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Sunshine Earns Chili Bowl Seat with Clauson-Marshall Racing
Lonnie Wheatley, NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (November 16, 2016) – Another piece of the Chili Bowl Nationals puzzle is now in place for Clauson-Marshall Racing as the team is excited to announce the addition of Tyler Courtney to its 2017 driver lineup.
This January’s event at the Tulsa Expo Raceway inside the River Spirit Expo Center will mark Courtney’s sixth Chili Bowl outing after earning Rookie of the Year honors at the event in his Chili Bowl maiden voyage under the Bryan Clauson Racing banner in 2011.
“To say I’m excited is an understatement,” Courtney said. “When Tim (Clauson) and Richard (Marshall) approached me with their plan for this year’s Chili Bowl, there was no way I could say no. To even be considered to be on their ‘super team’ that Bryan had talked about bringing down there is an honor.”
Affectionately tagged “Sunshine” by Bryan Clauson in 2010, Courtney is no stranger to the Clauson family and Clauson-Marshall Racing. It’s a relationship that began when Courtney showed up at the then Bryan Clauson Racing shop looking for any opportunity to go racing.
“Tyler came to us basically with nothing but a desire and a will to drive race cars,” Tim Clauson recalls. “We explained that he would need to work for an opportunity and if willing to put in the work, we would give him a shot at the end of the year in one of our Midgets.”
Courtney jumped at the opportunity.
“That summer I met a kid who grew into a young man and all the while worked his tail off for just one opportunity to drive a race car,” Tim Clauson continues.
The hard work paid off. Bryan and Tim decided “Sunshine” had earned his opportunity and readied a Bryan Clauson Racing Midget for his debut after the team had clinched its first USAC championship. And a slew of family, friends and essentially everyone Courtney knew showed up to cheer the young racer on.
It was a night full of anticipation.
“I remember it like it was yesterday. His instructions were simple, to go out and have fun, that he had nothing to prove. Go 80% and let’s make some laps,” Tim Clauson says. “I don’t think Sunshine knew at the time that we had already planned on taking him to the Chili Bowl as a driver; that was a surprise for later. That night was about a kid who worked all summer for a shot and here it was.”
That’s where the fairy tale came up short. Sunshine started to pick up the throttle as he came off of turn four, hustling into turn one only to spin and turn the car over. The car was done.
“I wasn’t sure who was more disappointed; Tyler and his throng of fans or Bryan,” Tim Clauson relates. “Bryan knew and appreciated the work that Tyler put in for his chance and knew if not for Tyler and the others on the team that year, that the success we had wouldn’t have been possible.”
Tim wondered if he would even see Sunshine again. But, when he rolled into the shop the next morning, there sitting on the curb in wait was Courtney.
“I asked him what he was doing there and he said something that I’ll never forget; ‘Tim, I figured if I could tear up your race car, then I can help tear down your race car’,” Tim Clauson recalls. “Just as he had proven all summer, he was there because he wanted to become a racer. Not a driver, but a racer, and he was willing to do whatever it took to do just that.”
Bryan and Tim went on with plans for Courtney and the 2011 Chili Bowl. It was a decision that resulted in Rookie of the Year honors for the team.
Courtney has since gone on to establish himself as a top contender in the Sprint Car and Midget ranks, all the while racing with the same respect and reverence that Bryan exemplified during his career.
“Sunshine becomes a part of about every conversation I have with young drivers about how to earn an opportunity,” Tim Clauson explains. “When we decided that we wanted to honor Bryan’s wishes by ‘bringing a badass team to the Chili Bowl’, there was no doubt that one of the seats would be filled by Sunshine, who has represented not only himself but Bryan and our family so well over the years.”
Courtney is appreciative of another opportunity.
“As most everyone knows, Bryan was a huge influence in not only my racing career, but my life,” Courtney explains. “I truly believe that without the help of Bryan and his whole family, I’m not who I am today and that quite literally without Bryan, I am not ‘Sunshine’.”
Team co-owner Richard Marshall is equally excited to welcome Courtney to the Clauson-Marshall Racing stable for the Chili Bowl Nationals.
“This race team is a labor of love by all involved. Tim and I want our drivers to share Bryan’s values on and off the track; a die-hard work ethic, team-driven results and a long-term view of the sport,” Marshall says. “Sunshine clearly embodies all of these. Jennifer and I are honored to have Sunshine in a CMR seat.”
Courtney goes on to say that, “Getting to be a part of Clauson-Marshall Racing that is going to embody everything that Bryan did and wanted to do for our sport of racing is simply awesome, that’s the only way to describe it.”
“What I have always loved about working with anything that involves the Clauson family is that it’s always done like a family and as a family, while still maintaining the professional aspect as well,” Courtney continues. “In the short amount of time I’ve been around Richard and Jennifer (Marshall), they have made me feel right at home and I can’t thank them enough as well for letting me be a part of this new journey in their life.”
Courtney wraps up with a popular sentiment among the racing world. “I can’t wait to get to Tulsa in January.”
Additional information regarding the Clauson-Marshall Racing team and upcoming Chili Bowl plans will be available in the coming weeks.
For Immediate Release
Riley Hickman Takes 2016 Win Tally to 17; Gobbler Next
“Our Crate Late Model was good from the time that we unloaded it, and it ran flawlessly in the feature,” said Hickman. “We had a real good car in the Super Late Model class too, but just got crossed-up on a restart there late in the feature. Otherwise we would’ve had a Top-5 run and maybe even a podium finish.”
On Friday night Riley Hickman visited Senoia Raceway (Senoia, Georgia) competing in two separate divisions for the opening round of the Showdown at Senoia. With 34 Super Late Models registered for the Southern Nationals Bonus Series sanctioned event, Hickman followed up the 2nd fastest time in his qualifying group with a heat race victory.
Rolling off 4th for the $10,000-to-win A-Main, Riley was battling in a podium spot until getting spun by another competitor. He rejoined the tail of the field before rebounding to a 9th-place finish when the checkers flew.
In the Crate Late Model division, Riley Hickman earned the outside-front-row starting spot for the feature via preliminary action. He grabbed the lead early in the event and would go on to reel in his 17th victory of the season.
This weekend, November 18-19 will take Hickman Motorsports to Boyd’s Speedway (Ringgold, Georgia) to compete in the annual Gobbler. The event is headlined by a $10,000-to-win program that will be sanctioned by the Southern Nationals Bonus Series. Riley will also compete in the $2,500-to-win Crate Late Model event. For more information on the weekend, please visit www.BoydsSpeedway.net .
Riley Hickman would like to thank all of his sponsors including Hickman Manufacturing Company, American Billet, RH Designs, CVR Race Cars, Austin Trucking, A-1 Towing and Recovery, Competition Racing Equipment, MRC Racing Components, Vic Hill Racing Engines, Performance Masters Inc., All-Star Graphix, Stealth Racing Carburetors, Hoosier Racing Tires, JRI Shocks, VP Race Fuels, Comp Cams, Weld Wheels, FSR Racing Products, Design 500, Fel-Pro, KRC Power Steering, Wiles Racing Drive Shafts, Old Man’s Garage, and MSRMafia.com Marketing Services.
Contact: Shawn Miller
Kevin Swindell and Spencer Bayston Produce Two Strong Results During Flip Flop 50
Inside Line Promotions - WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (Nov. 16, 2016) - The 2016 season concluded last weekend for Kevin Swindell's newly formed sprint car team.
Spencer Bayston drove the team to a pair of strong results during the USCS Series Flip Flop 50 at Riverside International Speedway, where the team garnered a career-best runner-up result in the first main event before charging from 22nd to eighth in the second feature.
"It was a good way to end the year," Swindell said. "Spencer got a lot of laps on a tricky track. We were close to winning the first one and had a good charge through the field in the second race despite the track taking rubber so we were pleased with the results. When he got to (Derek) Hagar both times we had traffic in bad spots to finish the pass or otherwise I think we were the better car. Overall that was good. Spencer made really good progress at the beginning of that second feature. We got stuck in a spot once or twice and backed us up. Then the rubber got so good nobody passed anybody from that point."
The action began last Friday when Bayston maneuvered from fourth to win a heat race. That locked him into the dash, where he ended fifth.
"That was a really good start to the weekend," he said. "I didn't want to waste any time in the heat race so I got the lead as quickly as I could. Then in the dash I tried to stay on the outside a little too long. I made a mistake and got passed a couple of times. When I moved down it was a really, really thin bottom and I wasn't prepared for it."
The team returned to the quarter-mile oval on Saturday for the twin features with Bayston starting the first 25-lap main event on the outside of the front row.
"It was a thin cushion on the wall and I got up there and was able to follow the leader until we got to traffic," he said. "We slid each other a few times. I never really had the advantage. I kept throwing stuff at him and he did a good job of getting back by me."
Bayston made a couple of moves for the lead, but was unable to hold the position. He got one final opportunity on the last lap.
"On the final lap, final corner we were side by side coming to the line," he said. "He threw a slider on lapped cars (in turns three and four) and I ran it in high and diamonded it off to the bottom. He had more drive than I did and beat me to the line by not even a car length."
The second-place finish lined Bayston up on the outside of the 11th row for the second feature, which was completely inverted.
"I had to pick my way through as many cars early as possible," he said. "The rubber got too thick on the track where you couldn't pass much."
Bayston maneuvered from 22nd to the eighth-place result to score the team's fifth top 10 in seven main events this season.
"I'd say overall the weekend went really well," he said. "I didn't have too many expectations because I hadn't run with that series. It was good going there and getting lots of laps. It was a really, really good final race to the season in the winged sprint car. We have a long offseason to make up more ground."
QUICK RESULTS -
Nov. 11 - Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. - Heat race: 1 (4); Dash: 5 (2).
Nov. 12 - Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. - Feature #1: 2 (2); Feature #2: 8 (22).
MEDIA LINKS -
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT - Racing Optics
Racing Optics is the world's largest manufacturer of laminated tearoffs for auto racing helmets, motorcycle racing helmets and helmet shield protectors. For more information, visit http://www.RacingOptics.com.
"I really appreciate all of the support from everyone at Racing Optics," Swindell said.
Swindell would also like to thank John Christner Trucking, Mike Curb and Curb Records, MPI Steering Wheels, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Arai Helmets, Maxim Chassis, DMI, Super Shox, Hoosier Racing Tires, Sweet Manufacturing, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Kenny's Components, High Performance Lubricants and Swindell Speed Lab for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS -
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.