Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gannis Wins Coveted Spot
in the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge

Cassie Gannis, sponsored by Phoenix Marketing Associates and recent winner of the 2012 NASCAR K&N Series West Most Popular Driver, has another win under her belt; a Top Ten spot in the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge. Ten contestants were chosen through an online contest where fans voted for their favorite driver. The winner will compete in PEAK's three-day driving school competition, coached by Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick of Scottsdale and Michael Waltrip, Veteran NASCAR driver.

From July 9 – 11, 2013, the competition between the ten drivers will consist of a three-day on track experience and competition with nine talent evaluation modules. Exclusive TV coverage will air in August 2013 on SpeedTV. The competition will provide an opportunity for one of the ten drivers to become the next Michael Waltrip Racing Development "PEAK Dream Driver". The winner will then compete as a competitively licensed driver in a PEAK-sponsored stock car in a sanctioned race of Sponsor's choosing in the summer or fall of 2013.

Upon receiving a personal phone call from Michael Waltrip, Cassie said, “This is an amazing opportunity for me that Peak and Waltrip Racing is offering! I can’t thank the fans enough supporting me! Michael Waltrip used Twitter to announce the news:

“Michael Waltrip ‏@mw55, "Fantastic job and thank you to the over 700 racers that entered the @peakauto challenge. We have our top 10 for 2013."

The grand prize winner will be selected and entered into an extensive journey including preparation, training and the opportunity to earn his/her license. The winner will also earn his/herspot in a PEAK sponsored stock car with a race team in a sanctioned race to prove that s/he has what it takes to become Michael Waltrip Racing's next stock car driver.

About Cassie:

Cassie Gannis, sponsored by Phoenix Marketing Associates, was recently voted Most Popular Driver of the Year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West for 2012. Twenty-one year old Cassie Gannis has been a standout since first hitting the tracks at age 10. Ms. Gannis started in the Quarter Midget series, consistently placing in the Top 5 and went on to the Legends Series, earning Rookie of the Year in 2005. In 2007, celebrating her 16th birthday, Ms. Gannis obtained a NASCAR license to race in the NASCAR Super Late Model Series. She became the youngest female driver to ever race at Tucson Raceway Park and place consistently in the Top 10.

By 2008, Cassie was racing “The Bullring” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and placing in the Top 10. Her experience includes racing in Arizona, Nevada and California.

Passionate about community service, Cassie has made it a strong part of her racing endeavors. She is a guest host for the HopeKids of AZ and a board member of the “Breath of Life Grand Prix” event for cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Arizona. She is a spokesperson and guest speaker on Teen Driving Safety issues and Car Maintenance Safety (Boys and Girls Clubs of Arizona Community Safety Days, AA of Southern California Safety Events and CHP Designated Driver Program), attends several safety days at military bases in Arizona and California each year (101 Days of Summer Military Tour) and continues to bring attention to issues of health, safety and education. For her commitment to safety and keeping with the highest standards and patriotism, she was awarded the Safety Chesty Award Certificate of Commendation by the Third Marine Aircraft Wing by Thomas L Conant Major General, U.S. Marine Corps Commanding General 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. Cassie continues her work with Rusty Wallace Racing Experience as a professional racecar driver providing NASCAR ride-a-longs for corporate clients in team building exercises.

Source — Kathy Gannis

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Zero to Hero and Back
A Favorite NASCAR Story Line

It's easy to go from “hero to zero” in NASCAR Racing. The reverse is usually much harder.

A general view of cars racing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at
Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
This weekend is a case in point. Yesterday Jamie McMurray, not known as one of NASCAR's top road racers, took advantage of a new qualifying format at Sonoma Raceway to take the pole position for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 CESSNA Chevrolet, drives during qualifying for the
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2013
in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
By the end of the grueling 110 lapper, he drove his Cessna Chevrolet over the finish line in 25th place. McMurray had trouble with a broken shock late in the race.

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, gets out of his car after spinning
during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway
on June 22, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, on the other hand started the road course from fourteenth on the starting grid. He spun during the qualifying session.

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, celebrates in victory lane
after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway
on June 23, 2013 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
His win breaks a 218 race winless streak. His first win was at Dover in June of 2007. Truex, Jr. also led the most laps on the day - 51 of 110.

Thorn Grabs K&N West Win At Sonoma

Makes Late-Race Charge To Capture First Road Course Victory
See video

SONOMA, Calif. - Derek Thorn charged to the lead late in the event and held on in a green-white-checkered finish to win the Carneros 200 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday.

The victory on the 1.99-mile, 10-turn track marked the second win this season, fourth career victory and first on a road course for the driver from Lakeport, Calif.

Cameron Hayley slipped by Michael Self on the last lap to take second. David Mayhew followed in fourth, with Paulie Harraka finishing fifth.


1 Derek Thorn
2 Cameron Hayley
3 Michael Self
4 David Mayhew
5 Paulie Harraka

Thorn, who finished second at Sonoma a year ago, appeared to save his tires as Hayley and Self battled for the lead. He became the sixth leader of the day when he charged past Self for the lead on Lap 53. Thorn pulled away in a late-race restart and then charged away again after the seventh caution of the day extended the race for a green-white-checkered finish. His No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford crossed the finish line 1.493 seconds ahead of Hayley.

Completing the top 10 were Travis Milburn, Kelly Admiraal, Dylan Lypton, Eric Holmes and Dave Smith.

With the victory, Thorn regained the lead in the championship standings. He leads with 258 points over Self, with 255. Hayley is third with 247. Greg Pursley, who faded to finish 21st after running up front at Sonoma, is fourth in points at 225. Lupton is fifth at 218. Rounding out the top 10 are Carl Harr at 195, Taylor Cuzick at 185, Dylan Hutchison at 182, Brett Thompson at 182 and Daryl Harr at 178.

This was the sixth of 15 races on this year’s series schedule and the second of three road course events on tap in 2013.

The Carneros 200 is scheduled to air on SPEED on Thursday, July 18 at 3 p.m. ET.

The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is at Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colo., on July 27.


Derek Thorn records his second victory of 2013 and first at Sonoma Raceway.
Courtesy Getty Images for NASCAR

By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR
June 22, 2013 - 6:55pm

Thursday, June 20, 2013

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West At Sonoma

Fast Facts

  • Sonoma has hosted 23 series races since 1978. In addition, the series participated in nine combination events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Northern California road course between 1989 and 1997.
  • The Sonoma track, located near the intersection of Highways 37 & 121, opened as Sears Point Raceway in 1968, with its inaugural event on Dec. 1, 1968. The road course was initially a 2.52-mile layout, but reconfigurations in 1998 and 2001 resulted in the current 1.99-mile design for NASCAR events.
  • The Sonoma road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest to lowest points. The highest point at Turn 3a reaches 174 feet, while the lowest point at Turn 10 is just 14 feet.
  • Fourteen different drivers have visited Victory Lane in series action at Sonoma. Three drivers – Hershel McGriff (1983, 1985, 1987), Jim Insolo (1978, 1979, 1980) and Bill Schmitt (1981, 1988, 1989) – lead the list of winners, with three wins each.
  • Other multiple winners at Sonoma include Butch Gilliland, who scored back-to-back wins on the historic road course in 1996 and 1997, and his son, David Gilliland, who notched wins in 2007 and 2012. Jason Bowles had consecutive wins in 2008 and 2009. 
  • Of the 14 drivers who won series races at Sonoma, 12 won NASCAR championships. Ten of those were NASCAR K&N Pro Series titles.
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers won the past two K&N West events at Sonoma – Joey Logano in 2011 and David Gilliland in 2012.
  • No previous winners are entered in this year's event.
  • Seventeen drivers have qualified on the pole. While Hershel McGriff leads with three poles at Sonoma – Butch Gilliland, Jim Bown, Roy Smith and Tim Williamson each had won two poles there.
  • Bill Schmitt leads in terms of top-five finishes, with eight, and top-10 finishes, with nine.
  • Hershel McGriff has led the most laps, meanwhile, running out front for 142 laps.
  • McGriff and Jack Sellers have the most series starts at Sonoma, with 14 each. In addition, Sellers also competed in six combination events.
  • The event in 2008 was the only series race at Sonoma that was extended for a green-white-checkered finish since the format was introduced.
  • Five of the 23 series races were won from the pole position. Seven were won by the driver who started second on the grid. Jim Insolo came from the furthest back, charging from 19th to win in 1978.
  • 265 different drivers have raced in series competition at the Sonoma track.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A New Height Awaits Racer Harraka

De-boarding a plane in Houston and racing to catch a tram to board another jet might wear out some travelers and leave others grumpy — but not Paulie Harraka.

The Duke University graduate had a tank full of high-octane adrenaline Monday afternoon as he discussed what could and should be one of the biggest weekends of his young racing life.

For starters, Harraka and team owner Bill McAnally of Roseville are doing their version of getting the band back together. Harraka will race a McAnally car in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Carneros 200 on Saturday at Sonoma Raceway. For seconds, Harraka hopes to take the green flag in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup start Sunday in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

“It’s a huge step forward,” Harraka said. “It really is a cool mix.”

Harraka won 11 Late Model races and the 2008 championship driving for BMR at All American Speedway in Roseville in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. He took three checkered flags for BMR in two years of Pro Series West action. Harraka placed second in Sonoma in 2010 and “led some laps” in 2011 before an issue took the car out of contention.

“We have different objectives on each side, and I believe it will go well,” Harraka said energetically, adding that for Pro Series West, “We have one goal and one goal only, and that’s to win the damn race. All the times I ran at Sonoma for Bill, I always loved that racetrack.”

Harraka will drive the No. 20 Crackle Toyota Camry, which he described as “a bad-ass looking black car with flames,” in the Pro Series West race, and his pit crew will include several former team members from his days with BMR.

His Sprint Cup car will be the No. 52 HASA Pool Products Ford Fusion. Go Green Racing owner Archie St. Hilaire called Harraka with an offer to run the Roush Fenway Racing ride at Sonoma.

“I said, ‘Hell yeah,’ ” Harraka said. “That would be a fun thing to do. We were able to get it together, and here we are.”

Harraka spent the first half of the 2012 season in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series and the second half in the Nationwide Series.

His one Nationwide start this season began with a good run and ended with a fuel line coming loose — “I went into turn 1 at 185 (mph) and smelled smoke, and by the time I got to the exit of turn 2, there was fire,” said Harraka, who will turn to five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and 22-time race winner Denny Hamlin for advice leading up to his Cup debut.

“I have a tremendous amount to learn. That’s a big challenge,” Harraka said. “Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson are good friends of mine. I’m going to lean on them a lot.”

Sunday, June 16, 2013

NASCAR Father’s Day

Father's Day is a day honoring fathers and celebrated on the third Sunday of June. This special day celebrates both fatherhood and the importance of male parenting. Of course my favorite NASCAR Father / Son Duo would have to be my very own husband and son.

Moses Smith and his father Paul
"My earliest memories are of my dad working on his street/drag car or building his sand rail in the garage," Moses said. "He was always involved in motorsports as a hobby and I thought it would be cool if I could do it for a living," Smith said.

Paul has always been an all-encompassing family man and constant source of support for his two sons. Moses started working with his father, in a race team garage by the age of three.

However, for second place, the Earnhardts and Pettys tie as favorite NASCAR Fathers and Son.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. & Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

(photo credit = msn.foxsports.com)
Dale Sr. won a record-tying seven NASCAR championships during his career; his 76 wins place him fourth of all time. His career was highlighted by his memorable first victory at the Daytona 500 in 1998. (Sadly, the driver of the No. 3 car died after a crash on the final lap at Daytona in 2001.)

Dale Jr. has carried on his father's driving legacy, making his debut on the Winston Cup circuit in 2000. In 2003, he finished third in the championship standings, and in 2004, Dale Jr. won the Daytona 500 six years to the day after his father's victory there.

Cool fact: When Dale Sr. and sons Dale Jr. and Kerry all competed in the 2000 Pepsi 400, it marked just the second time a father had raced against two sons.

Lee & Richard Petty

Lee, Richard, Kyle, and Adam Petty
(photo credit = nascar.speedtv.com)

Lee Petty was NASCAR's first real superstar, winning three drivers' championships between 1954 and 1959. He also won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Richard Petty shares the record for most drivers' championships, having won seven between 1967 and 1979. He retired in 1992 with 200 career wins (the most ever) and joined his dad in the Hall of Fame in 1997. (Sadly, the Pettys suffered the loss of Adam Petty, NASCAR’s first fourth-generation driver on May 12, 2000. The young driver was practicing for the Nationwide Series at the New Hampshire International Speedway when his throttle stuck wide open, causing the car to hit the outside wall.)

Cool fact: Both Pettys were named among the Top 50 NASCAR drivers of all time in 1998.

Honorable Mention

Butch Gilliland, the 1997 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion and winner of 13 victories in the division. His then-crew chief, son David Gilliland, currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. David Gilliland still runs an occasional K&N Pro Series race. Butch must have raised him right, because David is one of the most polite and approachable drivers I have had the pleasure of meeting.

NASCAR Race Mom with a very nice David Gilliland at Sonoma Raceway (6/24/2011)
Cool fact:  David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series, had a career-best second-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2013, pushing his teammate David Ragan to a surprising win.

Child, you outgrew my lap,
but never my heart.
Happy Father’s Day!

Friday, June 14, 2013

R.I.P - Race In Peace

Jason Leffler (September 16, 1975 – June 12, 2013)

Jason Leffler, affectionately known as "lefTurn," died June 12 after a crashing on a dirt track in New Jersey. On June 9, Leffler competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Matthew O'Haren, USA TODAY Sports


 The USAC Benevolent Foundation has today announced a $10,000 grant in the memory of the late USAC racing champion Jason Leffler, who lost his life Wednesday night in a racing accident in New Jersey.

 The 501-3C-designated Foundation will also be accepting additional donations earmarked for usage by Jason's son Charlie Dean and Charlie's mother Allison.

A designated cap amount to be announced by the Board of Directors of the Foundation will also result in additional dollar-for-dollar matching funds for this purpose.

 "We are devastated by Jasons loss and recognize his long and loyal commitment to USAC racing and to the sport of auto racing in general," says USAC CEO/President Kevin Miller. "We encourage everyone to participate in this worthwhile endeavor as we honor the memory of one of our most cherished champions and appreciate the Foundation Board for their efforts in making this all possible."

All contributions earmarked for the Leffler program, which may include the Charlie Dean Leffler Education Fund, may be directed to the USAC Benevolent Foundation, c/o Executive Director Bill Marvel, 4910 W. 16th Street Speedway, Speedway, Ind. 46224. Bill may be reached at 859-749-0646 or at billmarvel@gmail.com . Donations should be earmarked for this program.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Scenes from the Iowa Speedway

Michael Self continued his winning ways Friday night at Iowa Speedway.

The 22-year-old from Park City, Utah, pulled away from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series field en route to the win in the Casey's General Store 150. It was Self's second straight win, his fifth in his last 14 races, and he became the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver to win the annual combination race with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

A late caution pushed the scheduled 150-lap event to 159 laps. On each restart, however, Self was able to power away, leaving Dylan Kwasniewski and early race-leader Brett Moffitt to battle for second. Kwasniewski wound up claiming the runner-up spot over Moffitt. As the top finishing East driver, Kwasniewski was credited with a win in the series standings.

Self, Kwasniewski, Moffitt and Rhodes were among a group of 13 up-and-coming drivers named to the NASCAR Next program, an industry initiative designed to spotlight the rising stars in the sport. Led by Self's dominating performance, the group certainly didn't disappoint Friday night.

Video by Rob Harris (@bobbychuck)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pena Out of K&N Pro Series West Ride

Virginia racer Sergio Pena's tenure at NASCAR K&N Pro Series West team,  Bill McAnally Racing lasted just four races. 

According to team owner Bill McAnally when he spoke with http://www.speed51.com at Lebanon I-44 Speedway Sunday, Pena quit the team before the June 7 Iowa Speedway event.  

Pena later tweeted that he had, in fact, left BMR, but has "some really cool stuff in the works for later this year."  

Former K&N West Champion Eric Holmes took over the seat of the BMR car at Iowa and I-44 and the team plans to continue with Holmes for the time being.

Self Earns Third-Straight West Win

Michael Self swept the K&N Pro Series West's Midwest swing.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR
LEBANON, Mo. – It had been 36 years since a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver swept a pair of races in the same weekend, but Michael Self is all about ending droughts these days.

Two days after he became the first West driver to take the checkered flag in the seven-year history of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination races at Iowa Speedway, Self made it two-for-two on the weekend with a victory in the Toyota/G-Oil 150 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.

With the Lebanon win, the 22-year-old from Park City, Utah became the first West driver to earn two wins in one weekend since Harry Jefferson was victorious on June 25 and June 26, 1977.

Self is also the first driver to win three races in a row since Greg Pursley in 2011. His current streak began at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway on May 25.

His three-straight wins were earned on three distinct types of tracks – road course (Brainerd), speedway ( Iowa) and short track (Lebanon).

“Three in a row, I honestly never thought back a year ago that this would be possible,” Self said. “Getting this one on the short track just means so much because we’ve been trying and trying.”

Following Self across the line were Daryl Hall, Dylan Lupton, Derek Thorn and Dylan Hutchison.

The series’ inaugural visit to the .375-mile high banks in Lebanon looked to be in the hands of either one of the Gene Price Motorsports entries of polesitter Cameron Hayley or Pursley, who swapped the lead six times through the first 147 laps of the race. But when Self got the No. 21 Golden Gate Meat/iON Chevrolet under them in Turn 4 to make it three-wide on Lap 148, Hayley and Pursley skidded up the track and Self powered to the lead.

The caution immediately came out with the Hayley-Pursley spin, and on the green-white-checkered finish, Self drove away from the field for his sixth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West triumph.

“We had a chance there on the bottom,” Self said. “They were fighting each other pretty hard, so I figured I’d get in there and play and see if we could stick it to both of them there.”

With the victory, Self took a one-point lead in the season standings after five races over Derek Thorn. Hayley is eight behind Self with Pursley 11 back.

For Harr, it was one of the more memorable days in his racing career. He competed in the postponed NASCAR Nationwide Series race Sunday morning at Iowa, then took a quick flight down to Lebanon. After no practice, two laps of qualifying and starting at the rear of the field, the second-place finish was the best in 109 starts in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West career.

“We got down here and my crew was just wonderful,” Harr said. “We had about an hour to get the car together, we set it up going through tech.

“We just kept wheeling. We made some adjustments in the break and I think we had a car that, if we had done a little bit more, we could be sitting where Michael [Self] is right now. But I’ll take it. After 10 years, I’ll take a second place.”

Lupton in third and Hutchison in fifth also recorded the best finishes of their young careers.

The Toyota/G-Oil 150 is scheduled to air on SPEED on Thursday, June 20, at 3 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West return to action with the Carneros 200 on June 22 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.

By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR

WINsdays with Joey Logano

Any time Joey Logano wins a points race this season, Shell $aver Card holders save 22 cents per gallon on the following Wednesday as part of the WINsday program.  However,  today all fans in attendance enjoyed the discount.

Shell and Penske Racing are teaming up in 2013 to offer you a chance to save at the pump with the return of the WINsday program for the third consecutive year.  The offer is valid up to 25 gallons per vehicle.

The WINsday promotion has also expanded this year to provide an additional 22 cents per gallon savings to registered Members of the Fuel Rewards Network™ (FRN™) program , when Logano wins a points race.  Shell Saver Cardholders who use their Shell Saver Card on WINsday will receive an email with an FRN™ Rewards Code and activation instructions for new and existing FRN Members . Fans can learn more about WINsdays at http://shell.us/winsday.

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion,
stopped by a Shell station in Mooresville, NC today to surprise fans and fill their tanks

NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Joey Logano erged from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series to attain national prominence.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Lebanon

Derek Thorn, shown talking with his crew chief  Bill Sedgwick.
Getty Images for NASCAR

June 9, 2013 Schedule

9 a.m. Registration opens

10 a.m. Garage opens & Registration begins

12:30 p.m. Practice

5 p.m. Qualifying

6 p.m. Driver/Crew Chief Meeting

8 p.m. Race (150 Laps, 56.25 Miles)

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West headed down the highway and compete in the Toyota/G-Oil 150 at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will make its inaugural visit to Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway for the Toyota/G-Oil 150 this Sunday.FAST FACTS The Race: This event is the fifth of 15 events on the 2013 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (56.25 miles).

The Track: Lebanon I-44 Speedway is a .375-mile paved oval with turns 1 and 2 banked 11 degrees, turns 3 and 4 banked 12 degrees and six degrees banking in the front stretch and back stretch.

Records: To be established.


First Missouri Visit: This will mark the first series race in the state of Missouri. The series raced in the neighboring state of Kansas in 1998 and again in 2001 and 2002.

Back-To-Back Events: This will not be the first time for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West to race in two races in one weekend in the Midwest. In 2007, the series competed in back-to-back NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination races – visiting Elko (Minn.) Speedway on a Friday night and then traveling to Iowa Speedway for an event on Sunday.


The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West next heads to the wine country of Northern California for its annual visit to Sonoma Raceway on June 22. The event is the second of three road course events on this year’s schedule. Last year’s race was won by David Gilliland.

Self Continues Winning Ways at Iowa Speedway

NEWTON, Iowa - Michael Self continued his winning ways Friday night at Iowa Speedway.

The 22-year-old from Park City, Utah, pulled away from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series field en route to the win in the Casey's General Store 150. It was Self's second straight win, his fifth in his last 14 races, and he became the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver to win the annual combination race with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

"This is just unbelievable," said Self. "To be the first K&N West driver to win this race here is just out of this world. I really can't describe what was going through my head those last couple laps."

Self also became the eighth different overall winner in eight NASCAR K&N Pro Series combination races at Iowa. He led twice for a race-high 83 laps, including the final 73.

A late caution pushed the scheduled 150-lap event to 159 laps. On each restart, however, Self was able to power away, leaving Dylan Kwasniewski and early race-leader Brett Moffitt to battle for second. Kwasniewski wound up claiming the runner-up spot over Moffitt. As the top finishing East driver, Kwasniewski was credited with a win in the series standings.

"It was such a good car," said Self, "And such a big thanks to (crew chief) Steve Portenga and the Golden Gate Racing team for putting that car together."

Greg Pursley was fourth and Ben Rhodes fifth.

"We just rallied back," said Kwasniewski. "We were trying hard to beat Michael out there, but he was really good. ... It was fun running with Brett. It was a great race."

It was an eventful day for Kwasniewski, who skipped his high school graduation in Las Vegas to race Friday. He was presented his diploma by NASCAR K&N Pro Series East series director Kip Childress during driver introductions. Kwasniewski then recovered from a solo spin early in the event.

"That was my first time I had done that in, I don't know how long," said Kwasniewski, the defending West Series champion who is running full-time in the East this year.. "I got into the flat down there and ended up spinning the thing out."

Moffitt, on the other hand, was left disappointed after he was in contention for the win all day. He led twice for 48 laps - the third time the Grimes, Iowa, native has led 45 or more laps the season. He has four top fives in six races but has yet to get to Victory Lane.

"I should feel really good about it, but we really start needing to get wins here," said Moffitt. "It's just really frustrating when we had a decent race car here the first half. We just got really tight and didn't adjust enough. We need to get on our game there."

Self, Kwasniewski, Moffitt and Rhodes were among a group of 13 up-and-coming drivers named to the NASCAR Next program, an industry initiative designed to spotlight the rising stars in the sport. Led by Self's dominating performance, the group certainly didn't disappoint Friday night.

Friday, June 7, 2013

K&N Pro Series “Casey's General Stores 150”

Derek Thorn rolls through the garage area (Speed51.com Photo)

The K&N Pro Series “Casey's General Stores 150” practice is underway at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Today, drivers from the East meet the drivers from the West to do battle for 150 laps. Click Here for live updates of this event.

Today's Schedule
(All Times are Central Standard Time)

9:00 AM       Garage Registration Opens

10:00 AM       Rookie Spotter’s Meeting, Drawing For Qualifying Order

11:00 AM 12:30 PM       Practice

1:30 PM 2:30 PM       Final Practice

2:45 PM 3:15 PM       NASCAR Pace Car Rides

5:00 PM       Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions)

6:30 PM       Drivers Meeting (Drivers Meeting Room)

7:00 PM       Registration Closes

7:30 PM       Driver Introductions-Security –Clear Pit Road

8:00 PM      Race (150 Laps, 131.25 Miles)

There have been seven K&N Pro Series races at Iowa, including the first ever NASCAR-sanctioned event at Iowa back in 2007. No driver has ever won two series races at Iowa.

Previous winners:

2007 - Joey Logano

2008 - Brian Ickler

2009 - Kyle Busch

2010 - Max Gresham

2011 - Brett Moffitt

2012 (spring) - Chase Elliott

2012 (autumn) - Corey LaJoie

Only one previous winner at Iowa is in today's race and that is K&N East points leader Moffitt.

Twitter Info: #Caseys150; #NASCAR; #KNEast; #KNWest; @iowaspeedway

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Search Underway For D4D Candidates

Applications For The Combine Available Through Aug. 26

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Rising stars Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. capitalized on their opportunity under the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) banner, and now enjoy regular success in NASCAR’s national series. Soon, the next generation of talent will be welcomed – and that process starts now. 

Applications are being accepted online for the NASCAR D4D Combine until Aug. 26. To access the application, please visit http://revracing.net/combine-application. Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) and Wallace (@BubbaWallace), both competing in their rookie seasons in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series respectively, participated in the program after being selected at the annual NASCAR D4D Combine. 

“Through our partnership with Rev Racing, the NASCAR D4D initiative has shown increasing success in developing minority and female drivers who are ready to compete at the highest  levels of our sport,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “The academy format that we have developed offers skilled drivers the training they need to move up to the next level of their racing careers.”

The application for the annual Combine is the first phase of the selection process for the NASCAR D4D program. The Combine evaluation process consists of five elements: physical fitness, driver resume, media aptitude, driver communications/knowledge and driving skills on and off track.   

“We are proud of the successes we’ve had to date, and are looking forward to welcoming a new group of participants in the fall,” said Max Siegel, CEO of Rev Racing. “The talent level continues to rise each year, and the Combine process is the first step in developing the next generation of drivers for the sport.”

Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 26 as of Oct. 15, and must be a member of an ethnic minority classification or a female of U.S. citizenship. Those who are legally allowed to work in the U.S. can apply to participate in the Combine as well. All drivers must demonstrate their skill and have experience in grassroots, local or regional racing. Drivers selected to participate in the Combine will be notified in the fall after the application process has closed. 

To learn more about NASCAR, the NASCAR D4D program and other diverse initiatives, log on to: www.nascardiversity.com

Official Release