Fresh off a solid test during the annual ARCA Racing Series presented by Me…nards open test at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, Mullins Racing has announced that veteran crew chief Tony Furr has joined the team.
Furr will serve as crew chief on the No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford driven by team owner and 2018 Daytona ARCA runner-up Willie Mullins during the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on Feb. 9 at Daytona International Speedway.
“The main thing is the knowledge Tony brings,” said Mullins, who was 29th fastest overall during the Daytona ARCA test after focusing on single-car runs. “This man is such a large wealth of knowledge and we’re able to tap into that. He’s spent so much time in the wind tunnel with Hendrick before that we’re able to use a lot of that knowledge to find speed with our car.”
Furr made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut as a crew chief in 1994 and over the years has worked with a number of NASCAR stars, including Bill Elliott, Joe Nemechek, John Andretti, Ward Burton, Jerry Nadeau and more.
He has two NASCAR Cup Series victories as a crew chief, one with Andretti at Daytona International Speedway in 1997 and another with Nadeau at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2000.
“He seems to be a pretty smart guy with a good head on his shoulders,” Furr said of Mullins. “I’ve worked with quite a few guys down there in Daytona with his level of experience and he’s a lot more levelheaded than a lot of up-and-comers and listens good. He’s a sponge. He was soaking up all the information I was trying to give him during the test.
“I think if we put all that together when we go back and with a little bit of luck I think we’ll have a shot at being a player all day long.”
Furr was with the Mullins Racing team during last weekend’s ARCA test at Daytona International Speedway. It was the first opportunity for Mullins and Furr to work together in advance of the season opener in February.
“We did only single-car runs and we believe that we were one of the top-five to top-eight fastest cars in single car runs,” Mullins said. “We’re very proud of that and very happy with the how the speed in the car has continued to get better.”
“I think we were definitely top-five in the single car runs during testing,” Furr added. “We didn’t get to draft much as we wanted to, but I think we’ll be fine. He got a lot of experience down there last year by doing what he did, so that’ll hopefully carry over.”
Mullins believes the addition of Furr could be the spark his family-owned team needs to break into victory lane at the World Center of Racing.
“There is a lot of excitement this year,” Mullins said. “Last year we had the unknown of the new body and this year we have the excitement of going back with a second-place finish and knowing we have a fast car now. Now we’ve got to turn that excitement into a result. We’re very much looking forward to going back and having a lot of our crew back with us this year and hopefully we can try and come out of there with a good result again.”
The No. 3 Mullins Racing Ford carries sponsorship support from County Waste, CW Metals, Crow Wing Recycling, Bugsy’s Auto, Snap On by Timmy Brann, Sherwin Williams Paint and Dinah Marie Photography.
-Mullins Racing Press Release-
Mooresville, NC- Motorsports Icon and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham announced today his acquisition of JRi Shocks, effective immediately. JRi Shocks founder, Jeff Ryan, will continue to play a leading role in the organization as a Partner and Vice President of Engineering.
“Since retiring from the competition side of NASCAR, I have been itching to find an opportunity to continue using my experience in business and engineering, so when JRi was presented to me it was a natural fit,” said Evernham, CEO and President of JRi Shocks. “I have worked with Jeff Ryan for more than 30 years and have always known he was one of the most innovative shock designers in the motorsports industry, but what really drew me to JRi is the work Jeff and his team are doing outside of racing. From street performance to off-road, they are creating some of the most functional, highest quality shocks on the market. I am really looking forward to working with Jeff to take JRi to the next level.”
Evernham will be heavily involved in all areas of the business, including marketing and sales strategy, new product design and operations. Under the new ownership, JRi will focus on better serving their existing customers, expanding their product offerings in current markets and continuing to gain market share in the aftermarket shock industry.
“With Ray Evernham as the owner and with same shared disciplines, JRi will be able to focus on product innovation and achieve our ultimate goal of delivering the best products and services to our customers. I am looking forward to writing JRi’s next chapter while building on our current performance with a dedicated team in place that has been chosen to pilot the future trajectory of the company,” said Jeff Ryan, Partner and Vice President of Engineering JRi Shocks.
JRi Shocks’ new headquarters will be located at 115 Eastbend Court, Mooresville, NC 28117.
-JRi Shocks Press Release
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2018) — Former Daytona polesitter Sean Corr posted the fastest speed in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards final practice Friday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire.
Corr, in the No. 43 NESCO-Empire Racing Chevrolet, put up the fastest lap of the week after two practice sessions with a speed of 181.785 mph.
“This new Chevy 43 car is really good,” said Corr. “Between practices and tests we finally figured out the right gear. This thing (new composite body) is a brick compared to the old steel cars. This thing really punches a huge hole through the air; but as far as drafting and being able to catch a pack so quickly…you can really run down a pack. The cars just love it.”
Cartersville, Georgia’s Mark Thompson was second on the board in the No. 66 Phoenix Air Ford with a speed of 181.704 mph. Thompson, also entered for the Daytona 500, will be making his 100th ARCA start in Saturday’s race.
Travis Braden, in the No. 27 MatrixCare-Consonus Healthcare-Liberty Village Ford, was third quickest overall at 181.638 mph.
“I’m happy,” said Braden. “I’ve learned a ton this week. My spotter and I have really learned how to talk with each other. Communication is really good. The qualifying thing (group qualifying) is kind of a crap shoot…in random groups. It’s going to depend on who you’re with. Between the test and here, I got a lot of drafting practice.”
Noah Gragson, in the No. 54 Switch-Safelite Auto Glass Toyota, was fourth overall.
“The guys at DGR-CROSLEY, all the crew guys…they built a really, really fast Switch-Safelite Toyota,” said Gragson. “This is a great opportunity and privilege to drive for these guys. The amount of pride they put into their cars…it really shows. I’ll tell you what…this Toyota is really fast. It’s good to be back in the ARCA car…hanging out with my buddies…a little bit more laid back over here. It also helps, and it’s more fun when you’re fast. It’s going to be a fun race. It’s Daytona…if you can win one here, it’s big.”
Bo LeMastus was fifth overall in the No. 77 Crosley Brands-Big Tine Ford.
“It felt good,” said LeMastus. “We’ve been real smooth since the test. Keep finding a little bit more each time we’re out. It’s just been a forward progression. These guys are so professional at Chad Bryant Racing. It’s a great group to be with. I think we’re good. This group qualifying is a luck of the draw. Hopefully we’ll be with a few good guys.”
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Officials from Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) announced today that sports car veteran Max Tullman (@MaxTullman) will make his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in next Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire.
Tullman enters the stock car world after competing regularly for the past few years in sports car scenes across the United States and Canada, including the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.
The Chester Springs, Pa. native turned his fast laps at the “World Center of Racing” during the ARCA Racing Series open-test at the 2.5-mile speedway in January. Tullman joined MMM shortly thereafter and participated in a private test with the Mooresville, N.C. team at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last week.
The 20-year-old also has three NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) starts to his credit last season driving for Jefferson-Pitts Racing. His success includes two top-10 finishes in three starts delivering a career-best ninth place result at Kern County (Calif.) Speedway in Nov. 2017.
“I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to drive for Mason Mitchell Motorsports at Daytona next weekend,” said Tullman, driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet. “The team has a winning history on the superspeedways and had a very competitive and productive test at Daytona earlier this month.
“I’m looking forward to making my ARCA debut with one of the most successful teams in ARCA and hope that my debut is strong and allows us to put some more races together for the 2018 season.”
Veteran Motorsports crew chief Doug Richert, who led Dale Earnhardt Sr. to his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) championship in 1980 will call the shots for Tullman in the 80-lap event.
Cup Series spotter Tyler Green who assisted in propelling Mason Mitchell Motorsports to their Talladega Superspeedway ARCA victory in April 2016 will guide Tullman for the event.
Zoomi, a new marketing partner in ARCA competition will support Tullman in his debut.
Zoomi is the first and AI-informed learning analytics company that uses machine learning to rapidly individualize training pathways in real-time. Its artificial intelligence studies learner behaviors and patterns to understand what each employee knows, what still needs to be taught and how to best deliver that information automatically – so you don’t have to.
With more than 250 proprietary algorithms, Zoomi provides deep personalized learning, predicts learning and performance, optimizes learning content and links learning to business outcomes.
Myota, a superior data security management solution will serve as an associate marketing partner for the ARCA season opener.
“Without the support of Zoomi, Myota, Doug and the Mason Mitchell Motorsports team, Daytona would not be possible,” continued Tullman.
“This is the biggest race of my career and I want to go out there and do a good job not only for the team, but for Zoomi, Myota and for all those that believe in me.
“Hopefully, we can bring some good exposure to Zoomi and Myota and it will help us in our plan to race a lot more this season.”
2014 ARCA Racing Series champion Mason Mitchell said his team is eager to work with Tullman and continue its dominance of crafting young talent into contenders and winners on the development tour.
“We’ve developed a strong pedigree at Mason Mitchell Motorsports and we’re eager to have that continue with Max,” added Mitchell, who serves as one of the series’ youngest team owners.
“Max is eager to perform and deliver. His enthusiasm is contagious, but his desire to learn and exceed expectations was evident at the Talladega test. We’ve set an achievable goal for our No. 78 team at Daytona and look forward to seeing Max’s debut be successful.”
Tullman will be teammate to Quin Houff who returns to MMM for the second-consecutive season at Daytona in the No. 98 Chevrolet.
Dalton Sargeant and Cunningham Motorsports are proud to announce a new partnership with Performance Plus. This will begin with the branding of Sargeant’s No.77 Ford Fusion in the upcoming ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Iowa Speedway. Performance Plus, the high quality motor oil brand of Kleen Performance Products, will also be featured in every vehicle at Cunningham Motorsports.
“I’m very excited to have Performance Plus as a new partner and kick things off at Iowa Speedway,” said Sargeant. “They have a huge presence and proven success in motorsports so it’ll be special to have them on the car this weekend and see the benefit of their products in the performance of our race cars. Anytime you can make the team happy by introducing a better quality product and lubricant to the race cars, transporters and team vehicles it’s really a win win for everyone. I love the colors and scheme for the No. 77 Performance Plus Ford. I can’t wait for everyone to see it. It’ll definitely grab your attention under the lights this weekend at Iowa Speedway.”
With the high demands of auto racing, race teams depend on oil and lubricants to keep their cars and transport equipment going strong. This is why Cunningham Motorsports will begin to utilize Performance Plus Lubricants for their race cars most demanding components. “We pride ourselves on having a high performance oil that race teams such as Cunningham Motorsports and Dalton Sargeant can rely on,” said Leigh Harrington, VP of Corporate Marketing for Safety-Kleen. Some of the most significant stress we see on our lubricants comes from racing. Our high quality base oil and superior additive package means our oil not only provides better performance but also withstands the wear and tear of these cars and teams. We’re proud to partner with Sargeant and Cunningham Motorsports and wish him the best of luck at Iowa Speedway.”
With one win already this year, Sargeant has high expectations for this weekend. The 19-year-old competed with the leaders and came away with a top-five finish in his first attempt at Iowa in an ARCA Racing Series machine last season. Sargeant now heads to the track with a new partner, the defending race-winning team in Cunningham Motorsports, all with hopes to earn valuable points in a close championship battle where he currently stands in second position.
“It would be huge to be able to run well at Iowa this weekend,” said Sargeant. “We started off the season strong, hit a few bumps along the way, but the resiliency of this team is exceptional. No matter what has been thrown our way, we always come to the track ready to compete for the win. Over the years, I’ve raced at this track a good amount, Iowa Speedway is really fun to chase different grooves and adapt to changing conditions throughout the race. The guys at the shop have been working hard on this No. 77 Performance Plus Ford Fusion and it’s a car we’ve had success with this season. I think we’re all confident going into the midway point in the ARCA Racing season.”
-Cunningham Motorsport Press Release-
Ready to get back to good ole classic short track racing, ARCA Racing Series rookie Justin Fontaineheads to Madison International Speedway eyeing a career-best finish in Friday night’s Montgomery Ward 200.
With the support of AM Racing and their development team Win-Tron Racing, Fontaine heads to the track looking to shake off the disappointment of Michigan International Speedway last week.
Last weekend in Michigan, Fontaine powered to strong practice times and even showcased a better qualifying performance, but an oiled track sent the Asheville, N.C. native into the wall just seven laps into the 100 lap race, ending his day.
Fontaine is grateful for the experience, but ready to put last week in the rear-view mirror and focus out the windshield on racing under the lights Friday night.
“This Win-Tron Racing team has been able to bring some very fast race cars to the track for me to drive. Now, we just need some luck. I was a little too conservative in my ARCA return at Elko Speedway earlier this month, but I’ve learned from that. Now, I’m ready to go to Madison and see what we can pull off.”
Even though he doesn’t have any prior experience at Madison, the AM Racing developmental driver will lean on Win-Tron Racing team principal Kevin Cywinski and AM Racing crew chief Bill Henderson.
“I am really gelling with my team right now,” added Fontaine, the cousin of NASCAR Truck Series driver Chris Fontaine. “Bill knows what I’m looking for in our ProMATIC Toyota and I’m able to give him the feedback he needs to make the car better. Plus, Kevin’s a veteran of Madison hailing back from his racing days. I’m really optimistic that we can practice, qualify and race in the top-10.”
“The team I’m with is capable of winning and I think if I’m in the right position, I can win. We just need everything to come together to make it all happen. Maybe Madison will do the trick. I’m thrilled to race in tight quarters again.”
Currently 20th in the series’ standings, Fontaine has a career best finish of 11th which came at Elko earlier this month
While sticking with a heavy ARCA schedule for now, Fontaine’s focus is expected to turn towards the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he’ll compete in a limited schedule this summer in an AM Racing entry.