NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Beth Lunkenheimer · Wednesday November 16, 2011
For 2009 ARCA Champion Justin Lofton, the 2011 Camping World Truck Series season has been rather rocky. In contrast to his 2010 campaign where he scored four top 5s, eight top 10s and a solid 12th-place showing in the standings, Lofton has finished inside the top 10 just three times this season (10th — Texas — twice and 7th — Bristol). Clearly, on paper it’s not been the type of on-track improvement he was hoping for.
But the year has also brought so much more for the growing driver: team changes. Just nine races into the season, the sophomore moved from Germain Racing to reunite with his ARCA team at Eddie Sharp Racing, along with crew chief Dan Bormann. The team, which switched from Toyota to Chevrolet before Chicagoland in mid-September, has brought a breath of fresh air for the driver when he clearly needed one.
“It was almost like a rejuvenation — we weren’t really going anywhere. Germain Racing is a great race team, the Hillmans are great people, the Germains are great people,” Lofton said last week in an interview. “But it just wasn’t working out the way we had all hoped, and I think it was dragging everyone down. And I know it was dragging me down personally, so it was really good to be back with someone that I have so much history with.”
“And then bringing over Dan (Bormann) that I’ve known for years now, it was just a new life almost. It was really good, and I think performance has actually changed since then — we went back up. We were running decent with the Toyotas and then switching over to the Chevrolets. Everything has just added new energy to it and that was a big thing.”
With 24 races in the books, Lofton boasts an average finish of 16.6, but that doesn’t tell the whole story for the 25-year-old driver. If you take a look at his time with Germain Racing compared to his time with Eddie Sharp Racing this season, you’ll see the improvement. In nine races behind the wheel of the No. 77 Toyota, Lofton garnered an average finish of 19.5, but that changed significantly with ESR, improving to 14.8 in 15 races with the team.
And though his NASCAR career has only just begun, Lofton will be quick to say how important chemistry is to turning a sophomore slump into a surge.
“The biggest thing is people are key and equipment is key — and you gotta have both,” he said. “You can have great equipment, bad people and you won’t go anywhere. You can have great people, bad equipment and you’re not gonna go anywhere. And the owner has a lot to do with it, especially when yours is as directly involved as Eddie (Sharp, Team Owner) is. Basically, you gotta have a ‘team.’ And ‘team’ is not just people — it’s team owner, driver, crew chief, crew guys and equipment — then it’s all gotta go right.”
Looking forward to the 2012 season, Lofton has everything in place for a strong run behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet, including a new teammate in Cale Gale who was signed not long after ESR acquired two teams from the departing Kevin Harvick, Inc. With that addition comes a whole new way of sharing information, one the growing organization hopes to turn into better performances across the board next year.
“Having teammates is great,” confirmed Lofton. “For the drivers, it’s good but we do so many different things. I sit on the left front spring everywhere we go, and I don’t know Cale well enough to know if he’s a right front guy. Our feels are going to be different. It’s always good, though, for the crew chiefs to bounce stuff off of [each other], and that’s where the big key is. We’re basically teammates with all the RCR trucks. The drivers don’t talk much, but it’s really good for crew chiefs to be able to get together and go ‘OK, this is where we’re at.’ I think having that directly in-house and being able to just walk to the office next door, that’s where it’s going to be key.”
With that being said, Lofton is anything but hands off when it comes to his own program. One of the more mentally engaged drivers on the circuit, he takes every opportunity to make his voice heard behind the scenes.
“I definitely let them do their thing, but if I’m in town, I’m at the shop — that’s what I do,” he explained. “Me and Eddie (Sharp, Team Owner) sit down and we talk just about every day whether I’m there or not. I let the guys do their job, but me and Eddie definitely bounce all our ideas off [each other]. I’ve know Dan for years, I go over to Dan’s house after work. Thankfully, he has enough respect for me when I see something — if I can just walk out and look at a truck and go ‘OK, this doesn’t look right. Why are we doing this, why are we doing that?’ it’s not ‘Oh, driver doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’ We have a really good relationship that way. It goes back to teamwork — I’d say I’m heavily involved.”
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Lofton is the non-traditional start to his racing career. While most drivers start off as young children in go-karts before moving their way up the ladder, the driver of the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet actually started off on two wheels. Racing mountain bikes from age 11, he earned himself a Downhill Slalom championship in 2001. However, a nasty wreck at age 15, one that required 11 reconstructive surgeries for a broken femur ended his career on two wheels.
“After I broke my leg, I just wasn’t gonna be able to recover to get back on a bike — especially fast enough,” he said. “I was 19 or 20 before I really was able to get back on a bike and ride, so five years out of the sport, there’s no way you’re getting back into it and [going to] be competitive.”
For Lofton, the transition to off-road — while forced — seemed natural even if it wasn’t exactly what he wanted at the time.
“My dad raced off-road cars and I always wanted to do that,” he reminisced. “I had kinda started dabbling before I broke my leg, but honestly my true passion was riding mountain bikes. That was my life and I had a lot of great friendships and probably some of the best times in my life up on the slopes in Big Bear, California.”
After transitioning, Lofton made the move to Late Models in 2006 and the rest, as they say, is history. It took just two years in the NASCAR K&N West Series — a stint that saw him grab five top 5s and 11 top-10 finishes in 25 starts — before he made the move to ARCA in 2008. Once there, it took just a handful of races before Lofton was in Victory Lane at Michigan, in his eighth series start, and the success didn’t end there. The youngster would go on to score two poles — one each at Cayuga International Speedway and Toledo Speedway — before moving into what would become his 2009 championship campaign. Edging competitor Parker Kligerman by just five points, Lofton took home six victories, 15 top 5s and 19 top-10 finishes in 21 starts that season (he finished 22nd at Rockingham and 30th at Michigan International Speedway).
From there, the transition to the Truck Series seemed a natural fit. Lofton joined Red Horse Racing to pilot the No. 7 visitPit.com Toyota, a rookie campaign that saw him finish a solid 12th in points, scoring four top 5s and eight top-10 finishes along the way. During the offseason, Lofton joined Germain Racing for what was supposed to be a full season of competition alongside defending champion Todd Bodine before things turned sour. And that brings us right back to where Lofton is now — behind the wheel of the No. 6 CollegeComplete.com Chevrolet for ESR and looking forward to a great 2012 season.
But racing isn’t the only thing that occupies Lofton’s time. Along with his sister Brittany and their business partner Brett Bortle, the three created Weekend Warriors Entertainment in 2009. From there, Weekend Warriors TV, a bi-weekly web show — hosted by Brittany — that focuses on grass roots racing was born. In the show, WWTV “captures the grassroots side of racing from kids to adults, go karts to stock cars, families to full-blooded race teams in their weekly fight to be number one.”
Most recently, Weekend Warriors Entertainment saw their most recent music video for Jason Michael Carroll’s Meet Me in the Barn debut Halloween Night on the Great American Country (GAC) network. And there are plenty of projects the trio has in mind for their future.
“We’re doing a lot of cool stuff,” Lofton said. “We just finished up our last music video with Jason Michael Carroll. We work a lot with Tim Dugger and started doing a lot of his new tour stuff. He’s going on radio tour, so we’ve got some projects that way. We’ve got, I think, three more music videos kinda in the works — nothing’s booked solid yet — but it goes from heavy metal to rock to country.”
“Both Brett and I really want to get into short film stuff and do something that way and eventually one day have a full length feature film that is picked up and played in every movie theater around the country. That’s what we’re hoping for but in the meantime we’ve got a lot of fun stuff going. We’re going to start doing some stuff for CollegeComplete.com — they’re coming back on board next year and we’re looking to work a lot with them and just give sponsors of my race team an added bonus for working with me and really giving them the bang for their buck with us.”
With all of that said, it’s hard to imagine Lofton having any free time to do anything else. However, he managed to squeeze in the Justin Lofton Charity Golf Tournament at the Del Rio Country Club in Brawley, California this past January with all proceeds benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial Valley. Following the tournament itself, there was an awards ceremony, check presentation, dinner, auction and concert held at the Stockmen’s Club.
“It was a sport that I played with my grandpa and it was something that we could do together, so it became special that way,” he explained. “Then, going to the Bodine golf tournament, Larry McReynolds’ golf tournament, it was like ‘you know, I can do this.’ And where I’m from, we have a lot of really good golfers and that’s one of the big things to do. So, I thought it’d be fun to take on the challenge and see if we can do this — and not only do it, but let’s see if we can top the ones I’ve been to. Sitting down one night around the dinner table, it was like, ‘I wanna try this.’ And of course all my family was like ‘Let’s go for it; let’s do it.’”
“Thankfully, we had a lot of support from a lot of people. It couldn’t have been done without all the people that work at the Boys and Girls Club and a lot of friends — a lot of them volunteered their time. We spent hours and hours and hours and days on the thing just trying to make it different from everything that’s been done before, and this year’s gonna be even bigger and better.”
With over 100 golfers participating and more than 300 people attending the post-tournament fun, more than $40,000 was raised. Plans have already begun for the 2012 event; anyone interested in registering may do so online via the Imperial County Boys and Girls Club website. After a successful first year, Lofton has high hopes once again for all the right reasons — helping the Boys and Girls Club reach new heights.
“Hopefully we can raise more money — we’re working on that — but we just want people to have a great time,” he explained. “And we’re going to get the kids involved and bring them out and really show that it’s a great organization.”
Simply put, Justin Lofton is a well-rounded driver both on and off the track. From being involved at the shop to helping organize a charity golf tournament, somehow he manages to make time for it all — but not without his favorite food.
“Del Taco—you gotta have Del Taco,” he beamed, ending the interview on a hungry note. “I always have In-N-Out Burger when I get home, but if it was to go anywhere, I could eat Del Taco three times a day, seven days a week.”
As the series heads off to Homestead-Miami Speedway for championship weekend, Lofton’s sights will be focused on ending the season with a bang before taking a few months off. With his 2012 plans already set in stone, it’s all about taking notes and preparing for what the team hopes will be a record-setting season.
©2000 - 2008 Beth Lunkenheimer and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
This is great for Eddie Sharp, the best equipment they have ever had. But it frustrates me that this team will just become an RCR satellite. I know KHI was like one, but it seems frustrating that nobody can build a team from the beginning to a multi-car team anymore. It’s the same few people pulling the strings.
Lofton will the the best driver on the team, as Gale has really struggled since he returned this season and my memories of George as a moving chicane haven’t been erased. $ talks more than ever in the sport, while the talent parks or walks away.