Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lesa France Kennedy - One of the Most Powerful Women in Sports

Lesa France Kennedy - One of the Most Powerful Women in Sports

CEO, International Speedway Corp.; Vice Chair, ISC’s Board of Directors


Adweek went far afield for our second annual list of Powerful Women in Sports, selecting leaders from the burgeoning world of esports, the ascendant women’s soccer arena and a brand-new basketball league—plus the mar-tech and artificial-intelligence innovators serving the sports marketing ecosystem. Here, Adweek honors the 35 female executives and influencers who are winning over the next generation of fans and scoring new partnerships with brands.

For the second consecutive year Lesa France Kennedy has been named list of the “30 Most Powerful Women in Sports.”

There’s no resting on laurels for France Kennedy, even when a recent win includes a $400 million renovation of the Daytona International Speedway, making it what she calls “the world’s only motor sports stadium.” The executive, third-generation racing royalty whose grandfather founded Nascar in 1948, is now developing One Daytona, a 300,000-square-foot mixed-use complex near the reimagined Daytona Rising track. 

“We compete with stick-and-ball sports properties and entertainment venues,” she says, making it imperative to keep “the crown jewel of our sport polished.” Managing an additional dozen of the country’s biggest racetracks, she’s also overseeing the $178 million modernization of the Phoenix Raceway.

“We compete with stick-and-ball sports properties and entertainment venue,” making it imperative to keep “the crown jewel of our sport polished,” Kennedy told the magazine.


Two years ago, Kennedy was also chosen as the 2015 Most Powerful Woman in Sports in a survey conducted by Forbes Magazine.



From a New York Times Interview:


Question: Do you see their (Grandparent's) influence in your leadership style today?

Ms. Kennedy: You’re always looking to do new things with the business and think about what people really want, and that’s a lesson that all of our family members took away from my grandfather. My grandmother always kept things in check, and we have to remind ourselves to do that. The pace of change in the world of motor sports is so fast and furious that you have to make sure you’re headed in the right direction and at the right speed.

Question: Any particular challenges you faced as a woman working in NASCAR?

Ms. Kennedy: Early on, especially in the ’80s when I came back from college, it was about getting the invitation.

Meetings would occur, and you might not actually be invited, and you would think that you should be there or that you would like to contribute. I found the best way to get invited was to add value and find out what their challenges and their struggles were.

So I would visit with one of the senior managers and make myself invaluable to him or her. I’d go out and do all the work for them and let them take all the credit, and over time, they start accepting you. They would say, “Well, I guess it’s O.K. if she comes to this meeting.” So I would listen and figure out what their biggest challenges were, and I would try to help out from behind the scenes.

I had always been part of the “solve-it team,” and when you become C.E.O., people often come to you with the problem already solved. If you’re used to being in the middle of things, it takes time to step back a little bit and let them work it out and say to yourself that they will involve me when it makes sense, and you don’t feel like you have to be in the middle of everything.



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  2. RIP Michael Emil DeBello
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  5. Local Racer, Eric Sunness, Seeking Assistance via 'Go Fund Me' Page

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400

History of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola

 

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR

The first summer race at Daytona International Speedway was called the Firecracker 250 – the forerunner of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola – and held on July 4, 1959. The race ran its scheduled 250 miles with no caution flags. Daytona Beach native Fireball Roberts won in dominating fashion, leading 84 of 100 laps and beating runner-up Joe Weatherly by 57 seconds.

Moving decade-by-decade, we take a look at the nearly six decades and 57 years of history in the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.

1960's Highlights - DAYTONA Doubles After Fireball Roberts won both the DAYTONA 500 and Coke Zero 400 in 1962, Cale Yarborough and LeeRoy Yarbrough closed out the decade in historic fashion with each claiming a DAYTONA Double. It remains the only time in history that the feat has been accomplished in back-to-back years.

Medal of Honor Tradition In 1969, Bill France Sr. began a proud tradition by inviting all surviving Medal of Honor recipients to DIS for the 4th of July weekend extravaganza. DAYTONA’s strong relationship with the military continues today as three Medal of Honor recipients will be in attendance for the 2017 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR


1970's Highlights - Pearson Dominance The most dominant stretch of any driver in the history of the event, Pearson, the event’s all-time leader in victories, won a record four times in the decade including three consecutive years (1972-74).

1977 Breakthrough - 1977 proved to be an exciting landmark as three women lined the starting grid– the first in event history. The talented trio included Italian Formula One driver Lella Lombardi, 24 Hours of Le Mans regular Christine Beckers and Janet Guthrie, who still holds the highest points finish of any woman in NASCAR history.

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR


1980's Highlights - Petty & The President The 1984 race stands as one of the most significant moments in DIS history as it helped push NASCAR into the mainstream of national consciousness. President Ronald Reagan, the first sitting U.S. President to attend a NASCAR race, delivered the starting command from Air Force One, and then witnessed Richard Petty claim his 200th and final career victory.

Unbelievable Upset - Virtual unknown Greg Sacks shocked the motorsports world in 1985 by becoming the third driver to score his first (and only) career victory with the most surprising win in the history of the Independence Day weekend classic. To this day, Sacks is the only winning driver in event history with only one career victory

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR


1990's Highlights - Dale Earnhardt’s First Prior to his 1990 Coke Zero 400 victory, Dale Earnhardt had never won a points race at DAYTONA. He finally broke through with a win in the mid-summer classic and went on to win his fourth series championship that same year. After that victory, Earnhardt recorded top-10 finishes in nine of his final 10 Coke Zero 400s, including another victory in 1993, and became DAYTONA’s all-time winning driver.

October Night Racing - Originally scheduled to be held on July 4 as the inaugural night race in DAYTONA history, the 1998 race was postponed until October due to widespread wildfires in Central Florida. Jeff Gordon solidified himself as DAYTONA great by becoming the first Coke Zero 400 champion under the lights.

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR


2000's Highlights - Smoke’s Show Starting in 2005, Tony Stewart set a new standard for modern-era greatness, winning three of the decade’s final five Coke Zero 400s. His back-to-back victories in 2005 and 2006 made him the first consecutive winner in the event since David Pearson in 1973 and ‘74.

The Closest - Jamie McMurray clinched a thrilling victory in the 2007 Coke Zero 400 as he nipped Kyle Busch at the start/finish line by a margin of .005 seconds, the closest finish in the Independence Day weekend classic since the advent of electronic timing and scoring.

By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR


2010's Highlights - Harvick-Kahne Duel The decade began with a bang as Kevin Harvick edged Kasey Kahne to the start/finish line by .092 seconds to capture a nail-biting green-white-checkered finish, giving him the distinction of being the last driver to win before the latest repave of Daytona International Speedway.

Dale Jr.’s Second Win - 2014 saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. in top form as he led 40 of the race’s first 80 laps and a race-high 96 total laps en route to the 16th DAYTONA victory of his career. His second Coke Zero 400 victory along with his two DAYTONA 500 victories solidified him as one of the most prolific drivers ever at DAYTONA and the third most overall wins in DIS history.

Update: Jr won the 2015 Coke Zero 400 while Aric Almirola won in 2014. Earnhardt Junior won the 2014 Daytona 500.  NASCAR Race Mom loves how her readers are informed and keep her honest!!!


By The Decades - Coke Zero 400 - #NASCAR


What is your favorite decade in Coke Zero 400 history and why?



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Monday, June 26, 2017

RIP Michael Emil DeBello

RIP Michael Emil DeBello

Michael Emil DeBello
January 22, 1949 - June 24, 2017


s a NASCAR Official for 18 years at Riverhead Raceway
Michael Emil DeBello was born January 22, 1949 in Corona Queens, NY.

He was the only child of Angelo Carmine DeBello and Itala Clara Cianciulli DeBello.

Michael is survived by his loving wife, Janet Kay Johnson DeBello of 46 years on June 4, 2017. Mike and Janet have two daughters and three granddaughters.

Heather Kay DeBello Brunnhoelzl, Heather is married to George Brunnhoelzl III, and their daughter, Riley Morgan Brunnhoelzl. Emily Janelle DeBello Fischer, Emily is married to Brian Fischer, their daughters, McKayla Paige Fischer and Addison Grace Ann Fischer. Michael retired after 25 years of service from Pete’s Towing and Body Shop in Westbury, New York.

Mike was a NASCAR Official for 18 years at Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, New York. Mike served as the Lieutenant of the Emergency Company of the Syosset Fire Department for 15 years. Mike was also an active member of the Syosset Fire Department Benevolent Association. Mike was also a member of the Nassau County Fire Riders Association for 5 years, a charitable fire fighters organization.

While NASCAR Race Mom did not know 'Big Mike' personally, it was evident that he made quite the impression and a difference in many a racer's lives. 


s a NASCAR Official for 18 years at Riverhead Raceway


From Derek Pernesiglio's Facebook page:

Michael Emil DeBello January 22, 1949-June 24, 2017

"Big Mike", "Tow Truck Mike", "Thunder", "The Boss" Where do I begin? A car owner, a friend, a second father. If there really is a racetrack in the sky, there's no doubt in my mind Big Bob O'Rourke has him working on the towing crew. We met when I was 15 years old. I worked on the track clean up crew and he headed up the tow truck and wrecker service at Riverhead Raceway. As a kid, we went go-kart racing together with his daughters Emily and Heather. Heather would one day marry another go-kart kid by the name of George Brunnhoelzl III who would eventually become a four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion. In 2004 he packed up the family to start a new home in North Carolina. Not long after moving down South a stroke took away his ability to drive, walk and other daily functions we take for granted. At the time I was already living down here and working for NASCAR. Seeing Mike and Jan at the modified races gave you a feeling of being far from home but still surrounded by family. In 2012 I began racing outlaw Karts at Millbridge Speedway. Mike, having an affection for the old days of go-kart racing thought they were neatest thing since sliced bread. He decided he wanted to go racing again, he even traded in one of his favorite guns to pay for half the first car. Keeping the car at his house put some skip in his step. No longer confined to the house he was able to wheel his way out to the garage and work on the car. He busted chops, we bickered, we bitched at each other like most Italians do but there was always love and respect for each other. We won some races and a Winter Series Championship together. When we won a race Mike would alway's say, "We took one from em." In the last five years his trips to the garage and the racetrack became less and less frequent. He wanted me to keep racing, He gave me a key to the house and said to come and go as I please. At night, Jan would yell into the garage to come inside to eat dinner together, like family. Last week in the hospice after telling him we finished third he scowled at me and wrinkled his face as if to say you couldn't you do any better? That was a Mike, busting chops until his final days. It's kind of fitting Mike passed just a few hours before the Modified Tour race at Riverhead tonight, we had a feeling you wanted to make it there to see the show. I love you like a father, thank you for coming into my life and accepting me as a son. Don't worry about Jan, she's in good hands. I promise you we'll take another one from them...and it'll all be for you.

Love, Your adopted son, Derek

Derek Pernesiglio has worked in racing for more than 20 years. Beginning as a short track announcer, he has also worked for NASCAR as a television producer and on-air talent for the major networks.

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Harvick's Participation In the K&N Pro Series Race Helpful

Harvick's Participation In the K&N Pro Series Race Helpful NASCAR Race Mom was very surprised at some people’s response to Kevin Harvick’s entry into and win of the K&N Pro Series race, the Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway. Harvick, a Bakersfield, California native, held off hard-charging Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender in Will Rodgers in a tight racing battle. 



Harvick, who won the 1998 K&N Pro Series West championship on his way up to NASCAR’s highest level related, "It always feels good to win no matter what it is," said Harvick. "The main objective was to come have fun, shine a little light on the series and shine a little light on how much talent is in the series. This particular series did a lot for me and to come back and be a part of it, see the health of it and see the young guys racing was the main objective.

However, negative comments were abound. One person commented, “not impressed.” Another, “suck away as much prize money as I can from these teams that depend on it". He has no business running at this level.”

Therefore, NRM just had to put her two cents worth in. I have experience in this series. My son raced it for five years. To me, having Mr. Harvick participate in a race would always be welcomed as long as he raced and related respectfully.

In my opinion Harvick went above and beyond to help bring notice and honor to a series that is oft times hidden in the background. Many of today’s NASCAR stars have had their start in the K&N Pro Series (West & East) and for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champion to acknowledge this rung in the NASCAR Ladder is huge.

After the race, Harvick went to twitter the same day to congratulate runner-up Will Rodgers:



Then Harvick invited the young racer to watch the cup race from his pits. Kevin Harvick went on to collect his first Sonoma Raceway Cup Victory Sunday!!! Harvick was the eleventh different driver to score a cup win in 2017 and earn a chase berth!

NASCAR Race Mom was thrilled for him, his family, and team. Only goes to show you - Good things happen to people who do good things.



Harvick knows how to take care of his sponsors as well!!!



Hoping the Harvick family chooses the K&N Pro Series West when son Keelan decides to go racing.



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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Harvick Wins the K&N Pro Series West Race in Sonoma

Harvick Wins the K&N Pro Series West Race in Sonoma
Kevin Harvick Wins the K&N Pro Series West Race in Sonoma #NASCAR

Kevin Harvick  won the trophy yesterday as he made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West return. However, that was not a surprise to most. In fact, Rookie Will Rodgers who won pole and record his best finish, (second) had a feeling.

"For some funny reason, I had a feeling as far back as four weeks ago that it was going to be me and Kevin coming into turn 11 on the last lap," Rodgers said.

"And sure enough, there we were. He ran a really good race, I learned a lot from him. We were able to lead some laps there in the beginning. It doesn't feel too bad to finish second today."



Harvick’s goal was not just to win this event:

"It always feels good to win no matter what it is," said Harvick. "The main objective was to come have fun, shine a little light on the series and shine a little light on how much talent is in the series. This particular series did a lot for me and to come back and be a part of it, see the health of it and see the young guys racing was the main objective.

Harvick, who emerged from Bakersfield, and Rodgers, who is a Murrieta boy, represented their state well in the sixty-four lap road race.

"It's always fun to race in front of your home state fans. It's been a long time since I raced in this particular series here, so it was a fun weekend."



Top-Ten Finisher

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Will Rodgers *
  • David Mayhew
  • Michael Self
  • Derek Kraus *
  • Todd Gilliland
  • Blaine Perkins
  • Todd Souza
  • Sheldon Creed *
  • Chris Eggleston

* - Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

Race Statistics

Fastest Qualifier: Will Rodgers *, Time: 77.949 Seconds, Speed: 91.906 mph
Time of Race: 2 hrs., 8 mins, 43 secs Average Speed: 59.368 mph Margin of Victory: .530 Seconds
Caution Flags: 
  1. 14-16 (#38 hit wall----Free Pass #11); 
  2. 18-21 (#14 stopped T2..No Free Pass); 
  3. 23-26 (#43 stopped T4 ---Free Pass #54); 
  4. 34-37 (Break----Free Pass #88); 
  5. 39-40 (#84 stopped T2----Free Pass #38); 
  6. 55-57 (#88 stopped T11----Free Pass #11).
                          6 for 20 laps.
Lap Leaders: Will Rodgers * 1-26, Michael Self 27-41, Kevin Harvick 42-64.
Total Laps Led: Will Rodgers * 26, Kevin Harvick 23, Michael Self 15. 2 changes involving 3 drivers.

Top 10 Driver Points:
  1. Todd Gilliland 354
  2. Chris Eggleston 343
  3. Derek Kraus * 298
  4. Will Rodgers * 286
  5. Michael Self 272
  6. Kody Vanderwal * 272
  7. Todd Souza 266
  8. Blaine Perkins 261
  9. Nicole Behar 258
  10. Matt Levin 258


Kevin Harvick Wins the K&N Pro Series West Race in Sonoma #NASCAR



The Carneros 200 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, June 29 at 11 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will return to the track on July 28 for the annual combination race with the K&N Pro East at Iowa Speedway.


NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma

NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma
Sonoma Raceway opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968. Did you know that the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race was held on June 11, 1989 – won by Ricky Rudd at an average speed of 76.088 mph?

Below is the starting lineup for Today's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (#MENCS) Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.


Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, and his son, Owen, pose with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, and his son, Owen,
pose with theCoors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the Monster
Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway
  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Jamie McMurray
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. AJ Allmendinger
  6. Danica Patrick
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Chase Elliott
  9. Chris Buescher
  10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  11. Daniel Suarez
  12. Kevin Harvick
  13. Clint Bowyer
  14. Denny Hamlin
  15. Paul Menard
  16. Michael McDowell
  17. Kurt Busch
  18. Joey Logano
  19. Austin Dillon
  20. Ryan Newman
  21. Kasey Kahne
  22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  23. Brad Keselowski
  24. Jimmie Johnson
  25. Trevor Bayne
  26. Billy Johnson
  27. Matt DiBenedetto
  28. David Ragan
  29. Cole Whitt
  30. Erik Jones
  31. Landon Cassill
  32. Alon Day
  33. Josh Bilicki
  34. Boris Said
  35. Ty Dillon
  36. Kevin O’Connell
  37. Tommy Regan
  38. Matt Kenseth

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, drive during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 24, 2017 in Sonoma, California.
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota,
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, and Dale
Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, in Sonoma, California.

Today's Schedule

Sunday, June 25

  • 7:00 AM 12:30 PM   MENCS Registration Open
  • 7:00 AM    MENCS Garage Opens
  • 7:00 AM 10:30 AM    MENCS Minors Permitted/Garage Area*
  • 7:40 AM 8:30 AM    NASCAR Pace Vehicle Rides
  • 8:00 AM    Starting Of Engines Is Permitted
  • 8:30 AM 9:30 AM    Pace Vehicle Rides (Sonoma Raceway)
  • 10:00 AM    Track Services Meeting (Conference Room)
  • 10:00 AM    MENCS Driver / Crew Chief Meeting (Turn Eleven)
  • 11:00 AM 4:30 PM    MENCS ** Hot Pass In Effect **
  • 11:20 AM    MENCS Driver Introductions
  • 12:00 PM (3:00 PM)    MENCS Race (110 Laps, 218.9 Miles)


Sonoma Raceway Data

  • Season Race #: 16 of 36 (06-25-17)
  • Track Size: 1.99-miles
  • Number of Turns: 12
  • Race Length: 110 laps / 219 miles / 350 Kilometers
  • Stage 1 and 2 Length: 25 laps (each)
  • Final Stage Length: 60 laps


Top 10 Driver Ratings at Sonoma

  • Kurt Busch............................... 107.8
  • Jimmie Johnson.......................... 99.9
  • Clint Bowyer............................... 90.2
  • Kyle Busch................................. 90.1
  • Kyle Larson................................ 90.0
  • Ryan Newman............................ 88.3
  • Kevin Harvick.............................. 87.9
  • AJ Allmendinger.......................... 87.5
  • Martin Truex Jr............................ 87.0
  • Kasey Kahne.............................. 86.9

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Local Racer, Eric Sunness, Seeking Assistance via 'Go Fund Me' Page

Local Racer, Eric Sunness Seeking Assistance via 'Go Fund Me' Page

On Saturday, June 17, Eric Sunness was involved in a crash while racing his Super Stock at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield. 


Local Racer, Eric Sunness, Seeking Assistance via 'Go Fund Me' Page
He had to be cut from the car after hitting the turn two wall drivers door first. He's been in the hospital, in the ICU ever since. He's still in the hospital in Bakersfield, and he has a tough road ahead of him.

Everyone who races in Southern California knows Eric. He's famous for his Hawaiian shirts and big smile, and he's hard to miss since he's so tall. More importantly, he's always there when you need him. He's been a great teammate and extended family member for years. He's a hard working, blue collar racer, who owns his own business and takes care of his family. And he's never said no to helping someone.

So let's help him. His wife, Nancy, remains with him in Bakersfield. His business, Sunness Automotive, in the valley, is without its leader right now, and we all know how expensive a prolonged hospital stay is.

Racers are a unique fraternity, and a family. Let's show Eric what we've proved time and time again: when one of us is down, we come together to pick that person and their family up.

Thank you all for any donation, no matter how small. God Bless.

The Sunness and DeLong Family 




Local Racer, Eric Sunness, Seeking Assistance via 'Go Fund Me' Page

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