Mack Trucks

NASCAR fan truckers’ voices heard in Mack deal


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If you’ve spent more than a few minutes listening to SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, it becomes abundantly obvious that many of the station’s callers are multitasking.

Many of them listen for hours on end and patiently wait on hold while a deftly piloting a 25-ton load down a crowded interstate somewhere in North America.

This hasn’t been lost on the latest company to partner with NASCAR in an official sponsorship.

In the deal that made Mack Trucks the new “Official Hauler of NASCAR,” John Walsh, the company’s vice president of marketing, said the ubiquitous (and frequently passionate) voices of truck drivers on SiriusXM NASCAR emerged as a factor in the discussions.

“They are the unsung heroes of the economy who are keeping America moving,” Walsh told NBC Sports. “Our industry is facing a very significant driver shortage. As a result, the opinions of drivers and which trucks they prefer has become a key purchase criteria for our customers. Partnering with NASCAR gives us a powerful means to further illustrate to key audiences that Mack is the best choice.”

In a multiyear agreement announced Tuesday morning, Mack will replace Freightliner as the sport’s official big rig. The Greensboro, North Carolina-based company will supply NASCAR with 11 Pinnacle high-rise sleeper models that are customized to help bring the sanctioning body’s mobile offices to tracks at 36 races around the country.

NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps said the sponsorship makes sense given NASCAR’s reputation as a traveling circus of professional sports.

“There are certain categories that lend themselves that are endemic to the sport,” he said. “Trucks certainly are one of them. The big rigs are in a sweet spot. You look at the number of truck drivers on the road who are NASCAR fans calling into SiriusXM, and it’s a very good marriage between both a brand standpoint and category standpoint with NASCAR.”

Walsh said Mack delivered 27,000 trucks globally last year (roughly 90% sold in North America) and had a market share of 8.1 percent. The company, which is known for its success in construction as a vocational truckmaker famous for large construction projects such as the Hoover Dam and Lincoln Tunnel, is trying to grow its long-haul business, particularly in Class A trucks.

Mack is hoping to use its NASCAR sponsorship to hook both drivers and decision-makers in small to midsize fleets that comprise much of its business. The company focuses heavily on driver comfort and specialization. For trucking companies struggling to attract drivers, being an attractive and popular brand can help with recruitment.

“We want to make sure the drivers understand the value we bring,” he said. “That becomes a key driver for the folks they work for in purchasing decisions. Attracting and retaining drivers is a very significant concern for our customers today.”

Walsh said trackside hospitality is being planned for every Sprint Cup race and expects to entertain a group of about two dozen at the Daytona 500. Mack likes that size because it is “a brand predicated on personal relationships.

“We’re working through the engagement plan; it varies by track,” Walsh said. “We get the opportunity to engage a significant number of customers with pace car rides, a driver meeting, pit areas and hospitality. Package that together, and it’s an exceptional and unforgettable experience. Our dealers are very excited about this.”

Mack already was involved in NASCAR through doing business with teams, which also frequently use Freightliner and Featherlite rigs and trailers.

Though there has been controversy in the past about NASCAR’s official sponsorships siphoning off potential funding for its teams, Walsh said Mack hadn’t been considering any team deals. NASCAR approached Mack several months ago about replacing Freightliner (whom Phelps said left because of “changing business needs”).

“We’re open to relationships with teams,” Walsh said. “One of the things attractive about this is it gives us access to teams for those discussions. But at a higher level, to be involved with the sport this way is in line with our business objectives.”

Mack Trucks

Phelps said much of the rancor from teams about official sponsorships had abated, and NASCAR “doesn’t hear that we’re competitive in the marketplace with them.

“When I came into this sport about 10 years ago, the first thing I heard from team personnel was, ‘Hey, I don’t feel this way, but I know other teams feel NASCAR is trying to steal our sponsors,” Phelps said. “I think that’s really because of the dialogue that has opened up that we rarely hear that anymore.”

Phelps said a new industry services department headed by senior vice president of marketing Jill Gregory has helped breed a better environment in which teams are benefiting from cooperating with NASCAR on landing sponsors.

“That whole group’s entire being is there to help teams with sales and marketing and bring in new sponsorship,” Phelps said. “It’s not done for official sponsorships. It’s done entirely for teams. You look at the research provided by our group for the teams and tracks as well. It’s more of an open book and transparent about what we’re trying to achieve.”

Las Vegas Xfinity results, driver points

Las Vegas Xfinity results
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
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Chase Briscoe‘s victory Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway sends him into the next round of the Xfinity playoffs.

Noah Gragson led a 2-3-4 finish for JR Motorsports. Gragson was second and followed by Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg finished fifth.

Briscoe dominated the race, leading 164 of the 200 laps.

Click here for Xfinity race results


Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers, and fell out of a transfer spot to the second round. He’s two points behind Harrison Burton for the final transfer spot. Michael Annett is 10 points behind Burton. Riley Herbst is 14 points behind Burton. Brandon Brown is 20 points behind Burton.

Click here for driver points report

Chase Briscoe scores 8th Xfinity win of year with Las Vegas triumph

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Chase Briscoe met a preseason goal of winning eight races with his victory in Saturday night’s Xfinity playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Briscoe, who also won at Las Vegas in February, advances to the second round.

Briscoe dominated, winning both stages on the way to his second consecutive victory and eighth of the year. He led 164 of 200 laps.

“Awesome car,” Briscoe said on the radio of the car that also won at this 1.5-mile speedway earlier this year. “Can’t say enough, awesome car.”

Gragson said of Briscoe’s car on NBCSN: “Lot of race cars out here and one space shuttle.”

Las Vegas native Noah Gragson finished second and was followed by JR Motorsports teammates Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier. Ryan Sieg placed fifth.

Austin Cindric placed sixth and was followed by Michael Annett, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley.

Briscoe’s eight wins through 27 races ties him with Jack Ingram and Sam Ard for the most wins by non-Cup drivers through 27 races in a season. Ard and Ingram both did it in 1984. Briscoe’s eight wins ties him with Carl Edwards for most wins by a Ford driver in a season in the Xfinity Series. Edwards accomplished the feat in 2011.

“I knew this team was fully capable of achieving that and even more,” Briscoe told NBCSN of winning eight races this year. “I just can’t say thank you enough to Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone that lets me drive these race cars. It has been an unbelievable season and we still have a lot, six more wins that we can try to get and a championship. That is what we are going to try to do. I am so happy to start the playoffs like this. After the last couple weeks we had, to go to Bristol and win and now here is a pretty good way to start our playoffs.”

The 25-year-old Briscoe does not know where he’ll run next season. He has a year left on his contract with Ford.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ryan Sieg’s fifth-place finish is his fifth top five of the season, the most he’s had in a season. … Runner-up Noah Gragson has finished in the top six in all four of his Xfinity Las Vegas starts. He did it by overcoming a bloody nose during the race. At one point, he put roll bar padding up his nose to clog it. … Daniel Hemric had finished 24th or worse in four of his last five starts before Saturday’s race. He finished third at Las Vegas.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain finished 16th, last among the playoff drivers. It’s his first finish outside the top 10 at a 1.5-mile speedway this season.

NEXT: The series races Oct. 3 at Talladega Superspeedway (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) in the middle race of the opening round of the playoffs.

Gracie Trotter becomes first female to win ARCA-sanctioned race

Gracie Trotter
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Gracie Trotter became the first female to win a race sanctioned by ARCA when she captured the ARCA Menards West race Saturday at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I’m at a loss for words right now. My first year in ARCA, out West, far from home – it just really means a lot to me,” Trotter said after her first series win.

The best finish by a female in ARCA Series history had been second. Shawna Robinson (1999 at Daytona), Erin Crocker (2005 and ’07 at Kentucky and 2006 at Kansas) and Hailie Deegan (2020 at Daytona) each finished runner-up in an ARCA race.

This is the first year that the West Series has been sanctioned by ARCA. It was previously known as K&N Pro Series West. Deegan was the most recent female winner in that series. She won three times. Deegan scored her first career West win in 2018 at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway. That victory made her the first female to win in that series. Deegan went on to win twice more in that series in 2019.

The 19-year-old Trotter is a third-generation racer. She drives for Bill McAnally Racing. Trotter began competing in go-karts at age 8. She was the first female to win the Young Lions Legends Cars division at Charlotte Motor Speedway, capturing the title in 2017. This is her first season in the ARCA Menards West Series.

Trotter pulled away from teammate Gio Scelzi to win by 0.821 seconds Saturday. Teammate Jesse Love, who is the series points leader, finished third.

She took the lead on Lap 54 with a three-wide pass.

“I kind of got a little lucky there,” Trotter said. “The two front cars were battling side by side. I took it three-wide, a little sketchy at first, but I made it stick.”

She went on to lead 95 of the 150 laps.

Trotter also competes for Rev Racing as part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. She won her first Late Model race at Hickory (North Carolina) Motor Speedway on Sept. 13. The win made her the fourth female to win a Late Model Series race at the historic 0.363-mile track, which opened in 1951.

A replay of Saturday’s ARCA Menards West race will air at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday (Sept. 30) on NBCSN.

Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas: Start time, TV channel

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The second round of the Cup playoffs begins with the Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The 1.5-mile track kicks off the Round of 12. Winning the race and stage points are a premium for playoff drivers before the races at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval.

Kevin Harvick, who won at Bristol, starts from the pole.

Here is all the info for the Sunday Cup race at Las Vegas:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis at 7:07 p.m. The green flag waves at 7:17 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at Noon. Drivers report to their cars at 6:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 7 p.m. by Motor Racing Outreach Chaplain, Billy Mauldin. The national anthem will be performed by Sierra Black at 7:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 267 laps (400.5 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 80. Stage 2 ends on Lap 160

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 6 p.m with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 6:30 p.m. Race coverage begins at 7 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 6 p.m. and also can be heard at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App

FORECAST: The forecast calls for sunny skies with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Kevin Harvick beat Kyle Busch to win at Bristol and claim his ninth win of the season.

LAST POINTS RACE AT LAS VEGAS: Joey Logano beat Matt DiBenedetto and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in February.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the lineup.


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