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Rookie Newell Leads New Generation At Lebanon I-44
« on: May 29, 2013, 06:06:39 PM »
Rookie Newell Leads New Generation At Lebanon I-44
McCaskill Closes In On Pulliam In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 29, 2013) — J.C. Newell’s steady climb up the racing ladder achieved new height this year. Newell, 17, of Stoutland, Mo., is a rookie in NASCAR pavement Late Models at historic Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway.


Winning in one of short track racing’s most competitive divisions is the biggest challenge yet in his 13-year career. He won the track’s 2012 Sportsman division championship with five wins. The accomplishments opened a car owner’s door to Late Model racing this year.


“I think I’m making progress the more I adjust to the car,” Newell said of his early season efforts. “We’re running for more than a win. We’re running to be consistent lap after lap. Then the wins will come. I have to prove myself as a Late Model driver.”


Newell posted a second-place to Matt Wallace on opening night May 11. He placed fifth on Saturday behind winner Cole Williams, Wallace, Austin Fullerton and Kenny Dickinson. Newell is fourth in track points behind Williams, Wallace and Jake Griffin. He’s third in state points behind Wallace and Williams.


Deac McCaskill cut Lee Pulliam’s national point lead in half over the holiday weekend. Southern pavement Late Model drivers occupy the top-five positions in national points this week.


McCaskill won two 75-lap features at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., on Saturday. With starting fields in excess of 20 cars (21 in each event), McCaskill, of Raleigh, N.C., collected the maximum 45 points per win. Pulliam won Saturday’s 150-lap feature at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, but with less than 20 cars (18) the win netted 41 points. Pulliam’s point lead of 99 over McCaskill last week shrank to 50 this week, 627-577. Pulliam, of Semora, N.C., is the series’ defending national champion. He leads the Virginia state point race over C.E. Falk III, 394-361.


Pulliam’s season record to date stands at 11 wins, 16 top-fives and 16 top-10s in 18 starts. McCaskill’s 16-race record is seven wins, 12 top-fives and 15 top-10s.


Finishes of second and third at Southern National helped Tommy Lemons Jr. of Troy, N.C., hold onto third place in national points with 527, although he lost 16 to McCaskill. Lemons holds a narrow lead over McCaskill in North Carolina state standings, 457-454.


Anthony Anders of Easley, S.C., maintains fourth place in national points. He posted finishes of second to Trey Gibson and first over Gibson in a pair of 40-lap features at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday. Anders has 478 points. He also leads the South Carolina state standings over Marty Ward, 306-203.


Falk, of Virginia Beach, Va., climbed from sixth to fifth in national points with a fourth-place finish in his only start of the weekend at South Boston. Finishes of fifth and sixth at Southern National helped Brandon Dean of Huntersville, N.C., to sixth in national points with 356, only five behind Falk who has 361 points.


Last week’s fifth-place driver Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., fell to seventh in points with 334. The 2010 national champion made no SK Modified starts over the weekend due to rain at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl and Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn. Rocco continues to lead the state point race over Ted Christopher, 334-248.


Newell knows the history of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model racing at Lebanon’s .375-mile banked paved oval. It was a home track to the late Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., the series’ only five-time national champion. Phillips won five Lebanon titles while the track was NASCAR sanctioned 1989-2001. Newell was born in 1996, the same year Phillips won his final national championship.


“I’ve watched videos of Larry and Jamie McMurray racing here,” Newell said. “Jamie usually ran on the bottom. It’s amazing to watch Larry race. He could go anywhere on the track to make a move.”


“I respect the veteran drivers at Lebanon. I look up to Kenny Dickinson. He was here back in the 1990s racing with Larry and Jamie, and knows how to get around this track.”


Dickinson won Lebanon’s 1999 NASCAR Late Model championship by 12 points over Phillips.


Newell began racing dirt go-karts at age four and won a Missouri state championship on 2002. He moved up to full size dirt Modifieds in 2010. He won 17 races and the championship at the old Midway Speedway and placed second in points at Springfield (Mo.) Raceway. He won the Midway championship again in 2011, while starting his pavement racing career in the Sportsman division at Lebanon I-44. He didn’t win a feature at Lebanon, but placed second in points and won the rookie-of-the-year award. His 2012 Sportsman championship set the stage for the move to Willard’s Late Model in 2013.


Newell’s dad James continues to race in the Sportsman division. His grandfather, Ben, began the family racing tradition on area dirt tracks beginning in the 1970s.


Before becoming car owner Willard sponsored Newell from the beginning of his career in go-karts. Larry Magnessum is crew chief. Crewmen include James Newell, John Gideon and Billy Willard. The Chevrolet is sponsored by Pathfinder Chassis, B&B Racing Engines, Lebanon Ready Mix and Willard Quarries.


Newell will be a senior at Stoutland (Mo.) High School this fall.


Now in its 32nd season, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. There are 55 sanctioned tracks throughout the United States and Canada that participate.


A NASCAR Division I driver’s best 18 results through the Sept. 15 closing date count toward their state and national point totals and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their point total increases incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.


Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, a race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.


Track operators also designate support classes as NASCAR Divisions II-V and drivers in those divisions compete for points in the NASCAR Finalist program. The program brings added recognition to support division drivers. Points are kept separately for asphalt and dirt tracks.


More information on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is available at

Jason Christley
Integrated Marketing Communications
(386) 310-6094

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Rookie Newell Leads New Generation At Lebanon I-44
« on: May 29, 2013, 06:06:39 PM »


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