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Truck race at Texas will have new sponsor supporting hurricane relief

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Texas Motor Speedway announced Wednesday that Weatherford, Texas-based JAG Metals LLC will sponsor November’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoff race.

Included in the sponsorship of the Friday night, Nov. 3 event will be an emphasis on helping those still recovering from Hurricane Harvey’s flooding and the other damage it occurred.

That’s why the race has been named JAG Metals 350 Driving Hurricane Harvey Relief. It will be the company’s first venture into major entitlement sponsorship, as well as in the motorsports industry.

“JAG Metals is a young gun company itself, so it was a great fit to support the young guns in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series who will become the sport’s next stars,” JAG Metals LLC co-owner Justin Bradley said in a statement.
Added TMS President Eddie Gossage, “We welcome JAG Metals to our family of sponsors, particularly because they are wanting to support folks in Texas who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We know many are hurting there and struggling, so any time one of our sponsors wants to develop a support program we know they are good people.”

Texas crash damage forces MDM Motorsports to pull out of Gateway truck race

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MDM Motorsports announced Thursday that it has withdrawn its No. 99 Chevrolet Silverado from Saturday’s Drivin’ For Linemen 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

The team issued a media release that its decision is due primarily to the damage the No. 99 incurred in the vicious crash that involved Timothy Peters on the second-to-last lap last Friday at Texas.

While the team has a back-up truck, many of the suspension parts it needs were damaged in the Texas wreck.

“We came back to the shop and spent Monday assessing the damage to the race truck, and more specifically, the racing components,” said MDM competition director Mark McFarland. “While we had a truck at the shop to race in the event of damage at Texas, we were relying on the suspension components to come back in race-able condition.

“That obviously wasn’t the case when the Metabo Chevy spun into the infield grass at Texas and created the conditions for the truck to flip and land on its roof.”

Peters was scheduled to make his second start for MDM at Gateway.

“We couldn’t be prouder of the MDM employees that worked on the truck to ensure the seat was properly mounted for Timothy Peters and for the safety devices that all performed their jobs,” McFarland said. “However, we would be doing a disservice to our sponsors, partners and Timothy this weekend if we showed up with a truck that crew chief Shane Huffman didn’t feel was capable of competing for the win.”

The team plans to return for the next two races on the Truck schedule at Iowa and Kentucky, with Brandon Jones slated to be behind the wheel of the No. 99.

No driver nor sponsor has been named for the truck for the race at Eldora Speedway.

Thursday’s announcement of the Truck Series race pullout will not have any impact on MDM’s participation in Friday’s ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway. The team is fielding three drivers in the event: Brandon Jones, Sheldon Creed and Vinnie Miller.”

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Daniel Suarez crew chief fined for unsecured lug nut at Pocono

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NASCAR has fined Daniel Suarez‘ crew chief, Scott Graves, $10,000 for having one unsecured lug nut on the No. 19 following the Pocono 400.

It is the only Cup penalty issued following the race at Pocono Raceway.

A fine was also issued to the interim crew chief on the No. 29 team in the Camping World Truck Series.

Buddy Sisco was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut on Chase Biscoe’s truck following the Rattlesnake 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sisco received the fine after his first of four races as the interim crew chief on the No. 29 truck owned by Brad Keselowski Racing. Sisco is substituting for Mike Hillman Jr. who was suspended along with two pit crew members after the left front wheel on Briscoe’s truck rolled off during the Truck race at Dover.


Legislation could help Texas Motor Speedway to lure All-Star Race, season finale

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Texas Motor Speedway could become a player for the NASCAR All-Star Race or Cup season finale with legislation making the track eligible for money to help bring those events there.

H.B. 3294 was filed Monday without Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. It becomes effective Sept. 1.

The measure updates the law. It makes the track eligible for funding should it ever get the All-Star race or season-ending championship race. The money comes from the state’s Major Events Reimbursement Fund, which provided millions to help lure the 2017 Super Bowl.

An event has to be listed to be eligible for funding. Texas Motor Speedway previously had not been listed in the law.

“It’s just going to give us a tool, should we choose to use it, to give us an opportunity to pursue some events in a way that have probably never been pursued in NASCAR before,’’ Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, told NBC Sports. “Don’t know that we’re ever going to use it, but at least it’s something we’ve got in our tool kit that I don’t know anybody else in motorsports has.’’

NASCAR awards its races to tracks. There isn’t a bidding process as there is for a Super Bowl or NCAA Final Four. The 2018 Cup schedule has been set with Charlotte Motor Speedway scheduled to host the All-Star Race for the 33rd time in 34 years. The 2018 schedule has Homestead-Miami Speedway hosting the season finale for what would be the 17th consecutive year.

NASCAR has five-year sanctioning agreements with tracks that go through 2020.

Gossage said that it was his understanding that its two Cup race weekends were not eligible for such funding from the state, so the track sought to have the All-Star Race and championship finale added as part of the legislation.

Events the measure lists as eligible for funding include all-star games for the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer, a national championship college football game, a World Cup soccer game or tournament and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals Rodeo, among others.

The Major Events Reimbursement Fund is controlled by the governor’s office. There is a formula that determines what each event is eligible to receive. The fund is supported by state and local sales taxes, auto rental tax, hotel and alcohol state taxes.

The Associated Press reported that the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston was eligible for $25 million and the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix Formula One race in Austin, Texas, was eligible for $26 million.

Gossage said the track has not had any discussions with NASCAR seeking the All-Star Race or season finale.

Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway are both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., so moving the All-Star Race would have to be approved by Marcus Smith, president, chief executive officer of SMI.

“Ultimately, it’s Marcus’ decision as to whether to try to use it, and I honestly can’t tell you what he would say,’’ Gossage said. “He’s president of the company and that’s all eight speedways. He’s got to make decisions that are in the best interest for the company. That’s going to be tough particularly when the company is based in Charlotte and we’re talking that one of these events is a Charlotte event.’’

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Were you at Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s first Cup win at Texas in 2000 and have a tale to tell?

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Were you in the stands when Dale Earnhardt Jr. recorded his first NASCAR Cup win on April 2, 2000?

If so, Texas Motor Speedway wants to talk with you and hear your stories from that day.

Track officials announced Monday a “casting call” for fans to tell their stories about that special day for themselves and Junior.

The best stories could potentially be part of the marketing content that will appear during the retiring Earnhardt’s last appearance at TMS on Nov. 5, part of a triple-header weekend with all three major NASCAR series in competition there.

Here is part of the media release that the track released with details:

“With Earnhardt Jr. scheduled to retire at the close of this season, Texas Motor Speedway is building its marketing campaign for the NASCAR superstar’s final visit to Dallas/Fort Worth for the Nov. 2-5 AAA Texas 500 tripleheader weekend.

“The plan includes identifying fans that were at Texas Motor Speedway the day Earnhardt Jr. recorded his first Cup win in the DIRECTV 500 and have them share their stories about that historic day.

“Those fans and their stories could be part of the video content Texas Motor Speedway will feature in national and local television commercials, on the world’s largest TV situated at the speedway known as “Big Hoss” and social media, among the various media platforms.

“Interested fans must pre-register at www.texasmotorspeedway.com with their information and stories to be eligible for the final casting call.”

The track will notify finalists for the last casting call, which will be held in-person on Saturday, July 1, at TMS’ offices.

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