Ryan Newman

February 9, 2009 by  
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Ryan Joseph Newman was born in South Bend, Indiana on December 8, 1977 and is currently a driver for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Newman and the late Alan Kulwicki are one of the few drivers who attained a college degree before racing for NASCAR. Ryan Newman graduated with a B.S. in vehicle structure engineering and Kulwicki with a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University in 2001.

Ryan Newman has had a fantastic career in motor sports. Amongst his awards have been the following USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year (1996), USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series Champion (1999), Winston Cup Rookie of the Year (2002), Sprint All-Star Race XVIII winner, 2003 Driver of the Year, and winner of the 2008 Daytona 500. As of the end of 2009, Ryan Newman’s stats were looking impressive: 13 wins and 121 top ten finishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; 7 wins with 27 top tens in the NASCAR Nationwide Series; and 1 win, plus 3 top tens in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Between 2003 and 2006 Newman was invited specifically to the International Race of Champions three times and came second to Matt Kenseth in 2004.

Ryan Newman and his wife Krissie run the Ryan Newman Foundation. The foundation has no association to racing but focuses primarily on unwanted dogs and cats in pounds and shelters ensuring that they receive adequate care. Newman also helped with the funding of the Catawba Country, North Carolina Humane Society shelter, which was constructed in his home county. Ryan Newman also enjoys spending time working on vintage cars, particularly the 1950’s Chrysler and apart from that enjoys fishing.

Dave Steele Leading in “Copper World” Class

November 3, 2008 by  
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Dave Steele already has a reputation for being a great driver – and it’s a reputation that’s well earned. The midget car driver already more wins than any other driver when it comes to USAC competitions held at the Phoenix International Raceway. Steele has as many as 8 PIR wins under his belt.

But that isn’t enough for Dave. Next Thursday he’ll be returning to the racetrack to compete in the 33rd ‘Copper World Classic’. He’ll be racing in both ends of the event, which will be presented by Fast Signs, and he’ll be hoping to increase his already amazing number of wins. Why does this Tampa, Florida, driver seem so unbeatable? According to Steele, it’s because he’s been around a long time. “I guess you could call me one of the oldtimers,” he commented in a recent interview, “I’ve raced there for 15 years now and it seems like I always have the best equipment, so that helps.” Apart from 15 years of midget car racing, Steele has also taken part in an Indy Racing League event and a NASCAR Nationwide practice session. The combination of skill, experience and good car parts seems to be an unbeatable one, and Dave Steele may well manage to improve on his existing record without too much difficulty. Steele already has five Silver Crown trophies and three Midget trophies. He has also won eight of the past 12 USAC races held at PIR and has set both the 1-lap track qualifying records.

When Steele takes to the Phoenix International Raceway in a few days time, he’ll be behind the steering wheel of car #91 in both the midget and Silver Crown races. In the midget race, he will be driving a Toyota/Oakley Beast Pink Toyota which has been entered by Nine Racing (Laguna Beach, California), while his Silver Crown car will be a West Coast Roofing/Classic Corvettes Beast/Speedway Engines car which has been entered by Bruce Nicholas. Steele remarked: “We just finished the Silver Crown car so this will be the first outing and we’re looking forward to that.” While some may feel that using an unproven car when setting out to win may not be the best idea, Dave Steele seems confident that his driving, his cars and his team members will all come out tops yet again.

USAC/CRA Sprint Car Debut Race at Calistoga

June 20, 2008 by  
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The Calistoga Speedway at the Napa County Fairgrounds in California will be buzzing with the excitement of auto racing fans and the reverberation of high-powered engines when the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars take to the track on 30-31 August 2008. This will be the first time that USAC/CRA (United States Auto Club/Champion Racing Association) Sprint Cars will be competing on the historic half-mile Calistoga Speedway in a race that is sure to uphold the track’s seventy-one year record for hosting spectacular racing.

The two highly competitive thirty-lap races will pay tribute to the late Louie Vermeil, who died in 1987. This well respected Californian racing legend served as a driving force for the establishment of motor sport in the Napa Valley, being instrumental in the founding of the Northern Auto Racing Club. Vermeil was an expert auto mechanic whose local Owl Garage was an institution in the area for around fifty years. Vermeil built and owned a number of racing cars, as well as playing a significant role in organizing races at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Calistoga’s first race in 1937 had one of Louie Vermeil’s cars in the line-up and he was the American Racing Association’s car owner champion in 1950.

In addition to the USAC/CRA Sprint Car races, the two nights of racing will include the USAC Western Midgets. Although this is the first USAC/CRA Sprint Car race to be held at Calistoga, USAC racing first made its appearance on the track in 1993, with Billy Boat winning a Midget race and going on to notch up four Calistoga triumphs in the following years. Other Midget race winners at Calistoga include Wally Pankratz, Johnny Cofer, Jim Keene and Tony Stewart.

Steve Howard of So-Cal Performance in Downey, California, put forward the idea for the upcoming racing event to serve as a tribute to Louie Vermeil whose sons Stan and Dick Vermeil are contributing tow money for traveling teams, as well as lap prize money.

Calistoga is referred to as “The Hot Springs of the West” and sights to see include an impressive erupting geothermal well, affectionately known as “Old Faithful”, a petrified forest, the superb architecture of the Calistoga City Hall and the fascinating Calistoga Water Truck Sculpture. Auto racing enthusiasts traveling to Napa County for this exciting USAC/CRA Sprint Car event, will have much to see and do when they are not enjoying the excitement at the Calistoga Speedway.

Don’t Miss the Indycar Japan 300

April 17, 2008 by  
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Indy League racing fans are no doubt looking forward to the upcoming Indycar Japan 300. Sponsored by Bridgestone, this American open-wheel race is held each year in Motegi, Japan. This year’s race will take place on Saturday, 19 April at Twin Ring Motegi.

American car races have not always been a popular activity in Japan. While the country has long enjoyed involvement in Formula One racing, it has taken quite a bit of effort to get open-wheel racing to become a regular feature on this country’s calendar. The first American open-wheel race to be held in Japan took place in 1966 at the Fuji Speedway. It was an exhibition race and a one-off event. The USAC did not return the following year and it was a long time before the possibility of returning racing activity to the shores of this country arose.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan was looked at as a potential CART series racing destination. However, there were various complications and new rules stated that any CART race outside of the country needed to be held on an oval. So it was only after Honda joined the CART series in 1994 that things started to pick up. When they became massively successful in 1996 there was once again interest in the idea of holding a race in Japan. Upon the completion of the Twin Ring Motegi oval in 1998, the first CART series race was held in Japan. This set a trend and the race was first changed to a Champ Car event and then to an Indy Racing League event.

Since 2007, the next race on American soil at the Kansas Speedway has taken place directly after the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 so that fans do not have to suffer a break in their Indy racing season. The change was met with massive support, and now the 300 mile race at the Twin Ring Motegi oval is a well-founded and popular event on the annual Indy Racing League calendar. This year’s race looks set to be better than ever, so make sure you get in on all the action at this year’s Indycar Japan 300!

Marshall Teague – An Early Star in NASCAR

September 10, 2007 by  
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In his relatively short life-time, Marshall Teague earned a place in the history of auto racing that will not be forgotten. Marshall Teague was one of the pioneers in NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) and also one of its first stars.

Driving his “Fabulous Hudson Hornet“, Teague captured two pole positions and claimed seven victories in just twenty-three career starts, beginning in 1949. In 1951 and 1952 on the Daytona Beach course, Marshall Teague claimed first place, earning himself the nickname of “King of the Beach”. He was also the winner of the first NASCAR race that was held at Carrell Speedway in California in 1951.

Following an altercation with Bill France Snr, Teague left the NASCAR series in 1953 to race in the USAC (United States Auto Club) and AAA series. Fortunately, they later settled the dispute.

Marshall Teague established a relationship with the Hudson Motor Car Company, and was part of the Hudson Motors team during the 1951 and 1952 racing seasons. It was during this time that he nicknamed his car as the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet”. Teague played a significant role in assisting Hudson to tune the Hudson Hornet to its full stock car potential. With the Hudson Hornet’s light weight and its low centre of gravity, no other car of the time could match it and Teague and other Hudson drivers dominated stock car racing from 1951 to 1954. Marshall Teague, with the assistance of his friend and mechanic, Smokey Yunick, won the majority of the stock car events he participated in. Teague was awarded the AAA Stock Car Driver of the Year in 1951 and AAA Stock Car Champion in 1954.

Tragically, Marshall Teague lost his life when his car crashed while he was attempting a closed course speed record at the new Daytona International Speedway on 11 February 1959 – he was only 36 years old. He was posthumously honoured by the National Motor Sports Press Association’s Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway in 1968, the National Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1988, TRS/NASCAR Mechanics Hall of Fame in 1989 and The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 1991. Clearly, Marshall Teague was one of the best!