Speedway News (6466)
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Team Penske has announced a new partnership with Florida-based DEX Imaging, the nation’s largest independent dealer of document imaging equipment.
DEX Imaging will be featured as a primary sponsor for three 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) races this season on Team Penske’s No. 12 Ford Fusion driven by Ryan Blaney, including events at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February, Richmond Raceway in April and Kentucky Speedway in July. The Florida-based company will also serve as a full-season associate sponsor on the No. 12 MENCS Ford Fusion in 2018.
In addition to the NASCAR partnership with Team Penske, DEX will be an associate sponsor on the No. 6 and No. 7 Acura Team Penske DPi entries competing in two important IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance races – the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January and the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
“It is always exciting to bring new partners to Team Penske and we look forward to continuing the growth of the DEX Imaging brand though motorsports and our race teams,” said Roger Penske. “DEX is a leader in its field and we believe the company can help create some unique opportunities for our teams and our other partners as well. With Ryan Blaney preparing for his first Cup Series season with our team, there is also great growth potential with DEX for the future.”
DEX plans maximize the new partnership by hosting its customers at the race track and creating unique experiences with potential clients at the events where the company is featured as the primary sponsor of the No. 12 Ford. In addition, DEX plans to work closely with Team Penske on a significant business-to-business program with other team partners and among the Penske Corporation companies.
Blaney enters his first full-time MENCS season with Team Penske in 2018 fresh off a winning season driving for Wood Brothers Racing. The High Point, N.C., native scored his first career Cup Series win at Pocono Raceway in 2017 and earned a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs, as he finished ninth in the final championship standings.
“It’s great to see new partners step up and become a part of the No. 12 team for this season and beyond,” said Blaney, who turned 24 in December. “I’m excited to race the DEX Imaging Ford for the first time in just a few weeks.”
The 2018 MENCS regular season begins with the 60th anniversary running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on Sunday, February 18. DEX’s first race as a primary sponsor with Team Penske will be the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, February 25.
Team Penske PR
Dan Gurney, one of America's true auto racing heroes, passed away Sunday, Jan. 14 in Southern California following complications with pneumonia. He was 86.
A tall, handsome, larger-than-life American who raced in Europe during the late 1950s and 1960s at a time when the American public was generally not following European racing anywhere close to the extent it later would, Gurney enjoyed considerable success overseas, including winning four Formula One World Championship Grand Prix events and sharing the winning car in the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours with A.J. Foyt, plus the 1960 Nurburgring 1000-kilometers with Stirling Moss.
But he also won at home, claiming seven United States Auto Club-sanctioned National Championship events in the late 1960s; five out of the six grueling 500-mile NASCAR stock races held over the Riverside, California, road course between 1963 and 1968; numerous events in the SCCA Can-Am and Trans-Am series; and even the first professional road racing series ever conducted in the United States, the inaugural USAC Road Racing championship in 1958.
Gurney drove in nine consecutive Indianapolis 500-Mile Races between 1962 and 1970 - finishing second, second and third in the final three - and was the winning manufacturer three times. Bobby Unser drove Eagle chassis constructed by his All-American Racers company in Santa Ana, California, to victory twice (for Leader Cards, Inc., in 1968 and for Gurney's team in 1975), and Gordon Johncock won in an Eagle for the Patrick Racing Team in 1973.
Of all of Gurney's numerous accomplishments, undoubtedly the most renowned took place during an incredible eight-day period in 1967. On the weekend of June 10 and 11, he shared the winning Ford GT40 Mk IV with Foyt in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On the very next Sunday, Gurney won the Belgian Grand Prix over the blindingly fast Spa-Francorchamps circuit, driving a Gurney Weslake-powered All-American Racers Eagle for which he was manufacturer and team principal.
This remains the only occasion when an American driver won a points-paying Formula One World Championship Grand Prix at the wheel of an American car. Jimmy Murphy's victory with a Duesenberg in the 1921 French Grand Prix took place almost 30 years before there was a World Championship for drivers.
After finishing second in the German Grand Prix, third at Portugal and fourth in the Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari in 1959 in front-engine cars, Gurney moved to BRM for a season and then to Porsche where he won the 1962 French Grand Prix at Rouen. He also won both the French Grand Prix and Mexican Grand Prix for Jack Brabham's team in 1964.
By this time, Gurney already unintentionally had played a major role in changing the face of racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Despite being an enthusiastic spectator at East Coast midget car racing events during his teen years, Gurney had never visited IMS before he went there as an entered driver in 1962. He was scheduled to drive a rear-engine turbine for John Zink but ultimately qualified a rear-engine Buick-powered car for Mickey Thompson after taking his "rookie" test, incidentally, in one of Zink's Offenhauser-powered front-engine "roadsters," a historical footnote about which Gurney was extremely proud.
Driving in the "500" while also competing on the Grand Prix circuit in those days required quite a bit of trans-Atlantic travel during May. After qualifying for the 1962 "500," but well before the race itself, Gurney flew to Zandvoort for the Dutch Grand Prix on May 20.
He had plenty to think about on the flight.
Although rear-engine cars had been entered for the "500" between 1937 and 1951, they had enjoyed virtually no success. But after then two-time defending World Champion Brabham came to Indy the year before, 1961, and drove an underpowered rear-engine Grand Prix Cooper-Climax to ninth, Gurney became yet another person who began to contemplate the potential of the lightweight rear-engine cars that were dominating Grand Prix racing.
After arriving in Holland, Gurney began trying to convince Colin Chapman of Lotus that he should go to Indianapolis and at least have a look. Chapman rather reluctantly agreed, but only after Gurney offered to pay his passage. Once at the Speedway, Chapman also began to see the potential, and his enthusiasm increased when Gurney confided in him that Ford Motor Company - after an absence of several decades - was considering an Indianapolis 500 entry and sought a team with which to partner.
A marriage was soon made, and a team of three production-based V8 Ford-powered Lotus cars were entered in the 1963 Indianapolis 500 to be driven by Chapman's top driver, Jim Clark, and by Gurney, who, in those days of much more sporting interchange and driver freedom, was on loan from Brabham.
Clark went on to finish second in the "500." Gurney, down on power and making a second stop while Clark only made one, salvaged seventh.
Racing at IMS was about to change forever, and days of the front-engine cars were all but over.
Technology began to increase by leaps and bounds, and Gurney was right there and heavily involved with much of it, including what was probably the greatest quantum leap in the history of the track from a technological advancement standpoint.
Rear wings were not permitted until 1972, the rule up though 1971 being that "any aerodynamic device had to be an integral part of the body." But after Team McLaren found a way around that rule in 1971 and snuck a wing into its so-called engine cover, the barn door was about to burst wide open.
The official one-lap qualifying record going into qualifying in 1971 was 171.953 mph by Joe Leonard, in 1968. By the time qualifying was over in May 1971, Peter Revson had raised it, with one of the new McLarens, to 179.354 mph.
For 1972, "bolt-on" rear wings were now permitted. By the time qualifying was over this time, Bobby Unser, driving a Roman Slobodynskj-designed 1972 Dan Gurney Eagle, had turned a single lap at an unbelievable 196.678 mph.
These were extraordinary times.
There are so many wonderful stories involving Gurney, who incidentally, on race morning 1968, wore the first full-face helmet ever seen at the Speedway.
He had many endearing personal traits, such as his boyish grin and an impish sense of humor. And perhaps the most endearing of all: Even into the later years, whenever he was paid a compliment, especially by a member of the distaff side, he would break into that wonderful grin and then he would blush.
He was very much an unabashed "stand-on-the-gas" type as a driver, who dropped out of many races while in commanding positions. But Gurney once confided that some of his favorite races had been ones he hadn't finished, chuckling that he would far rather blow up while leading a race than be restricted to a strategic and disciplined pace to try and win.
He could also be what the Brits used to refer to as "a bit of lad."
There was the time, while he was chauffeuring a rental car, that the subject of the intricate moonshiner's "180-on-a-bridge" escape maneuver came up in conversation, and one of Gurney's passengers explained how it was achieved. The word is that, with another huge grin on his face, the "All-American Boy," in complete deference to his public image, tried it himself several times until he had it perfected.
But there were the serious times, as well. Perhaps the most poignant Gurney anecdote of all of them took place at the funeral of Clark in April 1968.
Gurney attended the service, along with virtually the entire Grand Prix brigade, but with the angular Gurney standing head and shoulders above his colleagues.
At one point, a gentleman came over and asked Gurney if he could spend a few private moments with him away from the others.
The gentleman identified himself as Clark's father. He went on to explain that the family had seen very little of Jimmy in recent months, after the crippling British tax laws had forced him into following in the footsteps of so many others in the sports world and in show business by moving to the continent, and typically to the south of France.
"But when we did spend time with him," Mr. Clark continued, "and Jimmy started discussing the other drivers with us, I wanted you to know that he told us on more than one occasion that the one he said he "feared" the most as a competitor was you."
The report is that Gurney began to weep, and indeed, decades later, tears would typically come to his eyes whenever this was mentioned.
There could have been no greater compliment.
A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles on the death Sunday, Jan. 14 of legendary American race driver, team owner and car constructor Dan Gurney, who finished three times in the top three during his nine Indianapolis 500 starts from 1962-70. Gurney is one of only three drivers to win races in IndyCar, Formula One, NASCAR Cup and elite sports car competition, along with Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya.
"When we talk about legendary American drivers, owners and car constructors on an international stage, Dan Gurney is one of the all-time greats. His skill in all three areas helped him make an indelible mark and serve as a huge influence in this sport. Dan was a giant in the racing world, in every sense. Our sincere condolences and prayers are with his wife, Evi, and the entire Gurney family. Godspeed, Dan Gurney."
After this week’s two-day test session shaking down new sleek composite bodies at Daytona International Speedway, the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards will return for the season-opening 55th annual Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on Feb. 10.
Friday, approximately 60 drivers, including eight-time Lucas Oil 200 champion Bobby Gerhart and reigning ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year Riley Herbst, were on hand on Day 1 to give the bodies their first laps around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. After being utilized at short and intermediate tracks last season, the new bodies will be used exclusively at both restrictor-plate tracks – DIS and Talladega Superspeedway – for the first time in 2018.
Gerhart, who will be competing in his 31st consecutive Lucas Oil 200, looked underneath his No. 5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet with a wrench in each hand. Friday brought back vivid memories of what it took to originally become so successful at the speedway.
“I can remember my parents coming here in the ‘60s; it was just a long time coming for me to be able to get here,” Gerhart said. “I just had the idea in the back of my mind that I was going to do what I could to run well here, and that didn’t come overnight either. I adapted early on to try and put a big effort into running well here.”
Gerhart recalled his favorite victory and most memorable moment in his racing career.
“It was 2002 and my dad, who missed my first win (1999), snuck down here and stayed in the infield until I took the lead,” Gerhart said. “We won the race and he met us down in victory lane.”
Not every driver on hand for the two-day test session has as much experience at Daytona. Riley Herbst, who failed to qualify for the event last season, will be making his first career start at the “World Center of Racing,” driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Herbst’s only goal is to reach Gatorade Victory Lane when the series returns for Speedweeks.
“That’s what we’re here to do this year, for all the marbles,” Herbst said. “We’re ready. We’re focused. We’ve been together for a year and we’re all ready to go win this championship and do everything we can to get good finishes each week starting here in Daytona.”
Herbst, 18, is looking to become only the third driver in ARCA Racing Series history to win Rookie of the Year and the championship in consecutive seasons.
Tickets for the Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire, 60th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest news throughout the year.
Racing fans can soon hear the magical sound of NASCAR cars screaming around Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
More than a dozen NASCAR drivers – including Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champions Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch – will be turning laps at the 1.5-mile oval on Wednesday, Jan. 31, and Thursday, Feb. 1, during two days of testing in advance of the 2018 NASCAR season. LVMS grandstands and the Neon Garage will be open and available to the public free of charge, so fans can get an early racing fix roughly a month before the speedway’s March 2-4 NASCAR tripleheader weekend.
Erik Jones – the 2017 MENCS Rookie of the Year – Chris Buescher, William Byron, Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, Drew Herring, Kyle Larson, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. will be among the drivers joining Keselowski and Busch at LVMS. Additional drivers may be added to the list in the coming weeks, and that information will be available on www.LVMS.com.
Gates will open at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, and testing will run until 5 p.m. Food trucks, concessions and restroom facilities will be available for anyone coming to the track for the testing sessions, and free parking will be provided.
LVMS’ first 2018 tripleheader weekend will consist of Stratosphere Pole Day and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, March 2, the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, March 3, and the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 4. LVMS will be the first track in history to host two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in the same year.
Race fans can already lock in their tickets to both LVMS tripleheaders and capitalize on discounted prices for buying annual passes for all six NASCAR races. The track’s 2018 six-pack of events will show off a number of enhancements the track has planned for the coming months as well.
Media interested in covering the event should contact LVMS Media Relations staff. Fans can log on to LVMS.com or call 800-644-4444 to order tickets for any LVMS events.
NASCAR Testing at LVMS
Chris Buescher--JTG Racing
Kurt Busch--Stewart-Haas Racing
William Byron--Hendrick Motorsports
Cole Custer--Go Fas Racing
Ty Dillon--Germain Racing
Erik Jones--Joe Gibbs Racing
Drew Herring--Toyota Racing
Brad Keselowski--Team Penske
Kyle Larson--Chip Ganassi Racing
Paul Menard--Wood Brothers Racing
David Ragan--Ford Motor Company
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.--Roush Fenway Racing
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.--Richard Petty Motorsports
Jan. 31-Feb. 1
9 a.m. PT--LVMS gates, grandstands and Neon Garage open to the public
5 p.m.--Track secure
Advance tickets for the March 3rd “SoCal Showdown,” featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars and the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, at Perris Auto Speedway are on sale now. The race will be the only time the World of Outlaws will be competing in the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas in 2018.
Fans who purchase reserved seats in advance will receive a free “World of Outlaws Fan Pit Pass.” The pit pass will allow fans access to the World of Outlaws pit area located outside of turn one throughout the night of action. Fans will be able to see the cars up close, watch the crews at work, meet the drivers, obtain autographs, take photos and purchase merchandise directly from the teams.
“The World of Outlaws Fan Pit Pass puts the fans in the heat of the action,” promoter Don Kazarian said. “They can see the cars on the track and then watch the teams make necessary adjustments seconds later when they return to the pits. It also allows them to interact with all of their favorite drivers. There is nothing like it in the NBA, NHL, NFL or Major League Baseball.”
In addition to the headlining World of Outlaws and USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, The PAS Young Gun and Senior Sprint Cars will also be on the quadruple header open wheel program. Fans can purchase tickets 24 hours a day from the World of Outlaws website by clicking on the following link: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=52711&agency=WRG_SNG&pid=8525909
Tickets for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars only appearance in the greater Los Angeles area are on sale now. Please give photo credit to Vane Ledgerwood.
Spectator gates will open at 4:00 P.M. on race day and the first race will be at 7:00.
Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank its corporate partners for the 2018 season. All Coast Construction, Amsoil, Ayers Hotel and Spa, Brass and Bass Firearms & Fishing Supplies, Budweiser, Bud’s Tire Pro, Center Point Church, Champion Towing, City of Perris, Country Values Magazine, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Ed Moore Bullet Proof Driveshaft, Edelbrock, Flowdynamics, Full Throttle Scissor Lift Rental, Green Sheet, Harley’s Custom Cycles, HD Industries, Hoosier Tires, Indiana Truck Salvage, K&N Engineering, Living Water’s Hospice, Luke’s Transmission, Moreno Valley Magazine of Values, Paul Oil Company, Pepsi-Cola, Pick-A-Part Auto Salvage, Pole Position, Precision Engine of Temecula, PrintItNow.com, Scott Sales, Shaver Specialties, Square H, Sunstate Equipment, Swedish Speed, Original Tommy’s Burgers, Trench Shoring, Valley News, Vista Paint and Weedmaps.
On Monday, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney made a promise on Twitter to have lunch with fans that came out to watch the Goodyear Tire test at Texas Motor Speedway.
"Thank you so much for coming out. It really means a lot to us to have you here, especially during the work week," said Blaney, who
Blaney spent more than 35 minutes with the fans in the grandstand concourse, sharing stories, eating pizza, posing for photos and signing autographs.
"With Jeff (Gordon) and Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) and Tony (Stewart) retired, people will be looking for someone new to root for," said Jill Taylor, a resident of nearby Keller who said she was a fan of the sport but of no particular driver. "It's things like this that Ryan is doing here today that are going to make people cheer for him. You can't help but like a guy who takes the time to visit with us. It means a lot."
Talladega Superspeedway’s Director of Operations’ Andy McWilliams, along with track Security Manager Alan Watson, were presented with NASCAR’s “Security Award” Tuesday during in the 18th annual NASCAR Safety and Operations Summit presented by American Medical Response.
Presented for outstanding performance during the 2017 season, the duo were recognized for their effort and commitment in developing a comprehensive strategy with local, state and federal agencies to provide NASCAR fans with the safest environment for all competitors and fans who attend events at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track. Safety and security are paramount year-round at Talladega Superspeedway.
McWilliams is a longtime member of the Talladega team, coming on board in 1996 while Watson joined the staff in 2015.
The three-day summit, held at the Concord (North Carolina) Convention Center, also featured numerous presentations and small-group seminars that addressed best practices in the safety, track services, medical and security functional areas.
Talladega Superspeedway kicks into high gear again in 2018 with a triple-header weekend on April 27-29 with the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, the Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series event and the General Tire 200 for the ARCA Racing Series. For ticket information, log onto www.