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Rookie Felix Rosenqvist won his first pole in the NTT IndyCar Series on Friday by outpacing Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying session for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 27-year-old Swede posted a lap of 1 minute, 8.2785 seconds (128.597 mph) in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda. Dixon, a five-time series champion, ran 1:08.2979 (128.560) in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX: Qualifying results

Team Penske has dominated this event over the years, winning the past four races from the pole. But Will Power, who captured the past two races on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, was the lone Penske driver to reach this Firestone Fast Six. The reigning Indianapolis 500 winner will start the No. 12 Verizon 5G Chevrolet in sixth position on Saturday. Teammate Simon Pagenaud, the only other winner of the INDYCAR Grand Prix in the event's history, starts eighth in the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet.

Rosenqvist wasn't sure he would be the pole winner until Dixon completed his final lap.

"The first two laps I didn't really feel like I had (tire) grip, and then the final lap there was something switching on, and I was like, 'OK, this could be good," Rosenqvist said. "But honestly, I didn't think it was going to be (fast enough). It's so tight. I looked up at the screen and we were P1. I just prayed it was going to hold 'til the end."

Rosenqvist wasn't the only driver celebrating. Jack Harvey, who earned the third starting position, participated in his first Firestone Fast Six in Meyer Shank Racing's No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda. Harvey has only 13 career starts in the NTT IndyCar Series, but has had success at IMS. He won the Freedom 100, the Indy Lights race on the superspeedway oval, and an Indy Lights race on the road course  in 2015.

Rookie Colton Herta, who drives the No. 88 GESS International Honda for Harding Steinbrenner Racing, had been the fastest driver in Friday's second practice and actually posted the fastest lap in qualifying at 1:07.8887 (Round 2). The second-generation Indy car driver's Firestone Fast Six performance was good for a fourth-place starting position, tying his best qualifying session of the season at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, which he went on to win. In 2018, Herta swept all three Indy Lights races at IMS - two on the road course, one on the oval.

Ed Jones, driver of the No. 20 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet of Ed Carpenter Scuderia Corsa, will start fifth in Saturday's race, easily his best of the season (his previous best this year was 15th in St. Petersburg, Florida, in March).

Dixon has never won an INDYCAR Grand Prix, but he has had strong races. He finished second last year after starting 18th.

The first round of qualifying was interesting as three drivers - series points leader Josef Newgarden, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and 2018 championship runner-up Alexander Rossi - failed to advance out of the first group. Team Penske drivers Newgarden, Castroneves and Power took turns bumping each other out of the transfer line in the closing seconds of the session.

Newgarden was surprised to be nearly six-tenths of a second off the session's best lap, which means the driver of the No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Chevrolet will have work to do starting 13th on Saturday.

"That's a big deal," he said of the time discrepancy. "I'm not sure where that (improvement) is at."

Changing weather conditions open up the possibility of a wet race. In that case, the action could be especially thrilling as teams manage the conditions and drivers put their skills to the test in the rain.

"If it rains, it rains, (and) it's the same for everybody," Pagenaud said.

Coverage of the 85-lap INDYCAR Grand Prix, the fifth race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, begins at 3 p.m. Saturday on NBC, NBCSsports.com, the NBC Sports app and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Road to Indy: New Yorker wins his first Indy Lights race

Robert Megennis won his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race Friday, taking the victory at the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The 19-year-old rookie started on the pole and led 28 of the 30 laps.

Megennis was so thrilled with his first Indy Lights win that he kissed the front of his No. 27 car after removing his helmet.

"This is insane," he said. "I can't believe it; it's out of control."

Andretti Autosport won for the fifth time in six Indy Lights races at this track and the 53rd time in series history. The Indianapolis-based team also delivered the second-place finisher in series points leader Oliver Askew. Rinus Veekay finished third for Juncos Racing.

The second Indy Lights race of the weekend is Saturday at 1:15 p.m., with coverage on NBC Sports Gold's INDYCAR Pass.

Pole winner Rasmus Lindh (Juncos Racing) led all 25 of laps of the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires race. The win was the first in the series for the rookie Swedish driver, who drew within four points of series leader Parker Thompson (Abel Motorsports), the fifth-place finisher.

Braden Eves (Cape Motorsports) passed Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing) on the 15th and final lap to win the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship race. The Ohio product has now won all three races this season - the first two were in St. Petersburg, Florida in March - and will go for a fourth consecutive win Saturday in the cap to the doubleheader at 9:15 a.m.

NTT IndyCar Series PR

Jack Harvey posted his career-best qualifying result in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM IndyCar as his 1:08.323-second lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway secured third on the grid for Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix (live NBCSN 3:30pm ET).

Harvey got off to a fast start during Friday morning’s two practice sessions and carried that momentum into qualifying on Friday afternoon in the MSR machine. Starting off in Group 1 qualifying, Harvey posted a 1:08.348-second lap which was good enough to transfer him into the top 12 for the third time this year.

Harvey brought yet more pace in the second session by carding third quickest time of 1:08.110-seconds to move him into the Firestone Fast Six.

Making his first ever Firestone Fast Six appearance, Harvey immediately laid down his fast time of 1:08.323-seconds which secured him a spot on the second row in third for Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.

“I feel like we have been on the brink of a Firestone Fast Six result and now qualifying in the top of the Fast Six will be the momentum we need to replicate it more often,” said Harvey. “I was so focused on trying to get a good lap in that I didn’t even know we had gone P1 there for a second. This gives us confidence and what we are doing is headed in the right direction. Of course, we will continue to work at it to continue to get better."
 
Having expanded from a six-race program in 2018 to secure 10 IndyCar race outings with the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM entry in 2019, Harvey and MSR continue to develop speed in the highlight competitive category.
 
“I love this whole team – everyone at MSR, everyone at Arrow Schmidt Peterson,” continued Harvey. “We also have been so lucky with our partners in AutoNation and SiriusXM as well. We have a very solid result for our team and for me. Now we need to take it to the race! It would be great to finish where we are starting, or even better.”
 
“It was a complete group effort,” said Mike Shank. “Jack got everything out of the car that he could. I couldn’t be more pleased with him and the team. It’s been a great day to show how we have advanced at this level of competition and how we handle situations like this. I am beyond pleased!”
 
The INDYCAR Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBCSN on Saturday May 11th at 3:30pm ET. There will also be live IndyCar Radio coverage on SiriusXM Ch. 209 or Online Ch. 970.

MSR PR

INDIANAPOLIS May 10, 2019 Great news announced to at IMS! 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing today announced that it had joined with its sponsor United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental provider, to renew their partnership with SoldierStrong, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing advanced medical technologies to veterans, for a fourth year, and set a goal of raising $1 million in donations to date through the Turns for Troops program. Today’s announcement was at a press event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in festivities leading up to the Indianapolis 500.

In addition to donating $50 for every lap #15 NTT IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal makes during the season as part of the Turns for Troops program, United Rentals has extended its commitment to include donating $50 for each of the additional RLL Racing drivers, Takuma Sato and Jordan King, during the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, totaling $30,000 for SoldierStrong.

Funds from the Turns for Troops program go toward the purchase of state-of-the-art medical technologies and implementation of educational programs. SoldierStrong will apply this year’s Turns for Troops donation in part to their new program, StrongMind, revolutionary virtual reality (VR) therapy software dedicated to improving mental health of veterans with PTSD.

“We’re proud of our partnership with United Rentals and RLL Racing.  They are wonderful partners in achieving our mission on behalf of America’s veterans,” said SoldierStrong co-founder Chris Meek. “The mission of StrongMind is to reduce the tragically high number of veteran suicides across the country by coordinating between leading medical researchers, major universities, and various agencies of the federal government to provide revolutionary virtual-reality based PTSD treatment.”

 

https://youtu.be/6BxI87fd3yY

 

While Loris Hezemans showed the impressive pace of the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Ford Mustang in free practice at the Autodromo di Franciacorta in Italy in the ELITE 1 Division, Racers Motorsport driver Nicholas Risitano was fastest among the ELITE 2 Division drivers on Friday. The stage for an exciting qualifying session is set.

ELITE 1 RESULTS: PRACTICE  | FINAL PRACTICE

Hezemans lapped the 2,5 kilometer of the Autodromo di Franciacorta in 1:13.138, edging Alon Day, who won three of the four NWES races held at the Italian track since its inception in the Euro NASCAR calendar. The Israeli was a mere 0.018 seconds slower than Hezemans. In the first session, the reigning Euro NASCAR Champion appeared to be focusing mainly on long run pace.

Marc Goossens showed a strong pace in practice. The Braxx Racing driver set a time of 1:13.198, less than one hundredth of a second behind the leader. Goossens sits eighth in the ELITE 1 Division standings after a tough weekend in the Valencia season opener.

Frederic Gabillon, who had some issues in the second session, ended up fourth. In the first session he posted the best time overall in his very last lap. The gap from Hezemans in the combined result was 0.384 seconds. PK Carsport driver Stienes Longin, who sits second in the championship standings, rounded out the top-5 by being 0.410 seconds slower than Hezemans.

Jacques Villeneuve made a strong debut at the Autodromo di Franciacorta by closing practice in seventh place, thanks to his 1:13,606 lap. It was not a completely new track for the former Formula One and Indy 500 winner as the Canadian tested a EuroNASCAR car at Franciacorta during one of the NWES Recruitment Days. Points leader and double Valencia winner Ander Vilarino was ninth in his #48 Racing Engineering Ford Mustang.

Nicholas Risitano quickest in the ELITE 2 Division

Nicholas Risitano, who grabbed his first ever NASCAR Whelen Euro Series win at the season opener in Valencia, was fastest on Friday in the ELITE 2 Division free practice sessions. The Italian lapped the Franciacorta track in 1:14.363 minutes, besting the other Valencia winner Giorgio Maggi on the #50 Hendriks Motorsport Mustang by 0.220 seconds.

ELITE 2 RESULTS: PRACTICE  | FINAL PRACTICE

Florian Venturi returned to prominence at the Autodromo di Franciacorta by driving the third fastest lap. The Frenchman, one of the strongest candidates for the ELITE 2 Division title, experienced a tough season opener at Valencia and is only 29th in the ELITE 2 Division standings.

Debutant Lasse Sorensen on the #66 Dexwet-df1 Racing Camaro was fourth in his first ever NWES practice sessions. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Serie Rookie of the Year Myatt Snider ended up fifth ahead of Sorensen’ teammate Justin Kunz, lapping the track in 1:14.871 in his Racing Engineering Ford Mustang.

Andre Castro, whose first practice session came to a premature stop due to a problem to his #24 PK Carsport Chevrolet Camaro, was eighth in the combined free practice results. The American was 0.669 seconds slower than Risitano. The PK Carsport driver showed great potential in his first two Euro NASCAR races ever, coming one corner short of his maiden win.

The great show of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will resume tomorrow with the qualifying session at 9:50 am and Round 3 of both Divisions. Qualifying and both races will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the Euro NASCAR Youtube channel and Facebook page, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles.

NWES PR

It’s not very often that a championship contender in a racing series will visit a track that’s been on the schedule for years for the very first time. That’s exactly what’s going to happen when ARCA Menards Series contender Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) visits Toledo Speedway for the May 19 Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200.

Self, who has raced in the ARCA Menards Series for the past few seasons, but only partial schedules – mainly on superspeedways – as funding would allow. But a major commitment by his sponsor has allowed him to contend for the title for the first time in his career in 2019. That means visiting racetracks he’s never been to before.

On the strength of victories at Five Flags Speedway in March and Salem Speedway in April, the Salt Lake City, Utah resident was leading the standings for the first time in his career. After bad luck at Nashville, Self is now second, 30 points behind leader Travis Braden (No. 27 Matrixcare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford).

Self has been a superspeedway specialist in recent years, and there’s no disguising the fact it’s a style of racing that he enjoys, but he’s also out to prove he is every bit as good on the short tracks.

While he may not have a lot of experience on the short tracks that comprise the ARCA Menards Series tour, Self is no stranger to racing on the bullrings. He has plenty of short track experience in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, and he’s earned six of his eight career NKNPSW wins on short tracks.

But even with that experience, it takes some time to learn the way around a racetrack you’ve never been to before. Self has a wealth of experience to draw from as his team owner Bill Venturini is a two-time series champion, in 1987 and 1991, and team co-owner Billy Venturini is himself a former driver and heads up the organization’s driver development program. The team fields multiple cars at each series event, cycling through some of the most sought after talent in stock car racing’s developmental leagues. Some of those drivers, like Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) and Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota) are themselves winners in the ARCA Menards Series.

Self, himself a driver coach when not racing, has no qualms on leaning on that support system to find speed.

“Over the years I’ve learned how important it is to listen to others that have experience and not be hard-headed about asking for advice,” Self said. “I’m far from knowing everything about every track on the ARCA schedule, so if I can ask guys like Frank Kimmel, Billy, or Christian questions about those tracks and get their input since they’ve been there, sometimes that really helps advance the learning curve for me.”

Self will make his first series start at Toledo Speedway, the series home track. The track has played host to 77 previous ARCA Menards Series races and has seen some of the biggest names in the series long history visit victory lane over the years. Ten-time series champion Frank Kimmel, now a crew chief and consultant at Venturini Motorsports, is a nine-time Toledo winner, including his first-ever series win in May 1994.

Kimmel won five of those races in years he won the series title, something Self hopes he can make happen this year. With two previous short track wins in 2019, his hopes could easily turn into reality.

“Without ever having been to Toledo I have no idea what to expect, but I do know that the VMS guys have been bringing fast cars to every race this year, so I can have confidence there,” he said. “People have told me Toledo is a fun, fast track, so I’m anxious to get there and get some laps under my belt and see if we can rebound from Nashville.”

Practice for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET on Saturday, May 18, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4 pm ET. A 35-lap ARCA late model sportsman feature event will close Saturday’s activities at the track. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will go green shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, May 19. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live user chat throughout all on-track sessions at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. Tickets are available by calling the Toledo Speedway ticket office at (419) 727-1100. Discounted tickets are available at Northwest Ohio Menards locations for $15, a savings of $10 from the raceday ticket price.

ARCA Menards Series PR

With over four inches of rain falling Wednesday on already saturated grounds, and 100% chance of rain continuing to haunt Saturday's forecast, events on Saturday, May 11 at I-30 Speedway with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network have been canceled.
ASCS and I-30 Speedway officials are currently looking for a possible date to reschedule. Any updates will be posted to http://www.ascsracing.com.
The next event for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network is at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich. with the Great Lakes Super Sprints on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18.
For other news, notes, and information on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the Regional Tours that make up ASCS Nation, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com, follow on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter (@LucasOilASCS).
ASCS Online:
American Sprint Car Series: http://www.ascsracing.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lucasoilascs (@lucasoilascs)
Instagram: LucasOilASCS
Audio Broadcast: http://www.racinboys.com
Live Scoring (Where Applicable): MRP Live
ASCS National Tour Drivers Online:
Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA.): http://www.sethbergmanracing.com
Scott Bogucki (McLaren Vale, S. Aust.): https://www.facebook.com/ScottBogucki89
John Carney II (El Paso, TX): https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyRacing
Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK): http://www.mattcovingtonracing.com
Roger Crockett (Broken Arrow, OK): http://www.rocketdesignsllc.com
Tucker Doughty (Rockwall, TX): https://twitter.com/tuckerdoughty
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX): http://www.sam15.com
Blake Hahn (Sapulpa, OK): http://www.blakehahnracing.com
Alex Hill (Six Nations, Ontario, Can.): https://twitter.com/alexhill77x
Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK): https://www.facebook.com/WayneJohnsonRacing?fref=ts
Jordon Mallett (Greenbrier, AR): https://www.facebook.com/jordonmallettmotorsports
Chris Martin (Ankeny, IA): https://twitter.com/cmr_44?lang=en
Robbie Price (Cobble Hill, BC, Can.): http://www.bdsmotorsportsllc.com
Travis Rilat (Forney, TX): http://www.bdsmotorsportsllc.com
Harli White (Lindsay, OK): http://www.harliwhiteracing.net
ASCS Sponsors:
Lucas Oil Products is the title sponsor of the American Sprint Car Series. More information can be found on Lucas Oil Products at www.lucasoil.com. MAVTV Motorsports Network is the presenting sponsor of the American Sprint Car Series. Log onto http://www.mavtv.com for more information.
Associate sponsors for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented the MAVTV Motorsports Network include Hoosier Racing Tire and Brodix. All Heat Races are brought to you by SCE Gaskets. All B-Features are presented by BMRS.
Team Lucas Sponsors for the American Sprint Car Series consist of Protect the Harvest, Geico, SRI, General Tire, MAVTV Motorsports Network, LucasOilRacing.tv, and General Tire.
All events are broadcast online at http://www.racinboys.com.
Product and Contingency Sponsorship provided by SCE Gaskets, K&N Filters, BMRS, SpeedMart, Engler Machine and Tool, FSR Radiator and Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, MyRacePass.com, Weld Wheels, Maxwell Industries, Simpson, Wesmar Racing Engines, Hinchman Indy Racewear, Rod End Supply, Smiley's Racing Products, and Triple X Race, Co.
ASCS PR

A few thousands of a second made the difference: Giovanni Trione is now an ELITE Club Division winner. The Italian was the most consistent driver in the two ELITE Club Division timed sessions around the 2,5-km Autodromo di Franciacorta and obtained the best score among the entrants. Trione, at the wheel of the #31 Chevrolet SS, edged Andreas Kuchelbacher by five points in the event.

In an incident free first session Trione clocked a lap just 0.006 seconds shy of the 1:26.000 reference time. In the following session Trione was second. The CAAL Racing driver now leads the ELITE Club Division standings exactly by those five points.

“This is a great feeling, to win for the first time in my career here at my home track of Franciacorta. It’s something unique,” said the 25-year old. “The competition is getting tougher and tougher, so I hope I can score good points in Hockenheim and I hope to bring home the title. The team deserves it, I deserve it, we’ll do our best to win!”

2017 ELITE Club Division champion Andreas Kuchelbacher was second overall, missing the reference time by 0,127 seconds in the first session and scoring the best penalty time in session 2. British driver Callum Cripps completed the podium scoring a total of 67 points in the two timed sessions.

Dexwet-Df1 driver Alain Mosqueron was fourth ahead of his teammate Alina Loibnegger, who made her NWES ELITE Club Division debut in Italy after being forced out of the competition at Valencia.

After this second round of the 2019 season, the ELITE Club Division will be back on track at the iconic Hockenheimring in Germany on 19-22 September with a key race in the battle for the title.

NWES PR

PMG is proud to announce that the E-Commerce construction and procurement company Yurpal Technologies, Inc. (Yurpal.com) has partnered with Colby Howard and Anthony Campi Racing (ACR) as a full-time associate sponsor for Howard’s Pro Late Model campaign.

Yurpal Technologies, Inc. made its first venture into motorsports last April in the ARCA Menards Series, and has been increasing their reach within the garage area ever since. The Southern California-based construction products E-Commerce company is excited to be taking the next step in their sponsorship program by sponsoring a talented driver like Colby Howard and his winning ACR No. 81 Pro Late Model for the remainder of Colby’s 2019 season.

Recently, Howard flew the Yurpal colors for the first time during the Allen Turner Pro Late Model 100 lap event at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida where he visited victory lane again. This marked Colby’s second Pro Late Model win of the season, and Yurpal Technology, Inc.’s first ever victory as a sponsor in motorsports as a whole.

CEO Jon DeLangis was quoted in victory saying “Wow, I just can’t believe it! Our first win ever! I knew Colby was a good Pro Late Model driver, but I certainly didn’t expect him to win in his first outing with our support! I am very excited to see how the rest of the season goes. I certainly can’t thank PMG enough for connecting Yurpal with Colby Howard. We make a winning team together and I predict there’s a whole lot more where that came from!”

Colby Howard gave this insight about welcoming a new sponsor on board after his big win: “Having the support from a sponsor that is fresh to racing, in any form, means a lot to me. It definitely puts some pressure on me and my team. We need to do our absolute best, as a team, so we can give our friends at Yurpal something to be proud of.”

“I think we did just that in our first time out with them on board in Pensacola by winning the race. I couldn’t be happier to deliver their first win as a sponsor. Now that our team has these two checkered flags in our back pocket, I am confident that we are going to continue to add up victories, and I am really excited to represent Yurpal along the way!”

Howard, who is only 17 years of age, is quickly starting to make a name for himself in the short track racing scene. Just recently, he was chosen as the 48th pick in Speed51’s annual Short Track Draft, after his first Pro Late Model win in Montgomery, Alabama in early April. He plans on racing at least eight more races this season in that division with ACR, and also has his eyes on a limited number of races in the ARCA Menards Series later in the year.

In just two ARCA races last year, Howard earned two Top 10 finishes and plans to keep that streak alive with the support of Yurpal and his primary marketing partner Project Hope Foundation.

Up next on the schedule for Colby is the third race in the Show Me The Money Pro Late Model series at Montgomery Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 11th. Having already visited victory lane there earlier this season, there are some high hopes and expectations heading into their next race. How will the new pairing end up on the results sheet down in Alabama? We will all have to wait and see.

For all things Colby Howard, be sure to follow him on his social media pages @ColbyHoward16, or visit his newly revamped website at www.colby-howard.com. To keep up with PMG’s adventures, follow us on social media at @RacingPMG or visit our site at www.racingpmg.com.            

PMG PR

After the promising performances showed at Valencia season opener, Solaris Motorsport has high expectations for the the Italian round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. The European series of the US major will land this weekend at Franciacorta track, home race for the Italian team and Francesco Sini, the circuit where the young Naveh Talor did his first ever NASCAR hit.

“The home race is always special for a driver and for us of Solaris Motorsport is something great, with all the fans coming to our box and supporting our Camaro on the grandstands. The Valencia results didn’t show our potential, I would like to obtain a good result here in front of our fans, in order to thank also all the guys of the team. They never stopped working on the car.” Said Francesco Sini, who was so close to the Top10 in Valencia. “We did some tests here in March and this make me positive for the weekend. Racing between NASCAR and F1 Champions, Le Mans winners and high talented PRO drivers will make more difficult to be on top, but the hardest challenges are those that always manage to make us pull out the most. Climbing the podium will be great!”

“I’m looking forward to continuing my progress in NASCAR with Solaris Motorsport. It has been a good debut for me in Valencia and I am searching to improve even more in Franciacorta. I’m hoping to bring pride to my team in their home race!“, said Naveh Talor, 17 years old from Israel, that in Valencia impressed with a strong pace at his first race ever in career.

The weekend of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will start on Friday with the two sessions of free practices, while the qualifying session are scheduled the following day at 10 AM. ELITE 1 Race 1 will go green at 1:30 PM, the green flag for the ELITE 2 race will wave at 5PM. On Sunday morning the ELITE 2 will start at 11 AM, while the ELITE 1 Race 2 will end the weekend at 2:30 PM. All the races and the qualifying session will be live streamed on the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Facebook page and YouTube channel. .

Solaris Motorsport PR

Auto racing, perhaps more than any other sport, is made up of participants who can trace their roots in the sport back generations. Some families, like the Petty family or the Andretti family, have three or four generations of drivers. Others, like the Marcum family, the founding family of the Automobile Racing Club of America, can also claim three generations of involvement in the sport.

It’s rare to find someone in the sport whose family was never around it as they were growing up.

For Nic Moncher, general manager at Bret Holmes Racing, that’s exactly what happened. Born in Toledo, Ohio and raised in Tiffin and Sandusky, Moncher and his family had no connection to racing. His family didn’t have a racer in it, in fact, they didn’t even know there were short tracks peppered throughout northwest Ohio. Yet somehow, Moncher found NASCAR racing on television and was enthralled.

“No one in my family knew anything about racing,” Moncher said. “We didn’t go to any of the short tracks around Ohio, we didn’t watch it on TV, nothing. We didn’t even know it was a thing. But somehow I found it one day when I was a kid and I couldn’t stop watching it. I became a huge Jeff Gordon fan.  I went to my first race at Michigan International Speedway in 1999. From there on out it was all I wanted to do. We lived in Sandusky, and I found out there was a NASCAR team located there and I started banging on their door wanting to do anything I could to be involved.”

The team was ThorSport Racing. While the team is now one of the powerhouse organizations in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series at the time, in 2004, it was a small team still looking for long-term sustained success. And while any and all help was appreciated, Moncher still had to start on the ground floor.

“I would pound on (ThorSport team manager) David Pepper’s door all the time asking him, begging him, to hire me,” Moncher said. “Eventually he said I could work there but I would have to do all the jobs no one else wanted to do – sweeping the floors, taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms – for a year before they would let me start to work on the trucks. Eventually they started giving me more and more to do. I started installing decals and doing some of the graphics on the trucks.

“Some time in 2005 I told them I wanted to start to go to the racetrack, and eventually they let me. But I had to ride to and from the race in the hauler. I really got to see a lot about how the sport works from a lot of different perspectives.”

After a couple of years with ThorSport, Moncher decided he wanted to get even more involved in the management side of the sport so he departed Ohio to attend Belmont Abbey’s motorsports management program in Belmont, North Carolina.

“It was the first motorsports management program in the country,” he said. “It was led by Humpy Wheeler, who was promoter at Charlotte Motor Speedway for years, and John Bickford, who was Jeff Gordon’s stepfather and manager during the early part of his career. I was one of the first 20 people accepted into that program.”

After school, Moncher found himself in a wide variety of jobs in the racing industry, ranging from mechanic and pit crew member to producer of a motorsports talk show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He worked with legendary racing journalist Chris Economaki at National Speed Sport News and learned about the intricacies of the die cast collectible market at Motorsports Authentics. In 2009, while working with Venturini Motorsports, he started working in team management for the first time. He’s still at it a decade later.

“My first job with Venturini Motorsports I was strictly a mechanic and a crew member,” he said. “When Billy (Venturini) stepped out of the seat they started working more on driver development and I helped them get that program up and running. It was my first real foray into working in the front office of a race team.”

Moncher moved to Joey Coulter’s team in 2010 and followed Coulter to Richard Childress Racing in 2011 and 2012 before joining GMS Racing and driver Spencer Gallagher in 2013. He helped organize GMS’s efforts from a small one-car ARCA team to a championship team in both the ARCA Menards Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. When GMS wanted to focus more on the NASCAR side of things, they sold their ARCA inventory to the Holmes family. Moncher was part of the deal.

“Maury Gallagher wanted to win an ARCA championship so we signed Grant Enfinger for a full season in 2015,” he said. “We won the first three races of the year and six overall. Grant won the championship and the Holmes family came in and wanted to get involved. They bought all of GMS’s ARCA inventory. Part of the deal was they would get all of the crew and me too.”

After a year with the Holmes team, Moncher had another offer to work with another NASCAR Truck team. In his absence, Holmes was competitive but not as competitive as they’d have liked. The team took the second half of 2018 off to reorganize, hoping for better results. They made two key moves. The first was hiring long-time crew chief Shane Huffman to oversee the racecars. The second was to bring Moncher back to manage the team and be Holmes’s eyes in the sky, communicating directly with the driver via two-way radio during the race.

“I always liked the management side of the sport,” he said. “I liked the mechanical side too, but I just felt I was better suited to be on the management side. Being the spotter keeps me involved on the competition side of things too.”

With Holmes currently sitting third in the series championship standings, Moncher is looking forward to returning to his home track for the May 19 ARCA Menards Series Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 with a chance to win.

“I never even knew Toledo Speedway existed growing up,” he said. “The first time I even heard about it was on a poster at a gas station when I was a kid. They were advertising the ARCA race and a poster was in the window. It had all of the previous race winners and champions on it. It would be pretty cool for us to add our names to that list.”

Practice for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET on Saturday, May 18, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4 pm ET. A 35-lap ARCA late model sportsman feature event will close Saturday’s activities at the track. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will go green shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, May 19. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live user chat throughout all on-track sessions at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. Tickets are available by calling the Toledo Speedway ticket office at (419) 727-1100. Discounted tickets are available at Northwest Ohio Menards locations for $15, a savings of $10 from the raceday ticket price.

ARCA Menards Series PR

In 1981, forty-year-old Joe Gibbs started his professional football head coaching career with five straight losses. A tough start for sure, but his Washington Redskins team would recover to win eight of their final eleven games and end the season at 8-8.

The slow start belies what would become an NFL Hall of Fame career. The team would go to the Super Bowl the next two seasons, winning in 1982. Gibbs and the Redskins were perennial playoff contenders and won the Super Bowl a second time in 1987.

In 1992, while in his final year of his first stint as head coach of the Redskins, Gibbs created a NASCAR Cup Series race team. Much like his initial season as a football coach, his first season as a car owner was trying as well. But, in his second year, just as he did as coach of the Redskins, his race team won the “super bowl” of racing when driver Dale Jarrett won the Daytona 500 in 1993.

Now, 27 years later, Gibbs is perhaps more known for his NASCAR accomplishments than he is his hall of fame football career.

JGR has won 374 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series, NASCAR Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, AMA Pro Motocross, and in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. And to further prove that Gibbs is more racer than footballer at this point is the fact his sons, J.D. and Coy, both followed him into racing.

J.D., who passed away in January after a long illness, was a former driver who was groomed to take over JGR when “Coach” retired. Coy, who was also a former driver and worked with his father during his second stint as head coach of the Redskins, is now back at JGR. In addition to his duties with the team, he’s also the father of the newest member of the family to pursue a career in motorsports.

Ty Gibbs, still just 16 years of age, made his ARCA Menards Series debut at Five Flags Speedway in March. He stayed in the fight all night long and made a pass for second in the final corner of the final lap. In his second start four weeks ago at Salem Speedway he recovered from a spin to finish sixth. He finished second in the most recent ARCA Menards Series race at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

Not yet old enough to be eligible to race for the overall series championship, Gibbs will compete for the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge championship. The series within the series takes place on all tracks, paved and dirt, one mile in length and under. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway will be the fourth start of Gibbs’ brief ARCA career.

Gibbs has tested a couple of times at the Glass City half mile last year in an effort to familiarize himself with the cars raced in the ARCA series. He will test again on Monday to work on race day setups and to continue to acclimate himself with crew chief Mark McFarland.

“Last year we came to Toledo Speedway to get some seat time in the ARCA car and some laps on the track knowing that we were going to be racing here during the 2019 season,” said Gibbs. “I was really surprised at how fast the track was but feel like I was able to learn some things that will help me when we get to the race weekend. I know Mark (McFarland, crew chief) and the No. 18 team will have a fast Monster Energy Camry and we’ll be ready to battle for the win at Toledo.”  

Unlike his grandfather, who lost those first five games, Gibbs has come out of the box strong. In addition to his strong performances in the ARCA Menards Series, he also won a big late model event at Myrtle Beach Speedway to start the season off on the right foot.

“The 2019 season has started out awesome with a late-model win in Myrtle Beach and second at New Smyrna for the K&N East race and at Five Flags and Nashville for my first ARCA races. I feel I did a lot of preparation during the off season to make sure my fitness and driving skill set stayed sharp and I was ready to get in the car and contend for wins each week. I had a rough time a few weeks ago at Salem and didn’t finish where we wanted to, but I’m ready to rebound at Toledo.”

With a limited number of opportunities to win in 2019, Gibbs is forced to maximize every chance he has behind the wheel. That’s not to say he feels extra pressure to perform. He places a lot of pressure on himself, just as every driver in his position would. One person that doesn’t put any added pressure on him is his grandfather.

“Coach has always supported me in racing and anything I have been involved with,” continued Gibbs. “I feel like there isn’t too much pressure on me this year, but in the years to come they will be expecting results, just as they do from all of the JGR drivers.”

Practice for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET on Saturday, May 18, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4 pm ET. A 35-lap ARCA late model sportsman feature event will close Saturday’s activities at the track. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will go green shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, May 19. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live user chat throughout all on-track sessions at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. Tickets are available by calling the Toledo Speedway ticket office at (419) 727-1100. Discounted tickets are available at Northwest Ohio Menards locations for $15, a savings of $10 from the raceday ticket price.

ARCA Menards Series PR

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