Category Archives: NASCAR

Up and Down the ranks with Cale Gale

Article/Photo by: Brad Newman

Cale Gale may be a household name for some, but not all. To your average spectator, Saturday’s Truck race at Martinsville is just another race where a rich kid can buy a seat and try to compete at a short track. For Cale Gale, this time, it’s something different. Gale hasn’t sat in the seat of a Camping World Truck since the 2013 season, since then he has raced in just about everything BUT the NASCAR’s top three series.

Cale Gale got the call from Shane Huffman, MDM Motorsports and his longtime partner Rheem about a month ago asking him if he’d like to pilot the #99 machine around the paperclip for the Fall Martinsville race. Of course, Cale said yes. But let’s rewind a bit to the 2012 NCWTS Season where Cale had a full-time ride with ESR with Rheem has his exclusive sponsor. He ran well that season, it wasn’t his first shot in the NWCTS, but, it was his first full-time season. In the final event of 2012 Cale and crew chief Jerry Baxter pulled off an amazing strategy call, which earned Cale his first and last NCWTS victory. Cale Gale beat Kyle Busch in his own playground, at his own game that night. And, unfortunately even with an emotional victory lane speech and an excellent showing of talent on the track, Gale remained in limbo for the 2013 season.

During the next calendar year, Cale competed almost full time at the famed Bowman Gray Stadium running Sportsman, and winning races. While doing this he also had the birth of his first child, Camber Gale. Cale continued to crew chief and mentor Brandon Jones in ARCA and K&N, while juggling a newborn and helping his father Bubba run their business, Gale Force Suspension Management. He started a couple NCWTS races near the end of the year and had great showings, finishing thirteenth at Kentucky, sixth at Phoenix and tenth at Homestead. But even with having an entire year off, hopping in and showing he can still compete at NASCAR’s highest level, nothing came of it.

Since that 2013 season, Cale has run everything from a 602 Super Limited all the way to a NASCAR Whelen Modified. I had a chance to ask him what exactly is the learning curve from driving all different types of race cars compared to a NASCAR Truck, “A tour type modified does everything it’s supposed to do. Got big ole tires, a real low center of gravity, nice and wide tread width, lightweight, and plenty of motor.  A truck is more sluggish. Higher center of gravity, heavier, smaller tires.” But this task is nothing Cale can’t handle, he assured me. During these off years, Cale was hired by Roush Fenway Racing as a shock-man, which as many of you know has Gale written all over it. But recently Cale has been kind of the five-tool player of the RFR shop doing everything from simulations to testing with the team at the track.

Gale told me at this point in his career, he hasn’t raced for points in much of anything since 2003. With that being said, he would love the opportunity to compete for a championship in whatever it may be that he races next. He has pondered the idea of possibly running for a championship at the famed quarter mile, Bowman Gray. But, like most things in his racing career, this isn’t set in stone. He had the chance to tell me it’s “truly humbling and unbelievable to be the guy that can still get that call or text in today’s time.” I asked him if he exceeded expectations this weekend, did he believe anything could come of this opportunity. He simply said, “I do have a slight hope that if I do my job that is possible.” And in today’s racing world, that’s all you need…..one opportunity.

Huffman partners with Plan B Sales ahead of Martinsville Debut

(CONCORD, NC)- Plan B Sales, Inc., the largest distributor of Lionel die-cast collectibles, will partner with Landon Huffman as his primary sponsor for the Texas Roadhouse 200 presented by Alpha Energy Solutions at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, October 28. Huffman will pilot the #83 Chevy Silverado.
“I can’t thank Brent and everyone at Plan B Sales enough for coming on board this weekend,” said Landon. “I am excited about creating this new partnership and being part of their marketing program.”
“We are extremely excited to partner with Landon for the Martinsville truck race,” says Brent Powell, owner of Plan B Sales. “It is refreshing to see young short track racing talent get the opportunity on a national stage. Landon has a bright future and we are happy to be involved with him in the early stages of his promising NASCAR career.”
Plan B Sales was founded in 2010 by Brent and Ladonna Powell and quickly became the largest distributor of Lionel die-casts. Based in Concord, N.C., Plan B Sales also provides the retail market with products from Lionel, Chase Authentic, Auto World, Greenlight Collectibles and Wincraft Racing for licensed Motorsports related product lines.
21-year-old Huffman, of Claremont, NC, made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at the Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this season, collecting a Top-20 finish.
“Landon did a phenomenal job at Bristol and we’re excited about Martinsville,” notes CM2’s Michael Boswell. “Landon jumps in with the crew to work on the race truck, is wonderful with sponsors and the fans sure enjoyed spending time with him at Bristol.”
Joining Plan B Sales in support of Landon Huffman are Wrench Rags, Catawba Valley Reclamation, and One Wraps Designs. Additional support comes from associate sponsors ® Spanesi-Americas, Timken, Cyclops Gear, Champion Oil, MARADYNE High Performance Fans, ® Timken, WIX Filters, Redback Boots, Mayhew Tool, Reikken, MARADYNE High Performance Fans, Champion Brands, Excel Bottling / Ski Soda, MechanixWear and WIX Filters.

Huffman to compete in Fall Brawl at Hickory

Off the heels of announcing his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at the end of the month, Landon Huffman will strap-in behind the wheel of his Landon Huffman Racing (LHR) Toyota this weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway for the Cosmo Motors Fall Brawl presented by Calico Coatings.
“Last time out with my car we finished third without any practice,” said Landon. “We made a few changes and I am excited to go 200 laps this weekend. Two big weekends ahead of me and I am enjoying what the good lord gives me.”
The No.75 LHR Toyota Camry Late Model Stock will be adorned by the teams’ sponsors: Wrench Rags, Catawba Valley Reclamation, Huss Bail Bonds, and Sigs Tire.
Huffman, 21-years-old, hopes to conquer the “Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars” for a third time this season when the Bojangles Late Model Stock division takes to the track on Saturday.
Spectator gates open at 5:00 p.m. (ET.) along with the start of qualifying. Pre-race ceremonies are set for 6:15 p.m. (ET.) and racing to follow promptly at 7:00 p.m. (ET.)
Fans can view a detailed schedule of events at hickorymotorspeedway.com

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-