All posts by ARP Trish

2024 NARC SEASON PREVIEW!

(2/27/24 – Ben Deatherage) … With a brand new season for the NARC 410 Sprint Car Series is right around the corner, it’s incredible to think of all the potential drivers that could win the King of the West title, let alone a feature event during the 2024 campaign. With 26 nights of exciting action taking place at so many different racetracks along the Pacific Coast, things are definitely up for grabs. Below is a look at where success and some upsets could come from with the regulars and frequent visitors to the NARC tour.

THE REGULARS

The first category we will explore is the drivers slated to compete regularly with the NARC 410 Sprint Car Seriesin 2024. Justin Sanders, from Aromas, hit the jackpot on the final night of the Jim Raper Memorial Super Dirt Cup, at Alger, Washington’s Skagit Speedway, by winning over $80,000 for Mittry Motorsports #2X last June, as well as winning the overall Morrie Williams Memorial at Kings Speedway in mid-October. Undoubtedly, all the success he achieved in Australia the previous winter, coupled with several trips to the Midwest, made him a force to reckon with in 2023 and this coming season.  To date, he has scored 15 NARC wins.

Returning behind the wheel of the Bates-Hamilton Racing #42X, Justyn Cox from Roseville will also be a front-runner in the championship battle. Cox scored a massive triumph at Tulare’s Dennis Roth Classic with $18,000+ in winnings in April and eventually was crowned the Sprint Car Challenge Tour 360 title winner. Undoubtedly, he’s looking to add a NARC 410 Sprint Car Series crown to his trophy case come the Tribute To Gary Patterson at Stockton in November.

Campbell’s Bud Kaeding knows what it takes to achieve a championship with the NARC Series. The 2017 title winner once again finished in the top five in the final standings, and nearly collected a win at Petaluma Speedway during the May visit. It seems all it will take for Kaeding is to win once, and then the victory machine will be hitting on all eight-cylinders again.  He has 21 NARC wins to his credit.

Speaking of Petaluma, race fans are still talking about the amazing Salute To Baylands victory that Chase Johnson scored in July. The Penngrove pilot may have only won once last year with NARC, but he managed to accumulate some wins with and without the wing and in both 360 and 410 powerplants. Johnson no doubt will have a diverse 2024 schedule, which also includes Midgets on the calendar.

Once more driving the Dave and Debbie Vertullo #83V, Dylan Bloomfield proved he can hang with the NARC ranks for an entire season. The Oakley driver managed a pair of Top 5 feature finishes and finally had a breakthrough victory in 360 competition on the preliminary night of the Fall Nationals at Silver Dollar Speedway. Could that translate into a David Tarter Memorial or Mini Gold Cup win this season when the tour visits Chico?  Don’t bet against it.

Billy Aton will be another familiar face to see when the NARC group hits the road. Aton is excited about NARC’s return to Santa Maria Speedway in 2024. What makes that track special is that it is the site of his lone NARC triumph in 2021. The Benicia driver and his team are a great group to have around with their infectious smiles and “no quit” attitude despite 2023 starting so rough for them in the spring.

After being named the NARC Rookie of the Year at last year’s championship celebration, Nick Parker is looking to build on that accolade. The Tucson, Arizona native, now residing in Chico, has a full year of NARC racing under his belt, making the rounds of the multiple tracks on the NARC campaign.  That experience has culminated in a detailed notebook of improvements and nuances needed for success. That should spell improved performance for his team that should result in top finishes.

Jarrett Soares will return to the NARC 410 Series when the engines fire up on March 9th. Returning to full-time series competition for the first time since 2016, the Gilroy gasser will be a delightful addition to the cast of characters tearing up the clay. Last year, Soares scored a pair of Non-Wing 360 Sprint victories at Antioch Speedway and traveled across the state of California as well as into the Pacific Northwest.

THE ROOKS

We’ve talked about some of the regulars, but a unique twist to the NARC 2024 campaign will be the youth movement by drivers who are still cutting their teeth in Sprint Cars and some with just a handful of starts in a 410. The battle for the Rookie of the Year award will be a barnburner from March to November.

Dominic Gorden got some 410 racing under his belt late last year. Under the tutelage of crew chief Richard Brown, the Clovis teenager scored a trio of 360 triumphs, twice at Ocean and once at Marysville, as well as collecting the Western Sprint Tour title. Gorden didn’t have much of a quiet offseason as he won six Caged Clone races at the Chowchilla Barn Burner and got the big payday at Nevada’s Reno Livestock Events Center in February during the High Desert Hustle.  He promises to be a top ten fixture.

Lemoore driver Gauge Garcia spent last year splitting driving duties between the Tarlton Motorsports #21X and the Keller Motorsports #2K. Garcia had a pair of 360 wins in 2023, including the Cotton Classic in October at Kings and a thriller of a win at Tulare in May.  His best NARC finish was a third at the Morrie Williams Memorial race.  Garcia plans to chase the rookie title aboard the Keller Motorsports ride.

Fresno’s Caeden Steele is another individual to watch closely. Steele had some great battles with Bud Kaeding at Ocean Speedway on Friday nights in the Ocean Sprints 360 ranks, including posting a win in late August. Something noteworthy is in late July, he was able to record a sixth-place result at Skagit Speedway against a stacked field of 410 competitors with a 360 in between the frame rails.

Another addition to the series will be Chico-based team of Michael Ing.  The 22-year driver has five-years of experience in both 360’s and a limited amount of time in 410’s and will be driving a family owned and operated team with David Ing on the wrenches.

THE SPOILERS

The last topic to cover is the many potential spoilers that will enter the battle during the NARC 410 Sprint Car Series. What makes NARC such an incredibly tough series is that anyone can win on any given night.

Despite not running full-time with NARC in 2024, Dominic Scelzi will still be a force to reckon with. The two-time series champion has already logged many laps, filling in for James McFadden with the High Limit Series. This move reunited him with the Roth Motorsports team. Whether it’s in Washington, Oregon, or California, the Fresno driver is sure to be upfront.  He will be racing around the country and plans to return to California in May for the balance of the NARC season.  Scelzi has 22 NARC victories on his resume’.

2023 saw one of the biggest comeback stories in Sprint Car racing. After shattering his collarbone at the Trophy Cup in October 2022, D.J. Netto returned and won. In his first race in March of 2023, he bested the ASCS-Southwest Region competition at Central Arizona Raceway. The Hanford pilot finally returned to NARC victory lane when he scored his seventh career NARC victory at the Morrie Williams Memorial at the end of the second Twin-20 main event.

Carson Macedo won the NARC title in 2015, but one thing he did not do is something his younger brother Cole Macedo managed to accomplish in June, win a NARC feature. The younger Macedo took care of business at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon, and was the only driver to beat eventual tour champion Corey Day during the Fastest Four Days Of Motorsports. Macedo also has spent some time in Florida and Georgia racing the Kevin Newton #16TH with the High Limit Series.  He is a threat to win on any given night.

With two trips to Silver Dollar Speedway, the 2022 SDS track champion Shane Golobic is one driver to not discount. The Matt Wood Racing #17W team has got Chico ¼-mile on lock and has won eight races in the last two seasons. Finishing sixth on the final night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions, the Fremont native wowed the crowd at Ocean Speedway when he finally won the Howard Kaeding Classic at Watsonville in July. He had ten victories between 410, 360, and Midget competition.  He has 15 career NARC wins.

Whether it was in the Larry Antaya #16A or the Jim and Annette Van Lare #5V, Colby Copeland was always a contender for a victory. The Roseville racer won with the Van Lare’s at Placerville Speedway at the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial mere days after his car owner lost his father.  This made for a very powerful post race interview in victory lane. Copeland would back that up with another emotional victory lane visit at the Van Lare’s home track at Petaluma when they bested the SCCT on the adobe 3/8-mile oval.

Making a healthy number of NARC starts last year was Tanner Carrick. From Lincoln, Carrick won the first Sprint Car race in California in 2023 when he won the Sherm and Loree Toller Memorial at Marysville. He would get additional 360 wins at Ocean and Placerville. Carrick is notable for already achieving a win in 2024 by winning the Monday prelim at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on January 8th, which makes him the first Midget feature winner in the United States for this year.  He is looking for his first career NARC win.

2005 NARC champion Sean Becker can be expected to make some appearances throughout the upcoming season. Now calling Roseville home, Becker had his best run with NARC on July 8th when he finished fourth at Petaluma. He closed the year out with an electric 360 win at Marysville with a win on Paul Hawes Memorial Sprint Spooktacular in late October.

Last year, Andy Forsberg would collect his 200th career victory when he won the Tribute to Al Hinds at Placerville on April 15th. Three more additional wins, all at Marysville in 360 action, would add to the Auburn veterans total. Come the Mini Gold Cup and the David Tarter Memorial at Chico, he should be fun to watch. He was fourth on May 28th, his lone 410 top five of the campaign, and five total top tens at Chico for the four-time Silver Dollar Speedway track champ.

Even though he spent much of the summer helping his son Cole in Kage Karts, Willie Croft was still fun to watch in his limited appearances with the NARC 410 Series. Croft, who resides in Colfax, posted two top-five finishes in eight 410 starts.  This included a pair of runner-up finishes, getting one on May 28th at Silver Dollar and another at Skagit on July 22nd.

Whether in California or his native Pacific Northwest, Trey Starks is always on the prowl for a win. Nearly capturing the prelude to the Dennis Roth Classic while racing for Scelzi Motorsports in April, he was also a contender at Grays Harbor Raceway’s Timber Cup and the Dirt Cup. The two-time and defending Skagit Speedway track titlist from Puyallup, Washington, is looking to be the first Washington native to win the prestigious Dirt Cup since Seth Bergman did it in 2018.

Tanner Holmes will be a fun driver to watch as he comes off a stint with the Shark Racing #1T after the Knoxville Nationals.  This earned him a significant cram session in the final few months of 2023. Undoubtedly, he gained some valuable experience taking on the World Of Outlaws, expanding his knowledge of some new tracks and fierce competition that bettered his driving abilities. The Jacksonville, Oregon racer enjoyed a great Dirt Cup last year and posted several strong showings with the NARC series in the springtime.

One of the Cinderella stories of 2023 was Michael Faccinto during the Dave Bradway Jr. Memorial at Placerville. Faccinto, from Hanford, set quick time, collected a large amount of money with all the bonuses and contingencies, and almost pulled off a massive upset finishing second.  The team which he drove for, which claimed the Placerville 360 championship, was the Friends & Family #X1 owned by Alan Bradway, Dave’s brother, and Steve Tuccelli.

Those are just a few of the interesting scenarios and stories taking place on the NARC tour this season.  When you mix it all together, it promises to be a very entertaining season of open wheel racing on the left coast.  So pick your favorite driver and team and we will see you at the NARC races.

Business trip: Cadillac aiming for quick start

Successful Prologue for No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R leads into WEC season opener
LUSAIL, Qatar (Feb. 27, 2024) – Following a promising Prologue, Cadillac Racing enters its second season of FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Hypercar competition looking to consistently challenge for victories. The Prologue on Monday and Tuesday supplied additional motivation and confirmation for the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R team in the season-opening Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 Km on March 2 at Lusail International Circuit.
In the driver’s seatWatch the race from the view of the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R’s in-car camera.
Media resourcesDriver CVsDriver headshots* About Cadillac Racing2023 WEC statisticsLe Mans invitationCadillac Racing wins
Test sessions totaling 11 hours and 249 laps provided drivers Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Sebastien Bourdais and the team insights about the circuit and racecar that features the purpose-built 5.5-liter DOHC V8 engine developed by GM’s Performance and Racing propulsion team paired with the spec hybrid system.
The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R recorded the second-best lap time (1 minute, 40.458 seconds) and was the only Hypercar entry to place in the top five based on lap time in each of the three sessions. The team will continue to acquire knowledge and data about the 5.148-kilometer (3.37-mile), 16-turn road course that is new to the WEC calendar during three free practice sessions Thursday and Friday leading into qualifications for the 19-car Hypercar field.
 Also new for the full season is two-stage qualifying for the Hypercar and LMGT3 classes – an initial 12 minutes of on-track running followed by a 10-minute Hyperpole for the top 10 qualifiers. Previously, each class featured a 15-minute qualifying, with the Hyperpole format reserved for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We’ll have a competitive package,” team manager Stephen Mitas said. “We made some adjustments to strengthen some areas. We have a new strategy engineer (Elise Moury) that comes to the team with a lot of experience. The core of the team is the same and for good reason because the team did a fantastic job last year. That continuity helps. The more you learn each other the easier it is to operate together.” Highlighting Cadillac Racing’s inaugural WEC season was the third-place finish in the centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R, driven by Bamber, Lynn and Richard Westbrook, started the season with top-five finishes at Sebring, Portimão and Spa-Francorchamps. Bourdais, co-driver of the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, adds another layer of experience to the program for the season-opening round. Bourdais, a four-time CART champion among other motorsport accolades, co-drove the No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R to fourth place overall in the centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he’ll return in June with teammates Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon. Mostly recently, Bourdais qualified second for the 62nd Rolex 24 At Daytona that secured a front row lockout for Cadillac Racing. Working through delaysThe No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R was among several racecars and equipment delayed more than 72 hours from arriving at Lusail International Circuit. A dedicated ship transport was diverted to the Port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia because of the closure of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait due to the geopolitical situation in the region. After clearing customs, trucks carrying the containers made the 16-hour drive to the racecourse and the preparation begun in earnest.
No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R race team principalsTeam manager: Stephen Mitas         Strategy engineer: Elise MouryRace engineer: Carlo Vermuelen     Chief engineer: Jonathan MouryChief mechanic: Dane Beamsley    Systems engineer: Marco GuerraCar controller: Freddy de Boer         Tire technician: Olivier MassonFueler: Bianca Janas                       Front wheel gun: Pascal PetterRear wheel gun: Alex Fuller                Front wheel feed: Ben AncilDriver assist: Stefan Hahn
What the drivers are saying
Earl Bamber: “I think we’re definitely getting better operationally and procedurally, and it seems like we’re already more competitive than we were last year. Right in the mix, so hopefully we transfer that to race week. Here I’m just getting back in a rhythm because I haven’t driven the car since early December. (about starting season at new track) “It’s difficult to start the season off, but I think on the team side and Cadillac side we’re well prepared. The guys have done some good work through Sebring test and Daytona test and race that we’re using from our sister cars. A lot of our competition has already tested here many times so we’re playing catch-up. But it’s good to have these Prologue days to find our footing and get toward the front.”Alex Lynn: “On a whole, we’re pretty happy with how we’ve done in the Prologue. The car is working really well here in Qatar and I think in both (day and night) conditions we seem to be there. Obviously, there’s a big difference between night and day. But whatever the conditions we seem to be really strong. I think the car is in a really nice place at the moment. The car has had a great start to its life; Daytona in January was a strong showing as well. There is a bit more competition this year, but in general we’re pretty happy and look forward to the race weekend.”
Sebastien Bourdais: “Difference between driving at night and day) “With all the lights they have, it’s like daylight. Usually, you feel a bit of a speed perception difference, but here it’s completely the same night and day. The difference is the grip – slightly higher at night with cooler track temps. I think we have decent grip. We’ve done some long runs and got some good wear measures. Now we can confidently start pushing on getting a bit more aggressive with the setup and see if it yields results. (difference between the GTP car and Hypercar) “The setups have evolved to something significantly different because the tracks are quite different, and you have to double stint a lot more. Overall, what Cadillac and the Ganassi team has done in the offseason and what has been shared from (IMSA) testing and the 24-hour Daytona race I think we’re in a good place.”

CORVETTE RACING AT QATAR: Positive Steps Forward

TTF Sport completes FIA WEC testing ahead of Qatar opener for Z06 GT3.R LUSAIL, Qatar (Feb. 27, 2024) – TF Sport and Corvette Racing put the wraps on two days of testing Tuesday at Lusail International Circuit ahead of this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship opener in Qatar. 
The three test sessions served as a dress rehearsal for the debut of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R in the globe-trotting championship, starting with Saturday’s Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 Km.
Daniel Juncadella set the best time for the two-car TF Sport team in the No. 82 Corvette that he will share throughout the season with Hiroshi Koizumi and Sébastien Baud. The Corvette factory driver’s top lap was a 1:54.691 (105.695 mph) effort that put the No. 82 Z06 GT3.R fifth in the new LMGT3 category.
Across the garage, fellow Corvette factory driver Charlie Eastwood set the pace in the No. 81 Corvette Z06 GT3.R with a best lap of 1:55.369 (105.074 mph) to put both TF Sport Corvettes well within a second of the fastest Prologue time in class. Eastwood is teaming with Tom Van Rompuy and Rui Andrade for the full year.
The TF Sport effort is the first customer program in FIA WEC for Corvette Racing, which has four wins in the series to its credit – including last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans – in addition to the 2023 GTE Am Drivers and Teams titles with the Corvette C8.R.
The Corvette Z06 GT3.R is a completely new car from the ground up and is Chevrolet’s first car built to global GT3 regulations. It’s based on the production Corvette Z06 supercar with the two sharing a significant amount of DNA. 
The racecar is built on the same production aluminum chassis frame – from Chevrolet’s Bowling Green (Ky.) Assembly plant – as the road-going Z06. Similar carbon-fiber splitters for front downforce, and the surface area from the top of the windshield to the rear of the Z06 remained intact on the Z06 GT3.R. That includes side air ducts behind the doors — directly inspired by Z06 production road car — that help to cool the engine, transaxle and rear brakes.
The similarities carry over to the hand-built 5.5L, flat-plane crankshaft V8 engine in the Z06 GT3.R. Both originate from the Bowling Green factory with the racing version sharing 80 percent of the production content from the Z06, including the crankshaft, connecting rods, cylinder heads, fuel injectors, coils, gaskets and a variety of other sensors.
The Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 Km is scheduled for 11 a.m. Arabian Standard Time / 3 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, March 2.  MotorTrend will provide both live television coverage in the U.S. Streaming coverage of the race and Friday’s qualifying will be available on MAX, MotorTrend Plus and the FIA WEC TV app.
CORVETTE RACING MEDIA INFORMATION
Corvette Racing media information is updated and available ahead of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 Km. 
Materials include Corvette Racing event advance and quotes, Corvette Racing stats and figures, Corvette Z06 GT3.R racecar comparisons, Corvette Racing Fast Facts, driver biographies and Corvette Racing photography, among other items.
CHARLIE EASTWOOD, NO. 81 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “We got a lot of laps in. There were just so many unknowns going into this week. We had one test day as a team with the Z06 GT3.R, which went very well at Dubai. But now we are at a brand new track and one that’s very different than Dubai. But from the very first session, we were pleasantly surprised to be in a very good window. From then, we ran through all the drivers, and both Rui and Tom have been building up. There are still so many unknowns. But as a team and car crew, I feel we are looking quite strong.”
DANIEL JUNCADELLA, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “Honestly this was very good and very positive. We had three trouble-free sessions with a lot of mileage on our Corvette. It might have been the most mileage of all the LMGT3 cars. That’s really encouraging for everyone here. All three drivers had enough laps and we’re all happy to have gone through the program. I’m very happy with how things feel. Seb was very fast and likes the car a lot. Hiroshi is a very positive surprise. He is very consistent with no mistakes and very few track limits. He is doing it the right way. It’s very good and we will take that into the weekend.”
TOM VAN ROMPUY, NO. 81 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “These test days were quite positive. We have a strong car and a strong package. With traffic management, we have to pay attention to other cars but I think we are strong there too. On tire degradation, I think we have one of the better cars in LMGT3. So yes, I’m very positive as we look ahead to the race weekend.”
RUI ANDRADE, NO. 81 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “The delays left everyone in a little bit of anticipation, but the car feels great. It already felt great in Dubai. The balance is strong, I think. The combination of TF Sport and Pratt Miller is doing a great job at the moment. They gave us a good car right at the start, which is always important so you don’t feel lost from the get-go. We had some solid running yesterday. We had an issue when I accidently set off the fire extinguisher so we lost some laps! It’s a new car for me and these things happen. Today we went through the run plan with no issues and got lots of laps with good feedback on the car. We had some cool running Monday late afternoon into the night and it was very warm this morning. So getting a read on the car in these conditions is really important. In traffic and with the Hypercars, there is a big speed delta so they have to get through the GT traffic as fast as possible, which means we are bullied a little bit. For us, we have to focus on our driving and also focus on our mirrors and rear-view camera. Whoever does that best will be fastest. But I feel good. We are getting better and have a good base. We feel strong but will see where we are on Saturday.”
HIROSHI KOIMUZI, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “Monday was a good feeling. Today was a little better feeling. There was more traffic in the last two sessions but I still had a good feeling. The Corvette is a very good car. I am happy with my teammates. Dani is a very fast driver as our No. 1 and Sébastien is fast. I’m very lucky to have them!”
SÉBASTIEN BAUD, NO. 82 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R: “I am very happy. It was my first Prologue, my first with the team, my first weekend with Corvette and my first time at this track. The car is really great. The work between myself, Dani and Hiro was very good. We had no issues and now we can try some different setups and strategies for qualifying and the race. It’s very comfortable in this Z06 GT3.R. The driving is very different than previous cars I have driven. Confidence for the race and qualifying is high because Hiro was very good during his qualifying sim. This is all very good for the race. There is a lot of confidence and consistency in this car, and there are still things we can work on and try. No issues and everything looks fine for the race weekend.”
CHRISTIE BAGNE, CORVETTE Z06 GT3.R PROGRAM MANAGER: “Everyone at TF Sport and Corvette Customer Support should be proud of the efforts during the Prologue. Both Corvettes completed a high number of laps, which led to a lot of productive running on track. The feedback from the drivers is positive. Operationally, things went well as the team continues to learn more about the Z06 GT3.R heading into practice and qualifying. All in all, we all are happy with the last two days.”

ARP 6-Second Club Coming To Holley EFI NHRA Factory X

andrewwolf

By Andrew Wolf February 23, 2024

arp

Automotive Racing Products (ARP), an industry leader in fastener technology, has partnered with the NHRA to sponsor of the new “ARP Six-Second Club” for the Holley EFI NHRA Factory X category.

The exciting new category, reserved for 2019 and newer manufactured automobiles, will run its first full season in 2024, running eight national events, starting with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 12-14 and ending at the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas on Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

The “ARP Six-Second Club” will award the first eight drivers in Holly EFI NHRA Factory X who make six-second runs in competition. The first driver to make the historic six-second run will be awarded $10,000, with the second driver earning $5,000. The six additional drivers will also earn a cash payout for reaching the six-second mark and along with the cash prize, each of the first eight drivers to make a six-second run will receive a trophy and an “ARP Six-Second Club” jacket.

“We’re very excited to put this ‘ARP Six-Second Club’ together. This is a very creative class, there’s a lot of very smart people in the category and I think it’s going to attract a lot of people,” said Chris Raschke, ARP Director of Sales and Marketing. “Everyone at ARP is about supporting the racers. That’s our bread and butter and we all think this class is the start of something big. It’s a very cool class. ARP is looking forward to supporting this class and these racers, and we’re proud to be involved. The teams in this class are going to put together some really exciting things and we’re happy to be part of it.”

A worldwide leader in fastener technology, ARP has been a longtime partner for NHRA teams at all levels of racing and will now be actively involved in the new Holley EFI NHRA Factory X category. Cars in the class have a minimum weight limit of 2,650 pounds, which is nearly 1,000 pounds lighter than a Factory Stock Showdown car, and a manual transmission is mandatory. The COPO Camaros race with a 630-hp Magnuson 2.65-L supercharger, and the DragPak Challengers utilize a 630-hp, 3.0-L Whipple. The Cobra Jet 327 Mustang’s engine combination is a 610-hp, 3.0-L Whipple unit.

Each body must be OEM dimensional, meaning there can be no alterations to the bodies. Cars must also race on tires that are 33 inches tall and 10.5 inches wide, which are wider than FSS cars.

With the potential to showcase big-performance numbers and standout runs, a six-second pass could be on the horizon during the 2024 campaign in Holley EFI NHRA Factory X. The lightweight, modified class impressed when it debuted during the tail end of the 2023 NHRA season, with standouts making several low seven-second runs.

“We’re thrilled to introduce this program from a great partner like ARP, which adds even more excitement to the new Holley EFI NHRA Factory X category,” said Brad Gerber, NHRA Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “ARP sees the potential in this class, and it’s quickly become a very innovative category. There’s a lot of interest in Factory X and a bonus like this for the first six-second run adds even more incentive for our race teams and also gives fans something very cool to look forward to this year.”

2024 Holley EFI NHRA Factory X Schedule

  • April 12-14: 24th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
  • April 26-28: 14th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, zMAX Dragway, Charlotte
  • May 17-19: 24th annual Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance, Route 66 Raceway, Chicago
  • June 27-30: 18th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio
  • Aug. 28-Sept. 2: 70th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals, Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis
  • Sept. 27-29: 13th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals, World Wide Technology Raceway, St. Louis
  • Oct. 10-13: 39th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals, Texas Motorplex, Dallas
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 3: 24th annual NHRA Nevada Nationals, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas

Race Wrap | NMRA Spring Break Shootout

Posted By: Mary Lendzion Feb 25, 2024

Written by Mary LendzionPhotos by Steve Turner and Evan Smith   The 30th Annual NMRA Spring Break Shootout and Saturday Thrill Festival was an extraordinary extravaganza with excitement in every corner from February 22-25, 2024 at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. The Holley NMRA Ford Nationals event attracted record-breaking attendance and offered outstanding action for all ages. Setting it in motion was a Cars, Coffee, and Cruise at National Parts Depot, and it spooled up with the CJ Pony Parts Ford Drift Invitational, RTR Pro Drifters Vaughn Gittin Jr., and Chelsea DeNofa, the world’s largest BIGFOOT monster truck, Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragsters, FMX Freestyle Motocross stunts, TV personality and DJ Clarence Barnes, UPR Products All-Ford Car Show and more.   This was the first time the historic Gainesville Raceway hosted an NMRA event at its big and beautiful facility. It served as a perfect setting for the drag racing, festival, and the start of a season-long celebration of 60 years of the Mustang.   “Our whole team was enthusiastic coming into this event at Gainesville Raceway. When we saw how excited our racers and race fans were, too, it just added to the adrenaline and set the tone for the weekend,” said Steve Wolcott, president and CEO of NMRA and NMCA. “The fan experience was exceptional, and there was so much for them to see and do. It was a great show, and we look forward to building upon this.”   Among the categories captivating the audience all weekend long was VP Racing Lubricants Renegade, where Kelly Shotwell stopped the clocks at 4.68 in his Mustang to set the pace in qualifying. The Ohioan was strong in the first and second rounds of eliminations but was forced to lift in the final round of eliminations, sending NMRA legend Robert Cook to the win with a 5.04.   Reigning Vengeance Clutch Coyote Stock champion Ed Bennett shot to a 9.62 in his Mustang to lead qualifying, and he picked up to a whopping 9.58 while racing through the eliminations. Bennett belted in against Charlie Booze Jr. for the final round of eliminations, and while fans shared their guesses on who would gun to the win in the clash of Coyote Stock titans, Booze Jr. was victorious with a 9.63 to Bennett’s close 9.62.   

  Mike Bowen is one to watch in his wheel-standing Maverick in Richmond Gear Factory Stock as he chases another championship, and the Pennsylvanian let everyone know that at this first NMRA event of the year. He led qualifying with a 9.93 before going to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with another 9.93, this time against Damien Stephens, with made the trip from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and drove to a 10.10, in the final round of eliminations.   SunCoast Performance 8.60 Street Race saw nearly 20 competitors roll in for a chance to race to the NMRA Winner’s Circle. Houston McClain laid down a close-to-the-index 8.61 in his Mustang to lead qualifying in the great and growing class, but it was Gavin Black and Paul Sienkiewicz advancing to the final round of eliminations. Black got the win with an 8.65 when Sienkiewicz turned it red.   Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts Street Bandit 10.10, a class for 9- and 10-second race street-legal cars that are not built specifically for an existing class, debuted at the final NMRA race of 2023, and was on the track at this event. Nearly 20 racers battled for the top spot in qualifying, but David Smith made it happen with a 10.01 in his Mustang. Racing through the rounds was tight, but Mike Winters and Gary Parker and their cars were up to the task, Winters went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with an incredibly dialed-in 10.10 on a 10.10 while Parker dipped under just slightly.   The former Truck & Lightning class is now the Truck & SUV class and is poised to welcome even more racers. Mike Roup, who traveled all the way from Texas to begin the chase to the championship, led qualifying with a .004 reaction time in his Ranchero. He met Gregory Collins and his Ranger in the final round of eliminations. Roup, who turned on the red light, watched as Collins sailed to the win with a lifting 11.65 on an 11.34 dial.    Dana Tebay was lightning-quick on the tree in ARP Open Comp, and the .000 was good for the top spot in qualifying. Six hard-fought rounds later, Taylor Dietsch went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with an 8.93 on an 8.92 after hardcore racer Paul Svinicki went after the tree and turned on the red light.   


              Dean Snow went .005 on the tree to take the lead spot in qualifying in Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle, but the final round belonged to Charlie McCulloch and Shane Williams. McCulloch was slightly quicker off the starting line and ran right on his 10.45 dial to defeat Williams, who broke out.             Longtime HP Tuners Super Stang standout Chris Parisi put a .002 reaction time on the board to lead qualifying. He remained focused through the final round of eliminations. With fans wondering who would win, Parisi and Andrew Szubelak set course for the finish line, and Parish earned the trip to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with an 11.83 on an 11.80 to Szubelak’s 13.56 on a 13.43.   In CJ Pony Parts Ford Muscle, Bill Worstell and David Mormann recorded close .042 and .044 reaction times respectively, and Worstell wrapped up the win with a 14.08 on a 14.00, while Mormann dove under his 10.75 dial.   An array of amazing Fords competed in Circle D Specialties True Street, and their drivers gave everyone a glimpse of what they are capable of during a 30-mile cruise on the streets before returning for three back-to-back passes down-track. Chris Welch captured the overall win with an 8.85 average, while Willie Lujan collected the runner-up honors with an 8.88 average. Other winners were Adam Kuffel (9-second), Hector Navarro (10-second), John Muldowney (11-second), Damien Henley (12-second), Gerry Davis (13-second), Mary Ann Mammen (14-second) and Ken Mason (15-second).

  Drawing the eight quickest vehicles from True Street competition, the BBK Performance Spring Break Shootout saw Willie Lujan conquer four rounds to land the win with an 8.58 over fellow Floridian Adam Kuffel, who turned in an 8.77. Lujan, of Miami and Kuffel, of Orlando put on a good show in their final-round matchup.   VMP Performance’s Rebecca Starkey knows her way around a race car, especially a quick Mustang. She recently piloted her 2024+ Mustang to an S650-first 9-second pass, carving her name in the history books. Adding to her list of accomplishments, Starkey earned a win in the BMR Suspension S650 Mustang Stampede after she raced to a 10.34 this weekend in her car packing a Gen 4 Coyote and VMP Performance/Whipple supercharger system and calibration.   TREMEC All-Female True Street, contested at the NMRA races in Florida, Ohio, and Kentucky this year, welcomed nearly 20 racers at this event. Among them were Deneen Segura, who earned the overall win with a 9.59 average, and Kimberly Wood who earned the runner-up finish with a 9.66 average. Other winners were Kimberly Walter (10-second), Elaine Moistner (14-second winner), and Lou-Ann Walker (15-second).

  The final round of the TREMEC Stick Shift Shootout, which drew the quickest H-pattern-manual shifted machines from True Street, paired Jeff Smith and Karl Goin, and several shifted gears later, Smith secured the win with a 9.41 to Goin’s 10.46.   Kyle Cox and Pedro Porte pulled into the beams for the final round of eliminations in 2020+ GT500 Shootout presented by Coastal Dyno, TREMEC, VMP Performance, and ZPE GripTec, and Cox collected the win in the Unlimited class with a 10.03 on a 9.00 dial against Porte’s 10.83 on a 9.00. Meanwhile, Dylan Royer and Russell Haskins faced each other in the final round of eliminations in the Street class. Royer raced to a 10.00 on a 10.00 to take the win over Haskins, who had a better reaction time but wasn’t as tight on the top end with a 10.14 on a 10.00.   Brackets 1-3 added another entertaining element to this event. In Bracket 1, Brendon Gregory defeated Shane Rushling, who broke out. In Bracket 2, Chris Graff upset Dan Ryntz and in Bracket 3, David Mormann pulled off the win over John Harrell Jr.   “The NMRA has some of the best racers in the country,” said Rollie Miller, General Manager and National Event Director for NMRA and NMCA. “To witness our first event of the year and see how passionate they are about their cars and competition is what makes them stand out in the world of motorsports. Their performances at this event demonstrate their dedication and their desire to win.”   A double dose of fun and fast cars is next on the calendar when the NMRA joins its sister series, NMCA, for the 16th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Sipple’s Speed & Performance, April 11-14, 2024 at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina.   For stories, photos, results, and more content throughout the year, check out NMRAdigital.com. Updated season championship points from this race are already available on the website as well at this link.

On The Box Racing Signs Brandon Price for 2024 Mission SuperTwins Season

 Sent on behalf of OTBR DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 26, 2024) – On The Box Racing (OTBR) is proud to announce the signing of Mission SuperTwins rider Brandon Price (BP92) for the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track season. The newly formed team will provide a fresh stable of Yamaha MT-07s for Price to showcase his talents over the entire Progressive AFT schedule.  Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, OTBR is backed by a diverse ownership group consisting of Team Manager Wayne Sody, Rider Coach Eric Rausch, and Technical Director Scott Saunders. A chance encounter between Saunders and Price at the local Graul’s Market’s Mission Foods shelf provided the team with its initial spark. Subsequent conversations involving Saunders, Sody, and Rausch resulted in the trio – each of whom had individually provided rider sponsorship over the past decade – realizing that by joining forces, they could build a first-class effort around Price’s talents.  Widely recognized as one of the nation’s brightest stars as an amateur and during his climb up the professional ranks, Price stepped up to the premier class in 2019 and was promptly named Progressive American Flat Track Rookie of the Year. Since graduating to the pinnacle of the sport, Price has earned three Main Event runner-up finishes, and OTBR is committed to providing him with the equipment and technical support needed to capture his maiden Mission SuperTwins victory.  Fellow Marylander Brian Eckhart will maintain the equipment and provide trackside support.  Brandon Price #92:“This is the first time I’ve been with a team that is based out of my home state of Maryland, so that is pretty awesome! Even better, I’ve known everyone on the team for many years. That familiarity will go a long way toward getting things figured out quickly. My racing career path might be different from everyone else’s, but my eyes are still set on the prize. Bring it on, 2024!”  Wayne Sody – Owner/Team Manager:“My motorcycle passion began with motocross where I eventually turned pro in 1979. Over the last 20 years, I began to engage more in dirt track through leading roles in the Baltimore County Trail Riders Association.  The excitement of the sport captured my interest to where I became a strong supporter of Dan Bromley in recent years. That experience led me to truly appreciate the riders in Progressive AFT racing for their skill and professionalism. Now we are beginning the most exciting step of creating our own team. We will be providing the best Yamaha-based equipment possible for Brandon to get back to winning form where he belongs! I’m excited to give back to the sport and look forward to the day when we achieve our first podium for On The Box Racing.”  Eric Rausch – Owner/Rider Coach:“I’m extremely happy to have the opportunity to work with a rider as talented as Brandon. I am also doing my part to ensure he has the equipment needed to get out front.  We will definitely have fun this year!”  Scott Saunders – Owner/Technical Director: “That coincidental meeting with Brandon at the grocery store caught my attention because it was obvious he still had the competitive fire in his eyes to be racing full-time. His handshake alone told me he was confident he could be a winner. A call to Wayne and Eric quickly translated into the formation of OTBR, and shortly thereafter Brandon was signed for the season.  “Everyone on the team is passionate about racing in Progressive American Flat Track. With our strong sponsorship package and an experienced technical team contributing to the engines and chassis, I am very excited to put in the work needed to ensure our team improves consistently throughout the season. I have no doubt we will deliver a few exciting surprises for our sponsors and fans this year.”  On The Box Racing Partners:We are very proud to represent superstar manufacturers MEMPHIS SHADES & CORBIN for 2024. Additional primary support is provided by SODY ENTERPRISES (Institutional Food Services), RAUSCH FUEL OIL (58 Years servicing Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania), and ASTec Metalworks, Inc. (Aerospace & Defense manufacturing).   Special thanks also to Zippers Performance Products, Michael Sponseller, Roof Systems, Yamaha bLU cRU, Vortex Brewing Company, DPC Racing, Hudson Roofing, Earlbeck Gases & Technologies, Northeast Fireplace & Design, Lisa 9R, Arctic Circle, Fredericktown Yamaha, J & M Frames, Lowery Racing, R-Nyne Designs, Arai Helmet, Barnett Clutches & Cables, and Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. 

Burton Avoids Multiple Wrecks To Finish 11th At Atlanta


February 26, 2024


Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team turned in an impressive performance on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, overcoming early adversity and dodging numerous incidents on track en route to an 11th-place finish in the Ambetter Health 400.

Burton started the race from 16th place and was swept up in a 16-car crash on Lap 2. He managed to avoid significant damage to his Mustang Dark Horse and after a quick pit stop returned to the track and began working his way forward.

That scenario was repeated numerous times in a race that saw eight caution periods for on-track incidents and only a handful of drivers not involved in wrecks.

Burton, who ran in the top 10 for most of the race – and in the top five at times, saw most of the race’s incidents unfold just ahead of him. But each time he steered clear of trouble.

He cracked the top 10 for the first time in the closing laps of Stage One, but made a pit stop just prior to the end of the Stage and ended that 60-lap segment in 17th place.

The pit strategy allowed Burton to keep the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang on the track when those ahead of him made pit stops during the Stage break, and he restarted Stage Two from seventh place.

He immediately moved into the top five and ran in the top 10 – and often the top five – for most of the second Stage. He steered clear of a wreck on the last lap of the Stage to finish eighth and earn three Stage points.
 
In the third and final Stage of the race, Burton and the No. 21 crew again ran among the top 10 while narrowly avoiding crashes by drivers including Kaz Grala, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie and others.
  
With 20 laps left to run, Burton spun avoiding a crash by Chase Briscoe, but lost track position and fell from 11th place to 23rd.
 
He had worked his way back to 16th place when the race was restarted with five laps remaining.
 
He gained five spots over the final laps to post his best finish of the young season. 
 
Eddie Wood said he liked what he saw from the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew in a challenging race.
 
“The team chemistry is really good right now,” Wood said. “Harrison did a great job behind the wheel, missing all those wrecks and running in the top 10 for most of the race.
 
“Jeremy Bullins and the team had a great race car, the pit crew was flawless and our spotter Jason Jarrett did a great job as well. 
 
“I am really proud of them all.”
 
Burton and the No. 21 team now head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400 on March 3.

Richard Childress racing–atlanta–austin dillon

Austin Dillon and The No. 3 BREZTRI AEROSPHERE® (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) Chevrolet Team Salvage Decent Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway After Early Incident
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“Once again, I don’t know what to say. We never got to show what our BREZTRI AEROSPHERE® (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) Chevy had today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The right side of the diffuser broke off in a wreck not of our doing on lap two. Everyone on the No. 3 team worked hard to get it back, but we couldn’t overcome the lack of downforce. We tried really hard to race again, but without the right side of the diffuser to lean on we slapped the wall in Stage 3. We salvaged a finish today, but can’t wait to get to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to try and turn our luck around.”
-Austin Dillon
Spectacular Late-Race Move Earns Kyle Busch and The No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet Team Third-Place Finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway
3rd3rd1st
“Our Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet was one of the top-five cars today at Atlanta Motor Speedway and had a good shot at the win. The No. 12 car was deservingly one of the faster cars, and with all the carnage, it took out some other guys early.  Towards the end of the race, you don’t have that many alliances. All of my friends disintegrated and went away throughout the day. Bubba Wallace came to the rescue, and he was a huge part of our success at the end of the race coming off Turn Two and down the backstretch to get a run. On that last restart, I just got a little too far ahead of the No. 99 car and he got a good side draft through the corner. I didn’t think the outside would prevail, but with the run down the frontstretch and the side draft, that is what hurt us. Typically, whoever is behind getting into Turn Three prevails at the start-finish line with the side draft and everything. I think I was running in second place to the No. 12 car at that point, and the No. 99 car was the furthest back. He used the side draft to make the ground back up and win the race. There was nothing I could have done differently. It’s good to see Daniel Suarez get a win because as Chevy team partners we were helping each other and working together there. It shows that when you do have friends and you can make alliances that strategy does seem to work. That was a good part of today to see that come to fruition. I was hoping to win myself because I know everybody wanted a free No. 8 special on Monday from Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. We’ll have to try again. Overall, I’m just really proud of everybody at RCR, ECR and Chevy. Our Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro was fast.”
 -Kyle Busch

chevy racing–nascar–atlanta–Suarez wins

NASCAR CUP SERIES ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY AMBETTER HEALTH 400 TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE REPORT FEBRUARY 25, 2024
Suarez Caps off Chevrolet’s Second Consecutive Weekend Sweep of the 2024 NASCAR Season at Atlanta 
·       For the second consecutive weekend, Chevrolet had swept the wins across all three NASCAR national series, with Daniel Suarez and the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Camaro ZL1 team’s win in the NASCAR Cup Series, Austin Hill and the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Camaro SS team’s win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Kyle Busch’s win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. ·       The victory marks Suarez’s first NASCAR Cup Series win of the 2024 season; his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway; and his second career win in NASCAR’s top division.  ·       With its second consecutive weekend sweep, Chevrolet extended its series-leading wins record across all three NASCAR national series at Atlanta Motor Speedway – now sitting at 45 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and 11 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins at the 1.54-mile Georgia venue.  ·       Since the debut of the Next Gen cars in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022, Chevrolet has now won 10 of the 14 superspeedway-style races – recorded by six drivers from five different Chevrolet teams. ·       Suarez delivered Chevrolet its 853th all-time victory in the NASCAR Cup Series, extending the manufacturer’s record as the winningest manufacturer in series’ history.  ·       With this weekend’s victories by Suarez, Hill and Busch – Chevrolet continues the streak of winning at least one race in the NASCAR national ranks since the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course race weekend in October 2023.  ·       The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season continues at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 3, at 3:30 P.M. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL TOP-10 POS.  DRIVER1st Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Freeway Insurance Camaro ZL13rd Kyle Busch, No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro ZL16th Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / Blue Buffalo Camaro ZL17th Ross Chastain, No. 1 Moose Fraternity Camaro ZL1
TEAM CHEVY POST-RACE QUOTES:Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Freeway Insurance Camaro ZL1Finished: 1stYOU JUST WON IN ATLANTA IN ONE OF THE CLOSEST THREE-WIDE FINISHES WE HAVE EVER SEEN. WHAT ARE YOU FEELING RIGHT NOW?“It’s an amazing feeling. This team did an amazing job all race long. We wrecked on lap two. The guys fixed the car and we were able to make it good again, make it fast again. It took some tweaking, but unbelievable. Freeway Insurance, Trackhouse, Chevrolet, and all the people that believed in us from day one – it’s unbelievable to do this in this fashion.”
TAKE US THROUGH THOSE CLOSING LAPS AND WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU MIGHT HAVE IT“Yeah, those four Penske’s were pretty strong. We knew that it was going to take something special today to beat them. But at the start/finish line, Kyle Busch was doing a hell of a job pushing me and when it mattered, he tried to go for the win. I felt like if Kyle wasn’t going to go for the win, I wasn’t going to win it. That really helped me to go three-wide and to the top, so it was amazing. You have no idea how happy I am right now.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU, TRACKHOUSE AND THE NO. 99 TEAM. “We have done a lot of work on this race team to make it better and to keep moving forward. This is just the beginning of something amazing that we are going to go through together.”

Kyle Busch, No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro ZL1Finished: 3rdTHAT WAS ONE HECK OF A RUN AND YOU JUST MISSED BY A COUPLE OF INCHES“Yeah, it’s frustrating. I mean I hate it because I felt like we were one of the top-five cars today and had a good shot. The 12 was deservingly one of the faster cars, and with all the carnage, it took out some other guys early.  
I just got a little too far ahead of the 99 and he got a good side draft through the corner. I didn’t think the outside would prevail, but with the run down the frontstretch and the side draft, that is what hurt us. I was looking at the 12 and I swore I was ahead of the 12 at the line, but obviously my eyes are bad. Need more powerful glasses, I guess.”
YOU OVERCAME A LOT. DOES THAT BECOME A SATISFYING DAY AT SOME LEVEL?“Yeah, it definitely does. There towards the end, you don’t have that many alliances. All my friends kind of disintegrated and went away throughout the day. Bubba (Wallace) came to the rescue, and he was a huge part of our success there off of (turn) two and down the backstretch and getting a run. Getting alongside Blaney was a tight fit, but being able to make that move – if I didn’t make that move, then I push Blaney out too far through three and four and he wins. So, glad to see a Chevy in victory lane.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger / Blue Buffalo Camaro ZL1Finished: 6th “It was a wild race, but a fun race. I think the track is kind of coming into itself a little bit. Obviously we sped on pit road and we had to claw our way back up through there. But our No. 47 Kroger / Blue Buffalo Camaro handled really well. I think that was an advantage. I was able to put my Chevy in spots that I think others weren’t comfortable with. It was a really good effort by our team, and a good rebound from last weekend. We got some stage points and a solid top-10 finish there. 
Man, just happy to get out of here with missing a few of those wrecks. They were right in front of us. But it was a lot of fun. Obviously three-wide there at the end coming to the line. I wish we were a few spots better, but all-in-all, it was a super cool race. I think the fans got their money’s worth.”

Kyle Larson, No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1Finished: 32ndLarson on the incident that ended the race early for the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Camaro ZL1 team: “Brad (Keselowski) just got sideways. I don’t know if he got tight, got into clean air and just got sideways – but there wasn’t anything I could do from my seat. I just tried to check-up as much as I could. It was just a chain reaction and I kind of got pushed into the wreck. Just a bummer to end the race early again here at Atlanta (Motor Speedway). We had a really good No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevy. I actually had a lot of fun today. It was super intense and it’s been a great race. It’s been the opposite from last weekend with no fuel saving and guys going at it, so it’s been fun.” 
Did you feel like it was more intense than Daytona? “Yeah, for sure. It seemed super intense from my seat. Handling was getting a little bit better right now, so it was making passing a little bit more difficult again. But early in the race, the handling wasn’t great – runs would kind of checkup and there were gaps so you could get in, so a lot of people were really aggressive. Now, it’s cooling down so there’s a lot of grip and it’s a little easier for people to stay close to one another. It was just getting hard to pass, but still really aggressive.”

JOSH WILLIAMS, NO. 16 ALLOY EMPLOYER SERVICES CAMARO ZL1Sidelined by damage sustained in an accident in Stage One. Finished: 37th “It’s just insane. I had guys passing me when we were still wrecking. It’s just unfortunate for this No. 16 Alloy Employer Services Chevy team. I just have some bad luck and I need to figure out how to get rid of it.” 
Is there anything more you could have done? “No, not at all. You just wait until someone runs into you.” 
With Daytona and Atlanta back-to-back, how unfortunate is it to start the year like this with how big of a year it is for you? “Yeah, it sucks, but there’s a race next weekend. This Kaulig Racing team will get back to work and head to Las Vegas (Motor Speedway).” 

Marlar Gets First Lucas Oil Win of the Season in Golden Isles Deuces Wild Finale

WAYNESVILLE, Ga. (February 24, 2024) – Mike Marlar picked up his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season on Saturday night at Golden Isles Speedway. Marlar earned $20,000 out of the $80,000 feature purse to become the ninth different winner in the 13 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events of 2024. Marlar led 48 of the 50 laps to earn his 22nd career win with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The only other drivers to lead laps during the main event were Brandon Sheppard and Chris Madden who finished second and third to round out the Big River Steel Podium. Brandon Overton was fourth with Jonathan Davenport rounding out the top five drivers.  “It was no walk in the park, there was a whole lot more to it than that. These guys are really tough, Shep [Sheppard] about had me passed at one end I guess, and I was lucky to get back by him. These are some of the best racers I feel like with the stiffest competition there are down here. I am happy to win against them that’s for sure,” said the Winfield, Tennessee native.  There was track prep work done before the feature after a caution-free High Limit Sprint Car feature won by Jacob Allen. Marlar was asked about how it changed his strategy for the feature. “It will mess with you a little bit you know, you made your changes, and you really don’t know what the track will do. I am glad they worked on it because it really needed it. I was just confident in my set-up. I kind of stayed where I planned on being before the track prep and it worked out really good. Winning a race at this level is basically a night of all good decisions on the track and off the track.” Sheppard, who won his first heat race during Speedweeks earlier in the night battled with Marlar as the two went back-and-forth just past the halfway mark as Sheppard was credited with leading lap 28 before Marlar seized control of the top spot a lap later. “It was a really fun race,” said the defending Dirt Track World Championship winner afterwards. “It’s been an up-and-down Speedweeks for us for sure. We haven’t been able to race towards the front a whole race like that you know we’ve had to pass a bunch of cars during Speedweeks because we haven’t qualified good. Tonight, I feel like we turned that around. We won our first heat race of Speedweeks, so that’s really good. We qualified good and I think we ended Speedweeks on a really good note. We really wanted to win this one really bad, this place has been good to me over the years, but I have never got a win here.”  Madden, who ran second to Ricky Thornton Jr. in one of the two Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events at Golden Isles back in January took home the spot after leading the opening lap of the feature before yielding to Marlar on lap two. “Mikey’s [Marlar] raced a lot on this type of surface and Brandon’s [Sheppard] been in the South a lot since he’s been on the road starting back in the day when he raced for Mark Richards. He’s raced here as much as I have. All-in-all we had a good night, we were just way too tight in the first 10 or 15 laps or so. I think we fell back to like fifth and then we come back up through there. We were just extremely tight to start with and we just couldn’t get it done there the first few laps.”  The winner’s Greg Bruening, Skyline Motorsports-owned, Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Truck Country, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Olson Explosives, Capital Signs, Bilstein Shocks, Petroff Towing, Bruening Rock Products, Brown’s Heavy Equipment, and Can Am Auto Salvage. Completing the top ten were Garrett Alberson, Hudson O’Neal, Daulton Wilson, Kyle Larson, and Wil Herrington.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Race Summary Deuces WildSaturday, February 24, 2024Golden Isles Speedway – Brunswick, GA
Allstar Performance Time TrialsFast Time Group A: Chris Madden | 14.953 seconds (overall)Fast Time Group B: Mike Marlar | 15.010 seconds 
Penske Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 44-Chris Madden[1]; 2. 14X-Wil Herrington[5]; 3. 55H-Benji Hicks[11]; 4. 76N-Blair Nothdurft[6]; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens[2]; 6. 111-Max Blair[7]; 7. 93-Cory Lawler[9]; 8. 9-Nick Hoffman[8]; 9. 51-Chad Tuten[12]; 10. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[4]; 11. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[3]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner[10]
Summit Racing Products Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 49-Jonathan Davenport[2]; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson[3]; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson[5]; 4. 32P-Bobby Pierce[1]; 5. 8-Dillon McCowan[4]; 6. 99B-Boom Briggs[7]; 7. 214-Haiden Cowan[9]; 8. 19R-Ryan Gustin[6]; 9. 15-Ethan Wilson[8]; 10. 3-Brennon Willard[11]; 11. 11-Austin Smith[10]
Earnhardt Technologies Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[1]; 2. 18D-Daulton Wilson[2]; 3. 1-Hudson O’Neal[5]; 4. 6K-Kyle Larson[4]; 5. 10-Garrett Smith[3]; 6. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[7]; 7. 1T-Tyler Erb[6]; 8. 6-Clay Harris[10]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[9]; 10. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[8]; 11. 15M-Mitch Fulford[11]
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. B5-Brandon Sheppard[1]; 2. 76-Brandon Overton[2]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[3]; 4. 99-Devin Moran[5]; 5. 7T-Drake Troutman[4]; 6. 7-Ross Robinson[7]; 7. 5-Mark Whitener[8]; 8. 97-Cody Overton[9]; 9. 75-Daniel Adam[6]; 10. 388-Jackson Hise[10]; 11. (DNS) 00-Russell Brown Jr
Fast Shafts B-Main Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 111-Max Blair[3]; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens[1]; 3. 8-Dillon McCowan[2]; 4. 99B-Boom Briggs[4]; 5. 9-Nick Hoffman[7]; 6. 93-Cory Lawler[5]; 7. 51-Chad Tuten[9]; 8. 214-Haiden Cowan[6]; 9. 19R-Ryan Gustin[8]; 10. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[11]; 11. 4G-Bob Gardner[15]; 12. 3-Brennon Willard[12]; 13. 15-Ethan Wilson[10]; 14. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[13]; 15. (DNS) 11-Austin Smith
UNOH B-Main Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 10-Garrett Smith[1]; 2. 46-Earl Pearson Jr[3]; 3. 7-Ross Robinson[4]; 4. 6-Clay Harris[7]; 5. 7T-Drake Troutman[2]; 6. 5-Mark Whitener[6]; 7. 97-Cody Overton[8]; 8. 1T-Tyler Erb[5]; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith[9]; 10. 388-Jackson Hise[12]; 11. 75-Daniel Adam[10]; 12. 25-Tony Jackson Jr[11]; 13. 15M-Mitch Fulford[13]; 14. (DNS) 00-Russell Brown Jr.
Deuces Wild Feature Finish (50 Laps):
Race Statistics  Entrants: 45Victory Fuel Pole Sitter: Chris MaddenLap Leaders: Chris Madden (Lap 1); Mike Marlar (Laps 2-27); Brandon Sheppard (Lap 28); Mike Marlar (Laps 29-50)Wieland Feature Winner: Mike MarlarArizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/aBrandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/aMargin of Victory: 1.001 seconds Dave Warren Powersports Cautions: Drake Troutman (Lap 8)Series Provisionals: Ricky Thornton, Jr.; Mike MarlarFast Time Provisional: n/aSeries Emergency Provisionals: Boom Briggs; Drake Troutman; Bob Gardner; Brenden SmithTrack Provisional: n/aBig River Steel Podium Top 3: Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Chris MaddenPenske Shocks Top 5: Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Chris Madden, Brandon Overton, Jonathan DavenportTodd Steel Buildings Hard Charger of the Race: Tyler Erb (Advanced 7 Positions) Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7th Place Feature: Hudson O’NealDeatherage Opticians Lucky 13th Place Feature: Bobby PierceMD3 Most Laps Led: Mike Marlar (48 Laps) Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Garrett AlbersonMidwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Ricky Thornton, Jr.O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: n/a Coltman Farms Fastest Lap of the Race: Mike Marlar (Lap 11 – 15.601seconds) Slicker Graphics Slickest Move of the Race: Brandon SheppardMiller Welders Hard Luck Award: Ricky Thornton, Jr.Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Josh Davis (Mike Marlar)ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing EnginesMiller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn ChassisDirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Overton (15.0105 seconds)Time of Race: 16 minutes 52 seconds 
Big River Steel Chase for the Championship Presented by ARP Point Standings:

Jesse Love and the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Team Dominate at Atlanta Motor Speedway


Rookie Driver Wins Pole, Two Stage Wins and Leads 157 Laps Before Late-Race Caution Relegates Team to 12th-Place Finish
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“Congratulations to Austin Hill and the No. 21 bunch. We had a great run today in the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet. We just ran out of fuel at the end of the race. I’m not going to question reality on why the caution was so long at the end of the race and if we could have made it if that didn’t happen, or if I could have saved a little bit more fuel while leading the race. I was trying hard to save fuel throughout the final stage, but I did not want to get taken advantage of with 16 laps to go when I wasn’t expecting it. I tried to stay aggressive and, obviously, there was no way we were going to pit at the end of the race. On the restart, once I got to third gear the engine died, and then I got it to go again and then it died again. It’s frustrating, but we had a really fast Whelen Camaro. I want to thank everybody at RCR and ECR for bringing really fast cars. It was a short week and my guys worked their guts out. We are going to be very motivated this week.”
-Jesse Love 
Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation & Logistics Chevrolet Team Earn Back-to-Back NASCAR Xfinity Series Wins with Dramatic Late-Race Win at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Hill Leads NASCAR Xfinity Series Point Standings
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“I was thinking that we were down and out. I was thinking that the No. 2 Chevrolet would win and I thought ‘hey, if I can’t win, let my teammate win, that’s great for RCR.’. We were riding there in fourth or fifth position and I was saving fuel. My crew chief, Andy Street, and my spotter, Derek Kneeland, were talking on the radio about how much fuel to save. We came to the restart and I was sloshing it around. We got through the gears and when I went to shift from third to fourth gear, I actually stumbled and the No. 81 car hit me really hard and woke it back up. I had enough fuel to complete the lap. My teammate ran an awesome race. To be a rookie and lead that many laps – he should be sitting here in Victory Lane right now. He just ran out of fuel. When you’re leading the line you can’t save as much fuel as I could, and that’s ultimately what did him in. It’s so awesome to win here at my home track again. It’s our third win here, and it’s the 50th Anniversary of Bennett Transportation & Logistics. I can’t thank Bennett enough. It’s their home track too – their headquarters are only 15 minutes down the road. Man, what a race. Thank you to all of my guys on the No. 21 team, everyone at RCR and ECR and Chevrolet. It feels good to be in Victory Lane.” -Austin Hill

Burton Qualifies 16th at Atlanta


February 24, 2024


Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang Dark Horse are set to start 16th in Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Burton earned that spot with a lap at 176.577 miles per hour around Atlanta’ 1.54-mile quad-oval on Saturday.

There was no practice prior to or after qualifying this weekend, other than a brief session to allow drivers to familiarize themselves with the pit road entrance.

Sunday’s race will be Burton’s fifth at Atlanta in a Cup car. His Wood Brothers team will be making its 114th start at Atlanta. Twelve of those starts resulted in victories, which places the team second on the all-time win list at Atlanta.  

The 260-lap, 400-mile race is expected to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. Eastern Time, with TV coverage on FOX.

Stage breaks are planned for Laps 60 and 160.
 

chevy racing–nascar–atlanta–kyle busch

NASCAR CUP SERIES ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY AMBETTER HEALTH 400 TEAM CHEVY MEDIA AVAILABILITY QUOTES FEBRUARY 24, 2024

KYLE BUSCH, NO. 8 CHEDDAR’S SCRATCH KITCHEN CAMARO ZL1, met with the media prior to the NASCAR Cup Series’ qualifying session at Atlanta Motor Speedway – Media Availability Quotes From the time you come off of turn two, could you go through the process of how that all works? “Yeah, so we’ll likely have two pages – one for under green and one for under yellow that we’ll use for different lights and what we’ll look for in the gearing, RPM ranges and whatnot. If you’re under green and you’re coming off of turn two, you have to make sure you’re on page two – whatever page it is – and then you’ll slow down as quickly as you can, as late as you can, in order to make it to the 90 mph speed zone by the first line. Carry that around the corner and then you’ll slow down through your lights and then run your pit road lights. There’s different colors – you’ve got three different sets of colors that you can go through, so there’s a pretty wide range. You’ll probably run all reds.. actually you’ll run probably four blues through the corner, and then you’ll run all reds on pit road. That’s typically what we do.”
When you were scouting talent for up-and-coming drivers, what were the factors you were looking for besides just wins? “For us, the skill level and the background of where they come from. Racing in the super late model ranks was kind of where I got my best sense of racing against some of those younger guys and got to pick up on some of those guys. Brian Ickler was one of our early guys at KBM, and then we obviously got Erik Jones from when he beat me in super late model race down in Pensacola. You look at those characteristics. I don’t know if we ever necessarily looked at their persona, or relied on that a whole lot, or their media training and anything like that. We’d just kind of help them through some of that stuff once they got to us. Toyota, TRD and their workforce of what they all did was a huge part of all of that, as well, too. I had a couple of guys that I really liked that I picked and sold them on, and we were able to bring them in. And then they had a bunch of guys that they wanted and basically said – hey, we’re going to run these guys and we all kind of agreed and worked together on.”
You have a new jackman this week. I don’t know how involved you get in those decision, if at all, but the fact they wanted to try something different after struggle the first week – did it surprise you at all because teams tend to kind of work with the same people, at least for a little bit before trying something different?“Well the jackman we had was the same jackman we had all of last year. We were trying to redo a few different positions over the offseason, and some of the talent we were scouting, talking to and giving offers to, they declined them and went somewhere else. We kind of just had what we had, and we’ve been working through that. It’s tough out there. It’s really hard to recruit and get guys. Especially with where RCR is based and where they’re at, it’s a long drive to get up to Welcome to pit stop practice sometimes three and four times a week, whatever it might be. I know that Ray and all the guys there in the pit crew department are working super hard. Trust me, they’ve heard it – not from me, but from Richard week in and week out. Their ears are bleeding, but I know they’re trying and I know they’re working hard. Trust me, there were plenty of offers over the offseason to try and get different talent up there, and we just weren’t able to secure it.”
There’s a lot of talk since the fuel saving last weekend. Obviously it’s always been an important part, but how much it’s grown even more so the last couple of years. What can be done, if anything, in terms of taking emphasis off of that and allowing you guys to do a little bit more and race a little bit more, as opposed to riding around more?“Yeah, good question. We kind of talked about it in our Chevy meeting last weekend among the other drivers, and there was really no solution that came to the forefront. The only one that I really had was to reduce the fuel cell size to create more opportunities of coming to pit road to just break it up more. But then you put your pit crew and the guys on pit road in more danger.. you put twice as much emphasis on doing all of that. When you come to pit road, it kind of breaks up the field for a little while.. like you take about 10 laps to kind of get it sorted back in and get going again. We go like 30 to 33 laps on fuel. If you go 15 or 16, and it takes 10 to bunch everybody back up – well now you’re getting ready to pit again. So you’re not going to sit there and save. You’re going to be going all out as much as you can, and making sure that you’re not fuel saving in order to do the leap frog strategy. A couple of guys said – no, you’d still do the same thing, but I don’t know that you would.”
Is it a problem, or is problem the right word?“I believe it is. I believe it’s a problem. The start of the race last weekend for the Daytona 500 – we’re all sitting around there running half-throttle; not passing and just riding in a line. I felt disgraceful, myself, being a race car driver – wanting to go fast, lead laps and win the Daytona 500, and that was our strategy that we had to employ at the start of the race because everybody was doing it. When you’re running wide open and you’re in the draft, your pace is probably a 46.30. We were running 49.80’s.. almost 50 second lap times. It was pathetic.. I was like, how slow are we going to go? I felt bad for the fans. This is not good for them. It’s not what I want to be doing. But when you kind of get in that situation, I don’t know what you do. The third lane could have developed. It was so early in the race; nobody wants to develop a third lane. We’re riding – it’s a 500 mile race, don’t blow everything up in the first stage, right? But somebody could have just pulled out into the outside lane and literally just ran to the front and done whatever they wanted to do. So I was surprised nobody did that.”
When you say disgraceful.. there were a lot of races where it’s a 500 mile race and you can’t lose it immediately; you have to take your time to kind of buildup… “But there’s no passing.. people want to see passing. The fans are all about – hey, we want to see racing. That’s not racing.. that’s riding. Yeah, back in the days – sure, you had 500 or 600 mile races where you needed to ride for a while. The Coca-Cola 600, for instance – it’s a long race, but you’re at least still trying to pass the guy in front of you and get in position as the day goes on. You’re not just riding 15th for the first 100 laps and being like – yeah, cool, I’m good with riding 15th right now. No.. you want to get further up the ladder and run with speed, your talent, your car’s ability and everything else. Doing what we did last week, you might as well pull the cars out of the parking lot and run rental cars around.”
Was there any conversations among your team about how to approach these first two races? You’re down a car from Daytona. You’re in Atlanta and you could very easily be down a car, so how do you approach that? “Yeah, our Atlanta car was the car that we raced in the Daytona 500. So everything kind of got pushed up a week. The Daytona 500 car that we crashed – it went back to the shop and I think we’re on a five-week cycle, so whatever the fifth race is, it’ll probably be where that one goes. But yeah, this week’s car was slated to be our Las Vegas car, so it just kind of moves everything up. The cars are all the same, so there’s not really much differences that you have. You’re talking maybe a small part on a body part that you can maybe push or pull or whatever that you can get through the hawkeye, but it’s not a lot.”
Going back to last weekend, you had the issue on the pit stop. Richard Childress comes on the radio and tells everyone to get their heads out of their butts. When you have a car owner like that, one that’s really involved, what’s that like? “Well that’s kind of what I answered early, was Richard is very involved and wants any situation to get better. If we’re not winning every single race out of the year, then how did we lose that one race? What can we do to make it better? That’s a racer’s mentality.. that’s what we all try to strive for and try to be better at. It’s tough sometimes when you have the human element. We all make mistakes.. I made tons of them last year and my crew stuck behind me – was passionate that I was their driver and wanted to go to the next week and figure out how to win the next one. I know where Richard is coming from, and I appreciate that – the emphasis he puts on greatness and wanting to be better. It’s what we all strive for.”
With two years on this new configuration, are the ‘warm and fuzzies’ all gone? What has been gained, and what has been lost? “Yeah, any form of restrictor plate, pack-style racing is not high on my list. I would say – obviously as much as the surface deteriorated, there comes a point where something has to be done and they went through it. I just don’t understand or appreciate why we added the banking and the stuff that they did here in the reconfiguration.. although it’s the same outside wall spacing. Would I have much rather seen them just repave what we had? Probably because you would know then that, at least when it deteriorates some, it can get back to the old Atlanta ways. This deteriorates here, I mean it’s going to be fast.. it’s going to be damn fast sliding around, like 10 mph faster through the corners sliding around than what the old track would have been. We’re racers, though. As I’ve said before, we all want to go fast and do what we can to be the fastest ones out there. It’s not that you’re scared of that, it’s just that the hits are harder.”
Later today, you’re going to make your first drafting track start in the Truck Series since 2015. What was behind the decision to run the Truck race here? “Well watching the Truck race here last year, it doesn’t necessarily fall in line or orchestrate itself as a Daytona or Talladega-style race. It is different. So I kind of took that into consideration, that you can make some moves by yourself. Yes, you’re in a line, you’re drafting, you’re trying to hold onto the draft and all that sort of stuff. But it did seem like there were some times in which handling kind of came into play.. making some moves kind of came into play and whatnot. It’s definitely not like a Kansas, where you can be the leader, run away and go hide. 
It wasn’t my first choice. Definitely wouldn’t have been at all my choice, but I’m thankful for the opportunity that Spire Motorsports and Group 1001 gave to me to be able to come out here and run the five truck races that I’m allowed to do. This was the fifth one that was available on the list that I could do. I didn’t have much pick. It’s tough of a pick with all of the regulations and things that I have with NASCAR and all that sort of stuff, which the triple-truck challenge races, the playoff races. I don’t do speedway races, so my pick of the litter was I think literally eight or nine races that I could do. It gets small.” What is your thought on the current state of the Truck Series? “You know, you could talk about the current state of NASCAR. I feel like the current state of NASCAR is healthy and strong. You look at the Cup Series – having all of the things that are kind of happening behind the scenes, with big team owners coming in and being a part of all of that, and it just trickles down. Being able to get a new TV deal and all that sort of stuff, with NASCAR and the TV networks – we’re all grateful and thankful for that, and the hard work that was put in behind-the-scenes. It trickles down into the Xfinity Series and it trickles down into the Truck Series. Would I say that there are 500 ‘Fortune 500’ companies that are all out here participating in our sport? No, there’s not. So the sponsorship landscape is absolutely the toughest landscape in our sport, but I don’t know that’s any different than what it was in the high time.. in the mid-90s to the mid-2000s. I think you still saw cars that were in the back of the field that were under funded or had a struggling time being able to find big name sponsors to be able to get them to the track or to get them a better footing within the series to withstand and have some strength to their company.”

chevy racing–nascar–atlanta–corey lajoie

NASCAR CUP SERIES ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY AMBETTER HEALTH 400 TEAM CHEVY MEDIA AVAILABILITY QUOTES FEBRUARY 24, 2024
COREY LAJOIE, NO. 7 CELSIUS CAMARO ZL1, met with the media prior to the NASCAR Cup Series’ qualifying session at Atlanta Motor Speedway – Media Availability Quotes  YOU HAVE ONE YOUNG TEAMMATE AND ANOTHER COMING IN. AS A VETERAN, WHAT FACTORS DO YOU WANT THEM TO BRING TO THE TEAM?I think for us, its consistent feedback in those two cars. Where its really been a one-car team that has more or less functioned as a two-car operation the last couple of years. But there were part time guys, and some crew chief turnover throughout the course of last year on the 77.  I don’t think Ty (Dillon) had a great shot at it. There was just a lot of inconsistency with the other car, so if we could just get a little consistency there.  Carson (Hocevar) has been doing a majority of the simulator time for us and validating the tires and things like that, that allows me to be at home a little more with the kids and then when I can go on a Thursday evening for two-and-a-half hours, I can really plug in and focus and fine tune and get our stuff ready for the weekend.  So, for us, just consistency in the 77 and consistency in the 71, will help the baseline of our team collectively which is something we have had a hard time with the last couple of years.”
ARE THERE THINGS YOU CAN TEACH THEM AS THEY ARE COMING IN, JUST BASICALLY LIKE PIT STALL ENTRY AND THINGS LIKE THAT?“Those guys are pros.  They are championship guys from the Truck Series, and I don’t have the credentials next to my name statistically for those guys to listen to what I have to say, but I have been doing this for a long time, and they have asked some good questions. But at the end of the day too, it’s just like when you’re dad tells you to do something, they aren’t going to listen to you.  You kind of have to figure out how to do it yourself.   But those guys have a lot of good people in their corner whether its Josh Wise, Scott Speed, and everyone from GM to just help prepare those guys for Sunday. It is a large learning curve, and we are getting the better parts of people to compete on Sundays as well.  The learning curve is much steeper if you’re cars aren’t fast. So, if we bring fast cars to the racetrack, then that learning curve flattens out a little bit and I think those guys can succeed.”
DID THE NEAR WIN HERE AND OTHER GOOD RUNS AT RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS GIVE YOU AND EXTRA SENSE OF CONFIDENCE?“I have a lot of confidence every week, but drafting tracks isn’t such a handicap for what I have had to drive the last couple of years.  But after the reconfiguration here I have run well and Talladega and Daytona is somewhere where you can play chess with a little bit slow remorse and take advantage of some guys that might get too greedy or something like that. Where those were my only opportunities to succeed, but now we are going to succeed on short tracks, intermediates, and road courses as well.  Going in here, you don’t want to circle a speedway as your chance to win, because a lot of it is out of your control.  You can do your best to put yourself in position to win, but sometimes it doesn’t bounce your way. We know we have done it pretty much every race here, put ourselves in position to win, so I think we are going to do the same thing here tomorrow.”
HOW DIFFERENT IS THAT CHESS GAME HERE IN ATLANTA COMPARED TO DAYTONA OR TALLADEGA?“It’s like speed chess. Talladega is chess, but you have to see runs happening, see runs forming, but the energy of lanes coming or going is a bit slower here. Runs come and then they close.  Openings come and then they close, probably double the speed they do at Daytona or Talladega. And I think much more of it is handling here at Atlanta. With a good handling car, you can be aggressive. Where some guys will have to roll out (of the throttle) if their cars are all trimmed out and they are hanging on halfway through a run.  We have passed some really good driving cars here. And you have to have some friends, because if you make that move to the bottom for the lead, and the guy behind you goes with the guy you are trying to pass, its not going to work out. So, all of those deposits you make in the bank like at Daytona last week to make buddies, trying to push the right guys at the right time….seems like guys are more apt to stay on my rear bumper now, after all the success we have had at the speedways.  So, hopefully that continues here tomorrow.”
IT WAS SAID THAT RACING WAS A BIT SKETCHY HERE, EXCEPT FOR THE TWELVE GUYS THAT CAN HOLD IT WIDE OPEN AROUND THE TRACK. ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE 12?“I was one of those 12, and I qualified 30th.  So, for whatever reason, it doesn’t translate. Sometimes the ones that drive good are a little slow. I have also had bad driving ones here too.  So, I anticipate the Fords being strong and as strong as they were in qualifying last week, and I think the Penske cars qualified 1-2-3 here last race. So those guys are going to be tough to beat as always, they know how to make a race car go fast in a circle. That hasn’t been our strong suit, qualifying at any speedway.  I don’t think we have qualified within two of the front at all ever.  If we can do that, that would be a huge win and give us a little bit more pace to be offensive in the race. But you think it looks easy, just going around there by yourself, but the guys have all the rounds taken out of it for qualifying and you are essentially sitting on three bump stops with, I don’t know, 60 pounds of air in the tires and you are on the razor’s edge of grip by yourself. They make them a little less sketchy to drive for the race, but you still can put yourself in a bad spot pretty quick.”
DO YOU LOOK AT SPIRE IN ITS CURRENT SITUATION AS SPIRE 2.0 COMPARED TO WHERE YOU WERE A YEAR AGO?“Oh yeah, it’s a totally different team.  The transition of the shop, and the shop is one thing, right?  But the Gainbridge relationship, the new teammates, the added engineering, the more help from GM and Hendrick Engines, and Hendrick pit crews, it’s not even remotely the same team. The addition of Doug Duchardt too. It would be nice to come to a situation like this, but I was at the dry erase board with the Expo marker trying to figure out how to get to this point. So rarely does it work out where a vision where TJ or someone like that has grandiose visions come to life. It’s pretty cool to be a part of that and it’s almost like we just started being like a legitimate race team. The last three years have been like, how can we just go put a car on the racetrack. So, the intention in going to the racetrack is a little bit different and the expectations are different also.

FOR WHAT YOU HAVE JUST SAID, IS THAT WHY THIS YEAR WILL BE THE NEXT STEP FORWARD THAT YOU HAVE SEEN COMING?“We have been taking steps forward every year.  We have had some good runs on occasion, but not very frequent and not very consistent. In every measurable category statistically last year, we were better than the year prior.  And I don’t anticipate this year being any different and we are going to take a step now. Taking a steps in this garage isn’t like 10 places. It isn’t like going from a 25th place team to a Championship Four team overnight, that is not how it works. A tangible step forward might be one spot, two spots, because now there are 24 factory teams essentially between Toyotas, and Fords and Chevrolet. Those are key partner teams. So, for us to be in that 20th to 16th playoff team on points, you are beating eight teams that are fully funded, fully resourced, and we are still on the outside looking in when it comes to key partner information. So, I feel like we have done a great job so far and especially overachieving for the resources that we have and we are going to continue to take…..it may not be noticeable to any of you guys in here, but we are going to be better in the amount of top fives we have, in the amount of top tens we have.  There is not a measurable amount, but there is going to be more. We just have lofty goals in terms of……I can’t calculate it right now, but we have for the bonus structure for the guys in the shop, we separate the Daytona 500 as its own race.  You race that one different because you want to have a good points day and you want to cash a check.  So we essentially start this season as a team here in Atlanta and we break the season up in seven, five-race mini seasons. And if you have a better finish than an average finish over those five races better than 20th, you acquire a certain amount of points, its like 80 something. We set the benchmark of all these with 19th or better metrics with laps led, laps completed, average finish position. If you hit those markers for the five-race mini season, then everybody in the shop gets a bonus. Even the Truck team gets a bonus if the Cup team hits it. So, we introduced that last year and it made the season much more palpable. You know it gets long and grueling, but it allows you to reset and kind of attack each race segment with attention and some attainable goals.  I think we hit two out of the seven last year and came up a little short on two more, so if we can hit all those little mini season benchmarks then that should put us up in the conversation as right on the fringe, right on the outside looking in of pointing our way in the playoffs. But obviously you feel pretty good about it if you can get a notch on that column and be in the playoffs.”
IS IT PLAYOFFS OR BUST AND IS THAT LOOKING REALISTIC FOR THIS TEAM?“I think there are a couple of us internally, particularly Doug, myself and Sparks, and Dickerson, that we feel like that if we execute, we can be in the playoffs.  That is a reaching goal, but the only way you can score it is if you have a goal.  The goal is also a goal that we set out for the team three years ago, and some of them were let’s just finish the race here.  Literally.  So, we continue to move the benchmark and raise the bar for our goals. The bar for this year, for our team, is the playoffs.  If we can get close to that, it would make a lot of guys, myself included, really happy. I have matured as a driver behind the wheel as well as off, and I think it will be a dogfight.  It will be an absolutely dogfight, but I think if we execute for the next 20 weeks, 24 weeks, I think we can be in the conversation.”
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN BE DONE TO LESSEN THE FOCUS ON FUEL SAVING OR IS THIS WHAT EVERYBODY HAS GOT?“I don’t know.  I think everybody seems to have a quick fix and not much thought behind it when it comes to the people that actually have to make the decision, those guys are the ones looking at the data. Because sometimes you think its going to be a fix and you create four more problems. Because there are world class crew chiefs and engineers that will sit there and nitpick thousands of an inch, or thousands of a mile in terms of miles to the gallon to try and make the races as advantageous for themselves as possible. Do I like trying to work to get the lead and then get yelled at by our crew chief because you are burning too much fuel? No.  But what do I do? Just let six or seven guys go by me so I can ride at 60%? No.  So, I don’t love that its how its kind of worked. I understand that it’s kind of the game that is presented right now, and with everybody as equal as it is, you want to be on pit road or in your box the least amount of time possible to leapfrog the guys you are in front of. I don’t look at enough data to be able to make a fix and I think anybody that sits here and says they have a fix probably is not correct. But I do know that NASCAR doesn’t like the fact that the entire field was running 51.50s and a guy in a single car qualified two seconds faster than that.  So that’s something they are going to be looking at.”
REGARDING THE MOUTHGARD DEVELOPMENT YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH. “I am glad I haven’t been the crash test dummy before, or too much like Ryan Blaney has been lately. I appreciate him collecting the data for us. When they first came out, they have been working with Wake Forest and those guys are top notch. I think really and truly it speaks to the investment that NASCAR is making in the health of the drivers and seeing how much….especially with the Next Gen stuff and speaking about the comments about how stiff and rigid the car was, they actually wanted to see how much of the energy was transferred to the drivers.  The first couple of mouthpiece designs were pretty clunky and sat in the top of your mouth and you sounded like you were talking with a mouthful of peanut butter.  Something we came up with was to wear it like a night guard, like an Invisalign at night, and we actually put all the hardware on the outside of your teeth. Which is something they hadn’t done before because normally with football players you want everything inside and in the top of your mouth, so for now with the way the races are and no contact with the helmet, we are able to put the hardware on the outside of your mouth.  There are probably 15-18 guys interested in wearing them because you can talk, and it’s comfortable. So, we have continued to evolve that and they have some really cool stuff like the bus stop at Watkins Glen, and some other areas of the race track where they were really high G load, whether it was left to right or up and down.  And we have really worked hard on the headrest surround foam, so its all correlating and that has been a really big piece to understand head knocks in our sport.”
YOU HAVE COME SO CLOSE HERE AND YOU HAVE SAID YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO, ARE YOU CONFIDENT YOU WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO IF PUT IN THAT POSITION AGAIN?“Well, I can assure you this Bob.  I don’t think any situation is the same, but the characters, the players and the point in the racetrack and how much run you have, will never be the same.  So, I have relooked at that lap here a couple years ago here at Atlanta and I was trying to get to Chase’s right rear, and the moment that I kind of thought it was a racing thing. It was probably one-half step over the line of what would not be considered dirty, but nonetheless, he did what he had to do to win. With experience here now at speedways, there are things that I am going to do different. Preferably be the one in front. It is much easier to defend than to be on offense on the last lap. So, we are going to do all we can to put ourselves in that position here tomorrow.”                                                                   

chevy racing–nascar–atlanta–william byron

NASCAR CUP SERIES ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY AMBETTER HEALTH 400 TEAM CHEVY MEDIA AVAILABILITY QUOTES FEBRUARY 24, 2024
WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 RAPTOR HIGH HEAT CAMARO ZL1, met with the media prior to the NASCAR Cup Series’ qualifying session at Atlanta Motor Speedway – Media Availability Quotes I think the consensus is that you’re one of the more quiet guys in the garage. From the Netflix show to doing all of the media in New York after winning the Daytona 500, how has that experience been for you? “Yeah, it’s been fun. I enjoyed all of the stuff that I got to do this week, especially because it’s something unique and different, and I felt like it was really interesting. There were a lot of interesting questions and just different outlets trying to learn about the sport. I tried my best to do a good job. Obviously I was running off adrenaline for two or three days, and we’re back to the race track now and ready to get to work. 
I enjoyed it. As much as I am quiet, I feel like most of my quiet time is spent at the race track when I’m trying to do my work and focusing on my job.”
It was referenced that you were in New York. I want to say you’ve been there before, but I know this is a pretty intense experience for you. How as the media tour and how did you enjoy your experience in New York City? “Yeah, so my sister lives up there and I go up there and visit her probably once a year. But yeah, I enjoyed it a lot. Like I said, there were a lot of cool outlets. I think the best way to go around New York is in a car service with going place-to-place (laughs). We didn’t have to walk anywhere, so it was a very unique situation. But very cool and just thankful for NASCAR that they put that together. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go getting on the plane Monday night. I was a little nervous about it all, but I thought they managed it really well. It was super smooth. The Empire State Building was probably one of the coolest aspects, just being able to go up there and see the views.”
You mentioned all of the different media outlets trying to learn about NASCAR. The thing about winning the Daytona 500 is that it’s really transformative, in the sense that it takes someone in the sport to entirely new level and you’re serving as an ambassador for NASCAR. Have you started to grasp exactly what being the Daytona 500 Champion has done and will do for you? “I don’t think so.. not yet. There’s just a lot of different aspects to it. I feel like the big thing for us is being able to start the year like that with a lot of momentum, for a lot of different reasons – for our team and to be able to lock ourselves into the Playoffs, and also for sponsor engagement and things like that. I feel like for me personally, it’s a huge relief and something I’m really excited to carry down the road.”
You’ve had great success here at Atlanta Motor Speedway. How do you negotiate the two different pit road speeds – from the time you get off the track, how do you know how fast you’re going? Do you have two sets of lights? Do you downshift during the 90mph section, that sort of stuff? “That’s a great question. You know, what I vividly remember from last year – it’s just coming off turn two, there’s a couple of brake markers. I feel like they did a good job last year kind of bringing those brake markers into play. Typically we don’t use the left-side of the track to really judge where we’re going to brake for pit road on an oval. It’s very unique. And like you said, you’re not getting down to 45 mph.. you’re getting down to 90 mph, so the gearing is a lot different. The lights are built way differently. I think we chose to go with third gear this time. Last time, we were in fourth. So I feel like just trying to understand the cadence there. My engineers sent me a bunch of stuff.. some layouts to make sure I’m aware of what lights I need to run. But the biggest thing is don’t speed because under green, that section is not that important in comparison to being a couple of laps down here. If you go a couple of laps down with how long that pit road is now, your race is ruined. So you just have to not speed.”
Your father couldn’t be at Daytona. What was it like when you finally saw him for the first time? “Yeah, so I didn’t see him until later in the week. He’s better now, he just had a pretty severe cold. But yeah, the coolest part was I was driving home from the shop on Wednesday afternoon after we did the toast. It was maybe our second or third conversation on the phone, but we were just talking about the race and something came up about racing for Dale Earnhardt Jr. – how in 2014, that was the last time that Hendrick Motorsports had won a Daytona 500, and that’s when I was driving for Dale in the late models. He was just super emotional. I’ve never really heard him get that choked up over the phone, but it was really special to hear that. Just having been through this journey with him and going to the race track every weekend together starting out, it was very special.”
I was told it took the Netflix deal for you to get into the door with LEGO. Is that accurate? “Yeah, I mean we’re working on it, for sure. I’d love to have a LEGO car out there. I think they do so many unique things with that design. Certainly, still going to build.. need to work on my next project here soon. I have some ideas. They are going to send me quite a few sets, so that’ll be nice. No more eBay.. I usually go on eBay and get the LEGO sets because they’re backordered.”
You have two wins here at Atlanta Motor Speedway since the reconfiguration, so obviously you’re comfortable with the high banks on a 1.5-mile track. I get the idea that maybe that’s not the consensus in the garage. Do you hear varying views on this track? “Yeah, I mean look – we’ve been really fortunate that it’s worked out for us a couple of times. The first win, we were pretty dominate here – led over 100 laps and put ourselves in a good position. But since then, it’s gotten even more chaotic. It’s two to three wide and it seems like everyone has really figured out the draft here. It’s unique, for sure. I wouldn’t want to do it every week, but I do enjoy the challenge of it. I think it’s a super exciting show for the fans. If you think about the attendance here when it was the old layout, and seeing how packed it was here in July – it seems like the fans like it. Like I said, I don’t want to do it every week, but I enjoy the aspect of drafting, lifting a little bit and all the different things that come with it.”
With two superspeedway, drafting tracks, back-to-back – do you anticipate it will be a bigger mental or physical toll after tomorrow’s race?“Yeah, I mean look – in the offseason, I was like man, don’t crash in the first two races because you’re going to be pretty beat up. Yeah, I think it’ll be physical, for sure, if you’re in some crashes. But this track isn’t overly physical.. it’s kind of right there in the middle, I would say. But as we get to some of the short-tracks, really the schedule in March and April, you’ll need to be prepared for those. But we’ve got a little ways to go, so there’s still some training and preparation to try and get ready for that stretch.”
For the fact that this track is now in the Playoffs and you’re locked-in, does that allow you to try something or does that change the dynamic at all for you?“Yeah, I mean it just makes the race a little more important for us. We just have to have a notebook for this race, so we need to understand what our setup needs to be and kind of tinker with that going back here in the fall. We can’t really try much here because we want to have a good data point for the fall and know – hey, our car drove pretty well. A lot is out of your control here, but hopefully we can have a good driving Chevy, good strategy and just get a little bit of an idea for the fall.”
If it wasn’t in the playoffs, you could potentially experiment more? “Yeah, I think you wouldn’t put a whole lot of weight on it, especially coming off a win. Last year here, we just had the point penalty, so we had a lot of making up to do. But this year and already being locked into the playoffs, there’s a new importance to it.”
Is there anything that can be looked out or considered that would allow you guys not to be as focused or concerned about fuel saving in a speedway-type of race? “Yeah, it’s a very complex problem because I think anytime you shorten the amount of fuel that you have in the cars, you’re just going to make the windows smaller. And then you’re going to have the same issue or the same thing happening, where you’re trying to have a shorter pit stop. It’s just evolution and technology.. it’s really just us figuring out what the best strategy is. I’m surprised it wasn’t more of a thing earlier on, but I think with this package and with track position being so important with there being so much drag on the car and really two-wide – it’s very difficult just to shoot your way to the front from the back. I don’t know what the adjustment is that needs to be made. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to win the race. I feel like we were pretty smart about it. If you look at our average running position last week, it wasn’t what people would think. But we would always cycle forward; have a chance to race it out for the stage win and have a chance at the end. I’m just going to do whatever the rules tell me to do.”
As you look at someone trying a similar career path as yours and not getting directly in a car first, what do you see as far as that next group of drivers coming up? What would be advice to them as they start their career and the path you did, versus being in a car first? “I think just having fun with it. Like what I see from a lot of young kids, going to the carting track and racing on iRacing – people are just taking it way too seriously, way too soon. I feel like you just have to really enjoy what you do – try to learn and try to get better as a driver and learn more about the sport. And then eventually, by the time you get to this level, you’re going to feel a lot of pressure. I think not putting too much pressure on yourself at an early age to try to be the best. I think just try to get out there and experience things; enjoy driving the race car and see what you can do with it.” 

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Partners with Quartz Hill Records, Stone Country Records For 4-Wide Salute

CONCORD, NC (Feb. 23, 2024) – Quartz Hill Records and Stone Country Records are bringing the biggest names in country music to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series’ “4-Wide Salute to the Fans” in 2024.The two record labels – part of Benny Brown’s Brown Sellers Brown, LLC – will present the famous “4-Wide Salute” at every World of Outlaws Sprint Car race, featuring music from their all-star roster of artists, including GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Joe Nichols, platinum-selling artists Thompson Square, Easton Corbin and Runaway June, along with newcomers Ben Gallaher, Annie Bosko and more.“We’re excited to partner with the World of Outlaws,” said Tina Hill, manager at Brown Sellers Brown, LLC. “We have a long-standing relationship with the racing world and look forward to carrying on the traditions both companies are known for.”Company owner Benny Brown has a rich racing background, having previously raced in California and is the grandfather of NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick.Johnny Gibson’s famous “4-Wide Salute” call is one of the most iconic in all of motorsports, setting the stage for the night’s action with words like “Often imitated, never duplicated. The Greatest Show on Dirt!” And now, combined with Quartz Hill Records and Stone Country Records’ collection of high-profile artists, fans will be treated to an electric start to every World of Outlaws Feature event.For more about Quartz Hill Records and its artists, visit quartzhillrecords.com. And for more about Stone Country Records and its artists, visit stonecountryrecords.com.To see, and hear, every 4-Wide Salute in person, get your tickets to World of Outlaws events at WorldofOutlaws.com/tix.If you can’t make it to the track, you can still experience every World of Outlaws race live on DIRTVision.
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Partners with Quartz Hill Records, Stone Country Records For 4-Wide SaluteCONCORD, NC (Feb. 23, 2024) – Quartz Hill Records and Stone Country Records are bringing the biggest names in country music to the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series’ “4-Wide Salute to the Fans” in 2024.The two record labels – part of Benny Brown’s Brown Sellers Brown, LLC – will present the famous “4-Wide Salute” at every World of Outlaws Sprint Car race, featuring music from their all-star roster of artists, including GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Joe Nichols, platinum-selling artists Thompson Square, Easton Corbin and Runaway June, along with newcomers Ben Gallaher, Annie Bosko and more.“We’re excited to partner with the World of Outlaws,” said Tina Hill, manager at Brown Sellers Brown, LLC. “We have a long-standing relationship with the racing world and look forward to carrying on the traditions both companies are known for.”Company owner Benny Brown has a rich racing background, having previously raced in California and is the grandfather of NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick.Johnny Gibson’s famous “4-Wide Salute” call is one of the most iconic in all of motorsports, setting the stage for the night’s action with words like “Often imitated, never duplicated. The Greatest Show on Dirt!” And now, combined with Quartz Hill Records and Stone Country Records’ collection of high-profile artists, fans will be treated to an electric start to every World of Outlaws Feature event.For more about Quartz Hill Records and its artists, visit quartzhillrecords.com. And for more about Stone Country Records and its artists, visit stonecountryrecords.com.To see, and hear, every 4-Wide Salute in person, get your tickets to World of Outlaws events at WorldofOutlaws.com/tix.If you can’t make it to the track, you can still experience every World of Outlaws race live on DIRTVision.

Peter Smith to Pilot Second Trifecta Motorsports Entry on 2024 Xtreme Outlaw Midgets Trail

The 19-year-old Micro Sprint racer will pilot Trifecta’s No. 5U starting March 15 in Du Quoin

CONCORD, NC (Feb. 23, 2024) – Trifecta Motorsports’ 2023 campaign with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota was set to be the team’s first and only run on a national Midget series. And then, they almost won the championship.


Now, they’re returning with two cars for the 2024 tour, adding Micro Sprint racer Peter Smith to the team.

“We went into those last couple nights leading the owner’s championship with a real shot at the driver’s championship,” said team co-owner Steve Carbone. “We’re all very motivated, and finishing second in both spots was fantastic, but we just want more.”

Smith, 19, from Anthony, NM, will contest the entire 30-race schedule at the controls of the Spike/Stanton No. 5U alongside veteran teammate and inaugural Series champion Zach Daum in the team’s signature No. 7U Midget.

“I think I’ll fair fairly well,” Smith said. “I know it’s going to be very tough and the competition’s going to be very good, but I feel like I can stack-up against any of them.”

For his first season on the national Midget trail, Smith brings with him brother Mark Smith to handle car chief duties alongside longtime 7U team crew chief Bobby Milliser. The brothers previously worked alongside Milliser as crew members during Milton Hershey School Appalachian Midget Week in 2023 and got their first experiences working as part of the Trifecta team.

“Being able to stay in the grind and not cut corners is a huge thing that they believe in, and working as hard as possible to make sure cars put on the track are 100 percent,” Peter said. “I feel like they have some of the best equipment, and the results of the team speak for themselves.”

That weeklong racing trip to Pennsylvania later evolved into Peter’s first time in the seat of the 5U car alongside Daum during the Xtreme Outlaw Series championship weekend in Oklahoma last October. In a field of over 30 cars each night, Peter qualified for every Feature and turned the third-fastest lap in Qualifying during Saturday’s program at I-44 Riverside Speedway in only his fourth Midget start.

“It was pretty cool,” Peter said. “I know I can drive a car very fast, and that just proves that. I hope to be able to do it again this year.”

Peter’s fast start and Mark’s commitment to helping the team laid the foundation on which their partnership has extended for 2024.

“If we didn’t see something in Peter and Mark, we would just be a one-car deal. One hundred percent,” Carbone said. “They’re the only ones that we were willing to do this with.”

“Mark and Peter know that the opportunity they’ve been given is directly correlated to their work ethic,” Milliser said. “I think that should be rewarded, especially in today’s age.”

While Peter’s racing background is rooted in Legend Cars and Micro Sprints, Mark has spent several seasons behind the wheel of Stock Cars and dirt Modifieds around the local New Mexico and Texas tracks. He’ll turn in his steering wheel for a set of wrenches this year, learning from Milliser’s experience with setup, maintenance and driver communication.

“With Mark, he’s a workhorse, and he’s a sponge,” Milliser said. “He’s come to me willing to learn; he’s humble. He’s got his opinion, but he’s not trying to inset his opinion into an operation that he knows is already successful. And that humility, to me, goes a long way.”

Since the dawn of their presence in the Midget world as a Chili Bowl Nationals-only team in the 2010s, Trifecta Motorsports was a single-car team that later ventured out to a handful of national Midget series events before going full-time in 2023. Rolling a second car into the trailer for each race weekend this year means twice the work for the team, but there’s an upside to that challenge that will help them immensely.

“The challenge is probably part of what we like about it,” Carbone said. “We’ve learned the past few years at Chili Bowl having multiple cars. I’ve always seen the value and the feedback of multiple cars, but to be on the road with multiple cars, I think our notebook is going to get really, really good. Not that they’re not good now, but I think they’re going to get even better.”

The two-car team will begin their chase for the 2024 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota championship with the season opener inside Du Quoin, IL’s Southern Illinois Center – Friday-Saturday, March 15-16.

Tickets for both days will be on sale at the gate. If you can’t be in the building to watch in person, stream all weekend long with a subscription to DIRTVision.

Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

 In 162 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing has earned nine wins and three pole awards, including Kevin Harvick’s emotional victory in 2001. Dale Earnhardt won eight times at the Hampton, Ga., track under the RCR banner (1984-fall, 1986-fall, 1988-spring, 1989-fall, 1990-spring, 1995-fall, 1996-spring, 2000-spring). The Welcome, N.C., team has 30 top-five and 61 top-10 finishes at Atlanta and has led a total of 3,020 laps at the 1.54-mile oval. RCR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway… RCR has recorded five NASCAR Xfinity Series wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, led by Austin Hill (2022 and 2023) and Jeff Burton (2006 and 2007). Kevin Harvick (2013) also has a victory at Atlanta with RCR. RCR as an organization has racked up 16 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes over a span of 60 starts at the Peachtree State track. Catch the Action… The Atlanta 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised live on Saturday, February 24 beginning at 5 p.m. ET on FS1. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.  The Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised live on Sunday, February 25 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. The race will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
       
Austin Dillon and the No. 3 BREZTRI AEROSPHERE® (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway… In 14 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Dillon’s best finish is a sixth-place effort in March 2021. In four NASCAR Xfinity Series and four NASCAR Truck Series races at the Georgia oval, Dillon has earned seven top-10 results and never finished worse than 11th-place. 
BREZTRI AEROSPHERE® (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) Team Up with Dillon… Dillon and the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team will be supported by BREZTRI AEROSPHERE®, an AstraZeneca product, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This partnership is about more than just racing. You can learn more about Austin Dillon and his family’s personal connection to the brand at Breztri.com. AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and Biopharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:With the hybrid that is Atlanta Motor Speedway now, what did you have to learn to be successful at that track given the change in the track and change in the car?“I haven’t been as successful as I’ve wanted to be at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so I’ve got to go to work on that one. In the first race we competed in on the new Atlanta Motor Speedway configuration, we were pretty good. I got turned at the end of the stage, and if we didn’t, we would’ve finished second or third. That was probably one of the best cars I’ve had there. Past that, Atlanta has been difficult because I’ve had some massive hits there.”
What is your plan for tackling Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend? “I think this time around, it’s coming up with a game plan. When you don’t have a game plan going into one of these races that you can’t truly commit to, you kind of get stuck in the middle and you don’t know what you’re doing, and it usually doesn’t turn out good. You’ve got to be committed to strategy and stick to that strategy. That’s a part of speedway racing. Am I going to go all out and try to lead every lap or am I going to ride around and make a charge? You can’t just be in the middle trying to figure it out. Sometimes that works, but I feel like you need to be decisive on which one of the two places you want to be. Atlanta has been really weird, and it’s still changing. I think the track with another winter on it, it could be slicker. But we’re going to be there when it’s probably cold and we’ll have grip. You’ll be in between trying to take as much downforce and drag out as you can. We just haven’t been great there yet, but we’ve just got to figure it out.” 
You’ve talked about Atlanta Motor Speedway being a hybrid and taking a massive hit there, but is the crashing the same? Meaning, there’s usually not a single-car crash at Daytona. Is it the same way at Atlanta? “If you’re involved in a wreck, it’s going to suck either way. Atlanta is similar to crashing at Daytona. The field did spread out on the long green flag run in the second race when pit stops started happening. But it seems to kind of yoyo back together.”
What did you learn from Kyle Busch last year during his first full year at RCR? “I think just his competitive nature. He truly eats, sleeps, and breathes racing. When he’s not at a NASCAR track, he’s at a dirt track with his son, Brexton, and racing when Brexton isn’t racing. He is just a competitor, and he’s very good at explaining what he wants in the racecar. What we need to do to get better. He’s one of those people that at all costs, he’s trying to make things better.”
Kyle Busch and the No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway… Kyle Busch enters this weekend with two wins (2008 and 2013), nine top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 28 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He scored a fifth-place finish in his most recent NASCAR Cup Series start at the track in July 2023. The driver of the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet won the pole at Atlanta in 2018 and ranks second among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in laps led at the 1.540-mile speedway with 558. He has three victories in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at the Hampton, Ga., track and six victories in the NASCAR Truck Series. Solid start to the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season…Busch has enjoyed a solid start to the 2024 Cup Series season. He scored a second-place finish in the Busch Light Clash (his third top-three finish in three seasons). This past weekend at Daytona International Speedway, Busch posted a 12th-place finish in the Daytona 500 in a backup car. He is  eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points, 17 points behind the leader.  Did You Know? Busch is the youngest winner in Cup Series history at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch was 22 years, 10 months, and 7 days old when he won the spring event in 2008. The Las Vegas, Nevada native also leads all active drivers with 22 lead lap finishes at the 1.54-mile oval.  Meet Kyle Busch…Busch is scheduled to visit the Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen location in McDonough, Ga., at lunchtime on Friday to bring recognition to Cheddar’s new weekday lunch specials. Starting at $8.59 and featuring items like a Classic Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Pot Pie, Cajun Chicken Bowl and Philly Cheesesteak, guests can skip the drive-thru or the brown-bagged lunch for a classic homestyle meal at a comforting price. Cheddar’s has steadily grown its relationship with Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, and the No. 8 team each year of their partnership. Kyle and his family have also embraced Cheddar’s as a meal fit for champions, with their homestyle favorites frequenting the Busch family’s dinner table. And to kick off a memorable meal, every guest is welcomed with a warm Honey Butter Croissant on the house. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen – Cheddar’s serves American classics and homestyle comfort food in a feel-at-home atmosphere. Guests get a lot, for not a lot with homemade entrees like hand-breaded Chicken Tenders, homemade Chicken Pot Pie and slow-smoked Baby Back Ribs so big, they almost fall off the plate. To kick off a memorable meal, every Guest is welcomed with a warm Honey Butter Croissant on the house. Cheddar’s operates more than 180 restaurants in 27 states and employs more than 15,000 friendly and passionate team members. Cheddar’s is open for lunch and dinner, now featuring new weekday lunch specials, starting at just $8.59. For more information or to locate the nearest restaurant, visit Cheddars.com. Fans can like or follow Cheddar’s on Facebook, X , and Instagram.
KYLE BUSCH QUOTES:What are your thoughts on Atlanta Motor Speedway, especially with the relatively new configuration? “Driving on the new Atlanta Motor Speedway configuration is definitely challenging just due to the fact that it’s really, really fast and it’s a mile-and-a-half, so it seems like the superspeedway speeds that you get at a mile-and-a-half make everything go by really quick. Things happen quick, faster than a superspeedway. That’s definitely the challenging part. Understanding the grip level of what the cars have in the draft and the moves you can make is also pretty challenging. It’s easier for everybody to go fast with it being restrictor plate style racing and everybody being able to hold it wide-open for the most part is what makes it a plate race.”
Last year you won early and often. How important is it to get that out of the way early, then concentrate on what’s next?“Yeah, winning early is huge for your season. It sets the tone and gives you a chance to know you’re in the NASCAR Playoffs. You just have to make sure you keep everything else in order. If you’re getting into the July, August months, and you don’t have a win yet, it gets stressful. That’s not going to be a place where you want to get to.”
You had two top 10 finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway last year. You seemed to take to the track reconfiguration quickly with a different car. Is there an element of the track that works with your driving style or can you acclimate quicker than others? “We got lucky last year with the fifth-place finish, because we stayed out on fuel mileage and when the rain came, it gave us that opportunity. Track position is hard to get there. It’s hard to pass with two lanes running two-wide. I felt really good about my car. I could go to the bottom and rip the bottom better than anybody, but then there wasn’t any room to get back in line on the top to get the straightaway speed you need. I kept getting sucked backwards every time I would try to pull out of line and make a move. The confidence I had in my car was net hurting me. Just hard to be patient in those situations and sit and ride.”
Jesse Love and the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Camaro SS at Atlanta Motor Speedway… Jesse Love will make his inaugural start at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Saturday. The 19-year-old has never seen the 1.54-mile oval in person and Friday’s qualifying session will mark his first lap on the surface.  First Pole, First Stage Win… During Love’s Xfinity Series debut at Daytona International Speedway, the Menlo Park, California native earned his first career pole position, putting the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet on the front row for the season opening event. Love led the most laps (34) and captured his first career stage win.  Did You Know? Love is the third youngest pole winner in Xfinity Series history at Daytona International Speedway and just the 14th driver to claim the first starting position in their series debut.  About Whelen Engineering… Whelen Engineering is a family-owned company with a pioneering spirit and a passion to protect the lives of those who protect and serve others. The company mission is to provide industry-defining safety solutions around the world, while creating a community of problem-solvers who are inspired to push boundaries and continue our legacy of delivering ground-breaking innovation. As a global leader in the emergency warning industry, Whelen has been trusted to perform since 1952, when George Whelen III invented the first rotating aviation beacon. Whelen now encompasses two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and New Hampshire with over 750,000 square feet of engineering and manufacturing space and the largest design staff in the industry. Every part of every Whelen product is proudly designed and manufactured in America. We embrace quality as our foundation, we celebrate innovative engineering in every product we produce. JESSE LOVE QUOTES:Describe your NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Daytona International Speedway. “I thought it was a productive debut. It was nice to get our first pole, win a stage, and lead the most laps. The stage point that we earned could go a long way in a few months, so I’m glad to have a playoff point secured already. It was pretty cool to edge my teammate, Austin Hill, at the line to win the stage. At the same time, I do think he cut me a little bit of a break to let me have a moment of glory. After we lost our track position at the end of Stage 1 – which was part of our overall plan – I wanted to be aggressive and get back to the front as fast as I could. I thought I made smart decisions that were aggressive but calculated from a timing perspective. I just got a bad push from the No. 20 and that spun us around. Looking back on it, I’m not sure if I should have put myself in that spot, but there were a lot of good cars in the line that I was in, and we were rolling on the bottom. Traditionally on superspeedway races, you are safest out front so I wouldn’t take any of it back. In the future knowing how fast of a car I had though, I could have been more patient.”  What did you learn at Daytona International Speedway that you can apply to Atlanta Motor Speedway? “For Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and when we go back to superspeedways later this season, the key is going to be putting myself in safe positions. With how fast my Whelen Chevrolet was in Daytona, I could have been safer than other people and still had the same result. The goal for this weekend is to do the same thing as Daytona though, except not get wrecked and have a better outcome. I need to be aggressive. Hopefully, we will be able to sit on the pole again and keep that first pit stall. From there, we will try to stay out front. At some point we will lose track position and when that does happen, I need to take my time a little more than Daytona. The racing at Atlanta is a little less tight than Daytona, so I can be safer with my moves, still go forward, and be in position to have a shot at the win at the end. In the back of my mind, I can be more passive than others and still get to the front with how fast our No. 2 car is.” 
Austin Hill and the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro SS at Atlanta Motor Speedway… Austin Hill has four career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, earning two wins and a second-place finish while piloting the No. 21 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet. Hill has led at least one lap in each of his four starts, totaling 204 laps pacing the field. In addition, Hill has six NASCAR Truck Series starts at the Hampton, Georgia facility, posting one pole (2019), two top-five (2020, 2021) and three top-10 results (2019-2021).  Three-Peat at Daytona… After starting from the second position, earning a stage win, and capturing the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway, Hill is now the back-to-back-to-back victor of the season opening event in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. With the win, Hill has successfully locked himself into the Playoffs for the third time in as many years. Did You Know? Hill is only the fourth Xfinity Series driver to win at least three consecutive February races at Daytona International Speedway, joining Dale Earnhardt (five), Tony Stewart (four), and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (three).  Defending Race Winner… Hill enters Atlanta Motor Speedway as the defending race winner. Last spring, the No. 21 Chevrolet started from the third position, led 103 of 163 laps, and captured the victory at Hill’s home track. This marked Hill’s third victory of the 2023 season, where the then-sophomore driver won three of the first five events.  Georgia Boy Returns Home… Hill is a native of Winston, Georgia, sited 60 miles from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 29-year-old started his motorsports career racing bandolero and legends cars on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hill’s family continues to live in the Peachtree State and will be in attendance for Saturday’s race. Bennett Home Race… Located a short 15 minutes from Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bennett Transportation and Logistics’ headquarters are based in McDonough, Georgia. Celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2024, Bennett Family of Companies will have over 250 guests on site to watch Hill compete. The No. 21 Camaro features Bennett’s special anniversary logo and gold accents throughout the design.  About Bennett Family of Companies… McDonough-Ga. based Bennett Family of Companies is a woman-owned, Women’s Enterprise Business Council (WBENC) certified, diversified transportation and logistics company. Through its 14 affiliated operating companies, the Bennett Family of Companies delivers integrated transportation and supply chain management solutions worldwide. Bennett has 4,625 drivers/owner-operators, over 1,000 employees and 600 agents located across the United States. For more information, visit www.bennettig.comMeet Hill… On Saturday, February 24 at 2:10 p.m. ET, Hill is scheduled to make an appearance at the Bennett Family of Companies display in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stop by to meet and get an autograph from the defending race winner.  AUSTIN HILL QUOTES:What will it take for you to get win number three at Atlanta Motor Speedway? Similar racing to Daytona International Speedway, but not the same. “A lot of what is going to determine our outcome is how our Bennett Transportation & Logistics Chevrolet drives with the new rule change of adding slits to the back glass. We did see the car drive differently at Daytona when in the pack and when leading up front. Knowing the car handled differently at Daytona, determining what it is going to take to make it handle well at Atlanta is a big question. Are we going to need the car to be looser or tighter? We won’t know those answers until we get into the race and through Stage 1, to truly see how our car is driving. With no practice and only one or two laps of qualifying, there will be a lot of learning happening in Stage 1. The more that you can learn early is going to propel you through Stages 2 and 3 to put yourself in the right position at the end. If we can get the car driving well, it will put us in a good position to win the race.”  Atlanta has hard winters and hot summers, so you don’t know what the pavement will be like when you hit the track. Without having practice, how hard do you send it into Turn 1 during qualifying? “My team and I have talked about this quite a bit leading into this weekend. We are going to unload the same way we have for the last two years, since it has worked for us. Our car traditionally handles well at Atlanta. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it does handle well. The one thing that does help us is from what I’ve been seeing with the temperature is it’s not going to be hot. It’s going to be on the cooler side, which is going to add grip to the track. Going into qualifying, the job is simple – hold it wide open and don’t lift. You have to be 100% throttle and hope it sticks. If it doesn’t, you have to be ready to catch it. How much of an angle you take on entry during qualifying is going to be a decision made on the fly once we determine how our car will handle.” 

Orange County Half-Mile Tickets Now on Sale

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 22, 2024) – Tickets are officially on sale for the Orange County Half-Mile, Round 7 of the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track season, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. Last season, the world’s greatest motorcycle dirt trackers made their first appearance at Middletown, New York’s Orange County Fair Speedway in more than three decades, and it proved to be an historic return.  On that day, Mission SuperTwins king Jared Mees became the winningest Half-Miler in the sport’s history with his 36th career victory in the discipline. This year’s visit should prove equally compelling with Mees out to capture a record-setting tenth Grand National Championship while attempting to hold off the likes of Dallas DanielsBriar BaumanDavis FisherBrandon Robinson, and the rest of a talent-laden field. Last year’s event also featured one of the highlights of the 2023 Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER season, with two-time defending champion Kody Kopp ultimately overcoming the efforts of ‘24 championship hopefuls Chase Saathoff and Tom Drane to claim a thrilling triumph.  The ‘24 edition will be yet another family-friendly affair including live music, a wide variety of vendors, numerous food and beverage options, and free motorcycle parking on Saturday, June 15General Admission Grandstand tickets are $50 (kids 12 and under $10) while Reserved Grandstand tickets ($60, all ages), Party Deck tickets ($355 for up to four individuals,), and Indoor Suite Reservation tickets ($965 for up to eight individuals) offer premium viewing experiences. The Pit Pass Upgrade grants access to the pit area for $50 (included free with Party Deck and Indoor Suite Reservation tickets). Drive-In Trackside Parking is available for both motorcycles ($10) and cars ($30). Fans also have the option to purchase Multi-Day Camping Passes for $100 (no hook-up) and $255 (with hook-up). Visit https://www.tixr.com/groups/americanflattrack/events/orange-county-half-mile-94110 to reserve your seats today. For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
Progressive AFT series merchandise is available via the official merchandise store athttps://aftmerch.com/

TEAM CHEVY ADVANCE Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, GeorgiaFebruary 23-24, 2024

TRIPLEHEADER AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAYComing off a weekend sweep at Daytona International Speedway, momentum is on the side of Chevrolet’s drivers and teams as all three NASCAR national Series will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for back-to-back weekends of superspeedway-style racing. The second stop of the 2024 season will feature a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) doubleheader on Saturday, February 24, followed by the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, February 25. 
This weekend marks two years since Atlanta Motor Speedway underwent a massive reprofiling, including a complete repave, increased banking and narrowing of the track width – now providing teams with superspeedway-style racing at the 1.54-mile Georgia venue. Since competing on the revamped configuration, Chevrolet is the only manufacturer to win in all three NASCAR national series – earning three wins in four NCS races (William Byron – two; Chase Elliott – one), two wins in four NXS races (Austin Hill) and one win in two NCTS races (Christian Eckes). 
PACING IN THE PEACH STATE Chevrolet has amassed a series-leading wins record across all three NASCAR national series at Atlanta Motor Speedway – heading into the weekend with 44 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and 10 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins at the 1.54-mile Georgia venue. 
Newly-crowned Daytona 500 Champion William Byron is the track’s most recent winner in NASCAR’s top division (July 2023). The 26-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina, native was leading the field at lap marker 185 when inclement weather forced the race to be deemed official. Byron led a quartet of Team Chevy drivers in the top-five, including a podium sweep with Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez (second) and Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger (third). 
Also coming off a win at Daytona International Speedway, Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill is credited with both of Chevrolet’s NXS wins at the reprofiled Georgia venue – earning back-to-back victories in July 2022 and March 2023. One year ago, McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s Christian Eckes put Chevrolet back on the map in the NCTS at Atlanta Motor Speedway – delivering Chevrolet its first win in the series at the track since 2016. The victory came in only Eckes’ third NCTS start under the Bowtie banner – marking his first of a series-leading four victories last season. 
MAKING HISTORY The 2024 NASCAR season-opener weekend started with Chevrolet reaching a milestone feat at Daytona International Speedway. Nick Sanchez and Rev Racing became first-time winners in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Daytona International Speedway – a victory that also earned Chevrolet its milestone 100th NASCAR victory at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway. Fellow Team Chevy drivers William Byron and Austin Hill also picked up victories in their respective series to give the Bowtie brand a weekend sweep at the “World Center of Racing”. Chevrolet – the winningest manufacturer in NASCAR history at Daytona International Speedway – is now the only manufacturer in series’ history to sweep the wins across all three NASCAR national series in a season-opening weekend at the 2.5-mile Florida superspeedway more than once – also accomplishing the feat in 2018. 
William Byron No. 24 Camaro ZL1Hendrick MotorsportsAustin Hill, No. 21 Camaro SS Richard Childress RacingNick Sanchez, No. 2 Silverado RSTRev Racing
SANCHEZ, CARUTH START 2024 WITH CAREER-BESTS With just one race in the books for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Team Chevy’s Nick Sanchez and Rajah Caruth have already tallied career-best finishes. 
Enduring a caution-filled race and an overtime finish, Sanchez and Rev Racing claimed the victory in the NCTS’ season-opener at Daytona International Speedway – marking the first-ever win for both the driver and the team in the series. The victory came in Sanchez and Rev Racing’s sophomore season in the series, who are now competing as a technical alliance team with Spire Motorsports. Entering his seventh consecutive year with Rev Racing, Sanchez has now won in every series in which he has competed with the team. Sanchez’s previous career-best finish came at Atlanta Motor Speedway last season – finishing in the runner-up position by a mere 0.078-second margin to fellow Team Chevy driver Christian Eckes.  Also embarking on his second season in the series, Rajah Caruth topped his previous career-best sixth-place finish by driving his No. 71 Silverado RST to a third-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. A former teammate to Sanchez at Rev Racing, Caruth has teamed up with Spire Motorsports for the 2024 season as part of the organization’s full-time truck stable. The 21-year-old Atlanta, Georgia, native’s rookie NCTS campaign included four top-10 finishes and a 16th-place finish in the series’ final points standings. 
BUSCH SET TO MAKE NCTS RETURNKyle Busch – the most decorated driver in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ history – is slated to make five starts in the series this season, with his first on tap at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Busch’s five-race stint in the series will be behind the wheel of the No. 7 Silverado RST for Spire Motorsports, where the Chevrolet driver also serves as a consultant for the organization’s truck series program.  The 38-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada, native holds the title as the winningest driver in NCTS’ history with 64 all-time victories in the series. The 2023 season marked Busch’s first time competing in the series under the Chevrolet banner. In four of his five NCTS starts, Busch earned finishes no worse than second, including two victories. Busch’s most recent NCTS start at Pocono Raceway (July 2023) ended with a monumental victory – earning Kyle Busch Motorsports’ milestone 100th and final victory in the series. The Team Chevy driver has made 13 NCTS starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway – compiling six wins, nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at the track.  
NEXT GEN CAMARO ZL1 LEADS IN SUPERSPEEDWAY TRIUMPHSThe 2024 season marks the third year of competition for the Next Gen cars in the NASCAR Cup Series. Since making its competition debut, the Camaro ZL1 has amassed wins in nine of the 13 superspeedway-style races – earning a winning percentage of nearly 70%. Further proving the strength across the Chevrolet camp, six drivers from four different Chevrolet teams have contributed to those triumphs: 
 Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 20, 2022) – William Byron Talladega Superspeedway (April 24, 2022) – Ross Chastain Atlanta Motor Speedway (July 10, 2022) – Chase Elliott Daytona International Speedway (Aug. 29, 2022) – Austin Dillon Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 2, 2022) – Chase Elliott Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 19, 2023) – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Talladega Superspeedway (April 23, 2023) – Kyle Busch Atlanta Motor Speedway (July 9, 2023) – William Byron Daytona International Speedway (Feb.19, 2024) – William Byron
BOWTIE BULLETS:·       Chevrolet will make its pacing debut for the 2024 NASCAR season this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Silverado RST will lead the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in Saturday’s Fr8 208; the Camaro SS will lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series in Saturday’s RAPTOR King of Tough 250; and the Camaro ZL1 will lead the NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400.  ·       Active Chevrolet drivers with a NASCAR Cup Series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway: William Byron – two wins (July 2023; March 2022)Kyle Busch – two wins (Sept. 2013, March 2008)Chase Elliott – one (July 2022) ·       In 119 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Chevrolet has recorded a series-leading 44 victories – most recently by the newly-crowned Daytona 500 Champion, William Byron, and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 team (July 2023). 
·       Since the debut of the Next Gen cars in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022, Chevrolet has won nine of the 13 superspeedway-style races – recorded by six drivers from four different Chevrolet teams. 
·       For the second time in history, Chevrolet swept the wins across all three NASCAR national series in the season-opening weekend at Daytona International Speedway – making Chevrolet the only manufacturer to accomplish that feat more than once. 
·       With its 42 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver Championships, and 852 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title as the winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.  
Manufacturer Points Standings
Chevrolet: 40 Toyota: 34 (-6)Ford: 28 (12)
Manufacturer Points Standings
Chevrolet: 40Toyota: 35 (-5)Ford: 31 (-9)
Manufacturer Points Standings
Chevrolet: 40Toyota: 35 (-5)Ford: 30 (-10)
TUNE-IN:NASCAR Cup Series: Ambetter Health 400Sunday, February 25, at 2:30 p.m. ET(FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)
NASCAR Xfinity Series: RAPTOR King of Tough 250  Saturday, February 24, at 5 p.m. ET(FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Fr8 208Saturday, February 24, at 2 p.m. ET(FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)
QUOTABLE QUOTES:Ross Chastain, No. 1 Moose Fraternity Camaro ZL1How does it feel to be going to Atlanta this weekend as it’s only the second race of the season?“It feels a little odd to be going to Atlanta so early in the season since it’s right after Daytona. We usually head out west and then come back to Atlanta. I’ve run second there a couple of times on the reconfigured surface so I feel like I at least have a little bit of an understanding on how to run the track there. It’s not exactly like a Daytona superspeedway but there are elements that feel superspeedway-like. Hopefully we can get the Moose Fraternity Chevrolet in victory lane this weekend.”

Austin Dillon, No. 3 BREZTRI Camaro ZL1With the hybrid that is Atlanta Motor Speedway now, what did you have to learn to be successful at that track given the change in the track and change in the car?“I haven’t been as successful as I’ve wanted to be at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so I’ve got to go to work on that one. In the first race we competed in on the new Atlanta Motor Speedway configuration, we were pretty good. I got turned at the end of the stage, and if we didn’t, we would’ve finished second or third. That was probably one of the best cars I’ve had there. Past that, Atlanta has been difficult because I’ve had some massive hits there.”

Corey LaJoie, No. 7 Celsius Camaro ZL1Recently, you’ve had a couple really good runs at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so it seems like a place that’s climbing your list of favorite tracks.“Since the Atlanta reconfiguration our Spire Motorsports team has had a good handle on it. As the surface has aged over the last several years it will look less like a Talladega and more like a really compacted pack at Charlotte. Handling will be a premium and with no practice we’re hoping we can nail down a good package in our Celsius Camaro. We’ve been in contention here multiple times and we’re going this weekend to try and do the same thing.”

Kyle Busch, No. 8 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Camaro ZL1What are your thoughts on Atlanta Motor Speedway, especially with the relatively new configuration?“Driving at the new Atlanta configuration is definitely challenging just due to the fact that it’s really, really fast and it’s a mile-and-a-half so it seems like the superspeedway speeds that you get at a mile-and-a-half make everything go by really quick and things happen quick, faster than a superspeedway. That’s definitely the challenging part. Understanding the grip level of what the cars have in the draft and the moves you can make is also pretty challenging. It’s easier for everybody to go fast with it being restrictor plate style racing and everybody being able to hold it wide-open for the most part is what makes it a plate race.”
Last year you won early and often. How important is it to get that out of the way early, then concentrate on what’s next?“Yeah, no, winning early, man, that’s huge for your season. It kind of sets the tone, gives you a chance to know you’re in the Playoffs. You just have to make sure you keep everything else in order. If you’re getting into the July, August months, and you don’t have a win yet, it gets stressful. That’s not going to be a place where you want to get to.”
You had two top 10s at Atlanta last year. You really took to that track quickly, the reconfiguration, with a different car. What is it about it or are you just easy acclimation?“We got lucky last year in the fifth-place finish because we stayed out on fuel mileage and then the rain came and gave up that opportunity. Track position is hard to get there. It’s hard to pass. It’s two lanes, two-wide. I felt really good about my car. I felt like I could go to the bottom and rip the bottom better than anybody, but then there was no room to get back in line on the top to get the straightaway speed you need. I kept getting sucked backwards every time I would try to pull out of line and try to make a move. It’s just hard to be patient in those situations and sit and ride.”

Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Cirkul Camaro ZL1“I’m looking forward to another superspeedway-style race in Atlanta this week. I’ve personally never ran this NextGen Cup car at Atlanta, but I can remember the last few years watching as a fan and thinking it looked like absolute chaos. I’m excited to be part of that chaos this year and hopefully in the mix in our No. 31 Cirkul Camaro ZL1, just like we were in Daytona.”

Zane Smith, No. 71 City of Refuge Camaro ZL1What are your thoughts on your first Daytona 500 with the Spire Motorsports Team?“I’m super happy with how our team executed Daytona. I had a really fast WeatherTech Chevrolet Camaro and the guys worked hard all off-season to bring a fast car to the track. That was an intense race and we avoided two big crashes, finishing 13th. I learned a lot through that race. We have great momentum heading into Atlanta this weekend and I’m looking forward Sunday.”

Carson Hocevar, No. 77 Premier Security Solutions Camaro ZL1“We’re hungry and ready to go run after a disappointing day at Daytona. We’re looking at this race as if it’s the first one. There’s nowhere else to go but up from last week. The whole team is ready to go, I can promise you that. We’re lucky enough to have a longtime sponsor, Premier Security Solutions, on our No. 77 Chevrolet this weekend and again next weekend in Las Vegas. Hopefully we can put on a good show for everyone.”

Daniel Suarez, No. 99 Freeway Insurance Camaro ZL1What are your thoughts on Daytona?“I was really happy with my race team. They had a great strategy and got us points in the Duels and then in both stages on Monday. I thought this was my best chance to win a Daytona 500. We led in the final 15 laps and it was looking good. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and when that happens there isn’t much you can do. Very proud of my race team.”
You ran second in the second race at Atlanta last year. Drivers call that track a hybrid and why are you so good at it?“I have good cars. I have good execution from my team, and it’s a lot about being patient. It’s a lot like racing in Daytona. I think things have worked out a few times for us in Atlanta, and every time we go to a road course we are competitive. If you ask William Byron last year how many times he had a car capable of winning a race – 15, 18? – and he won six. I had a car capable of winning a race maybe three times last year. You have to have more shots than that because a winning car doesn’t mean you’re going to win the race. You still have to execute; it has to play out. If you want to win a couple of races, you have to have eight to 10 winning cars. So that is what we were lacking – consistency. One weekend we can show up to a racetrack and we were top five and the next weekend we were 20th. I feel like the 99 team is the most prepared it has been in years.”
Chevrolet NASCAR Cup Series Statistics Manufacturers Championships:Total (1949-2023): 42First title for Chevrolet: 1958Highest number of consecutive titles: 13 (2003-15) Years Won: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021, 2022, 2023 Drivers Championships:Total (1949-2021): 33First Chevrolet champion: Buck Baker (1957)Highest number of consecutive titles: 7 (2005-11)Most Recent: Kyle Larson (2021) Years Won: 1957, 1960, 1961, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2021 Event Victories:Record for total race wins in single season: 26 (2007)                2024 STATISTICS:                                                                                                    Wins: 1Poles: 0Laps Led: 62Top-five finishes: 3Top-10 finishes: 4Stage wins: 1·       Chase Elliott: 1 (Daytona)  CHEVROLET IN NASCAR CUMULATIVE STATISTICS:Total Chevrolet race wins: 852 (1949 to date)Poles won to date: 743Laps led to date: 249,237Top-five finishes to date: 4,301Top-10 finishes to date: 8,865                                                                                                          Total NASCAR Cup Wins by Corporation, 1949 to Date:                    General Motors: 1,186           Chevrolet: 852           Pontiac: 154           Oldsmobile: 115           Buick: 65            Ford: 828                                                                      Ford: 728           Mercury: 96           Lincoln: 4            Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 467           Dodge: 217           Plymouth: 191           Chrysler: 59            Toyota: 180