Interstate Batteries -- The Outrageously Dependable Blog at blogbattery.com

Cellphone Battery Safety: Avoiding Fire

July 25th, 2014 by

KDFW-TV, Channel 4, in Dallas-Fort Worth gives us this important reminder about cellphone battery safety. A teenager slept with her phone under her pillow. The phone overheated, and the battery caught fire.

Watch their important report below, then read on for more information into what happened and how to avoid a similar situation.

According to Larry Jenkins, Senior Training Manager at Interstate Batteries and one of our battery experts, this problem isn’t limited to cellphones.

“All devices that use lithium batteries need to be allowed to breathe,” Larry said. “This includes iPads, other tablets and laptops. Blankets and covers of a bed can block the air that circulates across the battery, which keeps them cool.”

What most likely happened in the above case is called “thermal runaway,” a kind of chain reaction. The battery overheats, releasing energy that causes it to further increase its temperature.

Prevent This from Happening to You

If you use electronics in bed, Interstate Batteries recommends you place them on the nightstand or another flat surface to avoid blocking the air circulation.

Don’t leave your battery-powered items out for long periods in direct sunlight. Also, never leave them on the dashboard of your car. The concentrated heat along with limited air circulation can cause a major increase in temperature.

If the battery in your device puffs up like a pillow, do not pierce or squeeze it. This is a sign that there's major danger ahead.

If the battery in your device puffs up like a pillow, do not pierce or squeeze it. This is a sign that there’s major danger ahead.

Know the Warning Signs

Sometimes, your device’s battery may “puff up” like a pillow. This is a sign that it’s in the beginning stages of a very bad situation. Here’s what to do:

  • Stop using your device immediately.
  • Don’t squeeze or attempt to puncture the package because it could explode. A battery fire is both a metal fire and chemical fire (a double whammy) that can put out about 1,200 degrees of heat and toxic fumes.
  • Carefully bring the battery to those who can properly dispose of it and replace it: your local Interstate All Battery Center or to your cellphone provider.

Got a battery question? Ask Mr. Battery or ask us in the comments below. We’re here to help!

Posted in All Battery, Tips, Video having no comments »

Tech Talk: Your Key to Key Off Drain

July 22nd, 2014 by

It’s pretty common for “key-off drain” from accessories to kill a perfectly good battery.

Gale Kimbrough is Mr. Battery.When the car and any onboard devices draw a small flow of current from the battery when the engine’s off, that’s key-off drain.

There already are multiple power-hungry, key-off parasitic devices on vehicles today. And there are even more planned for the future. Picking the right battery matters now more than ever. The wrong battery could mean a dead battery. Here at Interstate Batteries, we have some advice on helping customers choose the right battery for their needs.

Looking for Normal

I often get asked, “What is a normal key-off drain?”

It varies so much between vehicle models.

Let’s say you’ve got two customers, and they both leave their cars at the airport for eight days.

One drives a 2010 Ford Taurus, the Super High Output (SHO) model, with an elaborate, aftermarket alarm system. The other drives a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu, and uses various devices, including an elaborate alarm, an MP3 player, a sound system, etc.

Your battery may power all sorts of devices when the key is off.

Your battery may power all sorts of devices when the key is off.

The Taurus started out from the factory with 45 milliamps, and the Malibu started out with 25 milliamps. By using various devices, however, both drivers have brought each vehicle’s daily key-off drain to 2.4 amperehours after the 24-hour period.

Their cars, though, use different batteries with different Reserve Capacity ratings. That rating shows how many minutes a new battery can deliver 25 Amps until the terminal voltage reaches 10.5 volts. The Taurus uses a group 65 battery, which may have an RC of 130 minutes. The Malibu uses a group 90/T5 battery, which may have an RC of 95 minutes. Both batteries are good, and meet the original equipment specs.

Key off battery drain as explained by Interstate Batteries

Big Drain Over Eight Days

What is Reserve Capacity?

Battery Council International defines it as “the number of minutes a new, fully-charged battery at 80°F (27°C) can be discharged at 25 amps and maintain a voltage equal to or higher than 1.75 volts per cell” (i.e., 10.5 volts for a 12-volt battery). This rating represents the time the battery will continue to operate essential accessories in the event of a charging system failure. More battery definitions

Eight days of 2.4 Amp-hours is going to make a big difference, and there is a chance one of the cars won’t start when they get back.

The Malibu battery has a lower RC rating. After draining 2.4 Amp-hours, multiplied by eight days, the Malibu battery only has about 66% of its original charge left. The Taurus battery’s charge has also dropped to 75%. The Malibu driver probably will need a jump-start to get home.

Key-off drain can be a battery killer. The more you understand how batteries deliver power and their ratings, the better you can advise your customers.

After all, your expert advice might save them before trouble starts.

Need help finding the right battery? Visit an Interstate Batteries Dealer near you.

Posted in Automotive, Mr. Battery, Technology having no comments »

Team Interstate: Seconds Count in New Hampshire

July 14th, 2014 by
Kyle Busch and the rest of Team Interstate ran near the front of the pack for most of Sunday's race. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle Busch and the rest of Team Interstate ran near the front of the pack for most of Sunday’s race. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle Busch and crew chief Dave Rogers used smart fuel strategy and plenty of patience in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

The New Hampshire race marked the second appearance of the striped Interstate Batteries design. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

The New Hampshire race marked the second appearance of the striped Interstate Batteries design. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing survived a green-white-checkered finish that went four laps beyond the scheduled 301-lap distance to score his third consecutive runner-up finish at New Hampshire and his fifth top-five finish of the season.

“The guys did a great job today,” said Busch, who started from the pole and led once for 62 laps to score his seventh top-five finish at New Hampshire. “This Interstate Batteries Camry was good. Should have been anywhere from fourth to sixth, but we made a gutsy call there at the end to stay out and see if we can make it on fuel; barely made it, ran out right at the start-finish. We couldn’t have timed it more perfect. That was good and an overall solid effort for our team.

The Outrageously Dependable No. 18 Pit Crew in action at New Hampshire. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

The Outrageously Dependable No. 18 Pit Crew in action at New Hampshire. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

“We still know we got a little bit of work to do trying to get better and be able to catch up with some of our other competitors. Thanks to everyone at Interstate Batteries for their support here today and to our buddy Norm Miller (Interstate Batteries chairman) for his support. Happy birthday to him tomorrow. All in all, a decent day to be coming home second for our Interstate Batteries Camry.”

Kyle’s Team Interstate companions Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin finished fourth and eighth, respectively. Brad Keselowski won the race.

Recap (KyleBusch.com)

Results from the New Hampshire Race.

 

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Kenseth Finishes Third in Interstate Green

Matt Kenseth drove the Interstate Batteries Toyota to a third-place finish Saturday in New Hampshire. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Matt Kenseth drove the Interstate Batteries Toyota to a third-place finish Saturday in New Hampshire. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

In a white-and-green Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, Matt Kenseth started third, ran third and finished third in the Sta-Green 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“We had a pretty solid weekend with our Interstate Batteries Camry. We unloaded pretty close and we qualified third and finished third,” said Kenseth after making his 11th Nationwide Series start of the season.

“The guys that qualified first and second, finished first and second,” Kenseth said. “I felt like we were a third-place car and we finished third. I felt like the two best cars were in front of me and I couldn’t catch them. The 42 (Kyle Larson) was better on the short run and we were better on the long run and got away there a little bit. It’s just what we had. We had a couple of shots to make it better and we made it better, but not good enough to run with the 22 (Brad Keselowski) and the 54 (Kyle Busch).

“Got to thank Norm Miller and everyone at Interstate Batteries for their support. They’ve been with Joe Gibbs Racing for 22 years now and I’m proud to represent them.”

  • No. 54 – Kyle Busch – 2nd
  • No. 20 – Matt Kenseth – 3rd
  • No. 11 – Elliott Sadler – 6th

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Iowa Speedway

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series

Budd’s Creek, Mechanicsville, Md.

  • No. 10 – Justin Brayton – 11th
  • No. 33 – Josh Grant – 6th
  • No. 38 – Phil Nicoletti – 9th

This Week:

  • NASCAR Nationwide Series: Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, Ill.
  • Motocross: Spring Creek Motocross Park, Millville, Minn.

Posted in Racing having 4 comments »

Fisherman Builds Rail System For Our Warriors

July 9th, 2014 by

To power his dream of bringing disabled veterans to the water, Jeff Thompson turned to Interstate Batteries.

To power his dream of bringing disabled veterans to the water, Jeff Thompson turned to Interstate Batteries.

Injured and disabled veterans deserve a lot of things, including a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

That’s what drove retired Marine Corps Pilot Jeff Thompson to design a handicap hand rail system that allowed this avid fisherman to get back on the water.

Jeff Thompson, Operation Troop Salute

Jeff Thompson, Operation Troop Salute

Working with Ranger® Boats, Jeff designed a unique rail system dubbed the Fish’n Rail™ that allows him to fish while wearing a solid, 360-degree back brace.

The draw to the great outdoors also inspired Jeff’s dream of bringing more disabled veterans out fishing.

Thus began Operation Troop Salute, a program that takes disabled veterans on the water to fish during championship angler events. Last year, Jeff coordinated with the Wounded Warrior® Project to take six wounded warriors fishing for the Forrest Wood Cup Championship Bass Tournament in Georgia, and the plan is to take out more in 2014.

Operation Troop Salute gives injured veterans the opportunity to get outside and go fishing.

Operation Troop Salute gives injured veterans the opportunity to get outside and go fishing.

With about $10,000 of electronic equipment onboard, Jeff knew he was going to need some reliable power. For his trolling motor and equipment, Jeff went to the best choice, the 31-AGM7 from Interstate Batteries.

“It’s security, safety and reliability to me,” he said. “It means knowing that I have the power. I don’t have to worry. That’s peace of mind.”

Want to see the Fish’n Rail in action? Visit Epco Marine Products online.

Posted in Marine, Outrageously Dependable having no comments »

Kyle Busch: Batteries Are Fun

July 8th, 2014 by
The all-new striped Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry.

The all-new striped Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry.

Recently, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) founding sponsor Interstate Batteries ran a contest on its official Facebook page in which consumers were asked to send in their favorite photos of themselves having fun in the sun (#BatteriesAreFun).

Kyle would probably enter a photo like this in our #BatteriesAreFun contest. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle would probably enter a photo like this in our #BatteriesAreFun contest. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

If Kyle Busch was to submit a photo, it very well might be from a beautiful March afternoon earlier this year where he was having fun in the Southern California sun. In particular, it was victory lane at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, where he brought home his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season, which came in Interstate Batteries colors, nonetheless.

So as NASCAR’s top series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301, Busch is hoping he’ll add another photo or two in victory lane of some midsummer fun in New England.

Kyle's Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry will carry the green and white striped scheme again this weekend. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle’s Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry will carry the green and white striped scheme again this weekend. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Busch has enjoyed plenty of success at the “Magic Mile,” particularly at the start of his career when he scored a Sprint Cup win in July 2006 to go with eight top-10s in 18 starts. He’s coming off his strongest year to date at the New England track, where he finished second in both 2013 Sprint Cup races contested at New Hampshire to give him six career top-five finishes there. Outside the Sprint Cup ranks, Busch has four wins, one pole and five top-five results in eight NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Loudon to go with three wins, one pole and six top-10s in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.

In addition to Busch’s growing list of successes at the 1.058-mile oval, both races at New Hampshire serve as a homecoming for Marshfield, Vermont-native Dave Rogers, crew chief for Busch’s No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.

Crew Chief Dave Rogers and driver Kyle Busch chat before Sunday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Crew Chief Dave Rogers and driver Kyle Busch chat before Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

While Rogers has reached victory lane at his home track in the Nationwide Series in 2008 with former JGR driver Tony Stewart, Busch would like nothing more than to bring Rogers a coveted Sprint Cup victory, but also for all the Interstate Batteries dealers and distributors from New England and across the country.

With the marathon-like 36-race Sprint Cup schedule, Busch and Rogers don’t have too much time for any lengthy trips to the beach. However, they’ve had Sunday circled on their calendar in hopes of another photo opportunity depicting their fun in the sun in victory lane at New Hampshire.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

What do you think about the upcoming New Hampshire race?

Kyle hopes to raise his arms in victory this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle hopes to raise his arms in victory this Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

“Loudon is tricky for me. For some reason, I never figured it out with our last car. With the COY as I called it (car of yesteryear), we were pretty decent there. Seems like with our Gen-6 Toyota Camry, it drove more like the COY and we had two great finishes there last year – I was second both times. We would certainly like to turn those seconds into wins, though. So, it’s been one of those places that’s just kind of tricky, sometimes, to figure out for me – just the flatness of the corners, how hard do you get into the corner, how much brake do you use, how much do you let the car roll, how hard to get back on the gas – there are so many different things you’ve got to work through at Loudon. I’ve got one of the best teammates in the business to help me with that with Denny (Hamlin). I definitely use him a lot when we go there on those weekends. We were fast there both races last year. We’d certainly like to get up in the top-five and contend for better finishes at Loudon with our Interstate Batteries Camry.”

The New Hampshire race is one of the shortest on the circuit. How do you approach that race knowing you might have a little less time to get to the front at the end?

“Essentially, at Loudon, you’re looking at how good your fuel mileage is and you have to look at when you have to make your last pit stop since that’s what everyone looks at. You end up running it almost like a road-course race because you do want to be the first guy on the last round of pit stops to pit. You want to get in there, get your tires and fuel, and then stay out the rest of the race and keep your track position since it’s so important there. It’s just a challenging race because it is so hard to pass there. You can’t be two-tenths faster than a guy and be able to pass him because everyone typically runs the same speed. You’ll have it where the leader might be a tenth better than the second-place guy, but everyone is separated by so little that it takes a mistake on someone’s part in order to pass them there.”

Do you approach Loudon as a speedway or a short-track race?

“Loudon is definitely a short-track race. It’s a lot like Phoenix. You have some good speed down the straightaway but definitely a lot of braking getting through the tight, paperclip-shaped corners.”

When you make a mistake at Loudon, does it cost you a little bit more because you have less time to recover?

“You don’t because you’re always on edge there. You’re trying to go as fast as you can into the corners, as deep as you can into the corners while rolling as much speed, or just a bit higher than everyone else so you are able to get back to the gas sooner. You’re going harder than everyone else in order to make the straightaway a little bit longer and get your momentum built back up. It’s definitely a challenging racetrack – not one of my best racetracks, I’ll admit that. I have won there in the past so, if we get a good car, I guess I’ll need to have a really good car, apparently. Then we might have a shot to win there.”

DAVE ROGERS, Crew Chief of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

Crew Chief Dave Rogers and Kyle Busch discuss strategy earlier in the season. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Crew Chief Dave Rogers and Kyle Busch discuss strategy earlier in the season. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

As a native New Englander, New Hampshire has always been a homecoming race for you and a track where you won in the Nationwide Series in 2008. What does New Hampshire Motor Speedway mean to you?

 “There are a lot of memories there. I love going back to the Northeast, but I also like to go back there and race. It’s very exciting for my entire family. My boys are old enough to where they can fly up on the JGR plane with me and hang out with my family and friends from up there, so it’s just a really neat experience all around when we get to race at New Hampshire and I’m hoping we can get our Interstate Batteries Toyota to victory lane to make things even better.”

When was your first trip to Loudon? Was it as a fan?

“I was there for the inaugural Nationwide Series race (in 1990). The first four years that the Nationwide Series raced at New Hampshire, we were there. I was also there for the inaugural Cup Series race at the track. The one race I remember like it was yesterday was when Joe Nemechek and Dale Earnhardt Sr., raced door-to-door for the last few laps and put on a great show for the fans. I don’t remember exactly what year that was (1992) but it was a long time ago.”

You won the 2008 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire as a crew chief for Tony Stewart. What did that mean to you to go to victory lane that day?

“We went to inaugural Nationwide Series race there and we sat in the stands as fans and had a great time as a family. Then you go to 2008 and you go there as a crewmember and my father was there and you get to go to victory lane and share that experience with him. That was special. I think it was the first time my Dad had ever been to victory lane for a NASCAR race. It was really exciting and very emotional. We got that win with Tony Stewart, who is a good friend of mine. Tony made it really special for me. He gave me the firesuit after the race and congratulated my whole family, so it meant quite a bit to me and to my entire family.”

When was your first trip to Loudon working on a NASCAR team?

“The 1999 Cup Series race with the 20 car was my first race back to Loudon as part of a team. It was Tony’s (Stewart) first Cup race there, as well. That was the first time I worked on a car as part of a team at Loudon.”

Was there anyone back home in Marshfield, Vermont who helped you become who you are today?

“I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by great people my whole life. I look up to my dad more than anybody. He wasn’t really big into racing, but I see a lot of his personality in me. He taught me to never quit or give up, to never be satisfied with second. That motivates me. He’ll be at the race with us again this weekend and that will be a lot of fun. I had some great teachers at Twinfield High School (in Plainfield, Vermont) – some great people who just really taught me and my classmates about what the books say, but also how to be a respectful person. I had some really great leadership from up that way and, hopefully, they’ll be watching.”

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Rainy Daytona Turns Team Interstate’s World Upside-Down

July 7th, 2014 by
A 26-car accident on lap 97 left Kyle "shiny side up" on the track. He was not hurt and was joking around on the radio after the accident.

A 26-car accident on lap 97 left Kyle “shiny side up” on the track. He was not hurt and was joking around on the radio after the accident.

It was wrong place, wrong time for Kyle Busch in Sunday’s rain-postponed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Kyle’s No. 18 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing was one of several cars caught up in a multicar melee on the backstretch on lap 97. The incident, which started in front of Kyle, collected the No. 18 and sent him spinning before he rolled upside down and landed on his roof on the apron of the racetrack. After workers turned his green and white striped car back over, he was unable to drive it back to the garage.

Watch the accident and Kyle’s reaction below:

Kyle was uninjured in the 26-car incident, but the No. 18 was too heavily damaged to continue the race. He was relegated to a 28th-place finish.

“It just felt like a slow carnival ride,” said Kyle, who won this race in 2008. “I guess that’s fitting for the Fourth of July weekend – but not here in Daytona. It’s just unfortunate. I don’t have any clue what happened. Somebody got squirrelly. I saw the 5 (Kasey Kahne) turn sideways across the field there and then all chaos ensued thereafter.

The Outrageously Dependable No. 18 crew performs a well-timed pit stop Sunday during the Coke Zero 400. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

The Outrageously Dependable No. 18 crew performs a well-timed pit stop Sunday during the Coke Zero 400. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

“The Interstate All Battery Center Camry was in a good position much of the day and I thought we had a shot to end up decent, and we were just kind of playing it out, seeing what the weather was going to do. I just hate that’s how our day ended.”

Kyle’s Team Interstate companions – Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – finished sixth and 20th, respectively.

Aric Almirola won the rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 to score his first career Sprint Cup victory.

Recap (KyleBusch.com) | Kyle Busch Rolls Over in Big Crash at Daytona (USAToday)

Results from Sunday's Coke Zero 400 for Team Interstate

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Daytona

Watch Bubba Wallace make an amazing save during the race:

 

Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross

Red Bud Track & Trail, Buchanan, Mich.

  • No. 10 – Justin Brayton – 9th
  • No. 33 – Josh Grant – 6th

Recap: JGRMX.com

This Week

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Kyle Busch: Earning His Stripes

July 1st, 2014 by
Kyle's car for the Coke Zero 400 is pretty wild!

Kyle’s car for the Coke Zero 400 is pretty wild!

As a winner of 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, which are included in his 162 top-five finishes and 197 top-10s, as well as the leader of 10,084 laps in 346 career starts, safe to say 29-year-old Kyle Busch has earned his stripes in his 10th full season competing in NASCAR’s top circuit.

So it’s only fitting that the driver of the No. 18 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will don a unique green-and-white-striped livery for Saturday night’s traditional midsummer Coke Zero 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Kyle Busch's green and white striped Interstate All Battery Center car.It will be a different look for Busch & Company, which rolls into Daytona with support from Interstate Batteries and its Interstate All Battery Center retail stores as the company continues its franchise expansion throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. Interstate All Battery Centers, which provide “Every Battery for Every Need” with more than 16,000 portal power solutions for all household needs, are recognized as a top-50 franchisor by Franchise Business Review.

Interstate Batteries’ colors are already in the win column in 2014 via Busch’s victory in March at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Busch and the No. 18 team look to add another victory Saturday night at Daytona, where they head with a little momentum on their side as they are coming off a strong second-place run last weekend at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. It’s been a much-needed step in the right direction as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship gets closer by the week.

Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the Auto Club 400 in March.

Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the Auto Club 400 in March.

Busch is certainly no stranger to victory lane in the Coke Zero 400, having won the July 2008 race behind the wheel of – yes – the Interstate Batteries Toyota. The Las Vegas native has fared much better in his summer races at Daytona during his career as the track is much more slick thanks to Florida’s July heat. He has four top-five finishes in his nine July starts at Daytona and is coming off his first career pole position at a restrictor-plate track there last July.

With all of that on his side, Busch hopes sporting the unique color scheme helps his cause in this restrictor-plate style of racing, where a driver not only has to be good, but must have good fortune to go along with it. He would like nothing more than to start July in the best way possible – by bringing the Interstate All Battery Center green-and-white-striped paint scheme to victory lane Saturday night. Even though Busch has earned his stripes, already, it doesn’t mean he isn’t as hungry as ever for another victory.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

Is Daytona still a special racetrack for you?

Kyle won the Coke Zero 400 in 2008.

Kyle won the Coke Zero 400 in 2008.

“Daytona is cool – a lot more in February than in the summer just because it is the Daytona 500 versus the Coke Zero 400. For us, you still want to win everywhere you go, every single week. To win at Daytona is always cool. It’s definitely special. It’s the birthplace of NASCAR – the superspeedway aspect of it. I definitely love going there. It’s hot, it’s slick, and you can make the most out of yourself as a driver and what you’ve got in the car. We won there in 2008 and I’m hoping we can get a win with our Interstate All Battery Center Camry this weekend.”

As you head to the third restrictor-plate race of the year this weekend, how do you assess your performances on those tracks?

“On the plus side, we’ve qualified better on the plate tracks the last couple of years, and that’s because of a lot of hard work by everyone at JGR and for TRD (Toyota Racing Development) on getting us the stuff we need to do better in qualifying at plate tracks. Qualifying is different now, so we will work on improving how we all work together for qualifying at Daytona from what we learned with the new format at Talladega. Our plate stuff in the draft has always been good, and we’ve had good cars both races this year. We got caught up in someone else’s mess at Daytona in February and at Talladega in May, but that’s just part of restrictor-plate racing. There is so much that you just aren’t in control of and you have to find good fortune somehow. These cars are so sensitive to contact on the straightaway – much different than our last car – so you try and not make those same mistakes again if you can.”

It’s taken a number of years to earn your stripes. How have you changed entering your 10th season in NASCAR?

“It doesn’t feel like 10 years at all. Yet, when you look back at life outside of racing you think, ‘Okay, I was 18 when I came in here – holy crap a lot of things have gone on and changed over 10 years.’ It certainly seems like a whole different world, not only for me in it, but just a whole different world in general. I don’t think we had Facebook or Twitter 10 years ago. You could actually go out and not have somebody Tweet about it. It’s interesting, there are certainly a lot of things I have yet to accomplish that I’m disappointed about not having accomplished, yet. Some big wins of the marquis events, as well as being able to become a Sprint Cup Series champion. The Nationwide Series championship is great, but ultimately what all of us drivers look toward is a Sprint Cup championship. So we’re working hard toward that goal again this year.”

After having several rough outings in a row, how important was it to run up front and getting a second-place finish last weekend at Kentucky?

“One race doesn’t fix everything, but it was a huge step in the right direction. We were not where we wanted to be after practice on Friday afternoon, but I’ll give Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys a lot of credit – they tore that thing apart and gave me a great racecar last weekend and we were able to put up a good result. It felt good to run up front and lead some laps. Obviously, at Daytona and in restrictor-plate racing in general, it’s a completely different animal and really anything could happen there. How we run there isn’t a huge indication of where our program is overall, but going to places like New Hampshire the following week and Indy after the off week, we’ll get to see if we’re making more progress at those places where handling matters and not as much luck is involved.”

Posted in All Battery, Racing having 9 comments »

Team Interstate: Two Top 5s in Kentucky

June 30th, 2014 by
Team Interstate's Kyle Busch led once for 31 laps Saturday night in Kentucky. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch led once for 31 laps Saturday night in Kentucky. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch led the three-car Team Interstate contingent Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway by finishing second in the Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. It was his fourth top-five and seventh top-10 finish this season. Teammate Matt Kenseth finished fourth, and Denny Hamlin finished 42nd after a blown tire sent his No. 11 Toyota Camry into the outside wall on lap 27.

Kyle, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s/Interstate Batteries Toyota, said he, crew chief Dave Rogers and the rest of the No. 18 team rolled up their sleeves and made wholesale changes to the car Friday evening after a mediocre qualifying effort.

Kyle Busch battled a loose racecar for much of the night but managed to bring home a second-place finish. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle Busch battled a loose racecar for much of the night but managed to bring home a second-place finish. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

“They did a great job for me this weekend,” said Kyle, who scored his third top-five finish in four starts at Kentucky. “We were a lot better than we’ve been all year long, and that’s a testament to what the guys did overnight fixing this M&M’s Camry into what I could drive today and making it fast. It was a long shot from where we’ve been this weekend.”

Kyle took the lead on lap 215 after a well-timed and well-executed pit stop as the caution waved for an accident. Kyle would lead the next 31 laps, but eventual race winner Brad Keselowski passed him with 19 laps to go. All Kyle could do was hold on to his loose-handling car and bring home a strong second-place finish.

Race recap (KyleBusch.com) | Kenseth Overcomes Obstacles (NASCAR.com) | Kyle Pleased to Finish Second (FoxSports.com)

Kentucky results

 

Kyle’s post-race interview: (FoxSports.com)

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Kentucky Speedway

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Kentucky Speedway

Darrell Wallace Jr. (left) and Kyle Busch began Thursday night's race from the front row. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Darrell Wallace Jr. (left) and Kyle Busch began Thursday night’s race from the front row. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

(Kyle Busch, driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, won the race.)

Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series

Muddy Creek Raceway, Blountville, Tenn.

  • No. 10 – Justin Brayton – 10th
  • No. 33 – Josh Grant – 9th
  • No. 38 – Phil Nicoletti – 16th

Recap (JGRMX.com)

This Week

  • NASCAR: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, Fla. Look for Kyle Busch in the green and white Interstate All Battery Center car!
  • Motocross: Red Bud Track and Trail, Buchanan, Mich.

Posted in Racing, Uncategorized having 2 comments »

Powering Local Business Without Power

June 24th, 2014 by
For safety, Amish buggies must have lights, and Interstate All Battery Center in Lancaster, Pa., is working with a local business to make those buggy lights lightweight and long-lasting.

For safety, Amish buggies must have lights, and Interstate All Battery Center in Lancaster, Pa., is working with a local business to make those buggy lights lightweight and long-lasting.

When you see LED lights on an Amish buggy near Lancaster, Pa., you may be watching the result of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce’s Think Local pledge.

Since business owner Grant Brown lit his Interstate All Battery Center® sign, he’s worked hard to think local. Almost all of his store supplies come from local vendors: his computers, his paper products – and with a little creative thinking, even his customers.

After a local fire company auction in 2012, Grant stopped at an Amish business that converts lights in buggies to longer-lasting LEDs. Could Grant provide an efficient power solution that improved his Amish neighbor’s business?

On their first conversation, he was able to sell a few solutions right out of his truck. Since then, Grant has developed one of his best customers in the local community. Together, they’re still testing more ways to improve the LED conversions, even looking at lithium-ion batteries to keep the weight down and meeting the power needs longer.

Think Local Pledge

Grant’s become a big believer in the Think Local pledge.

“At the end of the day, [the Think Local pledge] tells people, ‘Before you go out and buy something online, can you pick up the phone and call the guy next door?’”

Grant’s advice to other chamber members – or just any business – is to think local. Since the initiative started in the summer of 2011, Grant’s grown his business with a local mindset, from finding local vendors to local customers. It can be a challenge, but “you need to think of that as part of your business culture,” Grant said.

Meeting needs in the community

Thinking locally also means looking around the community for what needs your unique business can meet.

For Grant, that has meant providing free battery recycling to the local hospitals, supporting the Manheim Township Educational Foundation through advertising through the local high school, and even rebuilding power tool batteries for the numerous cottage industries among the Amish population.

Thanks to mostly word-of-mouth advertising, Interstate All Battery Center in Lancaster rebuilds power tools for many local businesses. Rebuilding the batteries also saves waste in the community and lowers costs for his customers, whether they pull up in an American-made car or an American Saddle pony.

After getting involved with his chamber of commerce, Grant found opportunities to deliver portable power solutions where you least expect.

Visit Grant’s Interstate All Battery Center in Lancaster, Penn., at 2359 Oregon Pike, where they provide Every Battery for Every Need®. The retail store of Interstate Batteries offers thousands of batteries, from cellphone, hearing aid and laptop batteries to alkaline and automotive batteries. Interstate All Battery Center operates more than 200 locations throughout North America. To find your nearest center, go to interstatebatteries.com. Every purchase, online or in-store, supports your local store.

Do you have a story about the Outrageously Dependable® service you’ve received from an Interstate Batteries Dealer, Distributor or Route Manager? Has one of our products gone beyond your expectations? Share your story with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Team Interstate: Rocky Road in Wine Country

June 23rd, 2014 by
The winding road course in Sonoma, Calif., was not kind to Team Interstate on Sunday. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

The winding road course in Sonoma, Calif., was not kind to Team Interstate on Sunday. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

All three Team Interstate drivers brought home banged-up racecars in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 road course race at Sonoma Raceway.

When the checkered flag waved, Kyle Busch’s 25th-place finish led the team, while Denny Hamlin was one spot behind in 26th and a bad wreck left Matt Kenseth back in 42nd.

Kyle Busch has seen some success on the Sonoma track, but a spin with four laps to go on Sunday relegated him to a 25th-place finish. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle Busch has seen some success on the Sonoma track, but a spin with four laps to go on Sunday relegated him to a 25th-place finish. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle battled an ill-handling M&Ms Pretzel/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry all day but climbed into the top 10 with 12 laps remaining in the 110-lap race. But with four laps to go, contact from his brother, Kurt Busch, sent Kyle spinning and dropped him back in the pack.

“We just couldn’t get anything to go right for us today with our M&M’s Pretzel Camry,” said Kyle, who has one Sprint Cup win at Sonoma, in June 2008. “Our car just didn’t have much drive off the corner, and we really struggled at times. But Dave (Rogers, crew chief) made a good call to pit there with about 20 laps to go, and we were able to move up to the top-10. Thought we were going to get a decent finish, and we get spun by the 41 and ruined our day.”

Carl Edwards won the race. With 16 races of the 36-race season complete, Matt leads the trio in the championship point standings. He sits fourth in points, while Kyle is 11th and Denny is 13th.

Results

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Team Interstate's Sam Hornish Jr. led the most laps in Saturday's rainy Nationwide Series race but ultimately finished 12th. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Team Interstate’s Sam Hornish Jr. led the most laps in Saturday’s rainy Nationwide Series race but ultimately finished 12th. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

This Week

  • NASCAR: Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ken.
  • Motocross: Tennessee Nationals, Blountville, Tenn.

Posted in Racing having 2 comments »

About The Outrageously Dependable Blog

Interstate Batteries® sells more than 16,000 kinds of batteries—from AA alkalines and automotive batteries to critical power solutions, and everything in between. Combine professional battery services, recycling programs and the largest battery distribution network in North America, and you’ll find Interstate has EVERY BATTERY FOR EVERY NEED®. Learn more about Interstate Batteries or shop online!