Thursday, February 28, 2013

McDonald named Grand Marshal at Wildcat Shootout Presented by NAPA



TUCSON, Ariz. - Feb. 28, 2013 - The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series is proud to announce that veteran announcer and historian Windy McDonald will serve as the Grand Marshal for the series lone visit to Arizona this season. 

McDonald will be the guest of honor on Saturday, March 9, at the Wildcat Shootout Presented by NAPA Auto Parts, which is the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series first race at Tucson International Raceway since 2007. 

McDonald was the voice of the famed Manzanita Speedway near Phoenix for more than 50 years and he is a leading historian on Arizona motor sports, which has led him to be elected into the Arizona Motorsports Hall of Fame. 

He has also authored several books, including "Desert Thunder" and "Manzanita Speedway: The Final Chapter." 

Tickets for the Wildcat Shootout Presented by NAPA Auto Parts can be ordered online by clicking WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets or by calling 877-395-8606. 

By showing a receipt from any NAPA store, fans can receive $5 off their admission of a general admission, reserved or child ticket. Fans who purchased tickets in advance can receive a fan pit pass.

Travel Tips: Phoenix International Raceway


The NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series will be descending upon Phoenix International Raceway on March 2 & 3 for a double-header weekend of competition at this one-mile flat track.

The Daytona 500 served as the official start to the 2013 points season with five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson capturing the checkered flag this past Sunday. He will be heading to a track this weekend where he has four wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s and one pole. Will he be able to pull off a consecutive win at PIR? This may depend on how Kevin Harvick fares because he is recorded as the second-best average finisher at this track with three wins, six top fives and 10 top 10s. I am sure that he will be looking for some redemption from being bit by the “Big One” in Daytona.

This week’s Travel Tips will give you several links to find out information about driver appearances, local recreation and restaurants, track entertainment and the weather forecast.

Enjoy, Race Fans!


***

Driver/Celebrity Weekend Appearances, click here.

Local Recreation/Sports in Avondale, click here.

Local Restaurants in Avondale, click here.

PIR Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

Weekend Entertainment Schedule, click here.

Weekend Fan Schedule, click here.

Weekend Weather Forecast, click here.

***

Race Broadcast Schedule:

Mar. 2 – NASCAR Nationwide Series: Dollar General 200 Fueled by Amerigas

TV: ESPN2, 4:30 p.m. ET / Radio: MRN, 4:30 p.m. ET

Mar. 3 – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Subway Fresh 500

TV: FOX Sports, 3:00 p.m. ET / Radio: MRN, 3:00 p.m. ET





Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry," which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.


NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Phoenix




Track Classification: Short Track
Similar Tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway • Dover International Speedway  
Martinsville Speedway •  Richmond International Raceway
Distance: 1 Mile

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):

By Race
Jimmie Johnson - 5
Both with 4 - Mark Martin and Kyle Busch
All with 3 - Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, and Carl Edwards

By Track
Both with 6 - Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson
Both with 5 - Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch

Recent Pole Winners:  
2012 Mark Martin 
2011 Carl Edwards  

The Likely Suspects: When pondering your picks this week think flat and short track greats, then cross reference with Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway driver rosters. For good measure check out loop data for Richmond International Raceway which is the most similar to Phoenix. So Sunday's likely suspects include Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, as well as Kyle Busch  and Mark Martin.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick is a three-way tie between Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, and Mark Martin. My next picks are: Greg Biffle; Kyle Busch; and Ryan Newman. I will round out my team with A.J. Allmendinger and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Kevin Harvick tends to run well at Phoenix, so he is definitely worth a look for your fantasy team this week. 

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jeremy Clements suspended indefinitely for Code of Conduct violation

John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2013) – Jeremy Clements, a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Code of Conduct.

On Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway, Clements was found to have violated Sections 7-5 (NASCAR’s Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing).

“During the course of an interview, Jeremy Clements made an intolerable and insensitive remark,” said Steve
O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that’s explicitly spelled out in the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. We fully expect our entire industry to adhere to that Code.”

Women in NASCAR: Melanie Self


Melanie Self
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs   
If you’re a NASCAR fan, you’ve seen Melanie Self on television. You probably know her as the lady who directs the MRO kids singing the National Anthem at Bristol. With a background in teaching and music, leading the children in song is right up her alley. But what really puts a song in her heart is serving NASCAR families by showing them the love of Jesus.

Melanie is the Women and Children’s Ministry Coordinator for Motor Racing Outreach (MRO). Her husband, Monty, is MRO’s Touring Series Director of Operations, and the couple ministers to families in the racing community. They serve anyone who has a NASCAR credential and infield access – folks like crew members, sponsors, drivers, owners and officials.

Melanie leading the MRO kids in our National Anthem at Bristol.
Photo courtesy of Motor Reaching Outreach 
Because they moved seven times during Monty’s 23-year career with the U.S. Air Force, the Selfs are the perfect people to help racing folks cope. They empathize with the travelling lifestyle of NASCAR families.

“We knew God could use a few of the things we learned to help these families know they can have transiency and chaos in their lives, and yet have a good marriage, raise wonderful kids and know God is faithful,” Melanie said.

Melanie & Monty Self
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
Fun for NASCAR kids on race day
The Selfs travel to 26 races a year with the MRO Community Center - a 24-foot trailer full of toys and supplies. Each Thursday they set up the trailer with all kinds of gear inside and outside, including a slide-out awning that creates a shaded outdoor play area for the children.

During races and qualifying, the MRO staff provides a supervised time where NASCAR moms and dads can drop off their children in a fun, safe place. During a typical Sprint Cup race, Self and her assistant, Danielle Bolin, have about 50 children in attendance for the kids’ programming. Miss Melanie, as the kids call her, said she prays with the children first thing.

“We pray for every team, all the drivers related to the team, mommies, daddies, any concerns the children bring to the track,” she said. “Then we worship. We turn the music up with the surround sound and the place starts rocking. Their little lives really have embraced this ‘faith moment’ of their weekend and they look forward to it as much as they do playing because it’s so doggone fun."

Each weekend, the kids learn about God and talk about Jesus. In a roundabout way, MRO blesses the adults through the children, because the little ones share what they’re taught with their parents and caregivers.
The MRO Community Center's outside play area
Photo courtesy of Motor Racing Outreach

“I know the first question that gets asked when (the kids) get on the plane is ‘What did you learn at MRO today?’”

Thankfulness for the opportunity to serve the children spills out in Self’s words. “We have received the most amazing gift to be able to open up the very throne of God in the middle of a race track every weekend while the whole world watches, and many people don’t even know that we’re here,” she said.

A community center on wheels
When a race weekend is over, the staff packs everything back into the trailer, travels to the next venue, and sets it all up again. The MRO Community Center serves as a neighborhood hangout where women and children come to socialize, with husbands checking in throughout the day, too.

“We’re open 24/7 for them to come knock on the door and potentially have us come be a part of their lives, whether it’s a celebration or a crisis,” Self said.

Credit: Charlotte Bray
The women in NASCAR face normal struggles like having a good marriage and raising children, but there is also the anxiety that comes with having a driver or over-the-wall guy as a husband or boyfriend.

Even the children sense the fear. In the Community Center during races, the kids sing, pray, and do all kinds of faith-based activities like Bible stories, crafts and games. But if the cars are red-flagged, the children know something is wrong on the track and they want to hear that their daddy is okay.

“We have this deal, that unless Mr. Monty comes to get me, that everybody is okay,” Self said. “The children wait for the thumbs up sign from Miss Danielle that tells them everything is all settled and they’re going back racing.”

Family fun
Melanie & Danielle share a laugh
Credit: Charlotte Bray
Each year, Self organizes about six main events to bring the racing community together on a Friday or Saturday evening on race weekend. The events are festive and fun, some with holiday themes like an Easter egg hunt, Father’s Day Olympics and Fall Festival. She said they’ve tried just about anything you can imagine – kickball games, watermelon-eating contests and seed-spitting contests.

“I’ve made moms squish water balloons by sitting on them,” she said with a chuckle. “I simply want to be able to bring families together to ‘do family.’ Nobody talks about racing. Everybody talks about each other’s kids and catches up. It’s beautiful to see all the little kids running around.”

They also do projects outside the track, as a way to disciple the children as they grow in their faith. Last year the MRO kids did a recycling project to clean up around the track at Martinsville. Venturing off-track, the children visited a Veterans hospital to help serve lunch and give out hero cards and gifts.

Hosting the Summer Caution
Photo courtesy of MRO
Ladies only
There are several MRO events for the NASCAR women, too. Self hosts the Summer Caution, a time of ministry and spiritual encouragement for ladies. At last year’s Summer Caution an artist ministered to the women as they partnered with Bright Blessings, a Charlotte area charity that provides for homeless moms and kids.

In 2011 and 2012, Self organized and competed in the Better Half Dash, an event where drivers’ wives and girlfriends race in Bandolero cars to raise money for charities, including MRO.

“We’ll come back with the Third Annual Better Half Dash unless something really crazy happens,” she said. “We haven’t set the date yet, but likely it will be the fall (Charlotte) race again.”

Melanie strapped into her car for the Better Half Dash
Photo courtesy of MRO
Fans can visit the Better Half Dash website to see photos of the lady racers, donate to the cause, or view a video of the inaugural event, won by Jacquelyn Butler (David Ragan’s fiancĂ©, who is now his wife.) Lyn-Z Pastrana won the 2012 race.

How fans can pray
When Self speaks, the joy and humility she brings to her job is unmistakable. She and the MRO staff pray for many people, so if you feel led to pray for them, here is her request: “Pray for us physically, emotionally and spiritually that we might be that thing God needs us to be ... and that God would work in the hearts of those we come to love.”

Just about every weekend she hears someone say, “I had no idea there was anyone doing that,” about one of their MRO programs. So her hope is that the more people who know about their ministry, the more people will pray.

“We are upheld through the prayers of God’s people – no doubt in my mind. Prayer is the work that makes this happen.”
Courtesy of MRO
Along with prayers, financial support from fans is important for MRO, too. Self said they’re a nonprofit supported solely by donations, which can be made through their website.

Keepin’ the faith
Like many folks in ministry, Self spends most of her time and energy pouring herself out for others. How does she keep her own faith strong?

“It is a real challenge to keep myself to overflowing,” she said. “Working with my spouse is a blessing. We’re able to spur each other on, reading our Bibles together, doing studies together, reading the same books.” To keep their own spiritual buckets full, the couple listens to podcasts of their home church service on weekdays while driving to the next track.

Miss Danielle (left) & Miss Melanie
Credit: Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
In the off-season, Miss Melanie and Miss Danielle go on a week-long retreat to get recharged and refreshed and seek God’s direction for the next year. “We just go away and really get our minds and hearts around where God would lead the Community Center programming.”

As the 2013 racing season begins, Miss Melanie enters her 12th year of service with MRO. Whether she is directing the Star Spangled Banner, praying with children or encouraging a NASCAR wife, Self has a single goal: “There is nothing I need except to serve ... and to be God’s hands and feet.”

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Beth Bence Reinke is a columnist, editor and media representative for Skirts and Scuffs. Her column, “Faith on the Frontstretch,” explores the role of faith in motorsports.

Beth is also the author of Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a devotional book geared toward female NASCAR fans. Follow her on Twitter at @bbreinke or e-mail her at bbreinke@skirtsandScuffs.com

Format For 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Elevates Need For Speed

Credit: Courtesy of Sprint Media Relations 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2013) – Reinforcing the need for speed and going all out for the win, NASCAR announced on Tuesday the format for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race that will put added emphasis on finishing well in each of the five segments. The sport’s annual classic is set for Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. (live on SPEED) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The new wrinkle that should have the fans and the competitors excited: the running order at the completion of the fourth segment (Lap 80) will be repositioned based on the average finish for the first four segments directly behind the caution car prior to the opening of pit road for the mandatory four-tire pit stop. The order of the cars returning to the track will determine the starting order of the fifth segment. Running order ties will be broken by the finish of the fourth segment. This revision puts a premium on making all of the laps count leading up to the final 10-lap shootout with the race winner earning a $1 million pay day from Sprint.

“Having the average finish through the race’s first four segments determine how the cars come down pit road for the last mandatory four-tire pit stop takes the competition to an even higher level,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition. “The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is truly a showcase event for our sport and this format should bring out the best in our drivers and our teams.”

The race will continue to be run in four, 20-lap segments and one 10-lap final segment. All laps will count in segments one through four. In the fifth and final segment, only Green Flag laps will be counted. There will be optional pit stops during the break following each of the first three segments, with the field set by the pit stop/stay out positioning during the five caution laps.

“The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is the highlight of our season,” said Tim Considine, director of sponsorship marketing for Sprint. “These added elements help continue the tradition of this being one of the most unique and compelling races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar.”

The eligibility criteria for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same:

· Drivers who have won NASCAR Sprint Cup races in the current and preceding year. If a driver leaves a team with which he has won a race, he or she remains eligible (through the last race before the all-star race), however, the team does not

· Drivers who are past NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners in the past 10 years

· Drivers who are past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions in the last 10 years

· The top two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, the 40-lap race that precedes the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

· The top Sprint Fan Vote driver who finishes on the lead lap of the Showdown and whose car is in “raceable” condition as determined by the series director

For an infographic of the format, click here: http://bit.ly/2013-Sprint-All-Star-Race-Format-Grid

The 2013 Sprint Fan Vote runs from March 20-May 18. Fans may vote by using the NASCAR Mobile ’13 application or online at NASCAR.COM. Votes cast from the NASCAR Mobile ’13 application count double.

This will be the 29th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Five-time series champion and reigning Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson won last year’s race.

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend ticket packages including all Friday and Saturday activities start at just $99 including scanner rental. Fans should call 1-800-455-FANS or visit CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com for details.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fast Facts: Darrell Wallace Jr.


Credit: Getty Images/NASCAR Media
 Darrell Wallace Jr., 19, makes history in 2013, becoming just the fourth African-American driver to compete full-time in one of NASCAR’s top three series. The Joe Gibbs Racing development driver will drive the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series after spending the past three seasons in the K&N Pro Series East. Here are the fast facts on this up-and-coming driver.


  • Darrell Wallace Jr. was born October 8, 1993 in Mobile, Alabama and grew up in Concord, North Carolina. He began racing at age nine in Legends, Bandoleros and Late Model races; in 2005, he won 35 of the 48 races on the Bandoleros Series’ schedule.
  • In 2010, Wallace Jr. participated in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and joined Rev Racing, competing in the K&N Pro Series East. Wallace Jr. won in his first career start in the series at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, becoming the youngest driver ever to win there at age 16, as well as the first African-American driver to win there. He also became the youngest driver and first African-American driver to win in the series.
  • In three seasons in the K&N Pro Series East, Wallace earned points finishes of third (2010), second (2011) and seventh (2012) in points, tallying six wins and 25 top 10 finishes in 36 races, as well as four poles.
  • In 2012, Wallace Jr. made four Nationwide Series starts for JGR, earning three top 10 finishes and a pole at Dover. In his first start in the Camping World Truck Series at Daytona on February 22, 2013, Wallace Jr. started 14th and finished 12th in his KBM debut.
  • Find out more Wallace Jr. at his website, darrellwallacejr.com.

Pittman Leads World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Into Arizona



TUCSON, Ariz. - Feb. 26, 2013 - Life is good for Daryn Pittman. 

He's back on the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series - piloting a car for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne - and after the first weekend of competition this season, Pittman is at the top of his game. 

After claiming the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment title with a win and a trio of top fives in three Florida races, Pittman is atop the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series standings. And he's headed to a track where he hasn't finished outside the top six. 

Pittman and the Outlaws will compete in their first race in Arizona since 2009 and first at Tucson International Raceway since 2007 for the Wildcat Shootout Presented by NAPA Auto Parts on Saturday, March 9. 

"It was a great way to start the year in Florida, but I think half of that is remembering it's a long season; a lot of races," he said. "That was just Florida. We've got to keep it going and carry that to Las Vegas and to Tucson." 

In three previous World of Outlaws STP Sprint car Series events at the 3/8-mile track, Pittman has finished fifth twice and sixth in the other race. 

"It's neat because it's really not that big of a race track, but it's fast," he said. "It's really wide and has really long corners. It's really kind of unique. For the size of it, it seems like we get around it at half-mile (track) speed." 

By showing a receipt from any NAPA store, fans can receive $5 off their admission of a general admission, reserved or child ticket. Fans who purchased tickets in advance can receive a fan pit pass.

Saldana and 71M WoO Team Head West



BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Feb. 26, 2013) – Following a three-race season opener in Florida, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series heads West to begin a six-week swing, making its first stop at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas March 6th and 7th, followed by the Wildcat Shootout Presented By NAPA Auto Parts at Tucson International Raceway March 9.

The World of Outlaws schedule is the most aggressive in motorsports, with over 90 events from February through mid-October. Occasionally the sprint cars compete seven times in one week. With this uncustomary two-week break between Florida and the West Coast swing, what do the Motter Equipment Fatheadz Eyewear 7lM team and driver Joey Saldana do to fill the time?

“Really, I wish we were racing,” confided Saldana from the team’s Brownsburg, Ind.-based race shop. “But when I’m home, I work out consistently at PitFit Training in Indianapolis for an hour and a half each day. I start by doing a 24-minute 5K run to keep my heart rate up for an extended period of time, just to simulate the adrenaline rush under racing conditions. After my heart rate is up, then I continue to train for about an hour with PitFit instructors. I really feel this exercise program is beneficial and translates to better performance on the track. It helps keep you sharp and in good physical condition which is important when you take into consideration how rigorous this racing schedule is.

“Though Davey (Whitworth, crew chief) and I worked together about ten years ago, our 71M team is new and we’re learning to gel,” said the driver known as the ‘Brownsburg Bullet.’ “We have first-class equipment and we are indebted to Dan Motter (team owner) for putting this team together so quickly and giving us new Eagle chassis and a terrific engine program. But as a new team, we don’t have the data that some of the established teams have, so for us, each race is a learning experience and it’s critical to gather all the statistics and knowledge we can. The more track time for us, the better.”

Saldana won at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas in 2011 and draws upon past insight to summarize the conditions at the popular track where the WOO STP Sprint Series will be competing in a doubleheader Wed. and Thurs. nights, March 6 and 7.

“The track is deceiving. It’s a big fast half-mile, but it races pretty technical. You have to have the car under you to be successful and in two nights, you will undoubtedly have two totally different racing surfaces. Communication with your crew chief is essential to get a competitive set-up.

“In our type of racing, if you’re off just a bit, it exaggerates, so it’s critical that I tell my crew chief, Davey Whitworth, everything I feel the car doing so he can make appropriate adjustments.

“Now the Saturday night (March 9) show at Tucson International Raceway is a different story,” continued Saldana. “We raced there in 2006 and 2007 and not since then. So the teams are going there with a blank sheet of paper and we’ll all be pretty much in the same boat just trying to figure out the set-up.

“Another variable the teams are working with this year are the new Hoosier tires. They are great tires, but they grip a little differently from the Goodyears we ran in previous years.

“So to summarize, we have terrific experienced tuning talent, first-class equipment, and we’re just excited to get out and make some laps and race.”

Saldana tallied his eighth top-five finish, placing fourth in 2012 World of Outlaws Sprint Car point standings. He added five victories to his resume, boosting his total to an impressive 83 career wins, placing him seventh in all-time victories for the category.

Caption this: Jimmie Johnson & Chad Knaus

Here's a colorful photo of your 2013 Daytona 500 champ and crew chief.


Chad and Jimmie in their post-race press conference after winning the
 June 2012 race at Dover.  Lookin' pretty cheerful, aren't they? Caption this!
***
Leave your caption in the comment section below. One entry per person and please leave your name or twitter handle. Anonymous posts will not be eligible to win.

We'll take captions until Thursday evening, then the Skirts and Scuffs staff will vote to choose a winner. Check back this weekend to read the winning caption.

And yes, there is a PRIZE! The "Caption this" winner will receive a copy of the book, Race Fans' Devotions to Go. The winner must follow instructions for sending us his or her contact info, as specified in the winning caption post.

Bring on your funnies. We look forward to reading them! :o)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rose to Miss the Next World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series Weekend



LAS VEGAS - Feb. 25, 2013 - The old saying goes, if it wasn't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all. 

Bill Rose probably wouldn't mind having no luck after injuries have plagued his last three seasons. Rose, who broke his left forearm during an incident on the final lap of his heat race at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., on Feb. 16, will miss the next three World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series events because of the injury. 

After a follow-up visit on Monday to a doctor in his home state of Indiana, Rose made the decision to sit out the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series doubleheader at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas on Wednesday and Thursday, March 6-7, and at the Wildcat Shootout Presented by NAPA Auto Parts at Tucson International Raceway on Saturday, March 9. 

"The biggest bone in my forearm split in half," Rose said. "My elbow's all jacked up. My whole bicep is black and blue. (The doctor) wanted me to sit out for six weeks. 

"The problem right now is I don't have any grip strength. I can't even hold anything with my hand."

Rose is putting David Gravel in the car for those three races with the option of continuing to compete if Rose doesn't feel ready to race on March 15-16 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. Rose, who is wearing a splint over his left arm, had his doctor make a different, specific splint that he can use to race. 

"It's a shame that he got injured again," Gravel said. "I'm glad he chose me. To be in a World of Outlaws car is definitely huge and hopefully there's more to come in the future."

 Gravel picked up his lone World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series feature victory at the Talladega Short Track on Oct. 22, 2011. He is currently 17 th in the standings after the opening three races of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season.

USAC's True Speed "Triple Crown" Guidelines Announced.



Due to the unique USAC National Championship structure in 2013, with separate USAC National Midget Pavement and Dirt Champions to be crowned, guidelines regarding the USAC True Speed Triple Crown Championship have been restructured and announced. The career achievement is acknowledged with a specially-crafted championship ring courtesy of True Speed Enterprises and USAC Triple Crown Champion Tony Stewart, who became the first to “sweep” the honors in a single year in 1995.

To enter the exclusive club of USAC Triple Crown Champions, a driver during his career must possess an overall championship in the three National categories, Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget.

Maintaining the integrity of the prestige of the USAC Triple Crown, which has only been achieved by five drivers in USAC‘s history, drivers in the 2013 National Midget series will earn eligibility meeting two criteria.

First, a driver must win either the dirt or pavement championship. In addition, the driver must compile the most points in total Midget competition. For the sole purpose of establishing this Triple Crown criteria, an overall National Midget Championship points tally will be maintained, utilizing total points combined on dirt and pavement.

Pancho Carter became the first driver to earn the Triple Crown designation, winning the Midget title in 1972, the Sprint in 1974 and 1976 and the Silver Crown in 1978. Tony Stewart won the 1994 Midget title and added all three championships in 1995. Dave Darland followed, winning the Silver Crown in 1997, Sprint in 1999 and Midget in 2001 and 2002. In 2001 J.J. Yeley won the Sprint title, came back in 2002 with the Silver Crown championship and then won all three in 2003. Jerry Coons Jr. joined the illustrious list with the 2006 and 2007 Midget titles and the 2008 Sprint and Silver Crown championships.

Currently active USAC drivers with two of the three Triple Crown legs to their credit include Tracy Hines (Silver Crown and Sprint), Levi Jones (Silver Crown and Sprint), Bryan Clauson (Sprint and Midget), Bobby East (Silver Crown and Midget) and Jason Leffler (Silver Crown and Midget).

6th "Copper on Dirt" Showcases Sprints & Midgets at Canyon Speedway Park.



The AMSOIL USAC CRA Sprint Cars and USAC Western Midgets open their 2013 campaigns in this weekend’s 6th “Copper on Dirt” events at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.

Defending USAC National Drivers Champion Bryan Clauson and five-time consecutive USAC/CRA Sprint Car king Mike Spencer, plus Western Midget Champion Shannon McQueen are all gearing up for the 1/3-mile dirt oval, which also sports West Coast Late Model and IMCA Modified competition.

Clauson is expected to compete in both events of the USAC “doubleheader” after posting an AMSOIL USAC National Sprint win at Ocala, Fla. last Thursday night. Hunter Schuerenberg, USAC’s brand-new AMSOIL National Sprint Car leader after three “top-four” finishes at Ocala, also is expected to compete at Peoria.

Clauson has now won at least one USAC National victory every year since his debut in 2005. McQueen posted more than a dozen “top-10” finishes on her way to the 2012 Western Midget crown. She also was the recipient of the prestigious “Kara Hendrick Award” from Lyn St. James’ Women in the Winners Circle last year. Spencer became the first USAC driver in history to win five consecutive series titles with his 2012 championship. He scored nine victories during the 2012 CRA campaign.

Clauson owns five USAC victories at Canyon Speedway Park, including three already this year! He also scored two USAC National wins in 2011.

Last November’s USAC Midget feature at Canyon Speedway Park went to Kyle Larson.

Canyon Speedway Park is located in North Peoria off Lake Pleasant Parkway, then 1.3 miles West on Carefree Highway. For more information, please contact the track at 602-258-RACE(7223) or additional information regarding Canyon Speedway Park can be found at www.canyonspeedwaypark.com

Schuerenberg Vaults to AMSOIL Points Lead.



Hunter Schuerenberg of Sikeston, Mo. sits atop the 2013 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series standings after the opening events of the year at Ocala, Fla. last week.

Schuerenberg finished third, fourth and fifth in the three 30-lap “Winter Dirt Games IV” features at Bubba Raceway Park and has a four-point lead over Chase Stockon going into an April 6 race at Lawrenceburg, Ind. Stockon posted the fastest qualifying time both Thursday and Saturday.

Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. earned his 44th and 45th career USAC Sprint victories at Ocala, taking Friday and Saturday night features in his Hansen’s Welding/Motor City Auto Transport DRC/Stanton Mopar. The wins brought his all-time USAC National feature total to 85 and his 45 wins in the National Sprint Cars now tie him with Larry Dickson for third all-time behind Tom Bigelow (52) and Jack Hewitt (46).

Hines led all 30 laps Saturday to beat rookie hopeful Tyler Courtney, Stockon, Robert Ballou and Schuerenberg. On Friday, Hines passed Ballou on the final lap when Ballou had a tire go down after leading the first 29 laps. Bryan Clauson finished second ahead of Schuerenberg, Stockon and Dave Darland.

Defending series champion Clauson emerged victorious Thursday after a race-long battle with Darland. Darland led 27 of the first 28 laps before Clauson went to the front on lap 29 in his Chevrolet Performance/Curb Records Beast/Kistler Chevy. Brady Bacon took third ahead of Schuerenberg and Ballou.

2013 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Point Standings: 1-Hunter Schuerenberg-182; 2-Chase Stockon-178; 3-Tracy Hines, 4-Bryan Clauson-175; 5-Brady Bacon-167; 6-Dave Darland-160; 7-Robert Ballou-142; 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-118; 9-C.J. Leary-112; 10-Scotty Weir-110.

Voting begins for NMPA NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award


Earnhardt Jr. defends 10-year streak as Patrick enters voting lineup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (February 24, 2013) - Fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. will try to defend a 10-year win streak as voting opens today for the NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Most Popular Driver Award.  Fans can vote online once a day throughout the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season to earn their driver the coveted "most popular" trophy.  This year marks the first year of eligibility for Sprint Cup rookie Danica Patrick, whose fan base could push voting activity and award competition to a new intensity.

Fans can visit www.MostPopularDriver.com and vote once a day for their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup driver among the 39 eligible.  All 39 will remain eligible for voting throughout the entire Sprint Cup Series season.  Voting will conclude Nov. 17 at 11:59 PM ET after the season's final race at Homestead Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The winner will be announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon in December.

Earnhardt Jr. notched his 10th straight NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver award last season, tying a record for consecutive wins set by Bill Elliott.  Elliott holds the record for most overall wins with 16.

Patrick, who made history last week by becoming the first woman to earn a Sprint Cup pole and to lead the Daytona 500, could challenge Earnhardt Jr.'s streak with her far-reaching fan base that includes women, girls and cross-over fans from her open-wheel racing career.

"Dale Jr.'s fans have really staked a claim on this award for the past decade, but the vote could get interesting this year," said Kenny Bruce, president of the NMPA. "We've had some close competitions in the past, so there are actually multiple drivers who could break the streak, and Danica is certainly one of them."

The NMPA Most Popular Driver distinction has been awarded every year since 1956.  At one time, the contest was decided by a poll among drivers, taken at the end of the racing season. Later, members of the media determined the winner.  Today, race fans from all over the world make the ultimate decision.

For more information and to vote on the NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver Award, visit www.MostPopularDriver.com.

Why I Love NASCAR: Compassion by Chief 187™




There are myriad reasons I love NASCAR and I've been showcasing them for years. From drivers to tracks, sponsors to fans I have been waxing poetic about what touches me as a NASCAR fan and columnist.

Over the weekend during the NASCAR Nationwide Race from Daytona, the season opener, an accident occurred when coming to the checkered flag that resulted in a serious series of wrecks. Fortunately there were no drivers injured, a strong testament to the safety measures implemented by NASCAR and the tracks since the death of Dale Earnhardt in 2001.

Unfortunately, Kyle Larson’s No. 32 car was hit with such force and in such a way that the front end came off. The engine winged itself into the catch fence and a tire flew over it hurting several race fans in the audience. Fortunately Larson walked away from his battered car unscathed.

Daytona employees, rescue workers, and other first responders were quickly sent into action and did what they could to quell the situation and keep others safe in the grandstands.

Tony Stewart, the race winner, did not do a traditional celebratory burnout, donuts, or jumping on the roof. He was staid and thoughtful, his face showing concern and worry. During the interview  Stewart spoke words that proved he is not only a champion on the racetrack but in the human race as well.

Stewart immediately addressed his concern for the fans and his fellow racers. He was clearly affected by the events at the end of the race – and no one was there to coach him on the “correct” emotions to have.

Every driver interviewed after Stewart exhibited the same level of compassion for the race fans. There is a vast awareness among the drivers that the fans are the ones who provide the occupation they have and the lifestyle they get to enjoy. But beyond that the drivers all seem to intrinsically care about people deeply.

The level of compassion – some would call it spirituality – is evident far and wide in the NASCAR Nation. Upon seeing the accident I scoured Facebook and Twitter for news of the aftermath of the accident. Every status and tweet I encountered from NASCAR fans, journalists, track employees, NASCAR personnel, and drivers always started with, “My thoughts and prayers are with those injured in Daytona today.”

To some it may seem trivial, but I disagree with that assessment. These are powerful sentiments that collectively make NASCAR the best sport on Earth.

NASCAR is a hotbed of spiritual, religious, and good people. Throughout the garage area and pits you’ll see teammates in prayer. Drivers are all involved heavily in charitable acts, not because they have to for appearances' sake, but because they truly care about the groups they support. Fans are always starting prayer chains and support one another in good times and bad.

There are indeed myriad reasons that I love NASCAR, but this past weekend I was reminded about perhaps the most important reason, compassion. Compassion – spirituality – is yet another prime reason why I love NASCAR.

Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187™Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.

Hendrick Garage: 1, 2 Daytona Finish

Jimmie Johnson celebrating. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Racing is back in full force! In 500 miles at Daytona, it seems like there's a new twist with every turn. With new cars and a woman starting from the pole for the first time, this 500 was one for the history books.

Kasey Kahne hoped for better luck today, but his No. 5 Chevy didn't have a lucky day. On Lap 35, Kahne spun out after Kyle Busch bumped him, causing a nine-car wreck that took out big names like Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart. His No. 5 Chevy had too much damage, so on Lap 37 Kahne went into the garage for repairs. He eventually returned to the track multiple laps down and finished 36th.

Jeff Gordon started on the outside pole. The No. 24 was quick to take the lead away from polesitter Patrick and led the first 31 laps. Gordon spent much of the race running mid-pack and battled loose handling conditions throughout the day. By the final lap the No. 24 looked like he might have a solid day, but was collected in the final crash. Gordon ended his day 20th.

Making his 400th start in today’s race, Jimmie Johnson had a slow first leg of the event. During the caution on Lap 27, Johnson opted for two tires, then moved from ninth to sixth on the restart. On Lap 32, Johnson lead for the first time and slowly crept back into the top five.

It wasn't until the final laps that Johnson started to make his move. With 27 laps remaining, the No. 48 charged hard to take the lead. A piece of debris hit the car without causing damage, but resulted in the final caution. On the final laps, Johnson took the lead, his only challenge from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. The five-time champ was able to hold off Junior and win his second Daytona 500. It also marks crew chief Chad Knaus’ first Daytona 500 win, since he had been suspended during Johnson’s first victory.

“It is just awesome,” an excited Johnson said. "There's no other way to describe it. Four hundred starts, every one of those starts with Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports. To be the first to win in a Gen-6 car, and that car is a Chevy SS, just a very proud moment.”

The Hendrick duo in a one, two finish.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images

The name “Earnhardt” is always on fans' minds at Daytona. But finishing second in the Daytona 500 is getting old for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Within five laps of the start, he went from 19th to 13th. His day wouldn't be eventful until the final 20 laps. When the white flag flew, it was go time for Earnhardt Jr.

The No. 55 car of Mark Martin gave Earnhardt Jr. the push needed to try and take the lead from teammate Johnson. But once again, Earnhardt was a bridesmaid, not a bride. He finished second last year, too. The 48/88 shopmates made it a one, two finish for Hendrick Motorsports.

“The guys did a good job all winter trying to prepare for running well,” Earnhardt Jr. said, thanking his crew for a great car. "We got one, two out of our shop. Really happy with Hendrick and all our effort.”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jimmie Johnson scores second Daytona 500 win in 400th career start

Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Jimmie Johnson held off a hard-charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win his second Daytona 500 in his 400th career start. The five-time champion notched his 61st career win to start his 12th full season in Cup racing. Owner Rick Hendrick now has seven victories in the Great American Race.

"It is just awesome," Johnson exclaimed. "There's no other way to describe it. Four hundred starts, every one of those starts with Lowe's and Hendrick Motorsports. To be the first to win in a Gen-6 car, and that car is a Chevy SS, just a very proud moment."

As yet another last-lap crash played out behind them, Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin combined to push past polesitter Danica Patrick and Greg Biffle. Earnhardt Jr. got close to Johnson, but had to settle for second place with Martin finishing right behind him in third. Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five.

Martin explained the apparent difficulty the cars had in running on the bottom line. "One of the things that made it hard to pass is that they wouldn't get organized on the bottom." He went on to say that once they established a group on the bottom that was just as competitive as the high line. Martin quipped, "We told 50 Cent if we won the race he'd have to change his name to '55 Cents' for one day."

Biffle ran second for a long while but wound up sixth. Regan Smith brought home a seventh-place finish for Phoenix Racing, and Danica Patrick made history with the highest-place finish of any female driver in the Great American Race. Janet Guthrie finished 11th in 1980. Patrick also led five laps, the first woman to do so.

When asked about the achievement, Patrick said, "Only 13 people, including me, have led both Indy and Daytona. I thought that was a much cooler stat."

Patrick was also the highest-finishing rookie in the race.

Rounding out the top ten were Michael McDowell, who came from 38th to 9th for Phil Parsons Racing and JJ Yeley coming from 41st to give Tommy Baldwin Racing a 10th-place finish.

The race featured 28 lead changes among 14 leaders, and was slowed by six cautions, two for debris.

While there were four accidents in the 500-mile race, none of those crashes came from any particularly risky moves from the drivers. On Lap 34 a nine-car incident started with Kyle Busch bumping into and turning Kasey Kahne and took many strong contenders out of the running. Victims included Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Kurt Busch.

On Lap 139 Trevor Bayne tapped Keselowski triggering another nine-car pileup that also collected Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Terry Labonte, Austin Dillon, Josh Wise, David Gilliland and Carl Edwards.

The 55th running of the Daytona 500 featured mostly single-file racing. Several drivers expressed frustration at not being able to make a move, but given the number of crashes resulting from attempting to switch lanes or block, they chose to stay in line.

"Too much risk vs. reward," Earnhardt Jr. said. However, he also said, "I thought the car put on a really good show all week. The car proved at the end of this Daytona 500 it will put on a good show." He didn't think making changes to the car was the right tack since the track itself will change, as will their understanding of the way the car runs.

Martin agreed with Earnhardt's take. "I'm very pleased...I had a sick feeling all morning about what happened yesterday with the fans, which is something we cannot have happen," he said. "I was happy today that we were able to race and not have a huge accident. They probably will in July, and I'll be on the couch." Martin declined to make any prediction as to where he'll be for the 2014 Daytona 500.

Complete finishing order (starting position in parentheses):

1. (9) Jimmie Johnson

2. (19) Dale Earnhardt Jr.

3. (14) Mark Martin

4. (15) Brad Keselowski

5. (34) Ryan Newman

6. (5) Greg Biffle

7. (40) Regan Smith

8. (1) Danica Patrick

9. (38) Michael McDowell

10. (41) J.J. Yeley

11. (10) Clint Bowyer

12. (28) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

13. (26) Aric Almirola

14. (35) Denny Hamlin

15. (23) Bobby Labonte

16. (42) David Reutimann

17. (30) Dave Blaney

18. (24) Marcos Ambrose

19. (21) Joey Logano

20. (2) Jeff Gordon

21. (16) Paul Menard

22. (29) Michael Waltrip

23. (31) Scott Speed

24. (37) Martin Truex Jr.

25. (43) Travis Kvapil

26. (39) Terry Labonte

27. (33) Trevor Bayne

28. (11) Kurt Busch

29. (17) Casey Mears

30. (18) Jeff Burton

31. (8) Austin Dillon

32. (20) Jamie McMurray

33. (36) Carl Edwards

34. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota

35. (22) David Ragan

36. (6) Kasey Kahne

37. (12) Matt Kenseth

38. (25) David Gilliland

39. (7) Juan Pablo Montoya

40. (32) Josh Wise

41. (13) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet

42. (3) Kevin Harvick

43. (27) Joe Nemechek


Cocopah Speedway on deck for Lucas Oil ASCS




TULSA, Okla. (February 24, 2013) With the season opening events at the Tucson International Raceway complete, the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real moves to the Cocopah Speedway in Yuma, Ariz. for the first two rounds of the Cocopah Cup Challenge presented by the Cocopah Casino. 

Making their first visit to the Arizona oval in 2012, the wide, slick surface made for a memorable weekend as Dustin Morgan grabbed his first Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real victory on the series opening night at the three-eights mile oval followed by what some have called the “pass of the season” when Danny Wood worked by Jason Johnson for the win on the closing lap.

Paying $3,000 and $4,000 to win in 2012, the series second visit to the Cocopah Speedway will feature a $3,000 pay day on Friday, March 1 before giving way to Saturday’s $10,000 winner’s share.

With newly rebuilt grandstands, expanded pit area, and improved amenities, Director of Operations Greg Burgess said in an interview on Jan. 21, 2013 that the Cocopah Tribe, who owns the Cocopah Speedway and Cocopah Casino, believe events at the Cocopah Speedway can evolve into a major event for Sprint Car racing, “The Tribe in really behind the Speedway. We live in a real motorsports oriented community and we want to build a signature event that can grow year after year. Something similar to events like the Short Track Nationals and Knoxville Nationals.”

Coming out of the 2013 season opener, defending National Champion Jason Johnson finds himself playing catch up, after engine woes put the Stenhouse / JJR Motorsports No. 41 seventh in points, directly behind 2012 season rival Wayne Johnson who recorded a pair of top ten finishes in the Oil Medics / Williams Motorsports No. 77x Maxim. 

Currently Brian Brown leads the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real driver points with Roger Crockett trailing by seven. Returning to full time competition in 2013, Jeff Swindell currently holds the highest position of the National Tour regulars in third with Johnny Herrera and Tony Bruce, Jr. making up the top five. 

Events at the Cocopah Speedway will be preceded by a press conference and Fanfest that will be happening Thursday, Feb. 28 on the lawn of the Cocopah Casino. Fanfest will include meet and greet with the drivers as well as live music and drinks. Fanfest is scheduled to begin at 4pm and will extend through 8pm. 

Events at the Cocopah Speedway will be paired with the Racer's Advantage Store ASCS Southwest Region. 

Series:Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV

When:

March 1 - Cocopah Speedway - Somerton, Arizona - Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 1)

March 2 - Cocopah Speedway - Somerton, Arizona - Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 2)

November 8 - Cocopah Speedway - Somerton, Arizona - Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 3)

November 9 - Cocopah Speedway - Somerton, Arizona - Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 4)

Track Information: Cocopah Speedway

Address: County 15th Street & US 95 Somerton, AZ 85350

Phone #: 928-344-1563

Website: www.cocopahspeedway.com

Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV - A Look Ahead:

March 1 - Cocopah Speedway - Cocopah Cup Challenge - Somerton, AZ

March 2 - Cocopah Speedway - Cocopah Cup Challenge - Somerton, AZ

March 22 - Devil’s Bowl Speedway - Matt Clevenger Memorial - Mesquite, TX

March 23 - Devil’s Bowl Speedway - Matt Clevenger Memorial - Mesquite, TX

Tracy Hines Wins Twice in Florida to Open 2013 USAC Sprint Car Season



New Castle, Ind.—Feb. 24, 2013— After finishing 2012 on a very strong note, Tracy Hines was pretty optimistic heading into the 2013 sprint car season. He had formed his own team, built new cars all winter long and switched engines programs for this year as well. For the native of New Castle, Ind., all of that hard work paid big dividends as he opened the 2013 USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series campaign with a pair of wins in just his second and third starts of the season at Bubba Raceway Park in Florida, aboard his self-owned No. 4 Hansen’s Welding Inc./Motor City Transport DRC/Stanton Mopar.

The two victories for Hines marked the 44th and 45th of his career with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series, which ties him for third with Larry Dickson, a three-time series champion, on the series all-time win list. Hines is now just one behind Hall of Famer Jack Hewitt for second on the all-time list. For Hines, the wins were his first triumphs in a sprint car in Florida and his third overall USAC victory in the “Sunshine State,” adding to a victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series in 2007.

“To open the year with two wins is pretty amazing, especially knowing all of the work we put in during the off-season forming this team,” said Hines. “We changed our engine program this year and came out of the box pretty fast with the Stanton Mopar engines we have under the hood. Winning early in the season definitely pumps everyone up and gives us some confidence heading back north, knowing that we have a very good car and can contend night in and night out.”

In the finale of the three-night event at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 23, Hines lined up on the outside of the front row and used a strong start to take the lead on the opening lap. He would go on to pace all 30 circuits, enduring a handful of cautions, including one on the initial start that led to a complete restart. Hines began the night by turning the fifth-fastest lap in time trials and followed that up with a runner-up finish in the first heat race to transfer to the 30-lap main event.

“The car was great all night long and it was my job to make sure it stayed in the lead,” he noted. “With how fast the track was tonight, starting position was important as well and we put ourselves in a good position in terms of where we started. Continuing to move up the USAC win list is pretty special and great motivation to keep working hard to make sure the car is fast every night, so we give ourselves a shot at more wins this year.”

Hines, the 2002 USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion, started fourth in the 30-lap main event on Friday, Feb. 22, at the three-eighths-mile and quickly moved into the second spot behind leader Robert Ballou. Hines worked on tracking down Ballou for most of the race and with two laps remaining was able to close in as the pair approached a slower machine. As they took the white flag, Hines dove under Ballou, who lost a tire going into turn one, to take the lead and ultimately the win. Hines opened the night by turning the fourth-fastest lap in time trials of the 29 drivers that took to the track. He came home third in the fourth eight-lap heat race to earn a spot in the 30-lap A-Feature.

“We were pretty fast right out of the box on Friday night and kept working on the car,” he noted. “Starting up front was a key, as well as being in the right place at the right time, but you always have to be fast as well to be in a position like that. I’ve been in the spot of leading on the last lap and having something happens as well, so it certainly takes a little luck as well as being fast to win these things. It always feels great to get that first win of the year under your belt.”

On the opening night of the Bubba Winternationals for the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series on Thursday, Feb. 21, Hines finished 11th, working his way back from the tail of the field, after getting caught up in a four-car accident on the fourth lap. The veteran driver was 13th-fastest in time trials and finished third in the first heat race to transfer to the main event.

Hines, who is currently tied for third in points with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series, just seven markers out of the lead, returns to action with the series on Saturday, April 6 at Lawrenceburg Speedway in his home state of Indiana.

“We’ll head back to the shop and keep working hard as we prepare for the bulk of the season,” Hines shared. “It was a great start to the season and we showed what we are capable of and have a good foundation and baseline now to go off the rest of the year. I can’t wait to get to Lawrenceburg in April and climb back in the car.”

Tracy Hines Racing would like to thank: Hansen’s Welding Inc., Parker Machinery, Motor City Auto Transport, Turbines, Inc., Afco Racing Products, Daum Crop Insurance, Schoenfeld Headers, Allstar Performance, Kenny’s Components, Race Bumpers and Bell Racing.