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NASCAR Grassroots Racing Grows With Three More ‘Home Tracks’

By NASCAR Public Relations
February 13, 2008 - 11:39am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2008) – The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series serves as the foundation of NASCAR – the grassroots racing across the United States and Canada. That ‘Home Track’ effort continues to grow stronger with the addition of three tracks to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series beginning in 2008: Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wisc., Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., and Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C.

“We are very pleased to welcome three outstanding tracks to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,” said George Silbermann, managing director of racing operations. “These tracks bring a level of competition and excitement to the fans that have become synonymous with NASCAR’s short-track racing.”

In becoming part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the tracks’ NASCAR-licensed members will become eligible to compete for state and national championships in addition to their track titles.

Following is a look at the newest tracks in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series:

• Cedar Lake, located just 25 minutes east of Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota and just inside the Wisconsin border, is in the middle of celebrating its 50th anniversary. The 3/8-mile dirt track features Late Models as its top division, and hosts some of the biggest dirt Late Model races in the country.

“After 50 years, there’s so much history here,” said track owner Bob Kaufman, who purchased the track in 2001 from the track-founding Cook family. “We’re excited about being part of NASCAR. For us, we see a huge benefit to being able to market the NASCAR name. We’re 25 minutes away from three million people. There are a ton of race fans in this region and we’re really excited about the opportunity to give the NASCAR fans something to latch on to. One of the things we pride ourselves in is doing what’s right for the drivers. And we firmly believe this is what’s right for them.”

Cedar Lake will start its season April 4-5.

• Delmar Friesen’s vision was a dirt race track in the corn fields of Nebraska. The result was Junction Motor Speedway, a 3/8-mile dirt track five miles south of York, Neb., off I-81 and nearly a straight shot west of the state capital in Lincoln.

“It’s like the guy who put the baseball field in Iowa: Have a field; come play,” Friesen said. “It’s a similar situation.”

Junction has been open for four years and hosts six classes, led by its Late Model division, on Saturday nights beginning April 19. The six-percent banking on the straightaway and 12 percent in the corners provides plenty of high-speed racing excitement. The addition of Junction County gives NASCAR drivers in Nebraska another venue to chase points in pursuit of state and national honors.

“Being part of NASCR is going to give our facility more recognition,” said track manager Barb Nunnenkamp. “And the drivers are really going to enjoy what it brings them.”

• Located just a short drive from historic Hickory Speedway in North Carolina, Tri-County Speedway’s decision to join the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series provides the drivers additional incentive to stop off at the 4/10-mile track in Hudson on Friday night before heading to Hickory on Saturday.

“There are a lot of racers around here that are running for points,” said track owner Tony Casola. “We’re very excited about being NASCAR-sanctioned. We’re really going to promote the NASCAR name and make the track even stronger.”

Casola, who bought the track in June of 2006, said they just completed repairing the entire track’s asphalt surface in the offseason. The 2008 season begins April 4.

“It’s a really nice setup,” Casola said. “It’s a nice, fast little track.”

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for short-track racing. Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering, a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting is the series sponsor. More than 10,000 drivers compete at NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada.

NASCAR launched a multi-faceted ‘Home Track’ campaign, with the help of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Elliott Sadler, at the 2007 Daytona 500 to help bring attention to the short track programs that make up the foundation of NASCAR.

The campaign continues in 2008 with Biffle, Edwards and Clint Bowyer being joined by short-track stars such as Joe Kosiski, Marc Davis, Woody Pitkat, Chrissy Wallace, Peyton Sellers and Phillip Morris. In addition, fans can follow their favorite local drivers through www.NASCARHomeTracks.com.

The short-track racing program in NASCAR was founded in 1982. Since its inception, the series has been a successful starting point for the careers of many top drivers. NASCAR stars Biffle, Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray, Scott Riggs, Sadler and Brian Vickers all began their careers in this series.