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PhilWhipple

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  1. For immediate release: STLMS Public Relations Contact: Kody Hardage Tel: 210-827-0229 Southern Touring Late Model Series gearing up for return to Texana Raceway Park Teams, officials excited to get back to Edna on Sept. 19 SEGUIN, Texas (Aug. 29, 2020) — After a two-year absence, the Southern Touring Late Model Series (STLMS) is gearing up for a return to the friendly confines of Texana Raceway Park (TRP) on Sat., Sept. 19. Veteran race official Owen Pittman now promotes TRP, and it is thriving once again. Teams in the STLMS will love the layout and facility overall in the quaint town of Edna. For three years, TRP was run by Rachel and Kenny Densman, who purchased the track in 2017. The Densman's made several much-needed upgrades to the facility, making it more racer and fan-friendly. “Texana is a fabulous little paperclip of an oval that has multiple grooves and plays host some great races,” series promoter Kody Hardage said. “This is one of the tracks that hosted this series when it first got started, and it's also a place I visited as a young boy. I have some great memories there. “It's also the first track where I served as Promoter/Series Director for the STLMS in 2015. That race was won by Howard Willis, while 'Big' Robbie Starnes finished second. The track went through some tough times before the Densman's took over. In 2018, we ran our first and only race there, with 'Little' Robbie Starnes earning the victory in his rookie season. I think we'll have a great show there.” Pittman has been around the sport for many years, serving in a variety of roles. He says the 2020 season has been a good one thus far, and can't wait to host the STLMS next month. “I recall when the Late Models were at Texana a couple of years ago,” Pittman said. “I was just the announcer then, and they were just really getting rolling. Today, they have some great talent on the tour and I know they will put on an thrilling show for our fans. It's Top Hat Signs night, and I'm excited.” Leading the charge into Texana Raceway Park is STLMS regular Cody Leonard, the pride of Sinton, Texas. Leonard currently sits just one marker behind series points leader Kip Hughes, who is not expected to race at Texana. Hughes also runs on the Sooner series and has a race in Wichita Falls. Championship contenders and Texas natives Austin Theiss (Hockley), Brandon Brzozowski (La Vernia), and Beau Begnaud (Spring), who occupy third through fifth in the standings, are also expected to compete at Texana. This appearance by the Southern Touring Late Model Series at Texana Raceway Park is being presented by Victoria Auto Auction (VAA) and Equipment Sale. Kenny Griffin at VAA is a longtime supporter of racing in the Victoria area. His support of this event is greatly appreciated by the STLMS. Billed as “Your Favorite small town Dirt Track,” Texana Raceway Park is located at 258 County Road 412 in Edna, Texas. It's one of those little places where family and fun-loving country folks come together on Saturday nights to create an atmosphere unmatched anywhere else in sports. The Southern Touring Late Model Series was formed in 2012 and is owned by veteran racer Kody Hardage, of Seguin, Texas. The series is keeping dirt Super Late Model racing alive and thriving in the Lone Star State and points beyond. It is intended to be an affordable regional tour for racers. To get the latest series news and updates, go to www.stlms.com and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernTexasLateModelSeries. (Photo credit: Bobby 'Dr. Rock' Thomas)
  2. For immediate release: TSTRS Public Relations Contact: Gina Schild-Knowles Tel: 713-907-0906 Tiffany Vogel thriving in new role as Race Director at Houston Motorsports Park Longtime race official digs in to keep program flowing smoothly HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 18, 2020) — Of all the roles in the act of officiating and conducting a night of asphalt short track racing, the job of Race Director easily carries the most stress. That person makes the final calls on all on-track incidents and works to ensure the program runs like a clock. For longtime race official Tiffany Vogel, the workload and stress is all just part of the package. This tougher-than-nails Texas native has literally been around racing since she was in diapers. She started working at the now-defunct Longhorn Speedway early on, and has earned this opportunity. “I think my debut last Saturday night went off pretty well,” Vogel said. “We finished the program at 9:40 p.m., so I was extremely proud of that part. I can't expect our fans to endure long delays. I really enjoyed the experience and am hoping the rest of our season goes just as smoothly.” Vogel's background in the sport is extensive, having attended her first race at the famed Longhorn. It wasn't long before she was part of the team there, and the rest, as they say, is history. “I started out selling 50/50 tickets and programs at Longhorn,” Vogel explained. “I also served as the Trophy Queen for 10 years at Thunderhill Raceway, then worked in scoring at Longhorn and at Central Texas Speedway in Kyle. I've flagged a couple of races, as well, and have driven the pace car.” There aren't too many jobs at the track left that Vogel hasn't handled, with one major exception. “The only job I hadn't held up until now was Race Director, and that opportunity is here,” Vogel added. “My parents helped run Longhorn when I was young, and my cousins, uncles and grandfather all raced back in the day. Short track racing is in my blood, I just love working in this great sport.” In her first night as Race Director, Vogel had an extra set of eyes helping her keep track of the action. While race teams have spotters, she had an assistant on the backstretch to watch all angles. “It helped me tremendously,” Vogel said without hesitation. “It's hard to see everything all the time; you'll have a battle up front and some tussles back in the pack at the same moment. I can't watch the entire oval at the same time every second. That second set of eyes made calls a whole lot easier.” Vogel is part of a special team at Houston Motorsports Park. Together, under general manager and promoter Gina Schild-Knowles, that team collectively delivers the magic for race fans in Houston. This special team includes Mason Mitchell, Rodney Rodriguez, Don Armstrong, Denny Burton, Todd Kempken, Meridith Makie Bahnsen, Debbie Berry, Sandy Berry, Taylor Knowles, Michael Crofford, Larry Schild, Caden Schild, Travis Knowles and David Corbello, along with Bo & Gina Knowles. Schild-Knowles and her staff also welcome Megan Barker to the staff. Barker, son of Outlaw division racer Robert Barker, is now an official scorer at HMP and says she's enjoying the new job. “I had been helping the scorers for a few years now, but am very excited to actually be an official in the tower,” Barker said. “We didn't have any hiccups last week, so I'm pleased with the way it went. I'm proud that Gina has the confidence in my skills, and I'm proud to be a part of this team.” Vogel, a friend of Barker for many years, summed up that great atmosphere at HMP in 2020. “I've known Gina and Mason for years, plus I've known our announcer, Rodney Rodriguez, since he was racing himself out at Longhorn Speedway. We're all like family here. I love working with these folks, and love a chance to keep the show running smoothly. If that happens, I've done my job.” About Texas Short Track Racing Series/NASCAR Houston The Texas Short Track Racing Series is an asphalt oval racing series based in Houston, Texas, competing at Houston Motorsports Park. Texas Asphalt Racing Promotions, LLC, manages advertising and sponsorship opportunities for the series. To learn more, follow the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nascarhouston. Fans who love NASCAR and short tracks should also bookmark www.NASCARHouston.com to stay abreast of the latest news as it happens. About Houston Motorsports Park Houston Motorsports Park is an auto racing complex that includes a 3/8 mile NASCAR-sanctioned paved oval and an NHRA-sanctioned 1/8 mile drag strip. For more information, please go to www.houstonmotorsportspark.com.
  3. For immediate release: STLMS Public Relations Contact: Kody Hardage Tel: 210-827-0229 Annual 'Western Swing' up next for Southern Touring Late Model Series STLMS partners with Sooner LM Series in Lubbock, Amarillo SEGUIN, Texas (Aug. 10, 2020) — In a first-ever partnership with the Sooner Late Model Series, officials at the Southern Touring Late Model Series (STLMS) are excited to announce their 4th annual Western Swing will take place this weekend, Aug. 14-15, in Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas. On Friday, Aug. 14, the two series will combine to invade West Texas Speedway in Lubbock for a $2,000-to-win contest. On Saturday, teams will make a visit to the famed Route 66 Motor Speedway in Amarillo for another $2,000-to-win affair. It's a pair of races with tremendous potential. “I always get excited about our trip west, but this year should be pretty special,” series promoter Kody Hardage said. “The folks that run both tracks are awesome, they treat us well and we want to put on a good show for them. With both series coming together like this, it should be exciting both nights.” Leading the charge into this year's Western Swing is STLMS point leader Bo Day, of Greenville, Texas. Day has been on a tear this year with three wins to his credit (Monarch Motor Speedway on May 29, Abilene Speedway on May 30, and at Heart O' Texas Speedway on July 18). Championship contenders 'Little' Robbie Starnes and Sinton, Texas-based hotshoe Cody Leonard will also be drivers to watch in west Texas. Second-generation driver Starnes can never be counted out, and Leonard adapts quickly to changing track conditions wherever he goes. Leading the charge into Lubbock and Amarillo from the Sooner LM series is points leader Kip Hughes, along with 15-year-old sensation Hayden Ross, of Muskogee, OK, and veteran Eddie Tidwell. The Sooner series is loaded with talent, giving this weekend a huge boost. “Our series has grown this year, we have some stiff competition on our own side,” Hardage added. “But when you bring in guys like they have on the Sooner series, the action will be intense from the heats through the A Main. I hope folks can come on out to see some top-notch Late Model racing.” West Texas Speedway, formerly known as Lady Luck Speedway, was upgraded and modernized in 2017 by current owner Corky Matthews. The track was originally built in the 1960s and was in need of the upgrades. New seating, lighting and a huge scoreboard make WTS a fan-friendly place these days. Route 66 Motor Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval run by brothers Jeremy and Zach Gossett. After a seven-week delay in their 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the track returned to action on June 7 with 118 cars in the pits spread across five divisions. Racing is healthy in Amarillo, Texas, thanks to the efforts of Jeremy and Zach. The Southern Touring Late Model Series was formed in 2012 and is owned by veteran racer Kody Hardage, of Seguin, Texas. The series is keeping dirt Super Late Model racing alive and thriving in the Lone Star State and points beyond. It is intended to be an affordable regional tour for racers. To get the latest series news and updates, go to www.stlms.com and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernTexasLateModelSeries. (Photo credit: Bobby Thomas)
  4. For immediate release: MFM Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Larry Baggett set to make Sport Mod debut at Cotton Bowl Speedway Former Street Stock racer returns to home track on Saturday BURNET, Texas (Aug. 7, 2020) — One of the most popular and well respected short track drivers in central Texas is about to enjoy a little homecoming party. Once a regular in the Street Stock division, he's climbing into a car owner's IMCA Sport Modified this weekend and couldn't possibly be any happier. Veteran racer Larry Baggett will make his debut for Mike Fortier Motorsports (MFM) in the No. 51VT entry this Saturday, Aug. 8, at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas. It'll be Baggett's maiden voyage in the ultra-competitive Sport Mod class, yet he's no stranger to the high-banked oval. “I'm so excited to get back to Cotton Bowl on Saturday,” Baggett said. “I like the bullrings, but Cotton Bowl has the room to see what a car can do down the straightaway. I took a short blast in this car last night, and the power made my blood boil. I can't wait to roll out for Hot Laps tomorrow night.” Baggett was racing a full-size truck around south Texas this season, but has now shifted his focus to the MFM Sport Mod program. It's a chance to expand his racing resume working with a friend. “It's hard to describe how thrilled I am to have this opportunity,” Baggett added. “Mike has busted his butt to make this happen, and I appreciate all of his efforts. This whole deal will be big fun, no-stress racing for me, and I think we're bringing a strong car to the race track. I'm pretty stoked.” Fortier has been busy in this hectic, pandemic-shortened season working for Cotton Bowl promoter Mary Ann Naumann. Once he delivered his car to Baggett's shop, Fortier relied on Baggett and friends to prepare the car for competition. Improvements we made, and the car owner is thrilled. “It feels like a long time since we announced this deal with Larry, but thanks to his hard work we're just about ready to hit the track,” Fortier said. “The car has come a long way since I brought it up from San Antonio. David Lawrence built a strong engine for us, and Larry has the car all ready to go.” As the owner of a busy company, Fortier's driver has had to balance his time carefully in 2020. “Larry has been very busy with his business, By the Bay Lawn Care & Landscaping. I know he has a full plate without racing for me, but I sure am thrilled he's willing to do this. I have nothing but respect for he and Shawna, they are great folks and I know the 51VT entry is always in good hands.” Baggett bought his first race car in 2016, a Chevy Camaro for the Street Stock class. He finished a respectable eighth in points for his first year behind the wheel. In 2017, he purchased a Chevy Nova to run in the same class car and finished fourth in final points. Baggett's career highlight came in 2019 when he claimed the inaugural Texas Dirt Truck Series points championship. Fortier grew up in Vermont and started attending races at the age of 8, eventually joining a race team when he was just 19. He became a car owner in 1998 fielding a Late Model in the highly-respected American-Canadian Tour and at the famed Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre. To keep up with news on results, future race dates and other plans, please visit the Mike Fortier Motorsports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mfm51/.
  5. For immediate release: TSTRS Public Relations Contact: Gina Schild-Knowles Tel: 713-907-0906 Flyovers now a part of NASCAR Houston's Race Day Program Race fans who love Vintage airplanes will be big winners in 2020 HOUSTON, Texas (May 22, 2020) — Calling all gearheads! It's no secret that most of us who love the all-out assault on the senses provided by short track auto racing (sights, sounds and smells) also love anything with an engine. That's right, we're 'gearheads' – and we make no attempt to hide it. One popular category of interest among race fans and gearheads is vintage airplanes, and fans in the greater Houston area will get to see lots of them this year. As they did on Sat., May 9, members of the Commemorative Air Force - Houston Wing will do Flyovers over Houston Motorsports Park. “We know race fans love anything with an engine, and these vintage planes are absolutely beautiful,” Texas Short Track Racing Series/NASCAR Houston General Manager Gina Schild-Knowles said. “We will be working with the CAF – Houston Wing this year to arrange the Flyovers and we will make some appearances at their events, as well. The crossover between groups should be sizable.” Schild-Knowles says in addition to entertaining her race fans, there's a lot more to this picture. That “Flight To the Finish” flyover on Saturday, May 9, created a buzz in Houston and ignited a plan for more. “One of our goals with this program is to promote the gearhead mentality and cultivate interest in our sport among today's youth. The guys who own and fly these vintage planes are just like our racers and fans; passionate about what they do, and wanting to attract younger fans for the future.” Sam Bulger is the Special Events Coordinator for the Commemorative Air Force - Houston Wing. He works with CAF members who own vintage aircraft to cultivate interest in flying history. “We're always looking to generate interest in vintage planes and flying history among younger adults,” Bulger said. “Our enthusiast group is aging, as it is with stock car racing. So our members love to get out there and interact with the public. They love to teach folks about these beautiful old planes.” Bulger says the possibilities of this joint venture are endless when it comes to drawing fans. “We're hoping the flyovers can catch the eyes of race fans both young and old,” he added. “We'd like them to take an interest in our group, and many of our people also love auto racing. I know how hard Gina is working to promote her Texas Short Track Racing Series, and this deal can help her out while fueling interest in what we do, as well. I think it's a win-win for both parties.” About Texas Short Track Racing Series/NASCAR Houston The Texas Short Track Racing Series is an asphalt oval racing series based in Houston, Texas, competing at Houston Motorsports Park. Texas Asphalt Racing Promotions, LLC, manages advertising and sponsorship opportunities for the series. To learn more, follow the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nascarhouston. Fans who love NASCAR and short tracks should also bookmark www.NASCARHouston.com to stay abreast of the latest news as it happens. About Houston Motorsports Park Houston Motorsports Park is an auto racing complex that includes a 3/8 mile NASCAR-sanctioned paved oval and an NHRA-sanctioned 1/8 mile drag strip. For more information, please go to www.houstonmotorsportspark.com. About the Commemorative Air Force The Houston Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is an organization that educates, inspires, and honors America's World War II past through the use of vintage trainer aircraft and a museum full of artifacts. These airplanes and artifacts tell the story of war 'From the Home Front' as America prepared for battle. The Houston Wing also conducts STEM activities to educate the current generation about the progress of aviation technology. Follow them on Faceboook at CAF-Houstonwing or visit their Website at www.houstonwing.org
  6. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Season opener at I-37 Speedway on tap for Aligned Mortgage Texas Dirt Truck Series, Presented by Military Talent Source SAN ANTONIO, Texas (May 11, 2020) — After a successful debut season in 2019, teams throughout central and south Texas are hard at work in their shops, as the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) gets set to open its second season of competition on Saturday, May 16, at I-37 Speedway. Series officials went to work during the off-season to expand the schedule, taking teams to different venues. While the popular I-37 will continue to serve as home base, the series will also make its debut at Monarch Motor Speedway (Wichita Falls) and 105 Speedway (Cleveland) in 2020. “I really think we're all in for a very competitive and exciting second season with our trucks,” series founder and president George Jones said. “I'm excited about the five races we have at I-37, and I'm revved up about going to Wichita Falls and to Cleveland, as well. New tracks help reach new fans. “We've got most of the guys rebuilding their trucks, going all through them to prepare for a brand new season. I know we'll see a few new faces, and they're welcome to join our growing family. I know our new media partners will help us reach more fans. I can't wait to get this season started.” Leading the charge into I-37 is defending series point champion Larry Baggett, of Burnet, TX. Baggett has gone all through his No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado and is gearing up in a big way for 2020. “Winning the inaugural series title last year was a career highlight for me,” Baggett said. “We made a ton of great friends, had some exciting races and learned a lot about chassis setups. Now, we've got some good notes to go on and can improve our program. We're after race wins and another title.” Looking to challenge Baggett as he defends that crown are dedicated racers like Russell Rust, Tony Bernal, Russ Parker, Ryan Doyon, John Heil, Michael Keylich and Daniel Gaudette. It won't be a cakewalk by any stretch for the reigning champion, and he knows he'll have his work cut out for him. By fostering and strengthening educational opportunities, Aligned Mortgage of Texas focuses and strategizes on impacting the amazing 87% of U.S. Military Veterans who have not utilized their VA home loan benefit. Aligned Mortgage is also aggressive in educating and partnering with real estate professionals, builders, title companies, and insurance agents on the VA guidelines to ensure that every person who has worn the cloth of our nation has an opportunity to own a piece of the country. For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AlignedMortgageofTexas/. Military Talent Source matches veteran talent with career opportunity. The company is a specialized recruitment process outsourcing firm that conducts military recruiting and veteran employment consulting as a full focus. To learn more, go to www.militarytalentsource.com. This year's schedule will also see the series visit South Texas Speedway (Corpus Christi) and Texana Raceway Park (Edna). Ten races at five different tracks will deliver truckloads of fun in 2020. To keep up with the latest series news, go to https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/.
  7. For immediate release: TSTRS Public Relations Contact: Gina Schild-Knowles Tel: 713-907-0906 Houston Motorsports Park owner Dean Baker excited about Oval track future Texas Short Track Racing Series doing well under Schild-Knowles reign HOUSTON, Texas (May 8, 2020) — While many people may identify the famed Houston Motorsports Park with drag racing, there's a whole lot more going on within the friendly confines of Dean Baker's wonderful facility. Texas Short Track Racing Series (TSTRS) General Manager Gina Schild-Knowles has been working hard to put the oval track on the map, keeping the last active asphalt short track in Texas thriving. Her alliance with Baker adds stability to what she's doing, and Baker loves the outlook. “I'm behind what Gina is doing at the oval track all the way,” Baker said. “She comes from a racing family, really knows the sport and has a strong background in marketing and promotions. It isn't easy to do what she's doing; to attract new sponsors, draw new race teams and grow the fan base.” As interest in the oval program has grown, so has brand identity for HMP itself. When Schild-Knowles announced the weekly NASCAR sanction for this season, it added even more credibility to her oval program. As part of NASCAR's Weekly Racing Series, the added value will be clearly visible. “I've seen the hard work she's putting in to prepare for this delayed season,” Baker added. “She is thinking about the future, and so am I. It's a nice feeling to have somebody running the oval who has the passion, skills and dedication to make a go of it. I think the TSTRS is in good hands with Gina.” For Schild-Knowles, the delayed start due to the global COVID-19 pandemic has meant more work restructuring the schedule, communicating with racers and studying local guidelines. Yet she's full of optimism as we draw closer to the second practice session on May 16 and first race on June 20. “I'm so glad to have Dean's support as we work to prepare for our new season,” Schild-Knowles said. “He sees the value in building a solid fan base for the oval, which helps the overall facility. I want all of our race teams and marketing partners to know that we have an eye on the future here.” There is still work to do before the first green flag of the season waves, yet with Baker's support and her burning desire to succeed, Schild-Knowles isn't letting off the gas any time soon. “I just know after all of this frustration, the delays and setbacks, we're still in for a very special season of racing with the Texas Short Track Racing Series,” she said. “I've had this feeling for a long while, and I truly believe our future is very bright here at Houston Motorsports Park. I'm very excited.” About Texas Short Track Racing Series The Texas Short Track Racing Series is an asphalt oval racing series based in Houston, Texas, competing at Houston Motorsports Park. Texas Asphalt Racing Promotions, LLC, manages advertising and sponsorship opportunities for the series. To learn more, follow the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nascarhouston. Fans who love NASCAR and short tracks should also bookmark www.NASCARHouston.com to stay abreast of the latest news as it happens. About Houston Motorsports Park Houston Motorsports Park is an auto racing complex that includes a 3/8 mile NASCAR-sanctioned paved oval and an NHRA-sanctioned 1/8 mile drag strip. For more information, please go to www.houstonmotorsportspark.com.
  8. For immediate release: TSTRS Public Relations Contact: Gina Schild-Knowles Tel: 713-907-0906 Schild-Knowles updates racers, plans for 2020 season moving forward at HMP Asphalt oval racing will return to south Texas after COVID-19 crisis HOUSTON, Texas (Apr. 20, 2020) — As the nation's current stay-at-home mandate affect our daily lives and have put life as we once knew it on hold, one Texas short track promoter is reaching out to her racers to offer words of encouragement and explain what happens after the 'All Clear' sounds. Houston Motorsports Park (HMP) oval track promoter and Texas Short Track Racing Series (TSTRS) general manager Gina Schild-Knowles knows what racers across south Texas are feeling in strange times. “I don't want our racers to lose faith or any momentum they carried from last year,” Schild-Knowles said on a video message posted on YouTube. “We all just need to do what we need to do to stay safe. The better we all are at adhering to social distancing guidelines, the sooner we'll all be back at the race track.” Schild-Knowles says the key to making it through this crisis is a thing called communication. “I want our racers to reach out to one another during these tough times,” she added. “If you know of somebody who needs some help in the shop or a few tools, try to lend a helping hand. We're all in this deal together; and together – we'll all get through it. I understand it isn't easy to ask for help.” When it comes down to the 2020 schedule itself, Schild-Knowles says there have been changes. “I have no plans to shorten the season, but I have had to restructure the event schedule a bit,” she explained. “And since this virus situation is changing almost day-by-day, I can't honestly put a specific date on when we'll reopen. Yet we still plan to complete the same number of races we had planned. “We might be racing in August now, which we hadn't planned on doing at first. We will probably be racing twice a month, consistently through October. I do not plan to race at all in November, I don't want to interfere with plans for the Snowball Derby or for our deer hunters.” While some in the industry think we'll get that 'All Clear' bell soon, some have reservations. “NASCAR's date to go back racing as of now is May 3,” Schild-Knowles said. “That applies to us, since we're NASCAR sanctioned now. I have a feeling that will be pushed back, but we all just need to focus on the positive right now. When the danger to public health has passed, we'll go back racing.” As a wise promoter with racing in her blood (her father, Larry Schild and uncle, Jerry Schild were both racers), Schild-Knowles says racers can actually use this down time to their advantage. “For now, just focus on that car you're building,” she told her racers. “You have extra time to find that speed, that little extra something you never had time for before now. Use this time to be more prepared for when we do get the 'All Clear,' and it will pay off in the end.” About Texas Short Track Racing Series The Texas Short Track Racing Series is an asphalt oval racing series based in Houston, Texas, competing at Houston Motorsports Park. Texas Asphalt Racing Promotions, LLC, manages advertising and sponsorship opportunities for the series. To learn more, follow the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/texasshorttrackracing/. Fans who love NASCAR and short tracks should also bookmark www.NASCARHouston.com to stay abreast of the latest news as it happens. About Houston Motorsports Park Houston Motorsports Park is an auto racing complex that includes a 3/8-mile NASCAR-sanctioned paved oval and an NHRA-sanctioned 1/8-mile drag strip. For more information, please go to www.houstonmotorsportspark.com.
  9. For immediate release: MFM Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Larry Baggett joins Mike Fortier Motorsports for part-time Sport Mod effort in 2020 Reigning Texas Dirt Truck Truck Series champ to run six races BURNET, Texas (March 4, 2020) — Two veteran race personalities in the Lone Star State are joining forces for a part-time yet surely competitive Sport Mod effort in 2020. A longtime car owner from New England who now calls Texas his home and a North Carolina native are a natural pair. Defending Texas Dirt Truck Series champion Larry Baggett has announced his intentions to wheel the No. 51VT IMCA Sport Mod entry fielded by Mike Fortier Motorsports. The pair will run approximately six races at Cotton Bowl Speedway, I-37 Speedway and at Texana Raceway. “I was beyond excited when Mike reached out to me with this opportunity,” Baggett said. “I am honored to strap into his Sport Mod and will do my best to put it into Victory Lane this season. Mike is one of those guys with years of experience and knowledge. I'll enjoy working with him on the setups. “We'll do whatever we have to do to get his car dialed in. This is going to be a chance for me to grow as a racer and hone my skills further. The guys who drive multiple cars stay sharp, so this won't hurt my truck program at all. I'm gunning to defend my TDTS title, but racing for Mike will be fun.” Fortier is part of the staff at Cotton Bowl this year, working with Mary Ann and H. Naumann on IT-related matters and as a Pit Steward coordinating lineups. Now approaching the age of 69, Fortier has an extensive background in racing in both his native New England and in south Texas. “I'm absolutely thrilled with where I'm at at Cotton Bowl right now, working with Mary Ann at what I feel is the best-run track in Texas,” Fortier said. “Yet my desire to field a car is still there, and now, I have a driver with a stellar reputation and down-home personality. I couldn't be any happier. “Larry is a great fit for this team. He takes care of equipment and really uses his head out on the track. He'll get the most out of the car each time he competes, yet he won't destroy it when things aren't going so well. I'm very fortunate to have his skills behind the wheel, and can't wait to go racing.” Baggett, aka 'Cowboy', 50, of Burnet, Texas, has been involved in racing nearly all of his life. Growing up in his native state of North Carolina, he spent his weekends going to drag races with his sister, Audrey Pope. Larry enjoyed hanging out in the pits and learning the ropes. He bought his own race car in 2016, a Chevy Camaro for the Street Stock class on dirt. He finished a respectable eighth in points for his first year behind the wheel. In 2017, he purchased a Chevy Nova to run in the same class car and finished fourth in final points. Baggett's career highlight was winning the inaugural Texas Dirt Truck Series championship last year in a steady, consistent effort. Fortier grew up in Vermont and started attending races at the age of 8, eventually joining a race team when he was just 19. He became a car owner in 1998 fielding a Late Model in the highly-respected American-Canadian Tour and at the famed Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre. He established a racing business partnership with the Australia-based Just Hafta brand of apparel, with sales proceeds across North America funding the race team. In the late 1990s, Fortier designed and developed a software program known as Race Team Notebook, used by many teams. To keep up with news on race dates and plans, please visit the Mike Fortier Motorsports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mfm51/.
  10. Aligned Mortgage of Texas partners with Texas Dirt Truck Series, Presented by Military Talent Source SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Jan. 31, 2020) — Officials of the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) are pleased to announce a new partnership with Aligned Mortgage of Texas, based in the series' home base of San Antonio. Aligned Mortgage was founded in 2017 with the goal of bringing alignment to the home loan industry when it comes to serving veterans. The staff at Aligned Mortgage is passionate about ensuring that everyone who has defended our country has the chance to own a piece of it. The company's goal is to provide education, transparency and unparalleled service to our nation’s heroes when it comes time for them to purchase or refinance a home. “This new partnership with Aligned Mortgage is a perfect fit for Military Talent Source, our presenting partner,” series owner George Jones said. “Both companies provide quality services for our military veterans. We're honored to partner with this world class company for our second season.” Aligned Mortgage Military Liaison Anthony Guzman works with Veterans every day. As a U.S. Navy veteran himself and retired Master Chief, his passion for helping them is truly second to none. “We see the Texas Dirt Truck Series as an ideal partner for Aligned Mortgage,” Guzman said. “I know a lot of Veterans follow auto racing, and here in Texas, most of them drive trucks. It makes sense for us to work with the TDTS to reach more Veterans in need of home loans. We're very excited to be involved with this growing series, and are proud to join Military Talent Source as a series partner.” There are a mere 13% of the 23 million Veterans in the United States who have used their VA home loan benefit. By fostering and strengthening educational opportunities, Aligned Mortgage of Texas focuses and strategizes on impacting the remaining 87% of Veterans who have not utilized their VA home loan benefit. Aligned Mortgage is also aggressive in educating and partnering with real estate professionals, builders, title companies, and insurance agents on the VA guidelines to ensure that every person who has worn the cloth of our nation has an opportunity to own a piece of the country. For more information, visit them online at https://www.facebook.com/AlignedMortgageofTexas/ The Texas Dirt Truck Series will kick off its second season on Saturday, March 28, at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas. This year's schedule will see the series visit new venues across the state, from Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls to South Texas Speedway in Corpus Christi. To keep up with the latest series news, go to https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/. Media contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Twitter: @PhilWhipple
  11. They really are, Nick. All three have the connections, reach, knowledge and passion we need behind us as we continue to grow. I feel the TDTS is very fortunate to have their support in 2020.
  12. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations RaceOnTexas.com, Revved Up Sports Show new Official Media Partners at Texas Dirt Truck Series, Presented by Military Talent Source SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Jan. 29, 2020) — Officials of the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) have announced two well known and highly respected media outlets with a statewide reach have joined their growing family of marketing partners for the 2020 season. RaceOnTexas.com, a multi-media company that offers high quality Live and Archived video footage from tracks across Texas, and the Austin-based Revved Up Sports Show (RUSS) will become the Official Media Partners of the series. This cross-promotion will help draw new subscribers and listeners for the two media outlets while ensuring steady, statewide media coverage for the TDTS. “We couldn't be more excited about this partnership for our second season,” series founder and owner George Jones said. “I've known those guys for years, and not only do they do a fantastic job at covering our sport, they've built a loyal following around the state. This will help build our fan base.” RaceOnTexas.com owner Chris David has assembled a team of skilled cameramen who capture every lap of the action at short tracks across Texas and even into Louisiana all season long. In 2019, his site also started delivering new content featuring Spotlight feature stories on drivers in all divisions. “We've been watching the Truck series grow in popularity since George first put it together and ran his first race at I-37,” David said. “We've had cameras rolling for several of their races, so I know the excitement they deliver. I'm excited about this deal and value our relationship with the TDTS.” Rodney Rodriguez is the host and founder of the Revved Up Sports Show, heard each week Live from Round Rock, Texas, online and on The Horn radio in Austin. Serving as co-host since the show began is Bobby Chaffee, a veteran of the Texas racing scene. Rodriguez has covered the TDTS from the start, and sees a bright future for the touring series geared toward affordability for race teams. “I've had my eye on this series since it got up and running last year, and even had the pleasure of calling their appearance at Cotton Bowl Speedway on September 28,” Rodriguez said. “I love the concept of affordable trucks, and everybody knows trucks are king here in Texas. They've got it going on this year with new host tracks and supporters. We're thrilled to be a part of their growth in 2020.” In exchange for this valued coverage around the Lone Star State, Texas Dirt Truck Series staff will connect with fans to inform them of the video coverage available on RaceOnTexas.com and the in-depth interviews they can hear each week on the Revved Up Sports Show. Together, these two media outlets do a great job at keeping short track racing on the radar screen among consumers across Texas. The Texas Dirt Truck Series will kick off its second season on Saturday, March 28, at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas. This year's schedule will see the series visit new venues across the state, from Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls to South Texas Speedway in Corpus Christi. To keep up with the latest series news, go to https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/. Media Contact: Phil Whipple Cell: 207.689.6630 Twitter: @PhilWhipple
  13. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Officials unveil expanded 2020 event schedule at Texas Dirt Truck Series, Presented by Military Talent Source New Pace Truck/Fan Ride-Along Truck being built SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Jan. 19, 2020) — Officials of the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) have unveiled an eight-race schedule for their second season, with the possibility of three more dates to be added in the coming weeks. The series' second year takes teams to new venues as interest in the trucks begins to grow. For the second consecutive year, the TDTS will have the friendly confines of I-37 Speedway in scenic Pleasanton, Texas, as its home base. The series will contest five points races on the racy 1/4-mile oval run by R&M Promotions, beginning with the season opener on Saturday, March 28. Along with five dates at I-37, the series will make its debut in Wichita Falls on Saturday, June 12, at the famed Monarch Motor Speedway. Shannon and Misty Kelton have worked hard to turn MMS into a thriving, well-organized facility. The series is truly honored to be headed there in 2020. Along with the trip to north Texas, the series will also make its debut out east this year with two trips to 105 Speedway in Cleveland, Texas. Robert Hattenbach and his staff at 105 are known for running a good show on a well-prepared surface, and the TDTS is thrilled to have two races there. “I think our second season is going to be exciting for our teams and Texas race fans,” series owner George Jones said. “We are anxious to take this series to new markets and entertain some new fans. Our new dates at Monarch Motor Speedway and 105 Speedway will allow us to do that.” Three more dates may possibly be added as negotiations are still ongoing with three other tracks. It is hoped the TDTS can return to South Texas Speedway (Corpus Christi) and the famed Cotton Bowl Speedway (Paige) for one race each, along with a new date at Big O Speedway (Ennis) at Jim Moon's fine facility. This series is statewide in nature, not limited to south Texas tracks. Along with the excitement of new races at different tracks, TDTS officials are also pleased to announce the construction of a new Official Pace Truck/Fan Ride-Along truck. This vehicle will look and sound just like our race trucks, yet have a second seat so that one lucky fan per track gets the ride of a lifetime. Winning a ride in the new Ride-Along truck could be a bonus for the 50/50 winner. Larry Baggett, of Burnet, Texas, earned the inaugural TDTS points championship. The North Carolina native and short track ace will return to defend his crown in 2020 with a fresh ride and lots of notes to go on. Chasing him will be talented drivers like Tony Bernal, Russell Rust and Russ Parker, among others. The Texas Dirt Truck Series was created in Oct. of 2018 and will be contesting its second season in 2020. It was formed on the concept of America's love for full-size pickups and passion for short track racing on dirt. Military Talent Source matches veteran talent with career opportunity. The company is a specialized recruitment process outsourcing firm that conducts military recruiting and veteran employment consulting as a full focus. To learn more, go to www.militarytalentsource.com. To keep up with the latest news, go to https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/.
  14. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Twitter: @PhilWhipple (Photo credit: Jay Hallas) Heil dominates season finale at I-37 Speedway for Texas Dirt Truck Series, Presented by Military Talent Source PLEASANTON, Texas (Nov. 18, 2019) — Veteran short track driver John Heil put on another oval racing clinic over the weekend, leading every lap of the 2019 Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) season finale on Saturday night at I-37 Speedway. Heil, of Floresville, earned his third TDTS victory of the season driving the rocket-fast No. 96 entry owned by Rick Pollaro. Heil started on the pole after winning the eight-lap qualifier earlier in the evening. Tony Bernal (La Vernia) finished second in the feature, while Russ Parker (Seguin) filled out the podium in third. After jumping into oval racing straight from the drag strip, Parker made big gains. Cedar Creek native and Cotton Bowl regular Daniel Gaudette crossed the stripe in fourth, while two-time TDTS feature winner Ryan Doyon of LaCoste completed the top five. Only a single caution slowed the pace for a minor spin by Larry Baggett in the early going. Baggett, of Marble Falls, chose to take it easy in the series finale and drove to a casual seventh-place finish to lock up the 2019 TDTS points championship. In nine races, the former Street Stock regular at Cotton Bowl kept his head down and stayed focused on the big prize. “Winning this championship is a very special feeling,” Baggett said. “We've had such a great time competing in this series. It's more like family than anything, but to win races and the inaugural title means the world to us. We can't wait to unload and prepare for 2020. We'll be back for more fun.” Other drivers competing in the season finale include Michael Keylich (sixth) and Russell Rust (eighth), two drivers who supported the TDTS throughout the inaugural season. Saturday's season finale was part of the track's annual Redneck Stress relief program, the track's final event of 2019. Series promoter and director George Jones would like to extend a sincere thank you to TDTS presenting partner Military Talent Source, Ray Doyon and Michael Keylich at I-37, Stevie Whitaker Jr. at South Texas Speedway, Mary Ann Naumann at Cotton Bowl, Rachel & Kenny Densman at Texana Raceway and every team that participated in this inaugural season. Your support made the series thrive. From a humble start in March to a popular and growing extended family by mid November, the Texas Dirt Truck Series went from a concept with merit to a proven entity in 2019. In 2020, Jones will take the series to a few more tracks to reach more race fans. The real fun, it seems, has just begun. Military Talent Source matches veteran talent with career opportunity. The company is a specialized recruitment process outsourcing firm that conducts military recruiting and veteran employment consulting as a full focus. Whether they are working with businesses or organizations to build veteran-friendly hiring solutions or out on the road meeting with separating veterans at transition sites around the country, Military Talent Source is constantly striving to help businesses recruit and retain veteran talent. To learn more about this great company, visit them online at www.militarytalentsource.com. For TDTS news, go to https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/.
  15. For immediate release: TDTS Public Relations Contact: Phil Whipple Tel: 207.689.6630 Season finale at I-37 Speedway all that remains for Texas Dirt Truck Series, Presented by Military Talent Source SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2019) — After eight races at four different popular short tracks, an inaugural season that brought new faces to new places is just about in the books. From an idea based on a solid concept, to sharp-looking trucks entertaining races fans, it became a reality. On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Texas Dirt Truck Series (TDTS) will wrap up its inaugural season at I-37 Speedway in Pleasanton, Texas, as part of the track's Redneck Stress Relief 3 program. Spectator gates will open at 3:30 p.m., with racing action getting under way at 6 p.m. sharp. This is the ninth and final event on the 2019 campaign for TDTS race teams. In the season's first eight races, three drivers have two wins each to their credit. Larry Baggett, of Marble Falls (I-37, Mar. 23 and June 29); John Heil, of Floresville (South Texas, June 8 and Cotton Bowl, Sept. 28), and Ryan Doyon (I-37, July 27 and Sept. 7) led the series in feature wins. Texas short track ace Anthony Gordon (Texana Raceway, Aug. 17) and Talon Minten (Cotton Bowl, Oct. 19) complete the list of feature winners in 2019. Gordon also had an amazing season in the Street Stock class, earning 17 wins in Gordon Leland's Alamo Hot Rod Parts/All In Designs Ford. Leading the charge into I-37 is point leader Baggett, who needs only to take the checkered flag on Nov. 9 to claim the points title. A former Street Stock racer at Cotton Bowl, Baggett says he's ready to put a bow on what has been a fun and amazing season in this new touring series. “I'm already loaded up and anxious for our last dance of the year,” Baggett said. “It's been such an exciting, challenging and fun season for us. I really love I-37 Speedway, it's a racy oval. We hit on a good setup last time out. We'll see how it does in Hot Laps, and adjust it if needed. I'm pretty excited.” Doyon will be another one to watch as the series concludes its first season. I-37 is his home track, and he has more laps there than half the drivers in south Texas. His No. 43 Long's Machine/3D Landscaping entry has been fast no matter who is behind the wheel, and Doyon will be a factor to win. “I have plenty of laps at I-37 and will be gunning for my third truck win,” Doyon said. “Yet I know it won't be easy. The competition is pretty tough in the truck series, those guys don't just hand you a position. We'll go over the truck and just try to be prepared. I'm excited to be a part of the finale.” The Texas Dirt Truck Series, presented by Military Talent Source was launched in October 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 auto racing and just completed their third season as promoters at I-37. To keep up with the latest news, go to https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Dirt-Truck-Series-1509510632528647/. (Photo Credit: Sean Folsom)
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