Ron Devine

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Investment group purchases minority ownership share of BK Racing

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The Lynch Racing Co., a division of Sport Venture Group, announced Friday that it has acquired a minority ownership share in NASCAR Cup organization BK Racing from Iowa City Capital Partners.

“We’re constantly trying to improve and I think this is a step in the right direction to do that,” BK Racing majority owner Ron Devine told NBC Sports in a phone interview. “I think it’s a welcoming transaction for us and I’m excited about it. There’s a lot of work to do between now and that green flag at Daytona, but we’re on it.”

Devine said discussions are still taking place with Lynch Racing/SVG to gauge how much involvement there will be, but added, “I’m pleased, let’s just say that.”

“We look forward to working with Ron (Devine) going forward to enhance the value of the charter(s),” Ron Konersmann, Chairman of Sport Venture Group, said in a media release.

Anthony Marlowe, owner of Iowa City Capital Partners, is selling his share of BK Racing to Lynch Racing/SVG to focus on other areas of NASCAR involvement.

“Short term, I plan on moving from owner to sponsor, perhaps even a Series partner,” Marlowe told NBC Sports. “Long term, I am open to reinvesting in the sport if the right opportunity presents itself.

“With the right strategy, I think NASCAR can re-grow its market share. It needs to find a way for teams to build franchise value. … I’ve been a fan myself for many years, proud to have been involved, I proposed to my wife at the track. We love racing.”

An investor and entrepreneur, Marlowe purchased 15 percent of Swan Racing in 2013, then acquired 49 percent of Swan’s assets as it was closing and merged them into BK Racing in April 2014 for a 10 percent share of BK Racing.

BK Racing was founded in 2012 when Devine and Wayne Press acquired Red Bull Racing. It fields two teams in the NASCAR Cup Series and holds a NASCAR charter for the No. 23 Toyota Camry and the No. 83 Toyota Camry. BK Racing holds a NASCAR charter for the No. 23, but does not have a charter for the No. 83, having sold its charter before the 2017 season.

The No. 23 finished 35th in the 2017 Cup season owners standings, while the No. 83 was the highest-finishing “open” (unchartered) car in Cup, finishing 36th in the owners standings with a rotating cast of drivers.

“Without Ron, the majority owner, and managing partner, subsidizing the team, the team wouldn’t exist,” Marlowe said. “The reality is that most teams across all of the motorsports around the world, including stock car racing, at all levels operate because of someone like Ron. Ron at this stage in his life races for a living, and is determined to make it work in NASCAR.”

Marlowe said the addition of a venture group as an investor in BKR could help take the organization to bigger heights.

“The team has been dramatically underfunded vs. other teams since before my involvement, due to limited sponsorship sales, and lack of a competitive engine program,” Marlowe said. “I think it is clear to all incoming, outgoing and existing parties that some significant changes would go a long way to ensure it continues as a viable entity.”

BK Racing cars do not turn a lap in practice, qualifying Friday at Charlotte

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CONCORD, North Carolina — Both of BK Racing’s cars did not go on track Friday, missing Cup practice and qualifying Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Bills were not paid,’’ Brett Moffitt, driver of the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota, told NBC Sports.

BK Racing owner Ron Devine declined comment to NBC Sports when informed of Moffitt’s comment.

Asked if his cars would be on track for Saturday’s practices, Devine texted NBC Sports: “Wait and see.’’

NASCAR confirmed Saturday that BK Racing’s cars are able to compete in Sunday’s race. Both BK Racing cars passed qualifying inspection and were prepared to practice Saturday before both sessions were canceled by rain. LaJoie will start 39th in the No. 23 car, and Moffitt will start 40th in the No. 83 car.

Moffitt, who drove the No. 83 two weekends ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for BK Racing, said this was not a new issue.

“We had an issue similar to this at Loudon and it got taken care of earlier in the day,’’ Moffitt said. “We’ll see about this one. You just wait and find out. That’s about all we can do.’’

Moffitt and LaJoie both took part in all three practice sessions at New Hampshire, qualified and raced. Moffitt finished 32nd and LaJoie placed 27th.

The No. 23 car for BK Racing, which has a charter, has run every race this season. The No. 83 car for BK Racing, which does not have a charter, has run all but two races this season.

In January, KickintheTires.net reported an arbitration ruling was signed by North Carolina Superior Court Judge Richard Doughton that BK Racing was to pay Race Engines Plus $1,462,648. The money was owned from 2013-15 for use of its engines, parts and rent. The ruling states that Race Engines Plus was not wrong to withhold engines and engines parts to the team in the offseason in 2014 and following a split between the two entities in April 2015. The ruling also stated that Race Engines Plus was to return engines and engine parts that were still being held as of Dec. 2016.

In August, Fronstretch.com reported on some of the financial difficulties BK Racing had had and that Devine said that Gray Gaulding, who drove for the team earlier this season, owed him $560,000 in sponsorship money, while owing him $1.36 million overall.

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Report: Details of mid-season split between BK Racing, Gray Gaulding over financial dispute

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NASCAR Cup Series rookie Gray Gaulding has competed in 17 races this year, but 13 of them have been with BK Racing and his last four with Premium Motorsports.

The story of why the 19-year-old went from driving the No. 23 Toyota owned by Ron Devine to the No. 55 owned by Jay Robinson has been reported by Frontstretch.com.

The story is a detailed account of the he-said, he-said relationship between the driver and owner, with Gaulding claiming he wasn’t getting paid and Devine saying Gaulding defaulted on payments of a $2 million deal that had been struck with the driver’s family marketing firm, GGR Enterprises, in January.

Devine claims Gaulding owes $560,000 in sponsorship money, while owing him $1.36 million overall from the deal.

The story also details the problems other drivers – including Landon Cassill and Cole Whitt – have had with BK Racing, which was founded in 2012.

Read the full story at Frontstretch.com

Ryan Sieg is getting out of his comfort zone after years in the Xfinity Series

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During the final 10 laps of last weekend’s Xfinity Series race, Ryan Sieg was slightly confused.

“We’re not at Daytona and we’re running second!” Sieg thought to himself.

While Sieg was “in shock,” he was in fact second as the laps wound down on the race at Iowa Speedway.

“It was a surprise to be running second at Iowa where you have to have everything resource-wise and car-wise … you have to have the best of everything,” Sieg told NBC Sports.

Ryan Sieg drives his No. 39 Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway (Getty Images).

His No. 39 Chevrolet trailed JR Motorsports’ No. 9 Chevy driven by 19-year-old Wiliam Byron and was ahead of 21-year-old Tyler Reddick in the No. 42 Chevy owned by Chip Ganassi Racing.

Pit strategy and a late caution had put Sieg and a handful of other smaller teams used to mid-pack racing in contention at the front.

The 30-year-old Sieg – a veteran of 116 Xfinity races – had a chance for one of his best finishes in the series.

“I was kind of out of it,” Sieg said. “There was just too many laps left to tussle with (Byron) and I didn’t want (Reddick) to get by. Tried to get the best restart I could without getting into (Byron). If there was less laps, it might have been a different story. But with 10 to go, there was probably not much I could do, just try to get a good restart and try to hang with him as long as I could and hopefully something could happen to him.”

Byron eventually slipped away, leaving Sieg to duel with Reddick right up to the last turn.

Sieg crossed the line second for his career-best NASCAR finish. He’d never placed better than eighth in a non-restrictor plate Xfinity race. It was only his third top five in his national NASCAR career, which includes 106 Camping World Truck Series races from 2008-2015.

Weeks before his career moment, BK Racing owner Ron Devine was insistent that Sieg drive one of his Cup cars. But the prospect of making his debut in NASCAR’s premier series wasn’t one Sieg was too hot on.

“He kept asking and we kept saying, ‘yeah, nah,’ I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do it,” Sieg said. “I didn’t know how tough it was and wasn’t too sure about how I would perform. I didn’t want to go over there and be multiple laps down. You know what I mean? It just didn’t seem very fun. … You’ve got have everything.”

Sieg has been comfortable getting by without everything so far in his NASCAR career. RSS Racing’s No. 39 car, owned by Rod Sieg, is worked on by less than six full-time crew members. The team’s shop is based in Tucker, Georgia, Sieg’s hometown and a community in the metro Atlanta area of roughly 35,000 people that only became an official town two years ago.

It’s just over 230 miles away from NASCAR’s epicenter in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Sieg is comfortable with the distance.

“The guys I worked with told me there’s no point in moving up there,” Sieg said. “It’s more expensive up there, it’s harder to keep people up there because I think people back in the day were switching teams and they’d just leave and go here or there.”

The distance has worked out so far. Last season, Sieg and his team qualified for the inaugural Xfinity playoffs and finished ninth in the standings.

Devine’s persistence finally worked out. Sieg agreed to drive BK Racing’s No. 83 Toyota at Dover International Speedway. Sieg’s decision was based on the track, which aligns with what he’s had to work with in his career so far.

“You don’t have to have all the best things to go to Dover,” Sieg said. “You don’t need a whole bunch of motor. You can kind of get way with having less motor there and get a decent run. … I finally decided to go over there and do it.”

Though he finished six laps down, Sieg started 34th and placed 26th at the “Monster Mile.”

“I just didn’t want to make a mistake or have anything happen,” Sieg said. “Little things … you don’t want to mess up your first time out there. That was about it. Once I got used to it, it was pretty fun. I figured out about halfway through the race kind of how it needs to drive.”

Sieg got another chance two weeks later at Michigan, where he took BK Racing’s No. 23 Toyota to a 33rd-place finish.

Now a week after the biggest night of his career and a few days of celebration on the beach, Sieg will get his third weekend of double duty at Daytona International Speedway (Friday night on NBCSN). It’s a track that has been a destination for his family for many years.

“Probably been coming down here each July since I was a baby because my grandpa and his brothers would go down to the July Daytona race,” Sieg said. “They would always come down here … since they probably raced on the beach, that’s how long they’ve been coming.”

If things work out, his family will get two chances to see Sieg to accomplish what he did in Iowa.

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