Ridgeway, Virginia (April 24, 2023) - After much anticipation, both G2G Racing and driver Memphis Villarreal were ready to take on NASCAR's oldest speedway, the Martinsville Speedway.
The weekend did not start to plan, as mother nature parked all at-the-track action very quickly on Thursday morning. NASCAR then made the call to scrub the day, come back tomorrow, qualify, then race. This left Villarreal in an interesting spot. He could be potentially making his first career start with no practice in his No. 46 S&S Fishing & Rental Tundra TRD Pro.
The next day, the team began to go to work on their No. 46 machine, preparing it for the upcoming qualifying session. As it drew closer, there was a calmness that was flowing around the team, knowing the truck would run great in qualifying and in the evening’s 200-lap race.
In his qualifying attempt, Villarreal took to the track, recording a lap of 20.396 seconds. At the time of the lap, he had put his truck on the provisional pole!
As the session continued, his time slowly made its way down the leaderboard, but was still keeping ahead of the trucks he needed to be ahead of to make the race. Then, about halfway through the qualifying session, everyone was able to breathe easy, as it was made official that he had locked himself into the field on pure speed.
He was issued the 29th starting spot.
Mother Nature began to rear her head, as weather began to move in, as the race drew closer. This meant a potential new challenge.
Before the season had started, NASCAR had announced they would debut rain tires and equipment at short tracks if there was wet conditions. Therefore, if it did rain, no one in the entire series, let alone sport, had raced on wet tires on a short track.
Then, shortly after the command to start engines, lightning struck within 8 miles of the 0.533-mile speedway, forcing a lightning delay. This would continue for a total of 3 hours, in addition to multiple heavy downpours. This soaked the speedway, but this meant the teams would have to get their trucks ready to run in the rain.
Therefore, both Villarreal and team went to work on his truck, quickly converting it over for rain racing.
As drivers were told to return to their trucks and get ready to race, the team was calm and ready to fight with the best of them. And that is just what happened.
Off the green flag, Villarreal began picking his way through the field. Unfortunately, the leaders, who were making great time around the track, passed him to put him a lap down, along with NASCAR Cup Series Superstar, Ross Chastain.
Villarreal jumped up on the wheel, and passed Chastain very efficiently, moving into the Luck Dog position. Then, caution shortly followed, putting him back on the lead lap; trapping the Cup Superstar a lap down.
When the race resumed, Villarreal hovered around the 26th position, where he would finish in Stage 1.
After pit stops, Villarreal had vaulted to 21st, hoping that would help him in his race to the front. Then, Mother Nature made another unwanted appearance.
After a short stoppage, the trucks returned to the track. Villarreal looked to quickly make his way through the field, as it was reported there was more rain on the way that could shorten the race. Therefore, as soon as the race resumed, the action intensified.
He was able to maintain his position for a few laps, before the handling on his truck slowly started to go away. By the end of Stage 2, he had slipped to the 25th position. But with rain in the area, the team decided to not bring him down pit road and see if they would make up some positions on drivers who might come down pit road, if the race was to be restarted.
The race was eventually restarted, in which Villarreal was able to pass the truck ahead of him right before a caution waved over the track for more rain.
Therefore, NASCAR brought the trucks down pit road, before declaring the race over. This would reward Villarreal with a 24th place finish in his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut.
After a wet and cold trip to Martinsville, the team will look to improve upon their success at 1.5-mile tracks, as the series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the Heart of America 200. The action will kick off at 8:00pm, Eastern, with coverage live on Fox Sports 1 and NASCAR SiriusXM, Channel 90.
Mooresville, North Carolina (April 11, 2023) - Up and coming racing star, Memphis Villarreal will make his NASCAR debut this weekend for G2G Racing at the Martinsville Speedway.
“I couldn’t be happier with the decision to work with Memphis,” owner Tim Viens said of naming Villarreal as the driver for the team’s No. 46 entry. “He is a very talented driver and we are all excited to have him behind the wheel for us at Martinsville.”
Although Villarreal will make his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut, he is no stranger to racing. The now 21 year old started his racing career at a young age, running Bandeleros, as part of the INEX Series. In only his first season, in a limited number of starts, finished 2nd in championship points, achieving multiple Top-3 finishes in only nine starts. This also earned him Rookie of the Year honors.
He quickly jumped to pro late models, modifieds, and even making starts in the Allison Legacy Series, quickly visiting Victory Lane. This would become a staple of his racing career, recording wins across the lower levels of NASCAR, running multiple classes across the south.
Fast forward to 2022, where he has recorded over 30 wins, along with a multitude of Top-3 and Top-10 finishes that caught the eyes of NASCAR owners, including Viens with G2G Racing.
When he is not behind the wheel at a race track, Villarreal coaches drivers of all ages, by teaching the many aspects of racing; such as lines, passing, and strategies. He also believes that if he is going to race the cars, he must also know how to work on them. Therefore, he first came to G2G Racing as a mechanic and road crew for the team.
“I’m pretty excited to be a part of G2G, and am so thankful to (Tim) Viens and (Tim) Sliva for this opportunity,” Villarreal said about being named for Martinsville. “I am looking forward to this seeking and am hoping to bring the No. 46 home clean with a decent finish.”
He will carry the S&S Fishing and Rental and Lalos Auto Repair colors on the truck for his first career start. Look for him in the team’s No. 46 Tundra this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway.
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Bristol, Tennessee (April 11, 2023) - After several successful runs to start the year, G2G Racing made the move to bring back the team’s second entry to the red clay at the Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Unfortunately, the team’s race was over before it started.
The first day of the event was totally washed out by severe weather that was making its way across the United States the past few days.
The next day, the day’s schedule was compacted to accommodate both the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series and the NASCAR Cup Series.
Therefore, the team went to work on Jerry Bohlman’s No. 46 Eco Pile Tundra and Andrew Gordon’s No. 47 Trick Shot/Staar Trucking Tundra ready for the day’s Heat Races. Without any practice time, both drivers felt at a disadvantage.
As the heat races approached, Bohlman was placed in the 3rd Heat and Gordon in the 4th Heat.
This is where Bohlman’s day went south. When he jumped into his truck and was strapped in, he discovered the truck would not go into gear. Therefore, the team scrambled under the hood and inside the truck to try and find the issue. After some investigation, it was found that the pressure plate on the clutch had broke, thus not allowing him to start his heat race. This meant the team had to sweat out the heat races to see if he would make the field.
In the fourth Heat Race, Andrew Gordon started on the pole. Therefore, all he needed was to stay in the Top-5 in his heat and he would be locked into the field.
At the drop of the green flag, Gordon held strong in the Top-3, until halfway, where he slowly dropped down the leaderboard. Then, his day started to go south.
At the midway point Gordon drove his truck into turn 3 and something did not feel right on the truck. Because he was close to making the field, he chose to try and hold onto the truck. As a result of the damage to his truck, he began to drop on the leaderboard.
By the end of the heat, he had fallen to 10th place.
After some quick calculations, both Gordon and Bohlman did not obtain enough passing points to advance to the WEATHER GUARD Truck Race on Dirt.
The team will look to reload, as they head to the Martinsville Speedway, for the Long John Silvers 200 on Friday, April 14th. Action will get started at 7:30pm Eastern, with live coverage being on Fox Sports 1 and on SiriusXM NASCAR, Channel 90.
Photo Credit: Daniel Overbey, Photographer
Fort Worth, Texas (April 1, 2023) - BlueSprig today announced it will be the primary sponsor of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Armani Williams at Texas Motor Speedway on April 1. Williams is the first NASCAR driver openly diagnosed on the autism spectrum. This is BlueSprig’s first foray into the NASCAR world.
BlueSprig, founded in 2017, is a leading provider of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment services to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). BlueSprig is committed to providing compassionate, individualized, and evidence-based behavior analysis treatment. Headquartered in Houston, TX, BlueSprig is a nationwide provider of ABA treatment with 140+ locations.
"We are thrilled to partner with Armani and his race team this weekend. What a great way to kick off Autism Acceptance and Awareness Month,” said Jason Owen, CEO of BlueSprig. “Armani serves as a shining example of the potential that lies within individuals diagnosed with autism. We look forward to cheering him on as he drives the BlueSprig sponsored truck and shows the world what we can achieve when we work together to support, celebrate and uplift individuals with autism.”
For additional information about BlueSprig or to receive updates, visit www.blusprigautism.com
Williams, a native of Detroit, Michigan, impressed in his series debut at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in August 2021, where he finished a respectable 21st and earning his speedway license in NASCAR competition.
“I have spent every waking moment that I’m not in class preparing to do my part behind the wheel,” said Williams. “Whether that is iRacing, studying pictures, reviewing film or just talking to others in the industry. It’s my job to go out there and give my team and partners a finish they would be proud of and that’s exactly what I plan to do.”
The BlueSprig partnership is the first in a series of races and partnerships to be announced later this season. Williams will be welcoming back returning partners and introducing some new ones.
“There are a lot of people that have worked tirelessly in order for me to continue my dream and I’m so thankful,” said Williams. “I’m excited about where this season is heading, and I’m incredibly thankful to be starting back up on the first day of Autism Acceptance and Awareness Month. It is an honor to be able to show that being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a limitation. If you tell me I can’t, I’ll show you I can.”
The partnership with G2G Racing and the placement of the new and returning partners were orchestrated by fgrACCEL, a full-service sports marketing and management agency. Additional races for Williams will be announced later this season.
“We are excited to have Armani join us at Texas,” said G2G Racing owner Tim Viens. “He has a very unique journey and story to tell through his racing and I am happy to have him drive for G2G Racing.”
Williams, 22, graduated to the Truck Series after stints in the premier ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East, ARCA Menards Series West and the Canadian-based NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
For more on Armani Williams, please visit teamarmaniracing.com, like him on Facebook (Team Armani Racing) and follow him on Twitter (@TeamArmaniRacin).