Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch is introduced before the 2013 All-Star Race. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
The best car doesn’t always win the race. It’s a proverb with which Kyle Busch is all too familiar in 2013, and the latest installment came in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Matt Kenseth (20), Denny Hamlin (11) and Kyle Busch (18) ran close together for a brief stretch during Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images
Kyle looked unstoppable but was denied a trip to victory lane, settling for third place in the 29th annual non-points event.
Kyle finished second in the first of the four 20-lap segments. He went on to win the next two segments before finishing fourth in the final 20-lap run, which placed him in a tie with his brother, Kurt, for the best average finish.
Because Kurt won the final segment, he was placed ahead of Kyle for the final trip down pit road for the mandatory four-tire pit stop.
Blazing pit stops by Kasey Kahne and eventual winner Jimmie Johnson put the Hendrick Motorsports teammates on the front row to start the 10-lap shootout that decided the race, with Kyle restarting third.
Although Kyle Busch’s pit crew is the best in the business, two teams were just a bit faster Saturday night. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
After some hard racing that saw him fall to sixth, Kyle clawed his way back into third place before the checkered flag waved.
“We definitely had the best car here tonight,” said Kyle, who earned his fourth top-10 finish in the All-Star Race. ”We just didn’t quite get the best pit stop there at the end to get us out on the front row.”
Before you set your destination on that family road trip, make sure your battery is ready for the trip, too.
The school year is winding down, and families across America are preparing for summer vacation trips. Now is a good time to remember to give your vehicle a little extra attention and ensure that it is equipped for the summer travel season. Routine maintenance is the key to a durable, safe and dependable vehicle – and it can also help save you from more costly repairs down the road.
When the time comes for your family road trips, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is the hassle of getting stranded with a dead car battery. So to keep your car operating at its finest, Interstate Batteries’ technical services manager Gale Kimbrough, also known as “Mr. Battery,” advises car owners to follow his Top 10 Family Travel Battery Care Tips:
Take a few minutes to read about your battery in your car’s manual and become familiar with what kind of battery it is, where it is, how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car might be trying to tell you.
After a seasonal change, you should first check the battery to make sure it is still fully charged for the spring and summer excursions ahead.
When working with your car battery, remember to always wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect your arms from battery acid discharge.
Perform a visual inspection to see if the battery case is showing signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If any of these signs are present, it’s time to replace your battery.
If your battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell. If the level is low, add distilled water (not tap water) until the plates are covered, preferably one-half inch above the plates. This prevents sulfation.
Avoid overfilling, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.
Clean up the connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Make sure to brush the corrosion away from the body.
To remove the battery cables, first disconnect the negative cables and then the positive. To reinstall the cables, first connect the positive cables and then the negative.
Be sure to check that the battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration.
Have your battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months, and especially prior to heading out on a trip.
Checking off these items from the “to do” list may require different batteries and other accessories. Interstate All Battery Center makes it easy with thousands of different batteries available— Powering the Things That Make Life Better®. Find a store near you today.
Mike Edwards (left) sped past the competition this weekend in Atlanta. (Photo via nhra.com)
Team Interstate’s Mike Edwards won his second event of the season Saturday and extended his commanding points lead in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
“All things considered, it was a great day in the office,” Mike said.
Mike Edwards and the Interstate Batteries/I Am Second/K&N Chevy Camaro. Photo via autoweek.com
Mike posted the lowest elapsed times of the weekend in his Interstate Batteries®/I Am Second® Chevy Camaro and started from the pole position for the sixth time this season – in just seven races.
In round after round, Mike proved he had the fastest car. But in drag racing, a split-second reaction time to the green light can sometimes make up the difference in speed.
In Saturday’s final round, Mike’s opponent, Shane Gray, had a near-psychic 0.001-second reaction time compared to Mike’s 0.027-second reaction. Mike managed to pass his opponent and win by just two hundredths of a second, or about 7 feet.
“The competition is amazing,” Mike said. “Pro Stock is just a great class. It’s fun to be a part of, but I’ll tell you what: The older I get, my nerves are getting shot. It’s tough.”
The win was the 36th of Mike’s career.
Sprint Cup: Kenseth Wins in Darlington
Team Interstate’s Matt Kenseth won Saturday’s Bojangle’s Southern 500 in Darlington. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch dominated the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, but it was teammate Matt Kenseth who celebrated in Victory Lane.
Matt’s win was the 27th of his career and third of the season.
Kyle led four times for a race-high 265 laps, but a cut right-rear tire forced him to settle for sixth. Denny Hamlin, in his first full race since injuring his back March 24, finished second.
Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch won Friday’s Nationwide Race in Darlington. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
Team Interstate also dominated Darlington on Friday night as all four Joe Gibbs Racing entries finished in the Top 5. Kyle started from the pole and grabbed the victory, Elliott Sadler finished second, Brian Vickers third and Kenseth fifth.
With that finish, Joe Gibbs Racing became the first organization to place four cars in the top five of a Nationwide Series race.
The only non-Gibbs driver in the top five? Former Team Interstate driver Joey Logano. (more)
Next week: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes in Charlotte Friday night, and NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series celebrates its All-Star Race on Saturday. NHRA drag racing travels to Topeka, Kan., and the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series begins its summer season in Sacramento.
If you’re looking for a job at Interstate Batteries, you should know this: We take our business very seriously. Ourselves? Not so much. This attitude was on display in our second annual Battery Bowl, where all of Interstate’s Dallas home office team members participated in a field day that featured silly games, team building and a big donation to charity.
Watch the recap below. Then read on for some of our favorite memories from the day:
Plungers, Tricycles and Eggs: Battery Bowl Memories
What a colorful crowd! Team members gathered for a friendly competition of chicken chucking, possum punting and relay racing. The big reward? Five grand to their team’s charities.
Battery Bowl is a day for Interstate Batteries employees to have fun while giving back to the community.
All the things we do each day to enrich the lives of stakeholders, the community and each other.
Here are (in no particular order) four Battery Bowl memories team members may never forget.
1. Scott’s New Pet, Pete the Possum
Former Interstate Batteries CEO Carlos Sepulveda told Scott things might change in his new role. These new friends, though, were not quite what he was expecting.
On the field, Pete added his own special words to Scott’s speech in the opening ceremonies: “Good luck, and may the best team win.”
So, will Pete be next year’s Battery Bowl mascot? He told us, “Over my pretend-dead body.”
2. Perfect Day to Compete
Dallas’ first Battery Bowl was so humid that the gills on the fish mounted on Vice President Chris Antoniou’s wall started flapping.
The LINK team prepared for another scorching day, only to be greeted with a slightly chilly morning and a perfect afternoon.
The National Accounts team took the edge off the chilly start by offering hot chocolate. Fears of a “freeze out” thawed by Round Two of the games, and ice cream treats soothed every sweet tooth by the afternoon.
On a day of competitive charity, it’s a godsend that the weather decided to cooperate.
3. All Fun and Games
Rob Saenz shows Pete and his possum pals how it’s done.
Eddie Deen’s provided a lunch of champions – hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixins. Just what competitors needed before heading into a gamut of skillful silly games.
Favorites like Foghorn Leghorn, ladder golf and fruit bocce ball returned to separate the whiners from the winners. Water balloon volleyball required more strategy, thanks to pillow case-sized mats. And competitors put the pedal to the metal in the new tricycle relay race.
The day moved quickly. Time may fly when you’re having fun. Maybe that’s the secret to launching a chicken in your bucket.
4. After Soft-Touched Catch, Crowd Goes Eggstatic!
One slip here could cost you the entire competition — and put your pants in the cleaners. If anyone asks how Battery Bowl ended, just tell them it was a toss-up.
The egg toss was the showdown, the finale, big Battery Bowl scramble royale.
Not only was this a game of athletic skill (kudos to the team member who made that diving catch!), it required a delicate, tender touch. Egged on by competitors, hecklers and fellow team members, players got egg on their faces with every toss.
In fact, the end came so fast, it alarmed even the team member who made the winning catch, Charlie Brim. After Light Pink’s Scott Moore made the excellent, softball pitch, about five or six pairs of egg catchers lost their grip, leaving Charlie with the remaining whole egg.
“One of the people on our team said you have to receive it, to take it in,” Charlie said. “I just tried to give it as much cushion as possible.”
As the Advertising and Sponsorships Manager who fields numerous hard pitches to Interstate, Charlie is skilled at letting ‘em down gently.
The winning team chose to donate their $5,000 to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
Who was on the winning Light Pink Team?
Captain Regina Thorshov from IT
Charlie Brim from CCE
Scott Moore from DOIT
Scott Egbert from CAST
Charles Daniel from IOT
Derwin King from IT
Emily Vogel from NAC
Steven Cornwall from PowerCare
Later, they will personally donate their winnings to Children’s Medical Center.
Want to join the team?
If the Interstate Batteries culture looks like a fit for you, check out our Interstate Batteries career board. As of this posting, we have more than 50 open positions. Maybe you’ll be the star of next year’s Battery Bowl!
Matt Scheik, Route Sales Manager for Interstate Batteries of Greater Boston, was a first responder during the Boston Marathon bombings.
Across the street from legendary Fenway Park on a mild Monday morning, Interstate Batteries® Route Sales Manager Matt Scheik, 24, directed traffic on for the annual Boston Marathon – unaware he was going to be one of the first responders to this decade’s most shocking act of terrorism.
And that fateful afternoon, Matt proved he was Outrageously Dependable® in both.
Matt and another service member felt the three-second tremor underfoot, a blast that took the lives of three spectators and injured 264 more. Chaos spread with rumors as bystanders and runners tried to figure out what was happening and find family members.
Within an hour, Matt’s company went from just 20 service members working the marathon to about 60 boots on the ground. They supported the Boston Police Department, Massachusetts State police, the FBI and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as they searched for explosive devices, searched for high-profile individuals and filled in wherever rescue teams needed able-bodied. They even walked the crowd, just to reassure people with the presence of law enforcement.
IBS of Greater Boston was represented twice over at the marathon bombing. Delivery Driver Jack Hart was running in the marathon. Thankfully, he was uninjured in the attack.
Matt and his unit worked through the disaster for a week, arriving early and staying late. In five years with the National Guard, Matt’s unit has deployed for various reasons, from disasters like Hurricane Sandy to reinforcing security during Fourth of July parades.
“This probably was the most dangerous situation we’ve been in, but we adapt and overcome. That’s what we do,” he said.
Matt Kenseth led the most laps Sunday at a cold and wet Talladega Superspeedway. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
On a dark, rainy day in Talladega, Matt Kenseth was the only driver for Team Interstate to make it through unscathed. The driver of the No. 20 Husky Tools Toyota Camry finished eighth in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after leading a race-high 142 laps.
Kenseth’s teammates Denny Hamlin and Brian Vickers, sharing driving duties in the No. 11 Camry, finished 34th, while Kyle Busch finished 37th. Busch and Vickers were involved in the same multi-car accident on lap 42 and returned to the track many laps down after making extensive repairs.
The race finished close to darkness thanks to a three-hour, 36-minute rain delay that started on lap 130.
Talladega Superspeedway, May 5, 2013
Denny Hamlin/ Brian VickersFINISHED
Hamlin, recovering from a back injury suffered March 24, started the race to collect valuable points in the championship standings, but did not want to risk further injury. He climbed out of the car during the race’s first caution and was replaced by Brian Vickers. Watch the driver swap in the video below:
Team Interstate’s Josh Grant is rested and ready. After suffering an injury early in the Supercross season, Grant will return to the track for JGRMX for the outdoor 2013 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross season. And if the video below is any indication, he’s not missing a step:
Next week: NASCAR travels to Darlington, S.C., while NHRA drag racing will once again attempt to race in Atlanta. The 2013 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship season begins May 19 in Sacramento.
Kyle Busch took his turn at the head of the class Saturday night in Richmond. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images
After 300 laps of the scheduled 400-lap distance in the Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday night, Kyle Busch led and looked as if he would add to his record of four consecutive wins in the spring race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
Fast colors: Kyle Busch takes to the track at practice in Richmond. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
His car became part of the collateral damage from a wreck as Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson spun in front of Busch on lap 326. Busch was able to continue, but the damage sustained in the accident was too much to overcome. He ended up in a disappointing 24th place at the finish.
“We had a really good M&M’s Camry,” said Busch, who led once for 40 laps. “We got behind several guys with no tires on one of the restarts, and everyone was fighting for the bottom, and I just got freight-trained and shuffled back. Then Tony and Jimmie wrecked in front of me, and I tried to get to the bottom and I had nowhere to go. Just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that was it for our night.”
A comprehensive test of your battery and electrical system can show you where the real problem is.
I wrote this post mostly for the auto technician, but if you’re a customer battling a weak car battery, you may want to read it, too. Often what we think is a battery problem isn’t the battery at all.
Gale Kimbrough, Interstate Batteries’ manager of engineering and technical services.
My dad, a long-time shop owner, always told me that battery testing is not rocket science. But, if it is not conducted correctly, it can sure cost a lot of people time and money. Dad was right! Let’s take a look.
Customer: The engine won’t turn over, but it started immediately with a jump. Must be the battery.
Hold it right there! There are a number of tests I need to run on this vehicle before I’ll know if it is the battery or not. To service this customer properly, I will need to inspect and/or test:
Key-off drain (parasitic draw)
Loose cables, connections
Belt or belts
I’ve already started the troubleshooting process in my mind before I ever reach the vehicle. After conducting a quick visual inspection of the engine, I think about starting with a battery test.
Testing the battery is a key to ensuring that other tests you conduct offer good information. If the battery is discharged, it can negatively affect the outcome of the charging, starting, voltage drop and key-off drain testing. So, what does it take to ensure you test the battery correctly?
Interstate Batteries distributors test batteries regularly.
The Six Steps of Conductance Testing
Battery visual inspection
Ensure good battery connection
Follow tester’s prompts correctly
Test battery’s temperature
Battery state of charge
Testing and/or qualifying a battery incorrectly can result in customer dissatisfaction, a lot of effort without qualifiable results and lost revenue. Be sure to combine the correct, calibrated equipment, as well as your knowledge, to get accurate results.
The Four Steps of Load Testing
Battery visual inspection
Determine state of charge
Load Testing: Do’s
Do use a calibrated voltmeter and load tester.
Do use a variable carbon pile load tester.
Do verify the CCA rating of the battery by checking the battery label or the Interstate application guide.
Do test the battery’s state of charge.
Do check the electrolyte level if or when applicable.
Do load test the battery at ½ CCA for 15 seconds.
Do make sure the resulting voltage @ ½ CCA load coincides with the battery minimum.
Load Testing: Don’ts
Do not use a toaster-type load tester (75-95 amp load) on a battery rated above 200 CCA.
Do not guess at the CCA rating.
Do not assume your load tester is applying the correct amount of current or that the voltmeter is accurate unless it has been calibrated within the last year.
Do not load test a battery with a charge level below 75 percent (see charts No. 1 and 2).
Did You Know?
50% to 70% of all warranty-returned batteries are simply discharged. They are good batteries!
Know What’s Really Going On
The Interstate Batteries ProClinic team.
Auto techs: Automotive electrical systems have become more complex. Make sure your skills are current by attending a ProClinic® seminar from Interstate Batteries®. Our certified Technical Services Team gives you hands-on training in diagnosing and solving vehicle electrical problems. They stay ahead of automotive electrical technology and regularly conduct research and development on batteries and testing equipment. Contact your local Interstate Batteries Distributor to find ProClinics in your area.
Edwards and the Interstate Batteries/I Am Second/K&N Chevy Camaro team dominated the Dollar General Four-Wide Nationals to earn his 35th career victory and his first of 2013.
Mike Edwards zooms out in front in Charlotte. Photo courtesy of Mike Edwards Motorsports.
On Saturday, he eclipsed his own national elapsed-time record with a run of 6.471 seconds. With that, he earned his fifth straight No. 1 qualifying effort, the second-longest streak to start a Pro Stock season since 2006.
“It feels really good to come away with a win today,” Edwards said. “We stuck with our game plan from start to finish, and that was to not be too aggressive on race day, go down the track on every run and not beat ourselves. And we just did that today.
“It is really special to put this Interstate Batteries Camaro in the winner’s circle for Chairman of the Board and I Am Second founder Norm Miller,” he continued. “Norm has blessed our team so much by giving us the opportunity to be associated with such a fine company as Interstate Batteries and to be able to carry the I Am Second message to the drag racing community has been incredible.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Kenseth Wins
Matt Kenseth hoists the Interstate Batteries Mega-Tron II in celebration of Sunday’s win at Kansas. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, led Team Interstate by winning the STP 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City from the pole. It was his 26th career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his second at Kansas.
Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler both finished their days early due to separate accidents, and Brian Vickers was involved in an accident but managed to finish 10 laps down. Busch finished 38th, Sadler 40th and Vickers 31st.
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!
Matt Kenseth®, #20®, The Home Depot®, Denny Hamlin®, #11®, FedEx®, Kyle Busch®, #18®, and M&M's® licensed under authority of Joe Gibbs Racing, Huntersville, NC. Toyota trademarks used with permission.