News & Media

Notebook: Newman honors Slocumb, Braun fills big shoes at AMS

September 01, 2011, Dave Rodman,

Notebook: Braun has big shoes to fill at Atlanta on Friday; Busch a triple threat?

A fishing trip led to Ryan Newman meeting the Slocumb family and this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Newman will honor the life of former Turner Motorsports family member and Newman's close friend, Beau Slocumb.

Newman and Slocumb pose together in Victory Lane at AMS.

"He was a good man and it's just as simple as that."


"I had asked Ed [Clark, AMS general manager] for a good place to go fishing in the area and he said 'why don't you come down to the Slocumb house?' " Newman said. "So I drove about 50 minutes down to the Slocumb house and fished for a little while and got a chance to meet Beau and the rest of the family."

Slocumb, who lost a battle with cancer last spring, was an aspiring racer that won numerous times at AMS's quarter-mile short track. He began his racing career in Legends Cars and progressed through Late Models to the ARCA Racing Series. He worked at Turner Motorsports, which fields multiple teams in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series.

Newman's truck will feature the number and paint scheme driven by Slocumb, an avid hunter and native of Macon, Ga., during his driving career. All money received by Turner Motorsports from the event will be donated to Slocumb's widow, Jessica.

"He was a good man and it's just as simple as that," Newman said. "He became a friend of mine and it was his dream to race a truck. He had raced an ARCA car for Steve Turner there a couple times -- I think his best finish was fourth at Kansas if I remember right.

"But it's just a way to remember him and give his family an opportunity to see something that he always wanted to do. His name is going to be on the passenger side on top of the roof -- just real thankful for having Realtree and Brandt to step up and sponsor the race for us and for a way to just give back to the memory of someone else."

Turner has entered a No. 08 Chevrolet for Newman, with Slocumb's unique black-over-camouflage paint scheme. Newman's Truck Series record is pretty special -- especially at Atlanta, where he won his only previous start.

"Steve Turner may have been a bigger Beau Slocumb fan than I was and never got a chance to watch Beau race much," Newman said. "But [Slocumb] was a very genuine man and was raised right and that is what struck me first and foremost."

Can Braun deliver?

Colin Braun made one start earlier this season for owner Billy Ballew, and the former Roush Fenway development driver returns to Ballew's Ford truck this weekend. He has big shoes to fill.

Braun career statistics

Truck Series
YearStartsWinsTop-fiveTop-10Avg. StartAvg. Finish

Braun will drive the No. 51 for Georgia businessman Ballew, a truck that has won at AMS three times with Kyle Busch. All four of Busch's Truck Series wins at Atlanta have been in Ballew equipment.

Is Busch a triple threat at AMS?

Kyle Busch's record at Atlanta is not such that he'd be overly optimistic about his chances to triple the weekend, as he's done recently at Bristol. But he has a better idea.

"For me, running the Friday [Truck Series] race and Saturday [Nationwide] race, it's just the extra track time you get," Busch said. "The extra chances you get behind the wheel. How the track will change throughout a run.

Busch career statistics

Atlanta Motor Speedway
CupRacesWinTop-fiveTop-10PoleLapsLedAvg. StartAvg. Finish

"The tires at Atlanta wear out so fast that you can feel the slip of the car more and just trying to feel how much you can slip it and how hard you can run the tire before you actually really lose total grip. So, a lot of that stuff plays into being able to run all three there."

Kenseth is a fan of Atlanta

Matt Kenseth hopes to do nothing but win the next two races, as he's already locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup and has nothing to race for but bonus points. Atlanta's a good place for the Roush Fenway pilot.

"I love going [to Atlanta] -- it's one of my favorite tracks to go to," Kenseth said. "It's different this year because this is the first time we're only going to run there once and we haven't been there in a whole year. The pavement is aging and we don't know a lot about what they are bringing for a tire yet, so you never know what you are going to get when you get there.

"There are no mulligan races or any give away races."


"I think the first run on the track is kind of a learning experience for everybody. You kind of see where you stack up and go from there and start adjusting. It is a great track and I think everybody loves racing there."

Kenseth said being locked into the Chase does nothing for him.

"It really doesn't change anything for me, anyway," Kenseth said. "You might feel relief because you are in the Chase no matter what happens, but there are no mulligan races or any give away races. These are all big races. Whether you are racing for points or not, you want to run the best you can.

"I have always raced that way since the first day I got into a race car. You want to go out with an idea of trying to win and if you can't win, you want to be as competitive as you can and get the best finish you can for that day."

* Kenseth doesn't 'brake' momentum, makes Chase

Earnhardt to run Grand Am Series in 2012

The Earnhardt family has accomplished nearly every goal set in racing. Jeffrey Earnhardt will now set his goal on a family first -- winning the championship in the Grand Am Series.

Earnhardt has signed a deal that places him in a full season of Grand Am Racing in the Rolex GT Class with Rick Ware Racing starting in 2012.

Earnhardt made his series debut at the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with RWR in a GT3 Porsche and finished 11th in class and 25th overall, a huge accomplishment for the organizations entrance in the grueling around the clock event.

Earnhardt will be displaying the number 15 for next season, a number his grandfather, Dale Earnhardt, competed with 30 years ago in the Cup Series.

Reds Kagle 1932-2011

Reds Kagle, one of only two five-time track champions at Old Dominion Speedway, died on Monday, Aug. 29th. Kagle, who had hundreds of wins up and down the East Coast during his career, passed away quietly after a brief illness.

Born on April 20, 1932, Kagle began competing in the Grand National Division (now Sprint Cup) in 1954, competing in one event that season. Sixty-four entries started that event, and Kagle came home 17th driving a Studebaker. His purse for that day was $175.00. His career continued until 1961, when he competed in just three events that season, including the World 600 at Charlotte where a violent accident sent his car partially through the guard rail, which cost him a leg.

His Grand National career totals included 25 starts, three to-fives and nine top-10's. 1958 was his best season as a driver, finishing in the top-five twice and scoring seven top-10's in 14 events.

But Kagle will better be remembered for battling legends like Roy Hendrick, Jack Bland, and Bobby Ballentine on his way to several wins and track championships throughout his career. He was a close friend of NASCAR legend Bobby Allison, who asked Kagle to mentor his oldest son, Davey early in his career. Kagle was Allison's younger son, Clifford's crew chief when the younger Allison was killed in a crash during practice at Michigan International Speedway.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.