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PhilWhipple

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  1. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Return to I-37 Speedway next stop for Texas Dirt Truck Series Baggett leads the charge into Race No. 2 PLEASANTON, Texas (April 9, 2019) — After a successful debut last month, the sights and sounds of full-bodied pickups roaring around the oval are about to return as the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) contests race No. 2 at I-37 Speedway on Saturday, April 13. Spectator gates open at 4 p.m., while pit gates will open for race teams at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and military members, and $6 for children ages 6-12. Qualifying races will get under way at 7 p.m. Leading the charge into I-37 is inaugural race winner Larry Baggett, of Marble Falls. With his strong chassis setup and hard-charging style, Baggett set the tone for 2019 with an impressive run on March 23. He'll be the favorite on Saturday and has a target painted clearly on his No. 3 ride. “They'll all be chasing Larry, but I have a feeling more guys will be in the hunt this time around,” series owner George Jones said. “Larry is a talented driver and hit the setup for trucks at I-37 a little faster than his rivals. You can bet they're chomping at the bit for another crack at the trophy.” Among the other drivers to watch on Saturday is veteran drag racer Russ Parker. The Missouri native who's lived in Texas for over 30 years is new to the dirt oval game, yet is taking the challenge seriously as he pilots the Parker-Jones Racing/Russ Parker Construction Chevrolet in TDTS events. “I'm starting to get a handle on what the truck needs to get through the corners and have the kind of forward drive we need up off them and down the straightaway. We've been testing and learning as we go. I'm more confident this time around and anxious to get this Silverado back on track.” Other drivers to watch on Saturday include Russell Rust, of Boerne, Texas. Rust looked strong in his first outing last month. His M5 Utilities Chevrolet will be geared up for success when he unloads in Pleasanton this coming weekend. The project manager at M5 has dirt track racing in his blood. The Texas Dirt Truck Series was launched in Oct. of 2018 and is contesting its inaugural campaign in 2019. It was formed on the concept of America's love for full-size pickups and passion for short track racing on dirt. I-37 Speedway is operated by R&M Promotions, owned by Ray Doyon III and Michael Keylich. The two longtime friends and business associates (Doyon in landscaping, Keylich in irrigation) have a passion for short track racing and are in their third season as promoters at I-37. Together, Doyon and Keylich, along with general manager George Jones, have turned what was once a closed-down facility into one of the most lively and competitive bullrings in the great state of Texas. Car counts are solid across the board as the 2019 season hits full throttle. For more information, visit the series online home at www.texasdirttrucks.com.
  2. I'm excited to have a chance to document some of the action and highlight the human interest stories within Texas. Thank you, Nick, for the kind words and post. I'll strive to create good content for RaceOnTexas.com readers.
  3. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Baggett claims inaugural feature victory for Texas Dirt Truck Series Full house witness exciting debut at I-37 PLEASANTON, Texas (March 24, 2019) — Veteran racer Larry Baggett had a few clear goals going in to the inaugural season for the new Texas Dirt Truck Series. He wanted to attack each track with controlled aggression, setting the tone for what he feels can be a championship run this summer. Baggett, of Marble Falls, TX, made a bold statement on Saturday evening, driving to victory in the inaugural feature race at I-37 Speedway. Baggett started outside the front row alongside Tony Bernal (MFM No. 51 Ford) and quickly took command. Despite a stiff late-race charge by Bernal, Baggett had enough speed and handling to hold on for top honors. Bernal gave it his best yet settled for second, while former Dwarf Car standout Russell Rust (No. M5 Chevrolet) filled out the podium in third. Former drag racing standout Russ Parker (Parker-Jones Racing/Chevrolet) finished fourth, while Anthony Gordon (No. 22M/All In Designs) completed the top five. “When we first came out here for hot laps, we were very loose, Baggett said. “We made some changes with the tire pressures and the chassis setup. Those changes took us in the right direction, and it was hooked up pretty good for the feature.” In the world of short track dirt racing, weather and ever-changing track conditions are what provides the big challenges racers face every week. Baggett says the fast, semi-banked oval called I-37 improved as Saturday night's program progressed. “The track was pretty slick when we went out to qualify earlier,” Baggett added. “But by the time we ran the feature, it had gotten a little tacky and our truck loved it. I had the grip I needed and we just kept it out front. It feels so very rewarding and satisfying to have won the first-ever TDTS race.” For Baggett, the last couple of weeks have meant hard work and effort in a full scramble mode. “We had a few issues as we finished this thing off, and were working on it until late last night,” he explained. “We even had a few things to finish off today before we came here, and worked on it right up until we loaded up for the track at noon. All that just makes this win so very, very special.” The new pride of Marble Falls wasn't the only one happy with the outcome on Saturday night. Texas Dirt Truck Series founder George Jones was visibly relieved and even thrilled to have completed the series' inaugural event. While truck count was a little low, the quality of those on hand was high. “I am so pleased we had five guys willing to bust their butts and get trucks ready for this opener,” Jones said. “What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality. All five trucks gave it their best shot, and I'm confident more will be here for our second race on April 13. I'm a happy man.” Officials would like to extend a sincere thank you to Ray Doyon III and Michael Keylich, the driving forces behind the incredibly successful turnaround at I-37 Speedway. Being part of your big 'Dirt Kings' event brought us tremendous exposure in front of that capacity crowd. We greatly value our relationship with what many feel is the hottest little dirt track in the entire state of Texas. Next up for the TDTS teams is a return to I-37 Speedway on Saturday, April 13, for Race No. 2 on the 2019 schedule. For more information, please go to www.texasdirttrucks.com.
  4. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Twitter: @PhilWhipple Officials add new race at Texana Raceway for Texas Dirt Truck Series Teams will converge in Edna, TX on June 8 SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 16, 2019) — As the season opener at I-37 Speedway draws ever closer, officials at the new Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) have announced a new race date. On Saturday, June 8, the TDTS will visit the famed Texana Raceway in Edna, Texas. This well maintained 5/16-mile clay oval is home to some of the finest grassroots racing the Lone Star state has to offer. The track hosts six exciting classes every other week from late March through mid October. “We're proud to be making a visit to Texana Raceway during our inaugural season,” series co-owner George Jones said. “They have a reputation for putting on solid shows, and we plan to give their fans a reason to cheer. It's an excellent addition to our schedule, one I feel the drivers will really enjoy.” Teams at Texana will kick off their new season on March 30. There are 15 points-paying races on tap for 2019, along with visits from popular tours like the ASCS Sprint Car Series, the SUS Sprint Car Series and the POWRi Lonestar 600 Mini Sprints. It's a busy season until the finale on Oct. 12. “Their fans get treated to some world class short track action on a regular basis,” series co-owner Mike Fortier said. “I think they'll enjoy seeing our trucks go at it on their home turf. This is a state-wide series, and we're proud to be racing at Texana. We're fortunate to have this opportunity.” Texana Raceway first opened back in 1987. Despite being closed in 1990-91, it reopened in 1992 and has developed a solid fan base in recent years. After a successful race last fall, track promoter Rachel Densman and husband Kenny are adding IMCA Modifieds to their Saturday programs in 2019 as part of the South Central region. “We're excited to be bringing the new Texas Dirt Truck Series to Texana,” Densman said. “We know how popular trucks are in this state, and we think George and Mike have a good concept with this series. I'm anxious to see them turn laps at our place, and I think our fans are in for a treat on June 8.” Collin Hodges won the 2018 Limited Modified championship at Texana, while Adam Perks captured the Street Stock title. Johnny Westfall claimed the Pure Stock crown, while the Dwarf Car-ModLite title went to Victor Vargas. Edna, Texas, is located roughly 100 miles southwest of Houston. To learn more about this fan-friendly facility, known as “Your favorite small town dirt track,” go to www.texanaraceway.com. The Texas Dirt Truck Series was launched in October of 2018 and will make its on-track debut at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas, on March 23. The series was created on the concept of offering an affordable yet highly-competitive and entertaining product based on Texan's love for pickup trucks. For more information, please go to www.texasdirttrucks.com.
  5. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Twitter: @PhilWhipple Officials announce partnership with Bus & Transit Sales at Texas Dirt Truck Series 'Moving Forward' Award created to reward passing SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Feb. 9, 2019) — Officials at the new Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) announced on Saturday a new partnership with New Hampshire-based Bus & Transit Sales, Inc. Owned by veteran transit executive Harry Franssen, the company has a rich history of supporting motor sports. This valued new partner has created the 'Bus & Transit Sales Moving Forward Award' for 2019, paying a $100 bonus per race to the driver who advances the most positions during their heat and the feature. This will ensure exciting (yet respectful) action for fans throughout the night's program. In addition, the driver who gains the most spots during all 11 features this season will receive a $400 bonus, bringing the award's total value to $1,500. It's a fine gesture to enhance racing while also putting cash where it belongs, in the hands of those who work hard to be competitive. “We're thrilled to have Harry Franssen and Sr. VP Ryan Caron of Bus & Transit Sales on board for our inaugural season,” TDTS co-owner George Jones said. “This adds tremendous credibility to our series and helps the racers, which is what we're all about. We place great value in this new partnership.” Bus and Transit Sales, Inc. is a worldwide provider of used fleet-maintained school buses of all makes and models. The company has been in the exporting business for over 40 years, with customers in Africa, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. “I'm excited to be involved with this exciting new series,” company founder and president Franssen said. “I have a location in West Virginia and am currently seeking a dealer down in Texas. This partnership allows me to help this great series while gaining ground in an exciting market area. “My passion is auto racing. I've been involved in a number of ways with some great drivers and teams over the years. I'm utilizing the Texas Dirt Truck Series to grow my business while also helping what I feel is an excellent concept in the sport. With asphalt racing so costly, dirt racing is the future.” This new partnership was announced in front of a group assembled at All In Designs. Owned by Russell Gordon and located in San Antonio, All In Designs offers graphic design, commercial vehicle lettering and wraps, along with providing high-quality screen printed and embroidered apparel. The shop known for helping racers throughout the Deep South region hosted an informational meeting for drivers and team owners interested in competing with the TDTS in 2019. The new award was well received by all in attendance. “We're fortunate to have Harry and his company supporting our efforts,” series co-owner Mike Fortier added. “His support of racing in New England is legendary. I truly appreciate his faith in us.” The Texas Dirt Truck Series will kick off the 2019 campaign at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas on Saturday, March 23. For more information, please go to www.texasdirttrucks.com.
  6. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Twitter: @PhilWhipple Officials announce remainder of 2019 schedule for Texas Dirt Truck Series SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Feb. 1, 2019) — Officials of the new Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) have announced the remaining five dates on their inaugural event schedule, bringing the debut season up to 11 races at three different venues. Joining the five race dates at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas, and the June 22 event at Cotton Bowl are five new dates at the newly-renamed Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls, TX. The 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval, formerly known as Red River Raceway, was purchased last week by Raymond Charles Evans III, series director for the Ultimate Deep South Super Late Model series. “We're more than excited about taking our trucks up to Wichita Falls to compete at Monarch Motor Speedway,” TDTS co-owner George Jones said. “I know Charles is making big plans for several special events up there this year, so we're honored to be a part of those plans.” The Texas Dirt Truck Series teams will compete at MMS on July 4, 5 and 6 for a holiday triple-header. They'll return on Aug. 30-31 as a companion division to the Southern Texas Late Model Series. It's two trips north for the San Antonio-based group, yet more than worthy for five points races. “That three-night special on the Fourth of July weekend should separate the contenders from the pretenders,” series co-owner Mike Fortier said. “I'm delighted that Charles Evans feels so strongly about our trucks he's booked us into his new facility on two important race weekends. We're very anxious to compete up there.” The 2019 campaign will begin at I-37 Speedway on Saturday, March 23. Track owners Ray Doyon III and Michael Keylich will give the command for the TDTS debut race, fitting given the faith those two individuals have placed in the Texas Dirt Truck Series. On April 13, the series returns to I-37 for Round 2 to see who took the best notes and found the hot setup during their inaugural visit in March. It'll be a true test of drivers and crew chiefs as they work to figure out the right chassis setups for these exciting new pickup-bodies racing machines. On June 22, a $1,000-to-win race at Cotton Bowl in companion with the Ultimate Deep South Super Late Model series will generate excitement. With its high-banked surface, Cotton Bowl will present a real challenge yet offer big thrills to TDTS competitors. It's a not-to-be-missed event. Just one week later, the series returns to I-37 for the third of five appearances at the wide, well-groomed oval in Pleasanton. Many teams, like full-time points contenders Russ Parker (Parker-Jones Racing/Chevrolet) and Tony Bernal (MFM Ford) will have the place figured out by then and be fast. The Texas Dirt Truck Series was launched in Oct. of 2018 and will be running its inaugural campaign in 2019. It was formed on the concept of America's love for full-size pickups and passion for short track racing on dirt. For more information, go to www.texasdirttrucks.com.
  7. Charles is putting a big effort into reviving LM racing in Texas. It's inspiring, his passion runs deep.
  8. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Twitter: @PhilWhipple Officials announce $1,000-to-win race at Cotton Bowl for Texas Dirt Truck Series - Companion race with Ultimate Super Late Model series set for June 22 PLEASANTON, Texas (Jan. 14, 2019) — Officials of the new Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) have announced a special addition to their inaugural event schedule. On Saturday, June 22, the series will run a $1,000-to-win, $200-to-start feature at the famed Cotton Bowl Speedway as part of the Ultimate Super Late Model series weekend. The popular dirt track tour will also be in action on Friday, June 21, kicking off a two-night spectacle of great racing. Officials from both touring series feel the newly-created TDTS is an ideal companion division and expect plenty of action at Cotton Bowl. The Ultimate SLM tour will run a 14-race schedule for the Deep South region in 2019, while the TDTS was hoping to add Cotton Bowl to it's schedule. “We're pretty excited to have this opportunity to race at Cotton Bowl alongside the Deep South SLM teams,” TDTS co-owner George Jones said. “Ultimate series officials reached out to us, praised what we're doing and invited us to come down. I believe we'll give their fans an exciting show.” The Ultimate Super Late Model tour covers much of the country, with its Deep South region joining the Mid-Ohio Valley, Northeast and Heart of America divisions. Super Late Model racing on dirt is popular across much of the nation, and the USLM delivers quality entertainment at every track. “Having the Texas Dirt Truck Series as part of our show at Cotton Bowl is an excellent fit,” Deep South region series director Charles Evans said. “That gives us four classes to run, offering a body style for all types of race fans. They love trucks in Texas, so we're excited to bring them on board.” The Texas Dirt Truck Series was launched in October of 2018 and will make its on-track debut at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas, on March 23. The series was created on the concept of offering an affordable yet highly-competitive and entertaining product based on America's love for trucks. In early January, the series announced five confirmed race dates at I-37 this year thanks to a belief by track owners Ray Doyon and Michael Keylich that the TDTS will succeed. Other tracks and promoters are also expressing an interest, putting a big smile on the faces of series officials. “I'm thrilled with our chance to race at Cotton Bowl alongside a well-proven series like the Ultimate Super Late Models,” series co-owner Mike Fortier said. “Their two-night show will be very exciting, and we're honored they wanted us there. I hope this leads to more companion shows for us.” Based in Carnesville, Georgia, the Ultimate Super Late Model series is the southeast's premier touring division. Chris Ferguson won the inaugural USLM championship in 2011, while Zack Mitchell won the 2018 points title. Casey Roberts leads the all-time win list with 20 USLM feature victories. For more information on the Texas Dirt Truck Series, go to www.texasdirttrucks.com. To learn more about the Ultimate Super Late Model tour, visit them online at www.ultimatesupers.com.
  9. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Officials announce partial 2019 schedule for Texas Dirt Truck Series New tour will run five races at home base of I-37 PLEASANTON, Texas (Jan. 5, 2019) — Officials of the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) have announced the first confirmed race dates for their inaugural season. The series will compete on five occasions at its home base of I-37 Speedway, with events at other tracks now in final discussions. As Spring arrives in south Texas, the series will make its official debut at I-37 on Sat., Mar. 23. Interest has been strong in this exciting new tour since it was officially announced in early October of 2018. Series owners expect a solid field of trucks at the highly-anticipated debut race. “I feel like we have the potential to have a very exciting inaugural season,” series co-owner and founder George Jones said. “We're fortunate to have Ray Doyon and Mike Keylich at I-37 serve as our home, and other successful tracks have shown a strong interest in our series, as well. "We're also very excited to see new trucks being built. Interest from racers is growing each week. It takes time to build a base, yet I feel like we're well under way in that respect.” With its wide racing surface and loyal fan following, I-37 Speedway serves as an ideal home venue. The five dates for the TDTS at the popular oval in Pleasanton include the opener on March 23, April 13, June 29, July 27 and November 8. More dates at other Texas tracks will be announced soon. Officials have also announced details on qualifying procedures and features for 2019. Heat races will be run to determine starting lineups, and a Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) will be run when needed. Teams and fans will be able to follow Live Timing & Scoring for the Texas Dirt Truck Series using the MyRacePass App on their mobile devices. Details on TDTS rules and procedures, etc., will be discussed in detail at a general meeting for drivers and team owners who are already locked into or considering racing with us in mid-January. For now, a date of Jan. 26 is being considered. Look for a confirmation on our Facebook page shortly. “We're working with a couple of potential title sponsors that will determine the exact details of our purses,” series co-owner Mike Fortier said. “George is working on behalf of our racers to ensure our payouts are ample and allow them to stay active. We'll support our race teams as much as we can.” Both Jones and Fortier have built trucks for 2019 to bolster the count, and to enjoy seeing their drivers take on the challenges of an entirely new yet exciting race vehicle. Jones will field the No. 28 Chevrolet Silverado with driver Russell Parker; while Fortier will field the No. 51 Ford F-150 with driver Tony Bernal at the wheel. Both drivers are eager and anxious to do some preseason testing. For more information, go to www.texasdirttrucks.com. Fans can also follow the series on social media at www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/and on Twitter by searching for @TexasDirtTrucks.
  10. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 New Texas Dirt Truck Series announced for 2019 Tour to be based at I-37 Speedway PLEASANTON, Texas (Oct. 2, 2018) — Fans of dirt track stock car racing in the Lone Star state have a new reason to get excited about the 2019 season. Officials of the new Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) announced on Friday the formation of a new division for full-sized pickup trucks. The series was formed by I-37 Speedway General Manager George Jones and his partner Mike Fortier and will launch its inaugural season next February. “Our intention is to bring an exciting, fun and affordable division to the racers, fans and track promoters,” Jones said. “This will be a professionally run series created with race fans in mind.” Series co-owners felt there was a void in the current dirt world, one the TDTS can easily fill. “The world of dirt Late Model and modified racing is thriving in south Texas, yet we felt the need to create this series for several reasons,” Fortier said. “The popularity of pickup trucks is huge down here, and fans love a great dirt track race. We're going to give them a show with nice trucks.” The series will utilize AR brand bodies and will feature primarily Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 styles. The trucks will closely resemble those in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as the popular Midwest Truck Series that races on asphalt. “When you look at the incredible popularity of NASCAR's annual visit to Eldora with their trucks, you can see the interest,” Fortier added. “There is a growing trend in America for folks to own and be proud of their trucks, especially here in Texas. We're hoping to capitalize on that trend in 2019.” “The trucks will be affordable to build and maintain, they'll be very racy and also fun to drive. We're excited about the potential for this series. While I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, TX, will be considered our home track, we'd like to see them compete at other dirt tracks throughout Texas next year to expand our reach. We feel like this could be very popular.” With the first truck to be utilized for this series now with it's shiny new Ford F-150 AR body mounted by veteran I-37 racer Jeremy Hernandez, plans to get the TDTS up and running are in high gear. There will be two trucks built this fall for demonstrations at I-37's season finale on Nov. 9-10. “Jeremy is going to drive for me in Truck No. 51 and is very excited about this new series,” Fortier added. “He was driving my Dwarf car previously but is now all-in with the TDTS. We're lucky to have him involved, and I know he'll be helping us show other racers the viability of these trucks.” Taking a look at the 2019 rules package for the series, interested teams will find a very affordable engine rule running SBC or sealed 602 Crate engines, and a low-cost shock package. Readily available 108-inch Metric frames will be used. Tire costs will be contained by using only Hoosier F-45 asphalt take-offs. For more information, go to www.texasdirttrucks.com. Fans can also follow the series' progress on social media at www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/ and on Twitter by searching for @TexasDirtTrucks.
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