NASCAR Leads Industry With Annual Summit To Start 2016 Season

Innovation And Safety Highlight Concord Gathering

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2016) – With the DAYTONA 500 right around the corner, the men and women who are tasked with the safety, security and organization across NASCAR gathered in Concord, North Carolina, in a collaboration of ideas and advancements.

NASCAR’s annual Summit, the largest gathering of track services, medical, safety, and security personnel in the motorsports industry, will conclude today after three days of professional seminars, training and topical discussions.

The Summit began nearly 15 years ago when a small group of attendees gathered in January to share benchmarks and prepare for the upcoming NASCAR season. The 2016 Summit marked the 10th year it was held at the Embassy Suites Concord Conference Center.

“Seeking constant improvement is a hallmark that defines these dedicated professionals,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “As the industry collectively prepares to begin another racing season, the Summit provides a unique opportunity to exchange vitally important information, advancements, and best practices – with the overarching intent of delivering the best possible event experience.”

The Summit features general sessions and smaller breakout seminars and workshops specific to each functional area. This year’s event included more than 30 focused sessions on topics ranging from incident management to severe weather protocol. Senior Communication Consultant for Game On Nation and former NFL player Leonard Wheeler, a renowned expert in leadership development, delivered the keynote address for the event.

NASCAR also presented awards to individuals for meritorious achievements in their various fields. Bill Braniff, senior director of construction for International Speedway Corporation’s Design and Development unit, was honored with the Jim Bockoven Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary contributions across the NASCAR industry for more than 10 years in the area of track asphalt and maintenance. The full list of those recognized for their work in 2015 includes:


  • Above and Beyond Award – Andy “Sippy” Biron, New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Teamwork Award – Atlanta Motor Speedway Infield Care Center and New Hampshire Motor Speedway Infield Care Center / Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital
  • Excellence Award – Jay Nadeau, Daytona International Speedway


  • Steve Beres – Director of Security, Daytona International Speedway
  • Greg Scott – Senior Manager of Event Operations, Kansas Speedway
  • Bill Hindman – Security Manager, Phoenix International Raceway

Track Services

  • Jim Bockoven Track Services Lifetime Achievement Award – Bill Braniff, International Speedway Corporation
  • Excellence in Track Services Award – George Ewald, Pocono Raceway
  • Track Services Teamwork Award – Road Atlanta
  • Track Services Innovation Award – Dan Eakins (R&B Fabrications)
  • Track Services Mission Award – Kristina Frederick, Kentucky Speedway

The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season will kick off with the 58th running of the Daytona 500® on Sunday, Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway®. The Great American Race® will be broadcast live on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on


Alex Bright Pulls Off Stunning Victory in Chili Bowl 2016 Opener;

Thorson Tops VIROC VIII

TULSA, Okla. (January 12, 2016) With only a few feet to spare at the line, Pennsylvania’s Alex Bright held off Indiana’s Joey Saldana at the line to kick off the 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire on a high note; topping Tuesday’s Warren Cat Qualifying Night for his first Chili Bowl preliminary score.

Marking the second time since 2014 that Alex has made the show, he was asked how special the preliminary night win was to him, “Absolutely amazing. This possibly tops as one of the best wins of my career, if not it definitely ties the one big race in Australia I won, but Saturday would definitely top them all. This is big for me.”
Giving chase from the eight starting spot, Bright cracked the top five by Lap 6 as California’s Kyle Larson took off with the lead. Sitting comfortably ahead of Jonathan Beason, the Oklahoma shoe worked to hold off Zach Daum, while at the same time Alex Bright quietly continued his march to the front.
Taking over third on Lap 9, Bright jumped to second the following lap. In the right place at the right time, the caution flew on Lap 11 as leader Kyle Larson found himself the victim of a slower car. Finding the No 22e stalled off the exit of the second turn, the resulting impact would send Larson spinning to a stop. Kyle would restart at the tail of the field.
“It was unfortunate he [Kyle] got caught up in a wreck,” said Bright. “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that’s racing. We’ve all been in that position.”
“I don’t think that’s all he had,” continued Alex when asked about his chances had Larson not crashed. “It would’ve been interesting to see what would have happened. I think we definitely had something for him.”
Challenged by Daum on the restart, Zach would end up tripping back to third as Jonathan Beason was able to sneak between the wall and the right rear of the No. 5d. Building some breathing room, the fight for second was anything but calm as Beason, Daum, and Spencer Bayston looked like LA traffic, going after each other in nearly every turn. Three wide the length of the back stretch, the race was slowed on Lap 21 for a flip in turn four.
Going for a Hail Mary slide on the restart, Beason slammed the cushion in turn four, causing a domino effect that brought Spencer Bayston to a halt. Going for the same slide again on the ensuing restart, the cushion again bit the No. 8j, allowing Joey Saldana to suddenly jump into second.
Working every angle possible on the No. 77b in the closing laps, Bright would edge out Joey by 0.144 seconds at the line.
“I don’t know how in the hell to drive these racecars to tell you the truth. It’s just an honor to race a Midget with these guys. Last year I finished fourth, so I missed it by one,” said Saldana. “Just putting yourself in the show, I’ve never done that before so for me it’s a huge honor to say I get to race the A Main on Saturday night.”
Zach Daum was the final transfer into Saturday’s 55 lap A-Feature.
“There are eight or 10 crown jewel events for Midget racing and this is at the top of the list so to be locked into it is big. Less than eight percent of the drivers here will make the race. There is no other race in the world that tough to make,” commented Zach about making the cut. “We work all year for the Chili Bowl, basically. We are always learning, always trying, and just trying to make our racecar better.”
Jonathan Beason settled for fourth with Arizona’s R.J. Johnson scoring Hard Charger honors; coming from 16th to round out the top-five.
Chad Boespflug advanced six spots to finish sixth with Matt Sherrell seventh and Andrew Felker eighth. Rebounding from the Lap 11 crash, Kyle Larson charged back to finish ninth with Dillon Welch completing the top-ten.
In a stunning display, the eighth annual Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions found a new champion as 2015 NMDoTY, Tanner Thorson, held off the hard charging No. 71k of Kyle Larson. Taking advantage of a restart near the race’s half-way point, Thorson snagged the lead from Tracy Hines. Joined by Larson in the process, the pair dueled nearly the entire last half of the 20 lap affair with Thorson able to hold off several attempts at a Kyle Larson slide-job.
Tuesday’s Warren Cat Qualifying Night saw 85 drivers check in. The week’s flip count hit eight on the opening night with all drivers involved able to walk away.
The 30th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl National presented by General Tire continues on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 with the River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night. Full roster of scheduled drivers, as well as information regarding the event can be found at

Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire
Tulsa Expo Raceway – Tulsa, Okla.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Warren Cat Qualifying Night
Car Count: 85

Budweiser Heat Races: Top 40 in passing points advance to Qualifiers.
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 5D-Zach Daum[5]; 2. 4H-Tom Harris[3]; 3. 17J-Chase Johnson[7]; 4. 22E-Cameron Hagin[6]; 5. 3FF-Mason Zeigler[4]; 6. 30T-Larry Bratti[1]; 7. (DNF) 7W-Kory Schudy[8]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1PW-Paul White[3]; 2. 3C-Raven Culp[1]; 3. 44X-Wesley Smith[8]; 4. 55-Nick Knepper[6]; 5. 35F-Michael Faccinto[7]; 6. 44J-Jared Sewell[2]; 7. 10-George White[5]; 8. 0B-A.J. Johnson[4]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 39B-Spencer Bayston[3]; 2. 3N-Jake Neuman[2]; 3. 7H-Darren Hagen[6]; 4. 45X-C.J. Johnson[7]; 5. 6C-Jeff Flesher[8]; 6. 17KT-Joe Janowski[5]; 7. 59-Richard Harvey Jr[4]; 8. 56Z-Mindy McCord[1]
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 8J-Jonathan Beason[8]; 2. 5$-Danny Smith[1]; 3. 51J-R.J. Johnson[7]; 4. 12K-Zac Taylor[2]; 5. 99-Kevin Chaffee[5]; 6. 96-Cody Brewer[3]; 7. 19N-Nick O’Neal[6]; 8. 26-Dustin Golobic[4]
Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 0T-Tyler Brehm[2]; 2. 11C-Chett Gehrke[6]; 3. 00-Chase Briscoe[1]; 4. 0S-Dylan Westbrook[8]; 5. (DNF) 2S-Travis Scott[5]; 6. (DNF) 3M-Brent Rees[3]; 7. (DNF) 37T-Tim Kent[4]; 8. (DNF) 05-Brad Loyet[7]
Heat 6 (8 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan[1]; 2. 39S-Kevin Thomas Jr[4]; 3. 17-Joey Saldana[3]; 4. 2-Ryan Hall[2]; 5. 23-Jimmy Light[7]; 6. 77X-Katlynn Leer[8]; 7. 14T-Tony Rossi[5]; 8. (DNF) 32A-Garrett Aitken[6]
Heat 7 (8 Laps): 1. 14W-Matt Westfall[2]; 2. 91A-Chris Andrews[1]; 3. 53H-Austin Archdale[4]; 4. 17E-Blake Edwards[5]; 5. 3T-Tim Barber[7]; 6. 5J-Jeff Crook[8]; 7. 76J-David Jones[6]; 8. 5BB-Bobby Brewer[3]
Heat 8 (8 Laps): 1. 57B-Chad Boespflug[1]; 2. 77B-Alex Bright[5]; 3. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[3]; 4. 11A-Andrew Felker[4]; 5. 4M-J.J. Ercse[7]; 6. 81-Jerry Hammock[2]; 7. 9H-Holly Porter[6]; 8. (DNF) 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr[8]
Heat 9 (8 Laps): 1. 99P-Dillon Welch[1]; 2. 71K-Kyle Larson[7]; 3. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[4]; 4. 2D-Steve Davis[2]; 5. 7SS-Wade Seiler[5]; 6. 46-Kenney Johnson[3]; 7. 926-Morgan Frewaldt[6]
Heat 10 (8 Laps): 1. 78-Nick Wean[1]; 2. 88T-Tyler Nelson[4]; 3. 7RS-Merril Lamb[7]; 4. (DNF)
35X-Zach Hampton[6]; 5. (DNF) 98-Jarid Blondel[2]; 6. (DNF) 0Z-Joe Rinne[3]; 7. (DNF) P40-Aaron Dromgoole[5]
Heat 11 (8 Laps): 1. 55B-Alex Bowman[4]; 2. 35M-Matt Sherrell[7]; 3. 73T-Trey Marcham[6]; 4. 9U-Doug McCune[1]; 5. 5C-Colten Cottle[5]; 6. 21T-Ty Hulsey[2]; 7. 3-Dustin Weland[3]

D-Features: Top 2 advance to corresponding C-Feature.
D Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 21T-Ty Hulsey[1]; 2. 0G-Glenn Styres[8]; 3. 10-George White[4]; 4. 32A-Garrett Aitken[9]; 5. 9H-Holly Porter[3]; 6. 37T-Tim Kent[6]; 7. 56Z-Mindy McCord[11]; 8. 19N-Nick O’Neal[2]; 9. (DNF) 26-Dustin Golobic[10]; 10. (DNF) 7W-Kory Schudy[7]; DNS P40-Aaron Dromgoole
D Feature 2 (10 Laps): 1. 05-Brad Loyet[8]; 2. 14T-Tony Rossi[4]; 3. 76J-David Jones[2]; 4. 5BB-Bobby Brewer[10]; 5. 3-Dustin Weland[6]; 6. 30T-Larry Bratti[1]; 7. 0K-Don O’Keefe Jr[7]; 8. 926-Morgan Frewaldt[3]; 9. (DNF) 59-Richard Harvey Jr[5]; 10. (DNF) 0B-A.J. Johnson[9]

C-Features: Top 4 advance to corresponding B-Feature.
C Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 35F-Michael Faccinto[1]; 2. 11A-Andrew Felker[3]; 3. 2-Ryan Hall[4]; 4. 96-Cody Brewer[10]; 5. 3T-Tim Barber[2]; 6. 5C-Colten Cottle[8]; 7. 0G-Glenn Styres[14]; 8. 2S-Travis Scott[7]; 9. 9U-Doug McCune[6]; 10. 46-Kenney Johnson[11]; 11. 98-Jarid Blondel[9]; 12. (DNF) 21T-Ty Hulsey[13]; 13. (DNF) 77X-Katlynn Leer[5]; 14. (DNF) 44J-Jared Sewell[12]
C Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 23-Jimmy Light[1]; 2. 05-Brad Loyet[13]; 3. 3FF-Mason Zeigler[8]; 4. 99-Kevin Chaffee[6]; 5. 81-Jerry Hammock[12]; 6. 14T-Tony Rossi[14]; 7. 12K-Zac Taylor[3]; 8. 4M-J.J. Ercse[2]; 9. 5J-Jeff Crook[5]; 10. 17KT-Joe Janowski[9]; 11. 0Z-Joe Rinne[11]; 12. 7SS-Wade Seiler[7]; 13. (DNF) 2D-Steve Davis[4]; 14. (DNF) 3M-Brent Rees[10]

Qualifiers: Top 16 in combined passing points advance to the A-Feature.
Q1 (10 Laps): 1. 39B-Spencer Bayston[4]; 2. 57B-Chad Boespflug[1]; 3. 8J-Jonathan Beason[6]; 4. 17-Joey Saldana[10]; 5. 22E-Cameron Hagin[9]; 6. 4H-Tom Harris[7]; 7. 55B-Alex Bowman[5]; 8. 88T-Tyler Nelson[2]; 9. 7RS-Merril Lamb[3]; 10. (DNF) 5$-Danny Smith[8]
Q2 (10 Laps): 1. 7H-Darren Hagen[2]; 2. 77B-Alex Bright[4]; 3. 5D-Zach Daum[6]; 4. 99P-Dillon Welch[1]; 5. 0T-Tyler Brehm[3]; 6. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[10]; 7. 55-Nick Knepper[9]; 8. 91A-Chris Andrews[8]; 9. 45X-C.J. Johnson[7]; 10. (DNF) 11C-Chett Gehrke[5]
Q3 (10 Laps): 1. 71K-Kyle Larson[6]; 2. 44X-Wesley Smith[5]; 3. 78-Nick Wean[1]; 4. 14W-Matt Westfall[3]; 5. 73T-Trey Marcham[2]; 6. 17J-Chase Johnson[4]; 7. 53H-Austin Archdale[8]; 8. 17E-Blake Edwards[10]; 9. 3N-Jake Neuman[7]; 10. 35X-Zach Hampton[9]
Q4 (10 Laps): 1. 39S-Kevin Thomas Jr[3]; 2. 35M-Matt Sherrell[6]; 3. 1PW-Paul White[5]; 4. 0S-Dylan Westbrook[1]; 5. 51J-R.J. Johnson[4]; 6. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[8]; 7. 93-Dustin Morgan[2]; 8. 6C-Jeff Flesher[9]; 9. 00-Chase Briscoe[10]; 10. 3C-Raven Culp[7]

B-Features: Top 4 advance to the A-Feature.
B Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 99P-Dillon Welch[1]; 2. 11A-Andrew Felker[14]; 3. 0S-Dylan Westbrook[2]; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[5]; 5. 91A-Chris Andrews[8]; 6. 00-Chase Briscoe[11]; 7. 55B-Alex Bowman[3]; 8. 3N-Jake Neuman[10]; 9. 96-Cody Brewer[16]; 10. 4H-Tom Harris[4]; 11. 88T-Tyler Nelson[7]; 12. 35F-Michael Faccinto[13]; 13. 7RS-Merril Lamb[9]; 14.
35X-Zach Hampton[12]; 15. (DNF) 53H-Austin Archdale[6]; 16. (DNF) 2-Ryan Hall[15]
B Feature 2 (15 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[2]; 2. 0T-Tyler Brehm[1]; 3. 55-Nick Knepper[5]; 4. 17J-Chase Johnson[4]; 5. 73T-Trey Marcham[3]; 6. 93-Dustin Morgan[6]; 7. 11C-Chett Gehrke[8]; 8. 23-Jimmy Light[13]; 9. 05-Brad Loyet[14]; 10. 3C-Raven Culp[12]; 11. 6C-Jeff Flesher[7]; 12. 99-Kevin Chaffee[16]; 13. 3FF-Mason Zeigler[15]; 14. 5$-Danny Smith[11]; 15. 17E-Blake Edwards[10]; 16. 45X-C.J. Johnson[9]

VIROC VIII (20 Laps): 1. 67-Tanner Thorson[4]; 2. 71K-Kyle Larson[5]; 3. 24-Tracy Hines[1]; 4. 63-Bryan Clauson[12]; 5. 71-Christopher Bell[16]; 6. 15X-Chad Boat[9]; 7. 6K-Dave Darland[7]; 8. 67Z-Kasey Kahne[8]; 9. 47-Danny Stratton[2]; 10. 47X-Tim McCreadie[3]; 11. 5-Jerry Coons Jr[6]; 12. 97-Rico Abreu[17]; 13. 1ST-J.J. Yeley[10]; 14. 21K-Cory Kruseman[14]; 15. 4-Damion Gardner[13]; 16. 05-Brad Loyet[19]; 17. 22H-John Heydenreich[11]; 18. (DNF) 1-Sammy Swindell[18]; 19. (DNF) 39S-Kevin Thomas Jr[15]

A-Feature: Top 3 advance to Saturday’s A-Feature.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 77B-Alex Bright[8]; 2. 17-Joey Saldana[11]; 3. 5D-Zach Daum[5]; 4. 8J-Jonathan Beason[2]; 5. 51J-R.J. Johnson[16]; 6. 57B-Chad Boespflug[12]; 7. 35M-Matt Sherrell[3]; 8. 11A-Andrew Felker[19]; 9. 71K-Kyle Larson[1]; 10. 99P-Dillon Welch[17]; 11. 14W-Matt Westfall[14]; 12. 18-Tony Bruce Jr[18]; 13. 17J-Chase Johnson[24]; 14. 39S-Kevin Thomas Jr[7]; 15. 39B-Spencer Bayston[4]; 16. 78-Nick Wean[13]; 17. 0S-Dylan Westbrook[21]; 18. 55-Nick Knepper[22]; 19. 0T-Tyler Brehm[20]; 20. 1PW-Paul White[10]; 21. (DNF) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[23]; 22. (DNF) 7H-Darren Hagen[9]; 23. (DNF) 22E-Cameron Hagin[15]; 24. (DNF) 44X-Wesley Smith[6]
Lap Leaders: Kyle Larson 1-11; Alex Bright 12-25
Hard Charger: R.J. Johnson +11


Riverhead, NY Jan 11th.

When the new management team of Riverhead Raceway introduced the Riverhead Modified Crate division last October, the announcement immediately caught the attention of veteran Legend Race Car owner John Visconti III of Brooklyn. This past week John announced the Visconti Racing Team would indeed compete in the Riverhead Modified Crate class with former Charger talent CJ Lehmann of Shirley recently announced as the driver for the new team.

“I have to thank Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz not only for keeping racing alive at Riverhead Raceway but for introducing the Riverhead Modified Crate division that we are very excited to be a part of in 2016” an enthusiastic Visconti stated. Heading towards the new season will find some changes to Visconti’s team as well. “Since 1985 Tommy Barton has been my partner in any and all racing ventures but he’ll be stepping back this year” John disclosed. “With that in mind we have now formed the Visconti Racing Team. My father Cookie will serve as the General Manager of the team with my wife Marie taking on the role of Financial Manager”. Cookie Visconti, as veteran race fans will recall, was one of the top drivers in the Late Model class at the Freeport Stadium. In honor of his driving career the new Riverhead Modified Crate entry will carry Cookie’s famed #74 in 2016 at Riverhead Raceway.

IMG_0202_7592 (2)
CJ Lehmann in Charger victory lane 2013

Once the team business was settled the process of purchasing a car and putting the actual team together began. “We purchased a 2013 Troyer and are currently in the process of converting the car to the Riverhead Modified Crate specs” Visconti said. As to who would drive the car John announced, “we are happy to announce CJ Lehmann as our driver for 2016. I feel with the combined experience of the Visconti and Lehmann race teams and families that we will be a top team weekly and perhaps contend for the RMC championship”. Scott Lehmann, CJ’s father has been appointed Crew Chief for the team.

Visconti also pointed to a continuation of a long standing alliance both he and the Lehmann race teams have enjoyed with Tommy Baldwin Racing over the past few seasons. That relationship will continue with the new combination, “Tommy Baldwin Jr. through TBR Racing as well Baldwin Automotive in Bellport will again serve a major sponsor of our race team. In fact the combination of our teams makes the TBR alliance stronger”. John also disclosed long time sponsors IGA Food Markets and Applebee’s have agreed to remain with the team in 2016.

As excited as Visconti is about the new team, driver CJ Lehmann could hardly contain his excitement, “I feel as though I had two Christmas mornings” Lehmann boasted after his naming as the team driver came just days after the holiday season. “I can’t thank John Visconti and the Visconti Racing Team enough for this opportunity as well Tommy Baldwin for his part in the formation of this team”. CJ, a seven time Riverhead Charger feature event winner added, “the icing on the cake for me is what a honor and privilege it will be to drive the #74 that Cookie Visconti enjoyed so much success with during his driving days”.

Anticipation and excitement continue to build for the Riverhead Modified Crate class with 22 car numbers registered to date. Among those include many former track champions. Peter Bertuccio, Kyle Ellwood, Scott Pedersen, Eric Zeh, Dylan Slepian, Mike Albasini and Dave Brigati have all won track titles at Riverhead Raceway over the years and plan on competing among the RMC ranks in 2016.

The Riverhead Modified Crate class will get right to the business of racing on Grand Opening night Saturday evening May 7th.  A huge Fireworks spectacular is planned for the 7 division opening night to celebrate a new era of racing at Riverhead Raceway. Rounding out the program are the NASCAR Modifieds, Late Models, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and Legend Race Cars.

For further information as well 2016 Riverhead Raceway marketing information please call 631-842-RACE or e-mail The complete 2016 schedule of events are available at

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