Friday, August 29, 2014

Taylor Ferns' strong run in winged sprint car race ended by accident

Taylor Ferns finished competed last weekend in the inaugural event for the Renegade Sprint Series at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio. On Aug. 23, She timed in fourth-fastest of the 38 entries, and followed that up by finishing fourth in the fourth heat race to earn a spot in the dash, where she crossed the line fifth. She ran as high as third during the main event, and was running in the top five when contact with another car late in the race put her in the wall, ending her night.
The following night, the Shelby Township resident traveled north to Mercer Raceway Park in Western Pennsylvania for an event with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. She ended up 19th in the main event, after timing in 18th-fastest and finishing sixth in the third heat race.
“We had a really strong car at Atomic last weekend and it was unfortunate to get taken out how we did, because I think we had a top-three car,” Ferns told Ferns Racing PR. “I had people come up to me after the race and say that people knew we were there. It was tough not getting the finish we were hoping for, but we showed what we can do and hopefully we can carry a little of that into this weekend.”


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Flat Rock Speedway to crown four champions, including late model division, Saturday night

Flat Rock Speedway holds its annual championship night on Saturday.
Champions in four racing divisions, including the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Model class, will be crowned.
Steve Cronenwett Jr. is the driver to beat in the late model division.
The Flat Rock resident has a 70-point lead over Paul Pelletier of Trenton.
Frank Jiovani of Harrison Township is third, Derek Wiley of Belleville  fourth and Stan Yee Jr. of Clinton Township fifth.
Titles in street stock A main, street stock B main and figure 8s also will be decided.
Pit gates open at 2:30 p.m., and practice starts at 4. Time trials start at 5:30 and racing begins at 7. Tickets for the public go on sale at 4:30.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Michigan International Speedway announces 2015 race weekend schedule

Jeff Gordon won the August 2014 race at MIS./AP photo
NASCAR Sprint Cup races for 2015 at Michigan International Speedway will be June 14 and Aug. 16.
The June race weekend at the track includes an ARCA race and a NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
A NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will be part of the August weekend.
Here is the racing schedule:
Friday, June 12, ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Corrigan Oil 200 and Sprint Cup Qualifying
Saturday, June 13, NASCAR Nationwide Series
Sunday, June 14, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400
Friday, Aug. 14, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice and Qualifying
Saturday, Aug. 15, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sunday, Aug. 16, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Brad Smith finishes 19th in ARCA race won by Justin Boston at Madison, Wisc.

Brad Smith of Shelby Township finished in 19th place in the Herr's Live Life with Flavor 200, an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway on Sunday.
Justin Boston of Baltimore, Md., won the 200-lap race on the half-mile oval.
Kyle Benjamin and Brandon Jones finished second and third, respectively.
The No. 48 Ford driven by Smith completed 57 laps before dropping out of the race due to over-heating.
Boston drove the No. 25 ZLOOP Toyota to his second win of the season.
Benjamin, the defending race winner, drove the No. 37 Benjamin Racing Ford, and Jones was in the No. 4 Richmond Water Heaters-Menards Chevrolet.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kevin Harvick wins pole for Bristol; Jeff Gordon completes front row

Kevin Harvick put the No. 4 Chevrolet on the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol. Jeff Gordon qualified second. (Chevrolet photo)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Taylor Ferns to race in Ohio, Pennsylvania this weekend

Taylor Ferns plans to drive a winged sprint car at a pair of race tracks this weekend. She is to compete in the Renegade Sprint Series at Atomic Speedway in Chillocothe, Ohio, on Saturday, and in the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions at Mercer Raceway Park in western Pennsylvania on Sunday.
Last weekend at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio, Ferns finished sixth in the third heat race, coming up one spot short of transferring into the main event, which put her in the B-main. The Shelby Township resident finished fourth in the B-main to earn a spot in the feature, but had a valve break on the engine, which prevented her from being able to take the green flag in the A-feature.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brad Smith 15th in ARCA points, expects to finish season in James Hylton car

Brad Smith, who teamed with car owner James Hylton near the midway point of the season, is 15th in points in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
"I will likely drive for James the rest of the season," Shelby Township resident Smith said Tuesday.
Five races remain on the ARCA schedule. The next race is Sunday at Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway, a half-mile paved oval.
Smith, driver of the No. 48 Ford, has started 10 of the 15 races run this season. He is 35 points behind former NASCAR driver Ken Schrader, who is 14th with 1,590 points.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Albion picked by coaches to win MIAA football championship

Albion was picked by league coaches to win the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championship this season.
Poll results (first-place votes in parentheses): 1. Albion (5) 7 pts. 2. Adrian 16 pts. 3. Hope (1) 18 pts. 4. Olivet (1) 19. 5. Trine 24. 6. Kalamazoo 29. 7. Alma 34. 

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Eric Lee gets top-5 finish in JEGS/CRA race won by Travis Braden at Flat Rock Speedway

David Ragan's late model
Points leader Travis Braden finished in first place, and Macomb Township resident Eric Lee took fifth in the 7-Up 125, an ARCA JEGS/CRA Super Series late model race at Flat Rock Speedway on Saturday night.
The 21-driver field included NASCAR veteran David Ragan, plus pole winner Ross Kenseth, who is the son of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, and Todd Gilliland, son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland.
Ali Kern finished second, Steve Dorer third and Paul Shafer Jr. fourth in the 125-lap race.
Ragan finished 18th after completing 55 laps and retiring due to a problem with the rear end of his No. 77 Ford.
Gilliland and Dennis Strickland finished only four laps each due to an accident, and were scored 20th and 21st, respectively.
Pat Zorn of St. Clair finished 19th.
Kenseth's pole-winning qualifying time was 12.226 seconds on the quarter-mile oval.
The first-place finisher's take of the purse was $3,000, according to the CRA Web site. Fifth place was worth $800.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Johnny Sauter wins, teammate Matt Crafton second in NASCAR truck race at Michigan International Speedway

JOHNNY SAUTER/Dave Marr photo
Johnny Sauter and teammate Matt Crafton finished first and second, respectively, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday.
The outcome left Sauter first and Crafton second in the driver standings. Both hurdled Ryan Blaney, who held the lead heading into the 100-lap event but fell to third place.
“This is a helluva day,” Sauter said. “Great pit stops all day long, that’s what got us in position. I’m going to relish it.
“We’re just past halfway (through the season). This is the momentum. This is the thing we needed to swing it.”
Sauter and Crafton drive for ThorSport Racing, which is based in Sandusky, Ohio. It was Sauter’s first race with new crew chief Jeff Hensley.
Sauter, a resident of Necedah, Wisc., drives the No. 98 Toyota, and Crafton, who’s from Tulare, Calif., drives the No. 88 Toyota.
The race featured three full-time Sprint Cup drivers.
Kyle Busch finished fifth in the No. 51 Toyota; Austin Dillon  17th in the No. 20 Chevrolet, and Joey Logano 18th in the No. 19 Ford.
Travis Kvapil, who has started 14 of the 22 Cup races run to date, finished 26th in the No. 05 Toyota.
The race featured a front row of trucks owned by Rochester Hills native Brad Keselowski, who came into the race as the series leader in owner points.
Blaney had the pole in Keselowski’s No. 29 Ford, and Logano started second.
Sauter has 448 points.
Crafton trails Sauter by nine points.
“Track position was everything,” Crafton said. “We were definitely a top-three, top-five truck.”
Ron Hornaday Jr. finished third in the race in the No. 30 Chevrolet.
“What a blast,” he said. “I had a lot of fun.”
Blaney is 16 points behind Sauter.

Mike Curb took the owner points lead from Keselowski, who slipped to fourth.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

'Kids are the coolest thing' for NASCAR's Wood Brothers Racing

Wood Brothers Racing has had veteran NASCAR drivers like Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader and Bill Elliott behind the wheel of the No. 21 Ford in the last decade or so.
More recently, the team has gone with developing drivers.
Ryan Blaney, 20, has signed to run the Wood Brothers' partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2015.
He follows Trevor Bayne, who was 20 when he took over as driver of the 21 in 2011. Bayne, who won the Daytona 500 in 2011, is to run the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford next year.
"Youth seems to be what it is all about," team co-owner Eddie Wood said at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. "We had really good results and relationship with Trevor, and I can see the same thing with Ryan."
Blaney's father, Dave, is a part-time Sprint Cup driver.
"I have known Ryan's dad since he came into the sport and it is a really grounded family," Wood said. "It is a racing family, as we are.
"I have grandkids now, and kids are the coolest thing."
Blaney leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points heading into Saturday's race at MIS.

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Return to NASCAR racing 'up to Tony' Stewart, team executive says

Tony Stewart will decide when he is ready to return to NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Brett Frood, executive vice president of Stewart-Haas Racing, said at Michigan International Speedway on Friday.
Stewart did not race at Watkins Glen the day after the sprint car he was driving struck and killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. last Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, a dirt track in New York.
He will not drive in the Pure Michigan 400 at MIS on Sunday.
"This decision (to sit out the MIS race) was Tony's," Frood said. "He's grieving. (He) made the decision he's not ready to get in the race car and will take it week by week.
"It will be up to Tony when he's ready to get back in the car."
Jeff Burton will drive Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet at MIS.

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Taylor Ferns to race winged sprint car at Attica Raceway in Ohio on Saturday

Taylor Ferns, whose recent 410-winged sprint car race schedule has been repeatedly interrupted by rain,  looks to put that behind her this weekend at Northwest Ohio at Attica Raceway Park.
Ferns will be in action with the Fremont Attica Sprint Title (F.A.S.T.) on Saturday in the Jimmy’s Towing/Indy Race Parts Maxim. The racing program will begin with hot laps, followed by time trials, heat races and a 30-lap feature.
“I've been at the race shop helping out every day, so that keeps me focused on it, even if we haven’t been on the track for a few weeks,” Ferns told Ferns Racing PR. “I’ve used a GoPro camera every race this year, so I’ve been going back and watching a lot of the races from earlier this year the last few weeks. Always thinking about racing and having it fresh in your mind is a good way to stay focused.”
Shelby Township resident Ferns, 18, has raced three times at Attica Raceway Park in 2014. She led laps in her debut at the 1/3-mile track on May 9 before a spin relegated her to a 14th-place finish. She finished third in her heat race that night. Ferns returned to Attica on the Fourth of July and came home 16th in the A-Feature. On July 18 at the high-banked bullring, she crossed the finish line 13th. She opened the night by recording the eighth-fastest lap in time trials of the 28 entries and then finished third in the second heat race.

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NASCAR updates rules regarding what drivers & crew may do after on-track incidents

NASCAR announced Friday updated rules that are to be followed by drivers and other team members when an on-track incident such as an accident occurs.
The action was in response, NASCAR president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton said, by the death last Saturday night of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was struck by the car driven by Tony Stewart after Ward left his vehicle following an incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, a New York dirt track.
When a race car is involved in an incident, Pemberton said, and the car is stopped on or near the racing surface, and unless emergency conditions (such as fire in the cockpit) exist, the driver must:
-- Shut off electrical power and lower window net if possible;
-- Not loosen or remove safety equipment until directed by safety personnel;
-- After exiting the vehicle, proceed to the ambulance or other safety vehicle.
At no time, Pemberton said, should the driver or other crew member approach the racing surface or apron, nor should a driver or crew member approach another moving vehicle.
All vehicles not involved in the incident that are able should slow to a cautious speed and use extreme care as they approach the incident scene, Pemberton added.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Brad Smith 18th in ARCA race won by Grant Enfinger at Berlin Raceway

Brad Smith of Shelby Township finished in 18th place in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., on Saturday night.
Smith's No. 48 Ford completed 78 laps in the Federated Auto Parts 200 before a transmission problem forced Smith from the race.
Grant Enfinger won the 200-lap race in the No. 90 Chevrolet. He was followed by Austin Wayne Self in the No. 22 Dodge and and Brennan Poole in the No. 15 Toyota.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eric Lee wins JEGS/CRA race at Auto City Speedway

Eric Lee
Eric Lee of Macomb Township drove from the back of the field to win the Auto City 100, a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour late model race at Auto City Speedway in Clio on Saturday night.
Lee took the lead on a restart with 30 laps to go and held off series points leader Dan Leeck for his first JEGS/CRA victory.
Lee qualified 19th, and started at the back of the 26-car field after making several changes to the car, including the sway bar.
He moved through the field by passing cars and surviving several incidents in a race that was red-flagged twice because of accidents.
One of the accidents left Lee with a flat tire, but his crew was able to change the tire and get him back on the track with the race leaders.
Leeck finished second and Hunter Baize third.
Fast qualifier was DeWitt resident Chad Finley, whose No. 42 Chevrolet turned a lap of 15.438 seconds on the 4/10-mile oval.
Finley finished 19th after his night was limited to 57 laps due to a vibration.
Lee won an outlaw late model race at Auto City in May.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Brad Smith driving 1 of 2 James Hylton cars in ARCA race at Berlin Raceway

Brad Smith of Shelby Township will drive the No. 48 Ford for owner James Hylton at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., on Saturday.
The Ford will be one of two Hylton-owned cars in the 200-lap Federated Auto Parts 200.
Brian Norton of Lambertville, Mich., will drive the No. 49 Hylton Motorsports Ford on the 7/16-mile track.
The race is the 14th of the season for the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards.
Smith started eight of the previous 13 races. He is 20th in points.
Berlin Raceway is about 10 miles west of Grand Rapids, off I-96 exit 23.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Taylor Ferns to race at West Virginia, Ohio tracks Friday and Saturday

Taylor Ferns is scheduled to race a winged sprint car at I-77 Raceway Park and Ohio Valley Speedway this weekend. The Shelby Township resident is to drive the Jimmy's Towing/Indy Race Parts Maxim on Friday at I-77 Raceway Park in Ripley, West Virginia. The 18-year-old then plans to wrap up the weekend at Ohio Valley Speedway.
“After having last weekend off and rain the weekend before, I am pretty anxious to get back to the track this week,” Ferns told Ferns Racing PR. “It’s kind of like riding a bike and you pick it up pretty quickly when you climb back in the car after a couple of weeks break."
In her debut at I-77 Raceway Park last month, Ferns qualified second-fastest. In the main event, she inherited the top spot, after the two leaders were involved in an incident. Ferns led for a number of laps, before being passed by eventual winner Chris Myers with five laps remaining. She crossed the line second.
At Ohio Valley Speedway, Ferns took the checkered flag sixth on July 12. She was fourth-quickest in time trials and ran second in the second heat race at the three-eighths-mile.
Ferns has competed exclusively in 410-winged sprint cars this season, after opening the season with a couple of midget and U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown races. She has earned seven top-10 finishes, with three of those being top-five performances.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Frank Jiovani, Stan Yee Jr. in late model top five at Flat Rock Speedway

Frank Jiovani of Harrison Township and Stan Yee Jr. of Clinton Township are in the top five in driver points for the ARCA Moran Chevrolet Late Model racing season at Flat Rock Speedway.
Steve Cronenwett Jr. (Flat Rock) leads with 1,825 points. Paul Pelletier (Trenton) is second with 1775, Jiovani third with 1,655, Derek Wiley (Belleville) fourth with 1,615 and Yee Jr. fifth with 1,525.
The late model division races Saturday night at Flat Rock, a quarter-mile oval.

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Mount Clemens football coach Harold Penn comments on coming season

Mount Clemens had a 3-2 record in the MAC Bronze Division and 4-5 overall mark in 2013.

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Brad Smith 19th in Pocono ARCA race won by Justin Allison

Brad Smith of Shelby Township finished in 19th place in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards stock car race at Pocono Raceway on Friday.
Justin Allison won the 50-lap ModSpace 125. It was the first career ARCA win for Allison, a grandson of legendary NASCAR driver Donnie Allison.
Smith started 22nd in the No. 48 Ford.
Allison, driver of the No. 88 Ford, started fifth.
Pole winner Mason Mitchell finished seventh in the No. 98 Musselman's-Wildlife Foundation of Florida-TTS Ford.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Three Macomb County drivers on JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour entry list for Auto City 100 in Clio

Three Macomb County drivers are on the entry list for the Auto City 100, a JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour late model stock car race that will be at Auto City Speedway in Clio on Aug. 9.
Eric Lee of Macomb Township, Bob Varney of Richmond and Jay Sommers of Chesterfield Township are part of a field that is to include points leader Dan Leeck of Birch Run and second-place Josh Nelms of Lockport, Ill.
Lee drives the No. 5 Ford, Varney the No. 43 Chevrolet and Sommers the No. 98 Chevrolet.

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