Helluva Good! 400 Friday Practice

Ford drivers David Ragan and AJ Allmendinger finished first and second in the opening practice session at Michigan International Speedway Friday afternoon. They will be the last two cars to qualify Saturday under new NASCAR rules and each talked about their fast lap and what it means for qualifying tomorrow.

 

DAVID RAGAN, driver No. 6 UPS Ford on his practice run: “It is sometimes easy to do that on Friday. It gets a little harder Saturday and a litter harder Sunday. Our UPS Ford is fast. We expect it to be fast when we come here to Michigan. There is a chance for rain tomorrow and the time slot for tomorrow’s qualifying falls in line with that first practice so we spent some time in qualifying trim, as did some of our teammates. It was fast I look forward to seeing how it is after a few more laps in race trim this second practice.”

 

YOU GO LAST TOMORROW IN QUALIFYING. “It doesn’t change much for us. We have seen that you can go out and sandbag and try to have an earlier spot but that kind of messes with the rhythm of the weekend. Our opinion is to go out and go as hard as we can every lap of every practice and let the chips fall where they fall. It may hurt us a little bit going out really late if it gets really warm out, but our UPS Ford has enough speed in it that we feel like we have a great shot at the pole and certainly a top-five or top-10 run.”

 

AJ ALLMENDINGER, driver No. 43 Best Buy Ford on his practice run: “The tough thing about this place is that it will change so much by Sunday and get a lot slicker. We are just trying to get a good baseline package. I think race trim is okay and the qualifying run right there was a good lap. I don’t know if I could match that again. We will see how this next practice goes.”

 

YOU WILL QUALIFY SECOND TO LAST, DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH AT ALL? “Well, we will see. A lot of the strategy with that is the rain that is coming. If it rains then we will start second in the race which is good. We have been starting like crap lately so that would be nice. I know how this track is going to slicken up, so we have to keep working on a good package, but this is at least a good start.”

Ford Cars Lead the Pack in NASCAR

Mooresville, NC (October 4, 2010) Roush Yates Engines started out the third race of the chase in true championship form, qualifying two Ford drivers on the front row and coming away from Kansas Speedway with the win.
With eight races left in the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, Ford drivers arrived at Kansas Speedway on Friday prepared to show just how much power their FR9s are capable of producing. Kasey Kahne, driver of the number 9 Budweiser Ford Fusion, qualified on the pole with fellow Ford driver Paul Menard starting alongside him. Three other Blue Oval drivers qualified in the top ten, with Greg Biffle starting 5th, Matt Kenseth starting 8th, and David Ragan starting 10th.
“We weren’t great in practice so we knew we needed to make adjustments to the car. Kenny Francis and Keith did a really nice job,” said Kahne. “I am glad we got the pole for Budweiser and for Ford. It’s exciting to have a couple of RPM guys on the front row and it’s just really nice for the whole company.”
After starting the race in the top positions, Ford drivers never wavered and Greg Biffle, driver of the number 16 3M/Sherwin Williams Ford Fusion, led the final 29 laps of the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods to win the race. With twelve leaders and twenty total lead changes, Sunday’s race was nothing short of exciting and Biffle took advantage by gaining his sixteenth career win in his 287th start.
“Everyone asked us last week if we’re out of the Chase, have we given up, whatever the case was. The 16 team will never give up,” said Biffle. “We’re just going to approach each race like we did today, qualify the best we can, do the best we can in practice, execute the best we can at the racetrack. This was the best car I’ve ever driven here and I have a lot of confidence going into Fontana.”
Biffle has won two races this season, including a victory at Pocono Raceway in August. He is 8th in the points for the Chase for the Championship, leading Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards in 4th and Matt Kenseth in 11th position. Roush Fenway Racing is one of only two teams with 3 cars in the 2010 Chase.
“It’s very exciting to see Roush Yates Engines and Roush Fenway Racing back in Victory Lane,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Qualifying on the pole and winning the race shows exactly what Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines are capable of. I look forward to watching the remainder of the Chase for the Championship and see no reason why the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship will not go to a Ford.”
Roush Yates continues to win in all divisions of motorsports with another victory for Billy Well’s driver Ivedent Lloyd at Ocala in the Dirt Late Model division this weekend. Jason Myers won the modified race at North Wilkesboro Speedway and Chip King won in the Blown Pro Modified division at the Shakedown at Englishtown. Roush Yates has over 80 wins so far this season and two championships in the TORC Off-Road series and the Sprint Cars on Dirt series.
To learn more about all of Roush Yates’ engine programs or how to update your engine with the Roush Yates’ Performance Upgrade, call Jeff Clark at (704) 658-1540 or visit www.roushyatesparts.com.
About Roush Yates Engines
Roush Yates Engines designs, engineers and crafts high performance racing engines with the power to perform and the horsepower and durability you’d expect from legendary NASCAR pioneers Jack Roush and Robert Yates. The partnership of power and precision has come from merging the knowledge and experience of two legendary engine builders, both with a passion for winning today and powering up for tomorrow. In 2009 Doug Yates purchased his father’s half of Roush Yates Engines to become a co-owner in the company.
As CEO, Doug Yates leads a staff of 180 engineers and technicians who design, assemble, test, and service racing engines at two separate state-of-the-art facilities in Mooresville, North Carolina. Here, the best minds and latest technology are hard at work producing nearly 1,500 racing engines each year for teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, ARCA, Grand-Am, FIA GT3, Dirt Late Model, Sprint cars, and NHRA Pro Stock. At Roush Yates Engines, the mission is Power Performance, which is achieved through innovation design, precision engineering, and skillful craftsmanship. Building the best engines in racing today, providing service that’s second to none, and honoring a commitment to research and development are the heart of Roush Yates Engines.

Lee Pullian Wins Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 2, 2010) – Lee Pulliam continued his meteoric journey in racing Saturday afternoon by winning the pole for Sunday’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

Four years ago Pulliam had never sat in a race car, but he wanted to be a racer. He fast-tracked his way through high school so he could finish a year early and go to work to save enough money to buy an entry-level race car.

Saturday the 22-year-old driver from Semora, NC, topped 84 other drivers, including three former national champions and several higher division drivers to start up front for the biggest, most prestigious Late Model Stock Car race in the country.

“It’s pretty emotional,” Pulliam said. “We’ve come a long way in a very short time and I’ve got to thank a lot of people for their help. It started with nothing four years ago. The Lord has given me a great path.”

Pulliam won five times this season at South Boston Speedway in just his second year in Late Model competition. He had the fastest car in two open test sessions at Martinsville over the past two weeks, and admitted because of that there was pressure headed into Saturday’s time trials. He came through with flying colors, though.

He turned in a lap of 20.272 seconds (93.410 mph) around the .526-mile oval to edge three-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Philip Morris. Morris, who won this event in 2000, had a lap of 20.310 seconds (93.235 mph).

Even after winning the pole, Pulliam was still a bit awed by his surroundings.

“It definitely says a lot when you call Timothy Peters’ name and Dennis Setzer,” Pulliam said, referring to a pair of drivers who compete regularly on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and who both have won this race and a truck series race at Martinsville. “Those guys are wheelmen. They’ve got a lot of laps around this place. A few years ago all of them were role models to me.”

Brandon McReynolds of Mooresville, NC, who finished second in this race last year, qualified third, followed by Ryan Robertson of Winston-Salem, NC, and Mike Looney of Catawba.

Peters was sixth fastest, with last year’s third-place finisher Brennan Poole of The Woodlands, TX, seventh. Davin Scites, last year’s pole-sitter from Davidson, NC qualified eighth with Setzer ninth and former race winner Alex Yontz 10.

Only the top 22 positions were decided in time trials Saturday. The remainder of the 42-car field will be decided in four 25-lap heat races that begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Fan gates open at 9 a.m. on Sunday, with an autograph session on the track’s frontstrech set for 11:30 a.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults with children 12 and under admitted free. Tickets may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

Jessie James to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” During AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway

DOVER, Del. – Southern pop artist Jessie James will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 26. James’ recent single and upcoming album title, “Boys in the Summer,” was featured on the Billboard charts in several categories this summer, and she’ll also entertain fans with her hit song during pre-race for the AAA 400.
 
The 22-year-old Mercury Records recording artist’s self-titled debut album Jessie James produced the Top 25 pop and Top 20 dance hit, “Wanted” as well as “Blue Jeans,” which was featured on the soundtrack of the film version of the best-selling novel, “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” Besides her musical talents, James is also known for her natural beauty, as Maxim magazine listed her in their Hot 100 list this year.
 
Described as “southern pop,” Jessie’s music is a candid celebration of her pop and country influences. “I’ve wanted to do country music my whole life,” said James. “But I’m really inspired by the pop world as well. I love both Christina Aguilera and Shania Twain, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”
 
For more information about Jessie James, including music videos, photos, and the latest news, visit her official MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/jessiejamesmusic.
 
James’ performance adds to the growing list of entertainment for fans surrounding three days of NASCAR events at the Monster Mile this September. For a full list of fan attractions, visit DoverSpeedway.com and click the “Sept. 24-26 race weekend fan activities and attractions” link.
 
NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on Sept. 24-26, 2010. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
 
# # #
 
Dover International Speedway is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD), a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States. DVD subsidiaries operate three tracks in three states, and present several hundred motorsports events each year. This includes 14 major, national events which include races sanctioned by NASCAR and the NHRA. Dover Motorsports, Inc. also owns and operates Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Mo., and Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tenn. For further information log on to www.DoverMotorsports.com.

Bank of America 500 Track Services Two-Day Training Session

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 13, 2010) – On Sept. 11-12, more than 80
students gathered at Charlotte Motor Speedway for a two-day track services
personnel training session in preparation for the Bank of America 500
Weekend at the Mecca of Motorsports.
       Twenty instructors led the sessions, which included classroom
training and hands-on experiences for fire, rescue and EMS personnel. Topics
covered included extrication, fire suppression and on-track EMS. The
teaching staff consisted of instructors from nine race tracks: Charlotte,
Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Martinsville
Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway,
Homestead-Miami Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park.
       Also, on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on
the United States, the instructors were joined by two FDNY firefighters who
assisted with the training sessions: Mark Stone, Assistant Chief, FDNY
Incident Management Team and Pater Cachia, Bureau of Operations.
       Charlotte Motor Speedway has been a pioneer in safety training for
NASCAR events and was the first NASCAR-sanctioned race track to offer such a
class, starting in 1991. Personnel from other tracks including Indianapolis
Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway came to the classes as students
and began implementing similar programs at their respective tracks a few
years later.
       Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first track to have its own rescue
truck and the first to put paramedics on the track fire trucks.
       “A quick response by our track services personnel is always
necessary because treatment starts on the track, not when the driver gets to
the infield care center,” said Shaun Johnson, manager of track services. “We
never want to see an on-track incident, and fans don’t want to see drivers
get hurt, so our track services personnel need to be prepared through
training sessions like this one.”
       For high-resolution photos of the training, visit:
www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/photos.
       Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be
purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the
speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Bank of America Fan 4
Pack includes tickets, hot dogs and Coca-Cola drinks starting at just $39.75
per person and fans can get four nights of great racing with the Bank of
America 500 Weekend Super Ticket for just $99.
       For daily updates on October race activities, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway by following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or
become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.

The Chase Racer Comments on Battle

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Seeded 7th) – CAN YOU COMMENT ON YOUR PROSPECTS AT WINNING THIS CHASE?  “Well I feel good about our chances this year. We have been running really well the last eight or nine weeks and got ourselves a good point margin, and it is a good thing we did because we didn’t run very well the last couple of weeks. Other than that, we have run really good as a company and I fell we are on the upswing of things. Like Tony (Stewart) said, you have to capitalize on the places you are good at and try to survive the other ones. We have probably seven or eight good race tracks in the Chase for us, so we will get a few that we have to keep our head above water on.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT WENT WRONG TONIGHT AND HOW YOU DON’T GET FRUSTRATED WITH WHAT HAPPENED TONIGHT GOING INTO THE FINAL 10 RACES?  “Well, when we drive out of the driveway, we just start thinking about Loudon and not what happened tonight. That is how you do that.  Let’s see, what happened tonight? I was driving off of pit road and my helmet filled with smoke and something was on fire. So I shut my helmet blower off and proceeded to try to get some air inside the car. About halfway through the race they said ‘what’s the temperature?’ and I said it was about 165. That is when we realized there was a hole up underneath the front of the nose of the car that had some debris at some point that knocked a hole in it. The car was really tight. We kept freeing it up and freeing it up. I am telling them that I am sliding the nose and I can’t give it any gas because it was so lose, but we fixed that. We took the wave around, and then when I was coming around the back of the field the right front tire was flat. I had to pit when we were going to the green and then we got penalized because you can’t take the wave around and pit before you take the green on the track. So we got penalized for that. Other than that, nothing else happened. It was a pretty straight up night after that.”

CARL EDWARDS, No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Seeded 9th)  – DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS YEAR YOU GUYS MIGHT HAVE A SHOT AT JIMMIE JOHNSON AND OVERTAKING HIM FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP?  “Jimmie has had an unbelievable ability to perform in the Chase and win championships, but I think all of these guys and everyone would agree that it is anyone’s race more than ever this year. It looks like advantages are smaller and they last a shorter period of time. Over these 10 races I think it is anybody’s. To me it feels like that is truer than ever, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmie goes out there and wins the first three to prove us wrong, but I don’t believe he will do that.”

MATT KENSETH, No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Seeded 11th) – TELL US ABOUT WHAT IT IS GOING TO TAKE TO WIN YOUR SECOND NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP.  “You have to beat all those good guys up in the top five or six every week. I think you have to be consistently top-five or under and on your worst days finish in the top-10 and on your best days content for some wins. That is about it. You never know exactly what it is going to take until they get into it.” 

LOOKING AT THE WAY THINGS HAVE PANNED OUT THIS YEAR AND AS TIGHT AS EVERYBODY SEEMS TO BE GOING INTO THE CHASE, HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CHANCES ARE AT ACTUALLY HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO BEAT JIMMIE IN THE CHASE THIS YEAR?  “I think it depends how we start. Certainly if you look at the first 26 races, everybody is going to sit up here and tell you that all 12 have a chance for a championship and yes, mathematically that is true but not if we run like we did the first 26 races. We realize our performance needs to be better than it has been. We average like a 12th place finish and certainly that is not going to win the championship over 10 races. Our performance has been getting better lately and I am enthused by that and seeing how great Greg and Carl have been running and the 9 car. It feels like we are getting better, so if we can do all the right things at the track and get up there hopefully we can contend with those guys. It depends how they run as well and if they have trouble and all that. I think the main thing we are really focused on is trying to elevate our performance to where we can be a consistent front runner up there leading laps and be in contention to win.”

The Chase Post Race Comments

CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion (Finished 10th) – “We ran really well, we were just no good on the long runs. I think we ended up 10th, which is really great for a bad night. It is still a top-10 and we are in the Chase. Now we need to go to Loudon and go for all the points we can get.”  YOU TALKED YESTERDAY THAT THIS RACE WOULD BE A GOOD BAROMETER FOR SHORT TRACKS IN THE CHASE AND HOW YOU WILL PERFORM AT THEM. WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT?  “I think we ran better here tonight that we have run in years, so that is good for our team. It is huge.”
 
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion (Finished 32nd) – A TOUGH NIGHT FOR YOU ON THE TRACK, BUT YOU ALSO QUALIFY FOR THE CHASE. CONFLICTING FEELINGS TONIGHT?  “We knew we were going to qualify for the Chase, but we felt we would run a little better than that. That was pretty poor. Our cars keep breaking and we seem to have stuff wrong with them. I don’t know. I thought a few weeks ago we had a shot at the Chase, but I don’t know anymore.”  CAN YOU COMMENT ON HAVING THREE ROUSH CARS IN THE CHASE?  “We have really picked it up. Our mile and a half program has been really strong. We still struggle on this short track stuff. We just have to keep working on it to get it figured out.”
 
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion (Finished 14th)  – “I am a little disappointed how we ended up. We ran better tonight and qualified really well and ran really competitive for two-thirds of the race. The last part we didn’t run well and that is what we were just talking about, trying to figure that out. I am glad we are in. Hopefully we can start it off next weekend and get a good finish.  About three runs from the end, we drove up on a long run and were real fast and got up to fourth. I thought we would probably get a run and go fourth in a best case scenario or seventh or eighth in a worst case scenario. In the last three runs we kept getting worse and falling further back and we don’t really know why.”  CAN YOU COMMENT ON WHERE YOU HAVE COME AS AN ORGANIZATION TO HAVE THREE ROUSH CARS IN THE CHASE?  “It is good to be in there. It is all what you do when you get there. Not to be a Debbie Downer but 12th in points isn’t that spectacular. You need to do something when you get there. The saving grace is that everybody is caught up and we are like 50 points out of the lead. We got that closed up and now we have to go perform.”