Jimmy John's re-ups with Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick
RELATED: Drivers on the move in 2017 Stewart-Haas Racing announced Thursday that Jimmy John's has renewed its partnership with its No. 4 Chevrolet team and driver Kevin Harvick in a multiyear agreement. With the extension, Jimmy John's will be the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Chevy in 16 races, including the season-opening Daytona 500 . The Illinois-based sandwich chain will serve as a major associate sponsor in the remaining 22 events. Jimmy John's has been associated with Harvick as a primary sponsor in NASCAR's top division since 2011. Jimmy John's followed Harvick from Richard Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas in 2014, expanding its backing of his racing efforts. "We are fortunate to partner with Kevin for many years in a very meaningful way," restaurant founder Jimmy John Liautaud said in a release provided by the team. "On and off the track, Kevin and (wife) DeLana Harvick are winners in all they do, and Stewart-Haas Racing has proven to be an excellent home for them and for Jimmy John's ." Said Harvick: "I've known Jimmy since 2009 and I've personally seen how driven he is and how his work ethic is embraced by Jimmy John's franchise owners. He wants to be the best, period. And he'll out-work everyone to be the best. That's the same mindset we have in racing. I'm proud to continue this partnership with Jimmy John's at Stewart-Haas Racing ." Jimmy John's also sponsored Harvick's efforts as an owner/driver from 2009-10 in what is now known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Post-Race Reactions: John Deere Dealers 250
Edwards, Sorenson and Sadler comment on an exciting and challenging race in Iowa .
Sisters Paige, Claire Decker attempt XFINITY Series race at Iowa
The Decker sisters -- Paige, 23, and Claire, 21 -- were back on a NASCAR national series track at Iowa Speedway this weekend as they attempted to qualify for Sunday's American Ethanol E15 250 Presented by Enogen (1:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.) Competing for Obaika Racing, Claire piloted the No. 77 Vroom Brands Chevrolet, and Paige drove the No. 97 Vroom Brands Chevrolet. This was the sisters' attempt at a NASCAR XFINITY Series debut. ( UPDATE: Paige Decker qualified for Sunday's race while Claire did not. Paige finished in 31st place Sunday at Iowa after being forced to head to the garage with a mechanical failure.) It's happening! Get in on the hype as Paige and Claire prepare to tear up the track at Iowa for Xfinity Debut... https://t.co/VG8qYmyucC — ObaikaRacing (@ObaikaRacing) June 16, 2016 Both sisters, from Eagle River, Wisconsin, qualified for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Alpha Energy Solutions 250 in April at Martinsville. In just the second time that sisters ever competed in a Truck Series race, Paige finished 25th and Claire 27th. Claire Decker will compete in Saturday night's Speediatrics 200 Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway after qualifying 32nd. She is driving Jennifer Jo Cobb 's No. 10 Driven2Honor.org Chevrolet. Their cousin, Natalie Decker, failed to qualify for that event. Natalie and Claire are both NASCAR Drive for Diversity alumni.
Erik Jones wins pole for XFINITY Series race at Iowa
RELATED: Full lineup for Sunday's race Erik Jones won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award on Saturday at Iowa Speedway for Sunday's NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 Presented by Enogen (1:30 p.m. ET, FS1). This is the Joe Gibbs Racing driver's sixth pole award of the season and the ninth of his XFINITY Series career. Jones also won the pole for last year's race at Iowa and finished third, a career-best at the .88-mile track. Recent winner and XFINITY Series points leader Daniel Suarez will line up second to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. Sam Hornish Jr ., Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler complete the starting top five on the leaderboard. Ben Kennedy , who is making his XFINITY Series debut and led both practices on Friday, will line up sixth. Sisters Claire and Paige Decker were attempting to qualify for their first XFINITY Series event on Saturday, but only Paige made the starting lineup. Paige will line up 40th in her No. 97 Chevrolet on Sunday. The only previous winners in the field are Brad Keselowski , Sadler and Hornish Jr.
JGR pit crews make swap in-race at Iowa
RELATED: Complete race results " Watch final laps NEWTON, Iowa -- Pit crew swaps mid-race are not common in NASCAR, but Joe Gibbs Racing made a change around the halfway point of Sunday's XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway that ultimately benefitted race-winner Sam Hornish Jr . With teammate Daniel Suarez 's No. 19 crew routinely beating Hornish's No. 18 off pit road and Erik Jones 's No. 20 running several laps down due to a fuel pickup issue, an opportunity presented itself. The Nos. 18 and 20 pit crews swapped teams. "I kind of talked to Steve (deSouza, executive vice president of NASCAR XFINITY /Development for Joe Gibbs Racing )," Chris Gayle, crew chief of the No. 18 team said after the race. "Once we knew the 20 was down -- they weren't going to be a factor in the race ... We had just struggled. Iowa's always tough because we're spoiled with having our (Sprint) Cup pit crews on normal weekends. The non-companions, we don’t have any familiarity with the pit crews we really use for these. "The 19 had beaten us on a couple stops earlier and it had gotten down to where there is one stop left and if it's us and the 19 racing, I'm going to lose to them off pit road because they've beaten me in three previous stops. So to not do anything is going to be my fault." Serving as the liaison, deSouza went between the two teams as the swap was contemplated. "I went to talk to the 20 crew chief (Chris Gabehart) and say, 'Hey if we want to implement something like this are you good with it?' I went to him first," deSouza told NASCAR.com. "And he said, 'Listen, we are laps down. Whatever you think is the best thing to do, do it.' " The switch Sunday proved successful as Hornish went on to win his first NASCAR race since the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . He led 183 of the 250 laps in the race, including the final 111 circuits. Suarez, last week's winner at Michigan, finished in fourth and left Iowa still holding the lead in points. Jones finished 27th, seven laps down. Gayle pulled the move out of a playbook even six-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus has used. One of the most well-known pit swaps came at Texas Motor Speedway in the fall 2010 race between the Hendrick Motorsports teams of Jeff Gordon (No. 24) and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48). The teams swapped pit crews mid-race after Gordon was involved in a crash in the race. Johnson went on to catch JGR's Denny Hamlin for the title in the final two races when the switch was made permanent. The race win was the ninth victory for JGR in 14 XFINITY Series races this season.
What rust? Hornish stomps field en route to Iowa win
RELATED: Complete race results NEWTON, Iowa -- Sam Hornish Jr ., who hadn’t been in a car in 210 days, gave himself the perfect Father’s Day present on Sunday -- a dominant victory in the sixth annual NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway . Hornish, who last competed in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway , received a call Monday from Joe Gibbs Racing to substitute for injured driver Matt Tifft . He made the most of the opportunity, picking up his fourth career XFINITY Series win and second at Iowa . Overall, it was JGR’s ninth triumph in 14 races this season. “I don’t know, it doesn’t get much better than that,” said an emotional Hornish in Victory Lane. “Just gotta thank Toyota, everyone from Joe Gibbs Racing for getting me out here and giving me this opportunity. Got my wife and kids here, it’s the first time the kids got to be here for one of dad’s wins. “I can’t tell you what this means to me. I worked so hard to try to get a win when I had my kids here. Gotta thank God. He makes things happen. I was so nervous on Friday getting into the car thinking I’m going to make a mistake, and man, to go out there and win the way that we did. Just can’t say anything more about it." Ty Dillon attempted to make a charge on Hornish on a Lap 224 restart, but settled for second, finishing ahead of Brad Keselowski . "I don't know, I guess we just needed to be a little bit better,” Dillon said. “The No. 18 (Hornish) was so dominant on the bottom (groove). I thought, obviously, we were the best car on the top (groove). "Just needed a little bit more speed. I'm proud of my guys. We were kind of a mid-pack car and did what we needed to do to put ourselves in position -- something we talked about all week -- and we did a great job." Hornish took the lead from last week’s XFINITY Series winner Daniel Suarez on Lap 24, setting the tone that the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were going to be hard to beat. The two drivers swapped the lead on pit road on two occasions before several competitors elected to use varying pit strategies following the event’s third caution on Lap 126. Hornish restarted sixth, but only took 13 laps to get back to the race lead, passing Suarez on Lap 139 and never relinquishing. Championship contender Erik Jones , who scored his fifth pole of 2016, had to drop to the rear before the race for an unapproved body modification. Jones, however, was never a factor as he battled fuel pressure issues, finishing 27th. The NASCAR XFINITY Series takes a week off before returning to Daytona International Speedway on July 1 for the running of the Subway Firecracker 250 .
Top pit crews of 2016 as voted on by coaches
RELATED: Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew When we decided to start the All Pit Road Team five years ago we wanted to make it as legit as possible. In the past, we had crew members vote on who they thought were the best of the best. This year we changed it up a bit and sent out a ballot to each organization and had one coach's ballot turned back in from each organization. We had a great response from the coaches, and below are the crewmen who were selected. Just like last year, only members of the 16 Chase pit crews were eligible for the awards. If there was a tie in voting, the crewman whose team finished highest in the points won. Front Tire Changer First Team: No. 41 Shane Pipala (5) Second Team: No. 2 Hunter Masling (5) Third Team: No. 11 Dustin Necaise (4) Honorable Mention: No. 19 Clay Robinson (3) Front Tire Carrier First Team: No. 19 Kevin Harris (4) Second Team: No. 22 Dylan Dowell (3) Third Team: No. 11 Brandon Pegram (3) Honorable Mention: No. 2 Jeremy Ogles (3) Jackman First Team: No. 22 Ray Gallahan (4) Second Team: No. 11 Nate Bolling (4) Third Team: No. 42 Graham Molatch (4) Honorable Mention: No. 41 Sean Cotten (3) Rear Tire Changer First Team: No. 11 Mike Hicks (7) Second Team: No. 22 Zach Price (4) Third Team: No. 18 Jake Seminara (4) Honorable Mention: No. 19 Kip Wolfmeir (3) Rear Tire Carrier First Team: No. 11 Heath Cherry (4) Second Team: No. 19 Matt Ver Meer (3) Third Team: No. 20 Blake Haugland (3) Honorable Mention: No. 41 Dwayne Moore (3) Gasman First Team: No. 11 Caleb Hurd (4) Second Team: No. 22 Kellen Mills (2) Third Team: No. 18 Tom Lampe (2) Honorable Mention: No. 41 Justin Wilson (2) Pit Crew of the year (Voted on by pit crew coaches) Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 (5) Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 (4) Kurt Busch , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 (4) Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year (Voted on by crew chiefs) Jimmie Johnson , Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com.
Full schedule for Iowa
The NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race at Iowa Speedway this week, while the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off. Check out the full weekend schedule below. Note: All times are ET SUNDAY, JUNE 19: -- 1:30:00 Intro Presentation of Colors: Iowa National Guard -- 1:30:10 Intro Moment of Silence -- 1:30:20 Invocation by : Brian Keeton, Chaplin, Iowa Speedway Ministries -- 1:30:45 Intro National Anthem -- 1:31:00 National Anthem by : Specialist Mark Meier from the 34th Army Band -- 1:32:15 Fly- By TOT: KC Flight Formation Team (Turn 4 to Turn 1) -- 1:37:15 "Drivers, start your engines by : grand marshal Chris Schwarck, Board Member of Absolute Energy and Big River Resources -- 1:44:15: Green Flag -- American Ethanol E15 250 Presented by Enogen ( 250 laps, 218.75 miles), FS1 ( Results ) DAILY ROUNDUP -- Hornish wins as fill-in at Iowa -- Jones faces fuel cell problem at Iowa FRIDAY, JUNE 17: -- 3-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS2 ( Results ) -- 4:30-5:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, FS2, moves to FS1 at 5 p.m. ( Results ) -- 6-6:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 7-7:55 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) DAILY ROUNDUP -- Kennedy tops first two NXS practices -- ThorSport teams ready for Iowa despite shop fire -- Chase outlook for drivers on the bubble -- Jonas brother a Dale Jarrett fan? -- German vacation with Junior and Amy -- Decker sisters try to make NXS race -- No place like Iowa for Byron SATURDAY, JUNE 18: -- 4:45 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS2 ( Results ) -- 6:45 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1. ( Results ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Speediatrics 200 (200 laps, 175 miles), FS1 ( Results ) DAILY ROUNDUP -- Byron wins second consecutive Truck Series race -- Hornish Jr. returns, no sign of rust -- Kennedy is fast learner and just plain fast -- Bowman's back and hungry for more
American Ethanol, Enogen named sponsors for June Iowa XFINITY race
RELATED: Buy tickets NEWTON, Iowa (May 3, 2016) -- Iowa Speedway today announced American Ethanol will serve as the entitlement sponsor and Enogen as the presenting sponsor for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race during Wide Opening Weekend on June 18-19. The NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen on Sunday, June 19, represents the fifth consecutive year of the American Ethanol partnership and the fourth consecutive year with Enogen at Iowa Speedway . While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series idles for a week, the green flag will wave at Iowa Speedway for a first-of-its-kind doubleheader weekend in central Iowa . For the first time ever, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series are paired together during Wide Opening Weekend on June 18-19. “American Ethanol and Enogen stepping up to sponsor our NASCAR XFINITY Series race is another great indicator of the important platform Iowa Speedway and NASCAR provide to brands,” said Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small. “The adoption of biofuels grown and made in the USA, creating much needed green jobs in Iowa and across the Heartland is one of the tenets of NASCAR Green. American Ethanol has proven to be a tremendous partner not only for Iowa Speedway , but for NASCAR’s teams, fans and the industry as a whole.” American Ethanol and Enogen were the former title and presenting sponsors of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway . American Ethanol, along with Enogen, join the Iowa Corn Growers Association in renewing their long standing relationships with the speedway in 2016. “As NASCAR approaches 10 million flawless miles running on Sunoco Green E15, we’re excited for yet another opportunity to showcase the power and the high-quality performance ethanol brings to the race track,” said Jeff Broin, co-chair of Growth Energy. “It’s no secret biofuels create jobs in our country and work great in our engines. American Ethanol is proud to partner with Iowa Speedway and the NASCAR XFINITY series to show that an ethanol-based bio-fuel is the future.” Representing a wide array of ethanol supporters, from farmers to bio-engineering firms, American Ethanol was established by Growth Energy in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association to increase awareness of the value of American-made ethanol. Ethanol represents the most commercially-viable alternative to 100% petroleum-based fuel that America currently holds, and corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent. “Ethanol is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, lowering prices at the pump, improving the environment with lower emissions, and growing the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Jack Bernens, head of Enogen at Syngenta. “Ethanol is an important success story and the American Ethanol E15 250 is an excellent opportunity to engage consumers and help increase awareness for the benefits of earth-friendly American ethanol. Syngenta is pleased to once again be working with Iowa Speedway and Growth Energy to support the ethanol industry through our sponsorship of this event to tell ethanol’s story.” In 2011, NASCAR launched its long-term biofuels program to reduce emissions of the fuel used in all its racing series. As part of the partnership, NASCAR’s three national touring series began using Sunoco Green E15; a 15% ethanol blend bio-fuel, made from American-grown corn. By utilizing Sunoco Green E15 race fuel, NASCAR has demonstrated that ethanol-blended fuel performs when held to the highest standards. Iowa Speedway season tickets, which are currently on sale, include eight high-powered races over three weekends. Wide Opening Weekend will feature both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen during Father’s Day Weekend on June 18-19. The second weekend of racing will showcase the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores, the INDYCAR Series Iowa Corn 300, Indy Lights and Pro Mazda Championship on July 9-10. The 2016 race season will close on July 29-30 with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 and NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 .
Kaz Grala lands full-time 2017 ride with GMS
STATESVILLE, N.C. (December 5, 2016) -- GMS Racing announces today that Massachusetts-native Kaz Grala will pilot the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado full time in 2017, across all 23 races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). The soon-to-be 18-year-old rookie, a part-time driver at GMS Racing in 2016, accomplished three top-10 results in only nine races and has now earned a larger opportunity to step up to full-time competition in one of NASCAR's premier racing series. In recent years, Kaz has made a name for himself in Late Model racing by breaking records. In his first race at fabled Hickory Motor Speedway, Kaz won the 2013 UARA 150 and became the youngest winner in series history. The following year, he became the youngest NASCAR winner in Caraway Speedway history when he held off the Whelen All-American Series National Champion to win the 171-lap event. In 2015, Kaz won his Pro All Stars Series debut at South Boston Speedway with a dominant performance, leading 131 of 150 laps. Kaz differentiates himself by tearing up road-course events each year. He has won the 12 hours of NJMP, the 13 hours of VIR, and competed in the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, the pinnacle of sports-car racing in America. Kaz made it to the final round in NCWTS qualifying in all but one race in 2016. He scored his first top-10 finish in only his second start in the series at Dover International Speedway . In his first race at Gateway Motorsports Park , Kaz brought home yet another top-10 finish. At the rookie's home track, New Hampshire Motor Speedway , he brought home his best finish of 2016, a 7th-place result. "I am beyond thankful to have an opportunity with GMS Racing to run full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017. This organization has been on a steep rise the past couple of years, and it's been fun being a part of it in 2016," remarked an excited Grala. Joining the GMS Racing stable in 2017 is veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter who claims time in the principal team role in all three of NASCAR's top racing series, dating back to 1986. Baxter has worked with a variety of NASCAR notables and most recently recorded four seasons with Kyle Busch Motorsports and in 2016 with rookie Chase contender Christopher Bell . "I'm looking forward to next season with GMS and working through this transition with Kaz. I really enjoy helping young drivers get started in this series and developing their talent, and I saw what Kaz accomplished in the few races he ran last season," said Baxter. Next season Baxter will tackle year seven in the Camping World Truck Series and looks to add to his series resume of nine wins, 38 top-five finishes, 67 top-10 finishes, six pole-qualifying positions and 1,426 laps led, with the No. 33 team and Grala. Kaz further described his eagerness for next season, "GMS Racing has really gone out of their way to bring some of the best people in the industry on board, and Jerry Baxter is no exception. I'm extremely excited to get to work with Jerry, who not only is a great match for me personality-wise, but also is very accomplished in the NASCAR world. I am looking forward to returning to the No. 33 Chevy Silverado, which I made a few starts in this year. Hopefully Jerry's experience on top of the box will complement my Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender status, and bring success to the team next year." In three full-time seasons in the NCWTS, GMS Racing has earned seven wins and recently captured the 2016 Driver Championship with longtime competitor Johnny Sauter . The success was a result of the perfect combination of veteran skill and young talent. When he's not improving his race skills to become an accomplished NASCAR driver, Kaz is an honor-roll high school senior at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. The 17-year-old who has a birthday on December 29th is currently interviewing with colleges for the fall of 2017. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt