Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jeff Gordon Supports Riley

Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered
by Winner Jeff Gordon With His Escort To Victory Lane

Every year, Jeff Gordon's trip to race at Indianapolis includes a trip to Riley Hospital for Children and a bowling tournament to raise money for sick kids.

The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation recently established the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Riley Hospital for Children. The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation created a $1 million endowment to fund research conducted in partnership between Riley Hospital and the Wells Center for Pediatric Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The remaining $500,000 will address immediate research needs at Riley Hospital.

The endowment fund will provide vital resources for Riley Hospital/Indiana University School of Medicine researchers seeking to impact treatments, therapies and cures. Since its first gift in 2001, The Jeff Gordon Foundation has given Riley more than $1.58 million.

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and Riley Hospital for Children have a longstanding relationship built on mutual respect and honor. We are privileged to work with an amazing organization and will continue to support the efforts of Riley Hospital for Children in years to come.

About Riley Hospital for Children:

Riley Hospital for Children is Indiana's only comprehensive children's hospital, with pediatric specialists in every field of medicine and surgery. Riley Hospital for Children offers one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive outpatient care facilities for children, the world's largest pediatric sleep disorders center and one of the nation's three largest autism treatment centers

As Indiana’s first and only comprehensive pediatric hospital, Riley Hospital has more than 245,000 inpatient and outpatient pediatric visits annually from across the state, nation and the world. Riley Hospital’s relationship with Clarian Health and its strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine make it the only comprehensive pediatric clinical resource for Indiana’s children and a premiere source for health-related information for their patients.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The 14-year-old Gilliland's Podium Finish at Irwindale Speedway #nascar

Butch Gilliland, grandson Todd, and son David at Irwindale Speedway in California
Butch Gilliland, grandson Todd, and son David at Irwindale Speedway in California
(July 19, 2014 -Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

While local driver Jason Patison, was able to rocket away from runner-up Jack Madrid of San Clemente, Calif., following a restart with 17 laps remaining on the half-mile track of Irwindale Speedway to finish 2.1 seconds in front, the Gilliland family remained the packed crowd pleaser.

The three generations of Gilliland NASCAR Drivers, Grandfather Butch, Son David, and fourteen-year-old Grandson Todd, were competing against each other for the first time.

Of the Gilliland clan, Todd fared the best with a third-place podium finish in his noteworthy debut in a Super Late Model. The youngest Gilliland has raced Late Models in North Carolina; however Irwindale was a step up in horsepower and the competition level of the drivers.

“It was really cool,” he said. “I didn’t have high expectations because I was against a bunch of really experienced drivers. I’m super happy.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver and delighted father, David Gilliland added “My son does a great job. We’re really proud of him.”

Butch Gilliland came out of a ten-year retirement to finish the race in a respectable fifth. The grandfather, who is fifty-seven years young, was a top driver in his NASCAR Winston West years starting in the 1980s and a former champion of the series.

“It was really nice,” the elder Gilliland stated, “We tested a couple of days. I didn’t put a whole bunch of laps on it, we have enough laps. The car was decent. It was good we three got to race against each other. It really was fun to race against my grandson. I really wish I’d had a whole better car, but it was still a lot of fun.”

What happened to the middle Gilliland? NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver David Gilliland, who grew up in southern California was running second when contact sent him into retirement after completing 30 laps.

“We had him (Partridge) cleared and I don’t know, somehow I got turned there at the start-finish line,” David Gilliland said. “Bummer, kind of an unfortunate way to end our night, but the car was real fast and we had a good time coming back here. It’s still my favorite racetrack to race on in the country. It was an honor to be a part of it and watch my son finish third and my dad go out and finish fifth. It’s just a lot of fun and good to be back home.

The three Gillilands impressed the race fans with their dedication to both family and the sport of racing.

Pick Your Part Super Late Models -75 laps
Race Results:

  1. Jason Patison (Corona),
  2. Jack Madrid (San Clemente),
  3. Todd Gilliland (Sherrills Ford, N.C.),
  4. Barry Karr (Redlands),
  5. Butch Gilliland (Thailand),
  6. Linny White (Highland),
  7. Toni McCray (Highland),
  8. Jeff Eschleman (Corona),
  9. Kenny Smith (Bakersfield),
  10. Josh Soto (Oceanside),
  11. Jeff Williams (Newbury Park),
  12. Greg Hanneman (Toluca Lake),
  13. Ryan Partridge (Rancho Cucamonga),
  14. David Gilliland (Sherrills Ford, N.C.),
  15. Juan Garcia (Colombia),
  16. Rodney Peacher (North Hills).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#NASCAR Teleconference With NASCAR NEXT Drivers Erik Jones And Jesse Little

This last weekend NASCAR Next drivers Erik Jones and Jesse Little both scored wins in their respective series.

Eighteen-year-old Erik drives the No. 51 Toyota Care Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and seventeen-year-old Jesse drives the No. 97 NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Erik is set to make his Nationwide Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

Some Questions from the Teleconference

Question: Erik, I know that earlier in the season in the 51 truck you had had some issues. How big was it to run the way you did on Friday night, especially given the fact that you're making a Nationwide debut this weekend?

ERIK JONES: Well, it was great in a lot of ways. First of all, we did have some trouble at the beginning of the year, really none of our own doing, but I was happy that we could finally really put it all together here and pick up a win there at Iowa. That was a pretty cool deal and definitely gave me a lot of momentum going into next weekend and into the Nationwide race.

It was definitely a great win in a lot of ways for everybody over here at KBM and for myself just to get some momentum going. Hopefully we can carry it into this next weekend and keep going on the Nationwide side of things.

And also, is the plan still for you to run the Nationwide races at Bristol and Phoenix later this year?

ERIK JONES: Yep, that's the plan, just those three races we'll be doing. Phoenix will be double duty with the truck and the Nationwide car.

Question: Erik and Jesse, the usual suspects, those individuals that have influenced your racing career with Chad Little for Jesse and maybe Kyle and Joe Gibbs for Erik, but what other individuals have been a part of your development and influence to get you where you are today?

ERIK JONES: I would say for me, you know, obviously my mom and dad have been able to guide me the right direction in my racing career, and I'm a first-generation racer, I'm not from a racing family of any sort, so it's been really a deal of finding people in the racing industry to kind of influence me and show me which way to go. But definitely Kyle has been a big influence on me and pointing me in the right direction and helping me out. I think he's been the biggest person in my career, especially since I've been up at the late model level and above that has been able to really show me the right way to go and what is definitely his opinion on what he thinks I should do next.

JESSE LITTLE: Yeah, I'm in a different boat than Erik. I grew up in the racing world, and that's really all I know. I don't know really too many people outside of it. But other than, like you said, my dad and my mom, it's just people that have been close to my dad and have helped him through his career that he's stayed close with and now I'm beginning to build relationships with. That goes for my dad's old crew chief when he was in the Nationwide Series, Harold Holly, who is Joey's crew chief now, Joey Coulter in the Truck Series, to just everybody that helped him, like I said, in his career. Other than that, it's just really been my dad who really just helps me outside of the car and mainly inside.

Question: Jesse, as far as Virginia International Raceway for the K&N East, what are your thoughts going back to the road course?

JESSE LITTLE: I love it. I got to do both road courses last year in the K&N Series, and I enjoyed it a lot. It's a lot of fun. It's something different. It was my first time on a road course, and I had a blast. I'm looking forward to going back this year, and hopefully we can build a little bit on our finishing. I've got an idea of it now, so I think going in I'm a lot more confident in myself, and it should be a lot of fun.

Question: For both Erik and Jesse, there seems to be a lot of young guys moving up different ranks in NASCAR, and obviously there's a lot of talent out there, and maybe be some big changes the next couple years. What's the biggest challenge that you both think you feel that you've got as you try to take the steps up, and how do you learn from the veterans? Do you watch them on the track? Do you just take everything in stride? Do you listen, that kind of thing?

ERIK JONES: I would say my biggest challenge for a long time was my age. Honestly I was stuck being below 18 and I didn't have an opportunity to run a lot of racetracks that were on the schedule. But obviously that's now out of the way.

Now it's just a matter of getting my name out there, getting a sponsor. It's so hard when you're a young guy that's not well known to find somebody that wants to support you because at the same time there's a lot of sponsors don't want to go and help out a guy that's not well known in the racing world when you can go help out somebody that's known to everybody.

That's the toughest part for me, and on the side of learning from veterans, I would say that I just try to talk to them as much as I can and go and -- any chance I get to speak to one of them, I take it and just take it all in and watch what they're doing.

JESSE LITTLE: Yeah, I second Erik with that completely. I think the biggest thing at both of our ages is just showing owners and sponsors that you have the potential and that you have the potential to succeed, and you're going to be a good asset for them, and I think that's probably the hardest part, just because there's so many good young drivers that have talent and are marketable. I think it's trying to single yourself out and just make sure that you set yourself apart from them in as many good ways as possible.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Three Generations Gilliland
One Race

Three generations of one of southern California's favorite and best-known racing families will be on the track at Irwindale Speedway on Saturday night and they'll all be competing in the same race!

Butch, David, and Todd Gilliland - Grandfather, Father, Son Race
Butch, David, and Todd Gilliland - Grandfather, Father, Son Race

At the track known for family entertainment, July 19 at Irwindale will be family night for sure! Grandfather, son, and grandson: Butch, David, and Todd Gilliland will all suit up and report to their Pick Your Part Super Late Model rides when the call comes on Saturday night to fire off the first SLM 75-lapper of the year at Irwindale Speedway.

Grandpa: Butch Gilliland has not raced in a few years, but the winner of countless 'West series races, the series champ in 1997, and (still) the Irwindale track record holder for the fastest lap ever in that division, is excited about coming back to Irwindale, and particularly to be coming back to compete in a race with his son and grandson!

Son: David Gilliland has been keeping very busy on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit behind the wheel of the number 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford. David's first work in racing was as a young, 19 year-old crew chief for his father Butch when he was racking up all his race wins and that championship in the 'West races. His win in the Nationwide race at Kentucky in 2006 was a memorable one for all three of the Gillilands.

Grandson: At just 14, Todd Gilliland does not have (quite) the resume that his famous dad and granddad have, but he's already showing the same sort of spark that the two generations before him have exhibited. His May 2nd victory in the Limited Late Models at Ace Speedway in North Carolina came after only seven starts in the division. He'll be a freshman in high school this year.

This special Pick Your Part race has been opened up to all Super Late Model and Spears SRL Southwest Tour teams. All competitors will run under their respective rules, but all cars will be required to compete on the Irwindale-specified SLM Hoosier tire.

And, that sub-headline above with the line "family feud" laced in there ... that might be a little misleading ... this race within a race will be for family bragging rights at every family gathering from now right on through forever. The saga of "Which Gilliland finished where on the one and only night that ALL of them were not just at the same race, or racing on that same night, but when they were ALL IN THE SAME RACE", is sure to be the stuff of legends.

And if anyone, anywhere, thinks that Butch is going to take it easy on David or that David is going to let off on Todd ... think again my friend, this is racing. And now think about the 20+ other drivers out there running harder than hard with these three who all want the biggest chunk of that prize that they can get ... Tickets are available right now on-line at

Monday, July 14, 2014

Victory Junction Camp Fun

Camp fun - Victory Junction campers show The King (77 year-young Richard Petty) and Duck Dynasty's John Godwin how to do the “Bullseye Dance!”

Hands on your hips everyone, it's time for the "Bullseye Dance".

The Petty family created Victory Junction, a year-round camp that provides a free camping experience to children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Ten years later, Victory Junction is still going strong and one of the best stories to emerge from the dual tragedies that took place at NHMS in 2000. 

Congratulations Victory Junction on your Tenth Year Anniversary!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Little In Perfect Position For First #KNEAST Win

Avoids Wreck To Take K&N Pro East Checkers At New Hampshire

Jesse Little only led the final lap - but that was all he needed to pick up his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career win
Jesse Little only led the final lap - but that was all he needed to pick up his
first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career win Friday in the Granite State 100
at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

Third-place was the perfect position for Jesse Little on the white flag lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. The end result was him standing in Victory Lane with his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win.

It was truly amazing. And to do it on my mom's birthday, too - it's an amazing birthday present that I can hand her that trophy.

"It's one I'll never forget."

Jesse Little celebrates in Victory Lane following his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
win in the Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jesse Little, age seventeen is the son of former NASCAR driver Chad Little. Jesse drives the No. 97 Chevrolet and earned the K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year honors in 2013.

First Win For 16-Year-Old Bickford

ames Bickford celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150
James Bickford celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 Saturday
night at State Line Speedway in Idaho. (William Mancebo/Getty Images for NASCAR)

James Bickford showed Saturday night he's a fast learner. And a fast driver.

The Napa, California, driver in just his seventh NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race, passed former champion Greg Pursley with four laps to go in the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 at State Line Speedway to go en route to capturing his first career win.

Pursley finished second -- .725-seconds back of Bickford's No. 6 Interstate Plastics/Sunrise Ford on the quarter-mile oval -- and Brandon McReynolds was third. Braeden Havens, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day, finished fourth and David Mayhew rounded out the top five.

Bickford, who turned 16 in March, is the cousin of four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. His previous best finish was a fourth-place run at Iowa Speedway in May.

James’ father, Tom, is John Bickford’s brother. Gordon, 42, was reared by stepfather John Bickford from the time he was a Vallejo toddler.

James Bickford drove to his first victory in his seventh career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race Saturday night
James Bickford drove to his first victory in his seventh career NASCAR K&N Pro
Series West race Saturday night. William (Mancebo/Getty Images for NASCAR)
James, who won the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model championship at All American Speedway in his rookie year in 2013, drives for Bob Bruncati Racing in the No. 6 Sunrise Ford. He replaced driver Derek Thorn, who is the reigning K&N West champion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Keelan Paul Harvick

Kids of #NASCAR - Keelan Paul Harvick - Look who's two today!

Look who's two today! 


Kevin Harvick became a father two years ago, a day after his wife flew home unexpectedly from Daytona International Speedway. Keelan Paul Harvick was born that Sunday in North Carolina. He is the first child for Kevin and DeLana Harvick.

 "Waiting on Keelan was the longest nine months of my entire life," Kevin Harvick said at the time in a statement. "But time literally stood still when I held our baby for the first time. I've accomplished a lot in my life that I'm proud of, but those moments don't hold a candle to becoming a father and seeing that little face looking up at you. "DeLana and I are just amazed by how special and rewarding this is." 

DeLana Harvick had been in Daytona leading into that Saturday night's race, but returned to North Carolina for precautionary reasons. Harvick had Kenny Wallace on standby during the race in case he needed to get home. Harvick completed the race, but finished 23rd because he was involved in a late accident.