Monday, August 27, 2012

Pursley Dominates In Portland Victory

Fourth K&N West Win In 2012
For Defending Champ

By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR

PORTLAND, Ore. – NASCAR K&N Pro Series West points leader Greg Pursley was the class of the field in the NAPA Auto Parts Salute To The Troops 125 on Sunday at Portland International Raceway.

The driver of the No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford – hailing from Newhall, Calif. – started the day with his fourth Coors Light Pole Award and then led all 63 laps en route to his fourth win of the season and the 13th of his series career.
Even though it appeared Pursley was on cruise control at times; that was not the case from his point of view.

“After the pit stop, I really couldn’t save anything,” Pursley said. “Those guys were fighting hard for position. I had to run (hard) and hope there wasn’t going to be a green-white-checkered.”
The triumph – Pursley’s first in Portland – erased some bad memories. Last season with a very similar performance throughout the race, engine problems forced him to the garage and an early end to his day.

“We’re really happy to get out of here with a win,” Pursley stated. “We really love coming here to Portland and we’ve done well here, but never could get a win until today.”
1 Greg Pursley
2 Michael Self
3 Eric Holmes
4 Dylan Kwasniewski
5 Derek Thorn

The rapidly improving Michael Self battled a stomach ailment all weekend, but was able to persevere and claim second place. It was his fifth top-10 performance in his last six outings.

“When that first yellow came out I realized that my stomach was rolling over on itself, but once it went green the adrenaline kicked in and I was fine,” Self said. “Despite being sick, we’re really having a lot of fun right now and getting some good finishes.”

Three-time series champion Eric Holmes crossed the line in the third position, but hoped for a little more.

“That race was a lot of fun today,” Holmes stated. “I thought we had something for (Pursley). On the second-to-last restart I got a really good jump and almost beat him into (Turn) 1. I was hoping to do the same on the last (restart), but he jumped that start a little. He did what he had to do there.”

Kwasniewski worked his way up to a fourth-place finish after starting 11th on the grid while Derek Thorn started from the rear of the field due to an unapproved change to his car after qualifying and came home in fifth.

David Mayhew, Brian Wong, Dale Quarterley, Jim Inglebright and Austin Dyne rounded out the top-10 finishers. The race was slowed due to caution just four times for 15 laps.

It was the first wire-to-wire victory in the series since Dylan Kwasniewski accomplished the feat on May 5 at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway. Pursley last went the distance on June 11, 2011 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Pursley extended his lead over teammate Kwasniewski to 15 points with three races remaining with Mayhew, Thorn and Holmes completing the top five.

The NAPA Auto Parts Salute to the Troops 125 will air on SPEED on Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. ET.
The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is at NAPA Speedway in Sandia, N.M, on Sept. 29.


Greg Pursley en route to his NAPA Auto Parts Salute To The Troops 125 victory.
(Craig Michell Dyer/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

K&N Pro Series West Stat Advance: Portland
AnalyzingThe NAPA Auto Parts Salute To The Troops 125

By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 26. Below is a statistical look at the recent performance of the series and selected drivers at Portland, as well as some other statistical trends:

Portland Race Setup

  • This event marks the fourth and final road course event on the 2012 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. There were three different winners in the first three road races – with Greg Pursley winning in Tooele, Utah; Michael Self winning in Brainerd, Minn.; and David Gilliland winning in Sonoma, Calif.
  • Defending champion Greg Pursley leads Dylan Kwasniewski by seven points in the championship standings, with 11 events complete of a 15-race schedule.
  • Jim Inglebright, who won with a last-lap charge in 2009, is the only previous Portland winner entered in this event.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West At Portland

  • Portland International Raceway has hosted four NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races. The series initially visited the road course in 1986 and has returned the past three years.
  • PIR is located on the former site of Vanport, Ore., just south of the Columbia River and about a mile west of Interstate 5. Vanport was wiped out when a dike on the river broke and flooded the city in 1948. The first races took place on the old city streets in 1961. The motorsports facility, which has received many renovations over the years, now includes a road course, drag strip and motocross track.
  • The four series races at Portland International Raceway resulted in four different winners – Hershel McGriff (1986), Jim Inglebright (2009), Patrick Long (2010) and Luis Martinez Jr. (2011).
  • Three drivers have qualified on the pole at Portland. David Mayhew is the only multiple winner, claiming the honor in 2009 and 2010. Derrike Cope set the mark in 1986 and Martinez won the pole in 2011.
  • With two top-five finishes each, Martinez and Eric Holmes are the only drivers with multiple top fives.
  • Holmes leads the list of drivers with top-10 finishes at Portland, with three.
  • Greg Pursley has led the most laps in series action at PIR, running out front for 59 laps.
  • Hershel McGriff is the only driver to compete in all four series events at Portland.
  •  Las year marked the first time the Portland event was won by the pole winner. On two previous occasions, the winner started fifth on the grid.
  • In addition to competing at the Portland road course, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West had a long history of racing between 1956 and 2000 at the historic half-mile oval of Portland Speedway before it was eventually shuttered.

Portland Data
Race: #12 of 15 (8/26/12)
Track Layout: 1.967-mile road course
Race Length: 63 laps (125 miles)

1-lap Qualifying: David Mayhew,
75.426 seconds, 94.503 mph, July 18, 2010

63-lap Race: Patrick Long,
1 hour 56 min 4 seconds, 66.531 mph, July 18, 2010

Series Race Winners at Portland
Jim Inglebright, 1
Patrick Long, 1
Luis Martinez Jr, 1
Hershel McGriff, 1

Series Pole Winners at Portland
David Mayhew, 2
Luis Martinez Jr, 1
Derrike Cope, 1

Selected Driver Information:

Austin Cameron (No. 12 AC Motorsports Chevrolet)
  • • Making his first start at Portland
  • • Series veteran, who last raced the full series schedule in 2008; returned to competition in select events this year
  • • Two series starts this season, both road courses. Finished fifth at Tooele and eighth at Sonoma
  • • 15 wins, 11 poles, 47 top fives, 70 top 10s in 108 career series starts
Austin Dyne (No. 9 William Rast/Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil Ford)
  • • In his rookie season, making his first start at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished third at Tooele, eighth at Brainerd and 13th at Sonoma
  • • Third place finish at Tooele was best career series finish
  • • One top five, six top 10s in 10 career series starts

Chris Evans (No. 90 GASS Toyota)
  • • Finished 15th in only Portland start (2011), which stands as career-best finish
  • • Two series starts this season resulted in 17th-place finish at Brainerd and 19th at Sonoma
  • • Four career series starts

Jonathon Gomez (No. 22 Century Boatland Chevrolet)
  • • Finished 12th in only Portland start (2010)
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished 15th at Tooele, seventh at Brainerd and seventh at Sonoma
  • • Best career series finish of second
  • • Eight top fives, 19 top 10s in 38 career series starts

Carl Harr (No. 2 WestWorld Computers Chevrolet)
  • • Finished 28th in only Portland start (2011)
  • • In other road course events this season; finished 10th at Tooele and 10th at Brainerd
  • • Best career series finish of seventh, on three occasions
  • • 14 top 10s in 56 career series starts

Daryl Harr (No. 71 iWorld Connect Chevrolet)
  • • Finished 20th in only Portland start (2011)
  • • In other road course events this season; finished 21st at Tooele and 11th at Brainerd
  • • Best career series finish of fifth, four times
  • • Four top fives, 31 top 10s in 100 career series starts

Cameron Hayley (No. 24 Cabinets By Hayley Toyota)
  • • In his rookie season, making his first start at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished eighth at Tooele, 12th at Brainerd and 10th at Sonoma
  • • Best career series finish of second, on two occasions
  • • Five top fives, nine top 10s in 15 career series starts

Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota)
  • • Two top fives, three top 10s in three PIR starts
  • • Best Portland finish of second, two times (2010 & 2011)
  • • Average finish at Portland of 3.66
  • • Has led three laps at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished second at Tooele, sixth at Brainerd and 23rd at Sonoma
  • • One win this season
  • • 17 wins, 13 poles, 52 top fives, 68 top 10s in 86 career series starts

Dylan Hutchison (No. 5 Bay Bio Diesel/Johnnie Walker Perf. Ctr Chevrolet)
  • • In his rookie season, making his first start at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished 22nd at Tooele, ninth at Brainerd and 28th at Sonoma
  • • Best career series finish of eighth
  • • Two top 10s in 10 career series starts

Jim Inglebright (No. 1 ESEF Chevrolet)
  • • One win in two starts at Portland
  • • Win was in 2009
  • • Only led one lap en route to win
  • • Average finish at Portland of 12.5
  • • One series start this season, with fourth-place finish at Sonoma
  • • Three wins, one pole, 18 top fives, 36 top 10s in 67 career series starts

Scott Ivie (No. 74 MSI Development Ford)
  • • Three starts at Portland, with best finish of 21st in 2011
  • • Average finish at Portland of 24.66
  • • Two series starts this season resulted in career-best sixth-place finish at Tooele and 24th at Sonoma
  • • One top 10 in 12 career series starts

Kyle Kelley (No. 7 Chevrolet)
  • • Three starts at Portland, with best finish of 11th in 2009
  • • Average finish at Portland of 16.66
  • • Only series start this season, resulted in 19th place finish at Tooele
  • • Best career series finish of fifth
  • • One top fives, four top 10s in 14 career series starts

Tom Klauer (No. 25 Naake-Klauer Motorsports Chevrolet)
  • • Two top 10s in two starts at Portland
  • • Best finish at Portland of ninth in 2011, also best career series finish
  • • Average finish at Portland of 9.5
  • • No series starts this season
  • • Two top 10s in three career series starts

Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 03 Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford)
  • • Finished 29th in only Portland start (2011)
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished fourth at Tooele, second at Brainerd and fifth at Sonoma
  • • Two wins and three poles this season
  • • Four wins, five poles, 17 top fives, 20 top 10s in 24 career series starts

David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services Chevrolet)
  • • One top five in three starts at Portland
  • • Best Portland finish of fourth was in 2010
  • • Two Coors Light Pole Awards at Portland (2009, 2010)
  • • Has led 16 laps at Portland
  • • Average finish at Portland of 10.33
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished ninth at Tooele, fifth at Brainerd and ninth at Sonoma
  • • One win and two poles this season
  • • Four wins, eight poles, 30 top fives, 46 top 10s in 64 career series starts
Travis Milburn (No. 14 Cooks Collision Toyota)
  • • One top 10 in three starts at Portland
  • • Best Portland finish of eighth in 2010
  • • Average finish at Portland of 18.0
  • • In other road course events this season; finished 26th at Tooele and 11th at Sonoma
  • • Best career series finish of sixth
  • • Five top 10s in 35 career series starts

Ryan Philpott (No. 52 Philpott Race Cars Ford)
  • • Finished 10th in only start at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished 16th at Tooele, 14th at Brainerd and 14th at Sonoma
  • • Best career series finish of seventh
  • • Seven top 10s in 28 career series starts

Greg Pursley (No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford)
  • • One top five, two top 10s in three starts at Portland
  • • Best finish at Portland of second in 2009
  • • Has led 59 laps at Portland, the most of any driver
  • • Average finish at Portland of 12.33
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished first at Tooele, third at Brainerd and third at Sonoma
  • • Three wins and three poles this season
  • • 12 wins, 14 poles, 35 top fives, 46 top 10s in 66 career series starts

Michael Self (No. 21 Rockwell/Golden Gate Meat Chevrolet)
  • • One top 10 in three starts at Portland
  • • Best finish at Portland of eight in 2011
  • • Average finish at Portland of 14.0
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished 18th at Tooele, first at Brainerd and sixth at Sonoma
  • • Scored first career series win at Brainerd and credited with second win as top West driver at Iowa
  • • Two wins, 10 top fives, 19 top 10s in 39 career series starts

Jack Sellers (No. 15 Bay Bio Diesel Chevrolet)
  • • Best finish of 19th in three starts at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished 24th at Tooele, 16th at Brainerd and 27th at Sonoma
  • • Best career series finish of seventh, four times
  • • 32 top 10s in 262 career series starts

Brett Thompson (No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking Chevrolet)
  • • One top five, two top 10s in two starts at Portland
  • • Best Portland finish was fourth in 2009
  • • In other road course events this season; finished 20th at Tooele and 13th at Brainerd
  • • Three series starts this season
• One win, one pole, 23 top fives, 63 top 10s in 116 career series starts

Brian Wong (No. 89 Livery Design Gruppe Toyota)
  • • One top five in two starts at Portland
  • • Best Portland finish was third in 2009, also best career series finish
  • • One series start this season, 11th at Tooele
  • • Two top fives, four top 10s in 18 career series starts
John Wood (No. 36 Pegasus Transport & Towing Chevrolet)
  • • Making his first start at Portland
  • • In three other road course events this season; finished 13th at Tooele, 15th at Brainerd and 22nd at Sonoma
  • • 13th place finish at Tooele was best career series finish
  • • 17 career series starts

What You Give Will Grow - 'Wigs For Kids'

You never know what you will learn at a racetrack. However, even NASCAR Race Mom was surprised when she arrived at the famous 2.31-mile, 12-turn road course in Sonoma, California for the “GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma” weekend.

It all started in May 2010 and it started as a superstition. Thomas Morstead is an American football punter and kickoff specialist for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Saints 164th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. He never ever gets his hair cut during the season. Days before the 2011 training camp, he had the pleasure of having dinner with the Gleason family.

For those of you who don't know, Steve Gleason is responsible for the greatest play in Saint's history. He blocked the Falcon's punt in the first game back in the Dome after Katrina. At the dinner, Michel Gleason, Steve's lovely wife, told Morstead that he couldn't cut his hair. She said it was exactly like Steve's. Morstead learned Steve had grown his hair out several times in order to donate it to those in need. 

That night, Morstead decided to follow Steve’s lead and donate his hair. For the entire 2012 season leading up to Superbowl 47, which happens to be in New Orleans, Thomas Morstead will continue growing his hair to raise awareness for the organization 'WIGS FOR KIDS'. 

Once the season ends, Morstead will GIVE his hair to this worthy cause. Since not everyone is in the position to grow – then give their hair, Thomas Morstead has teamed up with Verizon in order to give fans another opportunity to help out this wonderful cause by entering a raffle for an opportunity to go to the Superbowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, 2013.

Go to the “What You Give Will Grow” website for all the details. 

“Thank you so much for your support of ‘What You GIVE Will Grow’ and ‘Wigs for Kids’. Letting go of your hair can be very difficult. I know I will miss having long hair. But how blessed are we to be able to give to kids in need…” Thomas Morstead

Now this is where football, racing, and great causes mix:

If you are at the Infineon Raceway this weekend, look for the blue Formula Mazda racing in the Formula Car Challenge. This race car, driven by George Jackson, will be supporting the “What You Give Will Grow” cause. Jackson who races out of the Texas Autosports stable for Moses Smith is at Sonoma for a National Event. Look for George at the front of the pack. You can learn more about this driver at his website.

George Jackson cools down after a hot win at Texas Motor Speedway! (May 2012)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fans Get Their Chance To Ride
Shotgun With Dale Jr.

Earnhardt to Drive One Lucky Fan Around Charlotte Motor Speedway, Courtesy of Lionel NASCAR Collectables and the Racing Collectables Club of America

Photo credit: “Cameras in Action”

Ask a group of NASCAR® fans whom they’d most like to “ride shotgun” with at a race track and, chances are, most of them will say Dale Earnhardt Jr. –NASCAR’s nine-time most popular driver. 

On October 15, 2012, thanks to Lionel NASCAR Collectables (LNC) and the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA), one lucky fan will get to do just that. 

The “Dale Jr. Ride of Your Life!” sweepstakes kicks off today. Fans can enter to win by logging on to and answering a NASCAR-themed trivia question.

The jam-packed grand prize includes:

  • Three laps around the track with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15
  • Dale Jr. autographed exclusive skeleton gloves
  • Two tickets to the NASCAR Nationwide Series™ race on October 12 with VIP area tour prior to race
  • Two tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ race on October 13
  • Question and Answer session with Dale Jr., followed by autograph and photograph opportunity
  • Food and beverage at the Ride Along event
  • One room, three-night stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites
  • DVD of this once-in-a-lifetime experience
  • VIP Swag Bag 

“Getting a ride-along around Charlotte Motor Speedway is an incredible prize in itself,” said Howard Hitchcock, General Manager of Lionel NASCAR Collectables. “But being driven around the speedway by Dale Jr. is truly the ride of a lifetime.” 

 “LNC is a proud supporter of The Dale Jr. Foundation and it’s because of that relationship that we are able to offer this memorable experience to a lucky NASCAR fan.” Hitchcock continued. “I want to wholeheartedly thank them for this tremendous opportunity.” 

As part of the “Dale Jr. Ride of Your Life!” sweepstakes, LNC and RCCA will also award various weekly prizes, such as officially licensed apparel and die-cast. Entries for the sweepstakes will be received from July 17 through September 14, 2012. The grand prize winner will be notified on September 18, 2012.

K&N West News & Notes : Portland

Thorn Quickly Adapts To Road Courses This Season
By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When he came to Portland (Ore.) International Raceway a year ago, Derek Thorn had never competed on a road course in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. In fact, he had never done any kind of road racing. But that didn’t stop him from going out and finishing third.

Thorn, who grew up in Northern California racing winged outlaw karts on small dirt ovals and later ran stock cars on paved circle tracks, has demonstrated this season that his podium finish at Portland was not a fluke. In three road-course events this year, the 26-year-old driver finished second at Sonoma, Calif.; fourth at Brainerd, Minn.; and 12th at Tooele, Utah.

He will be looking to add to that when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to Portland International Raceway for the NAPA Auto Parts Salute to the Troops 125 on Sunday, Aug. 26. It will be the fourth and final road-course event of the season for the series.

“I’ve really had a good time this year on road courses,” said Thorn, who drives the No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford for championship car owner Bob Bruncati. “It seems like every track we go to we can run in the top five competitively.”

Despite his success, Thorn points out that he is not where he wants to be.

“I feel I still have a lot to learn to be able to run dominantly in the first position,” he said. “As a whole, it’s a lot of fun to do it. The Sunrise Ford team has a really great program of road-course stuff.”

In his first full season of series competition, Thorn is fourth in the championship standings – with one win, seven top five and nine top 10 finishes in 11 races. While all his background was on ovals, he has quickly adapted to road racing, with an average finish of 6.0 in the first three road-course events. That is third best among the 13 drivers who started all three races.

Thorn is philosophical, meanwhile, in talking about how quickly he has developed his road-racing skills and credits much of his success to his team, headed by veteran crew chief Bill Sedgwick.

“With racing in general, you’ve always got to be open minded,” he said. “You’ve always got to hope that you can adapt fast enough and you can keep up with the fastest guys. We’ve been fortunate we were able to do that. I have high expectations for myself. And the team has high expectations for themselves, as well. I think as a whole we’ve pushed ourselves to be in this position to be able to run up front at road courses.

Two of the top series competitors on ovals and road courses this year are teammates on the Gene Price Motorsports team – defending series champion Greg Pursley, who leads the championship standings, and second-year driver Dylan Kwasniewski, who is second in points. In the three road-course events, Pursley has an average finish of 2.33 – with one win and two third-place finishes. Kwasniewski has an average finish of 3.66 on road courses this year – with a second-place, a fourth-place and a fifth-place finish.

Race: NAPA Auto Parts Salute to the Troops 125
Place: Portland International Raceway
Date: Sunday, Aug. 26
Time: 3 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: SPEED, Sept. 6, 3 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 1.967-mile road course
2011 Winner: Luis Martinez Jr.
2011 Polesitter: Luis Martinez Jr.
Event Schedule: Saturday: Practice 12:20-1:20 p.m., 2:30–3:30 p.m. Sunday: Qualifying 11:15 a.m.
Track PR Contact: Paul Gross,
Twitter: @portlandraceway
Event Hashtag: #NAPA125
NASCAR IMC Contact: Shon Sbarra (704) 309-5493


The Race:
This event is the 12th of 15 events on the 2012 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The Procedure: The starting field is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 24 cars will qualify through NASCAR Road-Racing style (group) qualifying. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 63 laps (125 miles).

The Track: Portland International Raceway is a 1.967-mile road course. The track hosted four NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events, including the past three consecutive years.

The Records: Qualifying: David Mayhew, July 18, 2010, 94.503 mph, 75.426 seconds; Race: Patrick Long, July 18, 2010, 66.531 mph, 1 hour 56 minutes 4 seconds.

Road Racers:
The Portland race includes a contingent of drivers known for running the series road races. Jim Inglebright, the only previous Portland winner entered, and Austin Cameron are series veterans who now focus primarily on the road-course events. Others who also concentrate on those events include Brian Wong, Scott Ivie, Kyle Kelley, Tom Klauer, Chris Evans and Tim Spurgeon.

Long Trek: The entry list for the Portland event includes a couple of drivers and teams who are traveling cross-country for the event. Dale Quarterley, a veteran of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, will be driving his No. 32 Van Dyk Baler Ford. The 51-year-old Westfield, Mass., driver has made five starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – with a best finish of second at Irwindale, Calif., in 2004. Eric Curran, a veteran of the Grand American Road Racing Association, is entered in the No. 53 Action Equipment Dodge. The Springfield, Mass., driver has four starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and two starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, with a best finish of second at Tooele, Utah in 2010.

Series Newcomer: Portland area businessman and road racer Eddie Nakato is set to make his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Portland. He is entered in the No. 07 AR Auto Service Ford.

Varied Tracks Remaining: The four tracks remaining on the series schedule each feature different challenges to the drivers and teams. Following the road course at Portland, the series will compete on the half-mile oval of NAPA Speedway in Albuquerque, N.M.; the tight third-mile oval of All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.; and the one-mile track at Phoenix International Raceway.

Milestone: Michael Self is set to make his 40th career series start at Portland, driving the No. 21 Rockwell/Golden Gate Meat/RCR Chevrolet. The Park City, Utah driver made his series debut on July 19, 2009 at Portland.

Second Win For Self:
As the top finishing NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver in the East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 3, Michael Self was credited with a win. It marked the second victory of the season and second career series win for the driver of the No. 21 Rockwell/Golden Gate Meat/RCR Chevrolet, owned by Jim Offenbach.

Another Iowa Pole For Newberry: Brennan Newberry turned in the fastest lap among NASCAR K&N Pro Series West drivers in qualifying for the East-West combination race to win his second pole at Iowa. It was his third career series pole.

NEXT TIME OUT: AlbuquerqueNext on the schedule, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will make its inaugural visit to NAPA Speedway just west of Albuquerque, N.M., for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Sept. 29.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Most Popular Driver Voting Begins Online

Most Popular Driver Voting Begins Online

Fans Can Vote For Favorite Drivers In All Touring Series
Official Release 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the fifth consecutive year, fans can vote online for the Most Popular Driver of the Year Award in each of NASCAR’s touring series.

The balloting is hosted on for each of NASCAR's touring series – the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (Twitter hashtag: #KNeast) and West (#KNWest), NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (#NWMT), NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (#NWSMT), NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 (#NCATS), NASCAR Toyota Series (#NTSMx) and Euro-Racecar Series (#EuroRC).

Fans may vote once per day and are encouraged to vote throughout the season. Voting continues for each series through Nov. 18.


Last year's winners were Chase Elliott (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Moses Smith (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), Justin Bonsignore (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), Jason Myers (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Jason White (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) and Jorge Arteaga (NASCAR Toyota Series). The 2012 season is Euro-Racecar’s first under the NASCAR banner.

The winners will be honored at the NASCAR Night of Champions Awards on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Smith Pays Tribute To Victims Of Aurora

DENVER, Colo. (July 27, 2012) -- Regan Smith's No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet will pay tribute to the victims of the Aurora, Colo. tragedy during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The movie theater where the shooting took place is approximately seven miles from the Furniture Row Racing shop in Denver.

The paint scheme on Smith's car for Sunday's Brickyard 400 will include the following:

  • The hood of the car will showcase a ribbon, and inside the ribbon will be a memorial cross and the red and gold logo that appears on the Colorado state flag.
  • The rear quarter panels will read Aurora, CO and the names of the 12 people who were killed in the tragedy.
  • The rear bumper (TV panel) will include the following inscription:
    For Those Lost, Those Injured
    And Countless Acts of Bravery

The tragedy struck close to the Furniture Row family. Kimber Avra, an employee of the Furniture Row Companies, was at the Aurora movie theater with her friend Micayla Medek. Avra suffered scrapes and bruises, but sadly, Micayla was one of the 12 who was killed in the shooting.

"Our hearts go out to the victims and to their families," said Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone. "It really hits close to home for us here in Colorado. The movie theater where the shooting took place is only a few miles from where our team is based in Denver. We mourn the loss of life from this senseless tragedy, and feel we also need to stand up and acknowledge the heroism of those people who put their lives on the line to save others. Our thoughts this weekend will be with all the people who suffered from this horrific act of violence."

Ryan Blaney To Race For Penske


MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 17, 2012) – Penske Racing announced today that third-generation race car driver Ryan Blaney has joined the organization and he will compete in the No. 22 Dodge in selected NASCAR Nationwide Series events over the balance of the 2012 season.

Blaney, the 18-year-old son of current Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney, will make his Penske Racing debut in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, August 4th. Blaney will also drive for the team in at least two other races this season. He will race the No. 22 Snap-on Dodge at Richmond International Raceway and he’ll drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge at Kentucky Speedway.

"Ryan is a driver with a great racing pedigree and we believe he has a very bright future in NASCAR," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "We’ve been keeping an eye on Ryan’s development and we feel he’ll be a great addition to the No. 22 Nationwide Series team."

With a winning junior developmental track record established in Quarter Midgets, Bandolero and Legends cars, Blaney has also raced successfully in Super Late Models and the ARCA Series as well as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Continuing his development in 2012, Blaney has made three Nationwide Series starts this season for Tommy Baldwin Racing and he was impressive in a seventh-place finish at Richmond earlier this year.

"I’m very excited about the opportunity to drive for Penske Racing for the rest of this season," said Blaney."With the team’s strong tradition of success and the winning program they’ve established in the Nationwide Series, I believe I can learn a lot and hopefully we can produce some strong finishes in the No. 22 car."

Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 359 major race wins, 419 pole positions and 23 National Championships. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit

Monday, August 13, 2012

Budweiser, Kevin Harvick, and Blippar

Have you heard about Blippar? I hadn’t. However, when Budweiser and NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick announced a partnership with the innovative augmented reality app; NASCAR Race Mom (NRM) had to check Blippar out. I am super happy I did!

First off, what is Blippar?

Blippar is a FREE magic ‘lens’ which uses your device's camera to 'blipp' and instantly unlock the world around you with exclusive information, entertainment and virtual experiences. ‘Blipp’ any real world item carrying the 'blipp' instruction – such as magazines, newspapers, billboards, travel cards, logos or even grocery products. By simply holding your phone up in blippar mode to look at the image, it will magically jump to life with an exclusive content experience.

Budweiser racing and NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick go into high gear as they team up with Blippar (which is based in London) for their U.S. launch.

For the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, when fans view the Budweiser logo through the Blippar app on a mobile device, a vivid new world will appear and give fans the chance to take their picture with Sprint Cup Chase Contender Harvick and enjoy other interactive material and behind-the-scenes videos. Fans also will be able to interact with the Budweiser logo on beer cans, packaging, posters and images on the internet!

The first thing NASCAR Race Mom did was to download and install the Blippar app on my iPad. Then it was very simple to open the app and point it at a Blippar’d ad. Unlike the more familiar QR codes, the whole ad became a response mechanism; so just pointing it in the general direction of the ad worked.

I blippar’d the Budweiser/#29 Harvick graphic above, at the beginning of this article.

It was really easy and a fun interactive experience. Besides viewing several neat videos, I used the photo app to take the photo below, of Kevin Harvick and NASCAR Race Mom in the snow.

I believe that Blippar will be very popular in the near future. Be sure to download blippar to your device and use it on the ad at the beginning of this post to see it come alive on your device. Then you can share this new technology with your friends. You will surely impress them when you blip your bottle of Budweiser!

The video below will show you how to Blip a Budweiser Blippable Image:

For more information, you can like Blippar on Facebook; follow them on twitter @blippar and/or go to their website.

ABOUT BUDWEISER RACING: As 2012 kicks off with Kevin Harvick at the wheel of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, the King of Beers will celebrate 30 seasons as a primary sponsor at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) level earning one championship, 56 race wins, 43 pole awards, 278 top five and 472 top-10 finishes. The partnership with Kevin Harvick began in August 2010 when Budweiser announced that the King of Beers had partnered with the Richard Childress Racing team and driver Kevin Harvick to field the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet starting with the 2011 NSCS season. 

ABOUT KEVIN HARVICK: Kevin Harvick is a top NASCAR driver and has accrued many victories under his belt. 2012 marks Kevin Harvick’s 12th season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 394 starts, 18 wins, five poles, 86 top-five and 174 top-10 finishes. He is also one of 21 drivers to have won a race in each of NASCAR’s national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series). As of 2010, he began driving the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet Impala for Richard Childress Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. 

ABOUT BLIPPAR: Launched in the UK in the summer of 2011, Blippar is the first image-recognition phone app aimed at bringing the real world into a world of exciting augmented reality experience, instantaneous content and digital discovery. Users can “blipp” real world items – such as newspapers, magazines, products, posters, online images – to bring them to virtual life with overlaid digital information, videos, games or interactive experiences. Blippar is starting their US debut this Summer 2012 partnering with clients like Budweiser, Maybelline and Justin Bieber.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Next 9: See The Future

Next 9: See The Future

See video

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Richard Petty’s last race and Jeff Gordon’s first.
As the careers of Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett and Terry Labonte wound down, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson emerged as the sport’s new stars.

Throughout the years, the torch has been passed in a near seamless transition as the legends make way for the new faces of NASCAR.

NASCAR.COM: Darrell Wallace Jr. "could become iconic."
NASCAR.COM: Ryan Blaney's Nationwide Debut No Surprise
DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Daytona International Speedway to add short track races in 2013
At some point, Johnson, Gordon and Tony Stewart are going to hang up their driver’s helmets and walk straight into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. To see that future, fans need only to look to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, where tomorrow’s stars are cutting their teeth on bullrings like Stockton and Columbus, and getting their first taste of the high-speed banks of Iowa and Richmond.

The series is a snapshot of what the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will look like in 2020.

It’s where drivers like Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie are making their own name; where Daniel Suarez and Cameron Hayley are helping trail blaze the international path; where  Dylan Kwasniewski and Kyle Larson are bringing a West Coast swagger; and where Sergio Pena and Darrell Wallace Jr. are diversifying Victory Lane with their successes.

It is particularly fitting that as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series heads into one of its biggest weekends of the year, it has a pair of 16-year-old drivers leading the points standings – Elliott in the East and Kwasniewski in the West.


Last year, introduced fans to the #Next9 – nine drivers that are 21-and-under running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series who represent the next wave of young talent set to make an impact on the national series scene.

Before the green flag flies at Bowman Gray and Las Vegas, it’s time to take a look at the 2012 Class of the #Next9:

Ryan Blaney is looking to follow his father's footsteps and race his way up the NASCAR
ladder.   (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



It didn’t take long for Ryan Blaney to get people's attention.

And it wasn’t just for his last name. The 18-year-old from High Point, N.C., is a third-generation driver and son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney. But the lineage only tells part of the story. The youngest Blaney has a win, two runner-up finishes and four top 10s in five NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts dating to his debut at Richmond last year.

Throw in a seventh-place finish in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last month at Richmond and it’s easy to what all the buzz is about.

“To tell you the truth, I'm a little bit bummed we don’t have an East win yet,” said Ryan. “We have had fast cars and we know we can contend for wins.”

For Ryan, having dad in his ear helps.

“I’ll listen to my dad before I listen to anybody else,” Ryan Blaney said. “He’s been to all these tracks before. If I’m doing something wrong, he knows how to fix it. I really take his full advice.”

It was a Hallmark moment last fall when father and son were able to share the stage in Victory Lane at Phoenix, after Ryan won in just his third NASCAR K&N Pro Series start.

“It's definitely really special, of course, carrying on that family tradition,” Ryan said. “My grandfather raced and my dad follow his footsteps. And I’m following my dad.”

And they’re leading to plenty of success.


Chase Elliott earned his first NASCAR win to go with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series
East points lead.  (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



Chase Elliott’s first win came at Iowa 10 days ago, but the defining moment of his NASCAR K&N Pro Series career may have been at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway last March.

That’s when the then 15-year-old Elliott rolled off 26th in his NASCAR debut and brought it home fourth. The tiny, nearly flat South Carolina oval is known for chewing up tires and passing is treacherous. And yet, Elliott picked his way to the front with poise and confidence of a veteran.

Now 16, the Dawnsonville, Ga., driver just missed becoming the youngest winner in East history by just two days with his victory at Iowa. While fans may initially recognize him as the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series great Bill Elliott, Chase has quickly shown the ability and mettle to forge his own identity.

“A lot of people talk about my dad and having big shoes to fill,” said Chase. “But at the same time, I’m me.
“For me, I can do the best I can. That's all I can ask for.”

Chase finished ninth last year in points and finished third in a competitive Sunoco Rookie of the Year class. He’s avoided a sophomore slump and holds the series points lead after four races. If he continues this pace, he’ll have another thing in common with his dad.

A NASCAR championship trophy.


Cameron Hayley is a championship contender in his second season running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)Cameron Hayley is a championship contender in his second season running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



Bill McAnally knows talent when he sees it.

His race team, a staple of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, has collected a pair of championships in the last four years with Eric Holmes. McAnally has also fielded cars for two-time champion Brendan Gaughan, former series rookie of the year and current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Paulie Harraka, and gave Clint Bowyer his first NASCAR touring series start.

Now 15-year-old Cameron Hayley is looking to add his name to the team’s legacy. The Calgary, Alberta, Canada, driver is in his first full season running in the series and is the leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate.

Hayley got his start, like most kids, racing karts when he was 7, and has quickly progressed through the ranks. While getting his feet wet in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series last year, Hayley also claimed a Super Late Model touring series title in Western Canada and finished second in the Late Model series at Montana.

Too young to make his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series until August of 2011, Hayley set the record for youngest driver to compete in the series history with his first race just a month after turning 15. Hayley impressed quickly with a second-place finish in that race at Montana. He added a third-place run at All-American later in the year, where he led his first laps.

It’s been more solid runs in the 2012 season, where he’s collected three more top 10 finishes, as he heads to Las Vegas – a track he’s had success on in lower divisions.

Now he’s looking to turn that fast start into more championship hardware at BMR.


Dylan Kwasniewski already set records as the youngest driver to earn a pole and win
a race.  Now he's eying a championship, too. (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



Has there every been a more appropriate sponsor pairing in NASCAR than Dylan Kwasniewski and Rockstar?

Since finishing fourth in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut last year, the 16-year-old Las Vegas driver has been turning heads with the poise and presence of a veteran and the swagger and exuberance of youth.

There wasn’t much Kwasniewski didn’t accomplish last year en route to Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the West. He became the youngest driver to win a pole and a race in the history of the series, which stretches back to 1954. He backed that first win at Colorado up with a win a week later at Montana.

His West schedule this season will also be dotted with several East starts for Joe Gibbs Racing’s Steve DeSouza. Kwasniewski started 29th and finished seventh in his first start at Greenville, and recently tested at Gresham.

Now he heads back home as the West series points leader.

It's definitely stressful sometimes," said Kwasniewski. "But I know and I see what I can be in the future. And it sounds like so much fun that that fear backs me and pushes me to strive to win every single one of these races."

Kwasniewski joked after his win earlier this year at Stockton about his subdued Victory Lane.

“I was strongly debating planking, Tebowing, or doing a back-flip, and then I just opted for none,” said Kwasniewski. “Next time. Next time, excessive celebration.”

There’s a pretty good chance there will be a next time in Victory Lane.


Corey LaJoie works on his own cars all week and then drives the wheels off them at the
race track.  (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



Corey LaJoie was asked earlier this year if he listens to the advice his dad, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie gives him, and he laughed.

“Actually, the old man don’t give me a whole lot of tips,” Corey said with a grin. “He’ll give tips to everybody else in the garage, but he doesn’t really walk up to me and give me tips. I probably don’t ask him, either, because dad will go tell Darrell (Wallace) something and I won’t necessarily believe what he tells me. But he can tell Darrell the same thing, and I’ll believe Darrell if he tells it back to me.

“That’s probably not the best way to go about it. I probably don’t listen to my dad as much as I should.”
As Randy will tell you with the same candor and smirk: “That’s my boy.”

That, in a nutshell, is what you get with Corey. The 20-year-old Concord, N.C., is a throwback to the days his dad was running short tracks in the northeast and having a good time doing it.

People’s Exhibit 2: Ask him if he’s having fun on the race track.

“We’ve definitely been bringing good cars to the race track,” Corey said. “It’s definitely fun when you have a good car. It doesn’t matter if you’re racing shopping carts. If you’re shopping cart is handling better than the other guy’s, it’s fun to drive.”

Dig a little deeper under the wisecracks and southern drawl, however, and you’ll find one of the hardest workers in the garage. LaJoie helps his dad out with The Joie of Seating, which is at the forefront of driver safety, and builds and maintains his two race cars with the help of a friend. Despite the limited resources,
LaJoie managed to finish eighth in points last year and finish second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings against a stout field.

He has three runner-up finishes and was out front in the season-opener at Bristol vying for his first win when he cut a tire. Undaunted, LaJoie is right in the thick of the championship battle.

“We’re doing the best we knew we can,” LaJoie said.


Kyle Larson has been a quick study transitioning from open-wheel racing to the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series East this season. (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)


Kyle Larson has been around racing his whole life. Literally.

The 19-year-old from Elk Grove, Calif., accompanied his dad to the local dirt track when he was just a week old. At 4, his dad built him a little fun kart to navigate around in. He spent his formative years learning to master go karts before transitioning to sprint cars, Silver Crown cars, midget cars – with and without wings. So it’s no surprise that Larson has taken to stock cars with an extraordinarily smooth transition.

“That just helps me adapt quicker to all the different race cars I run,” Larson said. “And I play a lot of video games on iRacing.”

It’s worked. Larson impressed many observers when he climbed into a Late Model for the first time last fall and was turning some of the fastest laps at the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. The performance earned him a spot in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series program for Rev Racing – his mother is Japanese-American – and he has rolled off three top 10s in four starts and heads to Bowman Gray third in points.

Larson’s reasoning for switching from open wheel to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series is simple.
“I want to get to the Sprint Cup Series, so that's the step you have to take,” said Larson. “Plus, there’s a lot of really good young drivers to compete against, and I get to go to some of the tracks the Cup guys go to.”
He’s already on the right track. Last year, Larson won features in the World of Outlaws, the American Sprint Car Series, and all three divisions of USAC. The only other driver to accomplish that feat? Tony Stewart.


Sergio Peña has his sites set on a title run in his third season in the NASCAR K&N
Pro Series East.  (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



Perspective and patience.

For a driver, these two fundamentals can mean as much to winning a championship as going fast. Sergio Peña, in the midst of his third season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, will point to them as the two biggest keys he's learned from his experience in NASCAR's top developmental series.

Going fast was never a problem. After earning a spot with NASCAR Drive for Diversity, Peña earned the pole award and finished second in his first event – the series' all-star race in Irwindale, Calif. It took over a full year, though, to get to Victory Lane. Now, he’s looking to contend for a championship and show he’s ready to move up.

“I really tore up so much equipment my first year,” Peña said. “You have to race with your head and race smart. You just really need to be mature and patient in this series.”

The 19-year-old from Winchester, Va., isn’t afraid of tackling new challenges. After two years with Rev Racing, Peña is with a new team (Hattori Racing) under old coaches (Andy Santerre and crew chief Matt Goslant). And he’s juggling his racing career with his freshman year at Radford (Va.) University.

“College and racing, it’s really tough,” said Peña. “It just takes a lot of time management. It’s definitely worth it. It teaches you so much about the real world. I’m majoring in communications, and it’s helped me in so many different aspects – just the way you think about things.

“Plus, I'll have a backup plan: To have a college degree to fall back on was really important to me.”
While Peña got off to a rough start in his first two races of 2012, he’s rolled off a pair of top 10 finishes and heads to a summer stretch that includes a trip to Langley, where’s he’s the defending race winner.

“We just need to find some luck,” said Peña. “We've been right there. We just need to pull the whole deal together and get a good finish. We're getting there, I think the win will be coming soon.”

There’s that perspective and patience again.


Daniel Suárez is running full-time the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR
Toyota Series, and finding success in both. (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



There’s very little slowing Daniel Suárez down – on the track or off.

The 20-year-old from  Monterrey, Mexico, isn’t content with just tackling the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. With the ultimate goal of being the first NASCAR Toyota Series graduate to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Suárez is getting as much seat time as possible.

“When I switched to these big cars, it was really different for me,” said Suárez. “The teams, the drivers, the cars, the tracks in NASCAR, they are all very difficult, but I think it's the best racing in the world.

“I think we are in a good position now, and the team wants to learn and wants to have young drivers, different drivers, to learn about how to drive in America.”

That means, in addition to his full-time ride with X Team Racing, a Charlotte-based team committed to opening doors to NASCAR for Latin American drivers, Suárez is also attempting to run the complete NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico.

He also opened the season racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix, where he finished third. He’s second in points in the Toyota Series and picked up his first NASCAR victory earlier in May at the historic night race on the oval in Mexico City.

Suárez has run 10 touring series races in 2012, the most of any driver in NASCAR.

As the Toyota Series rookie of the year in 2009, Suárez initially jumped to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series last year on a limited basis. After starting the season with Troy Williams Racing, he jumped over to X Team the second half of the year and really hit his stride. Suárez picked up top 10 finishes in his final three starts in the East and finished sixth in the West season finale at Phoenix.

Perhaps the defining moment of Suárez’s young NASCAR career came in that race. Battling for second late in the race, contact knocked him sideways and it looked, for a moment, like his night would end in a wreck. Rather than spinning, though, Suárez was able to save it, keep it on the pavement and get back on the gas.
His crew chief, Coleman Pressley, remarked before that event that it’s fun working with a driver that has no fear.

And one that isn’t slowing down for anything.


Darrell Wallace Jr. made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing and
is chasing the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title. (Jennifer Coleman/NASCAR)



Darrell Wallace Jr. knows the expectations are high for him.

That isn’t anything new. The 18-year-old from Concord, N.C., has had people talking since he dominated in a Bandolero car. And every step of the way, Wallace has met those expectations with results.

Like in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series debut in 2009, when he became the youngest winner in series history. Or later in the season, when he made a daring three-wide pass on eventual series champion Ryan Truex and veteran Eddie MacDonald to steal a win away on the final lap. Or last year, when he rolled off three more wins en route to a second-place finish in points.

So it should come as no surprise that the first time he strapped into a NASCAR Nationwide Series car for Joe Gibbs Racing, Wallace brought home a top-10 finish.

The thing about Wallace, though, is how he takes everything in stride. His first national series start came a day after an early-race accident took him out of contention in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race.

Instead of dwelling on his misfortune this season in the series – his one win has been surrounded by struggles in the other three events – Wallace bounced right back and put on a solid performance in one of the biggest moments of his young career.

“Drivers just have to keep going out there and showcasing their skills,” Wallace told following the race. “It's all about having patience on and off the track.”

It’s something that Wallace has shown in his first two years driving for NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing, and continues to showcase with JGR.

When the opportunity presents itself, Wallace will be ready.


NASCAR's Next Generation Of Stars Are On Deck
By Jason Christley, NASCAR
May 30, 2012 - 9:00am

Making of a Mountain Dew Commercial

Kind of a cool video. I like the part where Jr. says, "hopefully we can get a win this year and add to the legacy!" #nascar #DewCrew

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Mountain Dew.

Disclosure:   MOUNTAIN DEW® 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 MOUNTAIN DEW® campaign, NASCAR Race Mom could be compensated by MOUNTAIN DEW® with product. 
However, NRM would have been pleased to share this news with my readers without said compensation. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Self Feels Like A Winner

 RCR driver earns West victory at Iowa Speedway

NEWTON, Iowa – Corey LaJoie may have been the one holding the big trophy and celebrating in Victory Lane at Iowa Speedway, but in a back corner of the track's darkened garage area Michael Self was downright jubilant.

Self's ninth-place finish in the Pork Be Inspired 150 was, in fact, a win in its own right – as the highest-finishing NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver in the combination race with the K&N Pro Series East on Friday night, Self was credited with his second career victory.

“It feels great. A win's a win,” Self said. “That's exactly what we came out here to do. We came out with a goal this weekend to finish Top-10 overall and win (against) the West cars. I feel like we were strong enough to run right where we ran.

“I'm just thrilled we ran with the East's best guys and outran the best West guys. It may not be an actual win, but believe me – it feels like it. I'll take it any day.”

Self's history at Iowa Speedway hasn't been kind.

In two races at the track prior to this season, he didn't finish either one. Here in May, Self started 35th and finished 17th after a flat tire left him with a torn-up race car.

“Considering today was the first time I've actually qualified on time and didn't take a provisional here, that felt good to begin with. I felt great about that,” Self said. “We should have had this win (in May) when we were here. We were passing for the lead and we got a flat tire and ended up crashing the thing.

“But the last couple races, ever since Brainerd in (one week after the first Iowa race) when we got our first win, it seems like the luck and everything has just kind of clicked. These guys have been giving me unbelievable cars every weekend, and we're showing every single weekend that we're a car to compete with.”

Self began the weekend almost 100 points behind leader Greg Pursley in the K&N Pro Series West standings. With Pursley, Dylan Kwasniewski and David Mayhew all having trouble, Self cut a big chunk out of his deficit.

The championship picture, though, isn't where Self is focused. The Park City, Utah, native and Richard Childress Racing development driver is looking at an even bigger picture.

“Our goal is to lead laps and win races, which is exactly what we did tonight. We understand that we're not a huge threat for the points right now – but if we do this two or three more races, we absolutely could be,” Self said. “Coming into this season, to looking at having two wins so far is absolutely huge for us.

“We're looking to step up next year into a Truck or a Nationwide car for a couple of races with RCR, and this is what we need to show those guys.”

Self also wants to prove to the rest of the series that he's for real. A second win Friday at Iowa may have done just that.

“Right now, it's just performing, consistency and getting all that bad luck out for good,” Self said.