For the third year in a row, NASCAR X-finity Series cars will bear the names of active military units and installations on their windshields during Friday night’s Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Units and installations like the U-S-S Arizona Ship-14, the 701st Military Police Battalion and Nellis Air Force Base are among the groups from all five branches of the United States Armed Forces that will replace the “X-finity” header that customarily appears on the top strip of the windshield … On Saturday, fans will once again take a moment and “Rise to Honor” service members during pace laps preceding the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Monster Energy Series race … and Daytona International Speedway is saluting three recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor during the weekend. All three 2018 honorees served in the U.S. Army. They are Master Sergeant Leroy Petry, Command Sergeant Major Gary Littrell and Staff Sergeant Don Jenkins. Petry’s tour of duty took him to Afghanistan. Littrell and Jenkins served in Vietnam. This is the tenth consecutive year the Speedway has honored recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration given by the United States government. They’ll be recognized during a special luncheon, will attend drivers meetings, and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 on Friday and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday night. They’ll also take part in an autograph session in the track’s FAN ZONE on Saturday before the Cup Series race.
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” will reach a broadcast milestone this week when “NASCAR TODAY” airs its 10,000th show.
The fast-paced, two-minute daily update featuring NASCAR newsmakers has been a staple of the network’s lineup since 1990, when host Allen Bestwick first gave listeners a fresh take on the weekend just completed and a sharp focus on the weekend ahead.
“When we started the show, the sport’s popularity was growing so fast that fans’ demand for information far exceeded the weekend race broadcasts, which was all that was being done at the time,” Bestwick recalls. “This was our way of bringing updates to them through our network of radio affiliates.”
The program’s success led to the premiere of “NASCAR TODAY Mid-day” in 2008, a companion broadcast that included overnight updates and any late-breaking news to take NASCAR fans into the lunch hour.
On Friday, June 15, the 10,000th program in the two shows’ combined inventory will air on some 325 affiliate stations nationwide and on the American Forces Network with an audience of 400,000 service members around the world.
“The fact that what we started and nurtured from scratch at show No. 1 has hit 10,000 gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction,” says Bestwick.
Since “NASCAR TODAY” debuted, there have only been four hosts. Joe Moore, currently the lead anchor on MRN’s NASCAR broadcasts, replaced Bestwick. Then in 2010, Woody Cain stepped behind the microphone and is now in his ninth season. Kyle Rickey has been the primary host of the program’s mid-day version.
Cain’s voice will be heard on Friday’s benchmark broadcast.
“MRN has been synonymous with NASCAR for almost 50 years and to mark 10,000 ‘NASCAR TODAY’ shows is impressive,” said Steve Herbst, senior vice president of broadcasting and production. “We’re proud to have the Motor Racing Network as a broadcast partner and equally proud to celebrate this milestone together this week.”
Chris Schwartz, managing director of broadcast and integrated media for International Speedway Corporation, added:
“The longevity of this show is a testament to the passion the MRN team, past and present, has for NASCAR. Ten thousand shows is a remarkable accomplishment and we thank our affiliate stations for sharing this milestone.”
“NASCAR TODAY” and its Mid-day counterpart have a combined cumulative audience of 2.6 million listeners in mid-day and afternoon drive. Friday’s 10,000th airing of the show is a milestone event that’ll help set the stage for MRN’s 2019 season – which will be its 50th year as “The Voice of NASCAR.”
June 12th, 1983…
Future Hall of Famer Bobby Allison won the Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500 Cup Series race at Pocono. It was the third of Allison’s six victories that season which helped carry him to the 1983 championship. Allison retired in 1988 with eighty-four career wins. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2011.
Congrats to Katelyn & Kyle Larson on their new daughter, born this morning!
What an exciting night/morning! Baby came a few weeks early but glad I was able to be in town for it all. Katelyn did amazing and we are excited to welcome a baby girl, Audrey Layne Larson! Owen got to hang out with his new little sister this morning and loves her a bunch. pic.twitter.com/XPlADoIN5A
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) May 7, 2018
Their wait is over…their baby girl has arrived.
Amy Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s wife, tweeted their daughter’s arrival just before 7 am this morning.
Congrats to the new parents!
She’s finally here! @DaleJr and I are officially parents to a beautiful baby girl, Isla Rose Earnhardt. It feels like a dream. The best dream ever. 💕
— Amy Earnhardt (@AmyEarnhardt) May 1, 2018
Heavy snow blanketed southern Virginia on Saturday night, forcing the postponement of Sunday’s S-T-P 500 Monster Energy Series race … which will be run today at 1 p.m. following completion of the alpha Energy Solutions 250 Camping World Truck Series race. Motor Racing Network on WCUB Radio – “The Voice of NASCAR” will have live coverage.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said early Sunday morning that there was much more snow than anticipated, and the decision was made with track officials and local authorities to dedicate all available resources to storm response in the region … Cup Series qualifying was cancelled on Saturday and the thirty-eight-car starting field was set based on car owner points –which puts Martin Truex Junior on the pole for the third straight race. He had qualified Number-1 in Phoenix and Fontana the two previous weeks. Truex will share the front row with Kyle Busch. The Team Penske trio of Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney fills the remainder of the top five … Ben Rhodes started from the pole in Saturday’s Truck Series race and was leading when “Mother Nature” intervened less than halfway through the opening stage.
Singer, actress and “Dancing With the Stars” finalist Jana Kramer will perform a pre-race concert on Sunday at I-S-M Raceway in Phoenix prior to the Monster Energy Series TicketGuardian 500. Kramer’s appearance is made possible through a partnership with Niner Sports and Entertainment, and is free to all fans with a grandstand ticket for Sunday’s race. She is a native of Rochester Hills, Michigan … which also is Brad Keselowski’s hometown. Tickets for the weekend ahead are available at I-S-M Raceway-dot-com or by calling 1-866-408-RACE … 408-7223.