Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Gillilands Impress at Irwindale Speedway

Butch Gilliland, grandson Todd, and son David at Irwindale Speedway in California
Butch Gilliland, grandson Todd, and son David at Irwindale Speedway in California
(July 19, 2014 -Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News)

While local driver Jason Patison, was able to rocket away from runner-up Jack Madrid of San Clemente, Calif., following a restart with 17 laps remaining on the half-mile track of Irwindale Speedway to finish 2.1 seconds in front, the Gilliland family remained the packed crowd pleaser.

The three generations of Gilliland NASCAR Drivers, Grandfather Butch, Son David, and fourteen-year-old Grandson Todd, were competing against each other for the first time.

Of the Gilliland clan, Todd fared the best with a third-place podium finish in his noteworthy debut in a Super Late Model. The youngest Gilliland has raced Late Models in North Carolina; however Irwindale was a step up in horsepower and the competition level of the drivers.

“It was really cool,” he said. “I didn’t have high expectations because I was against a bunch of really experienced drivers. I’m super happy.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver and delighted father, David Gilliland added “My son does a great job. We’re really proud of him.”

Butch Gilliland came out of a ten-year retirement to finish the race in a respectable fifth. The grandfather, who is fifty-seven years young, was a top driver in his NASCAR Winston West years starting in the 1980s and a former champion of the series.

“It was really nice,” the elder Gilliland stated, “We tested a couple of days. I didn’t put a whole bunch of laps on it, we have enough laps. The car was decent. It was good we three got to race against each other. It really was fun to race against my grandson. I really wish I’d had a whole better car, but it was still a lot of fun.”

What happened to the middle Gilliland? NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver David Gilliland, who grew up in southern California was running second when contact sent him into retirement after completing 30 laps.

“We had him (Partridge) cleared and I don’t know, somehow I got turned there at the start-finish line,” David Gilliland said. “Bummer, kind of an unfortunate way to end our night, but the car was real fast and we had a good time coming back here. It’s still my favorite racetrack to race on in the country. It was an honor to be a part of it and watch my son finish third and my dad go out and finish fifth. It’s just a lot of fun and good to be back home.

The three Gillilands impressed the race fans with their dedication to both family and the sport of racing.

Pick Your Part Super Late Models -75 laps
Race Results:

  1. Jason Patison (Corona),
  2. Jack Madrid (San Clemente),
  3. Todd Gilliland (Sherrills Ford, N.C.),
  4. Barry Karr (Redlands),
  5. Butch Gilliland (Thailand),
  6. Linny White (Highland),
  7. Toni McCray (Highland),
  8. Jeff Eschleman (Corona),
  9. Kenny Smith (Bakersfield),
  10. Josh Soto (Oceanside),
  11. Jeff Williams (Newbury Park),
  12. Greg Hanneman (Toluca Lake),
  13. Ryan Partridge (Rancho Cucamonga),
  14. David Gilliland (Sherrills Ford, N.C.),
  15. Juan Garcia (Colombia),
  16. Rodney Peacher (North Hills).

Pena Back In Victory Lane
#nascar #kneast

Sergio Pena found his way back to Victory Lane. 

Sergio Pena celebrates in Victory Lane after getting the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series East win in the JEGS 150 at Columbus (Ohio)
Motor Speedway.  (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 21-year-old from Winchester, Va., held off the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East field following a late caution at Columbus Motor Speedway to win the JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota.

It is the third win of the season for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. It is also the third win in four years for Rev Racing at Columbus, following wins by Darrell Wallace Jr. (2011) and Daniel Suarez (2013).

It is Pena's fourth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win and first since 2011, when he won three times. Pena took the lead from Cameron Hayley on Lap 120 and then held off Hayley's challenges over the closing laps. A caution with 10 to go gave Hayley one more shot, but Pena was able to power his way to the victory.

Hayley settled for second, followed by championship points leader Ben Rhodes. Jesse Little and Pena's Rev Racing teammate Ryan Gifford were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Rookies Ross Chastain, Nick Drake and Kaz Grala were sixth through eighth, and Brennan Newberry was ninth. Scott Heckert, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day, finished 10th.

The JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, July 27 at 10 a.m.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1 for the second showdown of the season with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.


#NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Columbus Motor Speedway

The 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season has been one of mixed results for Daniel Suárez.

Daniel Suárez has one win, two top fives and three top 10s in three career starts
at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.  (Getty Images for NASCAR)

The Monterrey, Mexico, native began the season the same way he ended 2013, hot. His wins in the first two events of 2014 marked his sixth and seventh top-three finishes in nine NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races dating back to last year. In Suárez’s subsequent eight events, the driver has recorded two top fives and four top 10s, but has also registered four DNFs. He hopes a trip to Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway is what he needs to get back on the right track for the remainder of the season.

He entered this event weekend in 2013 in a similar state, a first half with mixed results. Through his first seven races, Suárez had one top five and three top 10s, and two races outside of the top 20. Once the race started, however, all his early season struggles seemed to disappear. Suárez took the lead on lap 66 and led the final 88 laps for his first career K&N Pro Series East victory.

Over his next six events, Suárez scored four top-three finishes and five top 10s, propelling him to third in the final championship points standings, the highest finish for a Mexican-born driver and Drive for Diversity program participant.

Suárez is looking for the same kind of post-Columbus turn around this season. In three career starts at the .333-mile oval, the 22-year-old has a win and two top fives, with an average finish of 3.7. He and teammate Ryan Gifford are the only drivers currently entered for the event with more than three starts at the track.

Race Day - Race 11 of 16 (2014 Season)

Track Facts

SHAPE: Semi-banked oval

SURFACE: Asphalt

LENGTH: .333 Mile 

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Columbus Motor Speedway
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Columbus Motor Speedway


1841 Williams Road

Columbus, OH, 43207

(614) 491-1047


1841 Williams Road

Columbus, OH, 43207

Friday, July 18, 2014

Jeff Gordon Talking 20th Anniversary
of Inaugural Brickyard 400 Win

Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon will be there celebrating the 20th anniversary of his win in the inaugural Brickyard race.

Jeff Gordon is the driver of the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He has one win and currently leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings.

However, twenty years ago, Jeff was just a youngster. Yet he scored a victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the inaugural Brickyard 400, by passing Ernie Irvan for the lead late in the race when Irvan cut down a tire. Gordon won his second Brickyard in 1998 and his third one in 2001!

“Every time it’s something special when you go to Indianapolis. It’s just such a cool place, so much history, and obviously a lot of great memories for me and confidence.” Gordon articulated about going back to Indianapolis twenty years after winning the inaugural Brickyard 400. “As a driver when I go there, of course it takes a great car and a great team to win that race, but it seems like most years that we’ve been there, we’ve had a car that’s capable of winning. With the type of season that we’re having, I’m extremely excited about going to Indianapolis. I think that the way that our cars are performing, the way our engines are performing, Indianapolis is a track that we certainly can win at.

Jeff Gordon has already clinched a top 30 spot, but with a single win has yet to clinch the "wins" portion of the Chase criteria. A win at Indy would clinch him a spot. To clinch a top 30 spot, the clinching driver must be 289 points ahead of 31st place after Indianapolis.

Trivia fact: The night after winning the first-ever Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis in 1994, Jeff Gordon called a pizza delivery place from his hotel room and was told it would be an hour or two before he got his food because of the race.  His reply to the pizza delivery worker was, "Well, will it help any if I'm the *winner* of that race?" He got his delivery within minutes. 

Solar Farm and LED display Scoring Pylon
debuts at the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will feature a number of significant changes when the NASCAR  Sprint Cup Series returns to racing next weekend. One is the replacement of an iconic fixture; the other is the debut of a sustainable energy source that will provide power at the historic track for years to come.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm is built on 68 acres near the 2.5-mile speedway's backstretch and features 39,314 solar panels that can power the equivalent of 2,700 homes.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm is built on 68 acres near the 2.5-mile speedway's
backstretch and features 39,314 solar panels that can power the equivalent of 2,700 homes.

The latter, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Solar Farm, officially opened last month with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The facility, billed as the largest solar power farm at any sporting venue in the world, is built on 68 acres near the 2.5-mile speedway's backstretch and features 39,314 solar panels that can power the equivalent of 2,700 homes.

The development dovetails with the NASCAR Green initiative for reducing the sport's environmental footprint, offsetting 10,288 tons of carbon annually. With its debut, the Indy facility joins similar solar farms at Pocono Raceway and Sonoma Raceway, which also host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The other enhancement scheduled to be in place for the 21st annual Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by is the addition of a new scoring pylon on the frontstretch. The iconic, 97-foot-tall tower -- which had stood since 1994 -- was removed Monday, leaving a concrete stump where the speedway's historic marker is located.

The new scoring pylon will feature an LED display on all four sides. Track president J. Douglas Boles said that the new tower will be "just a tick taller" and will improve the visibility of caution lights for drivers.

In just under four years, NASCAR and its stakeholders have made substantial environmental improvements and technological advancements and continue to set new benchmarks. NASCAR has not only become a leader in green initiatives across all sports, but a leader within the business community.

NASCAR has the largest recycling and environmental sustainability programs among all U.S. sports. NASCAR has the world’s largest solar-powered sports facility, a tree planting program capturing 100% of the emissions produced by on-track racing, and the largest recycling program in sports with Coca-Cola Recycling, Coors Light, Safety-Kleen and Creative Recycling.

As NASCAR Green enters its fifth year, it continues to educate NASCAR fans and reduce the sport’s environmental impact through strategic partnerships with the teams, tracks, and Official Partners while validating green technologies.

Happy #NASCAR Birthday To Driver
Victor Gonzalez Jr.

Victor Gonzalez Jr.
Age 39 (07/18/1975)