Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Return of Irwindale!

Team 211 Entertainment Announces Return of Oval Track Racing Events to Irwindale Speedway for 2013

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Image
Irwindale, Calif. (December 17, 2012): "We're very pleased to announce that oval track racing will return to Irwindale for the 2013 season."  With that direct statement, Team 211 Entertainment's President/CEO Jim Cohan ended a long 11-month period of uncertainty about regular racing competition at the well-known Southern California motorsports and family entertainment facility.

"Our master lease with the property owners, Nu-Way Industries, has been broadened and now includes all forms of racing activities on the 6,500-seat twin oval track. We are now working very hard to put all of the pieces together to be able to run a 2013 racing season," said Cohan.

"Our company name has the word 'TEAM' in it," he pointed out. "We need everyone to understand that name is not an affectation. It's a statement of our commitment to the process of re-building the legacy of Irwindale Speedway."

"We've re-named the entire property 'Irwindale Event Center' to better reflect the wide range of public and private events that can be accommodated here and invite everyone to join us in what we feel will be a great new era of operation for this venue.

Corporations, businesses small and large, competitors, individual fans, everyone: you are all welcome, if you want to be a part of this facility, we'll find a place for you." Cohan concluded.

Cohan's announcement also indicated that long-time employee Bob Klein has been named the event center's Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, and that veteran publicist Doug Stokes would be re-joining the facility on the first of the year as the Vice President of Communications. Both men will report directly to Jim Cohan.

At the same time, experienced competition manager Mike Atkinson was named the track's Race Director. Atkinson has been working behind the scenes with representatives of the new Kern County Raceway Park track to put together a common set of technical rules which will allow racers in a number of divisions to compete fairly at both tracks.

"We know that we're starting out a couple of laps behind," Cohan candidly admitted. "But we also know that we have the support of a great number of former racers, sponsors, and most importantly, our fans who have stood by waiting for this track to come back on line again. We'll really need everyone's good will and support, and we'll be trying very hard to return the favor by running a facility that always puts the customer first."

A 2013 oval track competition event schedule will be published shortly.

For more information:
Doug Stokes
(626) 391-3772

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Different Kind Of NASCAR Christmas

Is NASCAR ready for Christmas?
By Scott Fowler -

Christmas Joye Abbott is an unusual woman, and her unusual name is only the beginning of her story.

She is an elite-level fitness athlete who co-owns a gym in downtown Raleigh. She spent four years in Iraq working as a civilian, mostly as an office manager who learned to shrug off the sound of mortar rounds. She likes tattoos, lipstick, lug nuts, stiletto heels and the bulldog named Fran who is her primary companion.

And she wants to be a front-tire changer on a NASCAR Sprint Cup pit crew badly enough that she has moved to Charlotte and put everything else in her life on the back burner to pursue that goal.

Christmas – and I’m going to call her that because that’s what everyone calls her – hasn’t done anything but practice a lot as of yet. Her first race as a member of a real live pit crew won’t come until late November in Florida at a low-level stock car race.

But she’s being fast-tracked by Turner Motorsports, which “discovered” her at a pit crew recruiting challenge in January. All sorts of dreams are being dreamed. A possible reality show called “Chasing Christmas” that chronicles her journey (which she hopes will culminate in a pit-crew spot on a Cup team in 2014) is one of them.

As we sat over coffee recently, I asked Christmas, who is 30, if she was trying to be to NASCAR pit crews what Danica Patrick is to NASCAR drivers.

“I’m going to say no,” she said, “because I want to be the best and she hasn’t proven to be the best yet. I don’t want anything given to me because I'’m female. I go in there and I have to work twice as hard just because I am female and because I look a certain way. I want this because it’s an opportunity that intrigues me.”

At 5-foot-3 and 115 pounds, Christmas doesn’t fit the mold of most NASCAR pit crew members. There have been women pit crew members before in some of the lower-level NASCAR series, including an all-female pit crew that was put together as a publicity stunt to help generate a sponsor for female driver Shawna Robinson for a few truck races in 2003.

In general, women in “over-the-wall” roles in the pits haven’t worked out well. Strength is usually a problem. The tires that Christmas must wrench off the racecar weigh 65 pounds. That’s more than half her body weight. But Turner Motorsports believes Christmas, because of her elite fitness background and her work ethic, could be a breakout star.

Her daily supervisor is Shaun Peet, who is a pit crew coach, a jackman in all three of NASCAR’s top series and a former minor-league hockey player from Canada. When he first heard about the idea of Christmas coming to Charlotte to join the men he regularly trains, he wanted no part of it.

“I’m already super-busy,” said Peet, who is getting married on a Thursday this month because he so rarely gets a weekend off. “And when they brought the idea to me – that we’re going to train a girl to do stuff in the pits – it sounded like a publicity stunt. I was like, ‘No, that’s not for me. I have no desire to do that.’”

But Peet agreed to meet with Christmas and listened to her talk about her background.

“I figured with that military contracting she had been around a lot of alpha males and that Iraq was probably a little nastier than the pit crew community,” he said. “So we decided to try it. And then her second week into training, we had a bit of a lull and we took everyone into the gym. She crushed everyone. These are former football, hockey, soccer players – all of them on our pit crews now. And she buried all of them.”

Said Christmas: “I guess they had You-Tubed me at the beginning and had seen this teeny little girl and they were like: ‘Really? She’s not going to last.’ But I will. I have the mental fortitude to keep going. Whatever anyone says is fine – the bottom line is that I’m going to still do it. Whether you believe me now or believe me later, I’m going to show you.”

First mile ‘almost killed me’

Christmas wasn’t always an athlete, but she has been in male-dominated worlds on several occasions in her life. Born on Dec. 20, her mother named her “Christmas Joye” because she had been on bed rest for several months to avoid a miscarriage and was so delighted at her daughter’s arrival.

Christmas grew up primarily in Lynchburg, Va., the middle child in a family with three kids. At age 9, she decided she wanted to play baseball rather than girls’ softball – not to make a gender-related statement, but because a baseball fit better in her hand.

She said the league she tried to get into originally told her she couldn’t play. But after her mother threatened to tell the media about the issue, the league let her join as the only girl. The following year several more girls played.

But that didn’t spawn a love for sports. By the time she was a teenager, Christmas said she had become a “wild child” who cared nothing about athletics.

“I completely veered off,” she said. “I started smoking cigarettes, started running around with a not-so-great crowd.”

Christmas tried college for a year, but it didn’t really take. Her mother had gone to Iraq, working as a civilian, and talked Christmas into applying for a job overseas as well (Christmas said she had wanted to join the military but was unable to because of her asthma). Once she got to Iraq, she looked around at all the soldiers and decided she needed to get into better shape.

“When I was 22, I quit smoking and tried to run my first mile,” she said. “It almost killed me. I took a week to recover.”

Gradually, however, Christmas began to enjoy working out. At age 24, she found CrossFit – a strength and conditioning program used by a number of police and military squads and elite athletes. After leaving Iraq, she became completely immersed in the CrossFit ideology, enough so that she opened her own CrossFit gym in Raleigh in 2010 after teaching a number of fitness classes, including one called “30 Days of Christmas.” She also began placing well in national-level fitness competitions sponsored by CrossFit.

‘A marketing gold mine’

Meanwhile, Ted Bullard had an idea. Bullard is the chief marketing officer for Turner Motorsports and is always looking for a way to attract new sponsors into NASCAR.

“I had been wondering, how come you never see a woman in the pits at the highest level of NASCAR?” Bullard said. “There have been a few over the years, but I don’t think there has ever been a really serious athlete. I was researching some of the top CrossFit athletes in the country at the time (Bullard was also pursuing CrossFit as a possible new sponsor). And I came across some video of Christmas. Even her name sounded like a marketing gold mine. And she was an elite athlete. If she can do what I’m hoping she can do, we’ve got a real story.”

Bullard invited Christmas and some other male CrossFit athletes to a pit crew challenge in January. “On her fourth attempt, she got all five lug nuts off in 1.7 seconds,” Bullard said. “This was someone who had never touched the equipment. The pros do it in 1.0 or 1.2 seconds.”

Bullard tried to talk Christmas into this adventure. At first, she was leery. But eventually, she came around, deciding to move from Raleigh to Charlotte three months ago to pursue a job in the pits. She also plans to help develop a CrossFit gym in the Charlotte area that will help train current and future pit crew members.

Turner Motorsports has underwritten the costs of Christmas’s training, but she isn’t being officially paid. Peet, her coach, said he hopes to start her at NASCAR’S lowest levels in early 2013, assuming the race in Florida in November goes OK.

“The plan is for her to start in ARCA racing (which is slightly below NASCAR’s top three series of racing),” Peet said. “She’s going to have to drive eight hours to Indiana, pit a car and then drive eight hours back. If she wants the longevity and respect of her peers, we’re going to go about it the right way.”

And Christmas? She said she knows there will be doubters during every step of a journey that has hardly begun yet. And she said she is ready.

“I kind of smile when I hear any criticism,” Christmas said. “I’m doing today what others aren’t, so I can do tomorrow what others can’t. I’m going to catch up. And then I’m going to start passing people.”

A Dose of Holiday Cheer

The holiday season is fast approaching, and the spirit of giving this time of year is contagious, especially among the racing community and fans. Even though the season is over, NASCAR drivers, teams and fans continue the charitable endeavors they proudly serve.

In late November, Marcus Smith and Darrell and Michael Waltrip kicked off “Speedway Christmas” at Charlotte Motor Speedway where they presented a tractor-trailer full of food and supplies for families in need and distributed toys to more than 125 children with a little help from Santa.

And this event isn’t an isolated case. There are a whole host of other private foundations and funds set up by the NASCAR community. The NASCAR Foundation raises funds and activism for various charities and has contributed over $13 million to help sick children. It also recognized fans who go above and beyond with the launch of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which includes a $100,000 donation to a charity of the recipient’s choice.

You’d be hard pressed to find a team or driver not involved in private charity efforts. The partnerships between teams, drivers and the fans who volunteer are proof of the teamwork the racing community is built around. Despite the trying economic hardships many fans face, we still recognize others may have it worse and they never hesitate to lend a helping hand.

The racing community thrives on core values like personal responsibility, and the flip side of that value is helping those less fortunate. Though it may gain extra attention around the holidays, the spirit of giving found trackside is felt the whole year through

Source Race Fans 4 Freedom

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dylan Kwasniewski
Youngest Champion In K&N West History

From Dylan's Mother's Facebook page:

Pretty darn proud of my kid!! Thank you to  my beautiful daughter for taking time from a busy finals schedule at Cornell to come down and support your brother while he accepted this Championship with Grace and honor, What more could a mother ask for? I am blessed!

Kwasniewski's series debut came in 2011, and he won a pair of races in his first season. But he also finished outside the Top-10 on four different occasions, a product of racing as hard as he could as often as he could. 

Kwasniewski's new approach in 2012 – three wins, 12 Top-5s and all 15 of his finishes in the Top-10 – earned him his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship. And with it, he became the youngest champion in the history of the series. 

“To get this championship was great. With my age and the tracks I had to run at before, I never had a chance to run for championships anywhere,” said Kwasniewski, of Las Vegas, Nev.. “This was our first try. We won a lot of races before, but I had to go into a season with a little different driving style. If it meant finishing second versus trying to win and maybe wrecking if I wanted to win the championship, then that was what I was going to do.”

Dylan Kwasniewski won this year's NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship
in one of the closest battles in the history of the series. Getty Images for NASCAR

Monday, November 26, 2012

SEMA Scholarship In Dick Dixon's Name

Plans to Institute a SEMA Scholarship In Dick Dixon's Name Announced Late Educator Was Active in Automotive Curriculum

November 26, 2012 - - Plans have been put in motion to institute a SEMA Memorial scholarship in the name of Dick Dixon, long time SEMA member and educator from La Verne, California who lectured at Cal State University San Bernardino, and who championed higher education for young people who wanted a future in the automotive and related industries.

Dixon passed away on November 15 after waging a tough battle with cancer. Even as the disease had him in great pain, he spent some of the last days of his life among colleagues, friends, and students at the annual SEMA Show meetings in Las Vegas.

"He was there to see his friends, and to pass the baton on in his way." Pat McInturff Professor Emeritus in the Department of Management at San Bernardino told us. "He was weak, but every student, every friend that he spoke to about his ideas for new projects buoyed him up. He never allowed the conversation to become about himself and his problems; it was all about the future, the students."

"Dick was more than a colleague," said McInturff, "He was an inspiration for all of us, he truly enjoyed teaching and he particularly loved helping students to understand the value that a solid business education would have in their future in the automotive industry."

Dixon came to formal teaching somewhat later in life, a lifelong motorsports junkie, an open-wheel racing driver in his youth, a magazine publisher, writer, and skillful organizer; he was involved in countless facets of the automotive business throughout his life. He touched hundreds of lives in hundreds of different ways, but it always his boundless enthusiasm that his friends will remember and miss most of all.

More details about this very special scholarship will be available soon.

At Dick's request there was no funeral, and his wife Judi has asked that friends and associates remember Dick by contributing to this scholarship.

Contributions should be made directly to SEMA. Checks should be made out to: SEMA Memorial Fund earmarked: "Dick Dixon" and sent to: 1575 S. Valley Vista Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91785-0910

The following is from the SEMA website:

Writer, educator and industry speaker Dick Dixon passed away in his sleep Thursday, November 15, after battling cancer. He lived by the philosophy that life was a sandbox from which to learn, work and play. He thought of himself as an unconventional get-it-done-right guy, who "worked like a 270 Offy."

Dixon grew up in Hawthorne, California, and earned his masters degree in management and marketing at California State University Dominguez Hills. Most recently, he was the director of the International Motorsports Alliance at California State University, San Bernardino and chairman of the Automotive Trades Institute. Dixon was a lifelong automotive and motorsports enthusiast and 30-year member of the aftermarket and motorsports industry.

A three-time SEMA Ambassador of the Year and Motorsports Legends Hall of Fame inductee, Dixon received numerous industry awards and spoke at industry events nationally. He authored the Cal State/SEMA-endorsed aftermarket management and marketing education certificate program and served on the SEMA Scholarship Committee for 13 years. Dixon was a former professor and motorsports administrator at Indiana and Purdue Universities. He was also managing editor and publisher of the Hot Rod Parts Guide and chairman and CEO of the Automotive Education Alliance.

Dixon actively participated in SEMA's ARMO, HRIA, YEN, and SBN councils. He was also a SEMA-endorsed educator of automotive management and was a featured speaker on eCommerce at the SEMA Show.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Locked In Spots Finalized
for Inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Dylan Kwasniewski is one of 13 drivers who have
earned locked-in spots to the K&N Pro Series race in February's UNOH Battle At The Beach.
(Getty Images for NASCAR)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Eight NASCAR champions head a list of drivers that have earned locked-in spots in the field fields at the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19 at Daytona International Speedway.

The UNOH Battle At The Beach features two nights of racing with NASCAR K&N Pro Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on the .4-mile oval on the backstretch.

Locked-In spots go to:

  • 2012 race winners and champions from K&N Pro Series and Whelen Modified tours, earn spots in their respective races
  • Top-10 finishers in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings earn starting spots in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race.
  •  In addition, the 2012 overall champions from the Canadian Tire Series and Euro Racecar Series will also receive secured starting positions for the event and can choose which one of the three races they wish to compete.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Kyle Larson headlines the 13 NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers that secured spots by virtue of winning races.

The 20-year-old Larson from Elk Grove, Calif., won his first NASCAR touring championship driving the No. 6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota for Rev Racing and NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Initiative.
Larson, who edged Corey LaJoie for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title by 14 points, earned his spot in the feature field through his victory at Gresham Motorsports Park in Gresham, Ga. He also won the series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

Other notable NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers “locked-in” include 17-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski, the youngest K&N Pro Series West Champion in history; Chase Elliott, son of two-time Daytona 500 champion Bill Elliott; and Joe Gibbs Racing developmental driver Darrell Wallace Jr.
Connecticut’s Doug Coby and North Carolina’s George Brunnhoelzl III head the list of 13 drivers locked into the NASCAR Whelen Modified race. Coby won four races in claiming his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship, while Brunnhoelzl had six wins en route to his third NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour title.

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Lee Pulliam of Semora, N.C., tops the list for the Late Model race. Pulliam earned the national championship with 22 wins, 30 top fives and 32 top 10s in 36 starts.

NASCAR international series champions locked in are D.J. Kennington from the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, Spain’s Ander Vilarino from the Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series, and Mexico’s Jorge Goeters of the NASCAR Toyota Series.

Kennington from St. Thomas, Ontario won his second Canadian Tire Series championship while Vilarino is the inaugural Euro-Racecar Series champion. Goeters won his second Mexican title, but first under a NASCAR banner.

Current, or past, full-time national series drivers not currently competing in the touring or regional series are ineligible to compete in the UNOH Battle At The Beach.

For a complete list of the UNOH Battle at the Beach locked-in drivers, click here.

A complete UNOH Battle At The Beach schedule, including gate opening times, practice and qualifying race times for both days, is available at the UNOH Battle At The Beach event page.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Youngest K&N Pro West Champ

Self Scores Third Career Series Win With Phoenix Victory
By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Dylan Kwasniewski made more history Saturday night.

The 17-year-old Las Vegas driver captured the 2012 championship in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with a second-place finish in the Casino Arizona 50 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday.
A year after becoming the youngest race winner and youngest rookie of the year in series history, he became the youngest champ.

Kwasniewski entered the event with a two-point lead over teammate and defending series champion Greg Pursley in one of the closest championship battles in the history of the series.

1 Michael Self
2 Dylan Kwasniewski
3 Cole Conley
4 Chase Elliott
5 Cameron Hayley
“All we had to do was finish in front of Greg and that’s what we did,” Kwasniewski said. “I couldn’t be more proud of my team and my mom. My dad started all this for me and this race was for him and this championship is for him,” Kwasniewski said of his late father. “To be out here in Phoenix and to get the championship, there’s no better feeling.”

Michael Self, who started the race on the outside of the front row, shot into the lead at the drop of the green flag and paced the entire 50 laps to score his third career win – all this season.

“It was an unbelievable race,” Self said. “The car we had, the Golden Gate Racing Team No. 21, was phenomenal lap after lap and never missed a beat. From the start, we knew what we had to do. A 50-lap race is really short. We knew the tires would last the entire length. So, it was just get out and get in front as early as we can and pull a gap. That’s exactly what we did.”

Kwasniewski started fourth in his No. 03 Royal Purple/Rockstar Ford and moved up to second, while Pursley started 11th but could get no closer than sixth by the finish. Kwasniewski finished with a six-point margin over Pursley for the championship.

At 17 years 5 months 10 days, Kwasniewski eclipsed the previous record set by Chuck Bown in 1976 at 22 years, 7 months, 11 days.

“I haven’t even taken that into consideration yet,” Kwasniewski said of setting the record. “It’s awesome. All of this started with my dad. This was his legacy and I wanted to make sure this happened for him. Finally, we got a championship. It’s all thanks to my crew and the guys that worked every day for this. All I had to do was go out there and drive. I have to thank the crew for it. It was a great year.”

Cale Conley, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co., finished third Saturday night. Chase Elliott and Cameron Hayley were fourth and fifth, respectively. Completing the top 10 were Greg Pursley, David Mayhew, Bryan Ortiz, Brett Thompson and Ben Kennedy.

Austin Dyne finished 13th to secure the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award by one point over Hayley.
Derek Thorn – who started third, but faded to 27th – finished third in the championship standings behind Kwasniewski and Pursley. He is followed in points by Eric Holmes and David Mayhew. Completing the top 10 in the final standings are Self, Hayley, Dyne, Jonathon Gomez and Ryan Philpott.

Kwasniewski joins Kyle Larson, who won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title, as two members of the 2012 Next9 class to win NASCAR championships. The Next9 is an industry initiative designed to spotlight the sport's next wave of national-series stars.

“I think the NASCAR Next9 is definitely the future of the sport,” Kwasniewski said. “We’ve proven it on the race track. Kyle won the (K&N East) championship and we just won the (K&N West) championship here. We’ve definitely got a lot of good drivers and I think that group of Next9 is going to be the next nine you’re going to see in the future (NASCAR Sprint) Cup Series. It’s really good to be part of this. It’s a group of elite drivers and I’m thankful to be part of it.”

Kwasniewski will be crowned as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Awards banquet, which will include ceremonies for the seven NASCAR touring series on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach will take place Feb. 18-19 on a .4-mile oval on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway as part of 2013 Speedweeks. By virtue of their wins earlier in the season, Kwasniewski and Self earned locked-in spots into the starting lineup for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at the event.

Michael Self and his team celebate in Victory Lane after winning
the Casino Arizona 50 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday. Getty Images for NASCAR


Friday, November 9, 2012

Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation
Launches New Smartphone App

New Smartphone App allows supporters and donors to stay connected with the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation on a new level. Charlotte, N.C., – Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation (JGCF) is proud to announce the availability of its new smartphone app. The app, made possible by the talented team at Startal, will allow users to keep up with the foundation’s news and happenings from the palm of their hand. Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation is one of the first not-for-profit organizations to offer such a unique experience to its constituents, and the foundation works to reach the day when no child will face the uncertainty of cancer and that successful treatments will not result in negative, long-term effects. 

“This app will allow us to connect with our supporters in a whole new way,” said Gordon. “We look forward to encouraging people everywhere to take notice of an issue that has been overlooked far too long. Our hope is this app will inspire individuals while driving awareness to our mission.” 

The new app will feature foundation news, links to JGCF social media channels to help users stay connected on an easy to use platform and allow individuals to make online donations via their phones at any time. The app will also feature Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation wallpapers that users can download to their smartphones. 

The app was provided by Startal, a mobile media and commerce portal solution connecting brands to consumer members worldwide on smartphones, tablets and other devices through one centralized application (app). 

“Startal is privileged to design and build a mobile application to bring childhood cancer news and information to supporters, offer the ability to donate to research and quality of life programs and grow awareness and support among a broader audience. Donating our development and service time is a commitment we will continue to honor," said Lonnie Boutte, Vice President of Business Development. 

Studies show that over 50% of Americans have smartphones and by 2014 65% of all web traffic will be done via smartphones. 

Download the new app here!

Awesome, Dale Jr. Friday

By now, most of you know what a huge NASCAR fan I am. But did you know that teammates Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon are two of my all-time favorite drivers! 

A Hendrick Motorsports #88 Diet Mtn Dew 1:24 Scale Stock Car
Limited Edition Adult Collectable!

Recently NASCAR Race Mom was honored to have two unbelievable NASCAR opportunities. The first one involved a five-minute phone call with the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion and Chase contender, Jeff Gordon. (see post here)

The second was an opportunity to participate in a Google+ hangout with nine-time, NASCAR Sprint Cup Most Popular Driver and NASCAR Chase contender Dale Earnhardt Jr. (see post here)

It has been a pretty good 2012 for this NASCAR fan. However, it did not prepare me for today. 

The U.S. Mail service brought me an awesome new green Dale Jr. hoodie. Now, I was expecting this attire. However, the mailperson also brought me a package from an unexpected source. The big box contained a Dale Jr. backpack; spy sunglasses; a Dark Knight Rises #88 Diet Mtn. Dew cap; and my favorite, a Hendrick Motorsports #88 Diet Mtn Dew 1:24 Scale Stock Car, Limited Edition Adult Collectable! 

Now while I was counting my blessings, in the back of my mind, NASCAR Race Mom lamented the fact that I still did not have that coveted Dale Jr. autograph. Then in a "real-life is stranger than fiction moment," my husband Paul walked in with a huge box the UPS man left. 

Doesn't NASCAR Race Mom look happy!
Believe it or not, the box housed a beautifully framed AUTOGRAPHED photo of Dale Jr.! Not sure what NASCAR Race Mom did to deserve all this special attention from Dale Jr. However to say I am appreciative would be a huge understatement. 

NASCAR Race Mom is honored to be a member of the Dew Crew!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Casino Arizona 50 will be televised
Live on SPEED

Dylan Kwasniewski (left) and Greg Pursley are separated by just two points
heading into the final race.  (Getty Images for NASCAR)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – One of the closest championship battles in the history of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be decided when the series closes out its season with the Casino Arizona 50 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 10.

The title fight primarily comes down to two teammates from Gene Price Motorsports, with 17-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski trying to take the crown from the defending champion Greg Pursley.
Kwasniewski – with a slim two-point advantage in the standings – would like to follow up his record-setting season as a rookie in 2011 with a championship this year. The Las Vegas teen is part of NASCAR’s Next9 program, which represents the next wave of young talent expected to make an impact on the national series scene.

At 44, Pursley is a veteran of the sport who also was a national championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The former Southern Californian – who now resides in Parker, Ariz. – is hoping to join an elite list of drivers with back-to-back series championships.

Casino 50Kwasniewski became the first 15-year-old to compete in the series when he made his debut on the circuit in April of 2010, driving the No. 03 Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford. It was the second car out of the Gene Price Motorsports stable, joining the No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford driven by Pursley.

Both drivers had tremendous success last year. Pursley dominated the competition early, winning six of the first eight events and cruising to the series championship. Kwasniewski, meanwhile, came on strong in the second half of the season with two wins and two poles and captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the series.

The two drivers have swapped the points lead back-and-forth this season. Kwasniewski became the youngest driver to lead the championship standings when he moved into the top spot following a win in May. Pursley remained consistent and took over the points lead after a win in July. However, a win in the most recent event propelled Kwasniewski back into first place, giving him an edge going into the season finale.

While the championship spotlight is on those two, Derek Thorn remains in contention – 29 points out of first. A finish of 23rd or better by Pursley or a finish of 24th or better by Kwasniewski in the 30-car field would eliminate Thorn’s chances, however.

The Casino Arizona 50 will be televised live on SPEED.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tony Stewart
Coca-Cola Racing Google+ Hangout

Tony Stewart getting ready to answer a question from NASCAR Race Mom

Did you attend the Google+ Hangout with Coca-Cola Racing Family Championship contenders Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, and Denny Hamlin? If not you can still view the entire event by watching the YouTube version below.

Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kyle Petty, Elliott Sadler, Cassie Laberee, Niki Nikolopoulos,  Tom Rolfson, Valerie Anderle, and Bob Pockrass, were in attendance. While NASCAR Race Mom was not chosen to participate live, I was allowed to submit a question. Additionally, NASCAR Race Mom’s blog contest winner’s question was also asked.

Both our questions were answered by NASCAR Star, Tony Stewart. 

NASCAR Race Mom: As a NASCAR Race Mom myself, I recently enjoyed a photo of your mom participating in a go-kart. You {Tony}, looked about eight years old and served as her starter. What advice did you give your mom before that powder puff event and how did she finish?

Tony Stewart: She actually won that day, but I did not give her any advice. My dad was the one that was giving her the advice. I just didn’t want her to get hurt because I wanted to be sure that she cooked dinner that night. Nah she may have been the one of my parents that actually had the driving talent. She was pretty good when she would run those races at the go-kart track. It was a lot of fun. I know exactly the picture that you are talking about. I was probably 8 or 9. It was something that we did not get to do a lot of, but that was one thing as a family that we did; my sister, my mother, my father and I, we all went go-kart racing together when I was young. We had a lot of good times.

Nancy S (Blog Contest Winner): After viewing the wreck in Talladega, “Do you ever get scared?”

Tony Stewart: No, I am scared of not being in a race car in all reality. I have been racing for thirty-three years now and it just part of racing; it is just part of what happens. The worst part of that was that I was the one who made the mistake that caused twenty-four other guys to have a bad day. That was probably what worried me more than just being in the wreck itself.

You can see the entire Google+ Hangout with Coca-Cola Racing Family Championship contenders below:

*** Disclosure: Coca Cola Racing and NASCAR Race Mom, support ethical blogging and strict adherence to the FTC guidelines pertaining to free samples and gifts. As a participant in a Coca Cola Racing campaign, NASCAR Race Mom was compensated by Coca Cola Racing via product. However, NRM would have been pleased to share this news with my readers without said compensation. ***

Starting Soon
Google+ Hangout With NASCAR Chase Drivers

The event starts at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.  Hangout with Coca-Cola Racing Family Championship contenders with special guests Kyle Petty and Elliott Sadler.

NASCAR Chase Drivers Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, & Denny Hamlin
REMINDER: The livestream will take place at 12:00 p.m. (Central) on 11/03/2012 via @CocaColaRacing page. You do not have to have a Google + account to be able to watch the hangout with the drivers. Follow @cocacolaracing and tweet using the designated hashtag - #CokeRacingHangout, for a chance to have your questions asked live.

Friday, November 2, 2012

On the Dew Crew with Dale Jr.

As a Mountain Dew Insider, and in the top ten of the “Dew Crew,” NASCAR Race Mom was invited to participate in an exclusive virtual press conference (via Google+ Hangout) with NASCAR Chase Driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 

Dew Crew Google+ Hangout with NASCAR Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
 If you are like me, you probably do not know much about the free Google+ Hangout Feature. However, it is much like Skype in a conference call format. Google+ Hangout is very intuitive and user friendly. 

My five fellow invited “influencers” and myself were allowed to ask two or three questions. I was amazed at how congenial Dale Jr. was and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Mr. Earnhardt Jr. made me feel very welcomed and valued! 

With the assist of my readers, NASCAR Race Mom picked two questions to ask the nine-time, NASCAR Sprint Cup Most Popular Driver: 


Question One: 

NASCAR Race Mom: Do you feel that your popularity with the fans carries its own set of responsibilities? 

Dale Jr.: Yeah absolutely. I guess I’m always cognizant of the decisions I make, what I say, how I react because I know that it has repercussions whether good or bad, and I have to represent not only myself but the sponsors that we have, the guys that work on my car, everything that you do is a reflection of everything around you and I don’t want to upset my sponsors, I don’t want to embarrass the guys that work on my team and are trying to help me, I don’t want to upset my mother. You think about all those things when you’re out there working and doing what you’re trying to do, and the fans are willing to support you and they’ll go through thick and thin to stand by your side and they’ll argue with their coworkers and argue with their other family members about your abilities and your talent and all that stuff, and so you want to do things that make them proud and you don’t want to do anything that goes against what they believe, and sort of, you don’t want to insult their intelligence or do anything that’s going to upset them in any way. So yeah I’m really cognizant of that and I think it’s important that you are aware of what you’re doing, and know that everything you say and do has repercussions and you have to be smart about that.

For Question Two, click here to go to the Kids of NASCAR blog. 

A complete video of the event should be available soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Only 53% of NASCAR Fans Vote

Does the economy have you down?

Well, all of us want the economy to get back on track. Whether it is to keep our job, prepare for our children's future, or even to feel like we can simply enjoy our lives again. But, the economy won't get any better if you don't get out and make your voice heard. 

If you don't vote . . . . .you don't have a voice.  Only 53% of NASCAR Fans Vote.   Please remember to vote.

Penalty Changes K&N East Title Fight

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR has announced a penalty against the No. 07 entry driven by Corey LaJoie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, which drastically changes the battle for the series championship.

A 25-point penalty against Corey LaJoie has taken him out of the
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship lead. (NASCAR Photo)
The No. 07 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (Race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and Section 20C-5.10.1A: (Carburetor Eligibility: The Holley 4150HP Series, list number 80509, four (4) barrel carburetor is the only carburetor approved for the NASCAR-approved “Spec Engine”. The carburetor must remain as supplied by the NASCAR-approved supplier (refer to sub-section 20C-4.1B)); Section 20C-4.1B: (No modifications to the carburetor and carburetor spacer – Must remain as supplied by the NASCAR-approved supplier: Unapproved modification to the carburetor metering block). The violation was discovered during post-race inspection on Oct. 27.

Ron Otto, crew chief of the No. 07 car, has been fined $5,000, suspended from NASCAR until the fine is paid and placed on NASCAR probation for the next NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event. No. 07 car owner, Randy LaJoie, and No. 07 driver, Corey LaJoie, have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner and driver points, respectively.

The 25-point penalty dramatically changes the battle for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title, which will be decided Saturday at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway. Before the penalty LaJoie had a six-point lead over Kyle Larson. Now, Larson leads the standings by 19 points over LaJoie.
In addition to the penalty against LaJoie, NASCAR also announced a penalty against the No. 97 entry driven by Jesse Little.

The No. 97 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing); Section 12-4-I (Race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); Section 20C-12.1A(1): (Front coil springs must be constructed with a minimum wire diameter of 0.575 inch); Section 20C-12.1A(3): (The free height of the bare front coil springs must not be more than 9-1/2 inches and must not be less than 7-1/2 inches: The left front spring was less than the minimum diameter and exceeded the maximum height). The violation was discovered during post-race inspection on Oct. 27.

Kris Bowen, crew chief of the No. 97 car, has been fined $750 and suspended from NASCAR until the fine is paid.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Google+ Hangout With NASCAR Chase Drivers

REMINDER:  The livestream will take place at 12:00 p.m. (Central) on 11/03/2012 via @CocaColaRacing page.  You do not have to have a Google + account to be able to watch the hangout with the drivers.  

Follow @cocacolaracing and tweet using the designated hashtag - #CokeRacingHangout, for a chance to have your questions asked live.

NEW - Just a minor change:  Dale Jarrett will no longer be able to participate in the Hangout on Saturday – instead the moderator will be Kyle Petty!

UPDATE - Congratulations to Nancy S - the winner of the awesome Coca Cola Racing Prize (ARV $120.00).

NASCAR Chase Drivers Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, & Denny Hamlin

What fan wouldn’t want to hang-out with Chase drivers Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, and Denny Hamlin?   Here is your chance! 

Coca-Cola Racing (@CocaColaRacing) is hosting a Google+ Hangout with Greg Biffle (@Gbiffle), Tony Stewart (#Tony Stewart) and Denny Hamlin (@DennyHamlin) on 11/03/2012.  

In case you are like NASCAR Race Mom, and not familiar with Google+ Hangouts; it is  basically a multi-screen video chat system. 

To make this innovative event even more interactive, Coca-Cola Racing is securing one question from NASCAR Race Mom and one question from one of my readers, to be asked by the moderator during this Hangout with the drivers. 

So think of a good question for Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, or Tony Stewart. Share your question in the comment section of this post. Your question could be selected for this event. 

As an added bonus, your comment could also be randomly selected for a prize pack, containing the essentials to throw one of the best NASCAR Chase viewing parties. 

The pack is valued at $120.00 and includes:
  •  1 Coca-Cola branded Grandstands Cooler 
  • A Coca-Cola Branded Recycling Koozie to keep your drink chilled 
  • A Coca-Cola Carabiner Key Light 
  • A Coca-Cola NASCAR Decal Pack 
  • A Coca-Cola and NASCAR Race Day Cap 
  •  3 Coca-Cola Tumblers (16oz. insulated tumbler) 

After you post your entry, be sure to watch the livestream of the Google hangout to see if your question is asked and answered. The livestream will take place at 12:00 p.m. (Central) on 11/03/2012 via @CocaColaRacing page.  You do not have to have a Google + account to be able to watch the hangout with the drivers.


Giveaway Guidelines:

The giveaway ends 10/30/2012, at 5:00 p.m. (PST.)

Please make sure that your submission is entered before 10/30/2012 at 5:00 p.m. (PST) to be eligible for the opportunity to win the Coca Cola Racing Prize (ARV $120.00).  There will be one (1) winner.

Important: You must publicly follow the NASCAR Race Mom blog (with Google Friend Connect on right side bar) before entering this contest.

One - Time Entry: – Leave a comment on this post with a question you would like to be asked to one of the drivers during the Google hangout.  (Also leave your Google Friend name and an email address so that you can be contacted if you are the winner.  You can also leave your facebook url or twitter id if you would like to be notified that way)

Yup it is that easy. That one comment will put you in the running for the awesome Coca Cola Racing Prize (ARV $120.00).

Bonus Entry: –  You can come back once daily and post a new question for an additional entry.


*** Important - ***Off topic – generic comments (such as “hope I win”) will be disqualified from the competition.

  1. Make sure there is a way for NRM to contact you - if your email address is not on your profile or you are not a blogger, you may leave it in your comment. NRM hates to disqualify a potential winner because there is not a way to contact that winner – I will need your email address to contact you, should you be the winner.

  2. The winner will be chosen by from valid entries.

  3. The winner will be announced on this post and be notified by email; if the winner does not respond WITHIN 2 DAYS, another winner might be chosen.

  4. NASCAR Race Mom not responsible for missing or incorrect contact information.

Enjoy yourselves with this contest, and please share with your friends, family, co-workers.

*** Disclosure: Coca Cola Racing and NASCAR Race Mom, support ethical blogging and strict adherence to the FTC guidelines pertaining to free samples and gifts. As a participant in a Coca Cola Racing campaign, NASCAR Race Mom was compensated by Coca Cola Racing. However, NRM would have been pleased to share this news with my readers without said compensation. ***

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Now comes the hard part. (NASCAR D4D)

After three days of evaluations – the last two of which consisted of on-track testing at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. – Rev Racing personnel will pour over their notes from the 2012 NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine and pick their team for the 2013 racing season

It won’t be an easy task, which for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity is a good thing.

“We saw a ton of talent – a lot more talent than ever before,” said Jefferson Hodges, Rev Racing’s director of competition. “And some of them were the same kids. I don’t know what they did between last year and this year, but they really stepped up their game. I was really happy about it.

“I think there are a lot more drivers that deserve an opportunity in our Late Model program than there are openings, so that part of is going to result in some tough decisions.”

“The success of that program is based on the fact that we’re able to really concentrate and develop these drivers.”

For drivers like Daniel Suarez, it’s Rev Racing’s reputation for development that makes a spot on the team so valuable. Suarez is leading the Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series in points and is a member of the Next9 initiative, an industry program that helps identify the next wave of NASCAR starts coming up through the ranks. In the past two years, he has run against Rev Racing drivers such as Kyle Larson, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Pena.

“It’s a really good experience being with all these drivers,” said Suarez of the Combine. “This is one of the best teams for development of young drivers who are in my position. I’m really excited to get the chance to get this opportunity to try out for Rev Racing.

“It’s a really important step for me and my career to be one of the 17 drivers [invited to the Combine], but that’s not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to be a member of the team and I’m working really hard for that.”

Thursday’s final session was a half-day, with a handful of drivers making additional runs as officials got a second look to help gather more information. All drivers are still in the running for spots on the 2013 Rev Racing team, which will be selected from among the 2012 Rev Racing drivers and the Combine participants.

That selection will take place following the completion of the 2012 season. Rev Racing still has a pair of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races on the schedule.

The first NASCAR race weekend of 2013 is the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the .4-mile oval on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway during February’s Speedweeks, which will feature both a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race as well as a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model event.

Headquartered in Concord, N.C., Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive For Diversity program, which is the industry's leading developmental program for multicultural and women drivers and pit crew members. Rev Racing fields cars in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

The Combine has been held the last two years at Langley, a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned track. The track’s characteristics help play a large role in evaluating drivers.

“The track is tough. It’s hard,” said Jefferson, who has more than 15 years experience with Late Models throughout the southeast. “Turns 3 and 4 are simple. It’s just a corner. But 1 and 2 is extremely difficult. So it really separates the great drivers from the good drivers.”

The drivers at the Combine boast a variety of backgrounds in racing, from open-wheel to stock car. Limited experience in full-fendered cars, though, did little to slow down the competitors. Collin Cabre, a Florida driver with extensive sprint car experience, said the challenges of those cars actually helps drivers to adapt quickly to their new surroundings.

“These two days have been an incredible experience,” said Collin Cabre. “Running from a sprint to a Late Model is totally different. They’re both fast in their own ways.

“What might spook another driver won’t spook a sprint car driver; what they say is out of shape and what I say is out of shape is totally different. They might say it’s totally sideways and it’s not really,” said Cabre. “The cars are very well set up. Rev Racing did a great job setting them up in the shop. They’re a pleasure to drive and I hope I’ll be driving them more.” 

Participants of the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine pose for a photo at
Langley Speedway on October 17, 2012 in Hampton, Virginia.
Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The NASCAR D4D program created in 2004 is now executed by Rev Racing. Currently the top two rookies in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Larson and Bryan Ortiz are in the 2012 D4D class, while Larson and Wallace, a Rev Racing graduate, made their national series debuts this year. Earlier this season, Wallace became the first African-American to win a pole award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, while Larson has been impressive in several NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

Drivers at the Combine include:
Devon Amos, Rio Ranch, N.M.; Dustin Ash, Las Vegas; Annabeth Barnes, Hiddenite, N.C.; Collin Cabre, Thonotosassa, Fla.; Kayla Cazares, Goffstown, N.H.; Amber Colvin, Mooresville, N.C.; Jessica Dana, Olympia, Wash.; Paige Decker, Eagle River, Wis.; Cassie Gannis, Phoenix, Ariz.; Lindsay Katz, Kalmazoo, Mich.; Jack Madrid, San Clemente, Calif.; Kate McCall, Port Orange, Fla.; Dallas Montes, Bakersfield, Calif.; Hannah Newhouse, Twin Falls, Idaho; Dylan Smith, Randolph, Vt.; Daniel Suarez, Monterrey, Mexico; Erica Thiering, Sherwood Park, Alberta.

For more information on NASCAR diversity initiatives visit or follow @NASCARDiversity on twitter. Rev Racing’s official website and Twitter is and @RevRacin.