Harvick Plays Cleaning Lady And Sweeps At Sonoma!

Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick won Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Sonoma Raceway. That was like taking candy from babies.

On Sunday Harvick mixed it up with the big boys in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350, and the outcome was the same.

Executing an ideal strategy for the long green-flag run that consumed the second half of the race—minus roughly 200 yards—Harvick won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event for the first time this season, the first time at Sonoma and the first time in a Ford, after Stewart-Haas Racing made an offseason switch from Chevrolet.

In winning for the 36th time in 590 career starts, Harvick took the checkered flag under caution after Kasey Kahne’s Chevrolet tried to completely knock over the 8,000 lb. concrete Jersey barriers near the start/finish line. By then, Harvick had a comfortable lead of more than eight seconds—and just enough fuel in the tank of the No. 4 Ford Fusion to complete a celebratory burnout on the frontstretch.

“I’m so excited,” Harvick said in Victory Lane. “I think, as you look at it, getting our first win with Ford, this has been a great journey for us as an organization and team. (Teammate) Kurt (Busch) winning the Daytona 500, and we have run well.

“It’s a great day. It finally all came together, and we were able to not have any cautions there at the end. Rodney had great strategy, and I was able to take care of the car and get out front. I felt like the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) was the car we had to race, and then he had problems and from there we were in control.”

In fact, Truex led a race-high 25 laps to Harvick’s 24 and won the first stage of the race, but the engine in the No. 78 Toyota dropped a cylinder and finally expired, relegating Truex to a 37th-place finish. Truex handed the series lead back to Kyle Larson, who started on the pole but faded to 26th at the finish, one lap down, after a series of run-ins on the asphalt.

Clint Bowyer, Harvick’s Stewart-Haas teammate, was runner-up for the second time this season. Using a contrarian strategy not atypical of his No. 2 Team Penske squad, Brad Keselowski ran third, giving Ford drivers a sweep of the podium positions.

Denny Hamlin came home fourth, followed by Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who posted his second straight top 10.

Playing into the hands of Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers, the race went green from the Lap 55 restart after the second stage (won by Jimmie Johnson) until the final caution after Kahne’s wreck as Harvick approached the finish line.

For the Bakersfield, Calif., native, the Sonoma win was an important item to remove from the bucket list.

“It means a ton to finally check this one off the list,” Harvick said. “I feel like we’ve been close a couple times but never put it all together.

“Being so close to home and having raced here so much, this was one that was on the top of the list and today we were able to check that box.”

Bowyer rolled home second in a No. 14 Ford whose battered body exhibited the dents and dings from a litany of on-track incidents, including an early collision with Keselowski’s Ford.

“Well, let’s face it, short runs have never been my strong suit here,” Bowyer said. “The long runs are, and thank God we got a long run there. I was out of tires. By the time I got done tearing the hell out of my car, I was out of tires. There was some technical strategy that you’ve got to try to play and get track position, and then, all of a sudden, you’re on the bad side of tires trying to hold guys off and you’re blocking.

“They’re stacked up behind them, and it’s just a recipe for disaster. You know, the 47 car down there (AJ Allmendinger), I just didn’t see him and knocked the whole front end off our car. Somebody else I had a really good run on and I thought they were going to give it to me, and they didn’t. Brad spun me out. So, yeah, one of them days.”

Five drivers made their Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debuts on Sunday. Subbing for injured Aric Almirola, Billy Johnson ran 22nd in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Israeli driver Alon Day was 32nd, Kevin O’Connell 33rd, Tommy Regan 34th and Josh Bilicki 36th.

So the California native punched his ticket into the 2017 playoffs with this win in the heart of the California wine country.

Check out the unofficial results of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

A.J. Foyt Racing Reviews Qualifying For The Kohler Grand Prix

Carlos Munoz
Road America is a beautiful four-mile road course situated in the Wisconsin Dells, but with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s today, it was more appealing than ever as the Verizon IndyCar Series returned for their second straight year here.

Both of the ABC Supply teams improved their cars from yesterday’s practice session but both drivers were disappointed in the results.

Carlos Munoz felt his ABC Supply Chevrolet was good enough to be in the top 12 and that was the stated goal. He just missed the cut in the final seconds of the first round of knock-out qualifying. Munoz posted a time of 1 minute, 42.9039 seconds (140.426mph) and will start 13th in the Kohler Grand Prix.

“This has been our best qualifying on road courses this year. It’s very close but I think we could have done a little bit better,” Munoz said afterwards. “We were fighting to be in that top 12, that was the goal. We’ve made good progress but we just need to make a little bit more grip in the car. But the good thing here is if you have a good car, you can go forward.”

Conor Daly was enthusiastic about the improvements in his car’s handling from yesterday to today but there is definitely an issue with the speed being generated in his ABC Supply Chevy. The engineers will investigate the data this evening to try to determine the cause. Daly posted a lap of 1 minute, 44.1579 seconds for a speed of 138.736mph.“Actually, the ABC car feels really good,” said Daly, who starts 21st.

“I’m really happy with our balance that we had that session. We improved in a lot of areas corner-wise. But there’s some things that are definitely slowing us down which is a shame but we are going to evaluate everything we can and see if we can eliminate some things that are definitely holding us back. I don’t think we deserve to be this far back because I think the car is quite good right now and that’s the positive.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILLW ORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Dale Jr. Won’t Rule Out Racing In Future Daytona 500’s

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
As he retires from full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has two Daytona 500 victories to credit.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t ever have a third.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters after opening practice at Sonoma Raceway, Earnhardt allowed he might consider an encore appearance in NASCAR’s most prestigious race—under the right circumstances.

True, next week Earnhardt will compete for the last time at Daytona as the driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. But that doesn’t mean it’s the last time he’ll compete at Daytona.

“Well, you never say never,” Earnhardt said. “I’m just retiring from full-time racing. I’m going to run some XFINITY races next year. I don’t know that I won’t ever run the Daytona 500 again, if the right deal comes along. All these tracks you have memories at, all of them, Daytona included.

“I’m going to be coming back to these tracks, and I want to continue to be part of the sport. I don’t know how it’s going to affect me really. It’s hard for me to put that into words, because I don’t know what that is going to feel like. It will be pretty weird I think to come back to the 500. I’m going to go to the 500 whether I’ve got any work to do or not. It will be pretty weird to be there and not race.”

To some degree, Earnhardt can draw on the experience of his former crew chief, Steve Letarte, who left the pit box for a perch in the NBC Sports television booth.

“When he wasn’t working a race he had a hard time being there,” Earnhardt said. “He had a hard time watching it and not wanting to be a part of it… It will be interesting I guess when we get to the 500 next year and see how that all feels emotionally.”

Earnhardt also addressed reports that he, too, might be under consideration for a broadcasting role.

“We are certainly open to discussing the possibility of seeing what options I have,” Earnhardt said. “Who wanted us, what kind of job they want me for, and we are sort of in the middle of understanding that, and that just goes along the lines of doing due diligence on everything. I’m not retiring from work. I want to keep seeking out opportunities to make a living and make money and be relevant and be a value to my partners.

“I want to continue to be a part of the sport, and not just as an owner in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. I want to be a valuable asset to the growth of the sport and continue to help raise the bar and raise the awareness of the sport and promote the sport as much as I can. So we were just kind of looking at what opportunities there are out there for me.”

So JUNIOR NATION rest easy, Dale Jr. will not be driving west off into the sunset at the end of this season!

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

William Byron Grabs First NXS Win At Iowa

William byron
Last week, a blink-of-an-eye moment weighed heavily on William Byron.

Saturday, the driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet lifted his head and shouted out a pent-up yelp that formed the suitable soundtrack the rookie’s first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory.

“I feel it all kind of comes around in racing and last week we were so close,” said Byron, who finished a mere .012 seconds behind Joe Gibbs Racing veteran Denny Hamlin last Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. “You’ve got to have a little bit off luck to win every race that we win and I feel like we got one back for last week.”

The final restart with 10 laps to go came just 11 laps after the previous one during which Byron pitted and capped off fuel while taking tires.

Good fortune finally found Byron again, who never was seriously challenged down the stretch, but only had four or five laps of fuel left before his last pit stop helped set the stage for victory.

“We definitely got a huge break the way the caution fell right there,” Byron’s crew chief, Dave Elenz, told FS1 pit reporters during a caution period with 15 laps to go.

Byron made the most of it. He won last year at Iowa, but in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

“It’s awesome just to kind of come this far,” said Byron, who received a congratulatory call from Rick Hendrick after the win.

The ninth caution of the night also benefitted some less familiar top-10 finishers, including Ryan Sieg, who ran second to notch his fourth career top-five finish in 117 series starts. Tyler Reddick took third.

“It was fun racing with Tyler at the end,” Sieg said. “We had a little bit of a battle.”

Christopher Bell — in the second leg of his first double-duty weekend — started on the pole and remained on point the entire first stage, fending off an early challenge from teammate Kyle Benjamin, and a late charge from Sam Hornish, Jr., who made his first start in nine months.

Hornish led 183 laps while winning last season at Iowa, but misfortune struck 19 laps into stage two as Bell made contact with his rear fender — an encounter that sent Hornish careening into the wall.

It also ended the veteran stock car and open-wheel racer’s first night back with Team Penske.

“He came up pretty hard when he got loose and hit me,” said Hornish, who is slated to run a limited schedule this season. “Of course, we got the brunt of it. I’m disappointed. This is one of my favorite places to come to.”

Points leader Elliott Sadler shares that sentiment — even though mostly bad luck plagued his night.

He qualified fourth, but was sent to the rear after an unapproved pre-race adjustment was made on his car. No matter. He’d ascended to fifth by the end of the first stage and ended up eighth.

Bell settled for 16th after he was collected in an incident involving Brennan Poole and Ryan Reed — the very caution that benefitted Byron and others.

Bell led 152 laps to Byron’s 78, but as both drivers know, it’s the last lap that counts.

Especially Byron, who vocally and visually celebrated this week after enduring quiet disappointment the last.

“To get second last week kind of hurt, just because we were that close,” Byron said. “But I feel like it gave us extra motivation, and I feel like last year the beginning of the summer was when I kind of hit my stride and I think we won back-to-back, so to now have a second and a first feels really good.”

Check out the unofficial results of the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

John Hunter Goes Back-To-Back In The Trucks At Iowa Speedway

John Hunter Nemechek
With six laps to go, John Hunter Nemechek made his bold, last-gasp move.

It is Deja Vu all over again!

Nemechek, who charged to a Father’s Day win for his dad, Joe, last week at Gateway Motorsports Park, reprised his stirring comeback role in Friday’s pulse-pounding NASCAR Camping World Series M&M’s 200 presented by Casey’s General Store at Iowa Speedway.

“Every one of these guys who works on this team, this is awesome,” said John Hunter Nemechek, who passed Johnny Sauter on the high-side with six circuits left.

The dramatic ending to a race that ran remarkably clean for most of the first two stages was set up by an incident involving ThorSport teammates Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton with 15 laps to go.

Nemechek and all the other contenders — except for Sauter — used the caution to head to pit road. Nemechek’s crew chief, Gere Kennon, outfitted the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet with four fresh tires.

Sound strategy?

Sure.

The reason the team won?

Not necessarily.

“He drove his butt off tonight,” Kennon said of Nemechek, who had notched one top-10 finish previously at Iowa. “He was awesome. It’s awesome for the (Nemechek) family.”

Sauter settled for second after leading for 72 laps. The series points leader said being passed by Chase Briscoe — who led seven laps before sliding to seventh — had likely already relegated him to a second-at-best finish.

“I got taken to school by Chase Briscoe,” Sauter said. “I think tonight was a second-place finish regardless.”

Sauter retains a 42-point lead over Christopher Bell, who finished fifth after dominating roughly two-thirds of the race.

Nemechek notched his fifth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. He stood in the fourth position when he and several others emerged from that final, fateful pit stop.

“Somehow it all worked out,” Nemechek said. ”The last strategy call, taking four tires instead of two, there at the end, we kind of had that strategy if a caution came out towards the end we were going to come no matter what, and no matter who came, just because tires were such a big factor.”

Noah Gragson earned the pole — his second of the season — held off Bell for the first 16 laps. Bell rode the high-line to surge ahead one lap later. The Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates remained 1-2 the remainder of the 60-lap opening stage, which Bell won by building a 3.2-seconds lead by the time the stint ended.

“Drove like a dream,” Bell said at the time.

That blissful state lingered for the 22-year-old Oklahoman — until it was interrupted.

While the trucks directly behind Bell shuffled, his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota continued to shine.

But dreams of any type rarely last long and Bell saw his diminished by a gamble that didn’t pay off.

With eight laps remaining in the second stage, Bell stayed on the race track while most of the other leaders pitted and added fresh tires following a caution precipitated by Mike Senica’s spin in Turn 2.

The gamble cost him. Sauter swept high to pass Bell with five laps remaining in stage two, but another caution waved after an incident involving Kaz Grala, Cody Coughlin and Ben Rhodes.

Bell remained optimistic despite his rapid drop to 12th that preceded the final stage.

“It wouldn’t be fun if it was easy,” Bell said shortly before the race resumed.

Friday proved to be anything but — for everyone but the Nemecheks, who reveled in another dream-like Victory Lane celebration after spending all night getting the truck ready.

“It feels really good,” said Nemechek, who earned the pole at Iowa last season and felt a measure of redemption after surging to the win this time. “This is unbelievable for sure. … Restarting fourth there and pushing Johnny into Turn 1, I was kind of in the catbird seat.”

Check out the unofficial results of the M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Harrison Burton Has A Good Finish at Iowa Speedway

Harrion Burton

Date:                            June 23, 2017

Event:                           M&M’s 200 (Race 9 of 23)

Series:                          NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Location:                     Iowa Speedwayb in Newton (.875-mile oval)

Format:                       Three Stages; 60 laps/60 laps/80 laps

Start/Finish:                15th/11th (Running, completed 199 of 200 laps)

Winner:                       John Hunter Nemechek of NEMCO Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 51 Morton Buildings Toyota Tundra, posted his career-best finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in Friday night’s M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Burton ran a strong race and was running in the top-five when an incident spun him on the last lap, resulting in an 11th-place finish. The 200-lap race was only his third 2017 start behind the wheel of the Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra.

Stage One Recap:

  • Earlier in the day, Burton qualified his No. 51 Morton Buildings Toyota Tundra 15th to start Friday’s race. When the green flag dropped the rookie driver held his own against veteran drivers in his first NCWTS start at Iowa. Burton slowly passed trucks on the track and battled with fellow Toyota-driver Matt Crafton for the 12th position near the end of the stage, eventually winning the battle. When the caution flag flew to end the stage, Burton was in the 12th position.

Stage Two Recap:

  • Burton started Stage Two by making a trip to pit road for four fresh tires and a track bar adjustment, placing him 15th when the stage began. During the stage Burton raced his way back to 12th place until a caution came out on Lap 107. Battling a tight Toyota Tundra, the 16-year-old stopped on pit road for four new tires and adjustments. Burton was running 13th when the second caution flag of the night flew. The stage ended under caution and Burton was scored 10th.

Stage Three Recap:

  • Stage Three began after the trucks were stopped on track under red-flag conditions. When the green flag came back out Burton had his best restart of the night and quickly moved to the 8th position. Burton battled for position throughout most of the stage, showing off veteran moves on the track. He made one final trip to pit road under caution on Lap 184 and restarted ninth with only seven laps to-go in the race. On the final lap of the night, Burton was running in the top five when he got caught in an incident that spun him around and resulted in an 11th-place finish.

 

Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 51 Morton Buildings Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:

How was your race and what resulted in the last lap contact?

“Just driving really, really hard and side drafting and all that stuff and I got a little aggressive on the entry and then we were a little bit free on the last run and then a combination of the air and just me driving it a little bit too deep sent us around and unfortunately we collected the 24 (Justin Haley). You know it was the last thing I wanted was to wreck another guy, especially someone I was just racing really hard with, so had a lot of fun, but hopefully, you know, next time we’re out we’ll be able to finish where we run. I feel like I say that a lot in the Truck Series stuff is after running really, really well, we didn’t quite get the finish we deserve, but really proud of the guys. We fought all day and got myself way better as I went, so just excited for Eldora. Kind of a different animal, but going to take what I apply – you know, as much as I can – from what I’ve learned here to there and see what we’ve got.”

 

M&M’s 200 Recap:

  • John Hunter Nemechek won the race followed by Johnny Sauter, Brandon Jones, Grant Enfinger and KBM’s Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five finishers.

  • The race featured four cautions for a total of 34 laps. There were five lead changes among five drivers. KBM’s Christopher Bell led 99 laps and Noah Gragson led 16.

How Burton’s KBM Teammates Fared:

 

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished sixth

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished fifth

NCWTS Owner Championship Standings:

 

The No. 51 Toyota Racing team remains sixth in the Truck Series Owner Championship Standings.

Next Race:

 

Myatt Snider will pilot the No. 51 Toyota Tundra when the Truck Series returns on Thursday, July 6, at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Live coverage of the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Donny Schatz Continues To Apply The Heat!

Image result for donny schatz and arctic cat

The calendar officially says it’s summer now, but for the drivers chasing the World of Outlaws (WoO) Craftsman Sprint Car Series championship the heat has been on for quite some time. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Donny Schatz continues to carry the torch for the traveling Sprint car stars as they trek their way through the Midwest with stops this weekend in Iowa and Wisconsin.

After winning his 11th WoO A-Feature of the 2017 season Tuesday night at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota,  Schatz leads the Outlaws back into action Friday behind the wheel of the TSR No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J when the series makes their debut at West Liberty Raceway, a half-mile, dirt oval in eastern Iowa and Saturday night, it’s back to central Wisconsin for the eighth annual Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial at Beaver Dam Raceway.

The eight-time and reigning WoO champion has experienced a great deal of success in the state of Iowa during his 21-year WoO career. He is the most recent winner in the state with his victory at the famed Knoxville Raceway on June 10. The flag-to-flag victory was the 25th of his career at the track and 15th career WoO A-Feature win at the track. Schatz has scored 21 of his 240 career WoO A-Feature wins in the state of Iowa. In addition to adding to that win total, the Fargo, North Dakota native will also be looking to make West Liberty Raceway the 82nd different track where he’s raced to a WoO A-Feature triumph. Last season, Schatz was victorious in a pair of WoO debuts, scoring wins at Rockford Speedway and Angel Park Speedway.

Schatz has two career Beaver Dam WoO wins, and Saturday night, he’ll be looking to join Joey Saldana as a two-time winner of the “JB”. The event is being managed by SLS Promotions, which includes Scott Boyd, who is the son of the late Jim Boyd. In the 2010, the family began staging the race in honor of their father at the 1/3-mile, semi-banked, dirt oval. Saldana won the first two races, but a new driver has claimed the 40-lap A-Feature each year since. Schatz, who has finished inside the top-10 in all seven previous events, surged from 10th to win the race in 2015 and last year charged from 14th to finish third.

Tuesday’s victory for Schatz extended his lead in the WoO championship standings to 84 points over Brad Sweet through 37 of the 92 scheduled races in 2017. He is the only driver with double digit wins and his 29 top-five finishes also is most by any driver.

 

SCHATZ FAST FACTS: IOWA/WISCONSIN

• Donny Schatz scored his 50th career WoO A-Feature win on Oct 7, 2006 at Knoxville Raceway. The victory was his first WoO A-Feature triumph in the state of Iowa.

• Schatz has won 21 WoO A-Feature main events in Iowa and they have come at three dirt ovals. He has won 15 at Knoxville, five at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer and one at 34 Raceway in W. Burlington.

• The win at 34 Raceway was an historic victory. The victory was his 154th career WoO A-Feature win and broke a tie with Mark Kinser to move Schatz into third all-time in WoO wins.

• Schatz earned his first Beaver Dam victory in July 2002 when he led all 40 laps of the main event. After an opening lap red flag, Schatz reported to his crew that his brakes weren’t working properly. He would lead all 40 laps en route to his second win of the week. Four days prior, Schatz won the $20,000 Duel in the Dakotas finale at his home track of Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo.

• Schatz has won seven career WoO A-Features in the state of Wisconsin. He is a five-time winner at Cedar Lake Speedway in Somerset, has two wins at Beaver Dam and a victory at Angell Park Speedway.

For Friday’s race at West Liberty, the pit gates at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstands will open at 4 p.m.Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visitwww.farleyspeedwaypromotions.com or call (563) 744-3620.

Saturday at Beaver Dam Raceway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT and the grandstands at 4 p.m.Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit wismotorsports.comor call 920-887-1600.

Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Live audio coverage is available as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO Craftsman Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com. Visit to DIRTVision.com for more information.

Fans are encouraged to follow the progress of Schatz, TSR and the No. 15 Arctic Cat/Ford Performance/Curb J&J throughout the campaign on the web and social media. More information can be found at www.TonyStewartRacing.com, www.arcticcat.com, and www.donnyschatzmotorsports.com.

Tony Stewart Racing: Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing or on Twitter and Instagram @TonyStewart_Rcg.
Donny Schatz: Facebook at www.facebook.com/DonnySchatz or on Twitter and Instagram @DonnySchatz.

Arctic Cat: Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArcticCat or on Twitter and Instagram @ArcticCat_atv @ArcticCat_Snow

Curb: Facebook at www.facebook.com/CurbRecords or on Twitter and Instagram @CurbRecords.

Ford Performance: Facebook at www.facebook.com/FordPerformance or on Twitter and Instagram @FordPerformance.

 

Donny Schatz, Driver of the No. 15 TSR Arctic Cat/Ford Performance J&J:
 

After winning your 11th WoO A-Feature race of the season, you talked about how tough the competition is this year on tour. Where would you rate the level of competition in 2017 as compared to other seasons in your career?

 

“It’s really tough to compare things like that from year to year. I just know that right winning Outlaw races is as tough as it’s ever been. There are a lot of cars out here with us every night capable of winning. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible group of people that put me in position to win and we do the best we can. Tuesday’s race was awfully close. I was able to get past Jason (Johnson) on that restart about halfway through the race, but I don’t think I really ever got to far away from him. Brad Sweet was right there and he’s been running extremely good all season. There are a lot of drivers and teams that have been out here a while and you can see that they’ve worked hard to improve. We got off to a great start, but the last couple of months it’s been tough getting wins. I know Rick (Warner), Scuba (Steve Swenson) and Brad (Mariscotti) are extremely competitive and work endless hours trying to keep us ahead of the competition. We’re excited about the week ahead and heading into July with all of the big races that are coming up.”

 

What are the challenges of racing a new track like West Liberty?

 

“For the most part, it’s like any other night minus a little bit of track history. I’ve been out here more than 20 years and Rick has been out here just as long so we have a pretty big database built. The main thing is that in dirt track racing you are never going to get two tracks the same. There are too many variables, so we are actually racing on a new surface every night. We may have a better idea of how things are going to go at places we’ve been to a lot, but it’s still the same recipe. You hope to have the best handling car at the end of the night so that you can compete for wins. Experience is a big factor and I’m surrounded by a really good group of guys. We’ll unload the car with a starting point we think gives us the best chance and make changes as the night goes on. It’s a big deal for us to race at new tracks and bring our sport to new fans. Hopefully, it’s a great show and we can be part of it.”

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Lighthouse For The Blind Partners With BK Racing and Alon Day For Sonoma

Image result for alon day

BK Racing hopes to shed some light on a great organization this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired will be an associate sponsor on board the No. 23 EarthWater Limited Toyota Camry of Alon Day.

LightHouse for the Blind’s mission is to promote the equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or visually impaired through rehabilitation training, employment placement, Enchanted Hills Camp and other relevant services.

“I’m very proud to have a great organization like LightHouse for the Blind on the car for my Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut,” said Day.  “The work that they do for blind individuals in California and around the world is truly inspiring.”

“Blind people aspire to participate in all aspects of culture, including NASCAR,” says LightHouse CEO Bryan Bashin. “We love the drive, energy and daring along lines of excellence and our community is thrilled to be a part of it as a sponsor for Alon Day’s debut.”

“I am excited to have LightHouse for the Blind on our car this weekend,” said Team Owner, Ron Devine. “The work they do is special, and it’s an honor to have them join us for the race. If you’d like to donate, you can visit their donate page at lighthouse-sf.org/donate/form/.”

About LightHouse

Founded in 1902, San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired promotes the independence, equality and self-reliance of people who are blind or have low vision. We offer blindness skills training and relevant services such as access to employment, education, government, information, recreation, transportation and the environment. We also pursue the development of new technology, encourage innovation, and amplify the voices of blind individuals around the world. To inquire about services, volunteer or donate, visit lighthouse-sf.org.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

BJ McLeod Motorsports Heads To Iowa Speedway With Great Anticipation

BJ McLeod
Fresh off a solid effort from B.J. McLeod Motorsports (BJMM) this past weekend in the Motor City at Michigan International Speedway, the sophomore NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) team treks to Iowa Speedway for Saturday night’s American Ethanol E15 250 looking to make some noise.

With the same driver and crew chief lineup for the third consecutive week, the Mooresville, N.C.-based team led by team principal B.J. McLeod feels that Saturday night’s short track rumble could be a good one for his three-car operation.

“Typically, our team runs pretty good at Iowa,” said McLeod who will pilot the No. 8 ICE-FROST / @CouchCrewChief Chevrolet this weekend. “Our short track program has always been solid in XFINITY Series competition, but we’ve been working a little harder during our spare time to get it even better.

“Tommy and David have had a couple solid weeks at the track and I hope that can continue. I’d love to leave Iowa and head back to Daytona with some momentum for our final restrictor plate race of the year.”

Parading the Diamond Gusset colors aboard his No. 78 Chevrolet this weekend at Iowa, Martins will make his second XFINITY Series start at the 0.75 paved oval in nearly three years. Luckily, the 30-year-old driver carries additional experience in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a start last June.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have another opportunity to drive for B.J. and Jessica,” said Martins, a native of Como, Mississippi. “They have really given me a chance to go out there and get some seat time – but help them improve the program for the last three weeks.

“I’m hoping I’ll get more opportunities to race for them, because it’s been an absolute blast. I believe it’s going to be a fast-paced XFINITY race, especially with the stages. If we can keep us with the curve and changing of the track from day to night – I think we’ll be OK with our Diamond Gusset Chevrolet.”

Diamond Gusset Jean Co. is an American made clothing company based in Bon Aqua, Tennessee. Diamond Gusset was founded in 1987 to develop an entirely new jean concept utilizing a gusset for extra durability and enhanced comfort.

David Starr, currently ranked 24th in the XFINITY Series standings complete the three-car BJMM trio.

McLeod, a native of Wauchula, Fla. will make his fourth career start at Iowa. In the June race last year, he qualified 29th and charged to a 19thplace finish in the 250-lap race, earning one of his best results in his rookie XFINITY Series campaign.

Martins will make his 16th career XFINITY Series start. In his previous XFINITY runs, his best result is a 14th place result at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in May 2014.

Starr, the Houston, Tex. native is set for his fourth start in the Hawkeye State and looks to better his 16th place showing in 2015 after qualifying 20th.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Michael McDowell Returns To His Roots, Road Racing

Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell will be returning to his roots at Sonoma Raceway for the first road course race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cups Series (MENCS) season.

McDowell, who cut his teeth road racing, started racing go-karts at a young age before graduating to open-wheel racing. He secured a championship for Formula Renault USA in 2002, and earned the Rookie of the Year award in the Star Mazda Series in 2003. He went on to win the championship in the Star Mazda Series the next year with seven wins and six poles.

It wasn’t until 2008 that McDowell jumped into the driver’s seat of a MENCS and NASCAR XFINITY Series car. This week McDowell is looking forward to a strong run at Sonoma, as he and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) have secured five Top-25 finishes in a row.

“Sonoma is a track I have a lot of experience on,” said McDowell. “I grew up racing around the California area, so it’s kind of like another home race for me. We’ve got a lot of friends and family that will be there.

It should be a good race – road courses typically are for us. Everything has to happen just perfectly in order for a good outcome. I’m pretty confident in all of our guys, and I think it will be a good weekend.”

McDowell’s last stint on a road course was the Road America 180, where he captured his first NASCAR XFINITY Series win during the 2016 season.

LFR is also excited to announce the return of K-LOVE as the primary sponsor of their No. 95 Chevrolet SS for the second time this year.

K-LOVE joined LFR earlier in the season for the Daytona 500, the MENCS season opener, where McDowell earned a Top-15 finish.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!