D4D Pit Crew Athletes Find Victory Lane in Talladega

Lionel Legra and Kevin Richardson, both members of the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint, went to victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway Friday afternoon with Dakoda Armstrong’s No. 22 ARCA Racing Series car. It is the first win for both pit crew athletes.

“Dakoda ran an awesome race,” said Richardson, who changes tires for the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports team. “To win from the pole at Talladega is amazing and I’m so glad to be a part of this team and this experience. This is the place where everyone wants to get a win, and now I can say I’ve been to victory lane at Talladega.”

Richardson has been training with the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint, based out of the Revolution Racing shop in Mooresville, N.C.,  since the beginning of the year. Legra joined the D4D program in mid-2009. Through the program, both participate in pit practice three days a week and have had the opportunity to work weekend ARCA Racing Series events with Cunningham Motorsports.

“When we bring pit crew athletes into the program, they first have to learn their position, whether they are a tire carrier, changer or jackman,” said Phil Horton, Pit Coach for the Drive for Diversity program. “Once they’ve shown an understanding of the fundamentals and the athleticism and mindset required for the job, they are ready to go over-the-wall in a development series, such as ARCA. As they show improvement, they can move up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and eventually to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”

Legra and Richardson will continue to work with Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series throughout the 2010 season.
Other D4D Pit Crew News:

Four other members of the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint were also in Talladega this weekend. Tesfa Lee and Richie Williams worked on the pit crew for the No. 16 Coulter Motorsports team. Rayshaud Barkley and Marcus McGruder pitted for the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports team.

Williams was also recently hired as a full-time mechanic for Germain Racing. He will also serve as a back-up jackman for the team. Williams will continue to practice with the D4D Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint and work weekends as a jackman with an ARCA team until he is ready to move into an over-the-wall position full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck, Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series.

Phil Horton on SIRIUS's The Morning Drive

Phil Horton, Revolution Racing’s strength & conditioning coach, as well as the pit crew coach for the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint, spends a little time getting The Morning Drive up to speed on the D4D crew member program. Phil shares some exciting news with Mike Bagley, Pete Pistone and the listeners… D4D crew members were part of the winning team in the ARCA race at Talladega!

Phil Horton – TMD – 04.27.10

Rain Leads to Sunday Race for Cherry, Reitenour

Michael Cherry and Megan Reitenour found themselves in a Sunday afternoon feature after rain postponed Saturday night’s 100 lap late model race at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway. The race was run Sunday afternoon, with Cherry finishing ninth in the No. 6 MBC Group Late Model and Reitenour finishing 11th in the No. 1 Late Model.

“We’re getting better every time out,” said Blair Addis, Revolution Racing’s Late Model Director of Competition. “This is Michael and Megan’s second race of the year here at Hickory and they are showing a lot of improvement and giving us good feedback. We’re happy with what they’re showing us so far.”

Cherry qualified eighth in the No. 6 MBC Group Late Model, but dropped to the rear of the 14 car field early in the race. At the halfway point Cherry had moved back into the top 10, passing five cars during a long green-flag run.

The only caution of the race came on lap 83, 10 laps too late for Cherry who had gone a lap down to the leaders at lap 74 while running ninth. Cherry was unable to regain his lap and finished the race ninth.

Reitenour qualified 10th in the No. 1 Late Model and started the race in the ninth position. She fell back to 14th mid-way through the race, but was able to work her way back to an 11th-place finish.

“We had a good car in practice this afternoon, but we could have used one more session today to get it dialed in,” said Reitenour. “We had a green race track today after all that rain last night and we really weren’t sure what to expect. We learn a little bit more every time we come out here, and we’ll take our notes back to the shop and see what we can do to make it better for next time.”

Reitenour and Cherry will take next weekend off, but they will return to the track, along with teammate Becca Kasten, May 7 at Tri-County Motor Speedway (Hudson, N.C.). They will race again at Hickory on Saturday, May 8.

Cherry Second Again at Tri-County

Michael Cherry scored another top five at Tri-County Motor Speedway (Hudson, N.C.) Friday night with his second second-place finish of the season in the No. 6 MBC Group Late Model.

“I hope this doesn’t turn into one of those things where we’re always the bridesmaid and never the bride,” joked Cherry after the race. “Seriously, though, we had a great car tonight and I can’t thank Revolution Racing enough for this opportunity. We had some great people working on the car, with Robert Huffman as my crew chief and (NASCAR K&N Pro Series) East driver Ryan Gifford spotting for me.”

Cherry qualified fourth for the 50 lap feature, but found himself second after a first lap caution. Cherry held on to second-place for the remainder of the race, battling for the lead on several restarts while holding off a charge from behind. Cherry’s runner-up finish is his second in two races at Tri-County Motor Speedway this season. He has three top fives and six top 10s in six races overall.

Reitenour qualified seventh in the No. 1 Late Model, and ran in the top 10 all night. A multi-car wreck just past the half-way point gave her the opportunity to move into the top five. Reitenour hung on to fourth for the final 20 laps of the race, earning her first top five of the season.

Kasten’s day started out on a high note, setting fast time in the No. 5 AirTight Late Model. She started the feature third after the invert, and found herself involved in two early cautions. Sent to the rear on both restarts, Kasten was working her way back through the field at a rapid pace. She was passing for ninth on lap 21 when she was hit from behind and sent spinning down the backstretch. Damage to the car ended the night early for the No. 5 AirTight machine. Kasten was scored 13th.

Cherry, Kasten and Reitenour are all scheduled to race tomorrow night at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Weekend Preview: Tri-County & Hickory

AirTight Mechanical joins Revolution Racing this weekend for a double-header weekend of racing. Becca Kasten will pilot the No. 5 AirTight Late Model at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C., Friday night before heading to Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Saturday night. She will be joined by her Revolution Racing teammates Michael Cherry (No. 6 MBC Group Late Model) and Megan Reitenour (No. 1 Late Model).

 

  

Event Information:

Late Model Stock 50 laps

Tri-County Motor Speedway

Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m.

  

Late Model Stock 100 laps

Hickory Motor Speedway

Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m.

 

Michael Cherry

Team: No. 6 MBC Group Late Model 

Crew Chief: Robert Huffman

 

Cherry on returning to Tri-County Motor Speedway:

“As a team, we’re doing pretty good at Tri-County Motor Speedway so far this season. We finished second with the MBC Group Late Model in our first race out there this season, and our teammate Jason Romero tied for fast-time and finished third in that same car his first time out there. I think we’re on the right track and I’m looking forward to going out there and running up front again this weekend.”

Fast Facts:

  • Cherry has two career starts at Tri-County Motor Speedway. His best finish, a second-place, came in the No. 6 MBC Group Late Model on April 2. 
  • Cherry made his first start at Hickory Motor Speedway last weekend. He finished seventh. 
  • Robert Huffman, crew chief for the No. 6 MBC Group Late Model this weekend, has two late model track championships (1988 and 1989) at Hickory Motor Speedway. 

 

 

Rebecca Kasten

Team: No. 5 AirTight Late Model

Crew Chief: Danny Johnson

  

Kasten on double duty weekends:

“It puts a little bit of pressure on a driver to keep the fenders clean when you know you have to go out and race the same car the next night, but as a development driver I also like getting as much seat time as I can. I’d race every night if I had the opportunity, so these double-header weekends don’t really bother me. Honestly, I’m really looking forward to getting back to Tri-County. We qualified second our first time out and were running really well before going a lap down in the pits fixing some damage. I’m looking forward to going out there this weekend and putting together a good, clean run.”

Fast Facts:

  • Kasten has three top 10s this season, including an eighth-place finish at Tri-County Motor Speedway.
  • Kasten finished 12th last weekend in her first career start at Hickory Motor Speedway.
  • Kasten has a new sponsor on board the No. 5 Late Model this weekend. AirTight Mechanical, a critical site HVAC service contractor in Charlotte, N.C., has joined Revolution Racing as primary sponsor of the No. 5 machine.

 

 

Megan Reitenour

Team: No. 1 Late Model

Crew Chief: David Flynn

  

Reitenour on racing at multiple tracks throughout the season:

“I’ve run a touring series in the past and I’ve run at a single track all season before as well. I like the challenge that comes with running at a different track every week, but it’s also nice to be able to learn and improve at a single track. This season, I’m getting the best of both worlds, running at three different tracks throughout the season. I’ve raced three weekends at three different tracks so far. This weekend I get to make return trips to Hickory and Tri-County, so I’m pretty excited to go out there and see what we can do.”

Fast Facts:

  • Reitenour has had success at Hickory in the past, winning the Extreme Trophies 100 (Super Cup Stock Car Series) in 2008.
  • A string of bad luck has kept Reitenour outside of the top 10 so far this season. She’s looking to turn things around with solid runs at Hickory and Tri-County this weekend.
  • Reitenour ran a full-season in the late model division at Tri-County Motor Speedway last year. She won rookie of the year honors and finished fourth overall in the standings.

AirTight Mechanical Joins Revolution

AirTight Mechanical, Inc., a critical site HVAC service contractor in Charlotte, N.C., has joined Revolution Racing as an official partner for the 2010 season.

Revolution Racing, owned by Max Siegel and John Story, is the premier team operator for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative, fielding six cars in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division and four cars in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

The No. 5 AirTight Late Model, driven by Becca Kasten, will debut this weekend at Tri-County Motor Speedway (Hudson, N.C.) and Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

“We are very proud to have formed this partnership with Revolution Racing,” said Greg Crumpton, President of AirTight. “It speaks to the core of what AirTight was founded upon. Supporting young people in the pursuit of their passions, that is what Revolution Racing and AirTight are all about.”

“AirTight has shown a commitment to Revolution Racing and our goal of developing young talent in NASCAR,” said Story, President of Revolution Racing.  “We are proud to partner with AirTight this weekend and throughout the 2010 season.”

AirTight Mechanical will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 5 AirTight Late Model driven by Kasten for six races. Katie Hagar will pilot the No. 4 AirTight Late Model for five events this season.

About AirTight Mechanical

AirTight is a high-quality, mission-critical focused HVAC service provider that prides themselves on utilizing highly trained technicians and state of the art technology to reduce your costs.  Routine practices include providing up to the minute status updates on your account as well as accurate, timely invoices.  AirTight employees are good people that you can trust in secure environments where trust isn’t a luxury, it’s essential. For more information visit: www.myairtight.com

Becca Kasten on SIRIUS's The Morning Drive

Becca Kasten has been running touring late models for a couple of years, so she’s no stranger to bouncing from track to track each week. She talks with Mike Bagley and Pete Pistone on the Morning Drive (Sirius NASCAR 128) about what that is like, and about the rigorous late model schedule that Revolution Racing has this season.

Rebecca Kasten – TMD – 04.20.10

Cherry Seventh in Hickory Debut

Michael Cherry made his debut at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday night, scoring a seventh-place finish for the No. 6 MBC Group Late Model.

Cherry’s Revolution Racing teammates Becca Kasten and Megan Reitenour were also on hand, finishing 12th and 13th respectively.

“We had a timing and scoring issue during our qualifying run that really hurt us tonight,” said Cherry. “We had a better car than where we finished and it’s a shame we couldn’t use that second qualifying lap to give us a better starting spot.”

Cherry’s second qualifying lap was not timed due to a technical mishap with the scoring system. He was able to make-up the lap after all other competitors had qualified, but wasn’t able to better his time on cold tires. He qualified ninth.

Cherry moved into eighth after the green-flag, and found himself running in seventh by lap 20 of the 50 lap feature. With 15 to go, Cherry was pressuring the sixth-place car for position. The two cars ran door-to-door for the final 10 laps, with Cherry pulling ahead by a nose several times. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to complete the pass and crossed the line seventh.

“Many thanks to (Crew Chief) Robert Huffman for coming over from the East car this weekend to help us out,” said Cherry. “He’s a champion at this track, and I can’t think of anyone better to have calling the shots for me here. I think we were able to put on a pretty good show for the fans tonight, and we’ll come back and get ‘em next week.”

Kasten, driving the No. 5 Late Model, started 11th and finished 12th after pitting under yellow on lap 29 to fix handling issues on her car.

Reitenour also battled handling troubles all night with the No. 1 Late Model, qualifying and finishing 13th.

“Everyone at Revolution Racing continues to work hard on our late model program,” said Blair Addis, Revolution Racing’s Director of Competition, Late Models. “We’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks that is only going to make us stronger moving forward. We had some bad luck to start the season, which we seem to have gotten out of the way, and we’re encouraged with the progress that all of our development drivers have made so far.”

Cherry, Kasten and Reitenour will race again Friday, April 23 at Tri-County Motor Speedway (Hudson, N.C.) before returning to Hickory on Saturday, April 24.

Weekend Preview: Hickory Motor Speedway

 

Revolution Racing late model drivers Michael Cherry, Becca Kasten and Megan Reitenour have raced three different tracks so far this season – Caraway Speedway, Greenville Pickens Speedway and Tri-County Motor Speedway –  and will add a fourth to their resume this weekend when they head to Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

 

 

Event Information:

Late Model Stock (50 laps)

Hickory Motor Speedway

Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m.

 

Michael Cherry

Team: No. 6 MBC Group Late Model 

Crew Chief: Brent Cusick

Cherry on his first start at Hickory Motor Speedway:

“Hickory is a great, old race track. There’s a reason they call it the birthplace of the NASCAR stars. A lot of great drivers have gotten there start at that place. We’ve run at some pretty historic tracks this year and I’m looking forward to adding Hickory to the list. Hopefully we can follow-up on what Jason (Romero) did last week and come away with a solid top five.”

Fast Facts:

  • Cherry finished second at Tri-County Motor Speedway two weeks ago; the car he will be driving Saturday night finished fifth (with driver Jason Romero) at Hickory last week. 
  • Cherry has two top fives and four top 10s in four races so far this season. 
  • This is Cherry’s first career start at Hickory Motor Speedway. He’ll return to the track eight more times throughout the season.

 

Rebecca Kasten

Team: No. 5 Late Model

Crew Chief: Lynn Martin

Kasten on racing against her teammates:

“It’s an interesting dynamic to go out there and race against your teammates. At the end of the day, we’re all working on the race cars at the shop as a team, but we’re out on the track racing for position and you can’t be afraid to race hard. Michael (Cherry) and Megan (Reitenour) are tough competitors and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with them at Hickory.”

Fast Facts:

  • Kasten is looking for her first top five of the season this weekend at Hickory. She has three top 10s in four starts.
  • Kasten enjoys helping her teammates at the track on her off weekends, but is ready to get back behind the wheel.
  • This is Kasten’s first career start at Hickory Motor Speedway. She’ll return to the track eight more times throughout the season.

 

Megan Reitenour

Team: No. 1 Late Model

Crew Chief: Brandon Butler

Reitenour on Hickory Motor Speedway:

“I’m really looking forward to racing at Hickory again. We won a race there back in 2008 in the Super Cup Stock Car Series, overcoming some obstacles along the way. The Super Cup cars are pretty different from the late models I’m running now, but I think we’ll be good if we can qualify up front and put together a nice, clean run.”

Fast Facts:

  • Reitenour has had success at Hickory in the past, winning the Extreme Trophies 100 (Super Cup Stock Car Series) in 2008.
  • A string of bad luck has kept Reitenour outside of the top 10 so far this season. She’s looking to turn things around with a solid run at Hickory this weekend.
  • Reitenour will have nine opportunities to make her return to victory lane at Hickory Motor Speedway this season.