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Racing Notebook: Friday, March 6

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Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Friday’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook takes a look at the NASCAR/ARCA weekend at Phoenix Raceway plus Ryan Blaney signs extension with Team Penske and Port Royal Speedway opens on Sunday.

William Byron & Chase Elliott Fastest in NASCAR Cup Series Practices:

  • Hendrick Motorsports William Byron was fastest in the first NASCAR Cup Series practice at Phoenix Raceway.  Byron’s fast lap of 26.474-seconds (134.595 mph) in the No. 24 Hertz Chevrolet was 0.149-seconds faster than his teammate Chase Elliott.  Elliott turned the fastest lap of the final practice in the No. 9 UniFirst Chevrolet at 26.823-seconds (134.213 mph).  Tyler Reddick and Kevin Harvick had the fastest 10-lap consecutive averages. Phoenix Cup Practice 1. Phoenix Cup Final Practice

Chandler Smith Wins ARCA Menards Series Race At Phoenix:

  • Chandler Smith won the ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway.  Smith half off Michael Self, who won the season opener in Daytona, and Ty Gibbs on a restart with 2-laps to go to grab the checkered flag.  Tanner Gray came home fourth followed by Zane Smith in fifth.  Nick Sanchez, Hailie Deegan, Chase Cabre, Christian McGhee and Lawless Alan rounded out the Top 10.
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Ryan Blaney Signs Extension To Stay At Team Penske:

  • Team Penske announced today that it has signed Ryan Blaney to a multi-year extension, which will keep him an integral part of the organization for years to come.  The driver of the No. 12 Ford Mustang, and current NASCAR Cup Series points leader, has been a member of Team Penske since 2012. During that time, he has earned three Cup Series victories and qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs in each of his three full-time seasons in the Cup Series.

Charlotte Motor Speedway Enhancing Fan Experience:

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway is gearing up for their 60th anniversary season by instituting five, fabulous fan enhancements in 2020 that are designed to deliver the ultimate race day experience for fans during the back-to-back NASCAR weekends in May.  The five enhancements are: VIP All-Star Garage Experience, Enhanced Grandstand Seating, Speedway Marketplace, Improved Infield Public Address System and Every Ticket Is A Pit Pass.  For more information visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

Port Royal Speedway Opening Weekend:

  • Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, PA kicks off their 78th season this Sunday with 410-Sprint Cars and Super Late Models on the race schedule.  The Sprint Cars will by competing for a $5,000 grand prize to the feature winner while the Super Late Models will be battling for a $2,500 grand prize to the feature winner.  Saturday Port Royal will host a test and tune session that is open to all divisions competing at the Juniata County track in 2020.  For more details visit www.portroyalspeedway.com.

IndyCar

The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 007

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – This week on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast, we talk with W Series and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires driver Sabré Cook, who is also an engineer.  We also talk with 3-time Lernerville 410-Sprint Car division Champion A.J. Flick.  Sit back, relax and enjoy!

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IndyCar

Racing Notebook – Thursday, March 19: F1 Postpones Monaco; WoO Postpones Races and more

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Formula 1

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Formula One and the World of Outlaws are the latest sanctioning bodies to postpone races because of the coronavirus outbreak.  The RUSH Sprint Car Series gets a new points fund sponsor and “Super Tex” taking care of his employees during a difficult time.

Formula One Postpones Monaco Grand Prix:

  • Formula One has postponed three additional races because of the coronavirus pandemic including the Monaco Grand Prix.  Also postponed were the Dutch and Spanish GP’s.  The first seven races of the F1 season have now been postponed. The next race on the calendar is in Azerbaijan on June 7.  F1 has moved the mid-season break from August to March and April and has extended the break from 14 to 21 consecutive days. The F1 season is scheduled to end with the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 29, but could be extended to fit in some of the postponed races.
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World of Outlaws Postpones Races:

  • The World of Outlaws has postponed all NOS Energy Sprint Car and Morton Building Late Model races through March. The sanctioning body hopes to reschedule the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series races originally planned for Friday, March 27th at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, TN and Saturday, March 28th at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, SC. The World of Outlaws will continue to monitor developments across our nation and make decisions on future events when appropriate.

A.J. Foyt Racing To Pay Employees During COVID-19 Shutdown:

  • A.J. Foyt Racing is continuing to pay their employees despite temporarily shutting down their race shops in Texas and Indianapolis due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Our biggest concern is for the health of our communities and our employees, so we are closing the race shops for the time being,” said Larry Foyt, president of A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Inc. “I want to thank our partners and sponsors for their support and understanding during these extraordinary times. Many people will face some difficult challenges in the coming days. A.J. and I wish everyone the best, and we look forward to going racing again when the time is right.”

The RUSH Sprint Car Series Gets A New Points Fund Sponsor:

  • The RUSH Racing Series announced that Equipment Rental Options are stepping up to be the sponsor of the RUSH Sprint Car Series weekly championship points fund, replacing original points fund sponsor Bonnell’s Rod Shop.  The RUSH Sprint Car Series opens their 2020 season May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.  Read our complete story here.
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Equipment Rental Options To Sponsor RUSH Sprint Car Weekly Championship Point Fund

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PULASKI, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The RUSH Racing Series has announced the Equipment Rental Options has signed on to be the presenting sponsor of the Weekly Championship Points Fund for the RUSH Sprint Car Series.

The 2020 Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series Championship will feature 30 RUSH Sprint Car events concluding with the “Steel City Stampede” at Lernerville Speedway on October 17.

Equipment Rental Options is co-owned by current RUSH Sprint Car racer, Arnie Kent.  Kent, who got his start in Micro Sprints before moving up the Sprint Car ladder, won the division’s first ever race in 2018 at Lernerville.

“We’re very thankful Arnie has stepped up with his Equipment Rental Options so we can maintain the lucrative point fund,” said Vicki Emig, RUSH Racing Series Director.  “Arnie has been a longtime friend of both Mike (Leone, RUSH Director) and myself as well as many of our racers, and we’re really looking forward to being able to promote his growing business!”

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Equipment Rental Options currently has two locations in western Pennsylvania; one in Hermitage and another in New Castle; Equipment Rental Options will be moving into a larger facility at 3587 Clover Lane just off Wilmington Road (Route 18) in New Castle this summer.

Bonnell’s Rod Shop had been the presenting sponsor of the Weekly Series Championship during the first two years of the division’s inception. In fact, their sponsorship allowed the point fund to grow to more than $20,000 after the program was originally announced back in 2017.

“We have to thank Scott Bonnell for his unwavering support of the RUSH Sprint Cars,” said Emig. “Scott was behind the concept from day one, had a car in the Series, and offered financial support to grow the point fund without us even approaching him. We know he will remain a strong proponent of the Series.”

The RUSH Sprint Car Series Season Opener is scheduled for May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway.

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