Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Driver of the Number 15 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing, Clint Bowyer was out shopping at Lowe's Home Improvement and tweeted this picture with the caption "He just insisted he rides in the Jimmie Johnson car!"

Five-Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champ Jimmie's response? "Smile bro, maybe you should ride in it."

I love the expression on the elder Bowyer's face!

Young Truckers Ready To Make Waves

Semi-elder statesman Coulter shows teens Wallace, Jones the ropes

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- With 16-year-old Erik Jones seated to his left and 19-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr. to his right, Joey Coulter was undoubtedly the veteran of the Kyle Busch Motorsports triumvirate of drivers during Wednesday’s appearance at Martinsville Speedway.

In this case, though, being a veteran is simply a manner of speaking. Coulter is just 22 himself and is in his first season with KBM after running with Richard Childress Racing last year. But with 48 career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series and a third-place finish in the final points standings last year, Coulter’s two years of driving far outweighs the trucks experience of Wallace and Jones, who have one combined start.

“It’s really strange,” Coulter said of being considered a mentor at such a young age. “When I got in the truck series, I went straight to Ron Hornaday (Jr.), Todd Bodine, Johnny Sauter. I went to guys who have been racing longer than I’ve been alive. So it’s kind of strange to have 14 years of experience and be giving advice to someone who has eight. But at the same time, it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy hanging out with these guys.”

The deference to Coulter was on display Wednesday during a segment of open-ended questions in which both Jones and Wallace were more than happy to allow the full-time college student Coulter to answer with thoughtful, articulated responses.

Jones was equally as poised when discussing his future as he was in the final laps of the 2012 Snowball Derby, when he bumped with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kyle Busch during the final laps before pulling away to win what is considered the most prestigious event in late model racing.

Winning that race, Jones said, is what allowed him to be at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday. Shortly after his victory, KBM signed the up-and-coming driver to a five-race deal in the No. 51 Toyota Tundra.

“That was a big moment in my career,” said Jones, who also noted he had previously spoken to Busch intermittently a few months before that December race. “Hopefully I earned a little respect from (Busch) in the Snowball Derby. Really, winning that race, that’s the reason why I’m here today.”

To focus on racing, Jones now takes online classes as a junior at Swartz Creek High School in Michigan. He recently got his driver’s license and grew up driving for his family-owned team -- Paragon Racing, LLC -- after telling his uncle at age 4 that he was “born to race.”

If Coulter is the elder statesman and Jones the polished rookie, Wallace, with an impressive pedigree himself, is the class clown.

Some of his one-liners Wednesday:

  •  On the long break (six weeks) between Truck Series races: “I’m not even sure I remember how to drive.”
  • On whether or not he’s been racing recently: “I’ve been doing a lot of racing on Xbox, but I don’t think that really counts.”
  • On the intricacies and history of Martinsville, following sharp answers from both Jones and Coulter: “What they both said.”
  • On meeting Jones for the first time: “I just gave Erik a ride in the pace car. That’s as much as he’s getting out of me.”

Wallace’s ability in a car is no laughing matter, though. A graduate of the 2010 NASCAR Drive for Diversity class, Wallace won six races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East from 2010-12. His 2010 win at Greenville-Pickens Speedway made him the youngest race winner in track history, and the first African-American driver to win at that track.

Wallace and Coulter, along with 22-year-old NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman, met with team owner Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha, for what Coulter described as a “shooting the breeze” dinner prior to the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.

The goal: To build a bond between teammates that ultimately leads to a more successful on-track product.

So far, the bond is there. Perhaps the on-track results will be there, too, at next weekend’s Kroger 250.

“Until I got to RCR (in 2011), I had kind of been a one-man band,” Coulter said. “It really showed me how important it is to have a good team and all be working toward the same goal. Going racing with these guys, especially with Darrell because he’s full time, if everyone’s on the same game plan, you can really make both teams excel. That’s what we want for ourselves and for each other.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nelson Piquet Jr. Made Some New Friends

Nelson Piquet Jr. made some new friends on Monday - the kids from Cub Scout Pack 171, Den 6 Wolves based here in Mooresville, NC. They got to tour the shop with Nelson as their tour guide! Thanks to this very special group of young men for being for being such great guests!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Griffin Steinfeld - About Our Military Kids

Griffin Steinfeld on track at Phoenix International Raceway
in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Jerry Boone

Lacking a corporate sponsor, K&N Pro Series Rookie, Griffin Steinfeld's car carries the logo of Our Military Kids. Our Military Kids is a nation-wide charity which raises funds to provide things like special classes, trips and tutoring to the children of parents who are or have been deployed. 

“It’s a great program.” Steinfeld said. “It allows kids to do things they may not normally get to do. In some cases it gives them a chance to live their dream…kinda like what I’m doing in the race car.”

About Our Military Kids:
Our Military Kids was founded in 2004 to support children ages 3 to 18 of National Guard and Reserve families that often become financially stretched during a deployment. In 2006 the program expanded to include children of severely injured service members from all branches. The organization provides $500 grants for activities such as sports, fine arts, and tutoring programs that nurture and sustain children while a parent is serving our country overseas or recovering from injury. Our Military Kids is funded by corporations, foundations, private donors, and government grants.

For more information, please visit


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Penske Race Shop Visit

Lucky kids!

CHARLOTTE, NC – Penske Racing engineer Alex Sinoyannis recently shared his racing experience on stock cars, like the new Gen 6, with a new generation of engineers from James B. Dudley High School, who will enter their concept car (pictured) in April’s Shell Eco-Marathon Americas. This initiative challenges students to develop vehicles that can travel the farthest on a gallon of fuel, and is one way Shell connects people who are interested in the energy challenges of today and tomorrow.

Lucky kids! What a creative way to interest them in both education and conservation!

Penske Racing is a racing team that competes in both the IndyCar Series and NASCAR.   The organization, a division of Penske Corporation is owned and chaired by Roger Penske.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kwasniewski Conquers Bristol

Reigning K&N Pro Series West Champ Claims First East Victory
By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR
BRISTOL, Tenn. – The sign reads, ‘Welcome To The Last Great Colosseum’ at the tunnel entrance of Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dylan Kwasniewski, 17, bested the legendary .533-mile high-banked oval and the other 35 competitors on Saturday to win the DRIVE4COPD 125 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship season opener.

Kwasniewski, the reigning K&N Pro Series West champion out of Las Vegas, Nev., took the lead on Lap 30 after pole sitter and race leader Michael McGuire got tangled up with lapped traffic under caution. Kwasniewski – behind the wheel of his No. 98 Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet – was able to hold off Brett Moffitt on seven restarts to pick up his first East victory in his fifth series outing.

1 Dylan Kwasniewski
2 Brett Moffitt
3 Ryan Gifford
4 Michael McGuire
5 CJ Faison
Moffitt was followed by Ryan Gifford – racing out of the Rev Racing stable – in third. McGuire rebounded from the early incident to finish fourth while CJ Faison came home in the fifth position.

Gray Gaulding, Eddie MacDonald, Jimmy Weller, Ben Rhodes and Ben Kennedy rounded out the top 10.

Kwasniewski, who led a race-high 96 laps, is competing for a K&N East championship in 2013 with Turner Scott Motorsports in its first full season of competition. It’s his sixth overall K&N Pro Series triumph in 29 career starts.

The race was slowed due to caution eight times for a total of 37 laps and there was just one lead change.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on Saturday, March 23 for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 125 presented by G-Clean at Greenville (S.C) Pickens Speedway.

Dylan Kwasniewski en route to his DRIVE4COPD 125 victoryGetty Images for NASCAR

Monday, March 11, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

Matt Kenseth's daughter Kaylin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Daddy won on his 41st birthday in just his third start for his new team, barely holding off Kasey Kahne at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 25th career victory Sunday. 

"I was real nervous all day," Kenseth said. "(Kahne) had the best car. I told (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) with about 12 to go that I was sorry we were going to lose. We were just too tight. ... We didn't have the fastest car there, but we had it where we needed it to be."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Haley (16) Leads Race; Finishes Second

Greg Pursley celebrates in Victory Lane
Pursley Rolls To Phoenix Win
Bests Teammate Hayley For Third K&N West Win At PIR
By Jason Christley, NASCAR 

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Greg Pursley rolled to his third career win at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday, but the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West veteran didn't get it without a fight from his new teammate.

Pursley led 56 laps, taking the lead back from Cameron Hayley on Lap 56 en route to winning the Talking Stick Resort 60. Hayley, 16, finished second to give Gene Price Motorsports a 1-2 finish.
1 Greg Pursley
2 Cameron Hayley
3 Michael Self
4 Derek Thorn
5 Sergio Pena
Hayley was coming off a non-points victory in the K&N Pro Series portion of the UNOH Battle At The Beach two weeks ago at Daytona International Speedway. He is in his first year with the team, filling the seat vacated by 2012 West champion Dylan Kwasniewski.

The victory moved Pursley into a tie with Richard Petty for second on the West wins list at Phoenix, one behind Ken Schrader.

Earlier Saturday, Pursley won the Coors Light Pole Award and broke his own track record with a lap of 26.876 seconds (133.949 mph).

Michael Self finished third. Pursley, Hayley and Self briefly went three-wide on a Lap 54 restart before Pursley was able to wrestle the lead back.

PRESS PASS VIDEOS: Pursley Wins At Phoenix | Cameron Hayley | Michael Self

Derek Thorn and Sergio Pena finished fourth and fifth, respectively.  Gray Gaulding was sixth, followed by DJ Kennington, Brett Thompson, Brandon McReynolds and Taylor Cuzick.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the track May 4 at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway.


Greg Pursley (26) leads Cameron Hayley (24) during the running of the Talking Sticks Resort 70
at Phoenix International Raceway Friday. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)