Joey Logano Advances to Contender Round of Chase to NASCAR’s 2014 Sprint Cup Series Championship

Joey Logano celebrates his victory in the Sylvania 300
Joey Logano celebrates his victory in the Sylvania 300

Ford Fusion and Team Penski sit in the drivers’ seat after third straight win

Joey Logano advances to the Contender round of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
Joey Logano advances to the Contender round of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship

Joey Logano combined a quick pit stop to grab four new tires on Sunday during the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with a great restart to take the lead with just two laps to go and then won the race down the stretch to the finish line. This victory punches his ticket to the Contender round of the 2014 Chase to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Championship.

Sports History Today was on hand after the Slyvania 300 to hear what Joey Logano had to say about his victory and the upcoming race at Dover International Speedway.

Joey Logano enjoying his moment of glory
Joey Logano enjoying his moment of glory

Did you know that four tires would be the call of the day?

“No, I thought we gave it away at that point, but four tires were good and we had some good restarts and were able to get ourselves back up there.  We worked hard.  This is my home race track, the coolest place to win for me.  I could never pick a better race track to win.  I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and I won that other Cup race here, but I just felt like I had to win one the right way here, and this means so much.  I’ve got to thank all the boys at Team Penske.  We’re doing what we’ve got to do to win this thing right now – both teams are – and I’m proud of that.  This is my home track so it means so much to me.”

What went through your mind when the caution came out with four to go?

“I had a lot of things I can’t say right now that came to my mind, but we were able to have some good restarts.  The guys did a good job setting this thing up and gave me something to win with today. I went to sleep last night hoping for a top five.  That would be good for me at this track because it’s not one of my key places, and that’s why it means so much to win here.”

How does it sound to be going to the next round?

“It feels good to go into the next one.  We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing though.  We’ve got to keep our eye on the prize and think about the big trophy at the end.”

How did you feel heading into the race?

“A lot went into this one, that’s for sure.  I’ll just take you back to when we unloaded we were OK and then yesterday in practice we were so-so.  I didn’t feel like we were great and towards the end of practice we made a couple changes and found some speed, started seventh today and was able to work our way up a little bit in the beginning of the race.  I felt like, ‘OK, ‘we’ve got something to contend for a victory with,’ if everything worked out right and we ran around top-three most of the day.  We came in and put two tires on and a couple cars stayed out, and at that point I had a bad restart third and another bad restarted when I was fifth and that put us sixth or so when the caution came out.  Todd put four tires on it and at that point I thought he was crazy because we came out 16th, and I was like, ‘Well, let’s just try to salvage something out of this and try to get a top-10 or top-5,’ because our goal coming into the race was to get to the next round.  We’ve got to get to the next round to win the championship.  That’s our ultimate goal is to win the championship and we had to get through this day the best we could and had some really good restarts.  Before I knew it I was sitting third and was like, ‘Huh, I’ve got a shot at winning this thing.’  I’ve got 30 lap newer tires than anybody and we were able to capitalize with that, and then of course it was caution after caution after caution and that was making me nervous for sure.  I don’t know if Todd and Walt were, but I know I was and we were able to capitalize and have some good restarts and be here in Victory Lane.  Too me, this is almost like Daytona.  It’s such a special place for me.  I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and started my first one and won my first one.  After the week I had in Connecticut doing some really cool fundraisers, to top it off with a victory is really neat.”

Does this increase your confidence heading to the next round?

“I would think so.  It definitely didn’t go the other way.  You get a win like that.  This is personally I consider my worst race track.  That’s terrible to say because it’s my home race track, but I’ve always struggled when I come here.  To be able to win at your worst race track that makes you feel like you can win anywhere.  It’s just special to be able to do that and the confidence is high with the 22 team right now and all of Team Penske.  We all feel like we’ve got some championships to win this year, not only on the Cup side but on the Nationwide side also.  Obviously, we’ve already got one with IndyCar so we’re just trying to catch up to them.”

Did you think you had a good chance to win with all of those late cautions?

“Restarts you never know what’s gonna happen, but Todd gives me a really good car that I can be aggressive with on restarts and I think that’s a big deal because the more in control I am the more aggressive I can be, and the more aggressive you are in restarts the more you’re in control of the restart.  You don’t want to be the guy going the wrong way.  Todd said a second ago about being on the offense and not on the defense.  It’s not just putting tires on that makes it like that, it’s having a car that’s capable of running in traffic and it’s something we work on a lot in practice and making sure that we have something that’s gonna be good in traffic and that can restart well.  We’ve seen it time and time again with these Sprint Cup races that it’s most likely gonna come down to a late-race caution, so you’ve got to be able to execute the restart and the first five laps around traffic.  That takes a good car and kind of knowing what to expect and trying to play it out in your head before it happens.”

How does it feel when you have a car that responds to your input?

“It’s nice when you say something about the race car and Todd is able to adjust it and fix it and it gets better. That’s what we get paid to do.  When we go to practice it’s, ‘OK, where we are on speed and what do we need to be better.’  We talk about it and be methodical about our adjustments and go from there.  I think Todd does a great job.  Todd doesn’t just make changes to make changes.  I know that’s how I would be if I was a crew chief.  I’d be like, ‘Yeah, yeah, just do that and do that and it will be fine and go for it.’  But Todd really understands and takes the time to talk it out with me, which I think is very important to dig out the deep information and then think about what the adjustment is gonna do and what the reaction to other parts and pieces of the car is gonna be when he does it, and understand why it changes a certain thing.  I think that’s what makes him very strong as a crew chief, and that’s why I wouldn’t be a crew chief because I would just go for it.  So together we work out.”

How much sweeter was it to win this race today compared to the last time?

“I didn’t know where Victory Lane was here actually, so I just made another lap.  I said, ‘I’m just gonna keep going around.’  I didn’t have any rear tires on it.  I think it drug the frame rails off the car, but I just didn’t want to come in.  I wanted to stay out there.  This is, like I said, how big of a win this is for me.  I never got out in front of all the fans on the front straightaway before but it was just too cool.  I couldn’t give up that opportunity.  Then I just wanted to keep going, so I just kept making laps out there.  There might not be much left of the car, but it was really special to win here and I wanted to make it last as long as I could.”

Has this track always been an outside line restart track or did weather conditions play a role?

“As far as I can remember, yes, the outside has been the preferred lane, but it’s kind of sketchy.  It is where you can get the momentum and most likely you come out in the lead, but the way you get in the corners here, it’s so flat just one lane down that the inside car gets loose really easily, so it’s dangerous being out there, but it is the preferred lane and that’s why when I was in the lane I did everything I could to make sure I had a good enough restart that I had position on him, that I didn’t have to race him through turn one.  That was my big goal on every one was just getting through the gear box as quick as I could.”

What happened on the restart when you and Brad were together and Harvick passed you guys for the lead?

“It’s exactly what I just talked about.  I got on the inside and we were both racing for the lead and I got loose and I started chasing it up.  Thank goodness he held onto it and we held onto it and we both ended up with good days out of it.  The important thing is that both of us have moved on to the next round and we can keep racing and working together and trying to win the championship.”

Did you think your shot at the win was gone at that point?

“No, it’s not over until it’s over.  I’ve seen these races change a lot in the late laps.  No, it’s never over until it’s over.  If I’m running fifth with four to go, I still think I can win this thing a lot of times.  I think that’s the attitude you’ve got to have.  If you get a late-race caution it’s like, ‘I’ve got a shot at it.  It might take a miracle, but I’ve got a shot,’ and that’s all I can ask for.”

What’s your attitude heading to Dover?

“Dover is a crazy race track.  It’s so much fun to go around it.  Right now, my focus is on Texas though.  We’ve got a test down there the next two days and we’ve got to make sure we make that test everything we can do out of it and make sure we’re ready for it when we get to Texas and try to win down there again.  Right now, I’m focused on that and then we’ll think about Dover.  You talked about being relaxed, it’s not really the case.  Walt said earlier our next focus is the next race and we need to keep doing what we’ve been doing.  We focus hard on each and every race track and we want to go to Dover.  Knowing that we’re in the next round is nice, but we want to go out there and win.  We want to keep the momentum going and you never know what’s gonna happen later on in this Chase.  There could be a time that we don’t make it to the next round and we’ve got to revert back to points.  It would be pretty nice to have a solid finish at Dover to try and get a good, solid points position at the end of the year.  Our goal is to win the championship though, so we have to get from round to round, but just because we’re in the next one doesn’t mean we’re gonna take an off weekend next week.” 

The next test for competitors is the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014. Four drivers will be eliminated from the Chase for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Championship next week. You can catch the race live on ESPN starting at 1 p.m. eastern time and the race begins at 2 p.m.

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Keselowski Grabs First Victory in the Chase to the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship

Brad Keselowski celebrates his victory at Chicagoland Motor Speedway
Brad Keselowski celebrates his victory at Chicagoland Motor Speedway

Penske Racing gives Ford its 1th win of the season, but the first at Chicagoland Speedway 

Brad showed patience and got his timing right on this Sunday afternoon
Brad showed patience and got his timing right on this Sunday afternoon

Joliet, Illinois (Sept. 14, 2014) – Brad Keselowski won for the second consecutive time, and the fifth overall this season, on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway to advance to the Challenger round of the 2014 Chase.

Brad Keselowski cements his position in the next round of the Chase
Brad Keselowski cements his position in the next round of the Chase

This win puts Keselowski and Ford Racing at the front of the pack and in control of their own destiny heading to the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 21. Presently, he’s just seven points ahead of second place racer Jeff Gordon, nine ahead of his teammate Joey Logano in third, and 13 ahead of Kevin Harvick in the Chase for the 2014 Sprint Cup Championship trophy. You can check the official standings for the Sprint Cup series here.

Brad is pumped,  but ready for the next stage of his drive to become the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champion
Brad is pumped, but ready for the next stage of his drive to become the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champion

With only two weeks remaining in the first round of the Chase, several drivers are on the verge of being eliminated, and need to put their foot down on the accelerator. Ryan Newman finished 15th at Chicagoland Motor Speedway, after starting second on the grid, and needs to pick up the pace this Sunday. AJ Allmendinger sits five points outside the cutline, and after finishing 22nd last week, will need to find a path through the pack and finish high in the standings to keep his hopes for the second round of the Chase alive. Greg Biffle sits nine points behind the cutline and after an average start and 23rd place finish at Chicagoland Motor Speedway, is expected to let his horses do the talking this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Sports History Today was on hand after the race to listen to Brad Keselowski talk about his win at Chicagoland on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion

How you were able to win? “I am not really sure what to say. I don’t really know what happened I just know we got to the lead. There was traffic and I was just digging and in the zone. The recorder was turned off so I don’t remember what happened. I had my head down doing all I could do. We had a great Miller Lite Ford Fusion that I knew from the start would be good but man it was really awesome the last few runs. We really dialed it in and the 2 crew did a excellent job. What a day. Man, I am still pumped.”

Starting 25th on the starting grid, how much patience did it take to make it to the front and win? “You have to be so patient. The cars in traffic are all over the track and it is very easy to spin out on your own and you have to pace yourself. I don’t know what to say. I am so thankful to be here. I want to say thanks because I know the fans can hear me. I saw all of them standing on their feet when we made the pass for the lead and that was awesome. Thank you fans for being here and for your support. What a great day. God that was sweet.”  How does it feel to make it to the next round of the Chase? “Awesome.”

Give our readers a few comments about the way the race played out for you today. “I guess you couldn’t ask for a better way to start the Chase other than starting up front.  Just phenomenal with the way things played out.  I don’t know if we were the fastest car.  There were some runs where I thought we were really fast and then some runs where I thought the 4 and the 42 were really fast.  It was so hard to tell.  Whoever had the cleanest air was really at such an advantage. But towards the middle part of the race, that’s when we lost track position.  That was something that we all thought was awful at the time, but I guess it worked out.  Then from there we just fought, just climbed and clawed. I think we got up to eighth, and Paul made the call or decision to pit a little bit late.  It worked out perfectly.  We were able to be on pit road right as the yellow came out.  That put us from eighth to fourth, I think.  We were able to take advantage with that on the restarts, get up to third. I just saw a hole and I went for it.  The 4 and the 42 were racing really hard, doing all the things they needed to do.  It just opened a hole.  I didn’t know if my car would stick or not, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try it.  I tried it, it did.  That got us into the lead. Even that was going to be close.  I think the 42 was quite a bit faster as the long run went.  We got that yellow.  Things evened out.  We were able to take advantage from there.”

Everything didn’t go well with the car today, but despite this you seemed to be confident throughout the race. Was there ever a time during the race you thought things were about to fall apart, or were you confident throughout the competition? “I knew we were going to need to catch a break to get to Victory Lane from there.  That was going to be tough.  We did catch a small one.  But I was really surprised how much speed we had to get as close as we did to the front there.  That was amazing. I think we drove up to eighth.  We restarted 16th or 17th in position, but probably had to be 30th or something in car order.  So to get by that many cars, get close to the front, was really an incredible run, and put us in position to capitalize when that yellow came out.  That was something that all came together. From there, I knew once we got to fourth with 30 or 40 to go, it was going to be about executing the restarts.  We had an okay one the first time where we just really held serve.  The outside groove was very, very difficult to get a good restart in with wheel spin.  Then we had a great one there the last one.  There were three of them.  I can’t remember there were two or three of them.  The last one, once we had gotten the lead.  We just put it all together, and that was very, very special.”

Give our readers an idea of what this win means in terms of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship? “It means a lot.  My boss would say don’t read your own press clippings.  I want to enjoy the moment but I still know there’s nine weeks to go.  We have a bit of a hall pass for the next two, which I’m very appreciative.  But those other seven, nobody cares that we won Chicago, nobody cares that we won Richmond or the other three races.  It keeps resetting.  You have to reset yourself.  You have to keep developing the car and pushing as a team, whether it’s on pit road, the car handling, spec, whatever it might be, or driver tactics. So I want to be thankful for today, but I know there’s a long ways to go.  Today was about as much of a statement as you can make on a week one with ten weeks to go.  I don’t want to understate it but certainly don’t want to overstate it.  It’s a hard balance.”

What does this race mean for you and the team? Is this win a road sign the other racers need to heed? “I think kind of like I was saying before, it’s a statement for this week.  After we get done with Dover, everything resets.  I still don’t think we were the fastest car.  It was probably pretty even between the 4 and the 42 and maybe the 24.  It was about the clean air and restarts. But I’m still very thankful for what we were able to do today and we got to keep pushing.”

How is this win going to change the way you race this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway? Will you be willing to let it all loose, knowing it doesn’t really matter what you do here, or will you play it conservative and save the car for later races? “I don’t know.  I guess that’s something we have to sit down and discuss as a group.  I can’t really say I’ve thought about that in detail. I think there’s potential with people.  There’s potential with pieces we might be worried about from a reliability standpoint, things of that nature that come to mind. I don’t know what those opportunities are.  A guy like Paul, Travis, Tim Cindric, they know that best and could probably answer that question better, but we still have a lot to talk through and work on.  Certainly don’t want to lose focus on the seven races after that, as well.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup series action continues this weekend on the pavement at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Brad Keselowski will be on hand to entertain and make a run for his third consecutive Sprint Cup series win. Always willing to talk to fans and let it all go on the race track, Brad will be happy to show you his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion, and sign an autograph.

If you can’t make it to Loudon this Sunday for the running of the Sylvania 300 on the pavement of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. ESPN’s Motorsports This Week is airing a live telecast of the second race of the 2014 Chase on NASCAR Countdown starting at 1 p.m. ET. The green flag will drop around 2:15 p.m., so you have time to grab a few snacks and get ready for the fun!

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.

Let the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship Begin!

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship begins Sunday, Sept. 19, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for 300 laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., and ESPN will have a live telecast. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show airs at noon ET on ESPN2 with the race telecast on ESPN at 1 p.m. The race’s green flag is at 1:15 p.m.
 
Also from New Hampshire, ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m. and qualifying at 3 p.m. Sandwiched between the on-track action will be the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup preview, a half-hour program airing at 1 p.m. Friday on ESPN2.
 
Marty Reid will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.  
NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion driver Rusty Wallace, three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham and Brad Daugherty, a team owner in the series. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
 
 
NASCAR Star Kyle Busch Featured in New All-Access ESPN2 Series
 
A new and highly innovative five-part television series featuring NASCAR star Kyle Busch will air on ESPN2 the week of Sept. 13-17 to help kick off ESPN’s live coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
 
Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch, produced for ESPN by the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group, will take viewers on a week-long, all-access journey into the life of the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 M&Ms Toyota. Cameras will follow Busch starting with this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway and will continue throughout the week leading into the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19.
 
The half-hour program, which will require a less than 24-hour turnaround time for production, will debut in prime time on Monday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, following the Monday roundtable edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now. The rest of the week, Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch will air following NASCAR Now at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
 
 
Brian Vickers Guest Panelist on NASCAR Now Roundtable
 
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brian Vickers will be a special guest and join ESPN analysts Ray Evernham and Ricky Craven as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, Sept. 20, at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
 
NASCAR Now will expand to one hour on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 5 p.m. as NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch will join host Nicole Briscoe in the studio to preview the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Briscoe also will welcome Matt Kenseth on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 5 p.m. and Kevin Harvick the next day at 5 p.m. The program also airs Friday at 5 p.m. with a wrap-up of that day’s activities at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
 
NASCAR Now will surround Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire with two episodes that day. The one-hour weekend edition of NASCAR Now presented by 5 Hour Energy airs at 9 a.m. with a preview of that day’s race, while the weekend wrap-up edition airs that night at 10 p.m. Marty Smith and Angelique Chengelis will report from NHMS while Craven will join Briscoe in the studio.
 
 
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in Carolina
 
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races this weekend in the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway at Concord near Charlotte, N.C., and ESPN2 will air highlights of qualifying and eliminations. Qualifying action airs Sunday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. ET, and coverage of eliminations airs at 7 p.m. 
 
The newest facility in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series was an overwhelming success in its 2008 debut and again last year, when it hosted special four-wide exhibition passes in Top Fuel and Funny Car. The event holds a crucial spot on the schedule as the second event of the Countdown to 1 and the race at which teams continue to battle for traction in their title bids.
 
Paul Page anchors ESPN2’s coverage with analysis by 22-time NHRA winner Mike Dunn. Gary Gerould and Dave Rieff report from the pits. Rieff and Dunn host NHRA RaceDay presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. to set the stage for that day’s eliminations action.
 
Also on Sunday, drag racing fans can see 30 minutes of action featuring the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Modifieds from O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The program airs at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
 
 
ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During New Hampshire Race
NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN’s telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com.
 
RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Sept. 19, RacingLive! New Hampshire will kick off at 1 p.m. ET to coincide with ESPN’s telecast of the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
 
Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.
 
 
ESPN Radio Raceday Airs Saturday, Sunday
 
Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from Daytona Beach, Fla. Patterson also originates the broadcast from several racetracks with key races during the season. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.
 
Additionally, many of ESPN’s NASCAR reporters and analysts contribute each week as ESPN networks televise the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series and the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” championship. A list of ESPN Radio affiliates can be found at www.espnradio.com.

Two Rookies Get Their Chance to Shine

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 10, 2010) – In their quest to prepare for the 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) season, Spraker Racing will field two Chevrolets in the New Hampshire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 16. Northeast Modified driver Keith Flach will make his NKNPSE debut in the No. 08 Spraker Racing Enterprises Chevrolet. After his seventh-place finish for Spraker Racing in the Talladega ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards race this season, Scott Stenzel will return to Spraker Racing in the No. 37 Spraker Racing Enterprises Chevrolet.
 Keith Flach
Flach is a third-generation racer from the Northeast and regularly races at Lebonan Valley Speedway and Albany-Saratoga Speedway. His father and grandfather both raced and won track championships at Lebanon Valley Speedway. Flach scored his first asphalt modified feature win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway this June and currently sits sixth in the championship point standings. The N.Y. native also won twice on dirt at Lebonan Valley Speedway in 2007 and 2008.
 
The 24-year-old tested with Spraker Racing in a late model to get more seat time driving a stock car, as he has only competed in a modified car. Flach also has experience driving at a mile speedway. He has competed at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, N.Y. every October for the past six years. After a short learning curve, the modified racer got more comfortable driving on a mile track.
 
“I am excited to get the opportunity to race in the K&N Series,” explained the 24-year-old. “We need to make it in on time, and then hopefully, we can stay out of trouble. I look forward to the challenge of racing with a different kind of car on a mile track. Running at Syracuse helped me to get comfortable with a mile racetrack. At this kind of speedway with a different type of car, it will definitely be a big learning curve. We went to watch the K&N race at New Hampshire two years ago, so it is definitely exciting to race there. We are just hoping to go out, stay out of trouble, see what we’ve got and do the best we can. I know it will be a good piece. It will just be up to me to get used to it, and hopefully, keep it out of trouble.”
 
Scott Stenzel
Stenzel made his ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards debut with Spraker Racing in April 2010. The Orlando, Fla., resident qualified on time, fast enough for the 28th starting spot. Throughout the 250-mile race, he worked his way through the field to finish seventh.
 
Stenzel grew up in Minnesota and found a passion for racing early in life. He began racing go-karts at a track in his friend’s backyard. He spent his teen years racing anywhere from dirt to asphalt. After graduating high school, he focused on college, and after graduation, he started his own marketing business. Although his focus was elsewhere, he never lost his passion for racing. Approved for an ARCA license in 2008, Stenzel utilized his free time to rebuild his racing career.
 
In 2009, Stenzel joined “Yellow Stripes: Making the Driver,” which is a television series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the development of the next generation of racecar drivers. This partnership became the catalyst to rejuvenate Stenzel’s career and help others while filming it.
 
“Running with Spraker is a good combination,” explained Stenzel. “He has a lot of faith in me. When we came from a 28th starting spot at Talladega and finished seventh, that was a win for everybody. I am pumped up to race at New Hampshire. I have ran half-miles all my life and then went right into superspeedways, so running a mile next weekend will be a good testament to all of the half-mile racing I have done throughout the years. This will be good seat time for me.”
 

Jeff Spraker, owner of Spraker Racing, is looking forward to giving these two deserving drivers their first start in a NASCAR series. “We pride ourselves in helping racers get their breaks, and both of these drivers warrant the opportunity. I think the world of Keith and his family. He is a good racer, and I look forward to what he can do next weekend. We have run with Scott in the ARCA series, and he did a great job for us at Talladega. I hope that he can carry that over to a different arena, with a smaller speedway and different car. I am confident that both racers would do a good job for us and help us build for the future.”
 
Action begins Thursday, September 16 with practice and qualifying. The green flag for the New Hampshire 125 will drop Friday, September 17 at 5 p.m. EST. For more information about Scott Stenzel visit www.scottstenzel.com. For more information about “Yellow Stripes: Making the Driver” visit www.makingthedriver.com.

About Activ8 Communications
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