Speedway News (9306)
Keep up on racing and speedway news from around the US
Construction efforts continue to progress during Phase II of Transformation – The Talladega Superspeedway Infield Project presented by Graybar as framing has begun on the massive centerpiece of the Talladega Garage Experience - the Open Air Social Club - which debuts during the track’s NASCAR Playoffs doubleheader weekend, Oct. 11-13.
More than 30 overarching beams will create the roof of the unique Open Air Social Club, which will be lined on both sides by two garage bays that will house the top 22 drivers (11 in each) in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The mammoth building is 168 feet by 300 feet and is 34 feet high at the crown. Fans who purchase a Talladega Garage Experience (TGE) admission will receive access inside the Open Air Social Club, where they will be just a few steps away from the “up-close” fan viewing walkway, which will be under the same roof where the race cars are being prepped by the race teams.
The 35,000 square foot Open Air Social Club will be complete with an array of ample, comfortable seating, a bar and a 41-foot diagonal video screen where entertainment enthusiasts will be able to immerse themselves into the sport of NASCAR like never before.
Celebration Plaza and the new Gatorade Victory Lane area, where fans from the grandstands as well as those in the TGE will have a closer view of the winning drivers’ celebration, has been dug out in preparation for construction, while numerous concrete flooring has been poured for concession stands, restroom facilities and the Guest Services Center.
The one-of-a-kind TGE, which will have FREE Wi-Fi presented by Xtreme Concepts, Inc., will stretch from the center of the Tri-Oval all the way down near the start-finish line, and will be ready at the world’s greatest racing venue during October’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) and Sugarlands Shine 250 (Gander Outdoors Truck Series). In addition to the “up-close, locker room” access, the TGE will feature interactive attractions and enhanced amenities for fans, sponsors, teams and stakeholders in the iconic Talladega infield, PLUS fans will be treated to incredible $4 or less Value-Priced Concessions (with the exception of the $9 Big One Meatball).
The approximately $50 million Transformation Infield Project presented by Graybar is part of International Speedway Corporation’s (Talladega’s parent company) long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes. DLR Group is the architect of the entire project while Hoar Construction from Birmingham is spearheading Phase II. GT Grandstands (Plant City, FL) is constructing the Race Operations tower, which, too, continues to see much progression, high above the Tri-Oval, as well as the luxurious Pit Road Club Suites, which will house 600 guests who will get a birds-eye view of team pit stops, along with food and beverages.
Fans can learn more about the project and view the progress 24/7 via the construction cam by visiting www.talladegasuperspeedway.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS: Daytona International Speedway to Deliver One of the Largest Fireworks Shows in the Southeast at the Coke Zero Sugar 40027 Jun 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
There will be plenty of fireworks on the track and in the sky at Daytona International Speedway for the 61st annual Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, July 6. The stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be doing battle door-to-door on the 2.5-mile tri-oval while Fireworks By Santore will deliver one of the largest fireworks shows in the Southeast following the checkered flag.
A tradition that began with the inaugural nighttime running of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event back in 1998, Fireworks By Santore, based in nearby Flagler County, will showcase a powerful 15-minute patriotic celebration that includes a one-minute, 45-second grand finale.
A crew of 10 will work seven days along the shores of Lake Lloyd to set up the show, which will be fired from 15 different locations using state-of-the-art digital firing equipment. Fireworks By Santore will utilize:
- Shells ranging in size from one inch up to eight inches
- More than 10,000 individual bursts
- 12,000+ pounds of explosive powder
- Enough control wire to circle the 2.5-mile tri-oval two and a half times
Types of shells included in the show range from the traditional Chrysanthemum, Peonies, Dahlias, Willows and Salutes to specialty shells such as Cube Pattern – which produce a 3-D box with the letters U.S. A. – Smiley Faces, Star Patterns, Double Rings, 4 Color Changing, Shell of Shells, Crossettes, Strobing Diadems, Twilight Glitters and vibrant new pastel colors. Other shells include Sweeping Rings, Sweeping Inward, Sweeping Outward, Mushroom, Jelly Fish, Cut Glass, Octopus, Kaleidoscopes, Diamond Screamers and Tourbillions.
In addition to the fireworks extravaganza, Fireworks By Santore will also assist in the driver introduction ceremony utilizing close proximity pyrotechnics and cryogenic effects and during the champion’s celebration in Gatorade Victory Lane by firing more than 30 pounds of custom-cut Coca-Cola bottle-shaped confetti in the air.
Tickets for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Weekend on July 4-6, and all Daytona International Speedway events, can be purchased online at www.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 Speedway news.
Tickets for the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com now on sale27 Jun 2019 Written by Adam Sinclair
The 2.439-mile, 14-turn Grand Prix road course will host the two-day outing named in memory of the former team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who passed away suddenly in September 2011. All three levels of the Road to Indy will be on deck – the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires – with each series enjoying four and a half hours of track time over the course of the two-day test.
“With the recent announcements of our new partnerships with the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and the Lucas Oil School of Racing, we are extremely excited about this year’s Chris Griffis Test and the opportunity to introduce new drivers to our outstanding teams and series,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “The test is always a great value-for-money outing and we are taking things a step further this year to enrich the experience for drivers off the track with additional components as part of our Summit training program.
“We look forward to seeing the drivers we currently have in our series sample the next step in their progression up the professional motorsports ladder and to welcoming a new crop of talent.”
Almost three dozen drivers representing 15 nationalities took part in last season’s Chis Griffis Open Test. Among them were several drivers seeking to move up the ladder, including Rinus VeeKay, Oliver Askew and Robert Megennis, all of whom were sampling the virtues of Indy Lights after successful campaigns previously in USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000, and newcomers such as New Zealander Hunter McElrea, who had aspirations of joining the Road to Indy after emerging as a front-runner in the Australian Formula Ford Championship.
“For me, driving at the Chris Griffis test was extremely useful,” said McElrea, who went on to win last year’s Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout and last weekend scored his first USF2000 win. “In 2017, it was my first taste of wings and slicks and I finished P4 overall. Last year was my second time and I finished P1 overall after another year of experience in Australian Formula Ford. It is not only a great way to get laps in Road to Indy machinery at the Speedway, but also to measure yourself against your potential competitors.”
The Chris Griffis test has proven just as valuable for teams as they begin preparations for the following season. Last year BN Racing ran an Indy Lights Dallara-AER IL-15 for the first time after starting out in USF2000 and then adding an Indy Pro 2000 element in 2018. Legacy Autosport, Jay Howard Driver Development and Miller Vinatieri Motorsports all used the 2018 test as an initial outing after previously confirming plans to join the USF2000 fray in time for the 2019 season.
“The Chris Griffis test is good for any driver looking to come to the Road to Indy because it gives them an opportunity to sample the cars, the tracks and the teams, and see how professional we are,” said Bryn Nuttall, BN Racing team principal. “Being a little later in the year, the test will be better for the European drivers who have finished their season, and obviously it’s good for drivers who are already here to step up to next year’s machinery and get started on preparations for next season.
“The additional off-track activities are a really good idea because the more engaging it can be for everyone, the more value we can add for people who are interested in the Road to Indy, the better it will be for everybody.”
Wide Technology Raceway officials today unveiled the completion of its road course expansion. The multi-purpose motorsports venue is located just five miles from downtown St. Louis in Madison, Illinois.
This expansion, which was designed by Tony Cotman of NZR Consulting, expands the track from 1.6 miles to 2.0 miles in total distance. In addition, the track enhancement creates a dynamic course configuration for the Formula Drift Series.
“This is a tremendous step to the next level for the future of road racing and drift events in the St. Louis region,” said WWTR Executive Vice President and General Manager Chris Blair. “The additional track length, as well as its unique configuration, will enable our venue to attract higher-level, spectator-driven road racing events. For the sport of drifting, our track now will host the series with the best grandstands, the largest suite structure, an expanded pit-and-paddock area and multiple configurations to provide the most entertaining events.”
The first event to be held on the new, expanded configuration will be the Formula Drift Series on August 9-10. The success of the series’ 2018 WWTR debut, which filled the infield paddock of the venue, was the motivation for the facility management and the sanctioning body to work together to invest in the future of the sport in the Midwest.
“Formula Drift is committed to WWTR and the St. Louis region for many years to come,” said Jim Liaw, President and Co-Founder of Formula Drift Holdings. “We are excited to be part of the new course configuration as it will provide fans with more seating, our partners with world class hospitality options, a bigger paddock for the teams, a dynamic festival area as well as a challenging competition course layout. The incorporation of the oval track banking along with the other enhancements will make this event the most highly-anticipated Black Magic Pro Championship and Link ECU Pro2 Championship events of the season.”
Upon completion of the August event, the track will begin working with existing and new road racing sanctioning groups on schedules and configurations. WWTR will continue to offer events on the traditional 1.6-mile course as well as the enhanced 2-mile configuration.
“This addition is already well-received by the local road racing community as well as the karting community,” continued Blair. “This will enable our Gateway Kartplex to expand for multiple Super Track configurations, provide motorcycle groups the opportunity to host novice and pro configurations and enables St. Louis and Metro East area to now host major international road racing events. It’s an exciting time to be a motorsports enthusiast in our area.”
To obtain additional information, please call (618) 215-8888 or visit www.wwtraceway.com. Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
After back-to-back weather cancelations, Macon Speedway is set to reopen the gates to fans and competitors this coming Saturday, June 29. On tap is the rescheduled 95Q/Dynagraphics Firecracker 40’s and Bud Light Ladies Night. Six divisions of racing will be joined by a Kids Gold Rush for those aged 11 and under. Admission for ladies will be just $5.
The Decatur Building Trades Pro Late Models will have a Big 10 race, going 40-laps for extra prize money. The Pro Late division is led by Dakota Ewing, who has four wins and a 52 point lead in the standings. Donny Koehler, Jake Little, Blake Damery, and Colby Sheppard complete the top five. The Big Ten standings has Springfield, IL’s Jake Little on top after two events. Shawn Diggs, Cody Maguire, Colby Sheppard, and Brandon Eskew are in the top ten.
The BillingsleyRewards.com Modified division will also be on track for 40 laps of action. The night is doubly special as the class runs minus the roof of the car for the only time during the season. It gives the fans a great look into the cockpit of the racecar, watching the drivers work their craft. New Berlin, IL’s Tommy Sheppard, Jr. leads the standings and has claimed four feature wins. Alan Crowder has had a strong start to the season and is second in points, while Tim Hancock, Jared Thomas, and Zach Rhodes complete the top five.
Mount Olive, IL’s Tim Hancock leads the win in the Neal Tire & Auto Pro Modified division, having claimed five feature wins already this season. Hancock is followed in the standings by Nick Justice, Rob Timmons, Tim Riech, and Roy Magee. The division has had strong fields of cars and good racing all season long.
Scott Landers leads the field of Sportsman into action on Saturday night, having three top fives in four features. That consistency gives him the advantage over Mitch Ringler, Tim Bedinger, Joel Irvin, and Terry Myers. Dennis Vandermeersch has won three of the four features but missed one night, relegating him to sixth in points.
Hammond, IL’s Gene Reed is on top of the Archers Alley Street Stock standings. Right behind him is his brother Terry, who has claimed three feature wins. Larry Russell, Jr., Jonathon Hall, and Darrell Dick complete the top five in points. The racing has been highly competitive in the class this season with a handful of drivers competing for wins on any given night.
Rounding out Saturday’s action will be the Hornet class, coming off of their Ed Cain Trucking Hornet Challenge from a couple weeks ago. Decatur, IL driver, Brady Reed, leads the points by 76 over Carter Dart. Billy Mason, Cook Crawford, and Marty Sullivan round out the top five.
At intermission, all kids 11 and under will be welcome to go trackside for the annual Kids Gold Rush. Hundreds of dollars of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters will be strewn about for kids to pick up.
Pit gates will open Saturday at 4:00, grandstands at 5:00, hotlaps will start at 6:00, and racing will take the green at 7:00. Grandstand admission is $15 for adults but ladies will get in for just $5 for Bud Light Ladies night.
It’s the start of a busy stretch for Macon Speedway, as officials prepare for the 39th annual Herald & Review 100 for the DIRTcar Summer Nationals, coming to town on Thursday, July 4. The race extravaganza will have Super Late Models, BillingsleyRewards.com Modifieds, and Neal Tire & Auto Pro Mods plus holiday fireworks. Full info is online at maconracing.com.
Macon Speedway PR
ISM Raceway Unveils Exclusive Kyle Busch Bobblehead For 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal Race26 Jun 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
In honor of Kyle Busch’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal win at ISM Raceway, the track announced their second annual bobblehead promotional giveaway featuring the driver of the No. 18 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Limited-edition bobbleheads of the NASCAR superstar will be distributed to the first 1,500 fans that enter the INfield with an INfield wristband when gates open for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal Playoff Race on Sunday, November 10.
“We’re pleased to make an exclusive bobblehead a part of our INfield Experience again this November,” said Julie Giese, President of ISM Raceway. “Kyle Busch has been a frequent visitor to our all-new Gatorade Victory Lane and this is a unique opportunity for Rowdy Nation to get their hands on a bobblehead of their favorite driver.”
In addition to having the chance to take home this commemorative bobblehead, fans that purchase INfield access will get an unparalleled race experience with fan-interactive garages bringing them closer to their favorite teams and drivers than ever before. Fans will also get an up-close-and-personal look at postrace celebrations in Gatorade Victory Lane, as well as exclusive amenities like the Miller Lite Beer Garden and the Portacool Chill Zone.
Adult and Junior price options for tickets and INfield access to the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semifinal Weekend are available for purchase online at ISMRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office.
ISM Raceway PR
Warm Temperatures, Strong Field, Big Payout Should Make For Exciting Saturday Night At South Boston Speedway26 Jun 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
A hot summer night should make for a night of hot, exciting racing at South Boston Speedway Saturday.
Drivers will face the warmest temperatures of the year Saturday night when the green flag falls on the Thunder Road Harley-Davidson Presented By Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200. They will also be facing the largest, most challenging field of the year; will be running for the biggest payout of the South Boston season; and trying to put themselves in good position in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown.
All those factors combined should make for an incredible night of racing.
“It’s going to be 200 laps of really close racing. There’s going to be some beating and banging and hopefully not a lot of cars will be torn up,” said Brandon Pierce, who finished fourth in this event last year. “But at the end of the night, this is South Boston. It’s going to be one of the toughest races I’ve ever been in.”
Weather forecasts indicate Saturday night will be the warmest race date of the season. Drivers say that has thrown an additional challenge into the mix.
“I think the heat and the length of the race will definitely play a big part,” said Thomas Scott, who sits third in South Boston’s point standings. “It’ll be important to pace yourself and not use up too much car in the beginning of the race to make sure you have something at the end.
“You’ll need to stay hydrated because when you’re dealing with the heat and humidity the summer brings, you will sweat a lot.”
Pierce said the heat will also have an impact on the cars.
“It’s going to be hot this weekend. Car balance is going to be big for everybody. Everybody is fighting for the same things. Emotions are going to be high, temperatures are going to be high and fan reactions going to be high,” said Pierce.
Timothy Peters, who has 11 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins to his credit, will be making a rare late model start this weekend.
“This race is a big deal. It sets the tone for the triple crown,” said Peters, general manager of Nelson Motorsports, which will also be fielding cars for Bobby McCarty and Ty Gibbs. “The heat will play a role in the physical and mental fitness of drivers as well as the balance of the race car. It’s going to be a fun night.”
The Virginia Late Model Triple Crown is a series of three late model races. It begins with Saturday’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson Presented By Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200, moves to Langley Speedway in a few weeks for the Hampton Heat and winds down at Martinsville Speedway in October. The winner of the three-race series will earn $7,000, second place will take home $2,000 and third $1,000.
A good finish Saturday night could help propel a driver to not only a big season-ending payout but to an expanded schedule.
“This race is the biggest race of my career and probably always will be,” said Mike Jones, a South Boston native who runs South Boston Speedway regularly. “Unfortunately, we don’t travel (to races) like a lot of these guys do. Hopefully we can come away with a strong run and at least have to make us think about running the Hampton Heat. I think the biggest key to that is being hydrated, well-rested and making sure you have something left at the end.”
Saturday’s Thunder Road Harley-Davidson Presented By Grand Atlantic Ocean Resort NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200 is going to be a celebration of racing and family fun. There will be racing in four divisions, a huge fan appreciation event on the track prior to the race and a spectacular fireworks display after the final race.
There will be a break in the 200-lapper at the half-way point with a blind draw to invert the field for the second half.
In addition to the 200-lap Late Model race, there will be a 75-lap Limited Sportsman race, a 40-lap Budweiser Pure Stock race and a 20-lap Budweiser Hornets race.
Advance tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the South Boston Speedway office or by calling 877.440.1540, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On race day tickets will be $20 for adults. Children 12-and-under will be admitted free with a paying adult.