A pair of newcomers will add to the diversity, father/son combos, and career extension offered by the highly competitive SpeedSTR division that has become very popular in this area as the 2016 season gets set for its initial green flag.

Tom Mayberry and son TJ, of Sellersville, will team with Ralph Rehrig to form RMR Motorsports as they take on the talented roster of STR competitors at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds and in the five race miniseries to be held at Linda’s Speedway in Jonestown. The duo also plan to make a few trips to Felton, Del., and the brand new Silo Speedway.

Tom Mayberry was a fixture on the old Tri-Track Small Block Modified circuit in Pennsylvania for many years, winning numerous features at Big Diamond, Grandview, and Penn National Speedways. He also earned point titles at Grandview and Penn National. Mayberry also hooked up with Rehrig and drove Ralph’s Legend Cars for a number of years.

TJ Mayberry, who recently turned 23, began his racing career in the Slingshots, another class created by Tobias. After a couple seasons of Slinger activity, TJ joined his dad as part of the Rehrig Legend Car team, then got himself a Late Model for action at the Grandview Speedway. When the expense of running the Late Model got to be too much for the family-run team, TJ sold his equipment and has been on the sidelines for the past four seasons.

Now the Mayberrys are returning to action, in a division that will be completely new to them, thanks in part to another well known racing dad whose sons were SpeedSTR regulars for two or three seasons.

“Fred Rahmer and I are good friends,” explained Tom. “Rich Tobias was trying to convince me to get a SpeedSTR from the time he started the class, but I just wasn’t sold on them. Then Fred, who had his kids running them, kept telling me what a great class it was ... very cost effective and lots of fun.”

“We bought a couple of used cars, one from Larry Solomon and the other from Wayne Weaver. Over the winter, we stripped them both, powder coated the frames, and put all new body panels on them,” noted Tom. “We’re ready for the practice session at Linda’s on March 25.”

TJ is understandably excited about buckling into a race car again. “It’ll be my first time in a true open wheel car, and I know there will be a learning curve because of that and because of the caliber of drivers who race in the SpeedSTR division.”

Both Tom and TJ will have backing from Glick Fire Equipment and Pierce Fire Apparatus, along with A&T Chevrolet (where they are employed) and JGK Motorsports. Tom will steer the No. 17R, while TJ will mash the gas in the No. 7R.

Father and son Mayberry will make their official SpeedSTR debut at the Jonestown quarter-mile on Thursday, April 21.

* * * Pocono Raceway is partnering with four Pennsylvania universities in advance of the first NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the 2.5-mile raceway.

Pocono Raceway is hosting a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on June 4, the first time the series has run at ‘The Tricky Triangle.’

The Pocono Raceway College Tour did visit East Stroudsburg University (March 19) and now are headed to Kutztown University (April 8), Penn State University (April 23) and Temple University (April 30).

Working in conjunction with sport management clubs, those universities are hosting events with the winner earning access to a Skybox during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono Raceway as well as Pit/Paddock Passes.

At each stop on the College Tour, groups will be asked for their best “Start Your Engines,” command and to host an event during a NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Each school also has a specific hashtag to utilize on social media. The Pocono Raceway Fan Council, along with selected Pocono Raceway staff members, will use creativity, social media use and event management to determine who wins the skybox.

Those college students in attendance at events will also be introduced to ID.me, a verification system that allows students exclusive pricing to events at Pocono Raceway and a host of other special offers.

Pocono Raceway will host seven national motorsports events during the 2016 racing season, including a NASCAR XFINITY Series race for the inaugural time on June 4.

* * * NBC Sports has announced their 2016 NASCAR Broadcast Schedule: After presenting more than 360 hours of live, trackside NASCAR coverage across 22 states in 2015, NBC Sports Group returns as the home of NASCAR’s Championship run in 2016. NBC Sports’ NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series racing schedule kicks off in primetime, amid Independence Day weekend festivities, on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, at the newly-renovated Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR XFINITY Series racing makes its 2016 return to NBC Sports Group on Friday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the XFINITY Series, where “Names Are Made,” consists of four races on NBC, 12 races on NBCSN, two races on USA Network, and one race on CNBC.

NASCAR on NBC’s 12-person on-air team returns in 2016 for NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series race coverage. Lead race announcer Rick Allen returns to the booth alongside Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte and 21-time Sprint Cup race winner Jeff Burton. Krista Voda returns to host pre- and post-race coverage, alongside NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett and analyst Kyle Petty. Marty Snider, Mike Massaro, Kelli Stavast, and Dave Burns return to report from pit road in 2016, in tandem with features reporter Rutledge Wood and NBCSports.com lead motorsports writer Nate Ryan.

* * * Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, just 10 miles north of Pottstown, kicks off their official season with the T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds, BRC Late Models and Sportsman stock cars all in action at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 2nd. Adult admission is just $15 while youngsters 11 and under are admitted free.

Ernie Saxton can be reached at Esaxton144@aol.com.

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