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Corey LaJoie Will Drive Four of Final Five NASCAR Nationwide Series Races This Season

October 1st, 2014 at 8:51 PM
By Mark Eddinger

On Tuesday Richard Petty Motorsports and Biagi-DenBeste Racing reached an agreement to field the No. 98 Ford for Corey LaJoie in four of the final five NASCAR Nationwide Series races on the 2014 schedule. The first race is Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

The other three races will also be at 1.5 mile tracks. Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and the season-finale at Homestead- Miami Speedway. The starts will be the third through sixth races of LaJoie's Nationwide career.

"This is a very good car with good people supporting it," LaJoie said. "They are a proven team that is capable of finishing in the top five."

The now 23-year-old LaJoie qualified 21st and finished on the lead lap in 16th in his only Nationwide Series start this season at Kentucky Speedway on June 27th. He was in Biagi-DenBeste Racing's car for that effort. The team has made 11 total starts this season with David Ragan, Aric Almirola, Ryan Gifford, and Jeb Burton also behind the wheel.

"Corey has shown that he learns very quickly on the track," Fred Biagi, co-owner of Biagi-DenBeste Racing, said. "… We feel that we can compete in the top 10 and top five in these four races with Corey and that's our goal."

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Team Penske Adds Simon Pagenaud to Fourth Car for 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Season

September 30th, 2014 at 10:00 AM
By Mark Eddinger

On Monday Team Penske announced the addition of a fourth team for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign and that 30-year-old Simon Pagenaud from France will drive the No. 22 car. The deal is a multi-year contract. Pagenaud has competed the past three full seasons for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports and has scored four wins and 10 podiums in those 52 races.

This season Pagenaud entered the season finale at Auto Club Speedway as one of only three drivers that could win the championship. The other two will be his new teammates, Will Power and Helio Castroneves. A disappointing race for Pagenaud left him fifth in points and add Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished fourth and Team Penske will have four of the top five drivers from 2014 in their 2015 cars.

“Simon Pagenaud is a very talented, focused and determined driver,” said team owner Roger Penske.“We know how tough he has been to compete with over the last few seasons and we are very happy to welcome him to Team Penske starting in 2015. With Simon coming on board to join Will, Helio and Juan, we feel we have four drivers very capable of winning on any given weekend and four guys who are legitimate championship contenders.”

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Ryan Preece Picks up First NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Win of 2014 Sunday

September 29th, 2014 at 9:13 PM
By Mark Eddinger

It took 12 races but Ryan Preece, the 23-year-old and 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, returned to victory lane for the first time in the 2014 season on Sunday when he won the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. It was the tenth win of Preece's career.

Preece, who started the race in seventh, grabbed the lead on lap 74 and held it for the final 79 laps. He had to survive a late caution and green-white-checkered finish to hold off Ted Christopher but was able to do so to win by a slim 0.151 seconds.

Bobby Santos started from the pole and led the opening lap before rookie Tommy Barrett Jr took the lead and led from lap 2 through 9. Santos went back in front and led from lap 10 until Preece passed him on lap 74.

Justin Bonsignore, who entered the race second in the points and was hoping to close the gap on the lead before the season finale, was involved in the first two cautions. On lap 20 he and Glen Reen had contact in Turn 3. Then on lap 59 he and rookie Max Zachem were involved in an accident on the backstretch. Zachem's race ended in 22nd after the accident. Bonsignore continued but would pull to the garage after completing 82 laps due to a suspension problems and he finished 21st.

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Jeff Gordon Wins AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway; Chase Field Cut to 12

September 28th, 2014 at 7:42 PM
By Mark Eddinger

After Kevin Harvick had a tire problem the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway came down to Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon. Gordon's car was better on the long run and when the race stayed green all the way to the finish it played right into the 43-year-old Gordon's hands and he went onto put the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in victory lane and clinch a spot in the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

The win was Gordon’s fourth victory of the 2014 season and the 92nd of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. It was also his fifth career win at the Monster Mile and his first win at the one-mile oval since 2001 which was also the last season that Gordon won the championship.

Finishing in the second spot was Brad Keselowski with Jimmie Johnson coming home third after having a solid race, Joey Logano finished fourth and Matt Kenseth fifth.

The AAA 400 was the third and final round of the Challenger Round of the Chase and the field of championship eligible drivers was cut from 16 to 12. At the end of the 400 laps the four drivers that did not advance to the Contender Round were AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, and Aric Almirola.

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George Brunnhoelzl III Wins Zooland 150 at Caraway Speedway

September 28th, 2014 at 1:21 AM
By Mark Eddinger

George Brunnhoelzl III returned to victory lane in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Saturday night at Caraway Speedway for the first time since April 12th by holding off Burt Myers in a green-white-checkered finish in the Zooland 150. The win is the 22nd of Brunnhoelzl's career and also the 11th for him at the 0.455 mile Caraway Speedway which is a record for any driver.

The race saw nine total cautions the last of which flew on lap 147 and forced the race into overtime and 153 total laps. Brian Loftin started from the pole for the first time since 2011 and he led the first 63 laps. Myers then led most of the next 20 laps before Brunnhoelzl passed him on lap 85 shortly after a restart from the seventh caution.

Finishing second was Burt Myers. JR Bertuccio finished third, Danny Bohn fourth, Andy Seuss fifth, Jason Myers sixth, Luke Fleming seventh, Brian Loftin eighth, Bobby Measmer Jr ninth, and Joe Ryan Osborne tenth. Kyle Ebersole was the last car on the lead lap in 11th. David Calabrese was 12th, Spencer Davis 13th, Gary Putnam 14th, Mike Norman 15th, Dalton Baldwin 16th, and Justin Taylor 17th. All of those drivers were within four laps of the lead. Daniel Speeney brought out the first caution on lap 2 and he retired with electrical issues to finish 18th. Brandon Ward had mechanical issues in practice and did not race.

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