Biffle leads NASCAR Texas testing on Thursday

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With this weekend’s NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway the first race for NASCAR’s new Generation 6 car under the lights, teams had two test sessions on Thursday to acclimate the car to the cooler temperatures at the 1.5-mile oval.

As he did in Las Vegas, Greg Biffle led the day’s testing. Biffle turned 14 laps in the second session and a fast lap of 192.864 mph. The Busch brothers were next, with Kurt also in the 192 range in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet at 192.369, and Kyle fastest in the 191 range in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (191.639).

The remainder of the top 10: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon, Casey Mears, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Martin Truex Jr.

This marked the first sessions for a handful of different drivers in new cars. Dillon, back in the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, clocked in seventh, with Brian Vickers 26th in Denny Hamlin’s usual No. 11 FedEx Toyota from JGR, and rookie Timmy Hill last of the 43 cars to take time in Frank Stoddard’s No. 32 FAS Lane Ford.

 

Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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