Monday, November 26, 2012

SEMA Scholarship In Dick Dixon's Name

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following is from the SEMA website:

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 23, 2012

Locked In Spots Finalized
for Inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach

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

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

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

Locked-In spots go to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Youngest K&N Pro West Champ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, November 9, 2012

Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation
Launches New Smartphone App

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download the new app here!

Awesome, Dale Jr. Friday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Casino Arizona 50 will be televised
Live on SPEED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Casino Arizona 50 will be televised live on SPEED.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tony Stewart
Coca-Cola Racing Google+ Hangout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starting Soon
Google+ Hangout With NASCAR Chase Drivers

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

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

Friday, November 2, 2012

On the Dew Crew with Dale Jr.

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

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

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

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


Question One: 

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

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

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

A complete video of the event should be available soon.