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Monday, August 31, 2015

National weekend wrap-up: August 28-30, 2015

Xfinity Series – Paul Menard spent his off-weekend on the race track at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, winning the Road America 180 for the Xfinity Series on Saturday. Ryan Blaney finished second, followed by Brian Scott in third. Chase Elliott and Darrell Wallace Jr. rounded out the top five.

Camping World Truck Series – Erik Jones mastered Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, home of Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250. Jones bested Matt Crafton, who finished second, and Ben Kennedy in third. Daniel Hemric and Alex Tagliani finished fourth and fifth, respectively.


Scott Dixon, 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champ
credit: IndyCar Media/Shawn Gritzmacher
Verizon IndyCar Series – after leading the points standings for much of the season, Juan Pablo Montoya lost the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship on a tie breaker, with the title going to race winner Scott Dixon; Montoya finished sixth. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, followed by Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Briscoe.

WNY weekend wrap-up: August 28-30, 2015

Lancaster Speedway – Bobby Weber (Late Models), Andy Jankowiak (Sportsman), Nate Straus (Street Stocks) and Bobby Woch (4-Cylinders) won the races at Lancaster Saturday, but the big winners were 2015 track champions: Mark Pennell in Sportsman, Rich Sharpe in Street Stocks and Rich Bartel in 4-Cylinders.


Holland Motorsports Complex – Tommy Catalano won his first career Pro Modified championship at Holland on Saturday night, while Jimmy Zacharias won the race. Brandon Glover won the race and the title in Late Models, Jeff Szafraniec won the race and championship in the Hornets division. Eric Brown won the Chargers division race, while Tom Northem won the title. Dave Wollaber won the NYPA TQ Midgets race, while the championship went to Kyle Hutchinson. Jeremy Haudricourt won the INEX Legends title, with Brandon Debrakeleer won the race. DJ Phillips won the race and the championship in Future 4’s, and Jason Adams won the race and the title in Figure 8’s.

Photos from Lancaster Speedway Saturday night, August 29, 2015: paulathompsonfreelance.com 

4-Cylinder winner Bobby Woch

4-Cylinder champ Rich Bartel

Street Stock champ Rich Sharpe

Street Stock winner Nate Straus

Late Model winner Bobby Weber

Late Model winner Bobby Weber

Sportsman winner Andy Jankowiak

Sportsman champ Mark Pennell

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Speed Enterprises to sponsor new lap counter at Lancaster

credit: Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway
One of the most-asked questions among some fans at Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway has finally been answered: when will there be a working lap counter at the track? The answer: one should be in place by the U.S. Open in late September, thanks to Speed Enterprises of Cheektowaga.

The track acquired the new three-digit lap counter, which features an LED display with 24-inch numbers, which should be installed in Turn One prior to the U.S. Open, September 25-27. The purchase was made possible with help from Speed Enterprises, the official towing company of Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway. The sponsorship was done in honor of the late Mike "Mac" Myers, who was a longtime employee of the speedway. A sign paying tribute the memory of Myers will be installed next to the lap counter.

Myers was part of the Lancaster Speedway family for over 30 years and worked with the different promoters and owners that came and went during his time from 1971 until 2004. On Friday nights he worked in the staging lanes and also as a spotter at top end. Mac was fixture on Saturday nights as well, leading the tow truck crew as infield coordinator. Myers's son and Speed Enterprises owner, Mike Myers, currently serves as the manager of Lancaster's Fire and Safety Team on race nights.

Information provided by Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway.

Champions to be decided Saturday night at Holland

Credit: Holland Motorsports Complex
The final points night of the season at Holland Motorsports Complex is Saturday night, August 29, with most of the divisional standings going down to the wire.

Tommy Catalano holds a 26-point margin over his mother, defending divisional champion Amy Catalano, and third generation driver Jimmy Zacharias in the Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Modifieds. In the Seneca Niagara Casino Late Models, Eric Brown leads Brandon Glover by just one marker – the closest points battles of the season.

The Bank of Holland Chargers standings has former division champ Tom Northem lead Kris Hamann by three points and Ken Maltby by 10. Past Hornet champion Jeff Szafraniec leads his teammate Ben Russo by 62 points and Timmy Catalano by 67. Kyle Hutchinson currently sits on top of the standings in the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA TQ Midgets division.

Jeremy Haudricourt is the points leader in the INEX Legends, while DJ Phillips holds a 14-point lead over Nikki Maltby in the Future 4’s. Jason Adams holds an 18-point lead over Shane Toms in the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8’s. 

Information provided by Holland Motorsports Complex.

GoPro joins CFH for Indy season finale at Sonoma

credit: CFH Racing
CFH Racing has announced that GoPro will partner with championship contender Josef Newgarden and the No. 67 GoPro Chevrolet in Sunday’s 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Co-team owner and two-time Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter is the only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series and has served as a mentor to Newgarden throughout their first season as teammates.

"CFH Racing has a great relationship with GoPro and we look forward to representing the brand on the track this weekend at their home track in Sonoma," said Carpenter.

CFH Racing will capture the race through the lens of the GoPro HERO4 Black, the flagship of the brand's line of capture devices, which will be mounted on Newgarden's car recording 4K Ultra HD video.

"We are really excited to see the GoPro brand on the No. 67 car. CFH Racing is a great collaborator, and to see them run the GoPro livery at the Grand Prix of Sonoma is going to be huge for the GoPro family watching the race," said Rod Rojas, Motorsports Marketing Manager at GoPro. 

2015 is the first season of competition for CFH Racing, formed during the offseason when Carpenter's single-car team joined Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman's one-car team featuring Newgarden. 2015 has been a career season for Newgarden, who captured his first two IndyCar wins, has led more laps than any other driver (366), won his first career pole position and has two other podium finishes, including a second place at last week's 500-mile race at Pocono Raceway.

Qualifying for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will take place Saturday, August 29, followed by the race on Sunday, August 30.

Quotes and information provided by CFH Racing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Humberstone Speedway to host inaugural Pete Cosco Memorial on August 30, 2015

Cosco Haulage 17c Modified
credit: Softouch Images
Port Colborne, Ontario’s Humberstone Speedway is planning to honor late owner Pete Cosco in one of its biggest nights of the 2015 season. The inaugural Pete Cosco Memorial, a DIRTcar 358 Modified 75-lap race, will see the winner take home $3,717.00 plus lap money. Lap money collected for the Pete Cosco Memorial is currently over $4,000.  

Cosco passed away last August after suffering a brain aneurism at the age of 60.

Glen River Contracting will be presenting Pete’s Pursuit, an eight lap dash for cash featuring the top three qualifiers out of each heat race.

“For Pete’s Pursuit, the cars will be lined up with the fastest qualifiers at the back of the field,” said Humberstone Speedway’s Director of Race Night Operations Clinton Geoffrey. “Each lap, the last place car will be eliminated with just the top two cars left on the final lap” Geoffrey added. The winner of Pete’s Pursuit will earn $300, with $275 for second, $250 for third, $200 for fourth, $175 for fifth, $150 for sixth, $125 for seventh, $100 for eighth and $75 for last. The winner of Pete’s Pursuit will choose a random non-dash car to win $50, making a total purse of $1700.

Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with racing getting underway at 6:30 p.m. The 358 Modifieds will be joined by the DIRTcar Sportsman in their final point’s night of the season. The Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Pro 4 Trucks will round out the racing card.


Quotes and information in this piece provided by Humberstone Speedway.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Justin Wilson passes away

Justin Wilson finished second at Mid-Ohio earlier in August
credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones
Verizon IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson succumbed to head injuries suffered in Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Wilson, who drove for Andretti Autosport, was 37 and is survived by his wife Julie and two children, as well as his brother, Stefan, also a race car driver.

Please pray for the Wilson family as they go through this difficult time.


RIP Justin Wilson 

WNY weekend wrap-up: August 21-23, 2015

Dale Eckert won twice at Lancaster
Dragway - credit: Mary Neffke
Motorsports Photography
Lancaster Dragway – Dale Eckert won in both Top ET and Mod ET Friday night at Lancaster, while Tom Kammerdeiner picked up the win in the Gasser Racing Series Gassers. Reid Ricketson won in the Gasser Racing Series Mods, and Alan Fletcher won in the Bikes and Sleds class. Cody Winkowski took the top spot in Street ET.

Lancaster Speedway – Tony Hanbury survived the Sportsman Modified 30-lap main event Saturday night at Lancaster to take home the win. The race was marred by a nine-car pile-up on the frontstretch late in the race; all the drivers involved walked away. The Wylie brothers finished one-two in the Super Stock race, with Jake taking the win over Scott. Rich Sharpe took his sixth Street Stock win of the season, while Rich Bartel won in 4-Cylinders.

Jimmy Zacharias
credit: Steve Petty


Holland Motorsports Complex – Jimmy Zacharias took home the Pro Modified win Saturday night at Holland, while Eldon King III won in Late Models. Eric Brown took the win in the Chargers division, with Jeff Szafraniec winning the Hornets race. Kyle Hutchinson took the checkered flag in the NYPA TQ Midgets, and Jeremy Haudricourt took the win in Legends. Jim Musto won the Vintage Car race, Maddy Virts won in Future 4s and Don Haskell won in Figure 8s.


DIRTcar Sportsman winner Gary
Lindberg - credit: Softouch Images
Humberstone Speedway – Jason Knowles took home the win in the Go Nuclear Late Model Series Tour race at Humberstone Sunday, while Gary Lindberg won in DIRTcar Sportsman. Justin Ramsay won in Street Stocks, while Jason Couto won in Mini Stocks and Mike Toovey picked up win No. 11 in Pro 4 Trucks.



Lancaster Speedway photos (credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com)

4-cylinder winner Rich Bartel

Street Stock winner Rich Sharpe

Super Stock winner Jake Wylie

Sportsman Modified winner Tony Hanbury

Cars and drivers lined up for autograph night


Aasbo extends lead in 2015 Formula Drift Championship

Aasbo at Texas Motor Speedway
credit: Larry Chen/Scion Racing
Papadakis Racing driver Fredric Aasbo extended his lead in the 2015 Formula Drift Championship this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, putting him in a strong points position heading into the season finale.  The Norwegian driver has won three of six rounds so far this season and leads fellow Scion Racing and Hankook Tire driver Ken Gushi by 80 points. A new track layout at Texas Motor Speedway challenged the drivers.

"This is exactly where we want to be at this point in the season," said team owner Stephan Papadakis. "We can't wait to get to Irwindale for the final race of the year where we can pull out all the stops."

"Texas was a fun event. Cars were pushed to the limit with 97-degree air temperatures and going full throttle and high gear for nearly half the run," said Papadakis. "Our sticky Hankook Tire RS-3s came through for us."

Aasbo advanced to the Round of 8, but a misstep in his chase run against rival Daigo Saito saw him get lost in the smoke and he momentarily ran off course. There was no damage, but judges noted the fault and he lost the match. The result was enough for him to extend his lead in both the U.S. Formula Drift Championship and the Formula Drift World Championship, which combines events in the U.S., Asia, and next month's race in Canada.

"I think the moment you start feeling like you have to win the championship or defend the championship, you've already lost," said Aasbo. "The game plan is to do what we always do: take it one run at a time and let it all play out."

The final round of the U.S. season at Irwindale Speedway, October 9-10, is a highlight event for the series. Fans pack the Southern California venue, dubbed the "House of Drift" for its historic involvement in the sport of drifting.


Quotes and information in this piece provided by Papadakis Racing.

National weekend wrap-up: August 19-23, 2015

Logano wins at Bristol
credit: Getty Images/Gregory Shamus
via NASCAR Media
Sprint Cup Series – Joey Logano took home the checkered flag from the Irwin Tools Night Race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, ahead of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. Jimmie Johnson finished fourth, followed by Clint Bowyer in fifth.

Xfinity Series – Kyle Busch led a Cup Series sweep of the podium in Friday night’s Food City 300 at Bristol, edging out Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin for the win. Ty Dillon finished fourth, while Daniel Suarez brought the third Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota home in fifth.

Camping World Truck Series – Wednesday night at Bristol, Ryan Blaney won the rain-delayed UNOH 200 at Bristol, beating Busch and a trio of rookies to the finish line: John Hunter Nemechek, Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones.

Verizon IndyCar Series – the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway was marred by numerous wrecks, one of which led to the hospitalization of driver Justin Wilson after he was hit by a piece of debris from Sage Karam’s wrecked car; Wilson is in a coma and in critical condition in a hospital in Allentown, PA as of this writing. Wilson’s teammate from Andretti Autosport, Ryan Hunter-Reay, took home the trophy from Pocono, followed by Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya. Will Power and Carlos Munoz rounded out the top five. There is one race left on the schedule for the IndyCar Series, next weekend’s event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.


Top Fuel winner Richie Crampton
credit: NHRA Media
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took Wallys home from the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway on Sunday. There is one event left – the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Sept. 2-7 – before the Countdown to the Championship begins.