RICHMOND, Va. – NASCAR drivers Brad Keselowski, Ty Dillon and Cale Conley helped plant flowers Saturday morning at a Boys and Girls Club near Richmond International Raceway.
The event was a part of Comcast Cares Day. Xfinity, which sponsors NASCAR’s No. 2 series is a part of Comcast (along with NBC). The project to help beautify the Boys and Girls Club was one of about 700 projects nationwide that involved about 95,000 volunteers for Comcast Cares Day.
It also gave the drivers a chance to play in some dirt and mulch.
For Keselowski, it was a return to his youth. He once was a member of the Boys and Girls Club. Too young to travel with his parents to races, he stayed with his grandmother.
“When you’re 10, 11, 12 years old that’s a little too much for even your grandmother and so during the day I would go to the Boys and Girls Club in (Troy) Michigan,’’ Keselowski said. “I remember a lot of kids. I remember it was my first real interaction with a computer. I remember playing a lot of flag football and capture the flag.’’
For Conley, Saturday’s experience with the children was fun.
“We got to looking for earthworms more than we did planting flowers,’’ Conley said with a smile. “It was really kind of humbling. (Friday night) racing a race car at Richmond, literally living my dreams since I was kid, and today get to come with kids I’ve never met before and dig some holes in the ground and search for earthworms. It really kind of sets you in place.’’
Dillon was not a novice to the work. His parents had a garden and his wife started one recently.
“I’m still a little bit of a rookie at it,’’ he smiled.
The 18” tall/4.5” wide trophy for the Daytona road course race was produced by the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. It’s the same institution that’s been responsible for designing the Watkins Glen International trophy since 2012.
Sunday’s race is being held in the place of the Cup Series’ annual visit to Watkins Glen.
Incorporating a blown glass cup, the trophy is inspired by the history of NASCAR and racing at Daytona.
“Thinking about the history of the track and long-held traditions, I was reminded that historically, trophies used to be cups and have evolved into sculptural forms,” said Eric Meek, Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs at The Corning Museum of Glass, said in a media release. “We took this trophy back to a more traditional shape. Daytona is the most historical track, and in thinking about a trophy design for a race held in this storied location, I was transported back to the golden age of speed. I wanted to design something that felt like a bit of a throwback – like it belonged in the era of streamline racers and the quest to go faster.”
Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona will mark the first time the series has competed in the track’s road course circuit.
Austin Cindric, who has won four of the last five races, is on the pole. He is joined on the front row by fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe.
Here are the details for the Xfinity race at the Daytona road course (all times ET):
START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:07 p.m by Dr. Jeff Jarvis, president of UNOH. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m.
PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8:30 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 2:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3 p.m. by Chaplain Farzad Nourian. The national anthem will be performed at 3:01 p.m. by Temecula Road.
DISTANCE: The race is 52 laps (187.72 miles) around the 3.61-mile road course
PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, the entire field will go down pit road during a pace lap for pit road speed verification. If a driver stops in the pit box for any reason, pulls over or slows down, they will start at the rear of the field.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 15. Stage 2 ends on Lap 30.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green followed by the race broadcast at 3 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
Marks, who once was a co-owner of an ARCA Menards West team with the late Harry Scott, said a goal of the team is to “serve America’s minorities and underrepresented youth population”
Marks told SBJ he is in negotiations to acquire a charter for the team, that his family foundation will use investment capital to fund 50% of the team’s budget and that a “nationwide family entertainment business” will be a sponsor.
One of Marks’ partners will be Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing.
The work that @NASCAR is doing on the future of the sport is 100% what is needed. It’s been a dream of mine to compete at the highest levels in the sport and the business. Announcements to come. https://t.co/f4ilQiLKBR