Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kansas Speedway repave gets good early reviews

   Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams took to the newly reconfigured Kansas Speedway on Tuesday and several offered positive reviews as teams navigated the variable banking for the first time.

   “I think they did a really nice job repaving,” said Matt Kenseth. “Drivers aren’t huge fans of repaves, especially being the first ones on the track, by this afternoon the cars were more comfortable on the track. I think the repave is awesome.”

   Regan Smith agreed.

 “We’ve seen quite a few of these this year already. They did a pretty good job with this one.”
   For Dale Earnhardt Jr., the day was about getting some time on the track.

    “It’s nice to get out on the track. It’s nice to see the track. I like this place,” said Earnhardt, Jr. “The banking will add speed to the race track and one and two definitely have more banking. This should be a fast little race track.”

   Kenseth, who holds the track record of 180.856 mph set back in 2005, expects a new track record this fall.

    “We’re already running, the last lap was 30.30 or something,” said Kenseth. “You know it’s going to be faster when everybody runs in qualifying runs. I expect it to be the high 28s in a qualifying run.”

Hillenburg named NMPA Spirit Award winner

   Members of the National Motorsports Press Association have selected Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award.

   The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership.

    Hillenburg was selected for his efforts to return Rockingham Speedway to prominence. He bought the track at auction in October 2007 and in April of 2012 NASCAR returned to the track for the first time since 2004.

   Also receiving votes were: Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Benton Racing, Ellen Siska and Tony Stewart.