Forward Momentum Continues For Rev Racing

Another Week Of Top Ten Finishes For Rev Racing At Hickory Motor Speedway

 

CONCORD, NC (May 29, 2012) Rev Racing’s NASCAR Whelen All-American drivers, Trey Gibson and Mackena Bell continued their forward moving momentum, on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, with a pair of top ten finishes.
After a 10th place starting position in the 100-lap feature, Trey Gibson, driver of the No. 2 Lithium Pros Toyota Camry, was able to push his way into the top five before the halfway point of the race. While his teammate, Mackena Bell, was able to move from 14th starting position to seventh.

 

Continuing on his forward push, Gibson weaved his way into third on lap 60, with Bell following in her No. 4 Toyota Racing Development Camry in seventh.

 

With just 10 laps remaining in this race, Gibson’s No. 2 Lithium Pros Toyota Camry was running down the race leader, Keith Bumgarner.  Pulling to the inside of Bumgarner with just six laps to go, Gibson looked like he would pull off a win, but came up a car length short and crossed the finish in second with teammate, Mackena Bell, holding steady with a seventh place finish.

 

Although hoping for the win, Gibson continues to be blown away by the performance of his Lithium Pros Toyota Camry and hard working Rev Racing crew.

 

“I used my tires up early in this race,” said Gibson.  “I just didn’t have enough left at the end to get the win, but, it was a great team effort tonight.  My Lithium Pros Toyota Camry ran great all night and we’ve been very consistent the past few weeks.  I know it’s only a matter of time before we have the next win here.”

 

Rev Racing teammates, Trey Gibson and Mackena Bell, will return to Hickory Motor Speedway on June 16 for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event.

Kyle Larson Takes Sixth Place Finish At Iowa


CONCORD, NC (May 21, 2012) Rev Racing’s Kyle Larson battled his way to a sixth place finish in Saturday’s Graham Tire 150, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West Combination race, at Iowa Speedway, and is tied with his teammate, Bryan Ortiz, for first in the Rookie of the Year, K&N Pro Series East, standings.

After a solid qualifying effort, Larson started the night in the fifth position, in his No.69 L&M Ethanol Maintenance Contracting Toyota Camry, and appeared ready to make an impression for his new race sponsor, and the large crowd in attendance, as he moved up to second by lap 46.

“We had a really good L&M Ethanol Toyota Camry,” said Larson. “We started a little tight and made some adjustments at the halfway break. I was in a pretty good spot most of the night but started to get a little loose about lap 125 and slid back some. We just needed a little longer run there at the end and we’d at least had a top five, if not a win.”

Two of Larson’s teammates, Ortiz and Ryan Gifford, promising night seem to blow away like the howling winds that swirled through the Iowa Speedway

Ortiz rolled off the grid in seventh position and was solidly in fifth by the halfway break, at lap 75. He would find himself in fourth position with less than 20 laps remaining, running lap times equal to the leader. However, during a restart, with just 15 laps to go, he was caught in the middle of a three-wide battle going into turn one where he was shoved out of position, lost momentum, and slid back to the twelfth position.

“I’m really disappointed with the outcome tonight,” said Ortiz. “I had a car that could have won this race. My Toyota Camry was super fast but an experienced driver just got out of position, got into my side and I had to lift to keep from wrecking him and the guy on my outside. I can promise that I won’t let myself be placed in that position again.”

Gifford was just as disappointed as Ortiz but for a different reason, as he didn’t know exactly what happened to his No. 2 Universal Technical Institute Toyota Camry after he had started the race in eighth position and battled to fifth by lap 46.

“Man, I don’t know what happened to my race car,” said Gifford. “We were just a little loose at the halfway mark and made some small adjustments. When I went back out it was like I couldn’t turn the wheel. I’m not sure if it was the set of tires or what, but nothing we did adjustment wise corrected the problem.”

Gifford’s troubles started to really show after lap 100, where in less than 20 laps he fell nine spots, from eleventh to twentieth, and a lap down. He would eventually finish the night in the twenty-first position.

Next up for the Rev Racing drivers is the Madhouse at Bowman Gray Stadium on June 2, 2012. For more information about Rev Racing visit www.revracing.net or follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.

Rev Racing Welcomes New Industrial Partner

CONCORD, NC (May 16, 2012) Rev Racing’s, Kyle Larson, will sport a new number along with a new Primary Partner for this Saturday’s Graham Tire 150, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West Combination race

at Iowa Speedway. L&M Ethanol Maintenance Contracting, Inc. will make its first on track appearance on the No. 69 Rev Racing Toyota Camry, driven by Kyle Larson.

Larry Earnest, President of L&M Ethanol Maintenance Contracting Inc., said that he is excited about the opportunity to partner with the next generation of NASCAR.

“L&M is excited about partnering with Rev Racing and Kyle Larson, in his pursuit of being the next generation of NASCAR drivers,” said Earnest. “At the young age of 19, Kyle has proven he is capable of running with the best and is a winner.”

Organized in 2005, L&M specializes in many aspects of providing millwright services, hydro blasting and vacuum services, specialized welding, metal fabrication, insulation, R-stamp welding services, scaffolding services and confined space rescue services to the industrial world. Offering service to many Fortune 100 and 500 companies, L&M prides itself in safety and customer satisfaction.

“It’s great to welcome a partner that can assist this team in our efforts to grow and develop the next generation of NASCAR talent,” said Derik Crotts, General Manager of Rev Racing. “With all that NASCAR and Toyota are doing to help develop drivers and “green” the sport, L&M is a great fit for our program.”

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie, Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 69 L&M Ethanol Maintenance Contracting, Inc. Toyota Camry, said that he is looking forward to sporting a new number and new partner at Iowa Speedway.

“The No. 69 has been a part of my racing career in the past. Every time I’ve run this number in open wheel I’ve won, and I am hoping for the same in stock car racing,” said Larson. “I am also looking forward to working with a new partner who has a passion to see drivers like me excel in this sport.”

L&M will continue to partner with Rev Racing throughout the remainder of the 2012 K&N Pro Series East season. They will once again be the primary partner for driver Kyle Larson during the August race in Iowa and will serve as associate partner on his car for the entire season.

For more information about Rev Racing visit www.revracing.net or follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.

 

Two Top-10 Finishes Complete An Exciting Week For Rev Racing

CONCORD, NC (May 14, 2012) After welcoming a new partner to Rev Racing’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Team this week, drivers Trey Gibson and Mackena Bell celebrated with a pair of top-10 finishes at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday.

To kick off a successful race week, Rev Racing welcomed new Primary Marketing Partner, Lithium Pros to their NASCAR Whelen All-American Team. This group of automotive enthusiasts is focused on bringing the highest performance, ultra lightweight lithium-ion batteries to the racing community and this performance was proven at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Although starting the day with a broken axle during practice, Trey Gibson, driver of the No. 2 Lithium Pros Toyota Camry, was able to qualify in the sixth starting position followed by teammate, Mackena Bell, in seventh.

Proving that nothing could keep him from being a top car, Gibson continued to move through the 17-car field after the drop of the green flag and was up to fourth by the halfway point of this race, with Bell continuing to keep her No. 4 Toyota Racing Development Camry in the top-10.

Just three laps remaining in this race, Gibson’s No. 2 Lithium Pros Toyota Camry was in third when a spin by a car in turn two brought out a caution, resulting in a green-white-checker finish. On the restart, both Gibson and Bell were able to make a pass and crossed the finish line with both a second and eighth place finish.

Continuing to increase the number of podium finishes this season, Gibson was very impressed with his LithiumPros Toyota Camry. “This car was great tonight,” said Gibson. “Lithium Pros came on the car this week and I think that this made us even more competitive.”

Fighting a tight handling race car, Bell said that her No. 4 Toyota Racing Development Camry continued to improve throughout the race. “The car was really tough to handle during the start of this race, but continued to improve and I think I could have made it to the top five with a few more laps.”

After these impressive finishes, Gibson and Bell now rank in 7th and 15th in NASCAR Whelen All-American’s North Carolina state late model points standings as well as 20th and 75th in national late model points standings.

They will appear next a Hickory Motor Speedway on May 26th.

Rev Racing Prepares For The Madhouse

CONCORD, NC (May 11, 2012) Rev Racing’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Team has returned from a successful day of testing at the famed ¼-mile in Winston-Salem, NC. This team will make its return to racing, at historic Bowman Gray Stadium, on June 2 after a successful start in 2011.

Ryan Gifford, driver of the No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota Camry, who will be returning this season after a top-10 finish in the inaugural race at Bowman Gray Stadium in 2011, said he and his team had a great day and are ready for the return to “The Madhouse”.

“The No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota was really fast and the handling, even at such a challenging small track, was perfect,” said Gifford. “I am really looking forward to the racing here again in June,”

Bryan Ortiz, driver of the No. 4 Toyota/Toyota Racing Development Camry, will be making his first start at Bowman Gray Stadium and was excited about the challenges that this short track is sure to include.

“My car was fast but the challenge for this track will be figuring out how hard to get on the gas,” said Ortiz. “This is the first short track of its kind that I have ever competed at, but I am looking forward to competing here and showing that both myself and this team can handle any challenge.”

Jorge Arteaga, driver of the No. 8 Toyota Camry who will also be competing for the first time at the famed ¼-mile, was one of the first drivers out on the track yesterday and felt that this was a benefit to him and his team.

“We got started early and had a good feeling for this track,” said Arteaga. “We continued to improve throughout the day and are looking forward to our first race at such a short but fun track.”

Rev Racing’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team will return to Bowman Gray Stadium to compete in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 on June 2, 2012.

For more information about Rev Racing visit www.revracing.net or follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.

Momentum Is Still High For Rev Racing At Hickory Motor Speedway

CONCORD, NC (May 7, 2012) Following a breakout performance last weekend at Hickory, Trey Gibson showed that his win was no fluke as he powered his No. 2 Toyota Camry to the front of the field to finish second Saturday night.

Mackena Bell and Gibson both drew early qualifying spots (2nd and 3rd, respectively) and posted very respectable qualifying times. However, after Bell’s qualifying run, the track cooled and pushed both drivers back to the 11th and 12th position in the 17 car NASCAR Whelen All-American starting field.

It was obvious early on that both Rev Racing drivers had good cars, as Bell drove her No. 4 Toyota Racing Development Camry to 7th and Gibson to 9th position by Lap 15. Following a few cautions, Bell held on to her spot and Gibson began to surge forward, finding his place in fifth as a caution flag was thrown on Lap 35.

On the restart at Lap 38, Jeremy Sorel (driver of the #77 car) appeared to have missed a shift, causing Bell to check up and attempt to pass him on the outside. She was then squeezed into the outside wall of Turn one and had the toe knocked out on her car, giving her significant handling issues for the remainder of the race.

Gibson was able to escape the aftermath of the restart and held tight to his position for a few laps, and then decided he wanted more. Coming down the backstretch on Lap 47, Gibson had his sights fixed on that second spot and drove hard into Turn three. Gibson’s Toyota stuck on the bottom of the track and he proceeded to drive off with the second position, chasing the leader down for a chance at back-to-back wins. The laps ticked away though and Gibson crossed the stripe in second place, while Bell held on to her damaged ride and finished 13th.

“We had an excellent ride and I was feeling pretty good about the race, but I just can’t catch a break here it seems,” said Bell after the race.

Gibson was very excited after this third podium finish in the last three events at Hickory.

“The car felt better in qualifying than where we started,” said Gibson. “But when they dropped the green flag I knew I had to go hard for 50 laps to get up to the front, and still try to save my right rear tire some in case we had a late caution and I needed it. “

“We were just being patient and marching our way thru the field, “ Gibson added. “After we got up to fifth and had a caution with 12 to go I knew I had a car to win but came up a little short. I’m just really grateful for this opportunity the good Lord, NASCAR, Toyota, Goodyear, Max Siegel and all of our new partners this year have given me. It’s making a difference.”

Tour Stop #2: Richmond/ Petersburg

The NASCAR Fueling Your Dreams Tour stop in Richmond, VA was a great success. The entire area was already abuzz with racing fever and we were able to jump right in and join the fun.

Our first event of the weekend was an Opinion Leaders Reception, sponsored by the NASCAR Diversity Department, and held at the Hippodrome Theater in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond. This event introduced the sport of NASCAR and it’s diversity initiatives to some of the area’s professionals and community influencers, including, but not limited to, 100 Black Men of Richmond, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Henrico Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. The evening offered networking opportunities and featured guest speakers such as Max Siegel (Rev Racing’s CEO), Dawn Harris (NASCAR Diversity), and Dennis Bickmeier (Track President, Richmond International Raceway). A highlight of the night was an appearance by Sybil Scott, daughter of NASCAR legend and recent Hall of Fame nominee Wendell Scott. Rev Racing’s four K&N drivers were on hand to mix and mingle with crowd, answering curiosities and sharing their excitement of racing, gaining a few new fans in the process.

Race day found the Fueling Your Dreams Tour at Richmond International Raceway. Our Toyota show car and popular iRacing driving simulator was set up in the track’s fan area outside of the Commonwealth Grandstand. Fans who came to see our K&N drivers compete that evening were treated to an impromptu appearance by Kyle Larson. On his way back to the garage after an autograph session, Kyle stopped at the iRacing simulator to run a few virtual laps around Richmond before qualifying. It may have proved beneficial because later that day, he qualified in the Second position for the evening’s race!

On Friday, Rev Racing and NASCAR teamed with Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA for a Leadership Symposium offered to their Sports Management and Communications students. Max Siegel and Ryan Gifford participated in panel discussions, sharing their knowledge and experience in the sport with the VSU students, while the Toyota show car and iRacing simulator were on display outside. The university’s student body and faculty took laps around Richmond International Raceway, while receiving a little bit of coaching by drivers Jorge Arteaga and Ryan Gifford. Many took the opportunity to take pictures with the car and drivers as well, and there is a sense that a few walked away with more than a casual interest in what Rev Racing and NASCAR had going on.

The last day of our stop in Richmond found us in the Kid Zone at RIR. We partnered with NASA and their new Rockets to Race cars program, aimed at educating students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Ryan and Jorge were on hand to discuss aspects of STEM and how they relate to the technological and safety advances in racing. They also signed a few autographs and took pictures with the kids.

Overall, the weekend was busy, but we had a blast! The Richmond community was very welcoming to us and we can’t wait to go back and hang out with all of our new friends!

REVVED UP: New Structure, Same Results

Gifford taking over where Wallace, Pena left off
By Travis Barrett, Special to NASCARHomeTracks.com
May 4, 2012 – 8:24am

Ryan Gifford (Rev Racing)

These days you can hardly recognized Ryan Gifford, either on the track or out of his car.

Not only did Gifford shed nearly 20 pounds over the offseason and commit himself to becoming a better all-around race car driver, but the third-year veteran of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is off to an impressive start to 2012. He finished third in the season opener at Bristol Motor Speedway in March – the highest-finishing series regular in the race – and nearly won last week at Richmond International Raceway.

“It’s really been good for me this year,” said Gifford, a native of Winchester, Tenn., and driver of the Rev Racing No. 2 Universal Technical Institute Toyota. “I have a really good group of guys behind me, they all believe in me. They know I’m capable of winning races in this series and they’re encouraging me to go out there and do it.”

Gifford isn’t alone in having undergone a dramatic off-season transformation.
Rev Racing changed its name from Revolution Racing, overhauled its lineup of K&N Pro Series drivers and took its organizational structure in an entirely new direction.

The results? Three drivers, including rookies Kyle Larson and Bryan Ortiz, sitting in the Top-8 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings and two more drivers — Trey Gibson and Mackena Bell — are running successfully in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Rev Racing owner Max Siegel, who formed the team as part of NASCAR’s Drive For Diversity program four years ago, said the road has been a long one, though the organization has finally found its footing.

“Being a new organization and a new model (was difficult),” Siegel said. “Getting both the startup costs as well as the startup effort, that was really a big challenge. We’ve had the pleasure of having some really good professionals in our organization, but getting the right chemistry and the right teamwork together was key.

“I don’t want to harp on it, but it was about right-sizing the business model. It’s no secret it’s expensive to field a race team, so those are things that have been a challenge for us.”

Rev Racing has fielded a multi-car team in the K&N Pro Series since the start of the 2010 season, and last year it found plenty of on-track success. Between them, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Pena won exactly half of the races on the schedule – six out of 12 – but both left for new teams in 2012. Siegel said that while the on-track performance was starting to get noticed, the behind-the-scenes workings at Rev Racing needed attention.

To help treat some of the in-house ailments, the organization looked at where it was spending its money and focusing its overall effort.

“Darrell was Rookie of the Year (in 2010), and we won several races last year as a team – we won 50 percent of the races, which was unprecedented,” Siegel said. “It validated both the (academy-style) training model that we had and the entire program.

“We know the work that went into driver development at this level. The model works… That being said, we’re always looking to improve as an organization. We’re doing more data-driven analysis, we’ve created an exciting partnership with St. Vincent Sports Performance – which works on everything from sports psychology to medical treatment, and a lot of simulation work.”

Gifford has noticed the difference and thinks it’s translated directly to the races. In his third year at Rev Racing, he said the team made more leaps over this past off-season than at any other point in his time there.

“They’ve completely restructured and downsized their program,” Gifford said. “I think we’re focused on the competition part of it more than anything now. That’s done a lot for our on-track performance, and it’s helped us with our relationship with Toyota.

“It’s really awesome.”

What’s as impressive is how quickly the team has come up to speed. Larson, a California driver with an open-wheel background, had never competed in a stock car before this season. And Ortiz is making the transition from a Late Model to the heavier, more powerful K&N Pro Series car.

And all four crew chiefs – Dennis Connor (Gifford), Mark Lindley (Ortiz) Randy Goss (Larson), and Mark Green (Jorge Arteaga) – are new to the series.

Gifford has has plenty to do with Rev Racing not missing a beat, despite the off-season loss of Wallace and Pena, and filling the other three seats on the team with untested rookies. He’s learned how to race at the front of the field in this series, and he’s learned to hold onto the positives each week while not dwelling on the negatives.

After a promising rookie season in 2010, when he won his first career pole and posted four Top-5 finishes in 10 races, he slipped in 2011. He managed just two Top-10s in 12 starts.

“I’ve tried to take a different approach this year,” Gifford said. “I wanted to go into it and keep a good attitude, get in shape and take a look at myself as a driver and what I could do better. It can be a hard thing to do, but the thing that’s different about this year – look at what happened at Richmond. Instead of getting down, I look at it as we had a car capable of winning, and that’s awesome.”

“This year, he’s just on a whole different level,” Siegel said of Gifford. “He’s focused. He’s totally engaged and has stepped up his leadership. He’s always been a quiet leader, but he’s stepped that up a lot.

“I’m really proud of the space he’s in right now. I think he’s matured in that he isn’t satisfied. He has a hunger to win, and he really wants to grow.”

And as Gifford steps up his own game, the rest of Rev Racing has, too. Gibson won his first Whelen All-American Series race at Hickory last Saturday night, and he’s posted three Top-3 finishes in six starts this season for Rev Racing.

With every race win, every podium finish, every successful championship finish, Siegel knows his job gets just a little easier.

“The better we have performed as an organization, we’ve been able to attract better talent not just on the track but in the shop,” Siegel said. “We’ve been able to get crew chiefs that have won a lot of races in other sports, or get the right people on the management side, like with (Rev Racing general manager) Derik Crotts.

“It’s literally taken the last three years to get that kind of credibility.”

Now Rev Racing has the credibility, and Gifford hopes to be the guy that delivers the organization its first K&N Pro Series East title.

“I think we’ve got a great shot at it,” Gifford said. “It’s a series where you’ve really got to race smarter rather than harder. Sometimes you can beat yourself, getting involved in stuff you really don’t have to. The main thing is that, in a series like this, everybody’s so anxious and wanting to prove themselves at that level, it can cause more trouble than its worth.

And without Rev Racing and NASCAR’s D4D program, Gifford said he’d never have had this shot at taking his career to the next level. In fact, he said he’d probably be back home working in his family’s construction business.

“It’s so hard to fund the funding to go do this today,” Gifford said. “For somebody like Max and NASCAR to stick their necks out and give me and my teammates a chance is top-notch in my book. There wouldn’t be an opportunity for me without it. I’m blessed to be where I am.”

Ryan Gifford (Rev Racing)