Less than a month after Denny Hamlin celebrated his Daytona 500 crown in the sport’s most famous Victory Lane, Daytona International Speedway has announced adjustments to the traditional 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening race week – changing the course of the popular Busch Clash race and condensing the schedule of Daytona Speedweeks.
Next year, the annual Busch Clash race will kick off the on-track action under the lights Tuesday, Feb. 9, and instead of racing on the Daytona 2.5-mile high banks, stock cars will compete on the track’s road course for the first time.
Daytona president Chip Wile announced the news Wednesday in advance of hosting this weekend’s 50th running of the Daytona Supercross.
“We continue to look for opportunities to differentiate the Busch Clash from the Daytona 500 and obviously everything we do around Speedweeks presented by Advent Health is about building toward the 500,” Wile said. “This is about how we can continue to push and elevate the Busch Clash to be something different. And we’ve done that with a lot of new initiatives the first weekend.
“We’ve seen growth year over year with the Busch Clash and that weekend, but to see the resurgence in road-course racing and the excitement around it from the fans, we thought, why can’t we do this.”
The road course at Daytona is best known for hosting IMSA’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, as well as the Daytona 200, North America’s premier races for sports cars and motorcycles, respectively.
“The famed road course at Daytona has a long and storied history with sports cars and motorcycles and now we can write a new chapter on it with stock cars,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s Vice President of Racing Development. “Fans coming to the track will get to see six consecutive days of exciting NASCAR action, with no days being the same.”
The new schedule and new venue is just another example of NASCAR’s willingness to be open to ideas and enhance what is already viewed as the highest profile week in stock car racing.
The action-packed six-day schedule for 2021 Speedweeks will now start with the Busch Clash road course event Tuesday, Feb. 9, and culminate with the Daytona 500 on Valentine’s Day – Sunday, Feb. 14.
After the Busch Clash road-course event, Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger will take place Wednesday, Feb. 10. The Bluegreen Vacations Duel races to set the rest of the Daytona 500 field will remain on a Thursday evening, Feb. 11, followed by the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race Friday, Feb. 12.
Saturday, Feb. 13, will become a double-header with the NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener and the ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200. Then “The Great American Race,” the Daytona 500, will take place Feb. 14, putting an exclamation point on the week of speed.
The change in course for the Busch Clash adds a new dimension to NASCAR’s opening week and certainly provides a new viewing opportunity for fans, who can watch the race from Daytona’s infield as well as the grandstands.
“NASCAR fans have asked for more road-course competition and the industry is listening,” Wile said. “With the talent level the Busch Clash brings to the table, the race will now clearly have its own look and feel during Speedweeks in 2021.
“The new placement on the Speedweeks schedule also adds to the anticipation. That switch will make for a fuller Speedweeks calendar. Fans also will have the opportunity to engage in a festive infield atmosphere similar to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
A friend is being honored.
On March 17, a humble, self-effacing man who became a top IndyCar driver and went on to establish himself by many estimates as the best chief steward in the history of American racing, will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA).
“Wally Dallenbach was an outstanding driver,” says MSHFA President George Levy. “But the work he did as chief steward changed racing and saved lives. Few have had a bigger impact on the sport.”
A self-made racer from New Jersey, Dallenbach competed in dragsters, stock cars, midgets and sprint cars before making his name as the winner of five IndyCar races with the team owned by 2018 inductee U.E. “Pat” Patrick in the mid-’70s, including the 1973 California 500. During this time Dallenbach moved west to Colorado and started the Colorado 500 charity motorcycle ride – now in its 45th year – before retiring in 1980 to become CART’s chief steward.
Years back I remember Wally racing Sprint cars with the United Racing Club under a fake name to keep from getting in trouble with a major sanctioning organization.
Over the following two decades Dallenbach built a reputation as a cool-headed, even-handed steward who spearheaded improvements in all aspects of motor racing safety. With the help of doctors Steve Olvey and Terry Trammell and safety directors Steve Edwards and Lon Bromley, he developed the sport’s most progressive, state-of-the-art safety and medical team. By working closely with the teams and car builders, Dallenbach and his group also influenced improvements in car and cockpit construction, especially better ways to absorb energy on impact.
Dallenbach was so trusted that Princess Diana left her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, with the Dallenbachs at their Colorado ranch during a visit to the United States.
“The big thing that I’m especially proud of is that I had my part in improving safety,” Dallenbach told Gordon Kirby, author of the excellent Racemaker Press biography Wally Dallenbach: Steward of the Sport. “Back in those days (some of the other sanctioning bodies) had their head in the sand and we were moving ahead. We were the innovators and eventually, after they lost some people, they learned from us.”
Renowned team owner Chip Ganassi (MSHFA Class of 2016), who will present Dallenbach for induction, put the former steward’s achievements in perspective.
“Wally was the unrivaled master of all chief stewards,” Ganassi said. “When you look at safety and who drove it, you look at people like Bill Simpson (MSHFA Class of 2003), Wally, and the guys who did the HANS device. Wally is right there at the top of the ladder as a leader in safety. Wally is a humble guy but he’s a giant in the industry. He had a larger impact on the sport than 99% of the people in motor racing.”
Adds 1990 inductee Mario Andretti: “Wally was highly respected. He was a voice of reason, one that you could disagree with but at the same time have a healthy debate with. He supported all the efforts to improve car safety and build CART’s medical team. In fact, he was a leader in that way and set the standard for the sport that stands to this day.”
The MSHFA’s 32nd Induction Ceremony Presented by Firestone will take place March 17, at the Shores Resort & Spa Hotel. In addition to Dallenbach, who will be inducted in the Open Wheel category, the evening’s honorees will be Red Byron (Historic), Chris Carr (Motorcycles), Floyd Clymer (At Large), Rick Hendrick (Stock Cars), Jacky Ickx (Sports Cars), Tiny Lund (Historic),
“Ohio George” Montgomery (Drag Racing) and Ivan “Ironman” Stewart (Off Road). Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will serve as Honorary Chairman.
MSHFA Induction Week also includes the annual Heroes of Horsepower Reception, Monday, March 16, at the MSHFA Museum, a Monday inductee luncheon and Tuesday inductee breakfast.
Information and tickets for all events are available by visiting www.MSHF.com or by calling (386) 681-6843.
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is on Instagram and Twitter at @MotorsportsHOF and Facebook at www.facebook.com/MotorsportsHOF/.
Tony Stewart Store, the official apparel and merchandise supplier of Tony Stewart Racing, Eldora Speedway, and Smoke, is pleased to announce that ten percent of combined sales collected throughout the entire month of March via online store portals and traveling merchandise trailer will be donated directly to Grady Chandler’s recovery fund and family.
In addition, Tony Stewart Foundation, an organization that provides grant funding to well-qualified organizations serving children who are critically ill or physically disabled; animals at-risk or endangered; and drivers injured in the sport of motor racing, has agreed to match the ten percent gained, which will also be donated directly to Grady Chandler.
Chandler (19) was injured in a non-wing sprint car accident during a USAC event at Creek County Speedway in Creek County, Oklahoma, on July 26. The Piedmont, Oklahoma-native suffered fractures in many of his vertebrae including his C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5.
Scheduled to be discharged from an Atlanta hospital on March 3, an issue resurfaced with his coccyx, an injury sustained during the incident at Creek County Speedway, which has forced Chandler to resort to bedrest for the next several months, or until the issue heals. Once the issue heals, Chandler can proceed with therapy. As a result, Chandler’s family has decided to uproot from Oklahoma and move to Atlanta until Chandler’s medical issues have been resolved.
“The last thing we ever want to hear about is a racer getting hurt, but when times like that occur, the best response we can give is support,” Tony Stewart explained. “Grady’s bravery and willingness to never give up is truly inspiring. It’s stories like his that make us want to get involved and do our part in pushing Grady toward a healthy and speedy recovery.”
The ten percent total sales tally will begin Sunday, March 1, and extend through Tuesday, March 31. Any apparel updates and/or specials will be posted online, as well as on social media.
NASCAR and Blue-Emu have announced a multi-year agreement designating the company as an Official Partner of NASCAR, Martinsville Speedway and Motor Racing Network (MRN). As part of the agreement, Blue-Emu will serve as the entitlement sponsor of NASCAR Cup Series™ spring events at Martinsville Speedway, with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 debuting under the lights on Saturday, May 9.
“Blue-Emu’s integrated NASCAR approach will take center stage at Martinsville Speedway under the lights,” said Frank Kelleher, senior vice president and chief sales officer, NASCAR. “Combining the massive reach of NASCAR with fan sponsor loyalty provides partners an attractive platform to grow their brands.”
In addition to the Martinsville Speedway race entitlement, Blue-Emu will actively engage fans at NASCAR tracks across the country by providing product sampling opportunities. The pain relief company is no stranger to NASCAR. They currently work with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace and have sponsored multiple teams dating back to 2014.
“NFI Consumer Products has been a fan and friend of NASCAR for a number of years, so this sponsorship is a natural expansion of that partnership. The NASCAR fan base has been a strong and loyal customer of Blue-Emu and we believe they will help us continue to grow as a national brand,” said Susan Gregory, CEO, Blue-Emu. “The highly anticipated Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, debuting under the lights, will highlight our track partnership and provide a new opportunity to showcase our products and engage with consumers.”
The Blue-Emu product line is the No.1 selling emu oil brand in the United States and recently announced a multi-year partnership with the MLB, which included exclusive deals with 13 of its clubs. As part of the NASCAR agreement, Blue-Emu’s Original Super Strength will serve as an Official Partner of NASCAR, Blue-Emu’s Maximum Pain Relief Cream is the “Official Pain Relief Cream of NASCAR®”, Blue-Emu’s Continuous Spray is the “Official Pain Relief Spray of NASCAR®,” and Blue-Emu’s Patch is the “Official Pain Patch of NASCAR®”.
The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 will be held on Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM. Tickets for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at NASCAR.com/tickets
King of Dirt Racing will make history in the Granite State in 2020. The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) will host the King of Dirt Racing (KOD) Crate Modified Series under the lights on Friday, September 11 as part of Full Throttle Dirt, marking the first-ever dirt Modified stock car race on the 0.25-mile flat track.
The two-day Full Throttle Fall Weekend, including Full Throttle Dirt, offers a wide variety of racing on four different track layouts, and the KOD race promises to be one of the most prestigious events in the series’ history. The 40-lap feature race will pay $2,000-to-win, $200 to start, and offers a guaranteed $100 in tow money to drivers who do not qualify for the feature. The USAC Dirt Midget Association and the Sprint Cars of New England will also be in action on Friday night at The Flat Track.
The famous 1.058-mile paved “Magic Mile” takes center stage on Saturday, September 12, with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Musket 200 presented by Whelen and championship finales for the all-new ARCA Menards Series East and the American-Canadian Tour Late Models. The Granite State Legend Cars are also racing both days, on the 0.95-mile modified road course on Friday afternoon and the 0.25-mile mini oval on Saturday morning.
The Flat Track is located directly behind the North East Motor Sports Museum on New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s 1,200-acre facility in Loudon, N.H. and first opened in June 2019. Exciting improvements are already underway for 2020 which will include added track width, banking in the corners, and 2,000 yards of new natural clay surface trucked in from Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont.
The addition of KOD to the Full Throttle Weekend has been almost a year in the making.
“We are excited to enhance our Full Throttle Weekend with events at The Flat Track, including King of Dirt Modifieds, to add even more racing action for our fans,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “We can’t wait to bring new fans and new racers here from New England, New York, Canada, and beyond, and to give our longtime fans a thrilling new race to be a part of.”
King of Dirt Racing officials anticipate a competitive event at NHMS and an influx of Sportsman Modified racers from Vermont, New Hampshire, and elsewhere to join the KOD regulars from New York and Vermont; the event will be KOD’s first in the state of New Hampshire and the farthest east that tour will have ever traveled.
“The timing for this race is great in 2020,” said King of Dirt Racing promoter Mike Bruno. “KOD has great momentum, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the largest racing facility in New England, so The Flat Track is the perfect place to bring our exciting dirt track action to. The new clay from Devil’s Bowl will make a great surface at The Flat Track, and we’re looking forward to something totally new and different.”
The Full Throttle Dirt event is race number three of five on the 2020 King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series schedule. Other events will be held in New York State at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and Fonda Speedway, along with two events at Devil’s Bowl in Vermont. Bobby Hackel of Rensselaer, N.Y., won his first King of Dirt Racing championship in 2019.
She has to be up in years. One of racing’s true pioneers will compete this summer at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear and she will appear in Detroit this weekend at one of the Motor City’s annual automotive celebrations.
Lyn St. James, recognized as one of the top 100 female athletes of the century by Sports Illustrated, will race in the Historic Trans-Am Series events during Grand Prix weekend on Belle Isle. The former INDYCAR SERIES driver will race the classic 1969 University of Pittsburgh Chevrolet Camaro in the Historic Trans-Am Series, new to the Grand Prix lineup in 2020. The series, which features the original cars that raced in the “Golden Era” of Trans Am competition in the late 1960s and early 70s, will host races on both Saturday and Sunday during the Grand Prix race weekend.
“I am so excited to be racing in Detroit this summer at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear,” said St. James. “I’ve always loved the racing fans in the Motor City and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Autorama this weekend. The Historic Trans-Am Series is going to be a great addition to the racing lineup on Belle Isle this summer and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the University of Pittsburgh Camaro and put on a good show for the fans in Detroit.”
St. James became the first woman to win Rookie of the Year honors at the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 when she also broke the barrier as the first woman to race at over 200 miles per hour on track. She is one of only nine women to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 and she competed in the legendary race seven times. Over the course of her career, St. James also earned numerous IMSA sports car victories, including wins in two of the world’s most prestigious endurance races – the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. St. James has also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and she produced 21 international and national closed-course speed records over a 20-year period.
In addition to the two Historic Trans-Am Series races on the Belle Isle street circuit, the Grand Prix will once again host the only doubleheader weekend on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule – the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit – along with the exotic sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic. The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will also race twice during the Grand Prix weekend as fans will witness seven races from four different series competing on Belle Isle.
For the first time in event history, Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops program, an event honoring one of open wheel racing’s most loyal and dedicated supporters – the late Justin Snyder – as well as a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of benefits for wounded veterans of the military actions following September 11, will uproot from Pennsylvania and move to northeast Ohio’s Sharon Speedway in 2020, officially padding a must-see weekend that now feature’s the 12th Annual Lou Blaney Memorial and Salute to the Troops on back-to-back days, each sanctioned by the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1.
The fifth annual Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops event, awarding a $6,000 top prize, will be contested on Sunday, July 12, immediately following the $6,000-to-win Lou Blaney Memorial on Saturday, July 11.
“After four successful years in Central PA, we are extremely excited to bring Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops race back home to Sharon Speedway,” Derek Snyder explained, older brother of the late Justin Snyder and the Executive Manager & Partner of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC. “My family’s passion for racing began at Sharon Speedway. My earliest memories are my brother and I attending our father’s company picnic hosted at Sharon Speedway during the Sharon Nationals, then camping out with our aunts, uncles, and cousins in the parking lot. Our father supported the track with pace cars and sponsorships clear back to the mid-80’s. Snyder Pontiac Buick GMC Cadillac also sponsored Lou Blaney for several years. So, having the privilege to host Justin’s race the same weekend as the Lou Blaney Memorial is an incredible honor.”
Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops program was hosted at BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pennsylvania, during its first four editions before making the switch to Sharon Speedway. The All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned editions two through four with Gerard McIntrye, Jr. winning the most recent contest in 2019. Three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart won the event title in 2018, with the late Greg Hodnett winning the first Salute to the Troops event with All Star involvement in 2017. Danny Dietrich, Central PA’s defending sprint car champion, earned the inaugural, unsanctioned event victory in 2016.
“It just seemed very fitting for me to keep this going by bringing the race to Sharon Speedway. This is something I believe my brother would be incredibly proud of,” Derek Snyder continued. “I’m so grateful for our family’s relationship with Lou and Kate Blaney over the years. I wanted to be certain that I had Kate’s blessing prior to even considering this move and date. Thankfully, she obliged and here we are. I want to thank Jared of the All Stars for the Series’ support, as well. This race has really taken on a life of its own, especially when you look at the past winners including Danny Dietrich, Greg Hodnett, Tony Stewart, and Gerard McIntyre, Jr. I encourage all of our friends and family, including our Central PA racing family, to join us in keeping Justin’s memory alive as we honor our nation’s bravest!”
More news and information pertaining to Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops program, such as gate times and ticket prices, will be posted in the near future. Fans are encouraged to stay alert online at www.sharonspeedway.com, as well as on all available social media outlets.
Fans unable to make the journey to Sharon Speedway for Lou Blaney Memorial / Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops weekend can still witness the events online, live exclusively at FloRacing. To access live coverage visit www.floracing.com and become an annual PRO subscriber. The subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network.
Clinton County Motor Speedway Prepares for 2020 Race Season Under New Management.The Clinton County Fair Association announced plans for the 2020 racing season at the 3/8th mile dirt oval located in Mill Hall, PA. The Clinton County Motor Speedway will begin its 32nd year of operations.
The Fair Association has decided to be the operators of the speedway with assistance and guidance of former race promoter Jason McCahan, who promoted the speedway from 2002-2004. “The board felt it was the right time to take control of the speedway to ensure that it opened in 2020,” said fair board president, Phil Courter. “We watched the success of the Juniata County Fair Association and Port Royal Speedway and would like to replicate that here. We are pleased to have Jason back with us for this new era of racing at Clinton County.”
“Clinton County is my hometown track,” said McCahan. “I remember being here for the inaugural race when it opened in 1989. Over the years it has had its ups and downs with various promotional teams. It is my goal to help the fair build a stable weekly program that will gain strong support from the racing community and its fans. The races are a great family entertainment venue.”
The speedway plans to open on Friday, May 1st with the Limited Late Models as the headline division. The following week on May 8th, the Racesaver Sprint Cars sanctioned by the Laurel Highlands Sprint Series will be the featured division. The two divisions will share the spotlight throughout the 2020 season.
In addition to the headlining divisions, the 270 Micro Sprints, 600 Micro Sprints, Pro Stock and 4 Cylinder Stock cars will be featured weekly. “We have had a number of Pro Stock drivers from Selinsgrove Speedway and Port Royal Speedway express an interest in racing Friday nights at Clinton County, so we have made them a weekly division.” added McCahan. “We are doing the same thing with the270 Micro Sprints and 600 Micro Sprints, we believe as a weekly division more drivers can commit to making Clinton County their weekly Friday night speedway.”
The four-cylinder division will see the most change in 2020, as the rules will return to a stock division. “We had strong support by the four-cylinder class when it was a stock division in 2002,” said McCahan. “Many of our current Late Model and Pro Stock drivers started their racing careers in the four-cylinder class, so I feel that it is important to return this division to an economical-grass-roots racing division.”
The schedule will feature weekly racing from May through September. Special events and promotions will be announced as details are confirmed.
“We are thankful for those in the racing community who have assisted us to ensure the speedway opens in 2020,” said Courter. “It has been a busy start to 2020 with a great deal of work that has taken place behind the scenes.”
For more information about the Clinton County Motor Speedway, including the 2020 Schedule and Division rules, visit www.clintonountymotorspeedway.com or follow Clinton County Motor Speedway on Facebook.
Not Your Momma’s Kitchen Named New Food and Beverage Provider At Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. The Board of Directors of the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway announced a new agreement with Not Your Momma’s Kitchen to provide food and beverage services to the Newmanstown, PA facility. Long known for their excellent food and service, Not Your Momma’s Kitchen is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Club President Jim Harrington said, “A first-class facility requires a first-class concessionaire. They came highly regarded from some of our board members, and became an obvious first choice.”
One of the new food and beverage options is pit area catering, with teams having the option to order food and have it delivered to their pit location before the events start. Harrington said of the new pit area food options, “With the new pit-side catering, racers and teams have one less thing to worry about before race day.” Family and pit crew sized meal deals will be on the menu, with a fresh-made pizza, two subs, and four drinks selling for less than $30.
With Not Your Momma’s Kitchen doing sampling at their existing location for several weeks now, new menu items coming to The Clyde have already been through a rigorous testing process. This new menu includes a walking version of Not Your Momma’s Kitchen’s famous chicken and waffles. Proprietor Jo May also noted that there will be a special sandwich offered each week of the season, with options such as fresh cooked pit beef and whole hog pulled pork under consideration. “We are sourcing all of our ingredients locally. Fresh vegetables, fresh meats, fresh everything. Fresh cut French fries, straight from the field,” May added.
For both the spectators and participants, this is the most family friendly concession stand in the racing world. Several kid’s menu options will be available for under five dollars, all including a kid sized entrée, fries, and a drink. Packages to combine race tickets with food and drinks are also being considered. Harrington summarized the new partnership this way, “With everything being homemade, it reminds me of going to your grandmother’s house for dinner. It has that family feel and a taste of home; but with a pizazz that says it’s not your momma’s kitchen.” The new and improved concessions will be available during inspection weekend, March 28 & 29, with a limited breakfast and lunch menu available; while the full menu kicks off with the April 4 No Wing Spring Fling.
The regular points season gets rolling on April 11, with the new class structure featuring a combined 125 and 4-Stroke division, plus $500 to win payouts across every class beginning that night. 2020 is sure to be the best year in the history of Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, and there has never been a better time to Live The Excitement That Is LANCO!