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David Gilliland, Ty Gibbs to appeal heavy penalties for violating testing rules

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Defending K&N Pro Series East championship team DGR Crosley will appeal Wednesday’s L6 penalty assessed by NASCAR for violating the preseason testing policy.

A NASCAR spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that the team used the NASCAR-approved spec engine in the test. The use of the engine violated the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Series testing policy, which specifically prohibits testing at a sanctioned track on the 2019 K&N Pro Series East schedule.

Car owner David Gilliland and driver Ty Gibbs, the 16-year-old grandson of NASCAR Cup team owner Joe Gibbs, were each suspended three races for the team’s private test at New Smyrna Speedway. Car chief Chad Walters was suspended indefinitely.

Gilliland is also docked 100 owner points. Gibbs has been docked 100 driver points.Gilliland, Gibbs and Walters have each been fined $5,000 apiece. The L6 penalty is the most severe in K&N Pro Series.

No date for the team’s appeal has been set. If the appeal is not heard before the Feb. 10 K&N Pro Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway, all three would be allowed to compete.

Here’s what the violations are, per the NASCAR rule book:

* Section 12‐5.3.7: Violations resulting in L6 Penalties, in general, represent the expressly forbidden areas of unauthorized activity such as violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy.

* Section 12‐ 5.3.7.1.5 Violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy Conducting a private test with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series vehicle at a sanctioned track on the 2019 K&N Pro Series East Schedule (such as New Smyrna Speedway). Private race vehicle testing by any NASCAR K&N Pro Series race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associated, subsidiary or surrogate at any facility that appears on the Series Schedule or that has been granted a Touring Series sanction will be prohibited regardless of “rookie” or “veteran” status.

DGR Crosley issued a statement Wednesday, claiming it was taking part in a private ARCA test.

“This afternoon NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they are imposing for actions that occurred during an ARCA Racing Series test on January 14. We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately. While the appeals process runs its course, we will move forward and keep our focus on the upcoming season.”

However, the ARCA Series will not hold any sanctioned races at New Smyrna Speedway in 2019.

ARCA also issued a statement on the penalty:

“ARCA does not have any private testing limits at sanctioned or non-sanctioned tracks, other than a clearly defined moratorium on each event entry blank that generally covers the week leading up to an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event. Teams who would like to schedule a private test at one of the 18 tracks on the ARCA schedule do not have to notify us in advance of doing so, it is an agreement between them and the individual track.

“The only time we would get involved would be if a team tested during that moratorium period that is defined on each entry blank. DGR-Crosley Racing is not under any ARCA penalties because they did not break any ARCA rules.”

DGR Crosley won the K&N East series championship last season with driver Tyler Ankrum.

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NASCAR unveils 2019 K&N Pro Series East schedule

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images for NASCAR
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The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will race 13 times in 2019, including six times on tracks that also run NASCAR Cup races.

The season begins Feb. 10 at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway and ends Oct. 4 at Dover International Speedway.

South Boston (Virginia) Speedway will host twin 100-lap features on May 4, the second consecutive year the .400-mile track has done so. Thompson (Connecticut) Speedway will host the third annual NASCAR Throwback with the K&N Series on June 15.

The East Series will go head-to-head twice with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – July 26 at Iowa Speedway and Aug. 24 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

2019 K&N Pro Series East Schedule 

Feb. 10 – New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway

April 6 – Bristol Motor Speedway

May 4 – South Boston (Virginia) Speedway *

June 1 – Memphis International Raceway

June 15 – Thompson (Connecticut) Speedway Motorsports Park

July 20 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway

July 26 – Iowa Speedway

Aug. 2 – Watkins Glen International

Aug. 15 – Bristol Motor Speedway

Aug. 24 – Gateway Motorsports Park (Madison, Illinois)

Sept. 21 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Oct. 4 – Dover International Speedway

  • Twin 100-lap races

 

13th Drive For Diversity Combine set for Oct. 10-12 in Florida

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NASCAR and Rev Racing on Thursday announced the contestants who will take part in the 13th Drive For Diversity Combine.

The national tryout event will take place on Oct. 10-12 at New Smyrna Speedway near Daytona Beach, Florida.

This year’s field of 17 contestants will include 13 females and several multicultural drivers from across the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Drivers will be competing for spots with Rev Racing teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for one full season. Those selected will be assigned teams and provided with equipment, mentoring and competition experience.

“This year’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine will feature some incredible talent and we’re excited to watch these young drivers compete,” Dawn Harris, NASCAR director, multicultural development, said in a media release. “NASCAR’s first-class development program has produced the likes of Kyle Larson, Daniel Suárez and Darrell Wallace Jr., so it will be fun to see who rises to the top at New Smyrna.”

Combine officials are also looking forward to the annual event.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for these up-and-coming drivers; something I am very proud to be a part of for the sixth consecutive year,” Rev Racing director of competition Jefferson Hodges said. “To see past Drive for Diversity participants compete across all three NASCAR national series speaks volumes for the solid foundation Rev Racing provides these drivers in their budding careers.”

In addition to the newcomers that will make up much of the 2017 D4D class are several members from the 2016 class that will be eligible to return for next season, as well.

Those include Macy Causey, who at 14 years old was the youngest combine participant in NASCAR Drive for Diversity history in 2015.

Also participating are Hailie Deegan, daughter of Brian Deegan, the most decorated athlete in freestyle motocross history, and Hope Hornish, the niece of 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner and current NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Sam Hornish Jr.

Others include current NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers: Jairo Avila, Enrique Baca, Collin Cabre, Madeline Crane, Ruben Garcia Jr, and Ali Kern.

Combine participants will be evaluated on driving skills, a physical fitness assessment and receive additional training at nearby Bethune-Cookman University.

Fans can follow the Combine live on Twitter at @NASCARDiversity and @RevRacing.

Below are the invitees to the 2016 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine:

First Last Age City State/Country
Ali Kern* 23 Fremont Ohio
Amber Balcaen 24 Winnipeg Canada
Ariel Biggs 22 Castaic California
Armani Williams 16 Grosse Point Michigan
Chase Cabre 19 Tampa Florida
Collin Cabre* 23 Tampa Florida
Enrique Baca* 25 Monterrey Mexico
Hailie Deegan 15 Temecula California
Hannah Newhouse 19 Twin Falls Idaho
Hope Hornish 19 Defiance Ohio
Jairo Avila* 21 Alhambra California
Jay Beasley 24 Las Vegas Nevada
Kayli Barker 19 Las Vegas Nevada
Luis Rodriguez 22 Miami Florida
Macy Causey 15 Yorktown Virginia
Madeline Crane* 18 Meansville Georgia
McKenna Haase 19 Carlisle Iowa
Nicole Behar 18 Otis Orchards Washington
Reegan May 22 De Pere Wisconsin
Ruben Garcia Jr.17 20 Mexico City Mexico
Santiago Tovar 23 Mexico City Mexico
Taylor Jorgensen 20 Stockbridge Georgia
Walter Thomas III 18 Indianapolis Indiana

* Current NASCAR Drive for Diversity drivers eligible for 2017 program; will attend but not compete in combine

 

 

WATCH: K&N East season opener at New Smyrna, 10:30 p.m. ET

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NBCSN begins its 2015 NASCAR touring series broadcast schedule tonight with the airing of last Sunday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener from New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

You can watch the 150-lap event tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET, or STREAM IT online and on your mobile device through NBC Sports Live Extra.

Sunday’s race on the .48-mile high-banked oval marked the K&N East debut for sprint car phenom Rico Abreu and featured a green-white-checkered finish, so you won’t want to miss this one.

If you plan to stream, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified. Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 10:30 p.m. ET to watch the K&N East series take to the track.

Driver’s harrowing escape: ‘I either have to crawl through the fire or die’

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Jordan Ives, nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief, Greg Ives, survived this accident at New Smyrna Speedway this past weekend. The 16-year-0ld says he plans to continue racing. (Photo courtesy Speed51.com)

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The contact didn’t seem that bad. After backing into the wall, Jordan Ives’ Super Late Model slid through Turn 3 at New Smyrna Speedway and stopped facing the wrong direction.

He didn’t realize the fuel cell ruptured on impact.

Then he saw the fire.

Flames raced toward his car as the 16-year-old nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief, Greg Ives, remained strapped in it, secured by a five-point safety harness, snug seat and a radio wire connected to his helmet.

To Jordan, though, everything – including the flames – seemed in slow motion.

Until the car ignited.

The window net burned. Smoke and flames reached inside the car.

“I either have to crawl through the fire,’’ Jordan thought “or die.’’

He unbuckled his safety harness, ripped the window net down and pushed it away. Jordan reached for the roll bar to climb out, looked up and flames shot through the bottom of his helmet, blasting him in the face.

In the infield, Jordan’s father, Steve, sprinted toward the car.

He did not see his youngest child’s desperate attempt to escape. He saw only flames and smoke engulf the car.

BORN TO RACE

Racing came naturally to Jordan, a native of Gladstone, Mich. His grandfather drove stock cars. His dad raced. Even his mother, Angie, drove.

One day, Angie was making hot laps in Steve’s IMCA dirt modified at an Iowa track and crashed. She said she didn’t feel well and went to a doctor. She found out she was pregnant with Jordan.

She stopped racing. It already was in Jordan’s blood. The youngest of five children, he started driving motorbikes at age 5. He graduated to micro sprint cars and then to Super Late Models, which he’s raced the past four years. It’s a family operation.

“I love this sport,’’ Jordan said. “It’s my whole life, and I couldn’t see myself not racing.’’

He lives in North Carolina with his uncle, Greg and his family. Greg Ives, who is in his first season as Earnhardt’s crew chief, formerly raced Super Late Models.

Greg Ives mentors his nephew. When Greg has free time, they work on Jordan’s car together. He’s helping Jordan prepare for a future in the sport whether as a driver or crew member.

RACING IN FLORIDA

Jordan finished 13th in the Super Late Model race Friday at New Smyrna Speedway and was credited with 12th after a competitor was disqualified. The car handled well that night. He felt good about Saturday’s race at the track.

Jordan made a couple of laps in the first practice session that day but returned to the pits because the brakes “weren’t feeling right.’’ His team inspected the brakes and bled the lines. No leaks were found.

In the second practice session, Jordan made a mock qualifying run on his race tires to scuff them and returned to the pits. The team put on another set of tires so Jordan could run more practice laps.

After Jordan ran some consistent laps, his crew chief radioed him to make one more circuit before returning to the pits.

The brakes failed entering Turn 3.

ESCAPE

Flames came through the window after Jordan pushed the net aside. This was his only escape route.

“Even though it hurt, I kept crawling through it,’’ Jordan said of the fire.

The flames singed his eyebrows and the end of his bangs and reddened his cheeks when it flashed up through the bottom of his helmet.

He climbed out but landed in fire beside the car. Jordan darted away.

As Steve ran to the car, he heard his son’s voice.

“My car!’’ Jordan screamed. “My car! We worked so hard!’’

It was Jordan’s favorite. One he had run since his second year in Super Late Models. It had a new motor.

The car was gone. Jordan suffered only slight burns on his face.

As the thick black smoke rose, father and son hugged.

Jordan cried.