All posts by STC

Bell to compete full-time in Xfinity Series in 2018

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Christopher Bell will compete in NASCAR XFINITY Series full time in 2018.

The 22-year-old is currently running full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) and remains in contention for this season’s championship. He currently leads the point standings entering this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway with five race wins and seven stage wins providing him a Series high 47 points.

“Christopher has proven himself at every level of racing and we are excited to have him run full time in our XFINITY Series program starting in 2018,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “He has shown great maturity both on and off the track and we think he is ready for this opportunity. We look forward to watching his continued progress in the sport.”

Bell started 2017 on fire by winning one of NASCAR’s marquee events, the Chili Bowl, and followed it up by dominating and winning in the Camping World Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Oklahoma native also picked up wins in his Toyota Tundra at Texas, Kentucky, Pocono, and New Hampshire.

“All of us at Toyota and TRD are proud to see Christopher continue through the ranks as he now takes on the NASCAR XFINITY Series fulltime with JGR for 2018,” said David Wilson, president of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development). “Christopher has been a part of the TRD driver development program for many years dating back to his USAC championship in 2013 and he’s certainly been an integral part of our continued success to bring young drivers through the ranks of motorsports. Christopher has been successful in every form of racing and we’re confident that he’ll add his name to the list of drivers to put a Camry in victory lane.”

Before racing on pavement, Bell was crowned the United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Champion in 2013 and accumulated 26 feature wins on dirt in 2014, including the Turkey Night Grand Prix Midget race. He also enjoyed success in Super Late Models, winning prestigious races at New Smyrna Speedway, South Alabama Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park.

“I can’t express how excited I am about the opportunity to drive full time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series,” said Bell. “This has been a tremendous year for me and obviously I remain focused on finishing the Truck Series season strong and hopefully bringing a Championship to Kyle, Samantha and everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports. I don’t think I could ask for a better place to take the next step in my racing career. I’m already comfortable with everyone at JGR and I think the experience I have with them this year should help me at the start of 2018.”

Joe Gibbs Racing will announce additional details for its 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series program, including sponsors, car number and crew chief assignments at a later date.

— Joe Gibbs Racing

JGL Racing parts ways with Armstrong, suspends operations on #28

JGL Racing announces that it has suspended driver duties effective immediately with Dakoda Armstrong. Armstrong has piloted the team’s #28 Toyota entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the 2017 season with sponsorship for the program. However, due to lack of sponsorship payments, JGL Racing has been forced to make this drastic move for the rest of the 2017 season.

“We really hate that it has come to this,” said James Whitener, owner of JGL Racing. “However, this business is driven by sponsorship and when payments aren’t made then we cannot continue to race out off our own pocket. I hate this for our race team as well as Dakoda. We all appreciate the effort he has put into the growth of JGL Racing and wish him nothing but the best of success moving forward.”

The #28 entry will not go to Dover for this weekend’s event but instead will re-focus on the remaining events on the 2017 schedule. The team’s #24 entry will continue for the remainder of the season with Corey LaJoie (youtheory) and Dylan Lupton (Nut Up Industries).

“We will focus on finishing out the season with our programs on our #24 Toyota,” added Whitener. “We will explore future options for the #28 entry as well as focusing on finalizing programs for both cars for the 2018 season.”

Kahne to LFR in 2018

Leavine Family Racing (LFR) has announced that Kasey Kahne will pilot the #95 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season.

Kahne, who has driven for Hendrick Motorsports since 2012, has signed on to be LFR’s primary driver for the 2018 season.

LFR has recorded impressive finishes as a single-car team during the 2017 MENCS season and feels that Kahne, winner of the Brickyard 400 in 2017, would not only be a top driver for the team in the MENCS series in 2018, but also be instrumental in assisting the team to attract new sponsorship in the future.

“I want to thank Leavine Family Racing for this opportunity and will work as hard as possible to help them continue improving,” said Kahne. “I am ready for this challenge and look forward to making a fresh start. Bob and everyone at Leavine Family Racing put a lot into their program and I’m excited to become a part of it.”

“We look at this as an opportunity to go to the next level,” said LFR team owner, Bob Leavine. “This deals partially with performance, because obviously, Kasey is a playoff-caliber driver. He has a wealth of information being with a larger organization like Hendrick Motorsports, and we think that will help us. We also look at this as an opportunity for marketing to be able to sell sponsorship.

Overall, we think Kasey is a good fit and felt we needed a change. There is absolutely nothing that Michael (McDowell) did, it was just a matter of us having to make some changes to help us move up the ladder and be a factor in the playoffs. I know Kasey will bring things that will help us, and I believe our environment will be conducive to his confidence level, which will in turn raise our confidence level. It just seemed like the right time and the right fit for our team.”

— Leavine Family Racing —

LFR & Procore partner for multiple races

Leavine Family Racing (LFR) is announcing a partnership with Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based applications for construction. Procore connects people, applications, and devices through the unified Procore Construction OS platform.

Procore and LFR have agreed to a multi-race deal beginning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and continuing through the remainder of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season for the #95 Chevy Michael McDowell drives.

Not only is Procore teaming up with LFR on the racetrack, they will be the primary sponsor LFR’s first annual TechCon summit that will be held in October in conjunction with the Bank of America 500. TechCon summit is designed to target the construction industry and bring a focus on new technologies within the industry.

LFR, a team who has ownership ties to the construction industry, is excited to jump-start this partnership with a company whose ideals and values are similar to their own.

“It’s great for this race team to have Procore come on board for the remainder of the 2017 season and as a primary sponsor of our TechCon summit,” said Jeremy Lange, Vice President of LFR. “We look forward to building the partnership and providing immediate value to Procore and all of the attendees of the TechCon summit.”

“Procore is excited to extend its track record of working with industry leading companies by partnering with Leavine Family Racing and putting our support behind the #95 on the track,” said Mark Lyons, Vice President of Industry Marketing, Procore. “We’re looking forward to participating in the first annual TechCon and aligning both company’s visions of brining continued innovation to the construction industry.”

-LFR Press Release-

Butcher to drive for GMS Racing at Thanksgiving Classic

Hot off the heels of a successful streak of Legend Car races including five wins and a championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Australian racer Bronson Butcher has been offered the opportunity to take his talents to the Super Late Model ranks. Current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Champion and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) team, GMS Racing, will field a Super Late Model for Butcher at the annual Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, NC.
Butcher, a mechanic for over five years with GMS Racing and who currently travels weekly with the No. 23 NXS car of Spencer Gallagher, is relishing the chance to make the step up in his career.
“It’s been a long time coming,” stated Butcher. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work during my time here in the (United) States and GMS Racing has supported me the whole way. I’m excited to take this next step with the team.”
Butcher hopes to capitalize on this opportunity and is working with GMS Racing on putting together a full schedule for the 2018 racing season.
“We are thrilled to be able to put this deal together for Bronson and for the GMS team,” said Mike Beam GMS Racing General Manager. “We are always looking to grow our program and the more drivers we can get in the seat, the better. Bronson is a dedicated and hard-working driver, and we look forward to seeing him behind the wheel.”

-GMS Press Release-

Smithfield Foods to be Primary Sponsor at SHR in 2018

Smithfield Foods Inc. announced earlier today it will join Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as a primary team sponsor beginning in 2018. Details of the agreement, including the driver who will be added to SHR’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018, will be provided at a later date.
“We’re very proud to have Smithfield Foods join the Stewart-Haas Racing family,” said Brett Frood, president, SHR. “Smithfield has activated heavily and successfully within the sport, and we’re honored to be a part of the brand’s forward initiatives and strategy. Although we’re not ready to announce the full details of the program, we look forward to this new endeavor while remaining focused on the upcoming playoffs and putting forth the best effort possible to win more races and contend for another championship.”

Davenport outduels McCreadie to win the Hillbilly Hundred

Jonathan Davenport held off Tim McCreadie at the finish line to win the 49th Annual Hillbilly Hundred on Sunday night at the Tyler County Speedway. Davenport took the lead from race-long leader, Jimmy Owens on lap 83 and then held off a hard-charging McCreadie to claim his first-career win in the historic event. After starting 17th, McCreadie went to the outside of Davenport coming off turn four, but Davenport held him off by one-car length to secure the $25,000 victory.

The 2015 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion; Davenport; became the 16th different winner this year in series competition. McCreadie moved to second in the points behind Josh Richards with his second-place finish. Jimmy Owens took third. Completing the top five were Don O’Neal and Richards.

“I passed for second like three times there then there would be another caution. I want to apologize to Jimmy Owens, I went in hot and locked up the brakes. I want to first thank G.R. Smith, for someone to step out of their own car and to let someone else drive it, says a lot about him. I have to thank Josh Richards, he helped me out before the start of the race. The right rear shock wasn’t where I wanted it to be and he tuned on it. “

“These Rocket cars are great. I thought I had this win last year. I really like this place,” said the 33-year-old racer in Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the first time this season. The winners Rocket Chassis car is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by: Victory Circle Auto Sales, B&A Pallet, Victory Circle Auto Mall, FK Rod Ends, Behrent’s, and Northern Lights Windows and Door.

McCreadie started alongside Scott Bloomquist in row nine and charged through the field to take the runner-up spot at the finish. “It was so tough to come up through there in this field of cars. It was just a little narrow out there tonight. The outside restarts were good. Yes, we are happy with this finish,” said the driver of the Sweeteners Plus, Longhorn entry.

Owens was in control of the race until he relinquished the lead to Davenport. “We had a really good car tonight. There were a lot of restarts. I don’t know how that played into the end. But we were slipping up. We moved down there and it seemed to help,” said Owens about his podium finish.

Completing the top ten were Chris Ferguson, Austin Hubbard, Darrell Lanigan, Jared Hawkins, and Mason Zeigler.