in rookie points and sixth in the overall standings. She has one pole, three top-five and four top-10 finishes in six starts this season.

 

Deegan has two victories, two poles, four top-five, and five top-10 finishes in six starts. Kraus, meanwhile, has two wins, three top-five, and five top-10 finishes in six starts. In addition to leading the title chase in the K&N West, he also leads the championship standings in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

 

All three drivers want to add to BMR’s dominance at Roseburg. The team has won seven of the past eight K&N West races there. In his rookie year of 2017, Kraus was part of a 1-2-3 finish for BMR – trailing his teammates, Todd Gilliland and Chris Eggleston, who put on a thrilling side-by-side battle that had the Roseburg fans on their feet for much of the race.

 

Three consecutive BMR wins there were scored by three-time series champion Eric Holmes – who now serves as Deegan’s driving coach and spotter.

 

In addition to the excitement on the race track on Saturday, Roseburg fans will also be treated to high-flying stunts, tricks, and jumps with Cowboy Kenny’s Steel Rodeo Tour. The force behind the traveling freestyle exhibition is Kenny Bartram, who was part of the inaugural Nitro Circus and is a 10-time medalist of the Gravity Games and X Games, and multi-time champion of the International Freestyle Motocross Association. Fans will have the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the thrilling action with a warmup session for the squad of riders at the speedway on Friday evening.

 

A variety of special activities are planned by BMR leading up to Saturday’s race. The No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry is to be displayed at the Clint Newell Auto Group dealership in Roseburg. An appearance is also slated at the NAPA AUTO PARTS Store in nearby Winston. In addition, sponsor guests will get the opportunity to take a ride around the track in BMR’s 2-seater No. 16 NAPA Toyota.

 

As is a popular part of the annual NASCAR race at Roseburg, a big VIP Hospitality will host special guests at the track on Saturday.

 

The Roseburg event, the seventh of a 14-race schedule, will air live on FansChoice.TV – the streaming digital platform that’s airing the entire NASCAR regional series schedule live this year. In addition, it will be broadcast to a national audience on NBCSN on July 4 at 3 p.m. PT.

BMR PR

As the 2019 American Flat Track paddock makes its annual pilgrimage to the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, for the Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile Presented By Johnny K's Indian powered by Drag Specialties on Saturday, June 29, the spotlight shifts its glare back to reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750).

 

Mees’ younger Indian Wrecking Crew teammates have stolen away some of the attention he so thoroughly demanded during back-to-back AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines title runs in 2017 and 2018. Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) currently holds a 34-point championship lead on the strength of a perfect seven-for-seven podium record in 2019, while Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) rides into the Lima Half-Mile still savoring his maiden premier-class victory.

 

For Mees, the Lima Half-Mile represents equal parts pressure, opportunity, and responsibility. It’s not only his home race, he’s also the event promoter. It also just happens to be exactly the sort of demanding, physical track that Mees loves to conquer as a showcase of his ability and focus.

 

That increased focus can play out in more than one way. In 2017, the Lima Half-Mile was the only Main Event Mees failed to qualify for -- or podium for that matter -- due to penalties he incurred for jumping the start in his semi. A year later, he got his redemption in the form of a runaway victory that was arguably the centerpiece performance of his successful 2018 title defense.

 

Which way things go in 2019 could very well play an important role in determining if Mees will be able to secure three consecutive Grand National Championships. Winning this weekend could be far from easy; Briar Bauman took the Main in 2017 in dominant fashion and second-ranked Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) took top honors at the venue in 2016.

 

Fans should also keep their eyes on last year’s race runner-up Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750), the returning JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), Harley teammates Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X) and Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X), and so many others with the potential to steal the spotlight for themselves.

 

The showdown in the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys class should be equally intriguing. Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450) comes in as the defending Lima Half-Mile winner, while AFT Singles points leader Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) is riding a two-race win streak.

 

There’s also the likes of Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450), Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) and Ryan Wells (No. 94 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) to take into consideration.

 

Fans should also keep an eye on Dallas Daniels (No.163 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), as this challenging track marks the debut event for the fresh-blooded wunderkind of the already-formidable Estenson Racing front.

 

As an added bonus, the AFT Production Twins championship fight resumes this weekend after sitting the Laconia Short Track out. After three races, it’s Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07) against the field. Unless someone can stop him, Texter is in position to up his perfect season’s win streak to four this weekend.

 

Not surprisingly, fans of Jared Mees will notice a number of familiar backers this weekend. Along with presenting sponsor Johnny K's Indian, several of Mees’ sponsors have come aboard to help support the race, including Drag Specialties, S&S Cycle, Lucas Oil, and J&P Cycles.

 

There’s some extra incentive to pick up an event t-shirt, as a dollar for each event shirt sold will go to support Mees’ former Indian Wrecking Crew teammate Brad Baker.

 

Tickets for the Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile are on sale here. Advance tickets start at just $30.

 

For fans watching remotely, FansChoice.tv will offer live coverage of the Lima Half-Mile when the gates open at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m PT. The AFT Production Twins Main Event will get underway at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT, followed by the Open Paddock/Rider Autograph Session at 7:40 p.m. ET/4:40 p.m. PT. The remainder of the Main Event program is slated to kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT

 

Be sure to catch the feature broadcast of the Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile Presented By Johnny K's Indian powered by Drag Specialties on NBCSN with flag-to-flag coverage of the Main Events, enhanced by exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage. The broadcast will debut on Saturday, July 6, at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT and will re-air on Monday, July 8, at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT.

 

For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.

Andersen Promotions today announced a long-term partnership with the Lucas Oil School of Racing which will see the leading driver training platform and race series become the Official Driving School of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires through 2022. The alliance builds on the synergy already in place with the Lucas Oil School of Racing serving as a stepping stone to the Road to Indy driver development ladder.

Launched in 2015 by Neil Enerson – father of Road to Indy graduate RC Enerson, who has made three starts to date in the NTT IndyCar Series – the Lucas Oil School of Racing offers a unique concept, visiting more than a dozen circuits throughout North America each year providing basic and advanced two-days schools. Its programs are open to karters as young as 12 years of age who are preparing to make the move from karts to cars and delivers fundamental training aboard the championship-winning Ray Formula Cars GR11 chassis with an Elite Engines 2.0-liter powerplant (140HP with a top speed of 130+ mph) and Cooper tires.

The Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series offers arrive-and-drive racing with six events generating 18 races in total and provides its champion with a $75,000 scholarship to advance to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Accomplished karter Reece Gold is the reigning Lucas Oil Formula Car Series champion and currently competes in USF2000 with Cape Motorsports. The 14-year-old has impressed in his series debut with a third-place qualifying effort at Lucas Oil Raceway and five top-10 finishes to date.

In addition, the Lucas Oil School of Racing Cooper Tires Scholarship Shootout offers its champion a full season in the Formula Car Race Series.

“Our partnership is a natural progression of the relationships we already have in place with Neil and his family, Gerardo Bonilla, Director of Operations and former Road to Indy series driver coach, Cooper Tires and Elite Engines,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions.

“We receive a lot of requests from drivers, particularly in karting, asking how to get started on the Road to Indy and we always direct them to the Lucas School of Racing, so to welcome them as our Official Driving School makes perfect sense. With their scholarship programs, they have a driver development program in place and are a true feeder series to the Road to Indy as witnessed by Reece joining our series this year. Our new alignment will allow us to further expand that message in marketing, live streaming, social media, websites and beyond.”

Drivers in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series will be provided with opportunities to attend Road to Indy events and be paired with USF2000 teams to go behind the scenes and learn more about the next step in their career development. Road to Indy representatives will also attend Formula Car Race Series events and the annual Cooper Tires Karting Shootout to promote and support the new partnership.

“A partnership between The Lucas Oil School of Racing and Andersen Promotions is a no-brainer,” said Neil Enerson, Lucas Oil School of Racing Founder and CEO. “It's an honor to be named the Official Driving School of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires and we look forward to cultivating the next crop of Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers.

“As the dad to a successful graduate of the Road To Indy and team owner, I'm in a unique position to understand what it takes to move from karting to a professional race car driver at the top tier. My staff of passionate racers at the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series have pooled years of experience to create a race series that will teach drivers what is expected of them – both on and off the track – at the next level of their racing careers."

The Lucas Oil School of Racing and the Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series will travel next to New Jersey Motorsports Park for basic and advanced classes on July 9/10 and the next championship rounds on July 16/17. The series is currently led by 16-year-old Jackson Lee of Avon, Ind.

The Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be back in action north of the border in Toronto, Ont., Canada on July 13/14.

Antoine Massé will fly the French flag in front of his home fans at the TitansRX season opener in Essay. Last season, the 28-year-old crowned himself French Rallycross Supercar Champion for the first time and now makes his debut on European level in the brand-new TitansRX Series. “I am super-excited to be part of TitansRX. Rallycross is what I love doing and following my success in the French Championship, this is the next step to take. It’s particularly cool to make my debut in front of my home fans, of course,” Massé said to the delight of TitansRX CEO Max J. Pucher.

 

The Frenchman started his motorsport career in the national Rallycross Championship in 2008. He finished on P4 overall in the Logan Rallycross Cup before switching to Rally and the Suzuki Swift Cup the same year. Massé later entered the Citroen Racing Junior Trophy, where he took three wins to come runner-up, before moving to the Opel Adam Cup (P5 in 2014). At the beginning of 2018, he decided to give Rallycross another try, piloting the same Peugeot 208 that had helped Sebastien Loeb win his first World RX event. With five wins in the last six races, Massé was able to intercept favourite Guerlain Chicherit for the French Supercar title.

 

Grosset-Janin subbing for Sarrazin

Another Frenchman will participate in the opening round: Jérôme Grosset-Janin will replace compatriot Stephane Sarrazin, who has unexpected time conflicts. “Although it’s unfortunate that Steph had to pull out last minute, we are very happy to have found such a valuable substitute so quickly in Jerome,” Pucher was relieved.

 

“I am very happy that the opportunity opened up to take part in the first race of TitansRX Europe 2019 at Essay. This is a fantastic chance for any driver to compete on such a high level of world class drivers. I can’t wait to see how far TitansRX will take us,” Grosset-Janin said.

 

Grosset-Janin began his career in ice racing in 2003 and competed highly successfully in the renowned Andros Trophy. Aged 22, he then switched to rallying and finished third in the 2006 French Asphalt Rally Championship, becoming the youngest driver to win a rally. From 2009 onwards, it was back to rallycross for Grosset-Janin, who crowned himself national champion in 2013. The title win earned him several starts in the World Rallycross Championship the next season, and after coming second overall in the European Rallycross Supercar Series twice, he received a fulltime drive with GC Kompetition Renault in the worlds for 2018. He took his first podium on top level in Sweden that season.

 

“We are so glad have two French top drivers with Antoine Massé and Jerome Grosset-Janine in the field. In general, we at TitansRX Europe are all thrilled to bring the future of Rallycross Supercars to the first iconic Rallycross track of the series, Essay-Ducs. Twelve racing superstars and Rallycross greats will battle it out with identical PanteraRX6 cars that are as fast as FIA Supercars. An updated regulation and points system which promote more action on the track should provide best in Rallycross competition”, Pucher added.

 

The inaugural TitansRX season will start in Essay, France, on June 29/30.

 

ARCA Menards Series 2019 Daytona winner, Harrison Burton, will make his fifth series start of the season with Venturini Motorsports driving the No.20 Ruud Toyota in Thursday’s prime time Bounty 150 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Burton back with his series leading No.20 Toyota team for the first time since finishing fourth at Pocono Raceway will make his first career starts at Chicagoland with double duty action on back-to-back nights running the ARCA race Thursday and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race Friday with Kyle Bush Motorsports.

A three-time ARCA winner, Burton, 18, notched his first series win on the half-mile surface at Toledo Speedway in 2017. His two other wins have come via the superspeedway – Pocono Raceway (June of ’18) and at again at this year’s season opener Daytona International Speedway.

A member of Toyota Racing Development (TRD), Burton is running partial race schedules with VMS and Joe Gibbs Racing (NASCAR XFINITY Series) in addition to his full-time efforts with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series. Burton currently sits sixth in the NASCAR Truck championship point standings – 116 markers back from series leader and former ARCA champion, Grant Enfinger.

Burton, the son of former Monster Energy Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, is a former NASCAR Next Alumnus and the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion. Since joining the ARCA series in 2016, the Huntersville, NC native has made 15 ARCA starts - scoring 10 top-five and 14 top-ten finishes to go along with his three victories.

VMS has four all-time team wins at Chicagoland Speedway including back-to-back victories in 2017 and 2018 with Christopher Bell and Michael Self. Scott Lagasse Jr. handed VMS its first hometown victory in 2008 and Kevin Swindell won from the pole in 2012. 

In advance of Thursday’s race Burton will join VMS teammates Michael Self and Christian Eckes for an appearance Wednesday evening June 26 at the ‘NASCAR Fan Rally Block Party’ located in downtown Joliet, Illinois from 5:30PM to 7:00PM.

The ARCA Menards Series returns to action on Thursday, June 27 in the Bounty 150 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Practice is scheduled to start at 1 pm ET/12 noon CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 5:35 pm ET/4:35 pm CT, and the 100-lap/150-mile feature event is set for 8 pm ET/7 pm CT. The race will be televised live on FS1.

VMS PR

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