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Lucas Oil 150 gets new start time at Phoenix
RELATED: Buy tickets for Phoenix " Truck Series Chase Grid Phoenix Raceway announced today that the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series semi-final race on Friday, Nov. 11 will begin at 8 p.m. MT(10 p.m. ET) , with gates now set to open at 9:30 a.m. MT (11:30 a.m. ET). NASCAR veteran Matt Crafton and 2015 Lucas Oil 150 winner Timothy Peters will take on series wins- leader William Byron and the rest of the Chase contenders to compete for the final four spots in the championship race. Kicking off the weekend at PIR, the race will take place under the lights and will be the first semi-final race for the series championship, as NASCAR recently expanded the Chase format to the Camping World Truck Series for the 2016 season. Friday will be full of racing action as all three NASCAR premier series will be on track, including NASCAR XFINITY Series practice followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying. Also, fans in attendance for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway will have the opportunity to meet the stars of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during a free autograph session. The event will be held on the Fan Midway following NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice and will be open to anyone with a grandstand ticket. The first 125 fans in line at the designated location between Gate 4 and Corporate Village will receive a wristband to participate. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 will air on FS1 at 8 p.m. MT (10 p.m. ET). Tickets for the upcoming NASCAR race weekend start at just $35. Individual tickets and season tickets are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the PIR ticket office.
Post-Race Reactions: Lucas Oil Raceway
Carl Edwards promises not to speed on pitroad, plus other drivers comment on the G-W-C finish.
Drivers, teams react to big Phoenix Raceway news
Phoenix Raceway , along with parent company International Speedway Corporation, announced on Monday a massive, $178 million modernization project designed to make the fan and race experience even better. The project is set to debut in the fall of 2018, but drivers, teams and other tracks were already talking about it. Here's what was said on social media. Interesting changes. Hoping for a little extra elbow room in that Cup garage. https://t.co/HHjnS2nUhT — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 30, 2017 https://t.co/WJN2nVm4er — Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) January 30, 2017 Huge announcement from @PhoenixRaceway ! https://t.co/Jsstu1XoV6 — Watkins Glen Int'l (@WGI) January 30, 2017 This is awesome! https://t.co/oFHxnqADrh — Auto Club Speedway (@ACSupdates) January 30, 2017 Super Excited for @PhoenixRaceway Can't Wait to See Those Checkered Flags in the Desert!!! https://t.co/Qc577OOZLf — Martinsville Spdway (@MartinsvilleSwy) January 30, 2017 https://t.co/jBiS1ZdTBN — Richmond Raceway (@RIRInsider) January 30, 2017 There are major upgrades coming to @PhoenixRaceway in the next 2 yrs! The S/F line will also be repositioned. #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/pvUMdERdHK — Red Horse Racing (@RedHorseRacing) January 30, 2017 We're loving this @PhoenixRaceway ! #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/ItYd7jvxXJ — Darlington Raceway (@TooToughToTame) January 30, 2017 #NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton: "We're very honored to be a part of this and are excited about what it holds." #PhoenixRacewayProject — Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) January 30, 2017 . @joeylogano On The New Start/Finish Line: Turn 3 will get very interesting...You'll see a lot of slide jobs + excitement on the racetrack! — Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) January 30, 2017 Lots of changes coming at PIR! Check 'em out: https://t.co/nptsujOCDs : @PhoenixRaceway pic.twitter.com/BGEwZyeT9v — Furniture Row Racing (@FRRacingTeam) January 30, 2017 We're beyond excited for the changes that are coming to @PhoenixRaceway ! #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/StUAopGVOI — Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) January 30, 2017 . @Daniel_SuarezG "The big investment will be amazing for the fans...They will get to interact more with the drivers." #PhoenixRacewayProject — Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) January 30, 2017 Have you seen these newly announced changes coming to @PhoenixRaceway ? Looks awesome!! #NASCAR https://t.co/zyfrl3bBfS — LeavineFamilyRacing (@LFR95) January 30, 2017 "Phoenix has been a great place for me with amazing fans; this investment by @PhoenixRaceway is going to be great for the fans!" pic.twitter.com/W6HW3mEiJl — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) January 30, 2017 Class photo with everyone in attendance at today's announcement. @PhoenixRaceway pic.twitter.com/8T2cahqe8I — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) January 30, 2017 Big news from our friends @DCSolar and @PhoenixRaceway ! See below #PhoenixRacewayProject https://t.co/BLHWGSMe3c — Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) January 30, 2017
Phoenix Raceway unveils details for $178 million modernization project
MORE: Buy tickets for the March race RELATED: Fast facts on Phoenix project PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Officials with International Speedway Corp., and Phoenix Raceway jointly announced plans for a $178 million facelift for the 1-mile facility on Monday that focuses on improving the fan experience while also including a competition twist that will see the relocation of the track’s start/finish line. The facility, located in Avondale, Arizona, annually hosts two NASCAR race weekends, and has hosted what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 1988. The track's first 2017 race weekend is scheduled for March 17-19 and will feature the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series .
John Wes Townley sitting out Eldora race with possible concussion
Concord, N.C. (July 18, 2016) – John Wes Townley remains under treatment for a possible concussion and will not compete in Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway. ARCA competitor Brady Boswell will drive the No. 05 Zaxby's/Jive Communications Chevrolet at Eldora for Townley. The 19-year-old Boswell, like Townley, is a resident of Watkinsville, Georgia. Both drivers are graduates of North Oconee High School in Bogart, Georgia. Veteran driver and NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman will substitute for Townley in Friday night's ARCA Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 presented by Jive at Lucas Oil Raceway . Townley is scheduled to be re-evaluated by his physician July 25, when he anticipates gaining medical clearance to return to competition in ARCA and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for events next week at Pocono Raceway .
Hemric finds perfect home at Brad Keselowski Racing
RELATED: Standings post-Atlanta STATESVILLE, N.C. -- "It's kind of a funny story how it all works out, I guess." At which point Daniel Hemric starts the tale of how he came to be in this place, the palatial new shop for Brad Keselowski Racing. Not only is he here standing on the gleaming epoxy floors, he's the team namesake's newest driver, handpicked from a promising crop of young hotshoes. As far as chance meetings go, his anecdote from the summer of 2012 makes for a tough story to top. Hemric, then a 21-year-old up-and-comer on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, had just converted a pass with five laps to go at Auto City Speedway in Clio, Michigan to secure his seventh win in 11 races that season, paving the way toward the series championship. The race he won was called the BRAD 100, and home-state grand marshal Keselowski -- who was making his own march to a title in NASCAR's premier series that year -- was there to greet him in Victory Lane. "He's like, 'Man, that was really cool to watch,' " Hemric recalls his current boss saying, "and that was really our first time shaking hands and meeting. Fast forward to ( Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana) a couple months later in that year, same thing: We went on to win the race in more of a dominant fashion, but it was cool to start seeing the face and building somewhat of a relationship. "From that point on, I think we both had the understanding -- at least from my end -- that if there was ever an opportunity to put stuff together to make it work, we wanted to figure out some way, some how to race together." Those conversations kept going during their occasional encounters at the track through the years, and the timing never quite clicked for a partnership to develop until late last season. The plans for a full run this year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finally aligned for all parties concerned -- driver, owner, team (the No. 19 Ford) and sponsors (a full fleet including California Clean Power, Draw-Tite and Reese Brands). Hemric's early laurels are encouraging, with two top-10 efforts in the first two races of 2016 and the ever-closer reality of achieving a breakthrough win. For Hemric, a NASCAR national series victory would be the next rotation in a series of full-circle moments. The building blocks Hemric's hometown listing is a familiar one in the NASCAR community -- Kannapolis, North Carolina, a place synonymous with Earnhardt. The 25-year-old driver grew up just down the road from Dale Earnhardt Inc., his childhood overlapping with that organization's heyday. "You didn't have to go very far to see what the pinnacle was," Hemric said of his boyhood proximity to multiple racing facilities. "With the DEI shop being really close to my hometown and where I grew up and knowing that if you do all the right things and put yourself with the right people, this could be a possibility. That was at 5 or 6 years old, so now to be 25 and to be in a situation where that dream is definitely within grasp and you can really see it being a possible situation, something that you've been able to build and put yourself in, that's really cool." His own glory years started early, with go-kart victories in nearby Concord around the time he graduated from kindergarten. Though he grew up in the cradle of NASCAR's industry hub, the formative stages of Hemric's career took him everywhere -- racing Super Late Models in the Midwest, Whelen Modifieds in the Northeast, and Legends Cars in the South. Uncannily, Hemric learned from each region and each type of car, taking bits from every experience to place in his memory banks. The puzzle pieces have helped him become not only a better driver but also a better communicator, something that Chad Kendrick -- his crew chief -- detected early on. From their earliest conversations, Hemric's feedback from his first laps with the No. 19 team made its own impact. "It would overlay with the data, which was really impressive because a lot of drivers can't do that -- they can just say it was a little tight or it was a little free," said Kendrick, who has worked with current Sprint Cup Series regulars Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney . "He's very descriptive on exactly where it gets tight, why it got tight, what he's feeling in the left-rear, right-rear, wherever it's at. So very impressed with that. "It's only two races in -- and really it's only one race in because Daytona is its own deal -- but after Atlanta, I was very impressed. And he's got mounds of talent, which is what you have to have." Setting for success Hemric has found a new home, but the team has also -- moving from its cozy former headquarters in nearby Mooresville into a lavish, 72,000-square-foot building on a country road that parallels Statesville's small regional airport. Keselowski, who documented his organization's transition in his most recent essay on his personal blog, has invested plenty of time and effort into making BKR's facility a showpiece. The move has provide the team exponentially more space, allowing them to handle hanging bodies on their fleet of Ford F-150 trucks. There's a paint shop in the back of the building, numerous toolbox bays and workstations, plus the assortment of trophies in the lobby -- including a Crosley jukebox from one of Keselowski's multiple victories at Kentucky Speedway . "A lot of thought went into it, and I think it was just off the many shops that Brad has experienced throughout his career," Hemric said, noting Roger Penske -- Keselowski's Sprint Cup team owner -- and his strong influence. "Being a huge part in the Penske building over there and seeing how Roger operated, I think that was a big role in how this place was assembled. If you're going to structure yourself off anybody, Roger's probably not a bad guy. To see all that's gone into this point, it's really, really interesting to see how many resources these guys have." Those resources are a luxury for Kendrick's charges, who now have room to work on multiple trucks at once. The veteran crew chief also has an asset in Keselowski's leadership, which he says is hands-on without veering into micromanagement. The mood Monday morning at the shop was a vibrant one, with a slight spring in the step potentially provided by the boss man's Sprint Cup victory the previous day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Kendrick, however, said that the buoyance comes naturally -- and daily -- working in such a pristine environment. "Just having a nice facility like this at this level has encouraged the guys to be just better," Kendrick said. "I mean, when you walk into this place and work here day in and day out, it just boosts morale. Guys want to be better, look better, want to perform better. It just raises it to the next level. ... It'll be many years to come before somebody tops this." Great expectations The proverbial next level is something Hemric is striving for on-track as well. He made strides with NTS Motorsports in his rookie season last year, logging top-10 finishes in the majority of the 23 races and claiming seventh place in the final driver standings. The results, however, were uneven, with each modest string of pleasantness disrupted by a setback -- either mechanical or racing-related. "Everybody said it was character-building and we had a lot of that," Hemric says now. "We definitely experienced some pretty good highs and some pretty low lows. I felt like at the end of the day, the biggest thing that I was taught last year was how to excel in those opportunities where you don't have the best truck that day and how to make the most out of a rough situation. "I found myself a couple of times thinking, 'Man, is this ever going to turn around?' You keep your head on your shoulders, position yourself on the restarts and next thing you know, you wind up with a good finish. I think all that stuff is really going to play a role as we get further into the season, we get closer to that Chase format and it's all going to matter." Last year's feeling of exasperation is one that Kendrick hopes Hemric can cleanse, helping lift his confidence in the season's early going. Putting winning trucks into his hands is a major step. It's the reason why Hemric wasn't delighted two weekends ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway , where he matched his career-best effort in the truck series with a fourth-place finish. The reaction came in part because he knew that his first trip to Victory Lane in a national-series event was well within reach. The attitude change, Kendrick said, should add fuel to Hemric's competitive drive. Now it's just a matter of scratching the win column. "We talked about that when we knew Daniel was coming here," Kendrick said of his initial conversations with Keselowski and other BKR managers. "I really think he could be the guy that when he gets his first win, I really feel like he's going to be the guy that'll roll off three out of five, or roll off three or four in a row. I really feel like he could be that kind of guy, but you've just got to get that first one. The first one is always the hardest." That first victory might be the hardest, but it also might be the most meaningful, providing Hemric another opportunity to have Keselowski greet him in Victory Lane under much different circumstances. "It's definitely a dream come true how it all comes full circle," Hemric said. "Now it's just a matter of making the most of it."
Watch: Dale Earnhardt Jr. test at Phoenix Raceway
Watch as Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs behind the wheel of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race car for the first time since his private test at Darlington Raceway in December.
Bowman thankful for opportunity in 'The Clash'
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! RELATED: How 'The Clash' works DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Alex Bowman made his case for a spot in the season-opening exhibition for 2016 pole winners, claiming his first Coors Light Pole at his home track at Phoenix as part of his substitute stint in Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s place. But even though he'd earned eligibility, so had Earnhardt as a former winner. With only 10 starts as an interim driver in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet, Bowman didn't exactly feel like he could pipe up and volunteer. "I just kind of let it go quiet," Bowman said Friday at Daytona International Speedway . "I didn't want step on any toes, or ask anybody and have it seem like I was begging for something. I wasn't really asking." It didn't stop him from joking about a possible one-off effort with his crew chief under the banner of Greg Ives Racing so that both he and Earnhardt could be in the field. But the word came from Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt on the chilly December day at Darlington Raceway while Earnhardt completed the compulsory on-track preparations to gain medical clearance in his return from concussion. Earnhardt will defer his comeback one week, joining the FOX Sports team to call the action in Saturday night's Advance Auto Parts Clash (8 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) from the TV booth. But his influence will still resonate in his vote of confidence for Bowman's ability. RELATED: Dale Jr. to be in the broadcast booth for 'The Clash' "I am very thankful for the opportunity," Bowman said. "Dale's been so great to me. I wouldn't be here without him. He is the one that pointed me out when he wasn't feeling good. I feel like I owe a lot to him, and I am very thankful for him to put me in the car for this race." Bowman will start eighth in Saturday night's invitational, the only race currently on his 2017 schedule. The 23-year-old driver, who drove part-time in the XFINITY Series last year, participates in simulation tests for Hendrick Motorsports and some testing duty for Chevrolet. His 10-race stint during Earnhardt's recuperation was impressive enough to attract the eyes of a handful of prospective car owners with full-time positions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . But none were enough to make Bowman jump. "There was just really wasn't anything that was going to make me leave Hendrick Motorsports ," Bowman said. "I feel like I want to be part of a winning organization whether I am driving, just working for the team, doing testing or doing the simulation stuff. Whatever I'm doing, I want to be part of a winning team. Nothing was going to drag me away from here." With this event shaping up as a "one night only" performance, Bowman says he isn't treating the race as another audition. And the fickle nature of restrictor-plate racing has him prepared for all possible outcomes. The only additional pressure, he says, comes from having a superspeedway expert in Earnhardt observing his efforts with a vested interest from the TV booth. But much like last year, Bowman says he'll savor the moment. "It's another race," Bowman said. "It's another opportunity to have a lot of fun with Hendrick Motorsports . That is something I kind of tried to do all last season was just to have fun and that is what we are going to try to do on Saturday night and hopefully bring home a trophy."
'Tide Ride' returns for Kenseth in three-race deal
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Joe Gibbs Racing and Tide have entered into a sponsorship agreement for the team's No. 20 Toyota and driver Matt Kenseth for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . The partnership, announced Friday, gives Tide's PODS product the primary sponsorship for three races -- March 19 at Phoenix, July 23 at Indianapolis and Oct. 7 at Charlotte. The deal includes associate sponsorship in the series' remaining events. Tide's return to the No. 20 Camry comes on the heels of last year's one-race deal for the annual NASCAR Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway . Kenseth's car took cues from Tide's rich history in the sport, with its classic bright paint scheme campaigned over the years by Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven. "I'm glad they expanded their role, I think it's exciting for NASCAR and fans as well because they were such a common name in the sport for so many years," Kenseth said. "You always noticed that car on the track. I think getting it back on the track is pretty cool for the sport." &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Hamlin to wear special shoes for 'The Clash' at Daytona
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! The 2016 Daytona 500 winner is ready to defend his "Great American Race" title, but before he can do that, Denny Hamlin will race in the Advance Auto Parts Clash on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (FS1) at Daytona International Speedway . And he will look stylish in the season-opening non-points race. Hamlin revealed Thursday via Twitter that his shoes, a custom pair from Michael Jordan's line, for the 75-lap event have a special meaning -- a tribute to significant moments in his career. Here's a preview of the @Jumpman23 shoes I'll be wearing for The Clash @DISupdates this weekend! pic.twitter.com/dZVftr40Nc — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) February 16, 2017 The shoe includes an outline of Richmond International Raceway , honoring Hamlin's first win in 2002, according to his tweet. He now has three career wins at the .75-mile track, which is also his home track, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . Also, "I can I wi11" is written on the tongue of his Jordans to represent the 36-year-old's motto while recovering from a back injury in 2013. The 11 is his car number with Joe Gibbs Racing .