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Monday, November 30, 2015

ISMA Supermodifieds to visit Oswego three times in 2016

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
International Supermodified Association (ISMA) has announced three dates for the winged Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway in 2016. The New England-based series visits the ‘Steel Palace’ on Memorial Day weekend for the ‘Irish’ Jack Murphy Memorial 50, part of the second annual Port City 160 ‘Super Spectacle,’ also tentatively listed as ISMA’s season opener, on Saturday, May 28.

The ‘Super Spectacle’ at Oswego will be the only event during the 2016 season where fans can see the winged ISMA Supermodifieds and non-wing Novelis Supermodifieds compete on the same night at the same venue.

Also on the schedule for 2016 is the King of Wings VIII on Saturday, July 9 and the 60th annual Budweiser Classic Weekend festivities, with the ISMA tour featured in the Bud Light ISMA Super Nationals 60 on Saturday, September 3.


The 66th season opener for Oswego Speedway has been announced as Saturday, May 14, featuring the Novelis Supermodifieds, Pathfinder Bank SBS and the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour Richie Evans Memorial 61. Oswego’s 2016 schedule will be announced in its entirety in the coming weeks.

Keep up with the off-season action at www.oswegospeedway.com

Sunday, November 29, 2015

2016 Freedom Motorsports Park tentative schedule released

credit: Freedom Motorsports Park
Freedom Motorsports Park, the dirt track located at 11909 Marble Springs Rd. in Delevan, has posted a tentative 2016 schedule on its website, www.freedommotorsportspark.com. Regular racing action takes place Friday nights at 7:30 p.m., and includes RUSH Late Models, Crate Sportsman, Street Stocks, FWD Mini Stocks and RWD Mini Stocks.

Special events include the second annual Ron Baker Memorial RUSH Tour Race on June 3, the Race of Champions Dirt Series on July 2, the ULMS Super Late Models on July 15 and Freedom’s King of the Hill event on September 2.
  • May 6 – Open practice, safety tech inspection for all stock car classes – gates open at 3 p.m.
  • May 13 – OPENING NIGHT – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • May 20 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • May 27 – Bellinger Electric Lightning Sportsman Series Round One plus regular classes
  • June 3 –2nd Annual Ron Baker Memorial RUSH Tour Race presented by Bob McKerrow & Sons RV – Late Models plus Sportsman, Street Stocks and FWD 4-cylinders  (RWD minis off)
  • June 10 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • June 17 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • Saturday, June 18 – 2nd Annual Freedom Swap Meet Automotive/Race Car event
  • June 24 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • Saturday, July 2 – RACE OF CHAMPIONS TOUR 602 Sportsman Tour Race/300 To Win FWD Mini Stock/RUSH Late Models
  • July 8 – Sahlens Night at the Races – All Classes
  • July 15 – ULMS SUPER LATE MODELS presented by Danny Heineman & Sons – Sportsman, street stocks, mini stocks (FWD and RWD) – RUSH Late Models off
  • July 22 – Bellinger Electric Lightning Sportsman Series Round Two plus regular classes
  • July 29 – Marcos Pizza presents Regular Stock Car Program
  • August 5 – Pepsi Night at the Races – All Classes
  • August 12 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • August 19 – Bellinger Electric Lightning Sportsman Series Round Three plus regular classes
  • August 26 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes
  • September 2 – FREEDOM KING OF THE HILL $1,000 to Win, $125 to Start RUSH Crate Late Models (35 laps); $1000 to win RACE OF CHAMPIONS TOUR Crate Sportsman; $400 to win Street Stocks (20 laps); FWD Mini Stocks $200 to win, $30 to Start (20 laps); RWD Mini Stocks $150 to win (15 laps)
  • September 9 – Regular Stock Car Program – All Classes – Season Championship Night


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holland Motorsports Complex announces changes for 2016

Holland Pro Chargers
credit: Steve Petty/Holland Motorsports Complex
Holland Motorsports Complex and the Bennett family are putting the final touches on the 2016 schedule, the 57th consecutive season of racing at the 3/8-mile facility. The season opens on track on Saturday May 28, with the Bank of Holland Pro Chargers as the Premier Division of competition.

“With the support from the drivers of the Charger division in years past, we feel it is right to give them the designation of being our top tier class,” said Holland general manager Timothy Bennett. The Chargers will be racing in twin 20 lap features each race night, and will be racing for a point fund of over $10,000 at the end of the year. In addition to the NASCAR point fund, 5-percent of the total purses are paid weekly by the Speedway for the divisions which ultimately goes to a point fund that is then distributed by NASCAR.

In addition to the Pro Chargers, the weekly racing card will feature NYPA TQ Midgets, INEX Legends, Hornets, M&M U Pull It Figure 8’s and the Future 4’s.

“We have been in discussions with the management team from Lancaster National Speedway regarding a series between the two tracks for both the Pro Modifieds and for the Late Models with a specific number of races to be held at both venues,” said Bennett. “We look forward to working with the new regime at Lancaster and its new track president Tim Packman.”

The 2016 season will kick off with the annual car shows at Eastern Hills Mall (April 30-May 5, move in day April 29 at 9 p.m.) and McKinley Mall (May 7-13, move in day May 6 at 9 p.m.). Bonus points for all divisions will be awarded for show participation at the car shows. In other 2016 schedule news, CRASH-A-RAMA will return to Holland for two shows, June 11 and September 10. 

Keep an eye out for the 2016 schedule at www.hollandspeedway.com.

Quotes and information in this piece provided by Holland Motorsports Complex.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: November 20-22, 2015

NASCAR wrapped up its 2015 season this weekend by crowning three new champions at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.

Erik Jones and Kyle Busch celebrate their championships:
Jones in the Truck Series and Busch in the Cup Series
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Jared C Tilton
Camping World Truck Series – championship weekend kicked off Friday night with the Ford EcoBoost 200, won by Matt Crafton. John Hunter Nemechek finished second, followed by Tyler Reddick, Ben Kennedy and Timothy Peters.

Erik Jones clinched his first driver’s championship over Reddick with a sixth-place finish; it was the first driver’s championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and the fourth owner’s championship for the team.

Chris Buescher joins cousin James as a
NASCAR champion
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/
Jared C. Tilton


Xfinity Series – Kyle Larson took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300, ahead of Austin Dillon and Jones. Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.

Chris Buescher took home the Xfinity Series championship over Chase Elliott; Buescher finished 11th while Elliott, who moves up to the Sprint Cup Series next year in the No. 24, finished eighth.

Sprint Cup Series – Busch took home two more trophies on Sunday, capturing the checkered flag in the Ford EcoBoost 400 and taking the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Kevin Harvick finished second in the race and in the Chase; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Larson rounded out the top five.


Busch led six times for 41 laps at the 1.5-mile track, where he previously had just three top 10 finishes in 10 races and an average finish of 23.1. Busch missed 11 races to start the season after suffering injuries in the Xfinity Series’ season opener at Daytona in February; he came back in May and went on to capture five wins and 16 top 10 finishes in 25 starts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jones, Reddick looking for first Truck Series championship


Camping World Truck Series youngsters Erik Jones and Tyler Reddick, both 19, are both looking to become the youngest champion in the series’ history. Jones goes into Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida with a 19-point lead on Reddick, and Reddick knows he needs a little bit of luck to overtake Jones.

Tyler Reddick - credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Brian
Lawdermilk
“We've just got to have a good weekend as a team,” said Reddick in a recent NASCAR teleconference. “Fortunately last year there we had a good bit of speed and we were fast, so we just go in and continue to work on the things we did when we were last there, I think we'll be fast. Obviously, the situation we're in, we're going to have to run very good. We're going to have to win and leave as many laps as possible to try and put Erik in a situation where he has to run 15th or so better. So hopefully we do everything we can and we have a little luck on our side too and maybe we can get it done.”

For Jones, going into the finale with a bit of a cushion means he can be a little more conservative and concentrate on not having a bad finish.

“It's nice to have a cushion for sure,” said Jones in the teleconference. “It's way better than going into the race and leading by three points or five points or something like that. So it's fortunate we are in a situation where we don't have to win the race. We don't have to run top 5. We don't even really have to run top 10. So I think it's going to be somewhat conservative of an approach, but I don't think we need to change our approach by a whole lot.”

While both drivers are excited about the prospects of winning their first NASCAR championship, they’re also excited to get the title for their owners: Jones races for Kyle Busch Motorsports and Reddick for Brad Keselowski Racing.

Erik Jones - credit: NASCAR via Getty
Images/Todd Warshaw
“All along our goal at KBM has been for me to run for a driver's championship, and be able to get KBM its first driver's championship,” said Jones. “So I'd be really, really happy if we can bring that back to KBM. For everything they've done for me, and for everything Kyle has done for me. To be the youngest to do it would be a bonus for me.”

“This is a big deal to everyone at Brad Keselowski Racing,” said Reddick. “It's a really big deal to Brad too. He's really been wanting a championship for his team and everyone else back at the shop has been working hard at it. It's going to come down to this last race and hopefully we can pull it off.”

Reddick finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings last year to Ben Kennedy. This year, Jones leads John Hunter Nemechek in the standings for the award, and looks to add that to his resume as well.

“We wanted to win it (Rookie of the Year) as well,” said Jones. “It's cool to have the opportunity to win both Rookie of the Year and the championship in the same season. So that's kind of a cool milestone or cool accolade as well. No matter what happens, getting the Rookie of the Year would be nice, and hopefully we can pull off a championship as well.”

Qualifying for the Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 takes place Friday at 4:10 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 8 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

The Championship 4: The low-down on the Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders

credit: NASCAR Media
It’s the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homstead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, November 22, and it all comes down to four drivers, each with an incredible story for the season, each with one chance to win the Chase for the Sprint Cup. They go into Homestead-Miami with different records, at different places in their career, and with different ways to succeed, but they’re all after one thing – the Sprint Cup.

The retiring champ – four-time champ Jeff Gordon has been taking his victory lap all season, but it wasn’t until Martinsville in October that Gordon, a master at the “Paperclip,” picked up his first win of the season – and punched his ticket for a chance at title No. 5. Gordon’s record at the 1.5-mile Florida track is as impressive as his career: 12 top 10s in 16 appearances, including a win in the 2012 season finale; last year, he won the pole and led 161 of 267 laps before settling back for a 10th-place finish. For many fans, the NASCAR world will be a much different place next year, because the “Wonder Boy” brought a lot of those fans into NASCAR.

The defending champ – Kevin Harvick’s Chase was an up and down battle, having to win in the third race of the first round to advance and just squeaking into the third round. He had an easier time in the third round, ending the segment with finishes of eighth, third and second, and goes into HMS with 12 top 10 finishes in 14 starts, including a win last year to win his first title; his average finish is a stingy 7.6. Some champs say winning the first title is tough, but winning the second is tougher – Harvick’s going to find out how true that is this weekend.

The comeback kid – Kyle Busch’s season couldn’t have started on a worse note – missing the first 11 Cup Series races thanks to injuries suffered in the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona. When he came back, NASCAR made sure everyone knew he could still make the Chase, so long as he won a race and finished in the top 30 in points: mission accomplished. He then had to make his way through the gauntlet to become one of the four drivers to compete for the championship: mission accomplished. Now, in order to improve on his career-best finish of fourth in the title hunt (that’s the worst he can finish now), he has to tame the monster known as Homestead-Miami: a track where he has just three top 10 finishes in 10 starts, and an average finish of 23.1 – not only the worst of the original 16 Chase drivers, but his worst track. Mission impossible? He’s already proven this year that “impossible” isn’t in his vocabulary.

The little team that could – Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing could pull the upset of the season, and going into Homestead-Miami with a chance to win is already something of an upset. Going to HMS for the title race is something of a blessing for Truex Jr.: with an average finish of 10.0, it’s his best track based on that stat, and he’s also got the third-highest average finish among all 16 Chase drivers (he’s second only to Harvick in the top four) with seven top 10 finishes in 10 appearances. Truex Jr.’s drive to the championship has been, like Busch’s, a feel-good story, one of overcoming odds: Truex Jr.’s odds were faced off the track, as he supported his girlfriend Sherry Pollex’s battle with ovarian cancer.

Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway begins Friday at 6:15 p.m. ET, with the race going green Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lancaster Dragway honors 2015 champions

credit: Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway
Lancaster National Dragway honored its 2015 track champions during its annual awards banquet on Friday at the Backstage Pub in Cheektowaga. 

Steve Ferstl of Burlington, Ontario took home $1,500 as the Uncle Bob's Self Storage Quick 16 track champion. Ferstl won three events en route to the 2015 title, which was the first of his career at Lancaster.

In McGard Top ET, Mike Sobczysnki of Depew received top honors, with his title decided on a tie breaker with the team of Jan Winkowski and Tom Wieczorek, as Sobczysnki had earned one more runner-up finish than the teammates; he earned $1,200 for his efforts. It was the third Top ET title in a row for the Sobzcysnki family, as Mike's brother Jeff had won the two previous seasons. 

Dale Eckert of South Wales claimed his sixth-straight Mod ET track championship and his ninth in the last ten seasons. Eckert picked up a pair of wins while successfully defending his title for the fifth year in a row and netted $1,200 as the Mod champion. 

Cody Winkowski earned his first career track title in Street ET. Winkowski won twice in 2015, but narrowly won the championship over Nick Morrissey. Lucas Salemi took the track championship in Hebeler's Sales Bikes & Sleds, leading the class with three wins this season; he won $1,200 as class champion. 

The track champions for Lancaster's Tuesday night amateur drag racing program and Junior Dragsters were also honored for their accomplishments. Zac Vitez claimed the K-100 Fuel Treatment/Bauer Racing Junior Dragster championship. Shawn Vangraafeiland won the Teen Championship Racing title with two wins during the season.

The 2016 season opener for the drag racing program will be Saturday, April 16 with a Box/No-Box Shootout. Keep up with the off-season at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Information in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway.

Humberstone Speedway honors 2015 champions

Sportsman champ Gary Lindberg
credit: Softouch Photo
Humberstone Speedway honored its 2015 champs at the Night of Champions Awards Banquet, held at the Holiday Inn & Suites Parkside Conference Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.

For the third consecutive year, Ridgeway, Ontario’s Gary Lindberg was crowned the track champion in the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman after picking up six victories during the season. Dennis Lunger Jr. from Albion, Pennsylvania was awarded the divisional title for the Pinty’s RUSH Late Models thanks to 11 victories this season. Port Colborne, Ontario’s Jason Fontaine earned his fourth JC Auto Street Stock championship in the last six seasons, scoring seven wins en route to the title.

Rob Goulding from Port Colborne, Ontario took the title in the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks class on the strength of three wins. It was Goulding’s third track title and first since going back-to-back in 2005-2006. Mike Toovey from St. Catharines, Ontario, winner of a track-high 12 races this season, was crowned track champion for the third time in the last four seasons in the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks.

The Rookie of the Year Awards were awarded to John McIntire in Sportsman, Colton Ledingham in Late Models, Teeple in the Mini Stocks and Dylan Llord in the Pro 4 Trucks. Bill Toovey received the Jim Simpson Crew Chief of the Year Award.

The Pete Cosco Dedication to Auto Racing Award was presented to Sam and Mattaya Hamer while Mike Toovey was named the Trevor Wilkens Driver of the Year. Chris Dama was the overall champion at the 2015 edition of the Eve of Destruction.

The 2016 season will officially begin on Sunday, April 24 with the running of the Dawn of Destruction. The 2016 racing season opener will take place on Sunday, May 1. Keep up with the off-season at www.humberstonespeedway.com.

Information in this piece provided by Humberstone Speedway.   

Lancaster Speedway honors 2015 champions

credit: Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway
Lancaster National Speedway wrapped up the 2015 season for the Seneca Resorts & Casinos Stock Car program on Saturday night with the annual awards banquet at the Backstage Pub in Cheektowaga. Drivers from Lancaster's three weekly home track divisions shared in the $10,000 point fund. Money collected from the sale of each Hoosier Racing tire sold at the speedway during the 2015 season went towards the points fund as did a contribution from track management. The Friends of Auto Racing (FOAR Score) Fan Club added an additional $5,900 to the fund that was raised through 50/50 ticket sales on Saturday nights. 

Mark Pennell of Lancaster earned his first career track championship in the Sportsman Modifieds. Pennell bounced back from finishes of 11th and 13th in the first two races of the season to take home the title for the Thompson Racing team, their first title since 1996. 

Richard Sharpe of Lancaster picked up the 2015 Street Stock title after a dominant season with wins in six out of the seven races. He failed to finish outside of the top three in 2015. It's the first championship for the 2014 U.S. Open Street Stock winner.

Depew's Rich Bartel was named 4-Cylinder champion for the second-straight year. The title battle came down to the final night of the season, with only a one point difference between Bartel and second-place Chris Bugenhagen. 

Long time Lancaster fans "Camper Jim" and Linda Gottman received the Alex Friesen Spirit of Racing Award. The Gottmans are a fixture of the camping area in the speedway parking lot, where they faithfully park their RV for each and every Modified race. They are also supporters of lap sponsorship programs where they contribute in the memory of their departed friend, Alex Friesen. 

Lancaster National Speedway General Manager Melissa McGowan was presented with the Tommy Druar Contribution to Racing Award for her efforts in leading the turnaround at Lancaster this season. McGowan started her position on December 1, 2014, and within a few months had assembled a management staff, planned a season schedule and put together the initial details of the speedway's capital improvement plan. McGowan will be scaling back her role with Lancaster in 2016 to spend more time with her family in North Carolina.

Newly named Track President Tim Packman addressed the audience and committed to continuing the progress made this past season. Packman has signed a three-year contract with the track's ownership group as he takes on his new role. He and McGowan have already begun preparations for the 2016 season by securing sponsors for the upcoming year. 

The 2016 season at Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway will open the weekend of April 16-17, with the stock car opener, featuring a 75-lap event for the Race of Champions Modified Series, on Sunday, April 17. Keep up with the off-season at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Information in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: November 13-15, 2015

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates his Phoenix win
credit: Getty images/Jonathan Ferrey
Sprint Cup Series – Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the rain-delayed and rain-shortened Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, ahead of Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson. Harvick, Busch and Martin Truex Jr. will join Jeff Gordon in the Championship Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup next Sunday, November 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Xfinity Series – Busch dominated Saturday’s DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix, leading 190 of the race’s 200 laps. Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon. Chris Buescher has an 18-point lead on reigning champ Chase Elliott going into Homestead-Miami next Saturday, with Ty Dillon just 22 points back of Buescher and Regan Smith trailing by 24 points.

Camping World Truck Series – Timothy Peters won Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix, staying ahead of a charging John Hunter Nemechek in the final laps. John Wes Townley finished third, with Daniel Suarez and Tyler Reddick rounding out the top five. Erik Jones leads Reddick by 19 points heading into Homestead-Miami next Friday night.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Del Worsham (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) picked up Wallys at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California, while Worsham and Andrew Hines wrapped up titles in Funny Car and PSM, respectively. Worsham, the 2011 Top Fuel champ, and Hines, now the youngest driver to win five championships in NHRA history, joined Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) as 2015 champions.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NASCAR 2015: Who’s hot and who’s not in the Chase at Phoenix

credit: NASCAR Media
There are only two more races left in the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup, and only one left to decide the four players in NASCAR’s top title race.  Seven drivers are vying for three spots in the season finale, while outgoing Jeff Gordon knows he has a shot at championship No. 5. Five of the top eight drivers, including Gordon, have wins at this week’s track, Phoenix International Raceway, home of the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 on Sunday, November 15, and – surprise! – the driver with the most wins at the track is NOT Gordon or his teammate, Jimmie Johnson.

HOT – Kevin Harvick – Harvick takes the “most wins” title with seven checkered flags and 14 top 10 finishes in 25 starts at the one-mile track. Harvick’s Chase has been up and down, having to win in the third race of the first round to advance and just squeaking into the third round. The third round has been smoother, but the defending champ is fighting for one of three spots – he’ll need champion’s luck to get into the finale.

LUKEWARM – Martin Truex Jr. – Truex Jr. is one of the winless drivers in the top eight, and his average finish of 17.1 is eighth-best (trying to put a positive spin on it). But in his time with Furniture Row Racing, he’s gotten progressively better at Phoenix, with finishes of 22nd and 12th last year and a seventh-place finish in March of this year. Truex Jr. is something of a sentimental favorite in the Chase, not only because of his girlfriend Sherry Pollex’s battle with ovarian cancer, but because he’s part of the little team that can.

LUKEWARM – Joey Logano – time might be up for “Sliced Bread,” who is also a winless driver at Phoenix, and has the seventh-best average finish at the track (14.5). He has seven top 10 finishes in 13 starts, but four of those have come in the last four races there – he qualified in the top 10 and led laps in all four races as well. After sweeping Round Two of the Chase, one could say he’s fallen under the spell of karma, bad luck, or just plain pressure.

Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix begins Friday at 4:45 p.m. MT, with the race going green Sunday at 12:30 p.m. MT. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2016 Camping World Truck Series schedule announced

NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series will visit 21 tracks and race in 23 events in the U.S. and Canada in 2016. Highlighting the schedule: Iowa Speedway’s first NASCAR national series companion weekend featuring Camping World Truck Series and the XFINITY Series June 18-19.

Other changes for 2016 are:
  • The Dover International Speedway event moves two weekends earlier in the schedule (May 13).
  • The first visit to Texas Motor Speedway moves one week later to June 10.
  • The Gateway Motorsports Park event moves two weekends later in the schedule to June 25.
  • The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park event returns to the Sunday of Labor Day (U.S.) weekend, on September 4.

"For more than 20 years, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has been home to some of the closest side-by-side racing in the sport, and we’re committed to delivering that to our fans for many years to come," said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "We expect that the stability of five-year agreements will benefit the entire industry, and anticipate the continuation of compelling NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship battles, like the one we’re watching unfold in 2015."

FOX Sports will provide broadcast coverage of every race event in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck season.

2016 Camping World Truck Series schedule
  • February 19 - Daytona International Speedway                                                           
  • February 27 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • April 2 - Martinsville Speedway 
  • May 6 - Kansas Speedway
  • May 13 - Dover International Speedway                                                                         
  • May 20 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 10 - Texas Motor Speedway
  • June 18 - Iowa Speedway 
  • June 25 - Gateway Motorsports Park
  • July 7 - Kentucky Speedway
  • July 20 - Eldora Speedway
  • July 30 - Pocono Raceway
  • August 17 - Bristol Motor Speedway 
  • August 27 - Michigan International Speedway
  • September 4 - Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
  • September 16 - Chicagoland Speedway
  • September 24 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway                                                    
  • October 1 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • October 22 - Talladega Superspeedway
  • October 29 - Martinsville Speedway 
  • November 4 - Texas Motor Speedway
  • November 11 - Phoenix International Raceway 
  • November 18 - Homestead-Miami Speedway                                                            
Keep up with the off-season at www.nascar.com

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

Holland Motorsports Complex honors 2015 champions

Holland Motorsports Complex's 2015 champ
credit: Holland Motorsports Complex/Steve Petty
Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex honored its 2015 champs at the annual Night of Champions Awards Banquet at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. The Holland champions will be representing the speedway at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Banquet to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina the weekend of December 11-12.

Tommy Catalano from Ontario, NY won his first career Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Modified title. Catalano picked up six wins this season and five in a row, including a sweep in the Twin 25’s and the George Decker Memorial 100.

Brandon Glover from Cuba, NY won his first career Seneca Niagara Casinos Late Models Championship following a three-win season. Tom Northem from Alden won his second Bank of Holland Charger crown in three seasons, while Jeff Szafraniec from Buffalo won his second career Hornet track title. Kyle Hutchinson from East Aurora won the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA TQ Midgets title.

Jeremy Haudricourt from Bliss won the track championship in the INEX Legends class in its first full season at Holland. Jason Adams from Glenwood earned his fourth Figure 8 track championship in five years. DJ Phillips from Angola won the Future Four championship for his first title. The E-Mods ran four times at Holland, with third generation driver Scott Wylie earning two wins, while Randy Culver and Carter Mook each took one checkered flag.

The Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency Pro Modified Rookie of the Year recipient was Alan Bookmiller, while Eric Brown was awarded the Rookie of the Year for the Seneca Niagara Casino Late Models. The Bank of Holland Charger Rookie of the Year went to Max Northem while the Hornet Rookie of the Year was Alex Deshaies. The Unsung Hero Award was presented to “the Voice of Holland” Rick Mooney, and Amy Bennett was presented the Woman in Racing Award.

Stay up to date with Holland in the off-season at www.hollandspeedway.com.

Information in this piece provided by Holland Motorsports Complex.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: November 6-8, 2015

Erik Jones began his triple-duty weekend with a win in the
Truck Series at Texas
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Rainier Ehrhardt
Sprint Cup Series – a late-race pass on Brad Keselowski gave Jimmie Johnson his sixth win at Texas Motor Speedway, this one coming in the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday. Keselowski led 312 of the race’s 334 laps. Kevin Harvick finished third in spite of tire problems, followed by Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Erik Jones completed his triple-duty weekend with a 12th-place finish in Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Xfinity Series – Keselowski did win Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas, ahead of Harvick and Austin Dillon. Jones finished fourth for JGR, followed by Ty Dillon in fifth.

Camping World Truck Series – Jones started off his weekend with a win in the Winstar World Casino and Resort 350 at Texas on Friday night, beating his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Daniel Suarez to the checkered flag. Ryan Blaney finished third, followed by Matt Crafton and Tyler Reddick.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NASCAR 2015: Who’s hot and who’s not in the Chase at Texas

credit: NASCAR Media
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series stays in the headlines this week, not only because of on-track skirmishes but because “Wonder Boy” Jeff Gordon returned to victory lane for the first time this season at Martinsville Speedway – and his victory celebration was, to quote a credit card commercial, priceless. The Chase for the Sprint Cup heads to Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, November 8 for the AAA Texas 500, the second race in the Eliminator Round, with just one multi-race winner – Carl Edwards with three wins – among the top eight in points, and another – Matt Kenseth with two wins – sitting out for a couple of races.

LUKEWARM – Carl Edwards – only one driver – Jimmie Johnson with five – has more wins than Edwards’ three at Texas. In April of this year, Edwards earned his first top 10 finish with Joe Gibbs Racing at Texas, and went on to win at another mile-and-a-half track, Charlotte, a few races later. Edwards has 10 top 10 finishes in 21 starts at TMS, with an average finish of 15; he also has four DNFs. Edwards currently sits fifth in points, 17 back of leader Gordon.

HOT – Jeff Gordon – Gordon is hot because he’s riding the wave of momentum – otherwise, he’d only be lukewarm. The only driver to start all 29 races at TMS, Gordon has just one win and 13 total top 10s with an average finish of 17.3 – amazingly, the only place the road-race ace has a worse average finish is Watkins Glen. Gordon finished seventh in the April race at Texas.

NOT – Team Penske – the two drivers in the top eight with average finishes as bad or nearly as bad as Gordon’s? Brad Keselowski, and equal at 17.3, and Joey Logano, slightly better at 16.9. Keselowski has  five top 10 finishes in 14 starts, but winless; Logano has one win and five total top 10s, also in 14 races. They finished fifth and fourth, respectively, in the April race at TMS. Both drivers need a win to get back in the thick of the Chase – there’s little else they can do now.

Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway begins Friday at 5:45 p.m. CT, with the race going green Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Oswego Race of Champions Weekend leads to shift in Lancaster’s U.S. Open date

Race of Champions Asphalt Modifieds at Oswego - 2015
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Race of Champions and Oswego Speedway announced this week that the signature Race of Champions Weekend will return to the “Steel Palace” in 2016 after a one-year absence. With racing scheduled Thursday through Saturday, September 15-17, the U.S. Open at Lancaster National Speedway, originally scheduled for September 16-18, will move to the following weekend.

“Oswego Speedway is tremendous facility, rich with history, steep in tradition,” said Joe Skotnicki, Race of Champions steward, on Oswego’s website. “Racers from all over North America set their sights on racing at Oswego and only a select few have been able to visit victory lane. While Chemung did a great job with the race this past season, we feel that Oswego is the right place for an event of this magnitude and it is our goal to enhance and carry on the great tradition that is the Race of Champions.”

The event was moved from Oswego to the Chemung Speedrome in 2015 by outgoing owner Andrew Harpell. Matt Hirschman won this year’s Race of Champions, the third of his career. Chuck Hossfeld was the winner at Oswego in 2014.

“We were sad to see it go (move to Chemung in 2015), but we made a commitment to the Race of Champions when Joe (Skotnicki) began speaking with us in regard the race returning to Oswego,” said Oswego Speedway owner John Torrese. “We look forward to a long term relationship with the Race of Champions and we’re looking forward to a thrilling event in September that enhances our schedule.”

As noted earlier this week, the race will now be a 250-lapper instead of 200. The Race of Champions Asphalt Modifieds will race on September 17.

“Teams will be faced with a new challenge with the additional fifty laps,” said Skotnicki. “However, we will still maintain the rules that have been in place in regard to the tire change. It will be in their hands to manage their equipment and put forth an effort worthy of winning the race. It should add a great deal of thinking to the strategy of the event. We think race fans will enjoy this aspect and it goes back to recognizing the history involved with the event. It’s going to be exciting.”

With the Oswego announcement, Lancaster National Speedway later announced that the 28th annual U.S. Open, originally scheduled the same weekend as the RoC Weekend, would return to its traditional weekend of Friday through Sunday, September 23-25.

Also announced this week, a third Pennsylvania track will have a date on the RoC Asphalt Modified schedule in 2016, as Motordrome Speedway near Pittsburgh will host the series on Friday, June 24.

The 2016 RoC Asphalt Modified Tour schedule so far:
  • April 9 at Mahoning Valley Speedway in Pennsylvania
  • April 17 at Lancaster National Speedway
  • May 14 at Oswego Speedway (Richie Evans Memorial)
  • June 11 at Lake Erie Speedway in Pennsylvania
  • June 24 at Motordrome Speedway in Pennsylvania
  • June 30 at Lancaster National Speedway
  • August 20 at Lancaster National Speedway
  • September 17 at Oswego Speedway (Race of Champions 250)
  • September 25 at Lancaster National Speedway (U.S. Open weekend)


Keep up with the off-season news at raceofchampions.net and the RoC Twitter page.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mazda Road to Indy announces 2016 schedules

credit: IndyCar Media
2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires schedule
  • March 12-13 – Streets of St. Petersburg
  • April 2 – Phoenix International Raceway
  • April 23-24 – Barber Motorsports Park
  • May 13-14 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
  • May 27 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval
  • June 25-26 – Road America
  • July 10 – Iowa Speedway
  • July 16-17 – Streets of Toronto
  • July 30-31 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • September 4 – Streets of Boston
  • September 10-11 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

2016 Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires schedule
  • March 12-13 – Streets of St. Petersburg
  • April 23-24 – Barber Motorsports Park
  • May 13-14 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
  • May 28 – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
  • June 25-26 – Road America
  • July 10 – Iowa Speedway
  • July 16-17 – Streets of Toronto
  • July 30-31 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • September 10-11 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda schedule
  • March 12-13 – Streets of St. Petersburg
  • April 23-24 – Barber Motorsports Park
  • May 13-14 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
  • May 28 – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
  • June 25-26 – Road America
  • July 16-17 – Streets of Toronto
  • July 30-31 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • September 10-11 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca


Kenseth, Patrick penalized after Martinsville

credit: NASCAR Media
Press release from NASCAR.

Matt Kenseth, the driver of the No. 20 car, has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during the November 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Kenseth has been suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following issuance of the penalty notice.

"Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time," said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car’s opportunity to continue to compete in the race.

"Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR."

Danica Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 car, has been penalized for an infraction that also took place during the November 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Patrick has been fined $50,000, assessed with the loss of 25 series championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation through December 31.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: October 30-November 1, 2015

Jeff Gordon celebrates punching his ticket to the
Championship Round
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Brian Lawdermilk
Sprint Cup Series – a number of drivers were in need of race sponsor Goody’s Headache Relief Shots following Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, but Jeff Gordon was feeling no pain when he climbed out of hid No. 24 Chevrolet in victory lane, his first win of the season and ninth at the “Paperclip.” Jamie McMurray finished second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch.

No word has come down from NASCAR as of yet as to what will happen on the Matt Kenseth-Joey Logano front.

Camping World Truck Series – Matt Crafton got back in the win column in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville on Saturday, beating rookies John Hunter Nemechek and Cameron Hayley to the checkered flag; Nemechek and Hayley finished second and third, respectively. Cole Custer finished fourth, followed by Tyler Reddick in fifth.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) wrapped up their respective titles Sunday at the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Troy Coughlin also took home the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series title over Lancaster’s Mike Janis.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) joined Enders in the winner’s circle after the final round of eliminations at Las Vegas. The NHRA World Finals ends the season November 12-15 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Race of Champions schedule coming together for 2016

RoC Mods line up at Lancaster National Speedway in 2015
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
The Race of Champions Modified Series, under the guidance of new owner Joe Skotnicki, has begun to announce its 2016 schedules via Twitter and other forums. Seven dates for the asphalt mods have been announced, as well as a few hints to the dirt series’ 2016 schedule.

Announced for 2016 on the asphalt side so far:
  • April 9 at Mahoning Valley Speedway in Pennsylvania
  • April 17 at Lancaster National Speedway
  • May 14 at Oswego Speedway (Richie Evans Memorial)
  • June 11 at Lake Erie Speedway in Pennsylvania
  • June 30 at Lancaster National Speedway
  • August 20 at Lancaster National Speedway
  • September 18 at Lancaster National Speedway (U.S. Open weekend)

Also announced on the asphalt side: the Race of Champions race will be 250 laps in distance and be held in New York State for the 22nd straight season (no exact dates), and the upcoming North-South Shootout at Concord (N.C.) Speedway November 6-7 will be the first qualifier for the 2016 Race of Champions, with the winner earning a guaranteed spot.

On the dirt side, it has been announced that Freedom Motorsports Park will host two RoC Sportsman races in 2016 (no exact dates), and Utica-Rome Speedway will host the New Yorker Race of Champions 200 September 9-10, 2016.

Keep up with the off-season news at raceofchampions.net and the RoC Twitter page.