Monday, July 21, 2014

Travel Tips: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – July 24-27, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
The 21st annual Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard highlights the Super Weekend at the Brickyard, with action on both the oval and road course tracks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday through Sunday, July 24-27. NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are joined at “the Brickyard” by the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, both of which will race on the road course.

On Thursday night at 5 p.m. ET, the sixth annual Hauler Parade heads down Main St. in Speedway, IN. The free event will feature more than 40 Sprint Cup Series haulers arriving at 6 p.m. ET; the haulers will then park on Main St. between 10th and 15th Sts. so fans can get a close-up look at the rigs. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett will serve as grand marshal for the parade. Find out more about the event here.

Following Saturday’s Nationwide Series race, the Brickfest Music Festival will feature performances by country artists Justin Moore and The Band Perry. The festival continues on Sunday prior to the Sprint Cup Series race with performances headlined by another country star, Brantley Gilbert. Find out more about the festival here.

Key on-track times:

Thursday, July 24 –
  • Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice – 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET
  • TUDOR United SportsCar Championship practice – 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. ET
  • Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge qualifying – 3 p.m. ET
  • TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – 4 p.m. ET

Friday, July 25 –
  • Nationwide Series practice – 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 11:35 a.m. ET
  • Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race – 2:35 p.m. ET
  • TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Brickyard Grand Prix – 5:45 p.m. ET

Saturday, July 26
  • Sprint Cup Series practice – 9 a.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series qualifying – 12:10 p.m. ET
  • Sprint Cup Series qualifying – 2:10 p.m. ET
  • Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, July 27
  • Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com – 1:22 p.m. ET


Purchase tickets and learn more about the historic track at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Travel Tips: Eldora Speedway – July 23, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series returns to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH for the second annual 1-800 CarCash MudSummer Classic, taking place Wednesday, July 23. The event is the only dirt track race on any of NASCAR’s three top-tier schedules. The historic half-mile clay oval is owned by three-time Sprint Cup Series champ Tony Stewart.

Among the out-of-series drivers on the entry list for the race: Ken Schrader, who won the pole for last year’s race, Austin and Ty Dillon, Michael Annett and Kyle Larson.

The Tuesday Night Tailgate at Eldora will feature the Sunoco American Late Model Series beginning with hot laps at 6:15 p.m. ET. Following the event there will be a post-race party in the Fan Zone featuring music, food and drinks, games and more.

Off-track events scheduled for Wednesday include a Q&A session with track owner Stewart along with Bryan Clauson and Bobby East at 2:50 p.m. ET at the Chevrolet Performance Display in Fan Zone, as well as a tweet-up with “The Orange Cone” and “NASCARcasm” at 4 p.m. ET at the base of the suites in the Fan Zone.

Key on-track event times:
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 10 and 11:30 a.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series qualifying – 5:10 p.m. ET
  • Eldora Dirt Late Models – 6 p.m. ET
  • Camping World Truck Series heat races – five races, 10 laps each beginning at 7 p.m. ET
  • Eldora Dirt Late Models feature – 7:50 p.m. ET (approximate – timed race)
  • Camping World Truck Series Last Chance race – 15 laps beginning at 8:15 p.m. ET (approximate)
  • Camping World Truck Series 1-800 CarCash MudSummer Classic – three segments (60-50-40 laps) beginning at 9:05 p.m. ET


Find out more about the race and the track, and purchase tickets for the one-day event, at www.eldoraspeedway.com

Saturday, July 19, 2014

RCR sweeps front row for the NASCAR Nationwide Series' EnjoyIllinois.com 300


Polewinner Brian Scott in the garage at Chicagoland Speedway
Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

The Nationwide Series stands alone tonight at Chicagoland Speedway, with Brian Scott sitting on the pole. Scott's fourth career Nationwide pole and his second of 2014 is also his second at the Joliet, Illinois 1.5 mile track.

Rookie Ty Dillon made it an all-RCR front row with his second-place qualifying effort, while his rookie-of-the-year rival Chase Elliott rolls off third. Erik Jones beside him in fourth, driving the JGR No. 20 that Kyle Busch has taken to Victory Lane three times this season.

The JR Motorsports No. 5 car has also been to Victory Lane three times this season, and tonight starts in fifth with Kasey Kahne behind the wheel.

Coverage of the "EnjoyIllinois.com 300"  starts on ESPN2 8:30 PM Eastern, with the green flag scheduled for 8:44 PM.

The starting lineup:

Rank Driver Nbr Car
1   Brian Scott 2 Chevrolet
2   Ty Dillon 3 Chevrolet
3   Chase Elliott 9 Chevrolet
4   Erik Jones 20 Toyota
5   Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet
6   Sam Hornish, Jr. 54 Toyota
7   Elliott Sadler 11 Toyota
8   Ryan Blaney 22 Ford
9   Brendan Gaughan 62 Chevrolet
10   Cale Conley 33 Chevrolet
11   Trevor Bayne 6 Ford
12   Kyle Larson 42 Chevrolet
13   Chris Buescher 60 Ford
14   Ryan Reed 16 Ford
15   Regan Smith 7 Chevrolet
16   James Buescher 99 Toyota
17   Ryan Sieg 39 Chevrolet
18   J.J. Yeley 28 Dodge
19   Dylan Kwasniewski 31 Chevrolet
20   Chad Boat 84 Chevrolet
21   Jeremy Clements 51 Chevrolet
22   Mike Bliss 19 Toyota
23   John Wes Townley 25 Toyota
24   Landon Cassill 1 Chevrolet
25   Eric McClure 14 Toyota
26   Dakoda Armstrong 43 Ford
27   David Starr 44 Toyota
28   Matt DiBenedetto 40 Chevrolet
29   Jeffrey Earnhardt 4 Chevrolet
30   Tanner Berryhill 17 Dodge
31   Joey Gase 52 Chevrolet
32   Kevin Lepage 74 Dodge
33   Blake Koch 10 Toyota
34   Jamie Dick 55 Chevrolet
35   Derrike Cope 70 Chevrolet
36   Carl Long 72 Chevrolet
37   Josh Reaume 87 Chevrolet
38   Richard Harriman 23 Chevrolet
39   Mike Harmon 93 Dodge
40   Ryan Ellis 46 Chevrolet


TV Schedule: July 19-20

Chicagoland Speedway. Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
The Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series are off this week. But NASCAR fans, you can still get your racing fix as the Nationwide Series will be running under the lights at Chicagoland Speedway.

The following is a handy guide to TV coverage and track events at Chicagoland. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Saturday, July 19:
7 a.m. NNS Practice (re-air), FS2
8 a.m. NNS Final Practice (re-air), FS2
10 a.m. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at New Hampshire, FS1
11 a.m. NNS Final Practice (re-air), FS1
4 p.m. NNS Qualifying, FS2
8 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
8:30 p.m. NNS: EnjoyIllinois.com 300, ESPN2. Green flag: 8:44 p.m.

Sunday, July 20:
4 a.m. NNS: EnjoyIllinois.com 300 (re-air), ESPN2

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Faith on the Frontstretch: When the Race Is Over

A lone plane soars toward the heavens in the flyover at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 29, 2012
Credit: Beth Bence Reinke for Skirts and Scuffs     
“ ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b

When a driver takes the green flag, he has no idea what the end of the race will bring. The best case scenario would be ending the race with a celebration in Victory Lane, maybe even wielding a broom, like Brad Keselowski did in his New Hampshire sweep this weekend.

But in racing, only one driver wins, and outcomes vary for everybody else. A guy could run out of fuel or hit the wall or tangle with a competitor. Sometimes the race is over way too soon, like when Jimmie Johnson’s race day ended on Lap 12, after blowing two tires within a few minutes.

For a stock car driver, when a race ends too soon, there’s always next week or next season. But when a life ends too soon, it’s final.

The ladies of Skirts and Scuffs are saddened at losing of one of our own way too soon: Lisa Reese. Formula 1 fans may remember Lisa as our F1 correspondent from 2011-2012. Lisa’s race of life ended last week without warning, from an apparent heart attack.

Our writer and editor Janine Cloud, who knew Lisa best, shares these thoughts:

“Lisa was one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve ever been blessed with knowing. As beautiful as she was on the outside, she was even more beautiful on the inside: She had the gift of a caring and listening heart.”

Lisa was a woman of faith who loved her Lord, and our hearts rejoice knowing she’s in heaven. Even so, those of us who knew Lisa are in shock and disbelief that she’s gone.

The race of life is unpredictable, speeding forward, like an 850+ horsepower engine running wide open. Sometimes we’re ready for what’s coming – a joyful event like the birth of a baby – and we embrace it, allowing the moment to blanket us like confetti in Victory Lane. But when it comes to illness and tragedy, we aren't ready. The unexpected passing of friends or loved ones catches us off guard, like an abrupt slam into the wall from a blown tire. A vicious boom, with no confetti.

Maybe you know about loss. Someone is here, and then they’re not. Even when the body remains for a short time, the essence of the person – the soul – has travelled somewhere else.

Where do our souls go when we leave this earth? It’s a question everyone asks. Thankfully, God explains it for us in the Bible. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...” (Acts 16:31.)

If you believe Jesus died for every wrong thing you’ve ever done, and ask Him to forgive you and to be your Lord and Savior, you’ll go to heaven when you die. Knowing that when your eyes close for the last time you’ll be welcomed into heaven gives you peace. And death doesn’t seem so scary anymore.

NASCAR drivers get 36 chances, each race with the potential to end in a win. But you and I only get one chance at this race of life. We need to know with certainty what will happen to us when the race ends.

Where are you headed when your race of life is over?

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:12
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“Faith on the Frontstretch” appears every 1st & 3rd Wednesday and explores the role of faith in motorsports. Comments or twitter follows welcome: @bbreinke. See you on the Frontstretch!

Want more racing devotions? When you donate $25 to Skirts and Scuffs, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of Beth’s book, Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a month-long, pocket-sized devotional book for NASCAR fans. Or you can purchase the book in paperback & ebook here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fast Facts: Cole Custer

Cole Custer and his father, Joe, in
victory lane at Richmond
credit: Getty Images for NASCAR
Cole Custer, racing the No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado part-time in the Camping World Truck Series for Haas Racing Development, is one of the new members of the NASCAR Next program. Learn about this up-and-coming driver in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Cole Custer was born Jan. 23, 1998 in Ladera Ranch, CA. His father, Joe, is the executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing. Custer began racing quarter midgets at age 4. The Custer family traveled around the country for the next seven years, competing in QMA and USAC Quarter Midgets. He also competed in Bandolero races at Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as dirt and pavement karting.
  • At age 11, Custer moved into the USAC Midget ranks, as well as into Legends cars. In 2011, Custer won the USAC National Focus Young Guns Championship, winning 15 races in 22 starts. He switched to NASCAR Late Models in 2012, racing in California, Nevada and North and South Carolina and winning 10 races, as well as the Rookie of the Year titles in Nevada and North Carolina.
  • In 2013, Custer moved up to NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East, also running select K&N Pro Series West races. He ended the season with two wins and six top 10 finishes in K&N East competition, finishing eighth in points.
  • In 2014, Custer will race in the K&N Pro Series East and West as well as nine races in the Camping World Truck Series for Haas Racing Development. He started ninth and finished 11th in his Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway; at Gateway Motorsports Park he became the youngest pole winner in NASCAR history (16 years, four months and 22 days) and earned his first top 10 finish in the Truck Series.
  • Learn more about Custer at his website, www.colecuster.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Travel Tips: Chicagoland Speedway – July 18-19, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
NASCAR’s Nationwide Series is joined by the ARCA Racing Series this weekend, Friday and Saturday, July 18-19, for the Rally, Rock and Race weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.

As part of Rally, Rock and Race weekend, there will be a concert Friday night after on-track practice sessions from Switchfoot and Collective Soul beginning at 8 p.m. CT. Friday’s on-track action is free to all Chicagoland Speedway season ticket holders, campers and Saturday ticket holders.

Key on-track times:

Friday, July 18 –
  • Nationwide Series practice – 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. CT
  • ARCA Racing Series practice – 3:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, July 19 –
  • ARCA Racing Series qualifying – 1:30 p.m. CT
  • Nationwide Series qualifying – 3:10 p.m. CT
  • ARCA Racing Series Ansell ActivArmr 150 – 5 p.m. CT
  • Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 – 7:30 p.m. CT

Check out the complete weekend schedule here.

For additional information on Chicagoland Speedway, and to purchase tickets and Fan Zone pit passes, visit www.chicagolandspeedway.com.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Five Questions Before: Loudon and Iowa

 Chris Trotman/Getty Images
This week our regular columnist Kirsten Faith Schneider is preparing to start college, so I'm stepping in with my set of five questions before the New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Iowa weekend. And I'm grateful for the opportunity because I've got a few things on my mind.

This week my friend Lisa Reese died of an apparent heart attack, sitting at her computer. Lisa wrote for Skirts and Scuffs briefly, covering Formula One with passion and in detail. Her passing again reminds me how precious life is, and how important it is to let those you love know how much they mean to you every chance you get, because you never know when it may be the last time.

Kyle Petty knows how important that is. It's been 14 years, but if I still remember Adam Petty every time the traveling circus that is NASCAR rolls into Loudon, New Hampshire, I can't imagine what it must be like for Kyle. I vividly remember hearing the news of Adam's death in a crash during practice that May afternoon in 2000. Words fail. A light that shone so brightly snuffed out too soon. I cried for weeks.

Adam would have been 34 years old yesterday, July 10. It's hard to visualize him as 34, but I imagine he would always have had that broad, beautiful grin, the one that radiated goodness and joy.

So when the cars roar into Turn Three at New Hampshire on Sunday, smile and think of Adam Petty.
Happy birthday, Adam. We miss you. Your legacy lives on in the Victory Junction Gang Camp, and this weekend, Sprint Cup teams honor the Camp's 10th anniversary with special stickers on each car.

On to the questions.

1. Will Matt Kenseth finally get a win?
At the beginning of the season, who would have thought that Aric Almirola would take the iconic No. 43 to Victory Lane before Matt Kenseth? By this time last season, Kenseth had four of his seven wins and was setting the bar high. With six top fives and 11 top 10s, the No. 20 hasn't been bad, it just hasn't been as expected. He won for the first time at Loudon last September in his 500th start, so it's possible.

2. Can Toyota step it up?
Although the last three races at NHMS have been won by Toyotas, only two of the 18 races this season have seen Toyotas in the winner's circle. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have wins - can any other Toyota team score one? Clint Bowyer is the top Toyota drive without a win; he sits 12th in points but has only two top fives this season. Brian Vickers has a win at NHMS and is running well ... but will it be enough to beat the Bowtie and Oval teams?

3. Will Kevin Harvick's pit crew finally gel?
How many races would Harvick have won this season if his pit crew had synced as quickly as he and Rodney Childers have. The mind boggles. Harvick's made no secret of his dissatisfaction with the status quo. Will the No. 4 team beat themselves again this week?

4. Can a Nationwide regular beat the Cup drivers?
Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson are all on the entry list for the Sta-Green 200. Can Chase Elliott or Ty Dillon, or maybe even Brendan Gaughan make it a race.

5. Will youth and enthusiasm win out over age and experience at Iowa Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series?
With the Cup Series in New Hampshire, Erik Jones will be behind the wheel of the No. 51, so we know Kyle Busch won't win. Can points-leader Johnny Sauter bring home a trophy? What about Timothy Peters or the cagey veteran Ron Hornaday? Or will it be one of the next generation of NASCAR stars?

All these questions and more will be answered this weekend.


TV Schedule: July 11-13

New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt / NASCAR via Getty Images
NASCAR goes short-track racing this weekend. The Sprint Cup and Nationwide series converge on the "Magic Mile" - New Hampshire Motor Speedway - while the Camping World Truck Series heads to Iowa Speedway.

The following is a handy guide to track events and television coverage at New Hampshire and Iowa. All times are in Eastern Standard Time.

Friday, July 11:
11 a.m. NASCAR Live, FS1
11:30 a.m. NSCS Practice, FS1
1 p.m. NNS Practice, FS1
2 p.m. NASCAR Live, FS1
3 p.m. NNS Final Practice, FS1
4:30 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, FS1
7 p.m. NCWTS Qualifying at Iowa, FS1
8 p.m. NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 p.m. NCWTS at Iowa: American Ethanol 200, FS1. Green flag: 8:47 p.m.

Saturday, July 12:
3 a.m. NSCS Practice (re-air), FS1
4:30 a.m. NSCS Qualifying (re-air), FS1
6:30 a.m. NNS Practice (re-air), FS2
7:30 a.m. NNS Final Practice (re-air), FS2
9 a.m. NSCS Practice, FS1
10 a.m. NNS Qualifying, FS1
11:30 a.m. NSCS Final Practice, FS1
2:30 p.m. NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN
3 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
3:30 p.m. NNS: Sta-Green 200, ESPN2. Green flag: 3:46 p.m.
8 p.m. NCWTS: American Ethanol 200 (re-air), FS2
10 p.m. NASCAR Race Hub Special, FS2

Sunday, July 13:
3 a.m. NSCS Practice (re-air), FS1
4 a.m. NSCS Final Practice (re-air), FS1
5 a.m. NNS: Sta-Green 200 (re-air), ESPN2
6:30 a.m. NSCS Qualifying (re-air), FS2
8 a.m. NSCS Final Practice (re-air), FS2
9:30 a.m. NSCS Qualifying (re-air), FS1
11 a.m. NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12 noon NSCS Countdown to Green, TNT
1 p.m. NSCS: Camping World RV Sales 301, TNT. Green flag: 1:15 p.m.
8 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

Thursday, July 10, 2014

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire




Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway • Charlotte Motorspeedway • Chicagoland Speedway   Darlington Raceway • Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway •  Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway  • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.058 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Jimmie Johnson - 5
Jeff Gordon - 4
All with 3 -Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman

By Track
All with 6 - Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson 
Ryan Newman - 5
All with 4 - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and 
Brad Keselowski 

Recent Pole Winners:  
2013 Brad Keselowski
2012 Kyle Busch

The Likely Suspects:  New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a racetrack with an identity crisis. Although it is a flat intermediate track, it races much like a short track. Racing wise, its twin would be Phoenix International Raceway. The likely suspects will be: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer.

My 2 Cents:  My no-brainer pick this week is a three-way tie among Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski. My next picks are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano. I'm rounding out my team with Jeff Burton, who will be racing the No. 66 car this week, and Austin Dillon.

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fast Facts: Dylan Lupton

credit: Getty Images for NASCAR
Dylan Lupton is one of a dozen up-and-coming stars chosen for the 2014-15 NASCAR Next program. Meet this young K&N Pro Series West driver in this week’s Fast Facts.
  • Dylan Lupton was born Dec. 7, 1993 in Wilton, CA. He received his first dirt bike at age 6 and has been racing since. He traded in two wheels for four when he began karting, and his father signed him up for the Jim Russell Karting Series in 2007.
  • Lupton’s 2007 season was cut short by injuries, but that made him more determined in 2008, when he returned to the series and won the championship. He competed in other regional karting series in 2008 as well, collecting nine wins on the regional circuit in his first season. In 2009, he picked up the Pro-Kart Tag Jr. Championship along with seven wins.
  • In 2010, Lupton moved into a full-bodied stock car. He struggled getting used to the cars during the first half of the season, but collected his first win shortly after the midway point of the season. He went on to win three more races and the Langers Juice S-2 Sportsman Series Championship, as well as Rookie of the Year in the series. 2011 brought another move, this time to Late Models, as well as three starts in the K&N Pro Series West.
  • In 2012, Lupton headed east to race Late Models for Frank Deiny Jr. Motorsports, but returned home to the west coast for the 2013 season, driving in the K&N Pro Series West for owner Bob Bruncati and Sunrise Ford. He earned his first K&N Pro Series win in 2013 at Evergreen Speedway in Washington, and was named the series’ Rookie of the Year in 2013. He remains with the team for the 2014 season.
  • Learn more about Dylan Lupton at his website, www.luptonracing.com

Monday, July 7, 2014

Travel Tips: Iowa Speedway – July 11-12, 2014

credit: NASCAR Media
NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series joins the Verizon IndyCar Series in Newton, Iowa, home of Iowa Speedway, for this weekend’s American Ethanol 200 and Iowa Corn Indy 300. The Truck Series race will be run on Friday, July 11, with the IndyCars running Saturday, July 12.

Key on-track times:

Friday, July 11 –
  • Camping World Truck Series practice – 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. CT
  • Verizon IndyCar Series practice – 10 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. CT
  • Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying – 2 p.m. CT
  • Camping World Truck Series qualifying – 4:40 p.m. CT
  • Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen – 7:30 p.m. CT

Saturday, July 12 –
  • Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB – 7:30 p.m. CT


Visit www.iowaspeedway.com for more information on the weekend and to purchase tickets.