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An epic battle for the 2019 American Flat Track Championship is taking shape as the series approaches its halfway point at this weekend’s New York Short Track in Weedsport, N.Y., on Saturday, July 13.

 

A clutch performance last time out at the Lima Half-Mile by multi-time defending AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines king Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) saw him instantly transform a daunting 34-point deficit into a significantly more manageable 13-point disadvantage. Perhaps even more crucially, his win also tilted momentum back in his favor heading into Weedsport Speedway and its ⅜-mile, D-shaped oval, where he reigned supreme a year ago.

 

Mees’ primary title rivals, AFT Twins points leader Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and third-ranked Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) will be looking to rebound this weekend. Bauman saw his season-long podium streak come to an end at Lima due to an untimely mechanical issue, while Robinson’s recent woes continued as he failed to make the Main at Lima after already cashing in his provisional start. Fortunately for Bauman and Robinson, they are both established Short Track standouts; they each boast a pair of ST victories on their career records, including Robison’s win earlier this year in Atlanta.

 

The next three riders in the ‘19 championship standings all stand as legitimate threats to win this weekend as well. Fourth-ranked Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) claimed his maiden win at the inaugural Laconia Short Track less than a month back. Fifth-ranked Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) needs just one more Short Track victory to eclipse the mark of the legendary Chris Carr (nine wins) and stand alone as AFT’s all-time ST master. While sixth-ranked Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750) is coming off his best ride of the season and salivating at the prospect of completing the career Grand Slam by adding a ST win to his previously-attained Mile, Half-Mile and TT victories.

 

This weekend’s Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys shootout features at least as many potential winners.

 

Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450) was hugely impressive in her Lima HM win, but Short Track has never been her strongest discipline. If that trend continues, the spotlight could return to the top Roof Systems AFT Singles title contenders.

 

Points leader Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) has proven consistently quick regardless of the venue, and he stood atop the podium at the Laconia Short Track. Second-ranked Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) has notched up multiple ST wins in his career, including earlier this season in Atlanta, while reigning champ Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) stepped his game up with a runner-up showing at Lima and is aiming to secure his first win of the season post haste.

 

One rider far removed from title contention who could add some serious spice to the proceedings is Tanner Dean (No. 38 Godzilla Honda Honda CRF450R). Dean sits just 16th in the Roof Systems AFT Singles championship order with an eighth-place at the Red Mile standing as his only top ten of the season. However, he also has a track record of coming out of nowhere to prove nearly unbeatable on any given Saturday night. Last season, Dean had no top tens through ten rounds before promptly winning at Weedsport Speedway. The year before that, he scored his maiden victory during the second half of the 2017 season at the Calistoga Half-Mile with no prior career top tens to his name.

 

In addition to the AFT Twins and Roof Systems AFT Singles action, the New York Short Track will feature the Astro Invitational, pitting former pros and vintage flat track competitors against one another on Bultaco Astros to benefit the Rookies of ‘79 charity to help injured racers.

 

The New York Short Track festivities get underway in earnest at the track on Friday, July 12, with the Kick Off Party & Bike Night Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET, featuring live music, food, local craft beer and wine specials and autograph sessions with a number of AFT’s leading riders.

 

The DownBeat Percussion Drumline will perform at the Kick Off Party, while fans will be given the opportunity to walk the track, win various prizes, and play games. Bikes, including the Astro machines, will be on display, and AFT merchandise will be available for purchase.

 

The off-track activities continue into race day with more live music, fan giveaways, a beer garden, vendors and designated motorcycle parking, among numerous other attractions.

 

New York Short Track tickets are on sale now at https://tickets.americanflattrack.com/. General Admission tickets are $40 if purchased in advance, $50 the day of the event. Kids 12 and under are free in General Admission, and advance Military/First Responder tickets are $20 with GovX registration. Upgraded seating options -- including a new VIP Experience and high-demand Trackside Seating with all-day Pit Pass -- are available while supplies last at https://tickets.americanflattrack.com/.

 

For fans watching remotely, FansChoice.tv will offer live coverage of the New York Short Track when the gates open at 2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m PT. The Astro Invitational Main Event will get underway at 7:50 p.m. ET/4:50 p.m. PT, followed by the Open Paddock/Rider Autograph Session at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. The remainder of the Main Event program is slated to kick off at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT

 

Be sure to catch the premiere telecast of the New York Short Track on NBCSN with flag-to-flag coverage of both Main Events, enhanced by exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage. The broadcast will debut on Saturday, July 27, at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT and will re-air on Wednesday, August 7, at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.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.

The next round of the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series will see a brand new team join the ranks, as Jim Beaver eSports takes to the track for the first time at Chicagoland Speedway. Owned by Jim Beaver, professional off road racer and host of the nationally syndicated Down & Dirty Radio Show Powered By Polaris RZR, the new team will charge into the second half of the 2019 season with a pair of Ford Mustangs driven by Eric J. Smith and Michael Guariglia.
 
Jim Beaver eSports joins a stacked roster of teams competing in the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series, from real-life NASCAR teams like Wood Brothers Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, and Roush Fenway Racing to entries from top-tier gaming squads like Flipsid3 Tactics, G2 Esports, and Renegades. Beaver is the host of three weekly radio shows and podcasts, competes regularly in Trophy Truck and UTV race events, and is the TV and on-site host of various motorsports series and events including the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, which made its debut on iRacing earlier this month with Pro 4 and Pro 2 trucks at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park and Wild West Motorsports Park.
 
“I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to join the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series,” said Jim Beaver. “I’ve been following along with the season and have been very impressed by the high caliber of competition. I’ve also watched the growth of the iRacing platform and its different championships over the past few years. As a guy who has spent some time behind the wheel of a simulator, I jumped at the chance to get involved, and having GoPro Motorplex come on board as the title sponsor of our team is a perfect match. The fact that iRacing also has rallycross and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is icing on the cake.”
 
Both Guariglia and Smith are series rookies, having earned their spots in the series through consistent performances in this winter’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Series. Smith scored a victory in just his third start of the 2019 season at Auto Club Speedway, and will be looking to return the #51 Down & Dirty Show/GoPro Motorplex car to victory lane later this season. Guariglia will switch to the #15 for the remainder of the season, reflecting Beaver’s real-world race number, and will also carry Down & Dirty Show/GoPro Motorplex backing for the remainder of the season.
 
As part of the new initiative, Guariglia and Smith will make appearances on the Down & Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR throughout the season. The show can be streamed live or on demand at www.downanddirtyshow.com and can be heard in syndication on Sports Byline Radio on Saturdays at 6AM ET and Sundays at 8AM ET.
 
Don’t miss the eNASCAR PEAK Antifreeze iRacing Series as it returns to action tonight at 9PM ET at Chicagoland Speedway. The race can be streamed live through the iRacing eSports Network on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. For more information, visit www.iracing.com or www.enascar.com.
 
To learn more about iRacing and to take advantage of special offers go here: www.iracing.com
The most legendary name in drag racing, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, will attempt to set a world speed record in his Swamp Rat 38 electric dragster Saturday, July 20 at Palm Beach International Raceway, Jupiter, Fla.
 
Garlits, the first man to break the 200-mph barrier in a Top Fuel dragster, is now on a quest to reach the 200-mph milestone in a battery-powered dragster on PBIR’s legendary quarter-mile drag strip.
 
General admission tickets are $10 and children 12 and under are free. The world speed record attempt will take place during IHRA Summit SuperSeries bracket racing.
 
The spectator gates open at 3:00 p.m. with the first shake down of the electric dragster scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Garlits will make several runs as he attempts to set a world record.
 
 
“Big Daddy” will be on hand to meet fans and will have souvenirs available for purchase.  
 
Garlits, made a world-record pass of 7.25 seconds at 185.6 mph in an electric dragster in 2014. July 20 will be his attempt to break the 200-mph barrier.  
 
 
Known as the most innovative racer in drag racing history with his series of Swamp Rat dragsters, the Florida icon has earned 17 World Championship titles and is the owner of 144 national-event wins. His record-breaking Swamp Rat 30 is enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. 
 
Please join us July 20 to witness this history-making event.
 
For more information about Palm Beach International Raceway visit RacePBIR.com or call (561) 622-1400. 

 

NBC Sports and NASCAR have partnered to launch the #MyTrackMyRoots Grassroots Racing Tour – a grassroots initiative which celebrates and promotes local tracks across America that have launched the dreams and careers of NASCAR drivers and continue to cultivate a passion for racing in their local communities.

Current and former drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Gander Outdoor Truck Series will join with NBC Sports and NASCAR to spearhead a nationwide initiative to visit and promote more than 500 local tracks across the country over the next four months.

NBC Sports held a nationwide conference call on Monday with drivers and track representatives from all 50 states to kick off the #MyTrackMyRoots Grassroots Racing Tour, including:

  • 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Tony Stewart
  • NBC Sports commentator and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Dale Jarrett
  • Former NASCAR Cup Series driver and local track legend Ken Schrader
  • Current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer
  • Current Xfinity Series driver Chase Briscoe
  • Current Gander Outdoor Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson
  • Late Model racing superstar Bubba Pollard

“It’s great that NBC Sports has taken this initiative with grassroots racing,” said Tony Stewart. “I think the #MyTrackMyRoots partnership with NASCAR can really help NASCAR, short track racing and the sport as a whole. From short tracks to Daytona, this is a movement that benefits all styles of racing.”

“When I was 12 years old, my dad went to Hickory Motor Speedway and became the promoter and owner,” said Dale Jarrett. “I mowed the grass, I handed out programs, I sold popcorn. I’ve seen every side of racing. I was fortunate to race for some of the sport’s greatest owners and they helped me understand what all of this about.”

“When I was a grassroots racer competing at Lakeside Speedway, I was trying to get known, no different than a track operator or anyone else,” said Clint Bowyer. “NASCAR can’t live without grassroots racing, and grassroots racing can’t live without NASCAR.”

“The goal of the #MyTrackMyRoots Grassroots Racing Tour is to connect race fans nationwide and celebrate racing across America,” said Jeff Behnke, VP of NASCAR Production, NBC Sports. “Local track racing is at the heart of NASCAR, and we want to build a grassroots movement by uniting local tracks, drivers, and fans on a national level.”  

“It’s all about getting back to the fans,” said Brandon Igdalsky, NASCAR’s Managing Director for Event Marketing and Promotion. “The #MyTrackMyRoots partnership with NBC Sports is the next iteration of reconnecting with not only the fans, but the tracks, teams, drivers – everyone that loves motorsports to their core.”

NBC Sports will showcase more than 500 tracks across America as part of #MyTrackMyRoots over the next four months, featuring photos, highlights and interviews throughout race coverage on NBC and NBCSN, on its daily studio show, NASCAR America, and on its NASCAR on NBC social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also watch the action at hundreds of local tracks across the country on FansChoice.tv, the online home of live grassroots racing.

Click here to watch Monday’s NASCAR America #MyTrackMyRoots segment featuring Aric Almirola, as he discussed his first memories of going East Bay Raceway outside of Tampa, Fla., to watch his grandfather compete.

#MyTrackMyRoots began during NBC Sports’ first two race weeks of the 2019 NASCAR season at Chicagoland and Daytona. Local tracks that were featured throughout race coverage, NASCAR America, and the NASCAR on NBC social media platforms include:


NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR COVERAGE

The official home of the NASCAR Playoffs, NBC Sports will present the final 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, final 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, and select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events in 2019. NBC Sports’ NASCAR programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show NASCAR America, coverage of NASCAR’s Awards Ceremonies, the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony, as well as original programming specials.

NBC Sports PR

The Miami Herald and McClatchy Studios announced today that "Smoked," a six-part podcast and multimedia series chronicling the extraordinary life of South Florida'sRandy Lanier will launch July 16. Lanier was a racing prodigy who rose to stardom at the Indy 500 while living a secret double life as one of the biggest pot kingpins in American history.

"Smoked" is based on dozens of interviews, some with people who've never spoken publicly before; archival research stretching back 40 years; and exclusive reporting by Miami Herald editor Amy Driscoll and reporter Alex Harris, who co-host the six-part narrative series.

"The Miami Herald was known for its comprehensive and groundbreaking coverage of smuggling and the South Florida drug trade throughout the 1970s and '80s," said Aminda Marqués González, editor and publisher of the Miami Herald. "This tale of weed, speed and the road ahead follows in those footsteps. 'Smoked' is a gripping human interest story with an important underlying message that will engage audiences across the country."

"'Smoked' represents the best of local reporting with national impact," said Davin Coburn, executive producer of audio for McClatchy Studios, which previously collaborated with The Charlotte Observer on the acclaimed 2018 podcast, "Carruth." "Lanier aspired to greatness—and risked destruction—in everything he did. It's a sensational story that our combined teams were uniquely positioned to tell."

The podcast produced by the Miami Herald and McClatchy Studios is the central component of  a multimedia package about Lanier's scandalous and sensational life, and changing attitudes about marijuana nationwide. All six episodes of the podcast will be available on Apple Podcasts and other podcast platforms July 16. Stories and videos will appear that day online at miamiherald.com/smoked. Listen to the first two episodes here.

A South Florida hippie who came of age on the beaches of the Sunshine State, Lanier took the fast lane to fame. He won a championship in the International Motor Sport Association, then was named Rookie of the Year at the 1986 Indy 500. Lanier courted the spotlight on the track, living a jet-setter's life of international luxury. But off the track, the record-breaking driver's secret life as a marijuana kingpin brought Lanier's lavish lifestyle to an abrupt halt.

Investigators traced a $300 million pot trafficking operation — at the time, the largest ever prosecuted in the U.S. — directly to Lanier. Amid President Ronald Reagan's "war on drugs," a two-year federal investigation led to Lanier's conviction on an array of  smuggling charges, and landed him a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Lanier ultimately served 27 years in maximum-security prisons around the country, but was released in 2014, as marijuana legalization efforts dominated daily headlines in Florida and across the country.

Lanier's release and post-prison life offers a modern lens through which "Smoked" also examines society's changing relationship with marijuana, and the legacy of those already incarcerated for it. Today, Lanier works with recovering addicts at a substance abuse treatment center in Florida. He can also still be found at a racetrack—but now mostly as a teacher at a high-performance driving school at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Each "Smoked" podcast episode runs roughly 30 minutes in length:

Part 1: Blue Thunder

By the early-1980s, Randy Lanier is a star on the rise with his racing team, Blue Thunder. But amid the booming drug trade in Lanier's home of South Florida, his growing celebrity hides an equally remarkable double life.

Part 2: Santa Marta Gold

A teenager of the '70s, growing up near Miami with peace, love, and plenty of pot, Lanier first discovers a dime-bag-sized entrepreneurial streak—then the riches in store for Florida's daring drug smugglers.

Part 3: Collision Course

As feds aggressively target South Florida drug syndicates, Lanier's audacious racing and drug-smuggling careers both come to a head. How long can Lanier continue tempting fate, on the track and off it?

Part 4: Domino Effect

Florida's pot business falls apart, and for Lanier everything comes crashing down. He's arrested, and ultimately given a "natural death sentence" for drug smuggling: Lanier will go to prison in handcuffs and leave in a coffin.

Part 5: Two Finish Lines

Lanier ultimately seeks rehabilitation behind bars, inspired by what his reimagined life could be. Outside, pot goes through its own rebranding, and Florida's path to legal weed takes shape.

Part 6: Smoke Clears

In late 2014, Lanier becomes a free man. It's now a new day for pot in Florida and nationwide—and for Lanier, who seeks out ways to help others by drawing on his experiences from his old life.

McClatchy StudiosPR

After a week off to celebrate the fourth of July holiday, championship leading driver, Michael Self (No .25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) and the ARCA Menards Series return to action this weekend in the Menards 200 at Elko Speedway on Saturday, July 13.

Elko Speedway, the shortest track on tour is a 3/8-mile asphalt bullring known for door-to-door racing and delivering dramatic finishes. This weekend’s event marks Self’s first ever appearance at the Minnesota short track and the ARCA Series’ sixth overall appearance since 2012.

Already a three-time winner in 2019, Self has two short track wins to his credit as he drove to victory lane earlier in the season at Five Flags Speedway and Salem Speedway. 

“I’m usually not a huge fan of the short tracks,” Self admits, “but I’m actually really looking forward to Elko. I’ve watched a couple of the past races there as well as some on-board footage and the track just reminds me so much of the places we raced out west in the K&N series. Roseville, Colorado National, I-44, Stockton, and the Vegas Bullring were all 3/8-mile tracks that were on the schedule at some time when I was running it, so those are the tracks that really formed my stock car racing roots.”

Coming off a fourth-place finish two weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway, Self returns to the track with a 35-point advantage in the championship driver point standings over competitor Bret Holmes. Sixty-percent through the season Saturday night’s race will mark the 13th event of the year.

Self will make his 32nd career start Saturday night at Elko Speedway. Throughout his career he’s notched six wins, 19 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes to go along with five pole position starts. 

Self, 28, will join Venturini Motorsports’ teammates Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith and Hailie Deegan at Elko. VMS has one team win at Elko Speedway (Brennan Poole ’12) and two General Tire Pole Awards (Justin Haley ’14 and Christian Eckes ’18).

The ARCA Menards Series returns to action on Saturday July 13 in the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway. Practice at Elko Speedway is set for 2:15 pm ET/1:15 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15 pm ET/5:15 pm CT, and the 250-lap feature event will go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV.

VMS PR

Bobby Pierce pocketed $10,000 after dominating Sycamore Speedway on Monday night, giving him the DIRTcar Summer Nationals points lead heading into the final Champions Week.

Dennis Erb Jr. set the front row with two-time Sycamore track champion Charlie Olson for the 50-lap Feature, but a caution on the start involving Olson moved Pierce to the front row. Finally, on a third attempt at starting the Feature, Pierce jumped straight to the lead.

He built a three-second lead over former champion Jason Feger, who surged forward from sixth to second. Feger cut Pierce’s lead to one second as another former champion, Ryan Unzicker, closed the gap between himself and Feger until lapped traffic slowed Unzicker on the bottom.

Eventually, Feger ran out of time to track down Pierce, who also claimed the $2,000 Independence Week title presented by FK Rod Ends.

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals resumes Wednesday, July 10, at the Thunder Speedway for the “Hell Tour’s” second visit in Muskegon, MI.

Nicely stops Hoffman in Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals: After four weeks of trying, Tyler Nicely final conquered Nick Hoffman on Monday night at Sycamore Speedway to win a DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature worth $1,500.

Nicely set the front row of the 25-lap main event with Jeffery Ledford. Nicely jumped to lead quickly with Hunt Gossum following in second. Gossum challenged Nicely around the bottom for a couple laps until a caution flew.

On the restart Hoffman drove around Gossum for second and pressured Nicely. Hoffman, the championship leader, was strong as usual, but Nicely wouldn’t surrender the lead and held on for the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Allen Weisser worked up to Gossum for third in an entertaining battle behind the leaders, with Weisser claiming the spot in the end.

The DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals resumes Wednesday, July 10, at the Thunder Speedway in Muskegon, MI.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Model Feature (50 Laps) - 1. 32-Bobby Pierce [4]; 2. 25F-Jason Feger [6]; 3. 24-Ryan Unzicker [3]; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, [11]; 5. 89-Mike Spatola [8]; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley [13]; 7. 28-Dennis Erb, [1]; 8. 21B-Rich Bell [10]; 9. 15B-Jay Brendle [15]; 10. 9-Lyle Zanker [16]; 11. 25W-Allen Weisser [5]; 12. CJ1-Rusty Schlenk [12]; 13. 28O-Charlie Olson [2]; 14. 25H-Chuck Hummer [14]; 15. 31AUS-Paul Stubber [7]; 16. 22B-Jonathan Brauns [9]; 17. B5-Brandon Sheppard [17]; 18. 87-Walker Arthur [18]; 19. 21-Billy Moyer [19]; 20. 2-Allen Murray [20]; 21. 18-Shannon Babb [21]; 22. 29-Spencer Diercks [22]; Hard Charger:99JR-Frank Heckenast,[+7]

DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Feature (25 Laps) - 1. 25N-Tyler Nicely [1]; 2. 2-Nick Hoffman [4]; 3. 25W-Allen Weisser [5]; 4. 99-Hunt Gossum [3]; 5. 18-Jeffrey Ledford [2]; 6. 1-Ray Bollinger [7]; 7. 11T-Dugan Thye [12]; 8. 37L-Michael Ledford [6]; 9. O-Travis Kohler [8]; 10. 57-Tim Hamburg [15]; 11. 25-Mike Simons [9]; 12. 57H-Brandon Hamburg [14]; 13. 1L-Dave Lilja [13]; 14. J1-Roger Jackson [11]; 15. 40-Jack Williams [16]; 16. 16-Nick Lueth [10]; 17. 8K-Levi Kissinger [17]; 18. 36-Kenny Wallace [18]; 19. K19-Will Krup [19]; Hard Charger:11T-Dugan Thye[+5

DIRTcar Racing PR

One of the pleasant surprises of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season has to be the charge by Munford, Alabama’s Bret Holmes to the front of the series championship point standings. Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet) sits second entering Saturday’s Menards 250 presented by MatrixCare at Elko Speedway, just 30 points behind leader Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota).

Just one year removed from parking his family-owned team’s racecars due to a frustrating and uncompetitive start to the 2018 season, Holmes finds himself in the thick of the fight week-in and week-out in 2019. With crew chief Shane Huffman setting up – and upgrading – the team’s fleet of racecars and making calls from on top of the pit box throughout the races, Holmes has seen his results improve dramatically. The 22-year-old building sciences major at Auburn University has already racked up five top-five finishes, one shy of doubling his previous career total, and ten top-ten finishes in the first twelve races of the season.

He’s coming to Elko looking to bolster his position on the points standings by scoring his first career series victory. He had success in his only other career appearance at the 0.375-mile track located about a half-hour outside of downtown Minneapolis/St. Paul. He started on the front row and was part of an nine-car battle for the win that resulted in a fourth-place finish in 2017. Holmes had to dodge a massive crash at the start-finish line on the final lap to score that finish as three of the drivers in front of him were involved.

Holmes has a vested interest in putting his cars back onto the team’s 18-wheel transporter in one piece, but he’s not afraid to knock fenders and swap some paint if it means he scores that elusive first win.

“I don’t mind it if it comes down to it,” Holmes said. “I own all of this stuff so it’s different when a driver owns all of the stuff. It’s more family-based and I work with our construction company and we try make as much money as we can to come do this. I don’t think a lot of the guys we are racing against have that thought. I don’t mind it and I don’t want to outright wreck people but I don’t mind replacing some body panels.”

Holmes isn’t known for an overly aggressive style on the racetrack. He’s much more in the style of a Mark Martin than a Dale Earnhardt. He won’t knock you out of the way for no reason, as Earnhardt was known for and often took joy in doing, but rather he will get physical as a way to return the favor.

“I race you like you race me,” he said. “That’s how it was earlier in the season at Toledo. Me and Michael Self, that was probably the hardest and closest I have ever raced somebody. We bumped a few times. He tried to take my entry to the corner away and I washed up a little on exit. That was the best and hardest I raced with someone. And we did it without knocking somebody out of the way or making someone loose. When it comes down to it I will, and if I get bumped I will do it back.”

While Holmes tries to live by those rules of the road, even he’s not sure how it would play out if he was in a fender-swapping duel for the win on the final lap.

“I’ve never been in second right on someone’s bumper to win a race, but it will come down to a split-second mental decision there,” he said. “I don’t think I would be blatant about it but I haven’t won a race yet. I won’t outright wreck someone to do it. If I am close and I haven’t won that first one yet, I would think about doing anything I could.”

Although Holmes and team are looking forward to the series’ annual trip to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, don’t look for him to be taking in too many sights around the Twin Cities.

“I haven’t looked into it too much,” he said. “It might sound kind of lame but we get in to these races so late. We work until three o’clock on travel days then we go pick up the guys and then fly off to the racetrack. We get to go to all of these cool places but we don’t usually have a lot of time to go see anything interesting. We’re working hard at our business so we can go race, and then we go race. There’s not a whole lot of time for anything else.”

Holmes and the rest of the ARCA Menards Series returns to action on Saturday July 13 in the Menards 250 presented by MatrixCare at Elko Speedway. Practice at Elko Speedway is set for 2:15 pm ET/1:15 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15 pm ET/5:15 pm CT, and the 250-lap feature event will go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV, and ARCA for Me members can follow every lap made by every car entered throughout every on-track session with free live timing & scoring at ARCARacing.com. Discounted tickets to the Menards 250 are available at nearly 40 Minneapolis-St. Paul Menards locations for just $20. For more information, please visit TrackEnterprises.com or call 217-764-3200. 

ARCA Menards Series PR

Nine graduates of Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and its NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) campus have been honored at the White House for their winning performance on the race track.

President Donald Trump recognized driver Joey Logano, Team Penske owner Roger Penske, and the rest of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion crew for their 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title. Logano's crew included three graduates from NASCAR Tech in Mooresville, N.C., and one graduate from UTI's campus in Houston, Texas.
 
Driver Simon Pagenaud, Roger Penske, and Team Penske's No. 22 Mendards/DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet, including five graduates from NASCAR Tech, also visited the White House to celebrate Pagenaud's Indianapolis 500 victory. Following the race, one of those graduates, Trey Williams of Monroe, N.C., was able to kiss the bricks of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's famous Brickyard.
 
Logano said he was humbled to see his race car on the South Lawn of the White House and told the President, "It takes an amazing team."
 
John Dodson, VP Business Alliances & NASCAR at UTI, accompanied Logano and his crew to Washington, D.C. "I'm so proud of these graduates. Every time I see them, they thank NASCAR Tech for helping them succeed," Dodson said. "Our focused education and relationships in motorsports open doors for our graduates, but they earn their spots on these elite teams through passion and hard work."
 
NASCAR Tech is the exclusive educational provider for NASCAR and the only campus in the country to offer NASCAR-endorsed training. NASCAR Tech's Mooresville, N.C. campus offers the standard Universal Technical Institute core automotive training program, with an optional 15-week elective to train students preparing for a career in motorsports. The 15-week elective trains students in everything from engines, fabrication, and welding, to aerodynamics and pit crew essentials. Through NASCAR Tech's elite Spec Engine program, select students have the opportunity to build engines that will compete in NASCAR-sanctioned races.
UTI PR

ARCA Menards Series championship contender Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) returns to Elko Speedway looking to finally break into victory lane after back-to-back years with runner up finishes. 

“Elko has always been a track that I’ve really enjoyed going to,” said Eckes. “Grabbing the pole and finishing second last year definitely makes me excited coming back. It’d mean a lot to win there especially with the bit of a drought we’ve had here lately. All the guys on this JBL Audio team have been working extremely hard to get this year turned around, so we’re ready to go have some fun this weekend.”

Eckes, a four-time career ARCA winner with one victory on the season finds himself 85-points behind teammate Michael Self for top spot in the series travels to Minnesota for the third time to take part in Saturday night’s Menards 250 at Elko Speedway. Eckes is coming off a seventh-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway. 

The Middletown, NY native will make his 39th career start since making his series’ debut in 2016. Throughout his young career he’s notched six wins, 16 top-5 and 28 top-10 finishes to go along with three General Tire Pole Awards. 

Eckes, 18, will join Venturini Motorsports’ teammates Michael Self, Chandler Smith and Hailie Deegan at Elko. VMS has one team win at Elko Speedway (Brennan Poole ’12) and two General Tire Pole Awards (Justin Haley ’14 and Christian Eckes ’18).

The ARCA Menards Series returns to action on Saturday July 13 in the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway. Practice at Elko Speedway is set for 2:15 pm ET/1:15 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15 pm ET/5:15 pm CT, and the 250-lap feature event will go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV.

VMS PR

The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will return to Raceway Venray in the Netherlands this weekend for the only oval racing event of 2019 and the final stop of the regular season. Drivers will battle door-to-door on the fast half-mile banked oval to bring home the win and position themselves in the best possible spot for the NWES playoffs. 

Built between 2010 and 2011, Raceway Venray measures 880 meters and features variable banking in the corners ranging from 10 to 25 degrees. With average speed exceeding the 160 Km/h mark, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series races offer the fans thrilling side-by-side racing in perfect NASCAR style. The series will introduce a new race format for its 2019 oval racing weekend: each division will take on a compact program, with practice, qualifying and race taking place in the same day. The ELITE 2 Division will race a 70-lap feature on Saturday, while the ELITE 1 Division’s race will take place on Sunday and will be 100-lap long.


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For the first time in his career Stienes Longin enjoys the place on top of the ELITE 1 Division standings thanks to his impressive consistency. The Belgian won twice at Venray in ELITE 2 back in 2016 and the Dutch oval could be the perfect place to put an end to his streak of second-place finishes with a long-awaited win. Sitting second in points and eager to close the 17-point gap separating him from the lead, Longin’s teammate Nicolò Rocca is definitely looking forward to return to the place where he earned his first NWES win in 2015.

After a disastrous weekend in the Czech Republic, former points leader Alon Day is now third  alongside Loris Hezemans, with a 29-point deficit from Longin. Both drivers are eager to shorten the distance from the PK Carsport duo, as is three-time champion Ander Vilarino, currently fifth in points ahead of Alexander Graff, Romain Iannetta and Lucas Lasserre. Brands Hatch race winner Frederic Gabillon sits in ninth place, 80 markers behind the leader, while Jacques Villeneuve, who endured a tough weekend last time out, slipped to 11th behind Thomas Ferrando.

Strong of his second career win, Giorgio Maggi leads the ELITE 2 Division classification entering the NASCAR GP Netherlands with 15 points on Vittorio Ghirelli. Maggi will return from the Goodwood Festival of Speed looking to further stretch his lead in an event in which experience may play a key role. Third and fourth in points, Advait Deodhar and Lasse Soerensen will both race on oval for the first time too, while American rookie Myatt Snider, who boasts four top-5s in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, will surely want to take advantage of a more familiar track layout to move up in the standings.

Justin Kunz will want to build on his past experience at the track – the German was 11th in both races at Venray in 2017 – and Andre Castro, Nicholas Risitano, Pierluigi Veronesi and Freddie Hemborg are all within 78 points from Maggi and looking to build momentum towards the playoffs.

Qualifying and all the races from the NASCAR GP Netherlands will be streamed live on Fanschoice.tv, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Youtube channel and Facebook page, on Motorsport.tv and on a vast network of websites and social media profiles. 

ELITE 1 Division

Gabillon looking for another oval win - Frederic Gabillon is the winningest NWES driver on ovals with a total of six wins. Only one of them came at Venray in 2016, so the Frenchman will look to add to his tally and move nearer to the top of the standings before the playoffs.

Who can challenge Tuomaala? - With two more Challenger Trophy wins at Most, Henri Tuomaala brought his season total up to five. The Finnish increased his lead on Dario Caso to 37 points and on Ellen Lohr to 39. Can he be stopped?

Marko Stipp Motorsport back on the grid - The German team owned by Marko Stipp will be back on the grid in the Netherlands. At the wheel of the #46 Chevrolet Camaro will be Spanish veteran Salvador Tineo and American rookie Andre Castro.

ELITE 2 Division

Niels Albert to make NASCAR debut - Two-time Cyclocross World Champion Niels Albert will take the wheel of the #11 PK Carsport Chevrolet, making his NASCAR debut on Oval. The 33-year-old Belgian will count on the team’s experience to hit the ground running at Venray. 

A new winner granted - None of the ELITE 2 drivers has ever won a race at Raceway Venray. The only three drivers boasting an ELITE 2 win at the Dutch track are Philipp Lietz, Stienes Longin and Felipe Rabello. Myatt Snider is the only driver in the division to boast an oval win.

Five rookies at the top - For the first time in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, five rookies lead the ELITE 2 Division standings, separated by 54 points. The first veteran – Dexwet-Df1 Racing’s Justin Kunz – is tied for fifth place with Myatt Snider.

NWES PR

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