Saturday, January 16, 2021

Top-10 List: January #NASCAR Races

10 factoids from the days when NASCAR actually raced during the month of January.

For the last 39 years, the NASCAR premier series season has begun each February with Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. And it’s been 40 years since the first race of the season took place in the month of January.

 

Once upon a time, though, NASCAR did race in January. Not often, mind you, but occasionally.

 

So now that the holidays are over, the first Top 10 list of 2021 covers NASCAR trivia regarding the month of January.

 

Lee Petty raced at Palm Beach Speedway in the early days of NASCAR. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

 

10. First January race

The 1952 premier series season opened up on January 20, 1952, at Palm Beach Speedway, a 0.500-mile dirt track in West Palm Beach, Florida. There, Hall of Famer Tim Flock (2014) lapped runner-up Lee Petty (2011) and the rest of the field. Driving a Ted Chester-owned Hudson Hornet, Flock led 194 of 200 laps to win $1,025.

 

9. Total January races

In the 72-year history of the premier series, there have only been 20 races contested in January, the last one coming in 1981.

 

8. Tracks that have hosted January races

Believe it or not, just three tracks have hosted premier series races during the month of January. Including the aforementioned Palm Beach Speedway in 1952. Arizona State Fairgrounds, a 1.00-mile dirt track in Phoenix, staged a 150-nile race won by Buck Baker (2013) on January 22, 1956. The other 18 January premier series races were all run on the old 2.7-mile Riverside International Raceway road course in Southern California. 

 

On January 22, 1967, Parnelli Jones won the Motor Trend 500

On January 22, 1967, Parnelli Jones won the Motor Trend 500. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

 

7. Biggest January field

The 1967 Motor Trend 500 at Riverside International Raceway had a field of 46 cars, the largest of any premier series race ever run in January. Open-wheel ace Parnelli Jones drove a Bill Stroppe-owned Ford to victory over Paul Goldsmith and Norm Nelson.

 

6. Slowest January race

In the early days, premier series races at Riverside International Raceway were a full 500 miles, which made for long afternoons in the Southern California sun. In 1963, Dan Gurney won the Riverside 500 behind the wheel of the iconic No. 28 Holman-Moody Racing Ford frequently piloted by Fred Lorenzen (2015). It took Gurney 5 hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds to go the distance, averaging 84.965 mph.

 

5. Fastest January race

In terms of average speed, the fastest January premier series race was the 1979 Winston Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway. Driving for DiGard Racing, Darrell Waltrip (2012) averaged 107.82 mph in a race that ran caution free. With the race distance shortened from the old 500 miles to 500 kilometers – about 312 miles – Waltrip needed just 2 hours, 53 minutes and 30 seconds to defeat fellow Hall of Famers David Pearson (2011) and Cale Yarborough (2012). 

 

4. Most January victories

Of the 18 races run in January at Riverside International Raceway, Dan Gurney won five of them, making him the biggest January winner in NASCAR history. Not coincidentally, all of Gurney’s career premier series wins were at Riverside. 

 

3. Hall of Famers who won January races

Seven NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees won premier series races in the month of January: Tim Flock (2014) in 1952; Buck Baker (2013) in 1956; Richard Petty (2010) in 1972; Cale Yarborough (2012) in 1974 and ‘78; Bobby Allison (2011) in 1975 and 1981; David Pearson (2011) in 1976 and ’77; and Darrell Waltrip (2012) in 1979 and ’80.

 

2. Most team wins in January

Wood Brothers Racing, the team founded by Hall of Famer Glen Wood (2012) in 1950, won five January races at Riverside International Raceway, with Dan Gurney in in 1964-66 and ’68 and David Pearson in 1976 and ’77.

 

Bobby Allison leads David Pearson, Richard Petty and the rest of the field at Riverside International Raceway in the 1975 Winston Western 50

Bobby Allison leads David Pearson, Richard Petty and the rest of the field at Riverside International Raceway in the 1975 Winston Western 500. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

 

1. Last January Race

On January 11, 1981, Bobby Allison (2011) won the Winston Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway, leading an all-Hall of Fame top five ahead of Terry Labonte (2016), Dale Earnhardt (2010), Richard Childress (2017) and Richard Petty (2010). NASCAR has not hosted a premier series race in January since that day 40 years ago.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To purchase tickets, go to nascarhall.com/tickets.

 

Source



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Teammates Elliott and Larson Competing in the Chili Bowl

Teammates Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson Competing in the Chili Bowl Chase Elliott is joining Hendrick teammate and defending race winner Kyle Larson for the 35th annual Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma next week.

Teammates Elliott and Kyle Competing in the Chili Bowl


After attending the biggest Midget race last year as a spectator, Chase will get behind the wheel for the first time at the Chili Bowl in a DiaEdge-sponsored #9E Midget car. Chase's Qualifying Night runs are Wednesday and the Championship Features are Saturday.

I really enjoyed this race. I've been a fan of the event for probably like five, six years or so. I've paid pretty close attention to it over the past five, six years. I just think it's a really cool event for one, but not just the Chili Bowl, I think midget racing, dirt racing, sprint car racing, I've really always had a respect for that. I grew up a big Tony Stewart fan, so obviously he kind of wanted me to do that stuff I feel like as a kid. He always kind of was joking with dad about getting me in midget and Quarter Midgets and stuff when I was little. He actually gave me a Quarter Midget when I was little that never got used. So I kind of grew up with a lot of interest in it. Chase Elliott


I think he (Elliott’s maiden voyage behind the wheel of the midget) exceeded everybody's expectations probably. I thought he did really well, extremely smooth. Then you could tell each lap, he was getting more and more comfortable and it was just cool to see. Cool to see somebody you take on a challenge that's way different than I'm sure anything he's ever driven before and to go to the biggest event too, with 300 entries. He'll try his hand at it and get into the main and hopefully he'll battle for Golden Drillers. I've always had a lot of respect for Chase. I've always believed that he's extremely good and for him to, like I said, do something that's challenging and different, it's just awesome. I hope all the fans, I know all of us competitors appreciate it, but I hope all the fans can really appreciate it no matter how his week goes at Tulsa. Kyle Larson




Thursday, December 31, 2020

Kris Wright Joins Young's Motorsports

Kris Wright Joins Young's Motorsports

2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series


Kris Wright Joins Young's Motorsports #NASCAR

Today, Young's Motorsports announced the signing of Kris Wright to its 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) team.

Wright, who recorded several top 10 finishes in the 2020 ARCA Menards Series after winning the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge, will drive the team's flagship truck — the No. 02 Chevrolet Silverado.

Based in Mooresville, N.C., Young's Motorsports has competed in the NCWTS since 2012.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Kris this season. He's had success in everything he's raced and we are excited to get going in 2021," said Tyler Young, the team's principal.


Previously, Wright raced in Europe as a Formula 3 driver.

"I am really excited to be joining Young's Motorsports for the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series," Wright said. "Last year was my introduction to stock car racing and I will be applying what I have learned to this year's competitive class. I am looking forward to a successful season with Tyler and his crew."


Young's Motorsports, which is owned by Randy and Becky Young, and managed by Tyler Young, has three full-time Chevrolet Silverados in its lineup. In 2019, the company celebrated its 10-year anniversary as well as the organization's first NCWTS win.


Kris Wright Joins Young's Motorsports #NASCAR

The 27th season of NCWTS kicks off Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway.

For more information on Kris Wright, follow him on Facebook (@kriswrightracing) and Instagram (@kriscwright), or visit www.kriswrightmotorsports.com

 

For partnership opportunities, reach out to Ken Wright at (412) 977-8004 or kenwright@wrightcars.com.

Kris Wright Joins Young's Motorsports #NASCAR