Connect with us
P&W BMW

Local Racing

Chip Ganassi Racing Looking To Add A 2nd Daytona 500 Win In Their 30th Season

Published

on

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

DAYTONA, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s trophy’s are all on display at the team’s race shops in Indianapolis, Indiana and Concord, North Carolina.  One trophy Ganassi and company would like to add to the display case is another Harley J. Earl trophy, which goes to the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500.

Team Ganassi won the Daytona 500 a decade ago when Jamie McMurray took the No. 1 to Gatorade Victory lane.  2010 was a magical season for the team as they won the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400.

Three drivers out of the Ganassi stable will try to add to the team’s history by trying to win this year’s Daytona 500.  2004 Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch is driving Ganassi’s No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet (pictured above).  Busch won The Great American Race in 2017 and says there are a victory is not only prestigious but a key to starting a championship run.

“When you win the most iconic race in your series, for us in NASCAR it’s the Daytona 500, Sports Cars it’s the 24-Hours at Daytona or 24 Hours of Le Mans, in IndyCar if you win the Indianapolis 500 it’s a Championship all on its own,” Busch told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.  “It’s so powerful because of the prestige, the history and the value of what the race means.  It elevates you to championship status immediately before the season even really gets underway.”

Kyle Larson is in the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet.  Larson had a shots at winning, ironically in 2017 when Busch took the win driving for Stewart Haas Racing.

“Hopefully we can do it,” Larson told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.  “I’ve been close one other time and ran out of fuel leading on the last lap.  It would be cool to win with Chip and Credit One Bank and add my name to the list of guys who’ve won this race.”

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 09: Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Three Rivers Karting

Ganassi’s third driver in this year’s Daytona 500 is Ross Chastain.  Chastain is driving the No. 77 Advent Health Camaro.  It’s a Ganassi-prepared car that is being fielded in partnership with Spire Motorsports.  Chastain will start 20th in the field.

“This is a lifetime opportunity,” said Chastain.  “If I have a car with somewhat clean fenders at the end, we’re going to have a bullet and you just point and shoot at the end and hope you make it.  Making it to the end is a big deal.  That’s what we did last year, we attrition-raced.  It’s not pretty when you are doing it but man we were there at the end with 10 or 11-cars left and had a shot.”

The No. 77 Advent Health Chevrolet Chip Ganassi Racing Camaro and driver Ross Chastain.

The former driver-turned-owner, who has 19-Championships in his tenure, still knows what it takes to win.

“In NASCAR you have to get your car running on old tires because you’re on old tires more than anything,” Ganassi told The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.  “When you put on a new set of stickers on you go out and rip off a fast lap that’s great and it looks good on the sheet, but I don’t know what it means for the race, because so often you’re going 40, 50, 60-laps without a stop time after time after time so you have to get car working on old tires to have any chance.”

There are only seven active Daytona 500 winners set to hit the track for Sunday’s 62nd running of the historic race. Denny Hamlin (2016, 2019) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013) are the only drivers in the field with multiple checkered flags.  The other past winners include Austin Dillon (2018), Joey Logano (2015), Kevin Harvick (2007), Ryan Newman (2008) and Busch (2017).

Hamlin and seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion Johnson are the only active drivers to have won two Daytona 500 races. Three drivers in series history have won back-to-back Daytona 500 events (Sterling Marlin – 1994, 1995; Cale Yarborough – 1983, 1984; Richard Petty – 1973, 1974).

JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will lead the field to the green flag. Hendrick Motorsports Alex Bowman will start on the outside of the front row.

Dirt Racing

Borden Thrills at Port Royal; Robinson, Covert, and Hart also Score

Published

on

PORT ROYAL, PA (April 13, 2024): Defending track champion, Devon Borden, battled Danny Dietrich in the final laps of the 410 Sprint Car race at Port Royal Speedway, bringing fans to their feet. Borden’s first win of the season came by 1.219 seconds over Dietrich, who won the season opener. Borden earned $5,800 for the effort.

“I just knew that I was going to have to go where they weren’t and drive the $h!+ out of it,” Borden said as he struggled to catch his breath. Starting twelfth, Borden knew that he had to make a big push early to get to the front with several heavy hitters starting ahead of him. “I had to make the top work before it went away.” He was able to charge to third in just nine laps and it only took him three more to reach second. Getting that final position was quite a bit harder to accomplish. “The last three laps were pretty hectic, and things had to play out in our favor.”

Borden gave props to his crew chief, Chris Shuttlesworth. “We didn’t start out very good, but now we have it going.”

A modified version of the PA Speedweek format was used for this program. The only deviation was the use of group time trials to set heat race line-ups. In the Speedweek format, each driver times against the whole field; whereas, the group approach only pits the racers against the same cars that will run in the same heat race. The heat race winners and the fastest car to qualify draw for starting positions at the front of the field. The remainder are seeded by their heat race finishes. B Main transfers make up the final rows.

The luck racers were Lucas Wolfe and Steve Buckwalter. Behind them were Dietrich and Logan Wagner. Dylan Cisney, the Mayor of Port Royal was paired up with Jeff Halligan in row three. The fourth row belonged to Gerard McIntyre, Jr. and Jake Karklin. Mike Wagner and Blane Heimbach claimed row five. T.J. Stutts was inside Borden in row six.

Buckwalter sailed into turn one on the outside and began to pull away from his pursuers. Dietrich settled into second, with Logan Wagner a close third. Wolfe fell back to fourth, followed by Karklin, Halligan, Cisney, Heimbach, Borden, and McIntyre. Buckwalter held control for the first six rounds. However, Dietrich closed in on him when Buckwalter encountered lapped traffic.

Dietrich became more aggressive on lap seven, sliding ahead of Buckwalter in turn three. Buckwalter turned back under him in turn four to regain the lead as they thundered down the long front stretch. Dietrich fought back through turns one and two, coming off the bottom of turn two with the lead. This time around, it was Buckwalter’s turn to slide for the lead in turn three. Dietrich crossed over in four to assume command as they completed lap eight. Meanwhile, Borden was making steady progress to the third position, but he was a good distance behind the lead duo.

When Kassidy Kreitz slowed to a stop on the back stretch on lap later, that eliminated the deficit for Borden. He got to start right behind Dietrich and Buckwalter. Borden took advantage of the opportunity, picking up the second spot just three laps after the race resumed.

It took Borden a few more laps to close the gap on the leader. Dietrich began picking his way through the slower cars, and Borden closed in. However, he could not make a move for the lead, as he seemed to have poor timing when approaching the lapped cars.

With just a few laps remaining, though, the front two cars broke free of the slower cars. With no traffic separating himself from the leader, Borden was able to press for the lead.

Over the final three laps, Dietrich and Borden swapped the lead several times, much to the delight of the fans. Borden took the lead for good entering turn three on the final lap. Dietrich dove low while Borden kept his momentum up on the cushion. Dietrich scrubbed off some speed coming through turn four, and Borden scooted ahead for the win.

Buckwalter turned in a creditable performance for third. Chase Dietz came on in the final laps to get fourth. Logan Wagner slipped to fifth in the final tally. Wolfe, Halligan, Karklin, Cisney, and Heimbach completed the top ten.

Three Rivers Karting

Dietrich, Buckwalter, Wolfe, and Cisney chalked up the heat wins. Justin Whittal prevailed in the B Main. Dietrich was fastest in Group one and overall, with a time of 17.113 seconds.

In the Super Late Models, Dillan Stake and Chad Myers brought the field to the green. Jeff Rine and Ross Robinson were right behind them. Shaun Jones and Colton Flinner were in row three, ahead of Brian Bernheisel and Dylan Yoder. Row five matched Tyler Emory and Chris Casner. Tim Wilson and Matt Cosner completed the top twelve.

Myers grabbed the early lead, with Robinson hot on his heels. Stake, Rine, Flinner, and Yoder followed in close formation. Myers rode along in the middle groove, and Robinson searched high and low for a place to try to make a pass. Robinson finally settled in on the inside, and he began to chip away at Myers’ lead.

Robinson came off the bottom of turn two and powered ahead of Myers just before the halfway point in the contest. Robinson started to draw away from Myers, but a caution on lap fourteen wiped out his advantage. Myers could not get a run on the Delaware racer when the action resumed. Instead, Myers was under attack from Flinner, Eckert, Stake, and Rine.

Flinner worked his way into second, bringing Eckert along into third. Myers continued on fourth with Stake on his tail.

At the checkers, it was Robinson ahead of Flinner by 3.806 seconds. Eckert, Myers, and Stake completed the top five. Next to cross were Rine, Yoder, Cosner, Jones, and Jason Covert.

The four heat winners were Robinson, Rine, Myers, and Stake. Gregg Satterlee won the B Main.

Robinson was relived to capture the win, his first at the Speed Palace. “We got lucky with the pill draws,” he said. Robinson said that he changed his set-up after hot laps, reverting to the combination that brought him a win recently at his hometown track, the Georgetown Speedway.

The top ten racers from the A Main were inverted for an Australian pursuit immediately following the A Main. Covert, who raced hard just to make it to the tenth spot in the A Main, earned the pole for the pursuit, which paid $1,000 to the winner. He was able to stay out front for the entire ten laps. “It just goes to show how even we all are,” he said. “We were inverted and the clean air on my nose made all the difference. I could come off the corners wherever I wanted.” Jones, Cosner, Yoder, and Rine were the balance of the top five. Eckert and Robinson were the other finishers. Flinner, Myers, and Stake were the drivers eliminated in the race.

Devin Hart went wire to wire in the twenty lap Limited Late Model nightcap. Tommy Slanker ran second in the early going before fading to fifth at the finish. Jared Fulkroad, Trent Brenneman and Shawn Shoemaker were the racers who moved ahead of him. Kenny Yoder, Ryan Zook, Casey Steinhoff, Lane Snook, and Jaxton Garman rounded out the top ten.

The pair of heats went to Brenneman and Zook. There was no B Main.

A three division program will be held next weekend, with the 305 Sprints joining the 410 Sprints and Super Late Models. The Keith Kauffman Classic for the 410 Sprints will be on April 27, with support coming from the USAC East Coast Sprints and the Wingless Sportsmen. Then, on Sunday, April 28, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirst Series will invade the speedway. Limited Late Models will also be on the card.

Continue Reading

Dirt Racing

Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway Cancels Saturday Program; Pivots To Flood Relief Drive

Published

on

IMPERIAL, PA (April 13, 2024) Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway is pivoting to flood relief instead of racing Saturday night after torrential rains the past few days caused flooding all over Western Pennsylvania.  PPMS is working with the UEMS Racing Series to find a suitable date for both parties to make up the event.

Three Rivers Karting

The Speedway instead is holding a relief drive from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. to help those affected by the flood.

UPDATE: PPMS was able to split the total collection up between both Sturgeon Vol. Fire Dept. and Oakdale Hose Company. From there, the fire companies will administer the collected items to other organizations or directly to those in need. We were fortunate enough to collect a large volume of just about every necessity. Any items that are not claimed during this process will be stored and administered as needed in the future.

Continue Reading

Dirt Racing

Dietz Dominates Day Race at Lincoln

Published

on

Lincoln Speedway

ABBOTTSTOWN, PA (April 7, 2024): Chase Dietz returned to his roots to capture his tenth career win at the Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. With the weather changing up the weekend’s racing plans, Dietz was able to race at Lincoln because the show was postponed a day. Dietz, who has long been a regular at the track, will now be concentrating his efforts on Saturdays at the Port Royal Speedway, where he debuted yesterday as the new driver of the famous Zemco number one. He was back in his own machine for this one, and it was like he never left.

“I plan to be back whenever I can,” Dietz said happily. “This is the track where I got my start and I really enjoy racing here.” But, the offer to drive for John and Pee Wee Zemaitis was one that he could not refuse.

Sunny skies and a slight breeze produced a tricky racing surface. “It definitely was unique,” Dietz observed. “It was kinda patchy. Fred (Putney, the masterful track preparer), sprinkled it and that pushed things up.”

Dietz, who started on the pole and went wire-to wire, noted “it was kinda tough, running out front. I was searching around looking for rubber.” He found enough to maintain his advantage over a fast-closing Matt Campbell.

Campbell, who raced his way into second while fighting through some heavy traffic, surprised all by saying that he liked racing on the daytime surface. “It gave me the chance to move around.” He added that he thought that he learned some things that he can carry over to the normal night time racing.

The race was run according to PA Speedweek procedures. So a re-draw shuffled the top eight racers. Dietz and Aaron Bollinger were the fortunate ones to pick front row starting positions. Beyond them were Tyler Ross and Campbell. Emerson Axsom and Kody Hartlaub made up row three. Cameron Smith and Freddie Rahmer, Jr. were in row four. The fifth belonged to Justin Whittal and Dallas Schott. Chad Trout and Danny Dietrich completed the first half of the field.

Three Rivers Karting

The original start was called back because Aussie Greg Newton took a spectacular spill between turns three and four on what would have been the opening lap. He was unhurt, but could not continue in the event.

On the second try, Dietz again blasted to the front and he planted the right rear tire in the moisture that Putney laid down on the outside line during the intermission. Bollinger did likewise, while Cambell, Ross, Hartlaub, Rahmer, Jr., and Axsom fanned out behind them.

The front three remained unchanged through the first seven laps. Campbell picked off Bollinger in traffic on lap weight, and he would hold onto that position for the remainder of the non-stop thirty lapper.

Bollinger and Ross were putting on a good show for the third spot. Ross assumed control of the position by lap ten, but a new player was in the mix. Danny Dietrich reached the top five by the halfway mark and he was looking to advance. He quickly dispatched Bollinger, but it took him several laps to catch and overtake Ross. He was able to do it with less than five laps in the contest.

Dietz completed his tour in eight minutes and nineteen and a quarter seconds. His margin of victory was 0.845 seconds over Cambell, Danny Dietrich was third. Bollinger got Ross in the waning laps. Positions six through ten went to Devon Borden, Whittal, Rahmer, Jr., Axsom, and Smith.

The four heat winners were Bollinger, Campbell, Axsom, and Ross. The B Main victory went to Reese Nowotarski. Dietz set the fastest time of the day, 13.878 seconds. He edged Rahmer, Jr. by a mere one-thousandth of a second.

Lincoln Speedway will return to its usual Saturday night slot on April 13. Joining the 410 Sprints on Golf Cart Services Night will be the USAC East Coast Sprints. April 20 will be the annual Weldon Sterner Memorial paying a whopping twenty thousand dollars to the winner. The 358 Sprints will provide the support for that one. Another 410 and 358 Sprint doubleheader will close out the month of April. Starting time will be 6 p.m. for each of those events.

Continue Reading

Discover more from Pittsburgh Racing Now

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading