Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Never Give Up Racing: A Portrait of NASCAR Driver/Owner Mike Harmon

By Jens Sennelind

It's time to start up a new article series here at PTR. I hope that you have read the introduction in a previously published article "Everything that Glitters is not Gold in NASCAR". As mentioned, this series will focus on Xfinity teams that normally finish in lower part of the standings; teams who are underfunded with drivers that sometimes have passed their prime time in the media's spotlight. It's time to give them a little focus also - they deserve it.

First out in this series is Mike Harmon, driver of #74 Dodge Challenger for Mike Harmon Racing. Mike Joseph Harmon, born January 24, 1958 (age 57) in Birmingport, Alabama made his NASCAR Busch Series debut in 1996 driving the #24 MedPartners Chevrolet at South Port Speedway.

Harmon finished his debut race in P31 with a transmission failure. Mike was well known by many fans, long before his NASCAR debut, in various short track racing, with an impressing 300 career wins. People who have worked with Mike in the ARCA series said "he is probably the most focused individual I've ever met". A very talented driver, especially on the short track, that really never got the chance to drive with good equipment.

Mike Harmon in 2008
(SturrockNY21 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Mike's Busch debut season 1996 ended up with sponsorship problems. The stats for 7 races: 792 of 1467 laps completed (54%), Avg. start: 26.4, Avg. finish: 32.7, DNF: 4. After losing his ride, Mike returned (part-time 1991-1996) to drive full season in Slim-Jim All-Pro Series (NASCAR Southeast Series) in 1997. Started all 20 races 1997, Mike completed 87% of all laps, led 140 laps, 8 top-5, 9 top-10 and finished in 8th position in the ranking.

After a good season in 1997, the next one was not as good. With 11 starts and 6 DNF due to failure in handling, engine, oil leak and crash, Mike left this series, joining the ARCA Series instead 1998-2001. Only starting 2 times in 1998-1999, he started 15 races in 2000 (for Wayne Peterson Racing) with 1 top-5, 2 top-10, 8 DNF and 58.6 % laps completed.

Returning to Busch Series (Xfinity) in 2001, this time driving for Mixon Motorsports for 15 starts, the #44 car only finished 1 race (P28) that season (27.4% laps completed). Continuing with Mixon Motorsports in 2002, the story remains the same; 25 starts and 21 DNF. Best finish that year - P22 (started 41) at Daytona. In 2003, Mike started 32 times, a career high for this series again with Mixon Motorsports. 15 DNF, Avg. start: 35.0, Avg. finish: 31.3, 61.8% completed laps and 1 top-20 as best finish. With a new team partner in Mixon Motorsports (GIC - Global Industrial Contractors), Mike was released from his ride in 2004, starting 7 times that year.

Harmon, together with Oostlander Racing, bought some assets from Innovative Motorsports and tried a couple of starts without success.




Mike Harmon is also famous for his terrible Bristol practice crash in August 2002. Splitting his #44 car in half, Mike miraculous walked away unharmed. In 2003, Mike got the chance to drive a Sprint Cup car at Daytona but failed to qualify his #78 Chevrolet (owned by Anthony Desmond) in Gatorade 125 race 1.

After not making it work in 2004 (Busch Series), Mike headed back to drive full season in ARCA Series 2005 (Oostlander Racing), collecting 4 top-10 finishes. Mike also made a few "start-and-park" appearances/year in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2001-2009 and in 2009 with his on #42 truck. Continuing driving in the ARCA Series full time to 2008, Mike tried a comeback in the Busch Series in 2007, starting 7 times for Richardson-Netzloff Racing. This attempt ended up with 7 DNF. Jennfier Jo Cobb took over the wheel later in that season. In 2008, Mike tried once more in the Nationwide Series (former Busch Series), this time with his own team driving the #84 Chevrolet. He qualified for 11 starts and ended up with 10 DNF but collecting his best result ever with a P17 finish at Talladega (starting P43).

Harmon in CFR No. 84
(Mike Kalasnik CC BY-SA 2.0)
In 2009, Mike continued driving his #84 Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series, but also drove the #07 Chevrolet for SK Motorsports that year.

He managed to qualify 10 times total that season. The stats showing Avg.start: 38.1, Avg.finish: 33.1, 58.1% laps finished, 6 DNF. Average finish is better than the starting position this year, showing that if the car holds up, Mike is able to advance a few positions.

In 2010, Mike took a year off from racing in Nationwide Series and drove part-time (15 starts - 12 DNF) in Camping World Truck Series for Lafferty Motorsports.

Mike started with his own team in 2011 (Mike Harmon Racing) in both Nationwide (14/25 races) and Truck Series (7/25 races) with the #74 car (both series). The stats from 2011 season are the same, many DNF and few completed laps. In 2012, the story was the same as the year before. "Start and park" for the most of the season. But the team survived and in 2013 season something changed for Mike Harmon Racing. Instead of competing in the most of the races, Mike started 7 of them (2 DNQ) and completed 79.8% of all the laps - the best stats ever. Also, Avg. start: 34.1, Avg. finish: 29.0 and finished P17 (started P27) at Daytona (120/120 laps) with leading a lap there. Even with his truck team, the completed lap stats went up to 36.3% in 12 starts.

Jennifer Jo Cobb
When Mike finally got some positive results from his long racing career, he somehow managed to get himself arrested on May 15, 2013, accused of stealing a hauler and other racing equipment from Jennifer Jo Cobb. Although first denying the accusations, the police found two Nationwide and five Camping World Truck Series trucks in Harmon's garage which allegedly belonging to Cobb. An arrest warrant was issued and Mike turn himself in to the police on June 16. Cobb demanded the charges to be dropped in October. Cobb's request was approved.

Trying to restart in the 2014 season, the stats from 2013 were not to be found this year. Starting more races costs more money for a team owner. Mike managed sixteen starts (4 DNQ) and thirteen DNF with 38.2% completed laps ratio. Best results was a P28 finish at Talladega. Mike handed over the wheel of the #74 Dodge Challenger (switched to Dodge full time in 2014) under his owner/driver years to, for example, Carl Long who started 7 times in 2013 and Kevin Lepage, who started 8 times in 2014.

How is it going for Mike Harmon Racing in 2015 season then? Well, the stats are looking better than 2014. Driving the #74 Dodge full-time by himself, Mike has managed qualify for 16 of 18 Xfinity Series races with 1859 laps of 2971 laps total completed (62.6%) is showing that the team is going in the right direction. Avg. start: 36.8, Avg. finish: 33.2, 9 DNF, best finish at Daytona (P24). Also, looking into the stats real deep, you can see that the MHR intentions is to run full races more and more. In Camping World Truck Series, Mike have left the driver seat in the #74 Chevrolet to young Jordan Anderson with good results so far (82.2% completed laps).

The DNF is still too high but bare in mind that Dodge is a "newcomer" in NASCAR and with a week-to-week sponsorship it's hard to put a competitive car in the Xfinity Series. The cost is enormous. Few series cost so much to race in as the NASCAR world, even down to ARCA series level. Having one Xfinity team and one CWTS team running afloat is not an easy business. Its very, very hard to do.

With all that Mike Harmon has been through in his long career, he never got the chance to show his talent with a fast race car/well-funded team. I personally think it's amazing that he fights to drive a race car year after year. Mike Harmon is race driver who loves racing - what more do you need?

Perhaps you will think different about Mike Harmon next time you watch an Xfinity race. Maybe not. It’s up to you. For me, I will think about that black #74 Dodge Challenger a bit more.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rest In Peace Karsyn Bratch

Strive to be more Karsyn-like.


Rest In Peace Karsyn Bratch
She had battled one form or another of cancer nearly all her life. Born February 17, 2003, her diagnosis with Optic Gleomia in 2007, soon led to the discovery of several other medical issues.

The young girl was also legally blind. But the various ailments that had invaded her body could not depressed her life-force.

Karsyn probably couldn’t remember a time when cancer did not negatively impact her life. Through countless treatment plans, surgeries, drug cocktails, and radiation, her fighting spirit never wavered.

Some people may look at Karsyn and see the obstacles. Not Karsyn - she looked at the world and embraced the opportunities.

It is the writer’s sorrow to inform that Karsyn Kennedy Bratch, just twelve years of age, died at 7:48 pm, Sunday, October 25, 2015 at her home. She lived with her mom, Linette and stepdad, Bill Burchett, on Old U.S. 24 near Richvalley. She also has a sister, Jordan, stepsister, Cassie, and a little nephew, Kadyn. Bratch’s dad, Bob, is in the military and resides in Indianapolis.

Karsyn was a seventh grader at Wabash Middle School, and was in the Metropolitan School District of Wabash County until 6th grade. She was known as The Princess of Sharp Creek Elementary.

She was a member of the Girl Scouts. Karsyn enjoyed crafts, telling knock-knock jokes, fishing, and being in the boat on the water. She enjoyed cheer-leading and was an honorary cheerleader. Karsyn loved talking to people and didn't know a stranger. 


Rest In Peace Karsyn Bratch


Further, Karsyn had a big heart and was the founder of the Kick It for Karsyn campaign in Wabash and also Karsyn Kares, used for helping three other families. Did I mention her love for NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon?

We can all learn from Ms. Karsyn. Her recent @KarsynKickIt @kickkidscancer @JeffGordon4Cure event has raised more than $20,000. While it is easier to focus on our own negativity, we should all be more Karsyn-like and concentrate on the welfare of others. 


Big Brother Brian Keselowski;
Happy Ever #NASCAR Ever?

There was drama aplenty in last weekend’s NASCAR Truck Series
Event; but no storybook ending. 

 

Brad, Bob, Brian and Kay Keselowski, shown in victory lane in June 1992
From left: Brad, Bob, Brian and Kay Keselowski, shown in victory lane in June 1992 at
Michigan International Speedway after a won the GM Goodwrench 200 ARCA series race.
(Photo courtesy of the Keselowski family)

Racing runs through the Keselowski blood. Before Brad  and his big brother Brian began racing in the 1990s, and even before their Father Bob and Uncle Ron began racing in the 1960s, Brad and Brian’s grandfather John Keselowski was the family’s competitor in motorsports.

John raced motorcycles and other forms of motorsports in the 1940s and 1950s before turning to stock car ownership after a bad wreck. Bob won the ARCA championship in 1989. Uncle Ron can boast of sixty-eight (68) Cup Series starts (between 1970 and 1974) with two top-five finishes.

This last week, Brad Keselowski thrilled race fans by offering less-known brother Brian his shot at the big leagues by driving the #29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150. Brian was quick to impress all from the start, showing speed and skill during practice. Brian qualified just out of the top-ten. 




What an awesome NASCAR story-line it would be if Brian could secure his traction as a NASCAR driver by winning for his brother in the Camping World Truck Series.

After all, when the loss of a main sponsor cause the Keselowskis to shut down the family team, Brad went out and pursued his driving career with other team owners in the Truck Series. This is where Brad had an impressive drive that caught the eye of a man named Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the rest — of course — is history. Would history repeat itself? 


Brian Keselowski (@KeselowskiBrian) in the Lead - #NASCAR.


In his Truck Series debut, Brian Keselowski (@KeselowskiBrian) who was subbing for injured driver Austin Theriault, was in position to pull off a stunning “fairy-tale” upset at Talladega’s 2.66-mile Superspeedway. Brian was in third for the green-white checkered dash to the finish but ran out of fuel before taking the green flag.

He was able to coast to pit road for a splash of gas to make it to the checkered flag but any chance of a good finish was gone. Brian was credited with seventeenth place in the final rundown.

"I'm emotional," Brian reported. "I'm really proud of how we ran. I'm disappointed that it was probably my only chance. We'll see how it works out."

Keselowski, who had never before driven for his brother Brad, believed that he was going to make it to victory lane in his first Truck Series race until his fuel problem. 

"They said right from the get-go to save fuel, and I was," Keselowski said. "But you can only do so much when you're leading. You've got to go, so I didn't save any when I was out front. I guess I should have, but that's a little bit of inexperience in the Truck Series probably showing up. We'll learn better next time."

So no story book ending . . . this time. However, Brian was able to showcase his value. This fan was on the edge of her seat for the entire race and is hopeful to see much more of the older Keselowski! 


#NASCAR Driver Brian Keselowski and his girlfriend Jen
Brian Keselowski and his girlfriend Jen

Photos from the Talledega Race from Jennifer Calandrillo's Facebook page

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Joseph Burton-Harris Announced as Finalist in the 2015 Mazda Road To 24 Shootout #MRT24

Joseph Burton-Harris Announced as Finalist in the 2015 Mazda Road To 24 Shootout #MRT24

Joseph Burton-Harris, who won the Formula Mazda (FM) SCCA National Championship, has been named a finalist in the 2015 Mazda Road To 24 Shootout.

He is one of nine young talents to progress to this next level. Burton-Harris will have to chance to claim a $100,000 scholarship to drive in the 2016 SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.

“The nine finalists in this shootout are all highly competitive,” John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, said. “The fact that the judges identified nine outstanding racers, from the 23 eligible, shows the tremendous depth of talent we are working with today. Mazda is so proud to offer this prize to our grassroots racers and customers; there is simply nothing like it in the world.”

Joseph Burton-Harris Announced as Finalist in the 2015 Mazda Road To 24 Shootout #MRT24
The shootout will take place at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC, November 8-10. The racers will be tested on the track for their driving skills, and in the garage for their technical understanding of the sport.

The aspiring professional racer who wins the prize will have the best range of skills required to succeed. These skills include speed, consistency, race craft, technical feedback and off-track business, marketing and PR skills.

Additional information about the Mazda Road to 24 shootout, and 2016 MX-5 Cup race car, can be found at www.mazdamotorsports.com Mazda Motorsports will be providing live social updates from the Carolina Motorsports Park event on Twitter at @mazdaracing. Look for the hashtag hashtag #MRT24.


Joseph Burton-Harris Announced as Finalist in the 2015 Mazda Road To 24 Shootout #MRT24

Joseph Burton-Harris Announced as Finalist in the 2015 Mazda Road To 24 Shootout #MRT24

Photo Credit:  Brian Harris 2015 Sonoma, California


Joseph Burton Harris Website

Joseph's Facebook 

YouTube Channel 

Joseph's Twitter


Related Post: Joseph Burton Harris - Mazda Road to 24 Shootout 

2015 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Combine

2015 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Combine


For its 5th consecutive year, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine will take place in Hampton. A NASCAR-sanctioned initiative, the success of the Drive for Diversity Combine is largely contributed to the support of its partners and year-round sponsors.

D4D partner, Langley Speedway, will host the combine, drivers and officials on October 19th – October 21st. Langley Speedway is a NASCAR-sanctioned track that hosts more than fifty percent of Rev Racing’s Whelen All-American Series races throughout the year. The track currently hosts 11 divisions which alternate running during their Saturday night program: Late Models, Grand Stock, Modifieds, K&N Pro Series East, Legend Cars, Super Street, UCAR, Pro Six, Super Trucks, HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts, Bandoleros, Enduros, and the Whelen Southern Modified Tour.

In addition to the on-track performance evaluations that will take place at Langley Speedway, the participants will be evaluated on physical fitness conducted by pit crew coach Phil Horton at Hampton University.

“Langley Speedway is pleased to continue their relationship with NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing for the fifth consecutive year,” said Bill Mullis, owner of Langley Speedway. “We again welcome the opportunity to partner with the City of Hampton and Hampton University to showcase these stars of tomorrow,”

Rev Racing’s partnership with Hampton University has extended outside just the use of their facilities. Management at Rev Racing has worked year-round with students in the sports management program as well as the school of business at Hampton. Students and faculty have worked jointly with Rev Racing on research projects, strategies and distribution tactics of the team’s social media platform.



Monday, October 19, 2015

Last-Lap Pass Nets Gracin Raz #knwest Race

Gracin Raz celebrates his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
win Saturday night at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.


Eighteen-year-old Gracin Raz executed a last-lap pass Saturday night at All American Speedway to score his first career win. Starting third on a green-white-checkered finish, the teen powered his No. 27 Montana Tech Ford past Chris Eggleston on the first lap and Alex Schutte on the final lap. The late caution pushed the 'oyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Axle Crutch' to 152 laps.

Heading into the season finale at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday, Nov. 12, Eggleson leads Gragson by four points and Raz by nine. Patridge dropped a spot to fourth, 12 points out of the lead.


Gracin Raz made a last-lap pass on a green-white-checkered finish to claim the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series West race at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.

The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, October 22 at 7 p.m. ET.


Photo Credit Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images for NASCAR

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Crown Royal Regal Apple
Tart Gala Apples For the Fall Season

Crown Royal’s Regal Apple is an extraordinary addition to the Crown Royal® portfolio. I found it to be a scrumptious whiskey, infused with natural tart gala apple flavors. 


Crown Royal’s Regal Apple

One of my favorite fall activity is to sit in the Jacuzzi tub, light the log in the fireplace and enjoy an Apple Highball . . . . or two: 

  • 1.5 oz. Crown Apple
  • 1 oz. Pineapple juice
  • Dash of bitters
  • Topped with ginger ale. 

It is so very easy to make yet so delightful. 


The Crown Royal Candy Apple recipe


The Crown Royal Candy Apple recipe is also a favorite of mine: 

  • 1 oz. Crown Royal® Regal Apple Flavored Whisky
  • 0.5 oz. Crown Royal® Maple Finished Whisky

I put it in a fancy glass to give this drink a touch of sophistication. 

However, what I love about Crown Royal’s Regal Apple the most is that you can take it with you on road trips and enjoy it straight out of the bottle . . . or maybe over the rocks. 

Regal Apple is so smooth and flavorful, you really do not need to mix it with anything else. This makes it perfect for me to pack for my NASCAR adventures. I love sharing my Crown crisp Apple sweetness with the crew after the race as we dissect the day.

Don’t forget that you can also cook with Regal Apple. I found this Wing recipe both simple and yummy!!!

Ingredients:
  • ⅓ cup Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 packet (0.75-ounce) stir-fry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 4 pounds chicken wing drumettes
  • 3 scallions (green onions), finely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts, (optional) 

Best part of cooking with  Crown Royal’s Regal Apple is that you can pour yourself a glass to enjoy as you work.
Preparation: In a large bowl, combine whisky, honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, stir-fry seasoning, and garlic. Add drumettes, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Let drumettes stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 12 to 18 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally. Transfer chicken to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and peanuts (optional).

Best part of cooking with  Crown Royal’s Regal Apple is that you can pour yourself a glass to enjoy as you work.



As a bonus, the Crown Royal Regal Apple bottle comes cloaked in a quality green felt bag which is placed inside its box – perfect for gift giving!!!

Additional Recipes for Your Crown Royal Regal Apple Enjoyment

Additional Recipes for Your Crown Royal Regal Apple Enjoyment

Friday, October 16, 2015

Joseph Burton Harris
Mazda Road to 24 Shootout


Winner-Take-All Competition



My friend Joseph Burton-Harris exploded upon the racing world in the USA this year. He started go-karting at eight years old, winning two world championships at the age of fifteen and sixteen.

Now at the tender age of eighteen, Joseph races in the Moses Smith prepared #132 Si Partners/Sydney Sports/GMG Formula Mazda

Check out Burton-Harris' 2015 stats:

  • 1 National Championship
  • 14 Races
  • 13 Wins
  • 7 Poles
  • 12 Fastest Laps
  • 5 Lap Records
  • 0 Crashes
  • 14 Top 5's
  • 14 Top 10's
  • 93% Win Percentage
  • 88% Pole Percentage
  • 100% Top 5 Percentage
  • 100% Top 10 Percentage
His recent win at the ‘SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Garmin VIRB’ last month was exhilarating. He managed a 9.9 s victory over second place.

“This is pretty amazing,” Burton-Harris reported. “We’ve worked so hard all year. The whole winning part is great, I mean it feels amazing, but just being here and driving on this track is great. This time 10 years ago, we used to come to Orlando for my father’s business and this used to be my one trip, to do the tours. To actually go around there on the track itself is just an amazing feeling. For the SCCA to put on this event in Daytona, just the year that I was starting out in cars, I feel very fortunate.”

Joseph Burton Harris - Mazda Road to 24 Shootout
Equally exciting is that the win qualified Joseph to be a semi-finalist in the ‘Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.’ This event is the single largest prize in grassroots motorsports. Launched in 2006 as the Club Racer shootout, the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout has annually promoted one talented club racer into the professional ranks.

The $100,000 scholarship package supports a drive in the 2016 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup. For 2016, this will be in the all-new Global MX-5 Cup car, which officially went on sale on October 1.

Joseph fits the shootout criteria perfectly. He is an aspiring professional racer who has that great range of skills required to succeed. His skills include Speed, Consistency, Race Craft, Technical Feedback and Off-Track Business, Marketing and PR skills!

To advance to the next level, Burton-Harris will submit a business proposal and a short video presentation. It is anticipated that there will be six to eight finalists. The finalists will be announced the week of October 19, and the final shootout will be at Carolina Motorsports Park, in Kershaw, South Carolina, on November 8-10.

The racers will be tested on the track for their driving skills and in the garage for their technical understanding of the sport. This is a winner-take-all competition; there is no second place.

Additional information about the Mazda Road to 24 shootout, and 2016 MX-5 Cup race car, can be found at www.mazdamotorsports.com Mazda Motorsports will be providing live social updates from the Carolina Motorsports Park event on Twitter at @mazdaracing  and with hashtag #MRT24.

You can keep updated on Joseph Burton-Harris’
progress by following his Facebook page.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Richard Childress - On the Dave Despain Show

For more information visit: mavtv.com & lucasoil.com




"When you start with nothing, the only way forward is up," certainly seems true of Richard Childress. He knew poverty and hard times as a youngster but grew up to enjoy much success in multiple business ventures and considerable fame in NASCAR. Best known as the team owner of the formidable Richard Childress Racing team (RCR), Childress talks to Dave Despain this Sunday, October 18 at 8:30pm ET. Childress got into racing to become a winning stock car driver, but ended up building one of the most legendary racing organizations in motorsports history, with great triumphs and tragedies along the way.

"I started selling peanuts and popcorn at Bowman Gray Stadium as a kid. I would sit down and watch the race as just a little kid and I said 'this is what I want to do some day.'" Richard Childress

Over its 45-year history, RCR has become synonymous with success and championships. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Sprint Cup Series championships with Dale Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94, six NASCAR XFINITY Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Racing Series), and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series

Childress began his racing career as a stock car driver, running out of his home garage in Winston-Salem, NC. He retired in 1981 after a consistent career as a driver with several top ten finishes through the years but victory eluded him. Instead that same year, he made the decision to field his first team as an owner and contracted with Dale Earnhardt race the #3 race car for year one. Ricky Rudd was then hired in 1982 and drove for two years, giving Childress his first career victory in June, 1983 at Riverside, CA. Earnhardt returned to RCR for the 1984 season, and together with Childress formed one of the most potent combinations in NASCAR history. They won championships in 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1994.

In the mid-1990s, Childress began expanding his racing empire, fielding entries in the Busch series and Craftsman Truck Series. The team won the 1995 Craftsman Truck Series championship in the series' first season. He expanded to a two-car operation, then to three in what is now known as the Sprint Cup and by the first part of the 2000s, he expanded to three cars. 

Sadly Dale Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 and Childress promoted Busch driver Kevin Harvick to drive the renumbered #29. RCR became the first team in NASCAR history to win all three of NASCAR's national championship series. RCR also won the Busch Series owners championships in 2003. RCR won the 2011 Camping World Truck Series Championship and the 2013 Nationwide Series Championship, both with Childress' grandson Austin Dillon driving the #3.

In 2015, Richard Childress celebrates his 46th year as Chief Executive Officer of Richard Childress Racing. This season, Childress will field seven full-time entries, including three in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and four in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. 




Tuesday, October 6, 2015

William Byron
Both 2015 Sunoco ROY & #KNEAST Champ

 
 
“It feels really good to be awarded the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award and join such a great group of winners,” Byron said. “There was such great rookie talent in the K&N East this year and it feels good to come out on top. To win both the Rookie of the Year award and the championship is such a rewarding experience for me and my team.”

Byron joined Joey Logano (2007), Ryan Truex (2009), Kyle Larson (2012) and Ben Rhodes (2014) to earn both the rookie of the year and series championship in the same season.

During the fourteen race season, Byron earned four wins, three poles, five top-fives and eleven top-tens. Impressively, the seventeen-year-old also managed to lead a series-high 740 laps.

“This season started off fast paced with the rookies,” said Byron. “My team and I knew early on Sargeant would be tough competition after his second-place finish at New Smyrna. We counted on Abreu and Dillon Bassett challenging us as well. We figured that if we won the championship, the Rookie of the Year honors would be ours, too, so we set out to do just that.”

Byron will be formally recognized at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Saturday, December 12th in the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
 
 
The K&N Pro Series West
 

The K&N Pro Series West has two race remaining on it’s schedule: 10/17/2015 at All American Speedway and 11/12/2015 at Phoenix International Raceway.
 
Photo Credit:  NASCAR.com

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Everything that Glitters is not #NASCAR Gold
Sometimes It Is Green

By Jens Sennelind


#10 of NASCAR Xfinity Driver Jeff Green
#10 of NASCAR Xfinity Driver Jeff Green, short on sponsorship
Something hit me when I watched the NASCAR Xfinity race from New Hampshire this July. The television producers always focus on the top-ten, or at most the top-twenty drivers. Well, I suppose that's normal, the viewer wants to see racing from top of the field; but sometimes a race fan actually wants to see the back of the field as well. Who are the teams and drivers from, for example, position 30 and below?

Normally, these teams are fighting hard just to make it to the start grid. With low budgets and low finances, they are NASCAR's backside that never gets the attention they deserves. In these teams, there are no 'Sprint Cup ringers' to fill the driving seat. It’s not unusual that the driver is the owner/manager and all other positions that normally requires additional personnel. The cost to running a NASCAR team is enormous. I have heard figures of ~100 000 Euro (~108 467 USD) per race and team, and then we talking smaller teams and race classes.

Checking the price money for last Xfinity race at NH, TriStar Motorsports Toyota #19 with Jeff Green, earned 9,234 USD with his P40 spot. The #19 car normally drives 2-3 laps every time it manages to qualify to an Xfinity race and its most common reported problem is "vibration." They are a classic "start and park" team, even though officially NASCAR doesn’t want to use that expression anymore.


#nascar driver Jeff Green - 2000 Xfinity Champ
Green - 2000 Xfinity Champ
Green was the Xfinity (Busch) series champion in 2000 with a margin of 616 points to runner-up Jason Keller (PPC racing). This margin was the largest in series history until 2006. In those days, Green battled hard against Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson for example.

Today, the times have changed. Jeff, age 53, must have the most last position record in Xfinity series (without checking). Does this make Green/TriStar Motorsports a bad team? Who are we to judge them?

The above example is perhaps the most extreme of them all, but I hope you get the picture.

With this said, I have noticed that, for example, 'social media' is quick to judge small teams and drivers in a negative way. Almost making fun of them. For me, they have the same right to compete at the track as other "star drivers" or well-funded teams. Without the small teams, the track would look empty and the race wouldn't be the same.

My goal is to make a small 'series' here at PTR blog about the Xfinity drivers/teams that normally stands outside the Media’s spotlight and attention.

I hope you readers will appreciate the idea.
 
Photo Credit - NASCAR.com