Weather Once Again Forces Postponement

Weather Once Again Forces Postponement

TSI Harley-Davidson 125 Rescheduled For June 6

STAFFORD, Conn. – Inclement weather once again spoiled the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s attempt to run the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Twice postponed, the race is now slated to run on Friday, June 6.

The third race of the 2014 tour schedule was originally to be contested on May 23, but rain arrived at Stafford that night following practice and qualifying, just prior to the race. In Friday’s second attempt rain cut practice short, and with a forecast for continued precipitation ahead, NASCAR and Stafford reached a decision to postpone the event one more week.

Bobby Santos captured the Coors Light Pole Award for the race during qualifying on May 23. This evening at Stafford his No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet was once again the class of the field in 25 minutes of practice before the rain arrived.

This is a repeat scenario from 2013 with the same event was twice postponed before it ran to completion and Ryan Preece reached in Victory Lane on June 14.

Following the Stafford date, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will head to Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl on Saturday, June 21 for the Mr. Rooter 161.

PRACTICE: Santos Remains The Car To Beat

PRACTICE: Santos Remains The Car To Beat

TSI Harley-Davidson 125 Polesitter Led Practice Prior To Rain

STAFFORD, Conn. – In the first go-around for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 last Friday, Bobby Santos was fastest in practice and took home the Coors Light Pole Award. In the second attempt at Stafford Motor Speedway he once again paced the field in practice.

Santos, from Franklin, Massachusetts, posted a fast lap of 18.269 seconds (98.528 mph) in the rain-abbreviated 25-minute session Friday evening at the historic half-mile. Practice was slated to run 55 minutes.

Tommy Barrett Jr. finished second on the speed chart at 18.389 (97.885) followed by Woody Pitkat at 18.432 (97.656).

Doug Coby, Donny Lia, Rowan Pennink, Ryan Preece, Ron Silk, Keith Rocco and Eric Goodale brought home the top 10.

The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 was originally set to run on May 23 but was postponed due to rain prior to the race start. Friday at Stafford the rain moved in halfway through the practice session.

The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 was scheduled to start at approximately 8:15 p.m., but the schedule for the remainder of the night will now be determined by the weather.

PRACTICE RESULTS

Success Drives Davison At Adams County

Success Drives Davison At Adams County

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division II-V Update

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR Whelen All-American Series hobby stock driver Andy Davison is in tenacious pursuit of goals this season.

Davison is among the track point leaders at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa. He’s also in the top-20 of national Division V standings.

Davison, 29, of Clarinda, Iowa, placed second to Jeremy Purdy in the track point race and third in the dirt track Division V standings under the former Finalist Program last year.

This year, with a national championship on the line, the taste of success drives him to achieve more.

“This year we’re going for it all,” Davison said. “We’re running for the highest spot we can. We’re going for a championship. That’s where our sites are set. There will be tough weeks, but that’s part of racing.”

Davison opened the season with a win and followed up with a runner-up finish the next week. He came back for a fourth-place finish after a multi-car incident in week three. In the weeks that followed, he’s continued to post top-10 finishes.

Davison has collected a win, three top-fives and six top-10s in six starts.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division II-V Championship program was introduced this year. It will determine support division national championships. In each division, dirt and asphalt tracks are combined in point standings. The four national champions will receive a trophy and a trip to the series national awards event. In addition, the top-three dirt and top-three asphalt drivers will be invited to the series awards event.

STANDINGS:

DIVISION II | DIVISION III | DIVISION IV | DIVISION V

The top five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division II-V Championship leaders this week include:
• Division II: Spencer Davis, New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway; Keith Rocco, Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park; Brad May, New Smyrna; Buddy Head, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway; Garrett Jones, New Smyrna.
• Division III: Jerod Weston, I-80 Speedway, Greenwood, Neb., Adams County; Josh Sink, Adams County, I-80; John Ketron, Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway, Lonesome Pine Raceway, Coeburn, Va.; Blain Petersen, I-80, Adams County; Jared Umbenhauer, Grandview Speedway, Bechtelsville, Pa.
• Division IV: Brad Derry, Adams County, I-80; Jeremy Menninger, Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway; Dave Trudeau, Waterford, Thompson; Jimmy McElfresh, Columbus; Corey Kyer, Columbus.
• Division V: Brian King, Anderson (S.C.) Motor Speedway, Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway; Chris Harvell, Greenville, Anderson; Donavan Beacham, Greenville, Anderson; C.J. Huitt Jr., Anderson, Greenville; Don Tavernia, Greenville, Anderson.

Adams County hobby stock features are 15 laps in distance and average between 15-22 cars. Drivers with the best point average start deep in the feature field. Davison said he is currently starting between 10th and 12th each week.

“If you win at Adams County, they make you earn it,” Davison said. “There’s not one night that anyone in the top-10 can’t win the race. Repeat winners happen, but it’s not for lack of competition.”

This is Davison’s fourth year of hobby stock racing. He followed his cousin Trent Davison into the sport. He was part of the crew when Trent won the track championship in 2009. He bought his cousin’s championship winning car at the end of 2010. Trent moved to b-modifieds for a time before he set aside his own driving to crew for Andy.

“Trent was the foundation for how I started racing,” Davison said. “We’re like brothers. He’s in the pits every week and we talk about set ups and track conditions. He’ll walk the track while I get ready for the feature. If he notices something’s changed with the surface we can adapt the car before we hit the track.”

Davison races exclusively at Adams County Speedway.

“Three years ago if there was a rain out, I’d be going wherever I could to find a race. Now I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to keep the car in top shape for Adams County,” Davison said.

He’s proud to race at the half-mile black clay banked fairgrounds oval.

“Adams County is my favorite track. It’s a premier facility. They’ve got concrete pits, new lighting, everything is updated and they have outstanding competition,” Davison said.

With his third-place finish in 2013 NASCAR Division V standings Davison won an invitation to the series awards event in Charlotte, N.C.

“There is no greater feeling than being recognized by NASCAR in a racing capital like Charlotte,” Davison said. “There’s no greater feeling than being there and feeling like one of the guys. We were shocked when we ran into Mike Joy and Dick Berggren in the hotel elevator. Those are a couple of big-time TV announcers who are just down to earth.”

Davison is an owner-driver and Trent is his crew chief. Team members include Derek Kendall, Matt Churchill, Troy Brown and Cody Clark. Davison and his wife Justine recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary. Davison acquired a Terminator by Harris chassis in the fall of 2012. John Davis of Mid-State Machine is his engine builder. Sponsors include Churchill Enterprises, Swanson Tax & Accounting, and Crop Production Services. Davison works on the family farm that includes 600 acres of corn and soybeans and 250 heads of beef cattle.

Under the NASCAR point structure in Divisions I-V, drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of in an event, up to 18 cars. Three bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a single-digit starting position and five bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a double-digit starting position. At season’s end, drivers in Divisions II-V will be ranked by their best 14 NASCAR point race results. The season concludes September 21.

Drivers must be NASCAR-licensed and cars will be verified for display of required series sponsor decals to be eligible for NASCAR points and awards.

From The Monster Mile To The Madhouse

From The Monster Mile To The Madhouse

Four K&N Pro Series East Drivers Pulling Double Duty

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It will be a busy weekend full of adjustments for four NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competitors.

Gray Gaulding, Brandon Jones, Brennan Newberry and Ben Rhodes will participate in the Lucas Oil 200 on Friday, May 30 in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series action at Dover (Del.) International Speedway before making their way to Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., for the K&N Pro Series East’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 on Saturday. 

To tame the “Monster Mile,” the four will need to get their trucks dialed in for the 24-degree banking in the turns of the concrete oval. Then, less than 20 hours later, they’ll be behind the wheel of their familiar K&N Pro Series machines trying to find the right setup for the flat quarter-mile at “The Madhouse.”

NASCAR Next drivers Gaulding and Rhodes are looking to make their second Camping World Truck Series start after debuting in March at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Rhodes, 17, sits atop the K&N Pro Series East championship standings and is coming off a May 17 win at Iowa Speedway in Newton in the first of two combination events with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Gaulding, 16, occupies the third position in the season standings and is looking to improve upon his eighth-place finish a season ago at Bowman Gray.

Jones, 17, aims to make his fifth career Camping World Truck Series start and second of the season. The youngster out of Atlanta will be making his Bowman Gray debut and enters the race seventh in points. Newberry, at 24 years of age, is the elder statesman of the group and has 33 Camping World Truck Series starts under his belt. In his first full season of K&N Pro Series East competition, the Bakersfield, Calif., native is 11th in the standings and also will be getting his first taste of “The Stadium.”

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 is set to take the green flag at approximately 9 p.m. ET on Saturday following the completion of a 100-lap modified event. 

Kurt Busch Walks Into A New Spotlight

Kurt Busch came to the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Indianapolis on the day of the event. He finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500.

Kurt Busch came to the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Indianapolis on the day of the event. He finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500.

Let’s face it, sometimes it is easy to dislike Kurt Busch.

Throughout his somewhat controversial career, he’s been arrogant, volatile, rude, disrespectful, hot-tempered and more (actually, I’ve run out of words).

But then you probably know all of that.

At the same time, he’s a tremendously talented race driver with 24 career NASCAR Sprint Cup victories and a championship in 2004.

You probably knew that, too.

In spite of what Busch is, or may have been, I’m convinced he has stepped into a new light.

He has earned respect. He has gained a new appreciation from many fans and media members.

On May 25 Busch became the fourth driver to attempt what’s called the “double double.” He was going to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and then make the hectic trip South to race in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the longest race in NASCAR.

If Busch competed both races, he will have run 1,100 miles in one day.

It’s been achieved. In 2001 Tony Stewart completed both races and to this day holds the best record for 1,100 miles in a single day.

He was sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte.

Busch was the first driver since Stewart to attempt the feat.

At Indy it appeared Busch had learned his lessons well.

Although he's had a tough year in NASCAR with Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch won at Martinsvile to enhance his chances for the Chase.

Although he’s had a tough year in NASCAR with Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch won at Martinsvile to enhance his chances for the Chase.

He finished a solid sixth in a Dallara Honda for Andretti Autosport. He earned a cool $423,889.“It was a challenge I put forth for myself,” Busch said. “I enjoyed it. I soaked it all in up North.

“I loved racing up in Indy in front of all the Indiana natives and the Hoosiers.

They love their speedway up there. That speedway loves them.

That’s what I really saw out of that track. There was a grand stage to stand on and represent NASCAR.

We brought her home in sixth place. I didn’t think I had anything for those top five guys.

They were racing hard. And those were the top five in that series. They’re strong. They’re tough.”

On his flight to Charlotte reports were Busch took an IV and tried to nap.

When he stepped out of the helicopter that took him to the track, Busch received a warm welcome from the grandstands.

No doubt many fans knew what he had accomplished at Indy.

The 600 did not go well for Busch. Driving his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, he fell out of the race due to engine failure after 271 laps. He finished 40th.

What was yet another misfortune for SHR, which has struggled this season, meant disappointment for Busch. He completed 906.5 of 1,110 miles.

“We clawed our way up there and caught a lucky break with one of the yellows,” Busch said. “We worked on the car and I thought we were actually, you know, right in the mix.

“Those top 15 guys seemed to separate themselves.

We were going to start cracking on the top 10 if we could get one more adjustment done to the car.

“And then we had a problem on pit road. A car came at me perpendicular on pit road and it broke the left rear shock. And so we were hanging on.

“We were going to muscle it out. And then it’s like the car just swallowed three cylinders all at once. So, the engine let go. Those things happen in motorsports.”

Now there might have been a time when Busch would have expressed himself, shall we say, a bit more “forcefully.”

But not this time. It seemed he knew that, despite the Charlotte disappointment, he had accomplished a lot. He may well have had a feeling of self-satisfaction. – and deservedly so.

“I was hoping to do 1,100 miles today,” Busch said. “I can’t let what happened here dampen the mood on what happened up in Indianapolis.

“But it’s not just one individual. It takes a team. Andretti Autosport guys put me in a good car. Stewart-Haas gives me a great car every week.

We just had a monkey on our back in running NASCAR this year. “That kind of motor failure symbolizes some of the struggles we’ve had.”

At Charlotte, respect for Busch permeated the garage area and was expressed by many competitors.

It was the same for Stewart, John Andretti and Robby Gordon, the three who took on the challenge ahead of Busch.

And, importantly, just like them Busch earned it.

“Overall, I can stand here with a smile knowing I gave it my all for six months trying to get to this point,” Busch said.“I’d love to do it again.

“And at the same time, you’ve got to do it with quality teams. The teams really can make the big difference in all of this.

And I have to thank Andretti and I have to thank Stewart-Haas.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NWAAS Div. I Pts: Fleming Back In The Hunt

NWAAS Div. I Pts: Fleming Back In The Hunt

Wins Twice At Bowman Gray; National Champs Gain On Anders

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A veteran of hardscrabble racing at one of the toughest tracks in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series got back in Victory Lane for the first time in two years. This month he shortened the time span between wins from two years to two weeks.

Chris Fleming won modified division features at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., on May 3 and May 17. Last Saturday night’s finishes of fourth and 10th in two 25-lap features lifted him to second in track points. He’s just eight behind leader Burt Myers entering a pair of 100-lap features this weekend.

His win drought at the tight quarter-mile paved oval was taxing.

“I got to thinking I couldn’t win anymore. I was doubting myself,” Fleming said. “We haven’t forgotten how to work on race cars. We’re good on these cars. But I just needed to win so badly.”

Entering this weekend, Fleming has two wins, three top-fives and five top-10s in six starts. In addition to the track championship, he’s chasing the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series North Carolina title – currently led by Dillon Bassett.

Anthony Anders maintains his season-long point lead in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship standings, but two former champions climbed to second and third.

Anders, of Easley, S.C., won two 40-lap late model features at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway and has 644 points. He also leads the series with 13 wins. He also has 20 top fives and 21 top 10s in 22 starts. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I drivers are ranked by their best 18 NASCAR points finishes in series-sanctioned events.

STANDINGS: NATIONAL TOP 500 | STATE/PROVINCE

Peyton Sellers of Danville, Va., the 2005 national champion, and Lee Pulliam, of Alton, Va., the two-time defending national champion, each earns wins in twin 75-lap late model features at South Boston (Va.) Speedway Saturday.

Sellers jumps to No. 2 from fifth last week, with a runner-up to Pulliam in the first feature and a win in the second. He has 447 points, 197 behind Anders. Pulliam finished 11th in the second 75-lapper, and retains his No. 3 national ranking. Pulliam and last week’s No. 2 driver Bassett each have 443 points. Pulliam takes the spot with the tie-breaking greater number of wins. He has nine wins compared to Bassett’s five.

Bassett, of Winston-Salem, N.C., is fourth in points. He won a 100-lap late model feature at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday. Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, Va., drops from fourth to fifth in points with finishes of 19th and 10th at South Boston.

Tommy Lemons Jr., retains sixth in points with a 100-lap feature win at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C. Randy Porter is steady at seventh place with two top-fives at Greenville Pickens. Kres VanDyke advances to eighth in points with a seventh-place finish at Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway. Defending track and state champion Chad Finchum moved to ninth in points with a fourth-place finish at Kingsport. And Keith Rocco, the series’ 2010 national champion, posted an SK Modified win at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, but dropped from eighth to 10th in the national point race.

Fleming, 50, of Mt. Airy, N.C., is part of multi-car efforts. He’s been driving for Jerry Hunt Auto Sales and car owner Todd Hunt since 1998. Hunt continues a racing program established by his late father Jerry. Hunt’s company owns and sponsors a car in each division at Bowman Gray. Hunt’s son Chase is working his way up the racing ladder. He’s currently fourth in street stock division points.

Fleming also has two sons in action.

Luke Fleming, 26, runs the full NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule and is fifth in points. He won his first career tour start in the Advance Auto Parts 199 at Bowman Gray in 2009. He competes in selected NASCAR Whelen All-American Series modified events at the stadium. He had finishes of 20th and 18th there Saturday. He drives for Chris’ brother Frank Fleming, a 21-time modified feature winner at the track. Frank posted finishes of 11th and sixth in Saturday night’s modified twin-bill. Jordan, 21, is 11th in the track’s sportsman division standings after a disappointing 17th-place finish Saturday.

“Frank and his wife Gina take a lot of pressure off me by putting Luke in their car,” Chris Fleming said. “I’m not going to race unless my kids can race. I’d stop driving if that’s what it takes to keep them racing.

“Our family is close knit. My parents (Charles and Faith Fleming) don’t get out a lot and my sister Debbie York looks out for them when we’re at the track. Mom always says ‘go win the race for me,’ and they’re excited by our success. They’ll watch us race on the computer and I call dad as soon as the race is over.

“Our racing rule is that if Luke is going to run the tour modified, he has to help Jordan with his sportsman car. Jordan wrecked his car in a Friday practice session and I didn’t think it could be fixed. Luke worked on the car all night. It was ready to race by 9:30 Saturday morning and Jordan got a good finish that night.

“A win by Luke or Jordan is more important to me than any win I’ll ever have. I wouldn’t trade one of their wins for $10 million.”

He’s also proud of Luke’s third-place finish in the modified portion of the Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway in February.

“Going to Daytona isn’t about the money. It’s about racing at Daytona. When you walk into that place, you get cold chills. It’s something you want to be a part of,” Fleming said.

Based on his schedule and the racing budget there have been seasons when Fleming competed part time at Bowman Gray. His best finish in track points was third in 2012. He plans to run the full schedule this year.

“I’m not being conservative and point racing,” Fleming said. “This car is supposed to win races. I’m there to win every race.”

In the May 17, Kevin Powell Motorsports 100, Fleming made a daring pass of Lee Jeffreys on lap 66 to take the lead and eventual win.

“I made an outside pass for the lead. Fans are there to see a show and I’ll do my part to give them what they want. I may not always win but we’ll put on a good show.”

Fleming says a new Rahmoc racing engine has boosted him to success this year. The car is based on Troyer chassis. His crew chief is T.J. Farmer and the spotter is Chip Johnson. Fleming said his wife Amy is “the backbone of our team.” In addition to car owner Hunt and Rahmoc, other sponsors include Perkins & Associates, www.autosbynelson.com, Adam’s Towing & Recovery and N.C. Granite Corp.

Family racing patriarch Charles Fleming began the family racing tradition in motorcycles. Frank and Chris began their careers in dirt track stock car racing in the late 1970s. Chris won the four-cylinder dirt modified track championship at 311 Speedway in Madison N.C., in 1989. From there, the brothers moved on to pavement racing at Bowman Gray.

Under the NASCAR point structure in Divisions I-V drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of in an event, up to 18 cars. Three bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a single-digit starting position and five bonus points will be awarded to a race winner with a double-digit starting position.

Drivers must be NASCAR-licensed and cars will be verified for display of required series sponsor decals to be eligible for NASCAR points and awards.

Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. In all, 58 paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada participate.

Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North America are among the many showcases for Whelen products.

Whelen Modifieds Set For Return To Stafford

Whelen Modifieds Set For Return To Stafford

Preece Looks To Defend TSI Harley-Davidson 125 Victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Following a rainout last week, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set to return to Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 on Friday, May 30.

It marks the second year in a row that the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 has been pushed back due to rain. The 2013 edition was actually postponed twice.

It’s been a tough start to the racing season for Stafford, which has seen its weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program washed out three weeks running. Ryan Preece, the defending TSI Harley-Davidson 125 winner and current Stafford SK Modified points leader, said it’s been a choppy start to the campaign.

“It’s been pretty rough, we haven’t been able to get going,” Preece said of the weekly competition at Stafford that has now also flowed into his tour schedule. “It’s been hurting all of us. Mother Nature has been making it pretty hard for us.”

Shifting the focus back to the track also returns the attention to just how much parity this race date has seen in recent seasons for the Whelen Modified Tour. Each year since 2003 the second Stafford tour event of the year has produced a different winner, and it’s been since 1997-98 since a driver won the event in back-to-back seasons.

Preece will vie to end both of those streaks on Friday. The Whelen Modified Tour was able to get time trials in prior to the arrival of rain last Friday, and Preece qualified 13th.

“I think we have something that can possibly win,” Preece said. “This week off – that rainout – kind of helped us to sit down and think about where we might have got off track. I think we’re pretty close. We may not have qualified the best, but I definitely think we have a car that’s capable of driving forward and driving to the front.”

The title defense has had a bit of a sluggish start for Preece, who finished ninth in the opener at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park and was relegated to 24th in the first Stafford race – the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler 200 – on April 27. In 14 races during his 2013 title campaign, Preece’s worst finish was 17th, and he had only four results outside the top five.

“I don’t think it’s the results any of us would like to see,” Preece said. “We blew the motor at Stafford and at Thompson we all agreed to try something and it just didn’t work our way, where in the future it may.

“It’s something where I think maybe a win at Stafford can pick everybody up off the ground and keep everybody going, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

The Whelen Modified Tour will be joined on Friday’s race card by five Whelen All-American Series feature races, which are set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Green flag for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 is approximately 8:15 p.m.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting race,” Preece said. “There are plenty of cars that can win and I think qualifying showed that this past week.”

EVENT INFORMATION

Fast Facts:
The Race:
  The 24th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will be the third of 14 races on the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule, the second of four events at Stafford Motor Speedway and the 112th all-time tour appearance at the historic half-mile. The race is a postponement from the original date of May 23.

The Procedure:  The starting field for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 was set by Coors Light Pole qualifying on May 23 before inclement weather arrived. The race is scheduled for 125 laps (62.5 miles) and the tire change rule for the race is two tires, any position.

The Track:  A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval started holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967.

Race Winners:  There have been 31 different race winners at Stafford all-time, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories. Ryan Preece is the defending winner of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 and Bobby Santos won the season’s first race at the historic half-mile oval.

Pole Winners:  There have been 42 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Preece holds the tour’s track qualifying record at 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph). Tommy Barrett Jr. was the pole winner in the April event and Santos will be on the pole for this race.

PIT STOP: Stock Cars In The Madhouse

PIT STOP: Stock Cars In The Madhouse

Weekend Info – Touring & Weekly Schedules, Links & Notes

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

• The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads to historic Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday, May 31. The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will be the fourth series event at “The Stadium,” which hosted 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1958-71. NASCAR Next drivers and alumni won the first three visits to the .25-mile asphalt oval, a trend that is likely to continue with six members of the current class and three alumni entered in Saturday’s event.

• The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make its second attempt at the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway when it heads to the half-mile asphalt oval on Friday, May 30. Rain washed out the tour’s first attempt last Friday, but not before Bobby Santos captured the pole award in qualifying, his fourth in the last six qualifying attempts at Stafford. The veteran driver won this race during his 2010 championship season. Friday night’s event will be the second of four at Stafford this season, and the first of two under the lights.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST

NASCAR HALL OF FAME 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, N.C.

RACE TIME: Saturday, May 31, 9 p.m. EDT (Approx.)

TWITTER: @BGSRacing, #NASCARHOF150, #KNEast

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST | DOWNLOAD: TRACKSIDE REPORT

EVENT SCHEDULE

All times EDT and subject to change.

NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR

TSI HARLEY-DAVIDSON 125 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway

RACE TIME: Friday, May 30, 9:15 p.m. EDT (Approx.)

TWITTER: @StaffordSpeedwy, #TSI125, #NWMT

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST | DOWNLOAD: TRACKSIDE REPORT

EVENT SCHEDULE

All times EDT and subject to change.

NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES

Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, a semi-banked half-mile paved oval, will host Whelen Event Night and Military Appreciation Night Friday. The card will include the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s 24th Annual TSI Harley Davidson 125, as well as the continuation of the 40-lap SK Modified Division race halted on Lap 9 because of rain last week. Addition features include Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and Legends. Special ticket discount is provided for military personnel (active or retired) with ID. staffordmotorspeedway.com

Motordrome Speedway, a half-mile paved, asphalt track located in Smithton, Pa., features Whelen Night At the Races on Friday. All five NASCAR divisions are in action with a special “Can’t Miss” Ultimate Big Wheel Derby presented by WDVE 102.5. The track is also offering drivers an extra $300 on top of the regular weekly purse to anybody that can beat defending track champion Garry Wiltrout and end up in Victory Lane in the Late Model feature. motordrome.com

Hickory Motor Speedway, a semi-banked, .363-mile asphalt oval in Newton, N.C., is in its 64th season of stock car racing, will have Whelen Night At The Races on Saturday. The lineup is highlighted by 100-lap Late Model Stock feature, as well as 4-Cylinder, Sportsman Racing Classics, Renegades, Limited Late Models, and Street Stocks. hickorymotorspeedway.com

Opening Nights

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks opening their 2014 seasons during May’s final weekend include:

May 30
Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway
, a .375-mile paved oval, operates on Fridays and small block Supermodifieds are NASCAR Division I. Other divisions: late model sportsman, hobby stock, ironman. leeusaspeedway.com

AIR TIME

FANSCHOICE.TV

nascar_coast-to-coastMRN – NASCAR COAST TO COAST

Kyle Rickey and Buddy Long with local and regional NASCAR racing drivers and give you all the news and opionin on NASCAR’s grassroots racing.

Wednesday, May 28, 1 p.m. EDT, Jay Beasley, Ryan Perece and Greg Pursley.

IN THE NEWS

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MANTECA (CALIF.) BULLETIN: Manteca’s Potts wins Modified feature at 99

ONEIDA (N.Y.) DAILY DISPATCH: Friesen nets pair of wins at Utica-Rome Speedway

RACEDAYCT.COM: Rain Forces Stoppage Of Action Friday At Stafford Motor Speedway

RACEDAYCT.COM: Rocco Back To Victory Lane In SK Modified At Waterford Speedbowl

THE REPORTER, LANSDALE, PA.: Howard wins first feature at Grandview

SHAKOPEE (MINN.) VALLEY NEWS: Shakopee driver breaks through on oval

TIMES NEWS, KINGSPORT, TENN.: Tissot leads flag-to-flag at Kingsport Speedway earn first win of 2014

K&N Pro East Stat Advance: Bowman Gray

K&N Pro East Stat Advance: Bowman Gray

Analyzing The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East makes its annual visit to historic Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday, May 31 for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150. Below is a statistical look at the recent performance of the series and selected drivers at Bowman Gray, as well as some other statistical trends:

Bowman Gray Race Setup
• None of the nine drivers on the entry list with K&N Pro Series East experience at Bowman Gray have led a lap at the quarter-mile track. The best finish of those nine was fourth last season by Kenzie Ruston.
• A dozen of the entered drivers will be making their first series appearance at the track.
• Winning the pole position for the NASCAR Hall of Fame has not been a good sign with an average finish of 13.3 in three series events. The best finish for a pole sitter was the fifth-place showing by Kyle Larson in 2012.

Bowman Gray Stadium
History
• NASCAR’s first weekly track, racing was started at Bowman Gray Stadium in 1949 by Bill France Sr. and Alvin Hawkins.
• Bowman Gray played host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 29 times from 1958-71.
• Other NASCAR national or regional touring series that have competed at BGS include: Convertible Series (1956-59), Grand American (1970-72), Grand National East (1972), Goody’s Dash Series (1989-96), Whelen Southern Modified Tour (2005-pr.).
• Bowman Gray Stadium is part of the Winston-Salem Sports and Entertainment Complex and is home of the Winston-Salem State University Rams football team. It was also the home of the Wake Forest University football team until Groves Stadium (later BB&T Field) opened in 1968.

Notebook
• This is the K&N Pro Series East’s fourth visit to Bowman Gray Stadium.
• The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East made its debut at Bowman Gray on June 4, 2011. Coleman Pressley was the inaugural pole sitter and Matt DiBenedetto the race winner.
• The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will be telecast on a delayed basis by FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
• The Bowman Gray event has not been won from the pole position. DiBenedetto and Corey LaJoie (2012) started from the second position and Ben Kennedy (2013) lined up 10th.
• The most cautions for a K&N Pro Series East event at “The Stadium” is 15 in the inaugural 2011 event and the fewest was 10 in 2012.
• The average starting position for the winner is 4.67 while the pole sitter has an average finish of 13.33.
• Last year’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 was the first of the three BGS events not to be extended to a green-white-checkered finish.
• Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota have gone to Victory Lane at Bowman Gray.

EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

Bowman Gray Data
Race: #7 of 16 (5/31/14)
Track Layout: .25-mile flat asphalt oval
Race Length: 150 laps (37.5 miles)

Bowman Gray Qualifying/Race Data
2013 Pole Winner: Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 62.193 mph (14.471 seconds)
2013 Race Winner: Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 36.976 mph (1 hours, 0 minutes, 51 seconds)
1-lap Qualifying Record: Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 62.193 mph (14.471 seconds), June 1, 2013
150-lap Race Record: Corey LaJoie, Ford, 38.346 mph (59 minutes, 51 seconds), June 2, 2012

Bowman Gray Leaders
Wins
Matt DiBenedetto … 1
Ben Kennedy … 1
Corey LaJoie … 1

Pole Wins
Kyle Larson … 1
Brett Moffitt … 1
Coleman Pressley … 1

Laps Completed
Ben Kennedy … 459
Eddie MacDonald … 458
Brandon Gdovic … 456
Brett Moffitt … 456
Ryan Gifford … 445

Laps Led
Matt DiBenedetto … 156
Brett Moffitt … 123
Corey LaJoie … 118
Kyle Larson … 35
Ben Kennedy … 27

Selected Driver Information:
Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Butler Trailer Manufacturing Toyota)
• Has two top fives and four top 10s in eight career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Is ninth in season standings.
• Set to make BGS debut in a K&N Pro Series East car.
• Finished season-best second at Greenville Pickens Speedway on March 22.

Nick Drake (No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Has three top fives in six career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks fifth in the championship standings.
• Making first series appearance at Bowman Gray.
• Finished season-best second at Iowa Speedway on May 17.
• Collected first series top-five finish (4th) on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
• Finished third in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West 2014 season opener at Phoenix International Raceway.

Gray Gaulding (No. 20 Krispy Kreme Chevrolet)
• Has a pole, four top fives and 11 top 10s in 20 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Sits third in points, just one point in back of second-place Cameron Hayley.
• Finished eighth last season in the BGS event after starting fourth.
• Recorded a season-best finish of second on March 15 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS East history (15 years, 2 months, 15 days) in April 2013 at Richmond.
• Became the youngest race winner in NKNPS West history (15 years, 8 months, 30 days) in November 2013 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS West history (15 years, 8 months, 16 days) in October 2013 at Kern County Raceway Park.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on March 30 at Martinsville Speedway.
• Is a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Kaz Grala (No. 31 OzLINK Chevrolet)
• Has three top 10s in six career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Occupies the 10th spot in the season standings.
• Making first series appearance at BGS.
• Led 15 laps in Greenville on March 22 and finished a season-best seventh.

Cameron Hayley (No. 98 Cabinets By Hayley Chevrolet)
• Has one pole and two top fives in seven career K&N East starts.
• Is second in the championship standings, 38 points in back of Ben Rhodes.
• Making first series appearance at Bowman Gray.
• Has a win, six poles, 19 top fives and 26 top 10s in 34 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West starts.
• Was championship runner-up to Derek Thorn last season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
• Is the youngest (15 years, 23 days) driver to start K&N West race in August 2011.
• Takes over Turner Scott Motorsports car that Dylan Kwasniewski drove to the K&N East championship in 2013.
• Is an alumnus of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Austin Hill (No. 22 Don-Rich Ford/A&D Welding Ford)
• Has a win, four top fives and six top 10s in 13 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks sixth in championship standings after six races.
• Making first series start at BGS.
• Finished a season-best second on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
• Earned first career win in September 2013 at Dover International Speedway.
• Member of 2014-15 NASCAR Next class.

Brandon Jones (No. 33 Wolfpack Energy Services Chevrolet)
• Has two top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes in 13 career K&N East starts.
• Holds down the seventh position in points.
• Set to make first series start at Bowman Gray.
• Collected a series-best finish of third in Feb. 16 season opener at New Smyrna.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut last August at Bristol and followed with starts at Iowa and Martinsville.

Brodie Kostecki (No. 43 Arcoplate Toyota)
• Has two top-10 finishes in nine career K&N East starts.
• Ranks 12th in season standings.
• Making first series start at BGS.
• Season-best finish of eighth on March 22 at Greenville and April 26 at Richmond.
• Collected first career pole on May 17 at Iowa Speedway.

Jesse Little (No. 97 NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet)
• Has seven top fives and 10 top 10s in 27 career NKNPS East races with a best finish of third on two occasions, most recently at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., in June 2013.
• Currently owns the eighth position in the championship standings.
• Finished fifth a season ago in this event.
• Was 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the K&N Pro Series East and finished ninth in championship standings.
• Made K&N Pro Series West, in which his father, Chad, was the 1987 champion, debut last November at Phoenix.
• Member of 2014-15 NASCAR Next class.

Brennan Newberry (No. 24 Qore24 Chevrolet)
• Has one top five and two top 10s in seven career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Is ranked 11th in the championship standings.
• Making first series appearance at Bowman Gray.
• Season-best finish of fourth on March 15 at Bristol.
• Has three poles, two top fives and four top 10s in 12 career K&N Pro Series West starts.
• Has made 33 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

Ben Rhodes (No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, three poles, seven top fives and 10 top 10s in 13 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Leads championship standings by 38 points over Cameron Hayley.
• Making track debut in this year’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 150.
• Scored first career win on March 22 at Greenville while second came at Iowa on May 17.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on March 30 at Martinsville and finished eighth.
• Is a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Kenzie Ruston (No. 96 Bib’s Downtown Chevrolet) 
• Has four top fives and eight top 10s in 20 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks 14th in the championship driver standings.
• Scored a fourth-place finish last season at Bowman Gray.
• Finished a season-best sixth on Feb. 16 at New Smyrna Speedway and Feb. 18 at Daytona.
• Is a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Daniel Suárez (No. 6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota)
• Has three wins, 11 top fives and 19 top 10s in 36 career NKNPS East starts.
• Fourth in the championship standings.
• Finished ninth in last season’s BGS event after a 22nd-place finish in 2012 track debut.
• Opened season with two straight series wins to become the second driver in series history to win the first two events of the season with Sean Caisse (2006) being the other.
• Has eight career NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series victories with 23 top fives and 11 pole wins in 49 career starts.
• Is in second season with Rev Racing for the NKNPS East.
• Made NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing at Richmond in April.
• Is an alumnus of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Up To Speed In The East
• The 2014 season is the 28th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2014 schedule features 16 races at 14 different tracks across 10 states.
• Daniel Suárez opened the season with a narrow victory over Cameron Hayley, who won his first K&N East pole, at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.
• Suárez won at Daytona for his second straight series victory to become just the second driver in series history to win the first two races of the season. Sean Caisse in 2006 is the other. Ben Rhodes picked up his first series career pole award.
• Eddie MacDonald snapped a 53-race winless streak at Bristol. Rhodes started from the pole and led 130 of 132 laps.
• Rhodes started from the pole for the third consecutive race and picked up his first series win after leading a race-high 106 laps at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
• Cole Custer started from the outside pole position and won at Richmond International Raceway after passing Bill McAnally Racing teammate and pole sitter Nick Drake with 51 laps remaining.
• Rhodes picked up his second win of the season and led a race-high 115 laps at Iowa Speedway. Brodie Kostecki led the race’s first 35 laps after earning his first series career pole award.

Gonzalez Jr. and Lax Partner To Start New Team

Gonzalez Jr. and Lax Partner To Start New Team

VGJL Motorsports Will Make Whelen Euro Debut At Brands Hatch

Blois, France – Puerto Rican NASCAR driver Victor Gonzalez Jr. and Sprint Cup Series crew chief Joe Lax announced today the birth of VGJL Motorsports, a new team that will make its debut in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in the next round of the series, which will take place in Brands Hatch in less than two weeks. 

The team will rely on the vast experience of both Gonzalez Jr. and Lax to be competitive from the first practice session. In 2009 Gonzalez Jr. became the first Puerto Rican driver to compete in a top level NASCAR series – the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal – and last year took part in two races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, while the Goochland, Virginia native crew chief worked in top-level Sprint Cup Series teams and guided J.J. Yeley to a top-10 finish in the 2013 Daytona 500 for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

“I think there really is a lot of potential in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, that’s why I’m bringing in someone like Joe Lax, who worked for Hendrick Motorsports and was part of Bill Davis Racing 2002 Daytona 500 winning Team,” said Gonzalez Jr., who debuted in the European NASCAR championship at Valencia. “We can definitely be a great team and bring more and more drivers from the States, the Caribbean, Central and South America to compete in a very professional series on amazing tracks.”

VGJL Motorsports will certainly contribute to the recognized international status of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series:  “We are very happy to welcome this team coming from America. Victor is a great guy, who come with the right spirit to race NASCAR in Europe. They have a huge experience in the USA and the challenge for them will be to adapt to our cars and tracks. Victor perfectly caught the vision we have in Europe to build a cost affordable series that is the perfect place to develop NASCAR drivers. I’m sure they will have success !” said Jerome Galpin, President-CEO of the official European NASCAR Series.

“We’re going to be in Brands Hatch with one car – the #17 Alpinestars Toyota Camry – to build our reputation and thanks to partners like Alpinestars we think we can grow really strong and bring more drivers after the Tours weekend,” said Gonzalez. “We can’t wait to get this program started!”

The historic Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will host the second round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and VGJL Motorsports’ debut on June 7-8 for long-awaited second edition of the American Speedfest.

 

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