Sewanee University, the University of the South, to Sponsor DiBenedetto at Atlanta Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt DiBenedetto. (Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (February 24, 2016) – Heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, BK Racing welcomes Sewanee University aboard the No. 83 Toyota.

Known familiarly as “Sewanee” by its students, faculty, staff and friends, The University of the South offers an unmatched educational experience. The university remains purposefully small and dedicated to building a sense of community.
Vic Keller, Founder of ZAK Products, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and his wife Alesha provided this sponsorship as a unique way to support the school their son proudly attends.
“Sewanee University is an extraordinary school and is very special to our family,” said Vic Keller. “We look forward to watching for the No. 83 adorned in Sewanee purple at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend along with The University of the South student and Alumni community!”

Pat Lavery to Join Graham Racing in Search of Oswego Speedway Championship

OSWEGO, NY (February 24, 2016) – Graham Racing announced this week that they have appointed Novelis Supermodified veteran and feature winner Pat Lavery as the driver of their Xtreme Chassis No. 91 machine for the 2016 season at Oswego Speedway, in search of their first Supermodified track championship.

Based in Fulton, NY, Graham Racing will add Lavery to an already stellar weekly lineup which includes team owner and former two-time Mr. Supermodified Ray Graham, 2012 Mr. Supermodified Kody Graham, as well as 2015 Novelis Supermodified Rookie of the Year Aric Iosue.

Joining Lavery in the Graham Racing effort will be Bill Samuels, who will now serve as crew chief on the No. 91.

“We are all excited to have Pat join our team along with Bill Samuels as the crew chief,” said Graham Racing car owner, Ray Graham.  “Both of them have a proven track record and a wealth of knowledge.  I expect them to be contending for the track championship and look forward to a great season in 2016 with Pat joining Kody, Aric, and myself racing weekly.”

In a career that dates back to 1999 with Strong Racing and later with Double Deuce Racing from 2008-2015, Lavery amassed 48 career top five finishes as well as a main event victory in 2013.

Known as one of the most consistent drivers in the pit area, Lavery has not finished outside of the Top10 in points since 2004 and has finished in the Top5 in points in seven of the last eight seasons, including runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2012 driving for Double Deuce.

After spending nine seasons with Strong and eight seasons with Double Deuce, Lavery will enter his 18th year of competition with the third team of his driving career.

Since 2009, Graham Racing has garnered 13 main event victories at Oswego including wins in seven consecutive seasons, with Top10 point finishes in four of the last six championship races.

Now the duo will combine with the collaborative goal of a first career Oswego title.

“I was a little surprised a few weeks ago when I was contacted by Ray (Graham),” said Lavery.  “We are really excited and looking forward to a great 2016 race season.  I can’t thank Ray enough for this opportunity.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know him over the past few weeks, and really enjoy his sense of humor and look forward to having fun this year.  Oh, and maybe win a few races too!”

Despite the new team and race car, Lavery will find somewhat familiar ground aside from crew chief Samuels, as Lavery will be teamed with former crew members Aric and Dave Iosue.

Oswego Speedway PR Director Dan Kapuscinski reached out to Double Deuce Racing co-owners Bob Hoefer and Samuels, with Hoefer confirming that “as of this moment there are no plans to run the No. 22.  We are looking to sell.”

The first official track time available for Lavery in his new ride will be the Speedway’s open practice session to be held on Saturday, May 7.

Oswego Speedway will begin its 66th consecutive season of racing on Saturday, May 14 with the lid lifters for the Novelis Supermodifieds and the Pathfinder Bank SBS, as well as the 61-lap Richie Evans Memorial for the RoC Modifieds.

The full 2016 Oswego Speedway event schedule is now available on the Speedway’s website.

Full ticket information and questions can be directed to the Speedway box office at (315) 342-0646.

For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at or LIKE on Facebook at or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.

NASCAR Announces Nominees For NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017, Landmark Award

Hornaday, Roush, Rudd, Squier, Wilson Added To Ballot;
Guthrie Joins Landmark List

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 24, 2016) — Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners, drivers and the most recognizable voice in motorsports. The talents, eras and levels may differ, but all share a common thread. They shaped NASCAR, and on Wednesday, they were recognized as nominees for the highest honor the sport bestows – enshrinement into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all legends who made excellence a habit through their various contributions to the sport.

Among them are record-holding four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; the man with the most car owner wins in NASCAR national series history with 322, Jack Roush; former all-time consecutive starts leader Ricky Rudd; legendary motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier; and three-time premier series champion engine builder and three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson. For a full list of nominees, please see below.

The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on Voting Day for the 2017 class will be Wednesday, May 25.

Added to this year’s list of Landmark Award nominees is Janet Guthrie – the first female driver to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race. The four returning nominees for the Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:

Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949

Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief

Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner

Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Ron Hornaday, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion

Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief

Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion

Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition

Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion

Jack Roush, five-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400

Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder

Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

The five nominees for the Landmark Award, listed alphabetically, are as follows…

H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination Eligibility

– Drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for two years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. Previously, eligible drivers must have been retired for three years.

– In addition, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF.

– Any driver who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.

– Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.

– For non-drivers, individuals must have worked at least 10 years in the NASCAR industry.

– Individuals may also be considered who made significant achievements in the sport, but left the sport early due to a variety of circumstances.

The 22-person Nominating Committee follows…

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President, Competition Scott Miller; Senior Vice President, Marketing & Driver Services Jill Gregory.
Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp.

Media: Mike Joy, FOX.

From weekly short track racing to NASCAR Cup racing