Archive for January, 2011

Shawn Szep First to Declare Intent to run for DJ Safety Rookie of The Year in 2011 !

Adventure defined: “A bold, usually risky, undertaking; participation in an exciting or very unusual experience; hazardous action of uncertain outcome”. The first few minutes you listen to Shawn Szep, he uses that phrase, “this adventure”, more than once in describing his life behind the wheel of a race car! But, dig a little deeper, and the first ARCA Truck Series competitor to declare his intent to run for the 2011 DJ Safety Rookie of the Year honor, paints an even more “exciting” portrait of life experiences that you certainly stop and listen to!

“I was in the Air Force for ten years and got to see the world — Europe, Japan, Korea — and, well the best way to describe my job there was, you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon where they’re tapping the top of the bomb with the little hammer? Well, that was me,” laughs the Columbus, OH resident. “I could tell you more, but — how did Tom Cruise say it in the movie ‘Top Gun’? He could tell them more but then he’d have to kill them?”

After his discharge, Szep settled in Las Vegas at the infamous Las Vegas Motor Speedway “Bull Ring”, competing in Legends cars, graduating to them after, as, he explains it, “too many broken bones in California motocross races!” Part of the Szep adventure was witnessing the beginning of a now well-known career in current NASCAR star Kyle Busch. The 39-year-old explained, “(Kyle’s older brother) Kurt had just moved on to NASCAR with Jack Roush, but Kyle was just getting going. And he drove pretty much the same way — start at the back, running guys over, and pretty soon either is at the front, or crashed out. I feel when learns to calm down, he’ll be a NASCAR Cup champion”.                                            

It wasn’t long, though, and he soon heard his native Midwest calling, and returned to his roots in 2004, welcomed home by his three children Shane, Seth and Marissa. Explained Shawn, “no doubt the place to race is out west and it’s huge in Vegas, but the Midwest is the best and I missed my family so much, so I came back.” He then started competing at legendary Columbus Motor Speedway in among, all things, their modified division! Gathering a reputation as a tough competitor, Szep caught the eye of winning ARCA Truck crew chief Tom Cumbow when he and his partner/driver, former two-time champion Robbin Slaughter, was unable to continue their program due to lack of funds, which Szep could now offer.                             

“I leased  the truck but had never been in one before, so Tom wanted to see how I’d do, so we tested at Columbus, and after a few laps, Tom was satisfied we would be fine. So we headed for Toledo but got in a wreck at the start when everyone checked up in front of me, but we still finished 14th.” Szep and Cumbow then towed to Mansfield, but after a few hot laps, lost the brakes and spent the rest of the day rebuilding them, and even though they didn’t get a chance to qualify, they started in the back but again mechanical bugs bit and they again placed 14th. Iowa, however, was a different story!

“I had obviously never seen the place before. But the truck felt good and we started in the back and before long, we were sixth, then fifth and pretty soon I got to fourth but then the race was over. (Winner) Paul Hahn had us all covered, but I feel if we had more time, we might have got up to maybe third or second.” Now bolstered with a top five, Szep made plans to go to Salem, but Cumbow parked the truck and started making plans to become General Manager of the Phoenix Management Group and the ARCA Truck Series. Before the 2010 season Cumbow sold his truck to former two-time champion Bill Withers.  When Withers hung up his goggles in the middle of last season, Szep bought the truck and is now eyeing this campaign with two Trucks! And, of course, like others, is looking for dollars to be able to step up his efforts.

“I work for ADT Security as an operations manager at large companies and construction sites, places like that,” said Shawn. “It’s a good job but by no means can I do this on my own. I’ve got some guys looking and got some little programs put together here and there, and am open to other opportunities, but nothing is 100% yet. But, I do have all the guys from when I drove for Tom returning – I call them the ‘Three J’s’; Jeff, John and Jim Long. And also, Tim Devers. And, my former, I guess you could call him my teammate when I drove at Columbus, my crew chief Jerry Harlan.”

Also, Szep thinks he can run another truck, which of course, is dependent on dollars. “We’ve got the second truck and I’ve talked to a few people, and so far, nothing is solid, but we’ve got the word out there and had some bites. I have even offered it to Withers, in case, like I told him, ‘you get that urge to drive again’”.

What are his goals for 2011? “The DJ Safety Rookie of the Year Award – that’s it. We want to compete in all the races, make no mistakes and get top fives, and we think we can do that. I’m looking forward to it because I think we’ll run good.” However, ARCA has a rule stating a competitor can only claim one award that of being the championship or the rookie of the year, and Szep was asked if he was in the same position as current champion Chris Bailey was last season, which would he choose? “Of course I’d take the title. But I’ll tell you, I don’t like that rule at all. I think if you earn them both you should win them both! Look at the Bailey’s – they are a great family and they deserved everything they accomplished last year and I think he should have had them both. I mean, Chris is, what, 22 or something? And they said at the banquet he’s won almost 20 championships? I’m highly impressed. And I certainly hope I can be in position to win the title this year!”

Looking ahead to the ARCA Truck Series and Phoenix Management Group’s season, there is little doubt that, indeed, we may see Szep in that position to add to his tails of “unusual, exciting, bold, risky, adventures”!

                                        #                                #                          #                             #

Kevin Schwarze

Safety-Kleen Makes Green Work in 2011 with the ARCA Truck Series “Crew Chief of the Year Award”


Millersport, Ohio (01/21/11) Phoenix Management Group official’s announced today that Safety-Kleen, based out of Plano, TX, will be a contingency sponsor for the 2011 ARCA Truck Series and the sponsor of 2011 Crew Chief of the Year award.

“We are excited to be involved with the ARCA Truck Series in 2011.” said Drew Patey, Director of Safety-Kleen Motorsports. “Our continual effort in educating competitors in the motorsport industry has allowed us to show competitors the benefits using many of our green products and allowing the teams to Make Green Work.”

Safety-Kleen owns and operates the largest re-refinery of used oil in North America.  Currently, they recycle more than 200 million gallons of used oil annually returning it to the marketplace as clean, reusable motor oil.

Today, Safety-Kleen with headquarters located in Plano, Texas, is a leading provider of environmental services, oil re-refining and responsible cleaning solutions. They are still at the forefront of developing practical green processes for business, just as they were the day the company was founded. Few people share their passion for keeping workplaces safe by keeping the environment clean. Safety-Kleen’s passion has fueled innovation and that combination punctuates their history with notable firsts and remarkable achievements.

In 2011, Safety-Keen will provide the 2011 Safety-Kleen Crew Chief of the Year with a personalized parts washer, free Pig products, Profession Cleaning Products, Eco Power Oil, and SK Anti-Freeze.  In addition, Safety-Kleen will provide 1st, 5th, and 10th place in the year end point standings with product packages. The 2011 champion will also be featured in the 2012 Safety-Kleen calendars, with over 130,000 distributed a crossed the United States

For more information on the products and services provided by Safety-Kleen, and how to Make Green Work with Safety –Kleen, please visit the Safety-Kleen website at

For more information on the ARCA Truck Series, please visit



Tom Cumbow


DJ Racing Safety Equipment Rookie of the Year

Click here for rookie of the year declaration form

Click here for truck number registration form

DJ Safety to Sponsor Rookie of the Year Award in 2011


Millersport, OH (01/10/11) Phoenix Management Group officials announced today that DJ Safety Equipment of Los Angeles, CA has signed on to be the DJ Safety 2011 ARCA Truck Series Rookie of the Year sponsor.

 DJ Safety Equipment is a manufacture of safety equipment for several different types of racing, from the highest ranks of NASCAR, NHRA, IHRA, INDYCAR, and all the way to the high speeds of SDBA, and pretty much everything in between. This year DJ Safety Equipment has increased their involvement with the ARCA Truck Series with not only the DJ Safety 2011 Rookie of the Year, they are providing teams a free trade in program on seatbelts which have exceeded the SFI Specification date.

 “We are very excited to have DJ Safety as the sponsor for the 2011 Rookie of the Year!” said Tom Cumbow, General Manager of the ARCA Truck Series. “The quality of their products is only out measured by their exceptional customer service!”
This year the DJ Safety 2011 Rookie of the Year will receive a premium driver’s package of DJ Safety Equipment. The package includes a Pro-Flow helmet, safety gloves, driver’s shoes, and a custom driver’s suit. All registered 2011 ARCA Truck Series Rookies are eligible and points will be awarded per the 2011 ARCA Truck Series Official Rule Book.

 DJ Safety, Inc. was founded in 1996 by Retired Navy Lieutenant Commander Joseph Hansen and wife Darlene Hansen, to fill a niche for high-level design engineering applications in specific industries. Targeted were the aviation, aerospace, film, and theme ride industries, as well as the specialty of racing assemblies. Some of the customers of DJ Safety Equipment include Los Angeles Times, NASA, Boeing/Rocketdyne, Caterpillar, Disney Imagineering, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

 DJ Safety Equipment’s East Coast store is now open for business. You can contact Loren Hill at 909-746-7255. For more information on DJ Safety Equipment please visit their website at or call them at 323-221-0000.

For information on the ARCA Truck Series please visit us at

Tom Cumbow



Pickup Trucks Can Claim a Storied History!



By Kevin Schwarze

The ARCA Truck Series, presented by the Phoenix Management Group, will begin its 13th season of competition, as well as staging its 150th race! There have been many exciting moments in what started out in 1999 as the ARCA Pro-4 Series and then evolved into the current form we know today.

As well, pickup trucks, which the ARCA Truck Series currently campaigns, can claim a storied history! No one can honestly claim the invention of the first wagon, but one of the most successful companies to produce an open box cargo hauler was founded by the Studebaker Brothers in 1852 and whose father grew up in Ohio. By 1902, Studebaker was building electric cars and in two years was putting out gasoline models of their wagons.


DJ Safety Free Belt Trade In For ARCA Truck Series Competitors



 (Los Angeles, CA) As the 2011 ARCA Truck Series fast approaches, many teams might realize that their seatbelt SFI certification is out of date. DJ Safety has got you covered with a free trade in program exclusively for ARCA Truck Series competitors. Simply send DJ Safety your recently expired belts and they will be replaced with a new set of competition belts in any configuration or color, the only cost to the racer will be shipping. Trade in special extends only to current ARCA Truck Series competitors, latch and link release only ($45 upgrade for cam release) and belts must be expired no more than 12 months. Belts have not expired yet? Not a problem, DJ Safety SRL free belt trade in program does expire until June 31, 2011. For information give DJ Safety a call at 323-221-0000, contact Ben Ryan


DJ Safety

2623 N. San Fernando Road

Los Angeles, CA 90065

2011 ARCA Truck Series Number Registration

2011 ARCA Truck Series Number Registration Form


The teams that competed in the ATS in 2010 have the first chance at their numbers. Application deadline is February 15, 2011. If your application has not been received by this date, your number request will fall to the next individual that is requesting the same number. All others requesting a number can request it on a first come first serve basis. No duplicate or 3 digit numbers are allowed. All numbers are owned by and will be officially issued at the discretion of the Phoenix Management Group.

All Owners must have their 2011 ARCA Truck Series Owners License by March 15, 2011 to complete the number registration process.

Please fill out the form completely.


Happy New Year from Phoenix Management ! Let’s Go ARCA Truck Racing !