OSWEGO, NY (January 9, 2018) – For the third year in a row, Toyota has returned as the headlining sponsor of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Toyota Mod Classic 150 which is set to go green as part of the 62nd running of Budweiser International Classic Weekend at Oswego Speedway on Saturday, September 1.
The appearance of the Mod Squad this September will mark just the third time since 1999 that the series has appeared at Oswego, with Toyota onboard as a sponsor each season within that window. Once again in 2018, the popular 60-lap Bud Light ISMA Supernationals will run alongside the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as part of Classic Saturday’s star studded program.
“Our team here at Oswego Speedway is very excited to welcome back Toyota as the headlining sponsor of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 150 and thank them for their continued support of the event for the past three seasons,” said PR Director Camden Proud. “The added exposure this race received on a national level with NBC Sports last season coupled with the growing fan support continues to make the 150 one of the biggest shows of the season at Oswego.”
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle whether it be a truck, car, or SUV, you can start looking online at Toyota.com. Toyota’s impressive network of New York Toyota auto dealerships gives car buyers the ability to start shopping for their new or used vehicle from the comfort of their home. Once a Toyota dealer is located online, customers can request a quote, go to the dealer’s website, or schedule a meeting in person.
With dealerships in Syracuse, Utica, Rochester, Binghamton, and more, Toyota has your needs covered no matter where you are located in Upstate New York. For more updates and the latest deals from Toyota Auto Dealerships across the country, you can also LIKE Toyota on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toyota or FOLLOW on Twitter @Toyota.
For those interested in purchasing tickets for Budweiser International Classic Weekend, winter office hours at Oswego Speedway are 11am-4pm on Saturdays, with special weekday hours posted frequently on the speedway’s social media outlets. You can also phone a representative at the box office by dialing (315)-342-0646.
The full 2018 schedule for Oswego Speedway, set to open with the first ever running of the Jim Shampine Memorial Twin 50’s on Saturday, May 26, has been posted online at OswegoSpeedway.com. Season ticket information, pricing, and time schedules will be added in the near future. All kids 16 and under will remain FREE with a paid adult this season.
For more information on Oswego Speedway, be sure to visit online at OswegoSpeedway.com. You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway or LIKE on Facebook at Facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
NASCAR Home Tracks Awards Spotlights Accomplishments
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For a 17-year-old, Todd Gilliland was in a familiar situation when he took the stage at the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night.
He had, after all, done this all before. Just one year ago.
“Ever since I was little, all I wanted to do was drive a race car,” said Gilliland. “When I got that chance to do that for Bill McAnally Racing, I really wanted to win him a championship. And now I’m here giving my speech for my second year in a row; 2017 has been a dream season.”
Gilliland wasn’t the only familiar face honored at the NASCAR Home Tracks Awards, officially receiving their NASCAR championship rings and trophies. Doug Coby received the hardware for his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship, Lee Pulliam picked up his fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship trophy, and Mexico’s Abraham Calderón took home his second NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series title trophy.
They were joined by first-time champions Harrison Burton (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Alon Day (NASCAR Whelen Euro Series) and Alex Labbe (NASCAR Pinty’s Series).
Whether they came from Israel and Quebec or North Carolina and Virginia, there was a common theme that was echoed throughout the night of celebration.
Dreams realized. And the support behind chasing the drivers chasing them.
“This season has created so many memories that will stay with me my whole life,” said Burton. “So much has gone into winning this championship, and it’s awesome to just slow down and celebrate it with my team, friends and family.”
“What a journey,” said Day. “To end up here tonight as a NASCAR champion. Who would have thought an unknown driver from a small country in the Middle East would one day wind up being a NASCAR champion. That achievement never would have been reached without the help of so many people.”
It was a night that celebrated the future of NASCAR and toasted the historic achievements of NASCAR veterans.
A year after becoming the youngest champion in NASCAR touring or national series history, Gilliland became the first driver to win back-to-back NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championships since Mike Duncan in 2004-05. He nearly became the first driver to sweep the K&N Pro Series East and West titles, but Burton overcame an eight-point gap by winning the East season finale. In the process, he broke Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano’s record as the youngest champion in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East history.
Both Gilliland and Burton also ran several NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in 2017 as they look to move up the racing ladder.
Canadian Labbe is also eying a move up, but first he had unfinished business in Canada. After a disappointing end to 2016, the 24-year-old bounced back with a decisive 2017 campaign that saw him finish sixth or better in all but the finale en route to the Pinty’s Series title – the national stock car racing championship in Canada.
“It means a lot — I’ve been working on it for a long, long time,” said Labbe. “To finally get that championship, to get the trophy at the end of the year: It’s a dream. It’s something that I’m going to have with me all my life.”
Likewise, Calderón took home his country’s stock car national championship. While he won his first title in 2014 without winning a race, he had a series-high five victories this year, including four in a six-race summer stretch to take command of the series lead.
“For me and my team, it’s something huge — it means a lot — to be here celebrating our second NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series championship. It’s something we’ll never forget,” said Calderón. “I remember the last race in Mexico City, it was a stunning event. I’d like to explain with words what it felt like crossing the finish line but I cannot. It’s something that just flows through your body and makes you feel alive. It was just really, really amazing.”
Day finished second in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2015 and third in 2016 before a magical run in 2017. He made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup debut at Sonoma, and then won three of the final four races of the Whelen Euro season to edge two-time champion Anthony Kumpen.
For Coby, though, the year started like a nightmare. He was involved in wrecks in his first two races, and four races into the season he was still 51 points out of the championship lead. The Milford, Connecticut, driver didn’t mind that everybody was looking to knock him off the perch.
“I’d rather be the guy with the bull’s eye on his back than the one swinging at it,” said Coby, who scored top fives in 10 of the last 12 races to earn his fourth straight title and fifth in the last six years.
Coby joined NASCAR Hall of Famers Jerry Cook and Richie Evans, NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik along with Tony Hirschman Jr., as the only drivers in NASCAR Modified history with five or more titles.
“I’m just racing against who I’m racing against and doing thing best I can do in this era,” Coby said.
“It’s a testament to what you’ve done in the sport,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told Coby. “When you look back at the series and who can represent the sport the best, (the Modifieds are) where legends are made. You’ve heard Doug talk about just concentrating on the present. But it’s fitting we’re here in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. With five championships, you’re well on your way to an historic career.”
Likewise, Pulliam moved closer to one of short track’s indelible records.
Piling up 155 Late Model wins in 290 starts since 2011, the North Carolina native tied Philip Morris for second most national titles. He’s one behind NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, the late Larry Phillips. Phillips won five titles between 1989-96.
“Before you become legendary, you’ve got to be successful,” Helton told Pulliam. “I think you’ve laid the foundation on becoming one of the legends in NASCAR.”
Pulliam won 14 times at Myrtle Beach Speedway on his way to the track and South Carolina titles. He finished with 19 wins, 36 top fives and 43 top 10s in 45 starts at eight different tracks across the southeast.
“You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but it gets me every time,” said Pulliam. “I told my wife in 2017, I was going as hard as I can to win national championship number four. As Michelangelo once said, the greatest danger for most of us is not from setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and hitting our mark.
“Chasing a national championship requires help and sacrifice from so many people. Many nights we saw the sun come up, with no sleep. My guys never gave up. We fought, clawed and battled as a team to accomplish this. This championship was won by people banding together and not stopping until the goal was accomplished.”
Pulliam noted that at 29 years old, he feels he has plenty of racing left.
“And I think I’ve got more titles in me,” said Pulliam.
The championship car owners and crew chiefs were also recognized Friday night.
There were plenty of other trophies handed out, too.
Missouri’s Cody Jolly (Division II), Ontario’s Eric Yorke (Division III), Michigan’s Cole Roelofs (Division IV) and Iowa’s Dustin Thompson (Division V) joined Pulliam in receiving their NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national titles. The night got underway with the awarding of 34 U.S. state and Canadian province championships, along with 59 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I track champion trophies.
In addition to the championship awards, each series rookie of the year was honored. Calvin Carroll (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), Derek Kraus (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West) and Chase Purdy (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) were the Sunoco Rookies of the Year in their respective series; Adam Martin (NASCAR Pinty’s Series) and Mitch Keeter (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series) received their Josten’s Rookie of the Year for their series; and Stienes Longin was awarded the Junior “Jerome Sarran” Trophy by the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series as the series’ top young driver. Enrique Baca was the top rookie in the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series.
Ryan Vargas, another rising star who is moving from Late Models in California to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East next year as part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing, won the Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award for the second straight year. The award is given to the top performing minority or female driver in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Company to Remain Entitlement Sponsor of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Through 2024;
Whelen Signs Ten-Year Renewal with NASCAR Hall of Fame
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2017) – NASCAR and Whelen Engineering, Inc. announced today multi-year extensions to continue its entitlement sponsorship of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series through 2024. Additionally, Whelen will also extend its designation as the “Official Warning Lights of NASCAR.”
“More than a decade of successful partnership has resulted in Whelen Engineering being deeply connected to many levels of our sport,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series are critical to reaching fans, developing talent and delivering great racing both domestically and abroad.”
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR’s oldest division of racecars, is the premiere asphalt modified circuit in the nation. With a history dating back to Daytona Beach in 1948, the tour features a mix of passionate, veteran drivers with emerging young talent and includes races from New England to South Carolina.
“Whelen Engineering has played a big role in NASCAR for many years and we are ecstatic to continue to support the sport with this extended relationship,” said Phil Kurze, Whelen Engineering vice president of motorsports. “Our ability to build brand and product recognition nationally and internationally due to our partnership helps drive our business and reach new customers.”
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, the official NASCAR series based in Europe, has global appeal with 21 nations represented. Since becoming a NASCAR touring series in 2012 and obtaining the Whelen entitlement in July 2013, U.S. drivers such as Bobby Labonte, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Ben Kennedy have competed abroad. NASCAR Whelen Euro Series cars are also featured in the annual international Race of Champions.
“The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is honored to have Whelen Engineering continue its title sponsorship,” said Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Euro Series president. “Whelen has helped NASCAR introduce exciting, door-to-door, American racing to a passionate motorsports fan base in Europe and we look forward to growing the series together in the years to come.”
A 10-year renewal with the NASCAR Hall of Fame as the title sponsor of the “Whelen Hall of Champions” was also announced today. Since opening in 2014, the exhibit has honored nearly 600 national and regional championships from the sport’s current and past series. The Hall also houses the “Everyday Champions” display, which honors first responders from across the country.
“We are thrilled with the multiyear extension of the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s partnership with Whelen Engineering. Through the Whelen Hall of Champions exhibit, we recognize every national and touring series champion in NASCAR history to date,” said Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director. “The ceremonial unveiling each year in association with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and NASCAR Touring Series banquet has become a celebrated moment for this partnership.”
Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. In addition to its entitlement, Whelen will continue to showcase their products across NASCAR tracks and pace cars.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will honor their champions at the NASCAR Home Tracks Champions Awards on Friday, Dec. 8 at North Carolina’s Charlotte Convention Center.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).