Category Archives: NASCAR

Jimmy Zacharias To Make K&N East Debut For Marsh Racing At New Smyrna

CANDOR, N.Y. – Jimmy Zacharias will make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut during the season opening event at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 11.

Zacharias, who earlier this year captured his sixth NASCAR track championship at New York’s Chemung Speedrome in the Sunoco Modified division and his fourth New York state NASCAR championship, will pilot the No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Chevrolet for team owner Ted Marsh.

The deal to put the 26-year-old racer in the legendary Marsh Racing No. 31 came about thanks largely to his 13-year-old cousin, Garrett Zacharias.

“Garrett, who collects hero cards, sent the team’s Facebook page a request,” Zacharias explained. “Dar, who oversees the team page, was impressed by the wins and championships that Garrett had already accumulated in his young career, later reached out to Garrett to be a guest on the Jack Dodson’s Racing Insider News With Scott Allen Facebook Live Show, which is held weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.

“Jack, who was familiar with Jimmy because of his multiple championships at Chemung, requested that he be a guest as well. Jimmy and Dar started talking about the show and the 2018 season and the deal kind of came together from there all in the last week and a half or so.

“We’re going to start at New Smyrna and see how it goes,” said Zacharias, who met team owner Ted Marsh for the first time in person on Monday at the Marsh Racing shop. “He’s a good guy, Monday was my first time meeting him and the team.  It seemed like we knew each other for a while and we just hit it off and had a good day talking.”

The chance to race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is a big step for Zacharias, who has made a name for himself as one of the most dominant drivers in Chemung Speedrome history the last few years.

Zacharias has won six of the last seven track championships in the Sunoco Modified class at the three-eighths-mile asphalt oval and won seven races this year at Chemung en route to his sixth track title.

The New York native hasn’t just stuck to asphalt racing. In recent years he has also begun racing on dirt and this year he picked up a pair of dirt victories in a sportsman modified, his first victories on dirt.

In addition to competing at New Smyrna Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Feb. 11, Zacharias also hopes to bring his modified with him to compete during the annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.

“I’m trying to take my modified to do Speedweeks with that,” Zacharias said. “I’ve been racing there since I was 14 years old with the SK modifieds and the tour-type modifieds. I want to keep that streak going, but we’re going to focus on the K&N deal.

“We’re going to do testing here and get as much seat time as we can and hopefully have a good run.”

Quality Choice Property Improvements in West Elmira, N.Y.,  and Midstate Basement Authorities in Ithaca, N.Y., have both signed on to sponsor Zacharias during his K&N East debut, but the team is still looking for additional sponsorship.

“We’re still looking for marketing partners if anyone is looking to come on board the tour-type modified or the K&N car for Speedweeks,” Zacharias said.

For additional information about Jimmy Zacharias, follow him on Twitter at @JimmyZacharias or visit www.facebook.com/jimmyzacharias71. For addition information about Marsh Racing, visit www.facebook.com/marshracing31.

Truex Jr Wins Homestead and Championship

(Courtesy: NASCAR Media)

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 19: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – At the end of a riveting, breathtaking battle that had fans in the grandstands on their feet long after the checkered flag, Martin Truex Jr. held off Kyle Busch by .681 seconds at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win Sunday’s Ford Eco-Boost 400 and his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title. 

In Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last race in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Truex—one of Earnhardt’s closest friends—kept Busch behind him during a 34-lap green-flag run to the finish. 

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 19: A “Thank You” message for Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AXALTA Chevrolet, is displayed on a flag towed by a pickup truck during pre-race ceremonies for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

“It’s just overwhelming,” a tearful Truex said in Victory Lane. “To think about all the rough days and bad days, the days that we couldn’t run 20th, to be here—I never thought this day would come, and to be here is so unbelievable.” 

The victory was a timely gift for Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser, who is back home in Denver, Colo., recovering from a heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. It was also a gift to Truex’s long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex, who has been battling ovarian cancer. 

“A lot of it was for her,” said Truex, who won for the first time at Homestead and the 15th time in his career. “A lot of it was for me. A lot of it was for this team – just, I don’t even know what to say. We just never gave up all day long. We didn’t have the best car. I don’t know how we won that thing. Never give up. Dig deep.” 

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 19: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The victory also was entirely appropriate. For the bulk of the season, Truex was the top driver in the series. Sunday’s victory was his eighth of the year, a series-best, and his seventh on 1.5-mile intermediate speedways. Truex had the No. 78 Toyota out front for 78 laps on Sunday, bringing his season total of laps led to a career-best 2,253, also tops in the series. 

With an excellent long-run car, Busch slipped to fourth after the final restart on Lap 234 of 267 and needed nine laps to pass the stubborn No. 22 Ford of Joey Logano. Seven laps later, Busch slipped past fellow Championship 4 contender Kevin Harvick into second and set his sights on Truex. 

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 19: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota, race during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Busch closed rapidly, but Truex found a line that allowed him to maintain an edge that shrank to as little as two car lengths. But Busch never could pull alongside his fellow Camry driver, and Truex inched away over the last four circuits. 

“I told my guys we were going to dig deeper than we ever have today, and (with) 20 (laps) to go, I thought I was done – they were all better than me on the long run all day long,” Truex said. “I just found a way. I found a lane that I could use, and I found a lane that was blocking enough of their air that they couldn’t use it and just made it happen. 

“I can’t believe it. I’ve wanted this since I was a little kid and just never give up. Just never give up on your dreams, no matter what happens and what kind of crap you go through. And thank you, Barney. I wish you were here, buddy.” 

Kyle Larson finished third, closely trailing the championship battle after moving past Harvick for third on Lap 252. Harvick came home fourth, after debris from David Starr’s Chevrolet punched a hole in the nose of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. 

“I was just really loose the whole last run,” Harvick said. “When it started to get dark, we started to get tight in the corner, and then we got a hole in the nose. We got that fixed and just couldn’t quite get it where we needed to be to make good times. 

“Some runs we fell off. Some runs we were tight on entry. There at the end we were just too loose.” 

Chase Elliott and Joey Logano ran fifth and sixth, respectively. Playoff driver Brad Keselowski finished sixth, ending the season fourth in the series standings. 

Busch opted for a one-pit-stop strategy during the final stage of the race and appeared headed for the title until his brother, Kurt Busch, spun in Turn 4 on Lap 227 to bring out the fifth and final caution of the event and bunch the field for the restart on Lap 234. 

“Yeah, it wasn’t quite what we wanted there at the end,” Busch said. “I thought we had a really great race car. Especially on the long runs, we were really, really good. Just came down to there at the end, not having enough tire when I got to the 78. 

“So I just overused my stuff, and I knew I overused my stuff when I was running with the 22 (Logano) trying to get by him and just overworked everything, and got to the 4 (Harvick), got by him pretty quick. I tried to make sure that I could do that pretty quick so then I could have at least a little more tire life, but didn’t seem to pay me off any when I got to the 78.”

William Byron Wins 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship

Byron Also Takes Sunoco Rookie of the Year;

No. 22 Team Penske Ford Captures Owners Title;

Chevrolet Wins Bill France Performance Cup as Top Manufacturer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2017) – William Byron’s meteoric NASCAR rise continued Saturday, as the 19-year-old added two more superlatives to an already lengthy list – 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion and 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Byron is only the second driver to win the XFINITY Series championship in his rookie season (Chase Elliott, 2014).

Following an extraordinary rookie campaign, the NASCAR Next graduate, who finished third, outlasted his Championship 4 competitors Elliott Sadler (eighth), Justin Allgaier (12th) and Daniel Hemric (34th) in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture his second NASCAR title. He also won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in 2015. With the 2017 championship, Byron – at 19 years, 11 months and 20 days – is the second-youngest champion in series history (Elliott was 18 years, 11 months, 18 days).

This season, Byron drove the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet to four wins, 12 top fives and 22 top 10s. His victories came at Iowa, Daytona, Indianapolis and Phoenix, which helped propel him to a lofty position in the standings – from race No. 2-33, he never dropped lower than fifth in the standings.

Byron’s ascent to the top level of the sport will continue in 2018, as Hendrick Motorsports announced that he will drive the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Byron is the fourth member of the NASCAR Next program to win a NASCAR national series championship (Chase Elliott, NASCAR XFINITY Series, 2014; Erik Jones, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2015; Daniel Suarez, NASCAR XFINITY Series, 2016).

With its second-place finish, the No. 22 Ford won the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Owner Championship for Team Penske, the organization’s fourth XFINITY Series owner title. This season, the No. 22 was piloted by Ryan Blaney (11 races), Brad Keselowski (nine), Joey Logano (seven), Sam Hornish Jr. (five) and Austin Cindric (one race).

Chevrolet, on the strength of 12 victories, clinched the Bill France Performance Cup – the manufacturers’ championship – in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Because Chevrolet owned a more than 40-point lead in the standings following Phoenix, the automaker clinched the title one race early. It is Chevrolet’s 18th Bill France Performance Cup win.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)