Tums Fast Relief 500 - October 30, 2011 - Martinsville Speedway

Make your own countdown timer.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Danica Patrick's NASCAR Debut Brings Back Fond Memories

For IndyCar superstar Danica Patrick, February 6th is only the beginning as she sets to make her stock car debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. After months and months of speculation, JR Motorsports recently announced that Patrick would drive a partial schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010 and 2011.

As I read all the media releases and articles about Danica’s debut in NASCAR, it brings back fond memories of my own race days when I was a young girl. When I was young, we were encouraged to look pretty with our sweet dresses and play with our doll babies. A message someone forgot to deliver to me.

See, I was my Daddy’s Little Princess. A princess who raced motorcycles and loved the feeling of speed. I wore jeans, t-shirts and had a picture of the Road Runner tacked on the wall over my bed. My older brother raced bikes semi-professionally and had a knack for building cars. And I watched him for 5 years being told I was too small, too young and a GIRL! Did I listen to him? No, not even a little bit. I’m glad I didn’t. On July 4, 1971 I made history for my hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. A feat most thought I would fail at, but Daddy’s Little Princess knew differently.

The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program which has been run in the United States since 1934. World Championship finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Cars competing in this and related events are unpowered, relying completely upon gravity to move.

With the help of my Dad, we built our first racer. The baby blue soap box racer didn’t win first place that year. Although awards of Best Construction and Fastest Heat (a track record that was never broken) made Dad proud, I wasn’t ready to give up. We went back to the garage, changed the design and made two more consecutive appearances at the derby. In 1973 I was joined by 31 other competitors, including three girls. We all had our eyes on the checkered flag and the championship trophy.

After a semi-final defeat, I packed up my car and started planning for next year’s race. But there wouldn’t be a next year for the Charlottesville event. Why it ended is not clear. My car still sits to this day at my brother’s house. A reminder each time I see it of what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it.

Danica, we wish you great success on your new venture in racing. Hear our cheers of support at the track and across the States when we hear the words “Gentlemen, start your engines." Maybe they should change that to “Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines.” But that’s a blog for another day.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Nominees

Just 24 days left until the Daytona 500! This season is shaping up to be even more exciting as two new drivers join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Both drivers have been given the honor of competing for the 2010 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award. Here’s a little more info. about each of them:

Terry Cook - #46
Terry Cook is no stranger to racing. He is a veteran NASCAR Truck Series driver, and has previously raced in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Cook has competed in the NASCAR Truck Series since 1996 and holds the record for the most consecutive starts in the series at 296. Terry Cook will drive the #46 Whitney Motorsports Dodge Charger for Michigan based business man, Dusty Whitney.

Kevin Conway - #37
Kevin Conway has a diverse racing background. He has competed in a wide variety of racing arenas including the AMA Motocross, WKA go-karts, INEX Legends Cars, Super Late Models, ASA, ARCA Remax Series, USAC Midgets and Silver Crown, NASCAR Grand National West and most recently the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He has 25 career Nationwide Series starts and a career-best finish of 15th. Kevin will partner with ExtenZe Racing for the 2010 season, and its ExtenZe and Alteril brands will sponsor the #37 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Season, New Sponsorships

Just 34 days left until the Daytona 500! The start of any new season is sure to bring about change and this NASCAR season is no exception. From new drivers to new sponsorships, exciting things are happening. Here are a couple new sponsorships announced for the 2010 season:

Kraft Foods is joining Stewart-Haas Racing (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by Tony Stewart). Tony Stewart will wear Ritz branding on his uniform and on the B-post of his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet. Stewart’s teammate Ryan Newman will wear Oreo branding on his uniform and on the B-post of his No. 39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Haas Automation Chevrolet. Tony Stewart will kick off the sponsorship at Daytona in February when he competes in the Nationwide Series race behind the wheel of the No. 4 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet.

Aflac, the primary sponsor of Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion, is partnering with the Kellogg Company. Kellogg will have primary sponsorship for two Sprint Cup races during the 2010 season and the opportunity to leverage one NASCAR’s top drivers in continuing to build its brand. Kellogg will also become an associate sponsor for the No. 99 car for all other 2010 Sprint Cup Series races.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Countdown to Daytona

Happy New Year! We’re gearing up for another great NASCAR season with our countdown to the 52nd running of the Daytona 500! “The Great American Race” is just 40 days away.

As a kickoff to our countdown, here’s a look back at the first Daytona 500:

The first running of “The Great American Race” took place on February 22, 1959 at the Daytona International Speedway. Fifty-nine cars took the field for the start of the 200-lap race and 41,000 fans were on hand to witness the historic racing event. The finish of the race was too close to call—Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp were lapping Joe Weatherly at the finish line. All three cars crossed the line at the same time and Weatherly’s car blocked the NASCAR photo finish camera. Initially, Johnny Beauchamp was declared the winner, but after three days of reviewing film and photos of the finish, Lee Petty was declared the winner by a few feet.