Thursday, January 30, 2014

NASCARDiversity Selects 2014 Class (#kneast)

NASCAR And Rev Racing Name Six Promising Drivers To Team 


Jay Beasely, Devon Amos, Paige Decker, Sergio Peña, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Gifford – NASCAR Diversity Drivers
Jay Beasely (top left), Devon Amos (top center), Paige Decker (top right),
Sergio Peña (bottom right), Daniel Suarez (bottom left), and
Ryan Gifford (bottom center)  (Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D), the leading youth development program for multicultural and female drivers, will head into the 2014 season with one of the most well-rounded and accomplished rosters in program history.

The 2014 class is led by Daniel Suarez, who contended for two NASCAR touring series championships last year, and Ryan Gifford, who is coming off a successful 2013 that saw him earn his first NASCAR win and make his NASCAR national series debut. They will be joined by a group of talented newcomers looking to make their mark in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

“NASCAR is committed to providing training, competition experience and mentoring to drivers who without a doubt demonstrate the potential to compete at the highest levels of our sport through the academy-style program,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “We look forward to another successful racing season with the Drive for Diversity team.”

In addition to Suarez and Gifford, Sergio Peña returns to the program in which he earned three wins and finished fifth in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points in 2011. They’ll be joined in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series ranks by Jay Beasley. Beasley won the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model track championship at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the series’ Nevada championship.

Devon Amos, who drove with Rev Racing’s Legends program last year, and Paige Decker will compete for the team in Late Models in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

“Our goal is to keep building upon our successes with every new class we select,” said Max Siegel, CEO of Rev Racing. “We are excited with the momentum built in 2013 with several D4D career milestones. This year’s class has a tough job ahead of them and we look forward to providing them with all the tools necessary to reach individual and collective successes across the board.”

D4D saw one the strongest pool of applicants the program has ever seen this year. Nearly 100 drivers, representing 14 states and Mexico, applied for an opportunity to try out for a spot with Rev Racing at the annual D4D Combine – a three-day tryout where drivers’ undergo physical assessments and are evaluated on on-track abilities by executives across the industry.

In 2013, D4D saw the impressive rise of graduates Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. Wallace became the first African-American to win a national series victory in nearly 50 years at Martinsville in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. And Larson, whose meteoric rise through the ranks solidified D4D as a driving powerhouse for developmental athletes at NASCAR, earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as became the first D4D participant to secure a full-time ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Larson was also the first D4D driver to secure a national series victory.

Rev Racing drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series include:

Daniel Suárez: The Monterrey, Mexico, native is a member of the NASCAR Next program and joins Rev Racing for the second season. The 22-year-old finished third in the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship standings and was the championship runner-up in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series in 2013. He recorded his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win last July at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.

Ryan Gifford: Another member of the NASCAR Next program, the 24-year-old from Winchester, Tenn., garnered his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win last season at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. In 2010 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, he became the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East pole position. Additionally, he made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last August at Iowa Speedway, finishing ninth driving for Richard Childress Racing.

Jay Beasley: This 21-year-old from Las Vegas won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model track championship at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the series’ Nevada championship on the strength of eight victories in 14 starts. He also earned the 2013 Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award as a result of his early success on the track.

Sergio Peña: With three career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East wins to his credit, the 21-year-old from Winchester, Va., has a pair of top-10 finishes in points for 2011-12 while collecting 19 top 10s in 39 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career starts.

Drivers competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series include:

Paige Decker: From Eagle River, Wis., the 20-year-old driver competed in her Super Late Model at tracks throughout the Midwest.

Devon Amos: Competing mostly in a Legends car in 2013, the 22-year-old from Rio Rancho, N.M., scored a seventh-place finish in his stock car debut last summer at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East kicks off its 2014 season at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 16. Two days later, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the UNOH Battle At The Beach will take place on the .37-mile short track situated on the Superstretch at Daytona International Speedway. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers will compete primarily at Hickory Motor Speedway, where the season is scheduled to get underway on March 8.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

James Bickford to drive for Bob Bruncati Racing

James Bickford (age 15) won the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model championship at All American Speedway in his rookie year in 2013. He has been chosen to race the 2014 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

Driving for Bob Bruncati Racing in the No. 6 Sunrise Ford, he will replace Derek Thorn, who is the reigning K&N West champion.

Sponsor James Bickford after the driver wins the NASCAR
Whelen All American Series Late Model Championship
(Sept. 14, 2013. Jeannie Broussal Photo)

In 2013, Bickford, whose cousin is NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, made the transition to racing Late Models in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series at All American Speedway in Roseville. After only four starts, he racked up his first Late Model win on May 11, 2013.

Driving the No. 25 Chevrolet sponsored by, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs,, Cooke Orthotics, Alpine Stars, and Piner’s Welding Supply, Bickford is the youngest driver in the 58-year history of All American Speedway to win a Late Model Series race and championship.

Bickford has been adamant about racing in the K&N Series. He had hoped to race a couple of races last year. He had a car and everything but a motor. Last fall, Bob Bruncati reached out to Bickford about driving one of his K&N West Series cars.

On Dec. 5, Bickford went to Toyota Speedway at Irwindale to test for Bruncati.

“The test at Irwindale was phenomenal,” Bickford said. “I didn’t know anything about the track except for racing it on a simulator on my computer. I went out and on the first lap I thought it was pretty easy. I went full throttle. It was a lot different than racing my Late Model. At the end I ran a really fast lap (18.41), and I came close to beating the K&N Series track record at the track.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sprint Cup BK Racing Signs Truex & Bowman

Ryan Truex (left) and Alex Bowman (right) will drive
for BK Racing in 2014. (HHP Photos)

BK Racing has signed Alex Bowman and Ryan Truex to pilot the team’s No. 23 and No. 83 Toyota Camry’s and compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Bowman, who will drive the newly renumbered No. 23 entry, is coming off his rookie season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series which saw him win two poles and finish 11th in the final standings. Truex made four starts between the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series this past season.

Both Bowman and Truex tested for BK Racing in the NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona Int’l Speedway last week and have already begun to create a relationship with their respected teams and crew chiefs. Dave Winston will crew chief the No. 23 BK Racing entry with Bowman while Dale Ferguson will crew chief the No. 83 BK Racing entry for Truex.

BK Racing has also finalized an agreement with Borla Exhaust as a primary sponsor for the Daytona 500. The deal signifies a multi-race sponsorship for the 2014 season. More details will be released this week.

In 2011, Bowman collected Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as well as two victories in the ARCA Racing Series. The following year he competed full-time in ARCA and picked up four victories and collected Rookie of the Year Award there as well. In 2013, Bowman competed for Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and collected two poles at Texas Motor Speedway.

“This is an extremely good opportunity for me,” said Bowman. “Ron (Devine) and I first started talking about the possibilities months ago. I’m happy to be a part of this organization.”

In 2009 and 2010, Truex won two consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championships along with five victories in the series. Since 2011, Truex has made starts in all three NASCAR national touring series, including a career-best 2nd place finish at Dover in a Nationwide Series in 2012.

“Driving in the Sprint Cup Series has been a goal since I started racing, and to start this next chapter with BK Racing makes it extra special,” said Truex. “I am very excited for this opportunity.”

“Alex and Ryan have always impressed me,” said team owner Ron Devine. “Both take care of their cars and have shown speed at every level they have competed in. With their abilities, we feel they can both excel in our equipment. As a team we are very excited, and their abilities to work with everyone here at BK Racing will be important.”

In an effort to better align with long-time partner Dr. Pepper, BK Racing will renumber the No. 93 to the No. 23 in 2014. The number is synonymous with the regular Dr. Pepper’s original 23 flavors. The No. 93 will remain with the team on a part-time basis in 2014.

“Since we started BK Racing in February of 2012, I always wanted the No. 23,” said Devine. “We feel like the relationship with Dr Pepper is very strong and this will take it to the next level.”

Bowman and Truex join an already stacked NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie group for 2014 that also includes Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing), Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Parker Kligerman (Swan Racing), Cole Whitt (Swan Racing), Justin Allgaier (Phoenix Racing) and Michael Annett (Tommy Baldwin Racing).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

RIR Assists Richmond-Area Nonprofits

More Than a Quarter of a Million Dollars in 2013

Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier is pleased to announce the track and its charitable arm – Richmond International Raceway Cares – generated more than a quarter of a million dollars through donations and volunteer opportunities at RIR in 2013.

The Five Days of Giving capped RIR's 2013 charitable giving

“We are proud to say we fueled $284,000 through track donations and volunteer opportunities generated at Richmond International Raceway,” said Bickmeier. “There is always a great need for charitable causes in the Greater Richmond Metropolitan Area and we’re happy to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.”

Monetary and in-kind donations, as well as revenue-generating volunteer opportunities for non-profits during the track’s two NASCAR race weekends in 2013 accounted for the total sum. Additionally, the Richmond International Raceway staff invested nearly 700 volunteer hours for groups such as FeedMore, Virginia Blood Services and RIR Cares Track Laps, a fundraiser at the track where fans can drive their personal vehicles on the track in exchange for a donation.

RIR Cares Track Laps is back in 2014, with dates and sign-up information available at

NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway April 25 & 26 for three races in two nights. Tickets are on sale now for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 26. Advance tickets start at $35. New for 2014: tickets for kids 12 & younger are $25 off the adult price in ALL grandstands. Click here or call 866-455-7223 to purchase.

Two races highlight the Friday, April 25 schedule at RIR. Check out the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the BLUE OX 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race for one low price! Tickets start at $30 in advance, with kids 12 & younger admitted free in general admission sections. Click here or call 866-455-7223 to purchase.

About RIR Cares:

RIR Cares is a Donor Advised Fund of The NASCAR Foundation, a 501(c)3. RIR Cares is dedicated to assisting charities, causes and events in the community that focus on – but are not limited to – youth, education and recreation.

Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation - 2014 Raffle

Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation raised more than $25,000, for the second consecutive year, for pediatric cancer research!

Last year the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation raised more than $25,000, for the second consecutive year, for pediatric cancer research! The first raffle of 2014 is underway. The drawing will be held on January 30. The grand prize is the 1995 Beckett magazine, which was published after Jeff's first championship. It recaps his racing career from the start thru the 1995 season. Jeff graciously autographed the title page of the publication. Additional prizes include diecasts, hats, rare publications, and some other treats for JG fans.

Tickets are $5/ea. and all proceeds benefit the JGCF for pediatric cancer research and treatment.

Jackson Panzarello

The birthday party invitations are going out this week to homes across the Coachella Valley in California. The soon-to-be 12-year-old boy has been asking for a golf party to celebrate his birthday in late February. Besides watching auto racing on the weekend, he loves golf and spends most of his spare moments on the course just steps from his front door.

He started middle school last fall and has a lot of new friends, including his first girlfriend. On this particular day, he's texting with a friend from school, chatting with his dad about last night's Los Angeles Clippers game, and procrastinating about starting a school project. Because, after all, that's simply what 6th graders do.

There's one detail that I failed to mention: The above scenario is complete fiction. The birthday party celebration is a false echo. It is what Jackson Panzarello's life should have been like today. Those are the experiences he should be having.

Pediatric cancer claimed his life in June 2012 when he was 10 years old.

He was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme just 16 months earlier. It is the most common and the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor.

A few weeks after his first flu-like symptoms began, his parents sat in a cold medical office in Los Angeles and were told two haunting words "It's terminal". Jackson fought the disease with every fiber of his being. He didn't lose the battle against cancer. We did. We lost the battle. In the end, we failed Jackson the same way we've failed thousands of other children.

We failed because we haven't prioritized pediatric cancer. We failed because we could only offer Jackson a toxic mix of chemotherapy and radiation, an absolutely archaic mixture for a young child. It is akin to shooting an arrow at a moving target in a fancy house. There's a chance you can hit the bulls eye, but you can also do lasting damage

Jackson's parents made the most difficult decision of their lives in May 2012. After medical tests revealed that Jackson's cancer had spread beyond his brain and into his spine, his mother, Lisa, posted the following Facebook status update:

"Together with our hospice team, we have decided to forgo any further chemo. It's obvious the cancer has come back with a vengeance and we have chosen to keep him home where he is surrounded by love, peace and calm."

Lisa's words reflect the moment that so many childhood cancer advocates dread when families are out of viable treatment options. Her words reflect how we, as a society, failed our children. I've often told people that cancer is the worst thief in the world because it's not content with stealing everything you hold dear. It brings you to your knees with unbearable pain. It stole a lifetime of memories from Jackson. It robbed his family of watching him grow into the person he would have become. Cancer leaves an unopened box of haunting questions in its wake.

Since Jackson came into my life, I've spearheaded fundraising efforts that have raised more than $60,000 for pediatric cancer charities. To raise money to fight the disease, I've participated in 5K runs, organized community kickball games, and made dozens of trips to the post office to send out raffle prizes. Every fundraising effort is guided by Jackson's memory and the promise of a research breakthrough.

Ultimately, this is about the future. It's about your children's future -- and their children's future. It's about ensuring that pediatric cancer will not impact them the way it has impacted so many families. The dollars you donate today will provide safer and more effective solutions to give children a fighting chance against the disease.

It is illogical that Jackson's life was claimed by a disease that we will someday have the power to cure. Pediatric cancer has been underfunded and deprioritized for too long. Every day, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer. Every day, 7 children are lost to the disease. It should not be viewed as "somebody else's problem." It is our problem. And it falls on our shoulders to solve it.

The solution starts with greater awareness and funding for childhood cancer research. It starts by supporting the organizations whose sole mission is pediatric cancer research. This is not about funding adult cancer research in the hopes it will trickle down to children. This is about prioritizing childhood cancer research to give our children a fighting chance against the disease

This is why I support The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation and their research team at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Together, we'll see the day when pediatric oncologists no longer utter the words "its terminal" and can instead reassure families with the words "It's curable".

During Jackson's fight against the disease, his family adopted the motto "Fight On", the fight song of the University of Southern California where his parents attended college. In memory of Jackson and the thousands of children who have been lost to cancer, we will Fight On until safer and effective cures are readily available. That is my promise to his family and friends in the Coachella Valley, and to every child and family impacted by this insidious disease.

Thank you, Fight On

False Echoes

Written by Larry Graff – Childhood Cancer Activist and Fundraiser

January 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dale Jr. Learns a Lesson From 1994 Crew Chief

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Driver of the NASCAR #88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Driver of the NASCAR #88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. met with members of the media at Daytona International Speedway. He reminisced about his 1994 – 1995 crew chief when he was twenty-years-old.

Question: You said you were happy for Steve. As much as you were, with the momentum that you guys were apparently coming into the season with, was it tough just to think, oh, man, why now?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Not really. I had a lesson back when I raced late models, I was working with Gary Hargett, and Gary Hargett and I worked together in '94, '95, and he became kind of like a grandfather to me, really, really, really close relationship. I spent a lot of time with him throughout the week and throughout the weekend, and when we went to the racetrack we went together. It was just a great relationship.

And there was a day where I had an opportunity to move my cars from his shop in Union County up to my shop to be able to work on them. It was an hour drive. And at that time I was working at the dealership in Newton, and then I would drive to Gary's at the South Carolina line and work on my car on Wednesday nights and then I'd drive back down on Fridays and go racing at Florence and Myrtle Beach on Friday and Saturdays, and it was a lot of driving around.

My father said, all right, we're going to bring your cars up here and I'll give you some space to work on them and you can keep them up here and learn how to build these cars and fix them, and I was just missing out on that experience being able to work on my own cars and understand them.

But I had to take it away from Gary, and I wanted him to come up to the shop and work, and he didn't want to drive an hour up there to work, so he decided he wasn't going to do that, so he had to split up. I was taking the cars and moving the cars up to Mooresville because that was what was good for me and my career, but I was going to have to do it without Gary.

And that was a real, real difficult choice to make. That was just a lesson I learned early, that things in the sport, no matter how great they are and how much you enjoy them, aren't always going to stay the same. This is just another situation where that's come true.

NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Testing at Daytona
NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Testing at Daytona

NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Testing at Daytona

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kwasniewski Practices The Draft and Pack Racing

Dylan Kwasniewski drives the #31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet during NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway on January 11, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

According to his Mom’s Facebook account regarding the photo above, “Dylan in the #31 learning to run in a pack and drafting with his team mate Kyle Larson in #32”

Opening their own two-day Preseason Thunder test at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR Nationwide Series has completed this morning’s session at the “World Center of Racing.”

Topping the charts in the morning was Turner Scott Motorsports’ Dylan Kwasniewski, 18, the reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, who posted a lap at 183.408 mph in the No. 31 machine.

Whelen All-American Champion Meets the Nebraska Govenor

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state champion Jase Kaser with the 2013 NASCAR championship trophy.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state champion
Jase Kaser with the 2013 NASCAR championship trophy. Courtesy Nebraska Governor's Office
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman personally congratulated his state’s 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American champion two days before Christmas. The governor’s office soon put pictures of the visit on the state website Jase Kaser won the state championship and NASCAR dirt Late Model track championships at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., and Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.

Accompanied by his parents Jay and Shari, Kaser, 21, of Lincoln, Neb., made a quick crosstown trip to the Nebraska State Capitol Building.

“I got to meet our governor and I’ve never done anything like that,” Kaser said. “It was cool… really fun.”

Heineman is a popular governor who has held the office since 2005. He’s welcomed several NASCAR state champions to his capitol building offices over the years.

“I was expecting the governor to be kind of formal, but he was really easy to talk with. It was just like talking with someone at the track,” Kaser said of his comfort level. “Gov. Heineman is interested in racing and he knows there are a lot of short tracks and NASCAR fans around the state.”

Kaser said he was impressed by the opportunity to meet the governor.

“I didn’t know any of this was going to happen. It’s pretty special,” he said.

“NASCAR has been very good to us with the banquet, trophies, point fund and governor visit,” Kaser said. “We really appreciate that. We’re going to stick with NASCAR and hope we can run for a couple more titles.”

Kaser’s plans for the 2014 are fluid right now, but he said his team is considering a two-track, two-state effort. His schedule could be fulltime at I-80 on Fridays while picking up starts at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa on some Saturdays.

“It might be tough to do, but it would be cool to do it,” Kaser said.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dylan Kwasniewski Doubles Up

The 2013 season left numerous marks on the historical timeline of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as a host of drivers went further than those before them.

Dylan Kwasniewski, an 18-year-old standout from Las Vegas, Nev., became the first driver to ever win both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and East championships after he followed up his 2012 West title with the East crown this season. Likewise, Kwasniewski became just the sixth driver in NASCAR history to earn back-to-back championships in different series, and the first since 1997-98.

Kwasniewski wasn’t the only history maker in 2013 though. Gray Gaulding established the mark for the youngest pole winner in series history at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in April and Cole Custer became the series’ youngest race winner in August at Newton, Iowa’s Iowa Speedway.

The K&N Pro Series East’s diversity was on full display in record-breaking fashion as well. Kenzie Ruston established new marks for highest race and championship finishes* for a female competitor while Daniel Suàrez became the series’ highest-ranking international driver** in the final standings.

*Ruston's third place finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway in 2013 is the best finish for a female driver in series history. She finished 2013 ranked sixth in the final standings, the highest mark for a female in series history.

**Suàrez' third place finish in the 2013 standings is the highest mark for an international driver in series history.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Youngster Cole Custer Scheduled For
Nine K&N Pro Series East Races

Second-year driver Cole Custer will run nine events in the Bill McAnally Racing No. 00 NAPA/Haas Automation entry. Custer of Ladera Ranch, Calif., raced in the K&N East in 2013 as a 15-year-old rookie – capturing two wins, two poles and finishing eighth in the overall championship standings. He also had one pole in two starts in the K&N West. 

Cole Custer wins the pole position in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
qualifying for the Casino Arizona 50. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

“Cole Custer displayed his potential in winning races as a series rookie and we look for that performance to continue in 2014,” McAnally said. “And we are confident that Nick Drake will make a quick transition to NASCAR following his success in open-wheel cars.”

Prior to competing in NASCAR’s top developmental series, Custer raced Late Model stock cars in California, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina. His open-wheel racing before that was highlighted by a JR USAC Ford Focus Midget national championship in 2011. His previous racing experience included USAC Midgets, Legend cars, go-karts and Bandalero’s. He competed in QMA and USAC Quarter Midgets early in his career.

Custer is the son of Stewart-Haas Racing Executive Vice President Joe Custer, who admitted he did not anticipate how competitive his son’s team would become in its first season in the K&N East last year.

“Building a competitive effort in the K&N East came about quicker than I expected,” he said. “Now, teaming with Bill McAnally Racing is a great opportunity to continue moving forward to the next level. I’ve long admired what Bill and his staff have accomplished in the K&N West and I’m glad for the chance for this new team to join together as he expands into the K&N East.”

Matt Goslant, who served as the crew chief for Custer in his rookie season in 2013 and prior to that had led BMR’s championship team when it won the K&N West title in 2010, will head up BMR’s new K&N East program as the general manager.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work with Bill again,” Goslant said. “With what we’ve established in the K&N East, I think this is going to make a great combination. And I’m really excited to be working with NAPA again. They’re a great sponsor and I think we’re going to make them proud.”

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cameron Hayley - Then & Now

Back in 2005, pre-teen Cameron Hayley competed in both Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta karting seasons; winning both Jr. 1 championships and becoming the first Alberta Jr. 1 champion.

Back in 2005, pre-teen Cameron Hayley competed in both Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta karting seasons; winning both Jr. 1 championships and becoming the first Alberta Jr. 1 champion.

Calgary’s Cameron Hayley remains Canada’s top stock car prospect after the 17-year-old finished second overall in the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship.

Calgary’s Cameron Hayley remains Canada’s top stock car prospect after the 17-year-old finished second overall in the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship. He has been named by NASCAR as one of the "NEXT NINE" to watch!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Jeff Gordon Drives Out Whooping Cough

Famed NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is pursuing a different sort of goal in his off-season – raising awareness about whooping cough.

Gordon, who has two children ages 3 and 6, said staying healthy is a big priority for his entire family.

“With kids it’s just germs everywhere, we’re kind of germ-freaks you know taking shoes off when we walk in the door, washing hands, probably overdoing it and you know, covering your mouth when you cough,” Gordon told

However, Gordon said it wasn’t until he joined the Sounds of Pertussis campaign, a national education program from March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasteur, that he realized he might unintentionally be putting his children at risk for pertussis, or whooping cough – a highly contagious and often serious disease.

“That’s what got me interested in becoming involved, is because as a parent I didn’t know that I was putting them at risk because I needed the adult booster,” Gordon said. “…Everybody (says), ‘Oh I’ve heard of whooping cough,’ but…they don’t realize that you have to prevent it from continuing to spread.”

One of the goals of this year’s Sounds of Pertussis campaign is to educate adults on the importance of getting an adult tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination. While most infants receive the vaccine at around 2 months old, the effects wear off after five to 10 years.

Without a booster, parents run the risk of contracting the disease and passing it to un-vaccinated infants – for whom it can be deadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is experiencing one of the largest outbreaks of pertussis in approximately 50 years, with more than 41,000 cases and 18 deaths reported in 2012.

“Eighty percent of the time…these young infants are getting it from family members so it’s really about preventative (efforts),” Gordon said. “Prior to the baby being born, family members, when they come to the hospital, when they come to the home to visit, you know they need to make sure they’re protected.”

Gordon said seeing a video of a child with whooping cough on the Sounds of Pertussis website made him even more determined to spread awareness of the disease – and the importance of the adult vaccine.

“(The vaccine) is quick and over in a hurry and then the benefits are fantastic, and especially if you click on the video and hear that young baby with that whooping cough you’ll never forget that and you’ll realize, I cannot allow myself to bring this into our family,” Gordon said.

Gordon said he feels lucky that his children have been healthy – and that in addition to getting the Tdap vaccine, he and his wife make sure their children eat healthy and nutritiously at home.

“Our kids are great about eating vegetables and fish and we don’t go to fast food restaurants, we really try to eat healthy,” Gordon said. “We make the meals a family event where every night we’re sitting at the table, eating together, talking.”

While Gordon said it’s been tougher to stay in racing shape since he became a father, his children are also a big motivating factor for him.

“It’s definitely more challenging because you don’t have as much time, but at the same time they keep me very active and running around, so I look at it now as, how I set an example for them?” Gordon said.

For more information on whooping cough, visit