Chevy Racing–Dover–Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AAA 400
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
 
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR. WINS POLE AT THE MONSTER MILE FOR CHEVROLET
FIVE TEAM CHEVY DRIVERS QUALIFY IN TOP 10
 
 
DOVER, DEL. – September 27, 2013 –  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. powered his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS into the pole position with a track-record lap of 161.849 mph in 22.243 seconds for Sunday’s AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. It was his 13th career pole win, his second of the 2013 Cup season, and first on the mile-long, high-banked concrete race track for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender.
 
“The car had really good speed and a really good balance right off the trailer, and it felt like we were really competitive, more so than we’ve been here in the past, especially in practice,” said Earnhardt, Jr.
 
“I think I did a good job driving it, but most of the credit goes to (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) and the guys for preparing the car throughout the week. I thought they did a really good job giving me a great chance to go out and trust that the car is going to be right there, and run a good lap.”
 
Ryan Newman, also a Team Chevy Chase contender, posted the third quickest qualifying lap in his No. 39 State Water Heaters Chevy SS, giving Chevrolet two of the top five starting spots.
 
Jamie McMurray, aboard his No. 1 LiftMaster Chevrolet SS qualified in the seventh position, seven-time Dover winner, Jimmie Johnson, qualified eighth in his No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevy SS and Kurt Busch qualified ninth behind the wheel of his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevy SS; to give the Bowtie Brigade five of the top 10 starting spots.
 
Chase contenders Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Axalta Chevy SS will roll off from the 12th and 16th positions, respectively, in the 400-mile race.
 
Rounding out the top five qualifiers were Matt Kenseth (Toyota) – second, Carl Edwards (Ford) – fourth, and Aric Almirola (Ford) – fifth.
 
The third event in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will take the green flag on Sunday, September 29th at 2:00 p.m. EDT and aired on ESPN and MRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.
 
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – POLE WINNER
 
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR RUN OUT THERE TODAY:
“Yeah, the car had really good speed and a really good balance right off the trailer.  Felt like we were really competitive, more so than we had been here in the past, especially in practice.  When we put the car into qualifying trim, made a couple of mock runs, the car showed again really good speed.  It wasn’t quite the fastest car, but the way the car drove was really relatively easy and to make the runs we were making wasn’t very challenging and the grip in the car was just really over the top.  I was expecting to put a good lap down.  I thought we would be competitive enough to get inside the top 10 pretty easily.  We just made a couple of changes that we typically make in between practice and qualifying and went off to run the lap.
 
“Made a couple of just small errors driving the car, but you never drive every lap perfectly.  Always kind of wish you could have done things a little differently.  I think the car had maybe another half a tenth or a tenth in it.  It was really just a really good car.  I think I did a good job driving it, but most of the credit goes to Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and Kevin (Meendering, engineer) and all the guys just for preparing a car throughout the week that unloaded so close.  That makes everything so easy when the car is close especially for practice before qualifying.  You are going out there and you are making these laps right on the edge and when you are not really moving the balance a whole lot or making a ton of changes the driver can narrow down what he needs to do and minimize the errors that he is going to make and I thought that they did a good job giving me a great chance to just go out there and trust the car is going to be right there and run a good lap.” 
 
TO MAKE UP GROUND IN THE LAST EIGHT RACES YOU PUT YOURSELF IN AN EXCELLENT POSITION.  IS IT AT ALL A LITTLE DISHEARTENING TO KNOW THAT THE GUY YOU ARE CHASING WILL BE STARTING ALONG SIDE YOU ON THE FRONT ROW?
“Yeah, not really.  I expect our competition to be tough every week.  Nothing really surprises me when they perform well.  We are not really going to count points and I’m not going to sit here and figure out how far I’m behind and come up with some equation that I need to perfect to gain points each week.  I’m not going to sit here and do that.  We are just going to show up and try to run hard and be smart.  If we can unload great cars like this it makes that all easier.  We are going to try to win some races before the year is out.  I would be really disappointed if we don’t win a race this season because I think we are a better team than we were last year.  I felt we’ve came so close so many times so we would just like to get out there and get some trophies.  The points will take care of themselves when you are doing that.”
 
WHEN YOU GOT OUT OF THE CAR IT SOUNDED LIKE YOU FELT YOU HAD LEFT A LITTLE BIT OUT THERE.  WERE YOU SURPRISED THE LAP HELD UP?
“Yeah I was.  I watched the tracker on a couple of guys.  The No. 99 they were a tenth and a half better than us by the time they got into turn three or the middle of (turns) three and four.  Yeah, I think there was a good amount of time left out there for a lot of guys myself included.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT TIRES WERE? I KNOW YOU GUYS WERE CHANGING TIRES A LOT AT THE END OF PRACTICE:
“Well we practiced and used our tires how we typically do every week.  We ran the beginning of practice on a set of tires. We ran a couple of race runs to get ourselves a good idea of where we were for tomorrow to try to anticipate improving the car. That saves us a little bit of time tomorrow.  If we waited until tomorrow to find out what we could learn today you know it’s just saving us a little time doing that.  Then we have two sets of tires left to go out there and make one mock run and make another mock run.  We thought scuffs weren’t too bad actually and we have rolled the lefts in here before.  We put the qualifiers on and rolled the lefts in a little bit, left the rights off the car and then we made our last run on the last set of tires.  It was just what we normally do every week aside from the scuff for the lefts which you do on occasion depending on the track.”
 
ANY SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE TO SETTING A TRACK RECORD AND KNOCKING SOMEONE LIKE JEREMY MAYFIELD OUT OF THE RECORD BOOK?
“Well this car has been faster everywhere we have been this year so I anticipate seeing the lap records kind of fall throughout the season.  I don’t know how many that we have broken this year, but it has to be a significant amount compared to past years.  This car has got a lot more downforce and has been a good bit quicker everywhere we have been with it this year.  But it’s a good feeling you know we have won two poles this year.  If we don’t get one at Daytona or Talladega we usually don’t get one at all.  This feels pretty good.”
 
YOU JUST MENTIONED TWO POLES THIS YEAR THAT IS THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE HAD MORE THAN ONE IN A SEASON SINCE 2002.  IS THAT A REFLECTION OF WHERE THE PROGRAM IS?  IS THAT A REFLECTION OF COMFORT IN THIS NEW CAR?  HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT?
“I would say it’s a reflection of where the program is.  Just how Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and I since we first started working together we have
gotten better each year.  One of the things we started focusing on last year was qualifying and I think that has rolled over into this season.  We continue to put importance on that and try to improve on that.  The racing and the cars and the speed the cars have in the races has also improved.  We really focused on qualifying last year and even more so this year.  He and I are working better together.  The longer we work together the better we get at it and the more we understand each other and the more he understands what I need in the car.  We have also kept the majority of the team intact from the beginning.  That is so important to keep that together if you can because everybody sort of learns what they can about each other.  Steve is really good… he has made me a better race car driver.  He makes his engineers better.  I mean he is really good at his job.  So he deserves a lot of credit for us improving and being able to get these poles and just qualifying better.”
 
STEVE (LETARTE) SAID HE HAS NEVER SEEN AN UNHAPPY RACE CAR DRIVER IN A FAST CAR IS THAT ACCURATE?
“That is true.  When the car is fast usually the driver is not talking or complaining.  I mean I know that even the guy leading the race has got something he would like to fix on his car.  Or something about the car it could do better.  Yeah, when you run well you definitely are a happier guy.  I mean just look at how we were after last week’s qualifying effort compared to this week.  I thought we had a good car last week.  I don’t know we just didn’t get the job done in qualifying and I was so disappointed.  When you’ve got the car and you know the potential and you go out there and realize it like we did today it makes it a lot easier.”
 
HAVE YOU TALKED TO MATT (KENSETH) AT ALL?  IS HE KIND OF HAVING ONE OF THOSE ‘PINCH ME’ TYPE OF SEASONS?  OR IS HE HAVING ONE OF THOSE THAT HE KIND OF EXPECTED EVERYTHING TO FALL INTO PLACE SEASON?
“Matt (Kenseth) never would expect things to go this well.  I’m always having to pump him up, tell him how good things are going to be.  He’s always a worry wart I guess is the best way to describe him.  I’m sure he is enjoying the success and knows how talented his team is around him.  Every time I see him even when his car is fast in practice he might say his car is not that good.  He is one of those guys, but he’s having a great year.  Hopefully we can beat him.  We want to get up there and regain our ground and get back into this thing if we can.”
 
 
RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 STATE WATER HEATERS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
 
A GREAT RUN FOR YOUR TEAM HERE AT DOVER:
“Yeah, we came off the truck really good and we were in qualifying trim and basically stayed real close to where we were.   I just sharpened up the pencil as far as driving the race track and it all kind of stayed the same for us.  It was obviously close and I think we were fifteen-thousandths off of the pole – which is always close here.  But nevertheless a good start for our State Water Heaters Chevrolet and good pit selection.  No matter what though, it’s still a tough pit road here and we will see how it all works out.”
 
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR HUNTING TRIP THIS WEEK, DID YOU GET ANYTHING AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE HANGING OUT WITH CLINT (BOWYER) IN THE WILD?
“Yeah, he only went to the hospital once.  It wasn’t that big of a wound, and I didn’t hit him quite where I wanted to.   But nevertheless, we had a lot of fun and I want to thank Bill Jordan and everybody at Realtree for giving us the opportunity to just get away and relax.  Obviously that takes and understanding wife and couple kids at home that got sick and had to get through all that stuff.   In the end, he killed an elk and I didn’t.  I was close and had a questionable shot and used better judgment.  I will go back when gun season comes in and I am able to fit that into my schedule.
 
“I had a blast and it’s beautiful country.  I have been under the weather since Monday and was fighting some flu symptoms with fever, aches and pains, and stuff.  In the end we had a lot of fun and I am thankful for the people that gave at least Clint and I the opportunity to do that.”
 
WHY WOULD THE QUALIFYING TIME BE ALMOST FOUR MILES AN HOUR FASTER HERE TODAY THAN IN JUNE?
“We are just trying harder (laughs).  No, I think a lot of it has to do with the temperature.  A lot of it also has to do with us getting a better package with the car for a track that is this sensitive let’s say.  With the bumps in turn three and that everybody has sharpened up on the aero side of this track.  The track is super-fast and I think everybody is making more downforce.  I think everybody has gotten things a little more fine-tuned and that makes a big difference. 
 
“You see how close everything is here.  It’s not like one team is four-tenths quicker.   We are all a good bit quicker.  I think a big part of it is the conditions and it definitely wasn’t as hot here today as it was in the spring.  And then obviously just the race cars.”
 
THE TRACK RECORD IS LIKE NINE YEARS OLD BEFORE BEING BROKEN TODAY.  ANY PARTICULAR REASON IN GOING BACK THAT FAR?
“I don’t know. We could change the tire and break the track record by six miles an hour tomorrow and that is not so much the deal.  We used to have tires that would fall off a lot and now the tires don’t fall off that much and the cars are faster.   I think that it is what it is, and it’s a coincidence. That’s my answer.”
 

Chevy Racing–Dover–Qualifying

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AAA 400
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES AND QUOTES
SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
 
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS – POLE SITTER
HOW WAS YOUR LAP?
“The car has been excellent all day and I just overdrove (Turn) 1 a little bit and didn’t really trust the car as much as I should have off of (Turn) 4. The car is a lot faster than that. But hopefully it will be a good qualifying run.”
 
THAT WAS A GOOD LAP:
“I think we could have done a few things different and had a better lap.  I over drove the entrance to turn one a little bit and should have trusted the right rear a little bit more off of four.   The car has been great all day so you have to give Steve (Letarte), Kevin (Meendering, engineer), and all the guys all the credit.”

RYAN NEWMAN, NO. 39 STATE WATER HEATERS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED THIRD
TRACK IS GETTING QUICKER?
“No, I just tried harder (laughs)”
 
OH, I’M SURE YOU DID. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT?
“Actually I was 118 percent that time. The State Water Heaters Chevrolet was good off the truck. The car is very similar; the track was actually very similar to how we practiced. I just kind of had to capitalize on everything. Obviously it wasn’t quite good enough, but it’s a good place to start here in Dover.”
 
YOUR EXPECTATIONS BEFORE THE LAP AND HOW THE LAP ACTUALLY TURNED OUT?
“Good and good.  I thought we had a shot at it.   I think during the last fifteen laps in practice the track got a good bit faster.  We had the car basically how we unloaded it, other than one small change.  The State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS was good and Matt (Borland) and the guys did a good job.   Especially off the truck and we only made a small change all practice.  Hopefully we will stay in the top five.  The 20 and the 22 are going to be stout as well, but happy to be where we are at after 34 cars.”
 
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED EIGHTH
YOU ARE JUST AHEAD OF KURT BUSCH RIGHT NOW. DO YOU THINK THERE’S ENOUGH FOR THE POLE HERE TODAY?
“We’ll see. It’s so early it’s hard to tell. And if you can outrun the No. 78 in Q-trim, you’re doing a good job. So, I feel that’s a good marker. Inside the car, it felt pretty good. (Turns) 1 and 2, I was off a little bit, but I really nailed (Turns) 3 and 4. We’ll just see. Hopefully it’s in the top three or four so we can get a nice pit stall on pit road. But it’s a good start for this KOBALT Tools Chevrolet.”
 
HOW WAS YOUR RACE CAR ON THAT LAP?
“Pretty good.  I am real happy with our KOBALT Tools Chevrolet and it wasn’t so bad really.  We will see how things go and I think from the temperature standpoint it’s going to be pretty equal through the field.  So we stand a good chance of having our time hold up.   There is a lot more rubber down from the Nationwide practice, and that is going to throw some guys a challenge. So I think we did a good job, and we’ll see if we can stay on top.”
 
KURT BUSCH, NO. 78 FURNITURE ROW/DENVER MATTRESS CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED NINTH
ON HIS QUALIFYING LAP:
 “The track has changed a little bit and it just seems like it’s tougher to get the grip out of the front tires, but the rears are right on edge too.  It was a decent lap, and I don’t think we will miss the top 10 with a lap like that but we will see where it stacks up and keep track of the changing track conditions.  The track will continuously get darker and darker and get rubbered-in more and more so we will try and stay on top of it.”
 
YOU HAD AN EARLY DRAW, BUT THIS CLOUD COVER…..DID IT HELP?
“It helped us and we will see how it balances out throughout the session, but our Chevy is fast and we just need to keep up with the track conditions.” 
 
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 12TH
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAP?
“It wasn’t bad.  We were a touch too tight right there, but we had been edgy throughout the whole day and we improved on our practice time.  A lot of guys are slowing down so I think that it will be a decent starting spot.”
 
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 13TH
HOW WAS YOUR QUALIFYING LAP?
“It was okay.  We were a little too loose through the middle so I couldn’t get to the throttle the way I needed to, but it was okay.  I wanted a little more, but sometimes here you try to get a little more and you end up screwing up.  So for what we had, it’s pretty good.”
 
JEFF GORDON, AXALTA CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 16TH
SOME DRIVERS WERE SAYING THE TRACK WAS A BIT DIFFERENT FROM PRACTICE TO QUALIFYING.  DID YOU FEEL THAT AT ALL?
“Well its felt a lot worse here in the past and the last time we were here the conditions changed dramatically.  So things change a little bit, and you get cloud cover and I am hoping that sun comes out and saves us.  It wasn’t our best lap and the balance just wasn’t quite there and we didn’t make a very good lap in my opinion.”
 
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 FARMERS INSURANCE CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 20TH
AFTER THE NATIONWIDE CARS HAVE BEEN OUT HERE, DOES THE TRACK FEEL THE SAME AS IT WAS IN PRACTICE?
‘I felt a little bit looser than what I had in practice earlier. I felt like the track was freer because tightened up and I was still pretty similar. So I don’t know; it’s hard to say how that will be. We beat a couple of cars that were in front of us, but I would think you’re going to need to go a little quicker than that if you’re going to qualify first today.”
 
HOW WAS YOUR LAP AND HAS THE RACE TRACK CHANGED FROM PRACTICE?
“We tightened our car up quite a bit and it still felt kind of similar to what it was.  Maybe a little bit.  Still seemed a little loose and it still seemed like an alright lap and we will see kind of where that goes.  I don’t know.  Not sure how it was.”
 
DANICA PATRICK, NO. 10 GODADDY CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 31ST
DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE TIME WAS LOST?
“Looking back at qualifying here, it doesn’t usually go faster. And on average, it was a tenth slower last time. So, I didn’t expect to go a lot faster but I also didn’t expect to go three-tenths slower. So, it was really loose and I can definitely attribute some of the time lost to being loose. There is a lot of rubber out there, but it feels slippery. And/or, we just freed it up too much for qualifying. I can’t blame the boys for trying, though.  I might maybe be just fine for the race, but at this point in time we’re definitely disappointed that we went so much slower. But hopefully that’s a trend here.”

BIGFOOT Heads Down Under!

BIGFOOT Heads Down Under!


 
St. Louis, MO (September 27, 2013) – Almost 40 years ago, a man named Bob Chandler modified his brand new F-250 to promote his 4×4 business. As the parts bills increased, the truck grew bigger and bigger and became the world’s first monster truck. Now, after over 3 decades of thrilling millions of fans around the World, acquiring numerous Guinness World Records, and debuting 20 different BIGFOOT® monster trucks, a brand new BIGFOOT is set to be unleashed in Australia. And it is guaranteed to thrill a whole new audience of monster fans around Australia and New Zealand.

That’s right! An all new BIGFOOT truck will be based on QLD’s Sunshine Coast, under the control of Clive Featherby and the Monster Truck Promotions Australia crew, and will be seen extensively around Australia and New Zealand. BIGFOOT is the true legend of Monster Trucks, and its pending arrival Down Under is by far the biggest and most exciting news ever for monster truck fans in Australia.

BIGFOOT will make its Debut on 12 October 2013 in Brisbane and will be driven by long-time BIGFOOT driver and winner of 3 US championships, Rick Long. Rick and BIGFOOT will start off in Gosford, New South Wales on October 12th and then on to Whyalla, South Australia, and many more from there. Check www.monstertruckpromotionsaustralia.com for a detailed schedule of events.

BIGFOOT will sport the new style BIGFOOT off-road body, as seen on Bigfoot 18, in a custom new color scheme with blue, orange and bkack, making this one of the best looking monsters ever seen.

BIGFOOT’s first Australian challenge will be a car crushing, car jumping contest against the Aussie champion “Outback Thunda” in an all out contest for the Australian car jumping record.

Chevy Racing–Dover–Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
AAA 400
DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
                                                       
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed racing this weekend at Dover, his current position in the Chase, the new restart rule and other topics.  Full Transcript:
 
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT COMING INTO DOVER THIS WEEKEND:
“Excited to be here it’s obviously a great race track for the No. 48 team.  Good time in the year for us to come to a strong track.  We will just kind of see what happens.  I know it’s a good track for the No. 18 and historically Matt (Kenseth) has been strong here when I think back to some of the Roush days years ago, they are not too far back.  I think with how he has been running this year he’s going to be tough to beat and we will just get out there and race hard and get every point we can.”
 
AT THE END OF THE RACE LAST WEEK YOU SAID THAT YOU LEFT A LITTLE BIT ON THE TABLE.  IT JUST DIDN’T SEEM LIKE YOU TO BE SAYING THAT LIKE NORMALLY THE NO. 48 AND YOU DON’T DO THAT. IS THERE ANYTHING REALLY SORT OF UNUSUAL ABOUT HOW THINGS ARE GOING RIGHT NOW OR DO YOU FEEL THAT IT’S JUST PAR FOR THE COURSE AND YOU JUST HAVE TO ADAPT TO THE RACES THAT AREN’T SO GOOD?
“I think that is really the requirement for a Cup team, Cup driver is you have to be able to adapt to situations.  At the end of the race (last week) we had that inside lane on two occasions and that is where our opportunity slipped away.  We had a great pit stop and came out and thought we were going to be the leader and the No. 15 and the No. 9 stayed out so that put us in third position on the inside.  On that particular start Matt (Kenseth) started fourth and with that outside lane was able to get by the No. 9 right away and by the No. 15 and take control of the race at that point.  I really feel like if we would have had a slow stop and came out fourth we would have been in that position ourselves or if those two hadn’t pitted.  So that was really the opportunity in the race for us to take control and not by our own circumstances or design it just didn’t happen.  Then the next restart we were on the inside again and rallied our way back to fourth I guess it was.  Each one of those restarts you kind of lose a little ground and then have to work my way through and that is where opportunity missed us.”
 
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE STANDINGS AT THIS POINT?  HAVE YOU LOOKED AT IT AND DO YOU THINK IT’S A THREE MAN RACE AT THIS POINT LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SAYING?
“I mean it’s easy to look at it that way, but I’m not putting my guard down.  We still have Talladega and a lot of these tracks can take out multiple cars.  You have that risk here if something happens you usually take a car or two with you.  I don’t know.  I’m certainly looking forward and there are only two guys that I’m paying attention to right now, so in that mindset, sure you can call it a three man race.  It’s still way too early to count many out yet.”
 
DO YOU HAVE ANY LESS OF A MENTAL HURDLE COMING IN HERE KNOWING THE RESTARTS RULES HAVE CHANGED AND DO YOU HAVE ANY FEEL OF WHAT HAPPENED HERE IN JUNE MAYBE PLAYED A ROLE IN NASCAR CHANGINGS THE RULES?
“Oh yeah, it definitely had a role in that.  I think it was three or four restarts I was a part of that helped shaped the rule that we have now.  I think it’s a good fix.  I think it’s a good compromise between protecting second on a lot of these mile and a half’s where we have an apron that drivers can shoot down onto and make a pass.  I think it’s protecting second place from that situation.  At other race tracks and like what happened to me here, where the leader doesn’t go, it takes that away from the leader.  So I think it’s good.  I think it’s a good compromise for what the drivers and the front row have to manage.  I’m glad that it’s in place.  I hate that it took so long, but I think it’s a good change.”
 
IT’S ONE THING FOR THE FIVE-TIME CHAMPION TO HAVE ONE CAR AHEAD OF HIM IN THE POINT STANDINGS IN THE CHASE, BUT ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT THERE ARE TWO JOE GIBBS RACING CARS AHEAD OF YOU AND WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS TURNED THE TIDE FOR THAT ORGANIZATION?
“We have known for years and years and years that they are strong organization.  When you peak is very important in our season and I think that the No. 20 and the No. 18 are really coming to the top of their game right now at this point of the year which is good for them.  Arguably and there is still racing left so I hope this is wrong, but so far our peak was probably about the third mark of the year, third to three eighths mark of the year.  I feel like we are trending back up with our two top fives and heading in the right direction, but time will tell how high we rise and where we get to.  They have always had good equipment and they have always had fast cars. I really feel like Matt (Kenseth) and the relationship that he and his crew chief have and what they have been able to bring to the table has helped elevate them to Joe Gibbs the next level.  The experience that Matt brings in, the smarts, the knowledge, the consistent driving that is a nice kind of rock within that organization that without a doubt has helped them.”
 
ON KYLE BUSCH, HE’S GOTTEN OFF TO TERRIBLE CHASE STARTS AND HASN’T PUT TOGETHER A CHASE. NOW THAT HE’S GOTTEN OFF TO THIS TYPE OF START, HOW FORMIDABLE OF A CONTENDER DO YOU THINK HE WILL BE FOR THE LONG HAUL IN THE CHASE?
“He has the ability. We’ve all seen it week in and week out. We’ll see if he can keep it together over the course of 10 weeks. We all have something out there that media, fans, and competitors hold against you and make you think about from time to time and they always bring up a question. His question is can you hold it together for 10 weeks. And we’ll see. I believe that he has the ability to do it. He’s shown at different points in time, he wins in anything and everything he drives at all types of tracks.  So, it’s in there. It’s just finding it; and finding it at the right time amongst all the pressure that it put on a team and driver in the Chase. But, he’s definitely on his game this year.”
 
YOU HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO BE DRAMA-FREE IN YOUR CAREER. BUT REGARDING PEOPLE LIKE CLINT BOWYER OR PERHAPS JEFF GORDON WHO GOT THRUST INTO THE CHASE AT THE LAST MINUTE, HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE MENTALITY OF THE TEAM? CAN THAT WEAR YOU DOWN AS OPPOSED TO JUST BEING ABLE TO STAY THE COURSE THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE CHAMPIONSHIP RUN?
“I think Gordon’s situation is helpful. There is a lot of positive behind that. I don’t see that wearing on him or his team. They feel like they have a second shot in some ways in their opportunity to win a championship. I feel like they have, on their own merit, earned their way in to win the championship and circumstances kind of changed that. So, they’re in the right spot, mentally. For Clint, that whole situation is really tough. And we all know him well and know how positive of a person he is and the charisma he has and that outward excitement he has. To carry around the load and burden of what’s gone on, I don’t know for sure. But I have to imagine it’s tough on him. It’s got to take a toll to some degree, and test him and his team more than I’m going through in the Chase. I’m just focused on going out and running well. They’ve got an extra force out there weighing on them. Without a doubt, I bel
ieve it’s weighing on them.”
 
INAUDIBLE:
“We’ll see how far he can fight back, but it’s only going to make him stronger. And I’ve lived through it under my own circumstance with (crew chief) Chad (Knaus) being thrown out of the 500 that year and how we came back and were able to win races and the championship and be a stronger team as a result. If you look at the current point in time, it’s tough. It’s hard on you. But you fast-forward six months to a year from now, Clint Bowyer and his team are stronger, for sure.”
 
YOU MENTIONED THAT EVERY DRIVER HAS A LINGERING QUESTION THAT FANS BRING UP. WHAT IS YOURS? WHAT DO PEOPLE BRING UP TO YOU?
“For me, it’s the two-year dry spell. Like it’s been an eternity since I’ve won a championship. So, that’s the question that I seem to get.
 
 

Mopar Racing–Mopar Drivers Motivated for NHRA Midwest Nationals

Mopar Drivers Motivated for NHRA Midwest Nationals
 
·         Mopar drivers and teams are racing this weekend at Second Annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, the 21st of 24 NHRA events
·         This will be the third of six NHRA playoff national events in the “Countdown to the Championship”
·         Hagan leads the Funny Car standings with 2272 points, 51 point lead over second place
·         Coughlin is second in Pro Stock standings, eight points behind the new leader Jason Line
·         Defending Pro Stock world champion, Johnson is just 74 points behind in fifth place

 

Madison, Ill. (Friday, September 27, 2013) – In the hunt for the NHRA championship world titles in both Pro Stock and Funny Car classes, the battle intensifies this weekend for Mopar drivers and teams as they get set to contest the third playoff event in as many weeks at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals near St. Louis, Mo.

 

Matt Hagan has kept his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” machine atop the Funny Car standings since June following his win at the NHRA Nationals in Englishtown. Heading into Friday qualifying at Gateway Motorsports Park, the Don Schumacher Racing driver has a 51 point lead over second place Cruz Pedregon but knows that the battle will be intense in this final stretch of four nationals.

 

“We need to have a little luck along the way,” said Hagan who has four wins and eight final round appearances thus far this season. “The biggest thing is you can’t count points. I know we are, but we can’t concentrate on them. You can’t worry about points until the end of Vegas [next-to-last race]. At the end of that race, you’ll know if you’re in it or you’re not. I just look at it that way. It’s tough to do and everyone handles things in their own way and that’s just the way I’m handling it. If I need to worry about the points after Vegas I will and if I don’t then I know that we still had a great season.”

 

In the battle for the Pro Stock title, things got a little more interesting at the last event in Texas where the points battle tightened up and Jason Line dislodged Mike Edwards from the No.1 spot in the standings, a position he had held since the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte last April. Mopar’s Jeg Coughlin Jr. is within eight points of the new leader in second place and knows that the battle for the championship will likely go right down to the wire at the finale in Pomona.

 

“It’s a dogfight, without question,” said Coughlin, who has three wins this season with the latest coming in the first of the six playoff events. “We really have a lot of good teams fighting for this championship, including two of my Mopar teammates, Vincent Nobile and Allen Johnson. We’ve got a lot of data with the three cars, so I feel like our opportunities to do well are certainly good.”

 

While the 2012 Pro Stock Champ, Allen Johnson, he hasn’t driven into the winner’s circle since the Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver, he and the team head into St. Louis motivated and with a little more confidence after having tested at Gateway International Raceway last month.

 

“We ain’t quitting; the Mopar Express Lane team is going to dig, dig, dig, and work to defend our 2012 championship,” said Johnson who has four wins so far this year and is just 74 points from the leader in fifth place. “We’ve tested at St. Louis, tested really well there, and I think we hit on something in the engines. I think we’ve got the best package we’ve had. We scored a runner-up finish at St. Louis last year on our road to the title, and I can’t wait to get to the track and show off what we got.”

Casey Currie–Casey Currie Makes His Presence Felt with Consistent Weekend in Las Vegas


CORONA, Calif. (September 27, 2013) – The return of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORS) to Las Vegas for the second time during the 2013 season also signified a return to action under the lights for the 13th and 14th rounds of the Pro Lite Championship. After a solid start to the weekend in qualifying, Casey Currie put his Monster Energy/General Tire Jeep JK at the front of the field during both nights, ultimately securing a pair of top-five efforts, including a podium finish to kick off the weekend

Currie began the 13th round of the season last Friday night by getting shuffled outside the top five at the start of the race. However, as drivers continued to jockey for position, Currie quickly moved back into the top five and engaged in a heated multi-truck battle for position throughout the middle portion of the 12-lap race. Over the final few laps, Currie made moves wherever he could, showing no hesitation to bang doors if needed. The aggressive driving moved Currie into podium position with two laps remaining and he held on to finish third and put the Jeep JK back on the box.
 
“That was a crazy race, but it was a ton of fun to do battle like that,” said Currie on the podium. “I’ve always said that night racing brings out something extra in the competition and it showed. I had to work hard to put the Monster Energy/General Tire Jeep JK in a good position at the end and I’m stoked it paid off. This is the momentum we need heading into tomorrow.”
 
On Saturday night, Currie put himself into the top five in the opening laps, but lost several several positions early while engaged in a physical battle with a handful of trucks. He regrouped by maintaining a top-10 position throughout the middle of the race as several caution flags slowed the field and hindered Currie’s ability to make his way back to the front. However, he put the hammer down over the final three laps to climb from eighth to fifth.
 
“It sucks not getting a full race in,” he said. “We had a fast truck but with all the cautions and the first turn pileups it was a total up and down race. We had the speed to be up front, we just needed to run some clean laps [under green], which never happened. However, I’m excited that we finished top five to keep the points [battle] alive.”

After another solid weekend, Currie and his Monster Energy/General Tire team prepare for the final weekend of the 2013 LOORS Pro Lite season with its second visit to Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park and a home race for the Corona-based squad. The 15th and 16th round of action kicks off on Saturday, October 26th, followed by the final Pro Lite race of the year on Sunday, October 27th.
 
“The Jeep JK is so fast and I know we have a win in us before we wrap things up,” concluded Currie. “We had some bad luck last time out at Elsinore in May, but we’ve developed a new truck since then and we’re excited to get out there again and win one for all our family and friends. It’d be a great way to end the season after everything my guys have done this summer.”

Chevy Racing–Grand-Am Championship Weekend

CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND – IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS
CHEVROLET DRIVERS AND TEAMS RACE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP HARDWARE AT LIME ROCK PARK
 
DETROIT – (September 25, 2013) – The 2013 GRAND-AM Road Racing season finale at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut will play host to tight championship battles.  Chevrolet drivers and teams in both the Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype (DP) and Grand Touring (GT) classes will take on the challenge of the 1.53-mile, seven-turn road course in pursuit of the season’s ultimate goal – a championship.   During the two hour and 45 minute Rolex race to decide who is crowned this year’s champions, each of the Team Chevy drivers knows that not only are the team accolades on the line, but also the coveted Manufacturers’ Championships for Chevrolet.
 
“Lime Rock is a shorter track with tight corners followed by rather long straightaways,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Program Manager, Rolex Sports Car Series. “It is always a question of give and take in getting the right balance for the corners and the speed needed on the straights. Our Team Chevy crews and drivers will be well prepared for the battle.
 
“This weekend’s race will be intense for the Chevrolet teams and drivers, especially in Daytona Prototype.  There is a very tight point’s battle for both driver and team championships with three of our Corvette DP teams and drivers in the thick of it.  Excellent performance and perfect execution is what the teams will strive to attain in order to bring home the championship for their team, drivers’ and the Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet.
 
“In GT, Stevenson Motorsports GTR Camaro is within striking distance of driver and team championships if racing luck falls their way. The No. 57 team has worked hard on preparations for this critical race.”
 
The pairing of Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli lead the pack for the 2013 DP drivers’ title as the Series rolls into Lime Rock Park. Taylor and Angelelli won the two most recent races in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP and enter the finale with an eight-point lead. The duo can clinch the title with a fourth-place finish at Lime Rock Park.
 
History is on the side of Taylor and Angelelli at Lime Rock. Wayne Taylor Racing has been undefeated since DPs began racing at the circuit in 2010. But two other Corvette DP teams are also in the hunt for the drivers’ championship. Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP, are only 11 points back while co-drivers of the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP, Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa are still within striking distance sitting 13 and 15 point’s out of the lead position.
 
Another title on the line at Lime Rock is the DP team championship. Wayne Taylor Racing currently sits 11 points behind the leaders.  A strong finish at Lime Rock could mean a double victory for the team.
 
Chevrolet heads into the final Rolex race of the year leading the Rolex Daytona Prototype Engine Manufacturers’ standings by 32 points.
Not only are the Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype drivers and teams in a tight championship battle, but co-drivers John Edwards and Robin Liddell have a GT class-high four victories in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, and enter the finale 11 points behind the leaders in both the driver and team championship standings.
 
Liddell and Edwards know a bit about winning at Lime Rock Park – they’ve each won two races on the 1.53-mile course, and at least one of them has been atop the GT podium for the past three years.
 
The duo will defend their 2012 Lime Rock victory this weekend and will be joined by teammates in the No. 75 Chevrolet Camaro Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. The Corvette Racing drivers won last weekend’s GT class in the ALMS race at Circuit of The Americas, taking the lead in the championship in the process.
 
Chevrolet sits third in the Manufacturers’ standings, but a strong run can substantially change the final standings.
 
This weekend at Lime Rock Park also marks the last race of the season for the Camaro GS.R drivers and teams in the Continental Tire Sports Care Challenge series.  Matt Bell and John Edwards led the way for Team Chevy on the strength of two wins in 2013 at Road Atlanta and Kansas Speedway.  Headed into the weekend’s race the driving duo are 34 points out of the lead in both the driver and team standings, but a misstep by the leaders could mean a big day for the No. 9 Stevenson Camaro GS.R drivers.
 
The first race of championship weekend at Lime Rock Park will be the Lime Rock Grand Sport Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge two hour and 30 minute contest which is scheduled to take the green flag at 9:50 a.m. ET on Saturday September 28th followed by the start of the Rolex Sports Car Series championship deciding two hour and 45 minute race at 1:00 p.m., ET.
 

Summit Racing–Points Leader Line on a Roll Heading into St. Louis

Points Leader Line on a Roll Heading into St. Louis
 
Mooresville, N.C., September 25, 2013 – Jason Line was exceptionally quick and fast last year at Gateway Motorsports Park in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, and the timing is right for a replay of last season’s performance and perhaps a bit more as NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series arrives in St. Louis this weekend for the second annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
 
Line, of Mooresville, N.C., is leading the Pro Stock points and hot off of a win last week in Dallas – his second of the season. He will arrive in St. Louis aiming to defend the Gateway Motorsports Park track records for both elapsed time and speed; last season, Line was No. 1 qualifier at the event with track record numbers of 6.496 and 213.47 mph.
 
Also on the agenda this weekend: a third consecutive final round appearance that will, hopefully, result in a win. Line’s Dallas victory was preceded by a final-round finish in Charlotte, the first race of NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs, the week before.
 
“Timing is everything,” said Line, who took over the points lead in Dallas. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to show the capabilities of the Summit Racing team earlier this year, but lately we have been running closer to where we know we should be. It’s very encouraging that we are turning things around now, at the beginning of the Countdown. The points are very close, and there isn’t any wiggle room so to speak, so we really have to keep at it. St. Louis has been successful for us in the past, and hopefully we can capitalize on that.”
 
Minnesota native Line has a total of two low qualifier awards at Gateway (he was also No. 1 in 2008), and his near-miss of the title in 2009 is something he certainly intends to rectify this weekend.
 
“Obviously, someone is going to be better than everyone else in the class and put their car in the winner’s circle this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park” said Line. “I’m not going to lie; I’d like it if that car was mine, but as long as it’s one of the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros, I’ll be very happy.”
 

Summit Racing–Anderson Preparing to Revisit St. Louis Success

Anderson Preparing to Revisit St. Louis Success
 
Mooresville, N.C., September 25, 2013 – It doesn’t take much to summon positive memories for Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson when it comes to Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, the site of this weekend’s AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. Anderson, who launched his Pro Stock driving career 25 years ago, was a regular threat in St. Louis early in his career. This weekend, the four-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion would certainly appreciate a return to the powerful stance with which he is so familiar.
 
Anderson visited his first St. Louis final round in 2000, competing in only his third season as a driver in the exceptionally competitive category of naturally aspirated factory hot rods. He was again runner-up in 2002, and in 2004 the Minnesota native was the No. 1 qualifier at the event and finally earned the longed-for trophy with a final-round defeat of Steve Johns. The next season, Anderson fell just short of defending the title and finished in the final, and in 2006 and 2007 he continued to show great power at the facility as he raced to back-to-back starts from the No. 1 position.
 
“Team Summit has had a fair amount of success in St. Louis, and I think we’re in a great position to go back there and get a win for Summit Racing and our team owners, Ken and Judy Black,” said Anderson, who will be joined at the racetrack this weekend by Summit Racing teammate Jason Line as well as Buddy Perkinson, who will drive a third KB Racing car at the event. “Jason is the points leader, he won last week in Dallas and was a finalist the weekend before in Charlotte, and our goal is always to keep our two Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros as close as possible. It should be getting close to my time to shine, and boy, I’m ready.”
 
Anderson is currently ninth in NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings, and although he has dipped below a comfortable position in the points, the 74-time national event winner is maintaining a positive outlook and a definite sense of determination with the third of six races in the Countdown to the Championship on the horizon.
 
“It’s been a tough year, and it’s been very out of character for me and for this team,” said Anderson, the KB Racing driver whose highlight so far this year was a runner-up finish in Chicago at Route 66 Raceway. “But right now is where we can turn it around and cross the finish line strong. We’re almost where we need to be with Jason’s car, and we’ve seen moments of greatness with my Summit Racing Camaro. We have an opportunity this weekend to prove ourselves. Hopefully, we are able to take advantage of that opportunity.”
 

Tracy Hines Racing–Tracy Hines & Fellow USAC Competitors Bookend Lawrenceburg’s Season

Tracy Hines & Fellow USAC Competitors Bookend Lawrenceburg’s Season
By Tracy Hines Racing PR
 
NEW CASTLE, Ind. — Sept. 26, 2013— Lawrenceburg Speedway in Indiana served as the Midwest opener for the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series back in April and will close that portion of the 2013 campaign for the series this weekend. For Tracy Hines, the event at Lawrenceburg will serve as one of the last two major open wheel events in his home state of Indiana that he will compete this season, before heading west to wrap up the year.
                                              
The USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series City of Lawrenceburg Fall Nationals at Lawrenceburg Speedway is set for Saturday, Sept. 28 at the state-of-the-art, high-banked, three-eighths-mile. A full racing program beginning with hot laps and time trials will be followed by heat races and a 30-lap main event.
 
The veteran driver has made three starts at Lawrenceburg this season, with two of those coming with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series and the other with the Honda USAC National Midget Series. He finished a season-best 10th at the track during Indiana Midget Week. In the spring with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series, Hines was 12th at the three-eighths-mile, turning the fastest lap in qualifying of the 40 entries, to earn his first quick time award of the season. He also finished 12th in July during Indiana Sprint Week aboard the Hansen’s Welding Inc./The Carolina Nut Company DRC.
 
“We’ve been pretty fast in the sprint car at Lawrenceburg this year, but haven’t gotten the finishes we were looking for,” said Hines. “Lawrenceburg is a momentum-type racetrack and we’ve done well at similar places this year. It would definitely be nice to wrap up the Midwest part of the USAC schedule with a strong run.”
 
Last season, Hines made four overall starts at Lawrenceburg Speedway with three of those coming in a sprint car. He finished seventh at the track located on the Indiana/Ohio border during Indiana Sprint Week and was ninth in the fall during a co-sanctioned USAC/MSCS event. The veteran driver earned his best 2012 Lawrenceburg finish in a Honda USAC National Midget Series event during Indiana Midget Week, coming home fourth. Hines was victorious at the track twice in 2011 in weekly sprint car competition and scored a win with the USAC National Midget Series at Lawrenceburg in 2010.
 
Last weekend in the 4-Crown Nationals at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio, Hines finished third with the Honda USAC National Midget Series. He opened the night as the second fastest-qualifier of the 20 entries and followed that up with a third-place showing the second heat race. In the 30-lap main event for the Amsoil USAC National Midget Series, the 2002 series champion, was leading on the white flag lap when he got upside in turn four and ended up 20th. Hines was running second in the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series 50-lapper when he got upside with two laps remaining. He was scored ninth at the finish and wrapped the season up third in points.
 
“Obviously, Eldora didn’t end how we were hoping, but you have to put that out of your mind,” said Hines. “We were fast in all three cars and were in a position for a win in two of those races and that’s all you can ask for. Racing is definitely not an easy sport and it seems like you have more lows than highs, so when you have the good nights, you certainly have to enjoy them and build on them.”

Kraig Kinser Racing–One More Race at a Bullring for Kraig Kinser in 2013 at Fremont Speedway

One More Race at a Bullring for Kraig Kinser in 2013 at Fremont Speedway
By Kraig Kinser Racing PR
 
Bloomington, Ind.— Sept. 26, 2013— Kraig Kinser has had a good amount of success on small, tight bullrings this season with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series. He has nine top-10 finishes on tracks that measure one-third or one-quarter of a mile in distance. He’ll have one more chance to add those to solid statistics this weekend as the series heads to Ohio for an event at Fremont Speedway, piloting the Mesilla Valley Transportation/Casey’s General Store/King Racing Products Maxim.
 
The World of Outlaws will make their sixth-ever appearance at Fremont Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 28 for the running of the Joe Stelter Memorial on Kistler Racing Products night. The night will open at the semi-banked, one-third-mile oval, located in northern Ohio, with hot laps, followed by time trials, heat races, a dash and will culminate with a 40-lap, $10,000-to-win A-Feature.
 
Kinser raced most recently at Fremont in 2011 with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, finishing 18th in the 40-lap main event. He began the night by turning the 18th-fastest lap in time trials of the 37 cars that were in attendance. Kinser finished sixth in the second heat race, coming up just one spot short of transferring to the main, which put him in the B-main. He raced his way into the A-Feature by finishing second in the B-main.
 
“Hot laps will definitely be important, since it’s been a couple of years since we’ve races at Fremont (Speedway) and obviously were on a different tire then than we are now,” said Kinser. “There will be a lot of cars there and the locals are tough, which will make time trials and qualifying in the right spot that much more important. Transferring from the heat race to the feature will be a key, as will finishing first or second to get into the dash. It’s going to be an intense night of racing for sure.”
 
Kinser raced for the first time at Fremont in 2001 during Ohio Sprint Speedweek with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. He turned the 10th fastest lap in time trials that night. The native of Bloomington, Ind., returned to the track in 2003 for another race with the All Stars, recording the 11th-fastest lap in qualifying with a very strong 52-car field in attendance. Kinser has raced in five feature events in Ohio this season with the World of Outlaws, with four of those coming at the famed Eldora Speedway and the other at Limaland Motorsports Park in the Brad Doty Classic.
 
“Fremont is a place that I turned some laps at early in my career, but since that time, the trips there have been few and far between,” he noted. “We’ve been pretty good on the smaller tracks this year and feel like we have a solid baseline and set-up for places like Fremont. Turning consistent laps and putting yourself in a good position is what it will take to be in contention.”
 

Chevy Racing–Tuesday Teleconference–Kevin Harvick

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET SS, WAS THE GUEST ON THIS WEEK’S NASCAR WEEKLY TELECONFERENCE.
 
BELOW IS THE TRANSCRIPT:
 
 
JENNIE LONG:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We are joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Harvick is currently 6th in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with two wins and seven top 5 finishes this season.  He has scored top 10 finishes in four of the last five races at Dover, the site of Sunday’s AAA 400.  This weekend seems like the perfect time to make a charge towards the top of the standings.  What’s your outlook heading into Sunday?
 
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  Well, it’s been a good racetrack for us as we’ve gone to Dover the last few years, so obviously we’re looking forward to going back, and hopefully matching that success this weekend.  We didn’t run so well at Loudon last weekend, so we need a good weekend going to Dover this week.
 
Q.  I actually kind of had a big‑picture question for you.  I wondered if you could just talk a little bit about Richard Childress Racing today as you are getting ready to leave versus when you came in, how the team will be structured beginning next year?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  Well, I think as you look at how I started at RCR, obviously I came in in the year 2000, actually at the end of 1999 to run some ARCA races and started off with a brand new Nationwide program that we put together and won the Rookie of the Year, won the championship in the next two years, and that Nationwide program has gone on to have a lot of success.
 
 
I think the Cup side of it came in under obviously distressed circumstances with everything that had happened to Dale, and for us we had already laid out a plan of what we were going to do for the next four years, and obviously that changed.  So the first few years at RCR were a little bit confusing just for the fact that we were basically just running the 29 car, which was the 3, to keep the company going and try to establish some groundwork as to what we were going to do in the future.
 
 
Luckily that all played out, and for me it was an opportunity to come in and race as a young racer from the west coast who was just looking for an opportunity, and Richard gave me that, and now the sport is a lot different than what it was in those days with multi‑car teams and the state of our economy has changed the way that the sport operates and functions.
 
 
A lot of things are different now than what they were then.  There was a lot of sponsorship and a lot of things were a little more fly by the seat of your pants then than they are now.  It’s definitely a different landscape than what it used to be.
 
Q.  If I recall correctly, 2006 New York, when they used to bring the Chase drivers there before the Chase began, talking to you in one of the press sessions, and I think I asked you what your approach would be in the Chase, and this was your first Chase, and you said you just thought you would do things as you normally would and then you kind of smiled and said, well, maybe I’ll be surprised.  I’m just curious, you’ve had several Chases since then.  What have you learned?  Can you just race the way you normally do or do you have to change your approach?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  We just do things the same way, and obviously that hasn’t exactly won us a championship, but I don’t know of anybody else who does it any differently.  You just have to go out and drive your car as fast as it’ll go, and the guys on the team are going to try to change the tires and make the right decisions just as they would every other week.
 
 
A lot of people think that we change our strategy, but our strategy is to try to win every week, and obviously you can’t do that every week, and you have to try to pull the best finish that you can from that particular weekend.
 
 
Really that’s our strategy is to go out and try to perform the best that you can, and if you’re having a good day, capitalize on it.  If you’re having a bad day, try to figure out how to create a decent finish for it and gain maximum points.  It’s really the same strategy, Chase or no Chase.
 
Q.  Considering where you’re at in the points and the season that you’ve had, how feasible do you see being able to put together a string of some wins and top 5s to kind of get back into this thing?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  Well, you know, right now I honestly hadn’t even really looked and seen the points deficit and paid attention to it.  For us it’s really about just going out and doing what you can week in and week out, and where you fall is where you fall, and that’s the cards that you were dealt.
 
 
At one point we strung together nine weeks in a row there with top 10 finishes and some wins, and I think that’s what you need to do anyway to have a chance at winning the championship.
 
 
But if Matt keeps doing the things that he’s doing and winning every race, it’s going to be hard for anybody to make up points, and those guys have run well this year, and for us we ran well at Chicago and overcame a lot of mistakes.  Last week we weren’t able to overcome an ill‑handling car and make something out of it.
 
 
I think at Dover, obviously you have to go up there and get your car handling well and do the things that you would normally do to try to have a good day.  I think the capability is there for us as a team to string some finishes together, but it’s just a matter of putting the next eight weeks together, and we’ve done it before this season, so we’ve just got to do it quick.
 
Q.  Ever since you announced that you were moving on, you haven’t exactly let up, obviously, and done really well.  Could you talk a little bit about being able to have your sponsors go with you, what that means to you and how that’s going to help you going into next year?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  Well, for me it was an interesting period, for me to transition through this year and into next year.  And part of the intrigue of the Stewart‑Haas situation was for me when I signed my contract, we had no sponsor, no team, no number, nothing, and from a contractual side, I couldn’t really be involved in any of the sponsorship stuff that was going on so that I could focus on the racing at hand this year.
 
 
It’s been an interesting time for me because in the past we have been so involved in the things that are going on.  But to see Budweiser and Jimmy John’s and to have Outback come on board next year is pretty satisfying for me, and just for the fact that the sponsors have enough value in the things that we’ve done on and off the racetrack from the past to carry that forward, and to be able to represent the brands Budweiser and Jimmy John’s that we’ve represented in the past is obviously something that I’m used to and I’ll be able to see familiar faces and brands going forward as I go into my new position at Stewart‑Haas Racing.
 
 
I’m excited about that.  Everybody over there has obviously done a good job.  It’s going to be great getting to finally know those guys once I’m done with my work at RCR.  It’s been an interesting transition, and obviously things seem to be working out well.
 
Q.  This is kind of a follow‑up.  Heading into the Chase was there a certain number, whether it’s top 10s, top 5s, average finish, or number of points that you couldn’t allow yourself to fall behind as we go into the Chase?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  You know, honestly we don’t sit and figure those things out.  We just try to go out and do the best job that we can.  I’ve been involved in this Chase and had high single‑digit average finis
hes through the whole Chase and not won.  You can go through these Chase races and you see Carl lost it with I think a high‑five average, to Tony who won five races.  So you just never know who’s going to be on a hot streak and who’s not, and it’s really a one‑week‑at‑a‑time battle to put yourself in the best position that you can, and if you make a mistake and don’t run well like we did last week, you have to be able to rebound the next week or your gap gets a little bit further and further apart every week.
 
 
It’s just a matter of overcoming a bad day this week with a good finish, and that’s really what it all boils down to.  There’s no magic number.  There’s no thought process.  There’s no average finish.  There’s really no rhyme or reason to how the 10 races are going to work out, so you just have to go out and do your thing.  It’s something that for me works well is to shut off the media and the fans to a certain extent and what their opinions are, and you go out as a team and try to do the best you can.
 
Q.  And on a similar note, does the fast start that Matt has got off to change the way that you approach the final eight races?
KEVIN HARVICK:  No.  I mean, there is no different approach.  You go out and run your car as fast as it’ll go and you try to put yourself in a position to win every week, and when you can’t win you try to take the best finish that you can out of every week.  If you’re in a position to do that, then that’s what you do every week.  It’s all about capitalizing on the moments and making a bad day into a better day and trying to make as few mistakes as possible.  There’s really no change.  Everybody thinks that you change the way that you race; well, that’s really not possible because you have to race as hard as you can to get through the first 26 weeks and then you’ve got to do the same thing in the last 10.  There’s no change of what you do.
 
Q.  Once a driver makes the Chase, what are some of the basic ideas that you bring up to a crew chief or a crew on how to improve in the last 10 races of the season?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  Well, really everything has to get better.  You have to have a little bit better in each department.  It’s really not one particular thing.  It’s really not a conversation that you have to sit down and have.  I think everybody on our team has been around it long enough to know that in order to do better than what we’ve done in the past, we have to get better in every spot, whether it’s the driver, the crew chief, the pit crew, and everything that goes with it.
 
 
With the experienced teams, I don’t think there’s a conversation that needs to be had.  I think everybody just knows they have to get better, and you have to minimize the mistakes that you make in all positions and try to capitalize on the things that you’re doing well and get results out of them.
 
Q.  Do you almost have to kind of roll your eyes and shake your head because it seems like it happens all the time when you hear these are the only guys that are going to win or stand a chance to win?  How do you go about that?  Surely you’re looking ahead and you’re seeing Talladega, what could happen there, but do you just not let that get to you at all?
 
KEVIN HARVICK:  Well, I mean, from a media standpoint or a fan’s perspective, if you look and read and listen to the things that they said at the beginning of the year, we wouldn’t even be sitting in this chair right now in the Chase because everybody had kind of written us off at the beginning of the year waiting for our team to implode from within and not even having a chance to race for the championship.
 
 
For me it’s really something that I don’t even pay attention to.  I know a lot of people say that, but you really just turn the media and the opinions of the fans, you have to turn those away to stay focused on your team and the things that you do.  It’s really a simple process and how you do that.  It’s hard to make yourself do that, but through the years you learn that it’s way easier just to focus on the guys around you and not get caught up in the mixture of opinions and how things are going to work out because nobody really knows how it’s going to work out until we run the race and all the circumstances and different racetracks and things play out through the end.
 
 
JENNIE LONG:  Kevin, thanks for joining us, and best of luck this weekend at Dover.
 

Roush Yates Racing–Ryan Blaney’s First NNS Win Highlights a Great Weekend

Ryan Blaney’s First NNS Win Highlights a Great Weekend

for Roush Yates FR9

Mooresville, NC (September 23, 2013) Ryan Blaney captured his first NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) win in just his second start of 2013 in the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang. A regular in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Blaney methodically worked his way to the front throughout the entire race to take home his inaugural win with Roush Yates power.

Pole winner Sam Hornish Jr. appeared to have the car to beat, but on the final restart Blaney powered the outside line and pulled ahead of Austin Dillon and the rest of the field for the final nine laps to give Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines their 12th win in just 27 races.

“We had a great car all night,” said the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney. “We kept working on it throughout the race, just little tweaks here and there. We were really strong to start out the race and just got better and better as the runs went on. It was really tough the last few restarts to really know what was going to happen but we had a great car to be able to get through one and two good and be able to clear them by three and four.”

The No. 22 Mustang has earned 10 wins this year in the Nationwide Series with four different drivers. AJ Allmendinger, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski make up for nine of the victories.

Sam Hornish Jr. continues to lead Dillon in the Championship points by 15. Roger Penske is leading the owner’s championship by 23 points. The Nationwide Series will make the trip to Dover International Speedway next weekend.

Corey LaJoie won his third ARCA Racing Series race of the season in only four starts on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway.

The ZLOOP 150 was rained out Friday night, forcing the field to race Saturday afternoon. After being fastest in practice with his Roush Yates Ford, LaJoie started 13th but raced to the front of the field quickly, leading a total of 40 out of 100 laps.

Chad Boat took the lead with 38 laps to go on a three-wide pass for the top spot between LaJoie and Mason Mitchell. Garrett Smithley brought out the caution moments later after making contact with the inner retaining wall. On the re-start LaJoie powered past Boat and cruised to a 2.564 second win over Mitchell, a fellow Ford FR-9 driver.

“We’ve had really good set ups for these cars lately,” said LaJoie. “We went back to the drawing board after Iowa and put together what we thought would be good at Kentucky, and it ended up being really good. It was a great day.”

Mitchell posted a career best finish of second after leading 20 laps in the Happy Cheeks Ford powered by Roush Yates. Grant Enfinger, driver of the Motor Honey-Casite-Advance-Ford, had another strong finish for Team BCR with a late pass to get by Boat and finish fourth. Enfinger’s Ford was one of the fastest cars on the track at the end of the race.

LaJoie has won three out of only five starts in the ARCA Racing Series. As a developmental driver for Richard Petty Motorsports, he finished first at Chicagoland Speedway in July, Pocono Raceway in August, and Kentucky Speedway in September.

“I’m really proud of how our engines have performed in the ARCA Series so far in 2013,” said Jeff Clark, VP of Sales for Roush Yates. “Watching drivers earn their first career win or race to their best career finishes says a lot about the power and reliability our FR-9 engines. We look forward to working with even more teams next season.”

The season finale for the ARCA Racing Series will run on October 4th at Kansas Speedway.

Jason Johnson defended his race title as winner of the Port-a-Cool U.S. Dirt Track Nationals Champion late Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Johnson drew the number five pill to start the rain delayed 30-lap feature from the inside of row three. With the laps running out around 4:45AM, Johnson made his move going into the final turns as Johnny Herrera got caught up behind a slower car. Using the low line, he bounced into Herrera and took the lead coming off turn four to take the win.

Saturday night’s win is Johnson’s 76th career ASCS national Tour victory and his 236th overall race win. Johnson also took home the Hawk Performance Products Fastest Lap of the Night award.

Jack Dover dominated the Fall Brawl II Finale at I-80 Speedway on Saturday night in the ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series. Dover picked up the Durst Motorplex and Zoz Farms Double Down Back-to Back Challenge check of $20,000, securing his fourth Speedway Motors Midwest Regional title.

Chevy Racing–Tuesday Teleconference–Dale Earnhardt Jr.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS, WAS THE GUEST ON THIS WEEK’S NASCAR TELECONFERENCE.
 
BELOW IS THE TRANSCRIPT:
 
 
THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s NASCAR CAM teleconference.  We are joined by Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Earnhardt is currently 11th in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.  He has one win and five top 5 finishes at Dover International Speedway, the site of Sunday’s AAA 400.
 
 
Dale, your crew chief, Steve Letarte, said you need wins to get back into the championship hunt.  What do you think your chances are starting your run this Sunday at Dover?
 
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  Well, just going to have to work hard.  Our chances aren’t looking that great because the guys ahead of us are winning races.  They’ve had a pretty strong couple weeks to chase off.
 
 
But don’t give up, keep working.  If we can win a couple races, no matter what happens in the championship, that will improve the results of our season and give us a lot to be happy about.
 
 
So it would be great to go ahead and go to Dover and get that done.  But we’re trying every week.  I thought we were pretty aggressive this weekend trying to get ourselves in position to win.  Ended up with a pretty good result.  Couple things go a little bit different, and I think we get a shot at Matt and give ourselves a better opportunity to get the win.
 
 
It’s good to be able to look back on Sunday and feel like we had potential.  If we can be as aggressive as we were this past Sunday on pit strategy and many different things, just going after the set‑up of the car and working real hard on Saturday trying to prepare the car for the race, I think we can put ourselves in position more often with just a few races left.
 Q.  What would wins here over the last eight races mean for you as far as momentum going into next year?  Are you a big believer in the way you finish one year has a big impact on how you start the next?
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  Well, not really.  There are so many changes in the off‑season.  We’re always looking with the new car, you’re looking at higher potential that there will be changes in the off‑season and lot of new things to learn, lot of new things to sort of science out.  Really, if we just win races, it just vindicates the work we do and gives yourself confidence that you can do the job.  Helps you understand where your team is and what things you can fix and change to get better before the next year.
 
 
So I think as far as it carrying over to next year, I think we’re going to really see some changes in the off‑season on how the rules are with the car, maybe some things might happen ‑‑ I think enough is going to change in the off‑season that it will be almost like kind of having to start over a little bit next year as far as learning what works and what doesn’t work.
 
 
Either way I feel pretty good with that.  We have a good organization that can start from scratch and make some things happen.
Q.  Do you feel like ‑‑ I know you talked earlier in the year about feeling that you were close to being a winning team and competing for wins.  Do you feel like you’re at that same spot?  Do you feel like you’re any better?  Do you feel like you’ve fallen behind at all?
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  Yeah, we started the year out strong.  I mean, if we could have beaten Carl Edwards out in that last pit stop in Phoenix, we thought we could have won that race.  We had a string of good finishes and we were leading the points in the first five or six races of the year.  I feel like we really applied ourselves and adapted to the new car pretty quickly.
 
 
Now that everybody else has sort of caught up, and even surged ahead in some areas ‑‑ you’re seeing Matt have an awesome year, and it looks like Gibbs is having a better year performance‑wise all around.  Some teams at Roush are starting to find some competitiveness just as the season has gone on things have evened out a whole lot more.
 
 
So I think we’ll have to work in the off‑season to try to put ‑‑ all the teams are working in the off‑season to try to start the year off with an advantage over everybody, and we’ll just have to do that.  Work really hard in the off‑season to see what we can learn.
Q.  You kind of hit on the fact that you guys can kind of go all out with the front and the top three running so strong already in the Chase, does that kind of change your strategy a little bit?  Like maybe the rest of the field feels like, hey, we’ll just go for all we can get because we just hope that they don’t?  Does that change your strategy?
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  I guess.  I wouldn’t say it changes the strategy.  You know, I think it just changes the way you appreciate.  You look at your position in the Chase and you see, all right, we’re way behind.  We’ve got ourselves off to a terrible start in Chicago.  So we don’t really need to try to string together decent finishes.  That’s not going to do much for us.  We’re behind so far that trying to be consistent and just rattle off top 10s if we can, there is no moral victory there.  We can gamble on tire strategy and get off sequence in the race and try to make it work for you and get to victory lane.
 
 
Now we do that all year long, really.  The regular season is long enough to where you can be pretty risky and have a couple go your way and couple go against you and still be okay points‑wise and not really work your way out of the Chase by getting too crazy on the strategy.
 
 
But in the Chase, you know, obviously you want to win all the races like Matt’s doing.  But if you just run smart and run as hard as you can, obviously, and try to finish as good as you can, like Kyle, for example.  He’s hanging around, and that’s going to pay off.  If Matt makes a mistake or has trouble similar to the way me and the 22 had in Chicago, Kyle’s consistency and Jimmie’s as well will bode well for them and that will put them in position to take advantage of Matt’s bad luck.
 
 
So you want to be consistent if you can, but if you start off like we did, you just kind of throw it all out the window and try to get a trophy or two before the season’s out.
Q.  Dale, do you know, a lot of crew chiefs are starting to talk about, like you did, feeling that changes are coming and pretty widespread.  Do you know anything about that area that you feel like will be changed?  We heard about the Fords maybe.  Have you heard anything about what part of the cars will be changed or what they’re looking at?
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  I don’t.  I don’t really know.  I know there are always ongoing discussions to improve the sport, improve how the cars race each other.  We’ve been working really much harder, I think, in the past five to ten years on trying to put a better product and better race car on the track than they ever have, but that’s just something that’s happened in the sport every year.  It’s always been a process that’s ongoing in the sport and it will happen again through this off‑season.
 
 
With more information, more technology, more ways to gather data, understand data and understand what the cars are doing and how the cars are talking back to us about what’s working and what’s not working, I think you’ll see more of that.  More conversation, more ideas moving around on what can improve things.
 
 
So, yeah.  I don’t know what changes we’ll see in the of
f‑season.  I don’t think that it’s uncharacteristic that there is conversation, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see something happening.  It happens every year.  I don’t think it’s something that’s new or unique.
 
 
Usually, it’s aerodynamics, involves aerodynamics or involves the way ‑‑ they’re always trying to improve, obviously, on how much air and down force the guys in second and so forth get as opposed to the lead car.  That’s an area we’ve always wanted to work in and wanted to improve, and I think that’s probably going to be ongoing.
Q.  On the analyst side of it, you’re talking about what might happen in the Chase.  Obviously, Matt Kenseth has been so strong, but Greg Biffle said he too has come out strong at the front of the Chase and then dropped off the face of the earth.  Do you expect it to shift a lot?  Do you think the points will shift around quite a bit yet for some?
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  Oh, absolutely.  There is a lot of racing left.  There are eight races ‑‑ that’s a lot of racing and a lot of potential for good luck and bad luck to be shared by everybody.  I’m certain Matt and his team are going to try real hard to be smart and continue on the success that they’ve had.  But nobody’s immune to someone else’s mistake or something reaching out and altering the way the race is going for them.
 
 
Even Matt, as strong as they’ve been, something could happen to those guys and it may not be something of their own doing.  That’s why everybody in the series just continues to work hard because you don’t know what’s going to happen.  Fortune or misfortune could be around the corner.
Q.  With the way the first couple of races have gone and Gibbs being up there and Jimmie, Dale, is there anybody that you think people might be overlooking?  Somebody that you think might be hanging back there four, five, six, seven that shouldn’t be overlooked yet, as you mentioned, with so much racing to go?
 
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:  Well, I don’t really know anybody in particular, but anything could happen.  There is a lot of racing left.  Just as Matt won a couple races, any one of us could hit on a streak, get real competitive and launch themselves right back into the heat of the battle.  Just as easily as someone can get behind, someone can rebound and win a race or two and have a couple great finishes and the competition have some difficulty and things can be reversed rather quickly.
 
 
We’re only two races into this thing and a lot of tough competition in the Chase, and nobody’s going to make it very easy on Matt.  I think the more ‑‑ especially the larger his lead gets, I think more of a bullseye the guy gets on him, and the tougher competition tends to race you.  He can expect things to be pretty competitive going forward. He’s been in this situation before.  He’s obviously got a strong competitor, one of the strongest competitors in Kyle and Jimmie both right on his heels and Carl Edwards and a couple guys lurking back there in the shadows.
          

Follow A Dream 5th!

Marstons Mills, MA -September 23, 2013-Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team climbed to eighth place in the Top Alcohol Funny Car national standings with a quarterfinal finish at the second-to-last race of the season, the Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.

Driver Todd Veney qualified fifth in the field with a 5.66 and ran a 5.59 – the team’s best performance since May – in a first-round win over Fred Tigges. The car was on an even better run against eventual runner-up Mickey Ferro in the quarterfinals, a 5.57 or 5.58, when the blower belt snapped just past half-track, silencing the engine and bringing the weekend to a halt.

“It happened right as I was going into high gear,” Veney said. “It was on its way to the best run we’ve made in a while – over 206 mph at half-track – when it happened. I’m not sure we would have won, but I must have been right beside him because I never saw him until it quit.”

Over the weekend, the team played host to a large group of foster kids, who got a tour of the car, the rig, and the entire pit and spent time with Blake, who delivered an emotional inspirational speech in the team hospitality area. “Being with kids like that, and with the veterans and their families who also joined us in Charlotte this weekend, is what Follow A Dream is all about,” Blake said.

The team’s next event, the Auto Plus Nationals, is the final race of the season, two weeks from now at historic Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

Richard Childress Racing–Sylvania 300

SYLVANIA 300
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
New Hampshire Motor Speedway    
September 22, 2013
 
Race Highlights: 
 
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished eighth (Jeff Burton), 20th (Kevin Harvick) and 22nd (Paul Menard) in the SYLVANIA 300.
Following the event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Harvick is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 39 markers behind the leader, while Menard is 16th and Burton moved up three positions to 19th.
The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 18th in the standings and the No. 31 team 21st.
According to NASCAR’s Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Burton ranked 10th for Laps Run in the Top-15 with 217 circuits in that position.
Burton completed 66 Green-Flag Passes, while Menard made 62 and Harvick had 61 during the 300-lap race.
Matt Kenseth earned his seventh victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 29. The 29th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
 
 
 
Menard Finishes 22nd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
 
Starting from the seventh position, Paul Menard and the No. 27 SYLVANIA/Menards team faced handling issues throughout the 300-lap event, earning a 22nd-place finish when the checkered flag flew at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. After slipping back several positions in the early laps of the race, Menard was scored in 13th on lap 25 when he communicated to crew chief “Slugger” Labbe that the No. 27 machine was tight on entry and loose exiting the corners. The pit crew made a variety of adjustments during pit stops on laps 32 and 109 in hopes of remedying the issue. The Eau Claire, Wis., native maintained a position within the top-20 and at lap 156 he was scored in 19th, running lap times as fast as the leader. A two-tire pit stop on lap 202 allowed Menard to gain valuable track position, lining him up 15th for the ensuing restart. The Richard Childress Racing driver methodically worked his way up to 11th before coming to pit road one final time on lap 246 for left-side tires, fuel and wedge and air pressure adjustments. Restarting in 11th, Menard was caught in the middle going three-wide into the corner and shuffled back to 19th at lap 263. Struggling with a tight condition for the remaining 37 laps of the event, Menard ultimately finished 22nd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Menard maintained his position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings and sits in 16th heading to Dover International Speedway.
 
Start – 7                      Finish – 22                     Laps Led – 0            Points – 16th
 
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“It was a rough day for the No. 27 SYLVANIA/Menards crew. We struggled with handling issues for the majority of the day, especially there at the end. That last set of tires made us really tight and we just couldn’t gain any track position. My guys never gave up and made a variety of adjustments all day to try and get the car to handle better. We’ll keep our heads up heading into Dover (International Speedway) next week.”
 
 
 

 
Harvick Finishes 20th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
 
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team finished 20th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon after battling handling issues during in the SYLVANIA 300. The California native started the 300-lap affair from the eighth position and slipped back to 11th in the early laps when a tight condition through the center of the corners and loose-handling condition on exit developed on the red and white Chevrolet. Though he was struggling with handling issues, Harvick continued to hold a position inside the top-15 for the first half of the 300 mile event. The Budweiser crew made a variety of adjustments during multiple two and four-tire pits stops throughout the race, but the handling issues persisted and Harvick slipped back to 20th at Lap 213. Crew chief Gil Martin called his driver to pit road one final time, with 53 laps remaining, for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. The Richard Childress Racing driver restarted in 23rd and fell back as far as 25th, before working his way back inside the top 20 at lap 269. Harvick maintained his position for the remaining 30 laps to finish 20th at “The Magic Mile.” Following the event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Harvick sits in sixth position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
 
Start – 8         Finish – 20         Laps Led – 0        Points Position – 6th
 
 
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:

“We struggled with handling issues all day and never could get it figured out. Even though we didn’t get the finish we were looking for today, we’re not going to let it get us down. Next week is another race and we’ll look for better results heading into Dover.”

 

 

 

 
Burton Finishes Eighth in the No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Jeff Burton started the SYLVANIA 300 in 25th at the one-mile oval of New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Once the initial green-flag waved over the Granite State-facility, Burton encountered a condition of loose in the entry and middle of the turns on the No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet. A pre-determined competition caution on lap 30 coincided with a spin in Turn 4. This allowed crew chief Luke Lambert to bring Burton down pit road taking on four tires, fuel and making a track bar adjustment. Restarting 25th, Burton began his methodical climb through the scoring ranks. By lap 50, he was 17th when the caution waved one lap later. During this break, Lambert radioed to Burton that he felt like the track conditions were working in their favor. That became evident through the next four cautions and the halfway point when Burton first entered the top-10 ranks. Taking only two right-side tires under caution on lap 166, then two left-side tires on lap 202 helped keep Burton in the top-15. He re-entered the top 10 on lap 245 and remained there for the rest of the race to finish eighth, earning his sixth top-10 finish in 2013. He also moved up three positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings to 19th place.

                Start – 25     Finish – 8       Laps Led – 0        Points Position – 19th

Jeff Burton Quote:

“We just got too tight there at the end to gain any more positions. We had great pit stops during the entire race, so my hat is off to the No. 31 Cheerios team today. That was a great Chevrolet we had, we just should have finished much better than we did. But, we’ll take that top-10 and head to Dover (International Speedway) and do it again.”                         

Summit Racing–Line Wins Dallas and Moves into Points Lead

Line Wins Dallas and Moves into Points Lead
 
ENNIS, Texas, September 22, 2013 – Jason Line is becoming a very big fan of the Lone Star state. The Summit Racing Pro Stock driver raced to victory today at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, adding another Texas trophy to his collection after scoring in Houston earlier this season. With the win – the 31st of his career – Line moved into the points lead for the first time in 2013.
 
“I wanted another one of those Wild Bill cowboy hats you get for winning here, and I got it, but having the points lead is really exciting,” said Line, who was a finalist last week in Charlotte and sits atop the points with four races left in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship. “That’s a big deal. To go from where we were two months ago to being here is a small miracle and a testament to all of our KB Racing guys and all the Summit Racing folks. There has been a lot of effort. We have worked harder than we have in a long, long time, that’s for sure. It’s good to see it starting to pay off.”
 
Although qualifying was cut short by two runs due to persistent rain that plagued the area surrounding Texas Motorplex, Line, who was No. 1 qualifier in 2011 and went on to win the event, had no trouble qualifying the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro in the No. 5 position with a best time of 6.566 at 211.06 mph.
 
In the opening act on Sunday, the Mooresville, N.C.-based Line knocked out Rodger Brogdon with a second-best of the round 6.555 at 211.20 to his opponent’s 6.662, 209.52. His quick e.t. was good for the win light; however, it wasn’t quick enough to garner lane choice over Allen Johnson in the second round.
 
As the outcome would show, Line didn’t require lane choice to beat the defending series champ, and he launched his Summit Racing Camaro ahead of his challenger and continued to surge ahead for a 6.568, 211.39 to 6.578, 211.53 victory. This time, Line did earn honors for having the quickest car of the round, and he scored them again in the semifinals when he clocked an awesome 6.579 at 210.67 mph in his defeat of a red-lighting V. Gaines.
 
Loaded with horsepower and a definite sense of determination, Team Summit was calm as they towed up to the staging lanes for what would be Line’s 65th final round in NHRA’s tough Pro Stock division. Fully expecting a repeat of the Houston event, when Line beat Shane Gray in the final round for the title, the team saw their expectations become a reality as the scoreboard lit up with a 6.590 at 211.16 to Gray’s 6.595, 210.44.
 
“We were a little bit lucky today for sure,” said Line, referring to what appeared to be a malfunction at the starting line that was later suspected to be a disturbance of the staging beams by crickets. When Line pulled his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro into position to stage, the top bulb on the Tree, NHRA’s starting system, flickered off and on instead of fully illuminating.
 
“That was probably the oddest final of my life, no question,” continued Line. “I was not in deep [a method of inching in further than normal during the staging process in order to shave time off of a driver’s reaction time]; I did what I normally do without a plan to be first or last off the starting line. I was just doing my thing, and to be honest, I panicked because I didn’t know what was going on. I was definitely thrown for a loop.”
 
The disruption on the starting line showed in each driver’s reaction time. Line was a surprising .067 at the hit of the throttle while Gray was only a bit behind with a .074-second reaction.
 
“It is what it is, though,” Line concluded. “This win is huge, and timing is everything. We still aren’t where we feel we need to be, but the Summit Racing team is competitive. I can assure you that we are going to continue to work to get an advantage. We aren’t going to stop, and we have some very talented folks on the KB Racing team. It’s unfortunate that at the beginning of the year we didn’t show that, but sometimes you have to be willing to go backwards to go forward.”
 

Mopar Racing–Mixed Results for Mopar in Championship Battle at Texas NHRA FallNationals

Mixed Results for Mopar in Championship Battle at Texas NHRA FallNationals
 
·         Points battle tightens in both Funny Car and Pro Stock classes following mixed results at 28th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
·         Hagan remains in Funny Car points lead with a 51 point advantage over second place despite second round loss at Texas Motorplex
·         Coughlin still second in Pro Stock standings with four more playoff events left in Countdown to Championship
·         Johnson only 74 points from Pro Stock points leader despite dropping to fifth place

Ennis, Texas (Sunday, September 22, 2013) – It was a tough race day at Texas Motorplex as Mopar teams and drivers ran the gamut of highs and lows only to leave the 28th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals no better but no worse in the battle to defend its two world titles with just four playoff events remaining in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series “Countdown to the Championship”. While the results for the Mopar contingent didn’t include any final round appearances, the championship points battle tightened up in both Funny Car and Pro Stock classes to make the upcoming final four events that much more interesting.

 

It was a definite mix of good news and bad news in the early Pro Stock elimination rounds. The first bit of good news came from Larry Morgan’s first round upset of Mike Edwards, who had led the standings since the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals in April. That loss combined with Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s first round win against Greg Anderson, temporarily gave the Jegs.com Mopar driver the lead in the championship standings.

 

That advantage was short lived however, as Coughlin lost his semifinal matchup with an elapsed time run of 6.601 seconds (210.47 mph) and a 0.066 second reaction time to Shane Gray’s 0.029 second start and a 6.620 sec. (210.01 mph) pass for a holeshot victory.

 

“Being ten points behind the points leader coming into the race, when Mike Edwards went out first round, that gave us an opportunity to make up some ground,” Coughlin said. “To bow out in the semis was untimely. We felt like we had a great car, and I felt great behind the wheel.”

 

Benefitting from Coughlin’s loss was Jason Line who defeated Gray in the final elimination round to steal the lead in the points from his previous third place position in the standings. The good news is that Coughlin is just eight points behind Line in second place heading into the third of six playoff events next week in St. Louis.

 

The defending winner of the FallNationals, Allen Johnson, wasn’t able to take full advantage of Edwards’ loss to gain ground in the standings after he saw his day come to a premature end with a second round loss to eventual title winner Line despite having two very strong runs and two elapsed time passes of 6.550 seconds (against Greg Stanfield) and 6.578 seconds (against Line). On a more positive note, the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger didn’t lose too much ground either as Johnson is just 74 points from the new leader despite a drop down to fifth place.

 

“We’re leaving here with the Mopar Express Lane Dodge just about the same amount of points behind the leader as we did coming into it, just with a different leader now. The stars just haven’t aligned yet for us because we had a really good car here and I’m really disappointed with that second round loss. We’re beating all around it but we’re going to hit it in the middle in the next race. We only won three races last year in the countdown, maybe we’ll have to go for four in a row and go out with a big exciting finish.”

 

A strong performance was seen from the HEMI-powered Dodge of V. Gaines who won the first round battle of the Mopars by eliminating Vincent Nobile from competition and then had an outstanding second round run against No.1 qualifier Erica Enders. While Gaines had a great 0.010-second reaction time, Enders left first with a 0.008 but the Mopar driver chased her down and edged her at the finish line by just 0.0061-seconds to advance to the semifinals against Jason Line. A red light start against Line ended his hope of a final round berth, but now has him tied in sixth place with Enders-Stevens and ahead of eighth place Vincent Nobile.

 

In Funny Car action, Matt Hagan won his first round match up against Jeff Arend by posting an e.t. (4.081) that was even quicker than his third place qualifying effort (4.093) but saw his day go up in tire smoke against his Mopar teammate and defending world champion Jack Beckman in the second round. Despite the loss, Hagan will take his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T and a 51-point lead into the third playoff event of the Countdown.

 

“It’s like anything; you can’t get your head down,” said Hagan who has been in first place since his win at the NHRA Nationals in Englishtown, N.J. in June. “You win as a team, you lose as a team and you move forward as a team. I’m looking forward to getting to the next race. This one is behind us now and we just have to keep digging deep and working hard.”

 

Beckman, for his part, carried the Mopar banner through to a semifinal round loss against Cruz Pedregon, the eventual title winner at the FallNationals, cutting down his points deficit to the leader to 76 points. Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps, who started the weekend off with a second place spot in the standings, saw his day spoiled by Tony Pedregon in the first round, dropping him all the way down to sixth place and 102 points from Hagan. Johnny Gray’s Dodge Charger R/T is right behind Capps in seventh place after his second round loss to Robert Hight.

 

Taylor Ferns–Taylor Ferns Caps Three-Race Day with Fourth-Place Run at Eldora

Taylor Ferns Caps Three-Race Day with Fourth-Place Run at Eldora
By Ferns Racing PR 

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Sept. 22, 2013 — Taylor Ferns has had some busy days at the racetrack, but none quite like the one she had on Saturday, Sept. 21. She began the day at Kentucky Speedway by finishing 12th in an afternoon race with the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Ferns then headed 150 miles north to the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio, for the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series and Honda USAC National Midget Series portions of the 4-Crown Nationals. She finished 11th in the Midget, and then capped the night with a career-best fourth-place finish in the 50-lap Silver Crown event.

“Overall it was a pretty good day,” said Ferns. “To race all three cars was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it. It definitely took a toll on me today (Sunday), and I slept a lot of the day, but it was a great experience. Kentucky (Speedway) and Eldora (Speedway) are so different and so are each of the three cars I raced. To be able to have consistent runs in each and very a strong showing in the Silver Crown car was definitely a confidence booster.”

In her first Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series race at Eldora, Ferns lined up on the inside of the seventh row for the 50-lap A-Feature at the high-banked, half-mile. She worked her way into the top-10 by just the second lap and continued her march forward, in what turned out to be a caution-filled race. Ferns powered her way up to seventh by the eighth circuit and was into the top-five by lap-22.

Just one lap prior to the halfway point of the 50-lapper, the 2011 USAC D1 Midget Series found herself in fourth. For the final 15 laps of the race, Ferns had a spirited battle with Matt Westfall for the fourth spot. The pair traded the position no less than five times officially at the line and several more unofficially, lap after lap. Ferns would take the checkered flag fourth, which marked the best finish of her career with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series. It was also her second straight top-five finish and fourth consecutive top-10, piloting the No. 35 Toyota-powered Beast.

“To finish fourth in my first start in a Silver Crown car at Eldora was great,” Ferns shared. “Originally, I wasn’t even going to race the Silver Crown car at Eldora, so it was a last minute decision last week. Our main goal was to go and learn for next year. The car was fast all race long and it was a fun race. We didn’t qualify where we were hoping to, but were able to make up quite a bit of ground in the feature. Racing at Eldora is great, and you learn every time you are on the track.”

In the Honda USAC National Midget Series portion of the 4-Crown Nationals, Ferns finished 11th in her family-owned No. 55 Motor City Transport Inc. Spike. She lined up 15th for the 25-lap A-Feature and ran a steady race, picking up spots where she could. The native of Shelby Township, Mich., opened the night by recording the 16th-fastest lap in time trials and followed that up with a fifth-place effort in the third heat race.

“In the midget, I struggled a bit transitioning from the heavier stock car in the afternoon to a 900-pound car,” she explained. “We moved up during the race, from where we started, so that was a positive to take away. I can’t say I’m disappointed, I just wish we could have had a little better of a finish. We’ll keep working hard with the midget the rest of the season.”

At Kentucky Speedway with the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, Ferns completed all 100 laps of the race, which was postponed by rain on Friday, Sept. 20, and thus completed in the afternoon on Saturday, Sept. 21. The starting field was lined up by owner points, which put Ferns seventh on the grid in the No. 55 National Auto Placement Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. She ran just outside of the top-10 during the first 25 laps of the race. Following a round of pit stops just prior to the halfway point, she was up to eighth. During the second half of the 100-lapper, Ferns ran as high as seventh, before finishing 12th. In eight ARCA starts this season, she finished among the top-15 in seven of those races.

“Our main goal going into Kentucky was to learn about the mile-and-half racetrack,” Ferns said. “It’s been a challenge adapting to the bigger racetracks and I just have to learn what my limits are at the speedways. I learned a ton during the race and was very satisfied with that and we finished on the lead lap, so that was good. The car just got a little too tight at the end and that allowed a few cars to pass me.”

Ferns ended up eighth in the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series championship standings, despite not competing in all of the races. She recorded four top-10 finishes in six starts. The No. 55 Venturini Motorsports team, for which she has raced in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, is seventh in owner points as the season winds down.

John Force Racing–Texas Wrapup

JOHN FORCE RUNNER-UP AT AAA TEXAS NHRA FALL NATIONALS

 

ENNIS, TX —- John Force almost got his revenge on the Texas Motorplex, site of his horrific crash in 2007, but he came up a few hundredths of a second short against his nemesis Cruz Pedregon in the final round at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals. Force was racing in his second final round since his crash at the historic track but fell 4.220 seconds to Pedregon’s winning 4.106 second run. Force did move up to 4th in the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings with his fifth final round appearance of the season.

 

“My race car is running good and all of our race cars are really running well. Courtney’s ET in the first round would have whooped anybody else. The run with Cruz was good but it got loose down there. Cruz was yelling in his interview about putting out the top bulb. I am just learning if I get in there and get set up my focus is a lot better,” said Force, a seven time winner at the Texas Motorplex. “I had a great leave time a .055 light. He put out the top bulb. He is a good racer but I have a good race car too. Like (crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) said, ‘Force you are learning how to drive all over again and I am learning how to tune. We’ll make a good team.’ We are all up in the top of the points. (Matt) Hagan didn’t get a run on the points today. We will go to St. Louis for another AAA race. This was big for AAA Texas and next weekend we’ll be racing for AAA Missouri.”

 

Force’s run to the final was a tough battle for the leader of John Force Racing. He had to defeat both of his team cars, each of whom is a championship contender in a tough Countdown battle. In the first round Force posted his best run of the weekend against his daughter Courtney, then Force outran former teammate Tony Pedregon before taking on Robert Hight in the AAA Texas Ford Mustang.

 

“I am really excited. I have been struggling a little as a driver. I had to go back to basics. I was so busy teaching my kids that I forgot how to drive. I was hot early in the year and then I got this new car. I was sitting in it differently and I got a little lost. Robert has really been helpful in working with me to get me comfortable with the pedal and the padding,” said Force.

 

The semi-final win over Hight took the biggest toll on the 15-time Funny Car champion.

 

“I said in my interview after I beat Robert. I can win the championship. I have proved that and I will win again but if I was a betting man I would not bet against Robert Hight,” said the proud team owner.

 

“I could have left here second in the points if I would have won. Hagan didn’t move on any of us. Now it is all jammed up. Cruz is two, Robert is three and I am four. It is all a matter of who gets on a roll. Right now Robert is on a roll. He won the last two races and today they lost a motor. The ignition was on fire in the second round and they had to change motors before the semis. That is like starting all over without qualifying. They smoked the tires but Neff, I drove for him, he runs it right on the edge. Robert is Cool Hand Luke.”

 

While Force was racing to the finals he had to go through the hottest driver on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series to reach his 221st career final. Hight, the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals No. 1 qualifier, had won the previous ten rounds of racing going into the semi-finals versus Force. Hight’s win streak started when he won the Chevrolet Performance US Nationals Labor Day weekend and the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals last weekend. Hight moved up from 9th to as high as 2nd place in the Mello Yello point standings this weekend was pleased with his overall performance even if he personally wasn’t standing in the winner’s circle.

 

“We made up some ground on points leader Matt Hagan this weekend. We were the No. 1 qualifier and we made it to the semi-finals. You have to be ready for anything when you race John. We were over in the right lane which was a tough lane and we had a shot. I am proud of my AAA Texas team and we will be ready to go after them in St. Louis in a couple of days,” said Hight.

 

Hight defeated veteran Del Worsham in the first round with the quickest run of the session a great 4.067 second pass.

 

“We had to step up. That Del Worsham team over there is tough. They can put a great number up on the board just like anyone else can out here,” said Hight from the top end after the win. “That was a great, great job by (crew chief) Mike Neff and this whole AAA Texas team. We have to do a great job for our sponsors. I do not want to look back and say Texas is where we messed up.”

 

In the second round Hight squared off against Johnny Gray, another Countdown competitor. Hight had lane choice and the Funny Cars launched together but Gray went into tire smoke just before Hight’s Goodyears also lost traction. Hight was able to maintain control of his AAA Texas Ford Mustang Funny Car and get the win with a less than dominant 4.593 to Gray’s 5.374 second run. Hight attributed his quickness in gathering control of his Funny Car to a consistent tune-up by Neff.

 

“The way this Mustang has been going up and down the track Neff has it tuned perfectly. When it does smoke the tires, that is out of the norm so you can catch it quickly,” said Hight. “As driver it is easier to catch a car when it has been running well. We have a tough round next round against another Ford Mustang with John Force. For sure one of us will be in the final and try and get the win for AAA Texas.”

 

No. 5 qualifier Courtney Force lined up beside her father John Force today in the first round of eliminations. The 2012 NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award winner – “Rookie of the Year” – and her father have faced each other six times prior to today with more than half of those matchups coming in the opening round.

The pair ran a great side-by-side race. The 25-year-old went right down the groove with her quickest pass of the weekend. Unfortunately, the 15-time World Champion also made his quickest pass of the weekend and pulled away for the win.

“We had another first round matchup against my dad. You know, we went out there, we had lane choice, we had a good car, we ran a 4.08, but he outran us with a 4.06. It’s definitely a tough way to lose, especially when you’re out here because you’re focused on winning the Mello Yello Funny Car championship.”

“Every round counts. I really didn’t expect him to go out there and put a number like that on the board, but he had a good car and he got the win light so that’s all that matters,” said Force.

With that loss, Force dropped two spots to No. 8 in points.

“For our team, I’m proud of my guys, they gave me a great race car it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t go rounds today. We just had the wrong matchup, but we’re going to get after it again in St. Louis,” said Force.

Top Fuel rookie Brittany Force and her Castrol EDGE team continued to make improvements as they advanced to the second round.

 

After qualifying No. 10 in the field, Force had a first round match-up against Kalitta Motorsports’ David Grubnic. With a strong car, she knew she had a good chance at advancing. Force ran a 3.832 elapsed time at 317.79 mph to Grubnic’s 4.284 at 208.17.

 

“We had a good first round today against David (Grubnic),” Force said. “The entire Castrol EDGE team worked so hard to put together a really good, consistent car. We ran a good number and actually got the win this time. We were so excited about that. It was a good confidence booster for all of us.”

 

The entire Top Fuel team worked hard to prep the 27-year-old Southern California native’s dragster for round two of eliminations. As the track temperature hea
ted up, crew chiefs Dean Antonelli, Eric Lane and John Medlen made the right adjustments to the car that would ultimately take them all the way down the track with a solid time. Force ran a 3.867 ET, but it wasn’t enough to get the win over eventual Top Fuel winner Mac Tools backed Doug Kalitta, who had an ET of 3.805. 

 

“Going into second round we had Kalitta,” said Force. “We’ve raced him quite a few times already this season. Unfortunately, we went out second round to him. Again, we still had a pretty decent car and I was very happy with my job both