Sean Corr Wins First Career Menards Pole Award at Daytona

For Immediate Release:

Friday, February 17, 2012



Four Times Disallowed for Inspection Failure


(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) - Sean Corr needed just 49.271 seconds to finish his best lap around Daytona International Speedway, but had to wait several hours to win his first Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell.



Corr will start first in the opening race of the 60th season for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, having been awarded the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 pole after original polesitter Bobby Gerhart saw his time taken off the board for an engine inspection failure after qualifying.


Corr, 27, of Goshen, N.Y., started eighth in a 2010 race at Pocono, but has never been higher at the green flag. The original surprise of his No. 82 Empire Racing/United Way Ford so significantly improving its best performance was easily surpassed by the astonishment over his late move from second to first.


"Can you pinch me?" Corr asked after learning that he had actually won the pole with his lap of 182.663 mph.


"I really don't know if I'm dreaming because this is something that's only in a dream. I was just walking through (the media center) once thinking to myself, 'I never thought I'd be walking in the media center in my race suit,' much less twice in one day."


Corr described what he originally perceived as trouble in his qualifying lap before realizing he had actually laid down a strong time.


"The car felt really smooth," said Corr, 27 and of Goshen, N.Y. "When it came off of (Turn) 2, it hit a little bit of a headwind and I felt like the slowest guy ever going down the backstretch but I guess it really wasn't. The car was really good yesterday in practice, drafting, running side-by-side, and even in single-car runs. It was still very fast. I think we have a good shot at our team's first top-five for tomorrow.


"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to win it, but I'll be content at the end of the day with a top-five. To break that mark with our team would be incredibly huge."


Entering what he hopes is his team's second full season, Corr stressed the improvement shown by Empire Racing.


"We really have a great group of guys. Now I think we've locked on to the best group of people we've had. Ben Leslie, my crew chief, he's worked a lot with Ford so he brought in a ton of knowledge."


Ryan Reed, who initially qualified third, will start second in his career debut for Venturini Motorsports.


"It was a really solid lap and I was really, really happy I'm sitting (in the top three) for my first time here at Daytona," said Reed, 18 and of Bakersfield, Calif. "The car felt really good and I look forward to tomorrow's race. During qualifying it's pretty good, but it'll be even better during the race."


Reed admitted slight disappointment in missing the Menards Pole Award, but given the news Reed received one year ago this month, the high starting position is a major source of pride.


"A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and it really affected my life in every way. I was told I'd never be able to drive a race car again, yet here I am."


Steve Blackburn, yesterday's practice leader, will start third. Blackburn originally qualified fifth, but, in addition to Gerhart, three other cars did not pass post-qualifying inspection. One was fourth qualifier Paulie Harraka's, allowing Blackburn to jump two spots. Cars driven by Brennan Poole and Joey Coulter also failed the review for height violations discovered shortly after the session's conclusion.


Tom Hessert will start fourth, just ahead of Chris Windom, Cale Gale, Drew Charlson, Chris Buescher, Chad Hackenbracht, and Mikey Kile. Buescher finished second to Gerhart in last season's race; he later finished second in the final standings and won the series' Rookie of the Year award.


Nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel will start 17th in his first race for ThorSport Racing and his pursuit of his first Daytona win in 21 starts.


Poole will start 33rd, three spots ahead of Harraka after both secured provisional starting positions. Gerhart will start his 25th consecutive Daytona race in the 42nd position. Coulter did not qualify.


The 80-lap, 200-mile Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 airs live on SPEED at 4:30 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, with live timing and scoring available at ARCARacing.com. Gerhart is the defending and all-time leading winner at the track, with wins in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011. The race is scheduled as the first of 20 this season.


The ARCA Racing Series will host a final, 45-minute practice at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Live timing and scoring will be presented by ARCA Nation at ARCARacing.com.


2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards' 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.


2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Event #1

Daytona Int'l Speedway, Daytona Beach Florida, 2-18-12

Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200








Sean Corr/Goshen NY





Ryan Reed/Bakersfield CA





Steve Blackburn/Prestonsburg KY





Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ





Chris Windom/West Lafayette IN





Cale Gale/Mobile AL





Drew Charlson/New Bremen OH





Chris Buescher/Prosper TX





Chad Hackenbracht/New Philadelphia OH





Mikey Kile/Westlake LA





Brandon McReynolds/Mooresville NC





Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA





Nelson Canache/Caracas Venezuela





Alex Bowman/Tucson AZ





Brett Hudson/Owensboro KY





Milka Duno/Caracas Venezuela





Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN





Max Gresham/Griffin GA





Aleks Gregory/Baton Rouge LA





Alex Kennedy/Aztec NM





Will Kimmel/Sellersburg IN





Fain Skinner/Live Oak FL





Zach Ralston/Marion IA





Matt Lofton/Roxboro NC





Terry Jones/Amherstburg Ontario





Leilani Munter/Rochester MN





Ed Kennedy/Coppell TX





Buster Graham/Lafayette LA





Sloan Henderson/Franklin OH





George Cushman/Waterville NY





Brandon Davis/Huntington Beach CA





Rick Clifton/Circleville OH





Brennan Poole/The Woodlands TX




Mike Harmon/Birmingport AL




Spencer Gallagher/Las Vegas NV




Paulie Harraka/Wayne NJ




Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY




Darrell Basham/Henryville IN




James Hylton/Inman SC




Bill Coffey/Danbury CT




Josh Williams/Port Charlotte FL




Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA




Larry Barford Jr./Denton MD




The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series will visit Alabama's Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota's Elko Speedway for the first time; ARCA's first visit to Minnesota will give ARCA a race in a 29th state.


Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.


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Alex Lees Takes Giant Steps in Kawartha Speedway's Mini Stock Division

By Jim Clarke, Kawartha Speedway PR/Clarke Motorsports Communications


Earning a feature event win during your first year of competition is something every driver shoots for – but making 3 trips to victory lane during your freshman campaign is almost unheard of...unless your name happens to be Alex Lees.  The youngster from Cameron, Ontario was able to head back to his Automotive Engineering Program at UOIT in Oshawa filled with tales of his first season in Kawartha Speedway’s entry level division. 


“At the start of the year, I was just looking to get my feet wet and have a little fun,” said the 19 year-old Lees.  “I skipped the practice session May 27th and even missed the opening night a week later.  The racing Gods must have been with me, because a 4th place run during my first feature race kicked-off a dream season.  Now, I can’t wait for the start of the next year,”


During the victory lane interview that followed his first win, an obviously overwhelmed Alex Lees struggled to remember the names of the backers and supporters who had helped him achieve his level of success.  While he may have missed a sponsor’s name during the celebratory chat, the youngster dedicated the triumph to his father Paul who was battling cancer and wasn’t able to witness his son’s victory.  November 23rd, 2011 Paul Lees succumbed to the disease.  Lees says he’s thankful that he had the chance to share the story of the win with his Dad and is now even more determined to build on the momentum of his first season behind the wheel.


Despite getting off to a late start, Lees – a graduate of the Arrive and Drive Karting Series at Mosport – managed to steer his Patrick’s Tire/ British Empire Fuels/Nahma Lodge Marine/Rosedale Marina/Vinyl Kreationz/Jim Michaud/Bill Austin Accounting/David Gowanlock/Dr. Sommerville Honda Prelude to a 7th place finish in Kawartha’s final 2011 point standings.  Alex Lees is proud of that accomplishment, but also feels somewhat frustrated that he wasn’t able to just a little bit better.


“For me, there’s no feeling in the world that even comes close to being in the racecar,” said Lees.  “I have fun every time I fasten the seatbelts and head out onto the track.  There are some drivers who take things so seriously and put too much pressure on themselves.  The competition is exciting, but I want to keep the fun factor as part of what I do in the car.  Winning that first feature Friday, July 8th was a huge thrill.  So was the 4th place run at the Autumn Colours Classic.”


Even with just one season under his belt, Lees considers himself very fortunate to have made a number of good friends at the track.  His brothers Geoff and Nick Lees help get the car ready for action.  Fellow mini stock pilot Daryl Fice and his father Darren Fice are strong supporters, while former driver Dwight Lavoie serves as a mentor behind the scenes and in the #07 machine’s pit area. 


“The first year was great and I’m excited about getting the 2012 season started,” said Lees.  “There’s no telling what we’ll be able to accomplish with the energy from last year.”


Kawartha klips:  2012 race action gets started with an open test session Friday, May 25th.  Fans can see the complete schedule and the latest off-season news anytime at www.kawarthaspeedway.com.


Photo attachment:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications

Three main event wins help propel Alex Lees to a 7th place finish in Kawartha Speedway’s 2011 Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock standings.


Prepared by:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications


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Richard Petty Driving Experience Returns to Kawartha Speedway

By Jim Clarke, Kawartha Speedway PR/Clarke Motorsports Communications


It isn’t immediately obvious, but the drivers who compete in Kawartha Speedway’s NAPA Auto Part/ACT Late Model, Better Carpet Thunder Car and Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock divisions and the fans who watch them have something in common.  They’d love to know what its like to hit the track in a NASCAR stock car and now they’ll get the chance.


After a successful Canadian tour during the summer of 2011, the Richard Petty Driving Experience will head north again, with a visit to Kawartha Speedway Saturday and Sunday, July 14th and 15th.  A household name among millions of race fans in the United States, motorsports enthusiasts will have the chance to capture the excitement that only a Petty High-Speed Ride Along or Rookie Driving Experience can offer.  General Manager/Promoter Derek Lynch says this is an ultimate thrill ride that even the casual fan will enjoy.


“Last year, the Richard Petty Driving Experience brought along 5 or 6 cars and they were all running non-stop both days,” said Lynch.  “These cars are thoroughbred racing machines that have seen track time on some of the best known facilities on the NASCAR tour and we’re proud to have them back at Kawartha for a second consecutive season.”


The High-Speed Ride Along provides the chance to ride shotgun in the passenger’s seat of a NASCAR racecar driven by a professional instructor in a simulated qualifying run.  The Rookie Experience puts you in the driver’s seat with your hands on the wheel and your foot on the gas of a 600 horsepower NASCAR machine.  It’s the racing experience of a lifetime.


No matter which option is selected, there are 4 sessions – starting as early as 8:00 – each day.  Derek Lynch says that based on the turnout last summer, reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.


“We’re looking to everyone a chance to play and that’s why we’re getting the word out so early,” said Lynch.  “Strapping into a NASCAR racecar for some laps around what we honestly believe is the finest motorsports facility in the country is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day.  Booking your date and time now is the perfect way to get on board.”


More details on the Richard Petty Driving Experience Summer 2012 stop at Kawartha Speedway – Saturday and Sunday, July 14th and 15th – can be found at www.drivepetty.com/can-tour, or calling

1.800.Be.Petty (1.800.237.3889).  Information is also available by checking www.kawarthaspeedway.com.


Photo attachment:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications

A popular attraction during the 2011 season, the Richard Petty Driving Experience returns to Kawartha Speedway Saturday and Sunday, July 14th and 15th, 2012.


Prepared by:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications


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Jim's Journeys: 2011 Review/2012 Preview

By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications


Belleville, Ontario:  After some still undiagnosed medical issues kept me from doing too much travelling during the 2010 campaign, it was great to come back up to speed last year and give me something to shoot for with a new short track racing season just around the corner.



2011:  My regular ‘gig’ at Kawartha Speedway got rolling for a 5th year with master of ceremony duties at the annual award’s banquet, followed by a couple of days at the Canadian Motorsports Expo and the Long John 200 endurance event.  Some down time before things got underway at the end of May didn’t mean I was glued to the couch.  In March, there was the chance to help Frontenac Mall in Kingston promote the annual racing preview show and an early season trip to Can Am Motorsports Park, where Danny O’Brien won the DIRTcar modified feature and I was at Brockville for Bobby Herrington’s opening night win, before an e-mail message put a little extra on my plate.


Over the past few seasons, the promotional team at Mosport Speedway had asked doing some fill-in work for their regular announcer, but my timetable and theirs prevented things from coming together.  This time around, circumstances were different.  Glenn Butt had asked me about doing the opening night duties at Mosport because of a scheduling conflict with their usual voice.  From there came the invitation to spend the entire summer at ‘Canada’s Fastest Half Mile’ and after juggling some commitments with my main employer, I was able to accept.  Late in the year, I was asked to emcee the Mosport award’s banquet where Jim Rossiter, John Baker Junior and Kevin Hinds collected championship hardware for their efforts in the late model, sportsman and pure stock divisions respectively.


Kawartha’s 20-11 Friday runs left the starting blocks June 3rd and it was a memorable season for a number of reasons.  Ken Donaldson Junior’s Better Carpet Thunder Car main event win on opening night was his first of 5 and paved the way for the first year chauffeur to earn a track championship.  On the subject of titles, Dan McHattie claimed his 7th NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model crown, while popular Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stocker ‘Too’ Moroney took a seat at the champion’s table for the first time in his career.  4 shows into the year, Bryan Mercer became the first track regular to win the late model Summer Sizzler and pocketed $3,000 for is efforts.  2011 was also a season with no rainouts at the 3/8th mile Fraserville oval.


On a pair of off nights from K-D, I managed to get to do some travelling and took-in the inaugural World of Outlaws Sprint Car event at Brockville (won by Paul McMahan) and had Kawartha thunder car driver Andy Ford as company for my first ever trip to Ransomville Speedway to witness Todd Burley’s impressive victory at the Alex Friesen Summer Nationals.


2012:  Unless my employment situation necessitates a change in plans, I’ll start my 6th consecutive year as media/public relations coordinator at Kawartha Speedway when the regular season opens Friday, June 1st.  Print and electronic media outlets provided the track with some excellent coverage during 2011 and I’d like to keep that going.  Some of Kawartha’s highlights include the late model Summer Sizzler Friday, July 6th, OSCAAR’s Don Biederman Memorial, August 10th and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series finale Saturday, September 22nd.  The Mosport situation is currently up in the air, but I’d be open to returning there as well.


I also write and distribute media material for teams at a variety of tracks.  If you’d like to get the word out about what you’re doing, send me an e-mail anytime:  clarkemotorsports@hotmail.com.


Photo attachments:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications

1). Luke Stewart’s #19 machine was part of the 2011 Kingston Racing Preview Show at Frontenac Mall.  The Sydenham, Ontario racer will compete in the DIRTcar 358 modified division in 2012.

2). Elginburg, Ontario’s Bobby Herrington kicked-off Brockville’s 2011 season with a DIRTcar 358 modified feature win.

3). Jim Rossiter captured the 2011 Mosport Speedway late model track championship.  It was the 5th consecutive season he had earned a Mosport title.

4). Five trips to victory lane in his first season earned Ken Donaldson Jr. Kawartha’s 2011 Better Carpet Thunder Car track championship and rookie of the year honours.


Prepared by:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications


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NASCAR Short Track Stars To Light Up Daytona International Speedway

For Immediate Release


‘World Center of Racing’ To Host UNOH Battle At The Beach During Speedweeks 2013


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 17, 2012) — The bright lights of the “World Center of Racing” will shine on the stars of NASCAR’s regional and touring series, as NASCAR announced today Daytona International Speedway will host the inaugural “UNOH Battle At The Beach” on Feb. 18-19, 2013.



The two-days of racing will be headlined by three non-points special events: the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified tours, and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.


A temporary oval will be set up on Daytona’s Superstretch to host the races, It is tentatively slated to be approximately .4-mile.


“This is all about the stars of tomorrow vying for glory at Daytona International Speedway,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series. “During two days and nights of intense competition, fans will be able to see today’s aces of short track racing and some great young talent.”


Both nights of race action will air live on SPEED.


The process for setting the field for the 2013 UNOH Battle At The Beach will be:

·         Winners of the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West events as well as the series champions will automatically be locked into that series’ race at Daytona next year.

·         Similarly, winners of the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races and series champions will be locked into the Modified race next February at Daytona.

·         The top 10 finishers in the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings will earn a starting spot in the 2013 Late Model race.

·         In addition, the champions of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCAR Toyota Series from Mexico, and Euro Racecar NASCAR Touring Series in 2012 will earn a protected starting spot in whichever one of the three 2013 Daytona races they choose to run.

·         The remaining spots in the 2013 Daytona features will be filled through time trials and heat races during the two days of racing next February.


”Grassroots short track racing is the foundation of this great sport and we are thrilled to give these young drivers the opportunity to fight for a win at the ‘World Center of Racing,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood. “Many of NASCAR’s greatest stars cut their teeth on short tracks around the country and we look forward to hosting the stars of tomorrow in 2013.”


Chitwood also announced that Daytona has reached an agreement with a number of area hotels to secure special room rates for those nights next February to make it more affordable for racers and fans to attend the Battle At The Beach.


Event entitlement sponsor, the University of Northwestern Ohio, has been heavily involved with NASCAR’s grassroots racing programs. The school, which offers a degree in High Performance Motorsports, owns NASCAR-sanctioned Limaland Motorsports Park and is the sponsor of several NASCAR touring races.


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