Pages

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Janis heads to Las Vegas with a shot at the NHRA Pro Mod title

credit: NHRA Media
Lancaster’s Mike Janis heads to Las Vegas this weekend for the 15th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series points leader, as spot he’s held for the last three events. There’s a chance that he could come back to the Western New York area next week as the Pro Mod champ, his first in the NHRA. Janis takes a 28-point lead over Troy Coughlin into this weekend’s event.

“To just be in this position is definitely a dream come true and I’m just going to try to not make any mistakes,” said Janis, who will be racing a special pink paint scheme for Breast Cancer Awareness. “I’m going to try to think about the race only. By no means do I have anything wrapped up. I’m just going to treat it like another race and not get too worked up.”

The final race of the 2015 NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season will see Janis not only trying to hold off Coughlin, but also Bob Rahaim, who is 59 points behind, two-time defending world champion Rickie Smith, who is 74 points back in fourth, and Bill Glidden, who trails Janis by 91 points.

Janis advanced to two final rounds and won in Norwalk during the season’s first nine races, but last year he struggled in Las Vegas. Janis and his Jan-Cen team successfully tested at the facility last week, leaving Janis feeling confident heading into the final race.

“Last year we totally missed the set-up there but the car ran well in testing,” said Janis. “But there’s going to be 30 other good cars out here, so we’re just going to try to not make any mistakes. We’ve ran good all year and we’re going to run it hard this weekend, but that’s going to be the mindset for everyone because it’s the last race of the year. I have a bull’s-eye on my back I know it, but that just means I have to be on my game 100 percent. There are no easy runs in this class.”

“This year has been like something you dream about and another big factor is just having our community and hometown behind you. It’s amazing to see and the local support has just been incredible. It gives you that push to keep working.”

J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday at 11:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. PT with one final qualifying session on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. PT. The first round of eliminations begins on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. PT. and continues on Sunday at 12:45 p.m. PT. Keep up with this weekend’s NHRA action at www.nhra.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NASCAR 2015: Who’s hot and who’s not in the Chase at Martinsville

credit: NASCAR Media
The field is down to eight drivers, and the series goes from its largest superspeedway to one of its smallest bullrings – Martinsville Speedway. The points for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Eliminator Round have been reset, and the clock is ticking on the 2016 season. One driver above all those left in the Chase is a master at the “paperclip,” but two other drivers fighting for position in the lower half of the standings are eager to play spoiler this weekend in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 on Sunday, November 1.

HOT – Jeff Gordon – he’s going out on his own terms, and he may very well go out on top. Gordon has eight wins and 36 top 10 finishes in 45 races at the track, along with seven poles; his average finish of 6.9 is the best among active drivers. While he is still winless this season, he’s been running well enough to advance each round, and finished ninth at Martinsville in the spring.

NOT – Martin Truex Jr. – Truex Jr. has also been running well enough to advance to the field of eight, but Martinsville is a problem – five top 10 finishes in 19 starts, with an average finish of 22.2, lowest of the top 16. On the bright side, however, Truex Jr. finished sixth at Martinsville in the spring race.

LUKEWARM – Kyle Busch – he made it into the Eliminator Round by the narrowest of margins, and now he has to battle the “paperclip” – he has nine top 10 finishes in 20 starts, plus a pole; his average finish is 15.6. Busch missed the spring race with his leg injury, but finished 14th and 11th last year.

BUBBLING UNDER – Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin – Johnson and Hamlin are the only other active drivers with an average finish in the top 10 (Johnson – 7.3, Hamlin – 8.3). Johnson has eight wins at Martinsville, with 22 top 10s in 27 starts; he also has three poles. He had a rough ride in the spring, finishing 35th.

Hamlin has five wins and 15 top 10s in 19 starts, along with three poles; his average finish is 8.3. Hamlin won the spring race at Martinsville, leading 91 laps along the way.

Qualifying for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 begins Friday at 4:20 p.m. ET, with the race going green Sunday at 1:15 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

IndyCar announces 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule will feature 16 races, highlighted by the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The schedule also features new events at Phoenix International Raceway, Road America and on the streets of Boston.

"Overall, the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is another key step forward in INDYCAR's strategic vision," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We're confident that the momentum that INDYCAR has experienced in fan engagement over the past two seasons will continue as a result of the tireless efforts of our event promoters and our improved scheduling on ABC and NBCSN."

"Road America and Phoenix are great venues and two of the best choices that we could have to add to the schedule," said Scott Dixon, the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion who raced on both tracks during his 15-year career. "I'm looking forward to both race events. Road America is an old-school American track that I always look forward to. Phoenix was a fun track for me in the past. I tested there (earlier this year) and the changes that they've made has maybe opened up quite a few different grooves. The racing will be very exciting; we'll put on a great show."

The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule:
  • 3/13 - Streets of St. Petersburg   
  • 4/2 - Phoenix International Raceway   
  • 4/17 - Streets of Long Beach   
  • 4/24 - Barber Motorsports Park   
  • 5/14 - Grand Prix of Indianapolis   
  • 5/29 - Indianapolis 500   
  • 6/4-5 - Raceway at Belle Isle Park (double header)
  • 6/11 - Texas Motor Speedway   
  • 6/26 - Road America   
  • 7/10 - Iowa Speedway   
  • 7/17 - Streets of Toronto   
  • 7/31 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course   
  • 8/21 - Pocono Raceway   
  • 9/4 - Streets of Boston   
  • 9/18 - Sonoma Raceway   

Learn more about the series at www.indycar.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by IndyCar.

NASCAR releases 2016 Cup, Xfinity Series schedules

credit: NASCAR Media
The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season begins February 13 with the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway, followed by the Daytona 500 on February 21. DAYTONA Rising, the speedway’s $400 million redevelopment project, will be complete when both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series begin their seasons during Daytona Speedweeks. The Xfinity Series races at Daytona on February 20.

After both series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, they will head west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway for the return of NASCAR Goes West.

"We learned that NASCAR Goes West worked very well in keeping momentum and interest for NASCAR in these markets," said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The tracks put a lot of effort behind making it successful and we think it can continue to have a positive impact as it gains traction from being an annual effort. The efficiency of conducting three consecutive events also is helpful to the teams and industry."

Among schedule changes for 2016:
  • Pocono Raceway will host its first Xfinity Series event in June, joining the Sprint Cup Series for a companion event at the famed three-turn track.
  • The spring events at Richmond International Raceway move to a Saturday and Sunday companion event for the Xfinity and Sprint Cup Series, a change from the previous Friday and Saturday schedule.
  • The first visit to Dover International Speedway will be held prior to the May events at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • The July Sprint Cup Series event at Daytona moves back to Saturday evening.
  • The August Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan moves to later in the month.

2016 Sprint Cup Series schedule:
  • 2/13 - Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited)            
  • 2/14 - Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying)               
  • 2/18 - Daytona International Speedway (Duel)    
  • 2/21 – Daytona 500          
  • 2/28 - Atlanta Motor Speedway                 
  • 3/6 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway               
  • 3/13 - Phoenix International Raceway     
  • 3/20 - Auto Club Speedway          
  • 4/3 – Martinsville Speedway 
  • 4/9 - Texas Motor Speedway       
  • 4/17 - Bristol Motor Speedway   
  • 4/24 - Richmond International Raceway  
  • 5/1 – Talladega Superspeedway                 
  • 5/7 – Kansas Speedway                 
  • 5/15 - Dover International Speedway      
  • 5/21 - Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race)                
  • 5/29 - Charlotte Motor Speedway             
  • 6/5 - Pocono Raceway    
  • 6/12 - Michigan International Speedway                
  • 6/26 – Sonoma Raceway                
  • 7/2 - Daytona International Speedway    
  • 7/9 – Kentucky Speedway            
  • 7/17 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway               
  • 7/24 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway        
  • 7/31 – Pocono Raceway                 
  • 8/7 - Watkins Glen International                
  • 8/20 - Bristol Motor Speedway   
  • 8/28 - Michigan International Speedway                
  • 9/4 – Darlington Raceway              
  • 9/10 - Richmond International Raceway  
  • 9/18 – Chicagoland Speedway     
  • 9/25 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway               
  • 10/2 - Dover International Speedway      
  • 10/8 - Charlotte Motor Speedway             
  • 10/16 - Kansas Speedway              
  • 10/23 - Talladega Superspeedway             
  • 10/30 - Martinsville Speedway    
  • 11/6 - Texas Motor Speedway    
  • 11/13 - Phoenix International Raceway   
  • 11/20 - Homestead-Miami Speedway    

2016 Xfinity Series schedule:
  • 2/20 - Daytona International Speedway  
  • 2/27 - Atlanta Motor Speedway                 
  • 3/5 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway               
  • 3/12 - Phoenix International Raceway     
  • 3/19 - Auto Club Speedway          
  • 4/8 - Texas Motor Speedway       
  • 4/16 - Bristol Motor Speedway   
  • 4/23 - Richmond International Raceway  
  • 4/30 - Talladega Superspeedway               
  • 5/14 - Dover International Speedway      
  • 5/28 - Charlotte Motor Speedway             
  • 6/4 - Pocono Raceway    
  • 6/11 - Michigan International Speedway                
  • 6/19 - Iowa Speedway    
  • 7/1 - Daytona International Speedway    
  • 7/8 - Kentucky Speedway             
  • 7/16 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway               
  • 7/23 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway        
  • 7/30 - Iowa Speedway    
  • 8/6 - Watkins Glen International                
  • 8/13 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course            
  • 8/19 - Bristol Motor Speedway   
  • 8/27 - Road America        
  • 9/3 - Darlington Raceway               
  • 9/9 - Richmond International Raceway    
  • 9/17 - Chicagoland Speedway      
  • 9/24 - Kentucky Speedway           
  • 10/1 - Dover International Speedway      
  • 10/7 - Charlotte Motor Speedway             
  • 10/15 - Kansas Speedway              
  • 11/5 - Texas Motor Speedway    
  • 11/12 - Phoenix International Raceway    
  • 11/19 - Homestead-Miami Speedway          

Find out more about NASCAR at www.nascar.com

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: October 24-25, 2015

Logano in victory lane at Talladega
credit: NASCAR via Getty Iamges/Jonathan Ferrey
Sprint Cup Series – Joey Logano picked up the win in the Camping World.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, leading to a sweep of the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, but failed to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase. Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.

The eight drivers advancing to the Eliminator Round are Logano, Edwards, Gordon, Kurt Busch, Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Camping World Truck Series – Timothy Peters took home the checkered flag Saturday in the fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Rookie Brandon Jones was runner-up, followed by Mason Mingus, Erik Jones and Tyler Reddick. 

Formula Drift champ Aasbo looks back on 2015 season

When 2015 Formula Drift Pro and World champion Fredric Aasbo went to Irwindale Speedway in California for the “Final Fight,” he brought his own cheering section with him – some rowdy Scandinavians.

“It was a big get-together, and with the championship ending the way it did, it basically kick-started a week-long celebration, and so I was pretty worn out!” said Aasbo in a recent interview. “It’s starting to dawn on me now, everything that we’ve accomplished – it’s been a helluva year.”

The season started with a win at Long Beach in Round One, going on to win four more times in nine total rounds, including the season ending “Final Fight.” According to Aasbo, the Long Beach event was the most pressure-packed.

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his titles
credit: Larry Chen/Scion Racing
“That’s a really unforgiving track,” explained Aasbo. “With Rock Star coming in (as a sponsor) we really wanted to prove ourselves for that first round. It’s not only Rock Star and Scion’s hometown, it’s also Hankook Motorsports Division’s hometown as well, so it was a lot of pressure for that first round. Taking the win there took a lot of pressure off – we had already proven ourselves, took the edge off for the rest of the season. It definitely wasn’t a walk in the park this year, it was a roller coaster year, but starting off on a high note is exactly what you want to do, it makes everything a lot easier.”

Something else that made things easier was his Hankook RS-3 tires.

“It’s the most important factor in any of the cars out there,” said Aasbo of his tire manufacturer. “There’s a saying in racing that tires are what wins races, and that is definitely true in drifting as well. People still believe that drifting is about making the cars slide around, making them loose – it’s actually the far opposite, we’re asking for as much grip as we can get, and that’s what Hankook has given us. But I think that the big difference in the RS-3 compared to the competition is that the RS-3 is way more consistent and we’re in the position to say that now because we scope the competition very closely, we see what these other teams and tire manufacturers are doing, and the RS-3 just doesn’t fall off as much. Hankook’s definitely proved themselves over the last couple of seasons, and it’s been a heck of a ride.”

One way Aasbo celebrated his dual titles was by purchasing a new paddleboard, a hobby he took up a couple years ago.

“It’s an awesome activity to be doing out here, and what’s funny is it helps my drifting as well, ‘cause when you really break it down, in drifting you sit there, you wait for hour and hour and then BOOM, you have 20 seconds to shine,” explained Aasbo. “Surfing’s the same – you sit there and wait for that perfect wave and then that wave rolls in, it’s trying to kill you, and you have 10 seconds on the board – it’s the biggest rush of your life. It’s a great way to get away from cars, but at the same time develop skills that are needed also on the track…it’s my excuse to go out there!”

The off-season, in addition to paddleboarding, will feature a trip to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, then heading back to Europe for the FIA awards ceremony.

“Then I will be working on the European program for a little bit out there – we’re doing some cool stuff out in Europe next year, some radical hill climbs and shooting videos out there in some pretty remote places, trying to help take drifting to the next level. We have this kind of goal of trying to be bigger than the sport and also trying to bring drifting to new minds. I love that stuff almost as much as the driving – building, growing what we’re doing and getting new places.”

“For the winter, all I will be doing is ice racing, and that’s the perfect off-season activity. My friends and I are going out there, bashing doors all day – it’s just a really cool get-together with old friends/practicing for the season to come.”

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Annett hoping for a view from the front at Talladega

HScott Motorsports Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Annett wishes that his No. 46 Pilot Flying J crew had a little more time to get things in order at the start of the 2015 season, but the second-year driver and his team are starting to get the finishes he believes they’re capable of.

“We’re not happy with our performance this year,” said Annett in a recent interview. “I think everybody is a little let down and disappointed with the way we ran. Obviously, this deal came together about a month before Daytona in February, so we knew that it would be a bit of a slow start, but could progressively get better, and we’ve gotten better, we’re growing as a team, but we’re still not where we want to be. We had a pretty good run there at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago, got a top 25, but we feel like we should be in the top 25 week in and week out.”

Annett greets fans at the Pilot Travel Center in Lincoln, Alabama
credit: Patrick Roach/Pilot Flying J
Annett had a season-best finish of 13th at Daytona in February, which was one of four top 25 finishes the team has had this year, including Charlotte.

“We’ve got five more chances the rest of this year for that to happen and accomplish that goal and be in the top 25 consistently, and I think if we can pull that off we can get some pretty good momentum going into the off-season, going into 2016 with our heads held high.”

Tops on that list of five upcoming races is the CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 25. Annett has won at both Daytona and Talladega, NASCAR’s two restrictor plate race tracks, in ARCA Racing Series competition, and has confidence in his abilities at the tracks – the trick, he said, is getting others to have confidence in you.

“I know I can pull it off,” he said. “The biggest thing is trying to get people to work with you, gain respect from the guys throughout the day and getting them to trust a second-year guy in the series, showing them you’ve got a fast race car – no matter who’s behind the wheel, a guy wants to follow a car that he knows is going to the front.”

“That’s the cool part about these restrictor plate races, it really levels the playing field, but you really do have to take it lap by lap,” he continued. “I’ve had every strategy in the world of racing on these superspeedways over the past seven years and I’ve wrecked running second, I’ve wrecked running toward the back and the middle of the pack, and had success with those same ones…It’s all about putting yourself in the right position at the right time at the end of the race – we can ride around for 498 miles, but it’s that last lap that matters. You’ve got to prove to the guys you’re racing around that you’re a car that’s going to be at the front at the end.”

Prior to the race at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Annett and his team were busy with a “pit stop” on October 22 at the Pilot Travel Center in Lincoln, Alabama, introducing a new product line – PJ Fresh Pizza, which will initially be available in 250 travel centers around the country.

credit: Patrick Roach/Pilot Flying J
“Pilot and Flying J are introducing their brand new pizza – it’s pretty cool, it’s 100-percent fresh baked bread each morning and throughout the day, and I’ve had the opportunity to eat a lot of it today and even more of it this weekend, and it’s really good pizza, not your average interstate, cardboard, been sitting out all day kind of pizza – it’s “unexpectedly awesome” is what they’re liking to say, and they’re definitely right about that.”

Annett and the crew have done a few of these “pit stops” this season, and it’s something they’ve come to enjoy.

“We just have a lot of fun with it – we’re three miles from the race track, so a lot of our clientele here today are campers,” said Annett. “Everybody’s getting out of their cars, they’ve got Dale Earnhardt t-shirts on and they’re headed to the race track. I think it’s pretty cool for them to have the opportunity to meet my guys, meet me, see the car, the hauler…the fact that my guys have fun with this, it makes it even more special.”

Annett is hoping that Talladega provides the team with some more fun in the form of running out front.

“The car this weekend has my favorite, pepperoni, on it, and the car looks pretty cool, and will hopefully look even better at the front of the pack.”

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Spencer Pigot signs with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for three 2016 races

credit: IndyCar Media
2015 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot will join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for at least three races in the 2016 Verizon Indy Car Series season. Currently on Pigot’s schedule are the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg street race, the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Brickyard’s road course and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

“The goal still is now, of course, to see how many more races we can do, all depending on funding,” said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal. “But first things first. I'm just pleased we're going to have more than one race with Spencer, we'll have some time to get to know him, do some testing.”

Rahal has been keeping tabs on Pigot for a number of years, having met his father early on his Pigot’s career.

“Once he started racing on the same weekends (as the Verizon IndyCar Series), we’ve seen what he can do,” said Rahal. “Pretty impressive. I always thought he went about his craft in a great way. After winning Pro Mazda, then this year in Indy Lights, pretty good crowd (of competitors) in Indy Lights. I saw some of the races and I thought he really used his head. I think that's so important.”

The last four Indy Lights champs have moved up to the IndyCar Series the following year, and a number of competitors have come up through the Mazda Road to Indy program. Those are the kinds of statistics that Dan Andersen, CEO and owner of Andersen Promotions – overseers of the Road to Indy program – likes to see.

“We have designed a program that tries to mix in the road courses, street circuits and ovals,” said Andersen. “With the new Indy Lights car it's far closer to an Indy car in terms of feel than the prior edition. Bottom line is this is what it's all about. This is what we do and why we do it, to see young drivers advance, and it's working.”

Moving to RLL after coming through Andersen’s programs was a natural progression, as Rahal and Andersen have a working history.

“Bobby and I had an affiliation, a partnership, if you will, a number of years ago in Indy Lights,” said Andersen. “I'm well aware of his operation. I actually ran my Indy Lights team when I was a team owner out of his Ohio shop. Graham (Rahal, Bobby’s son) drove for my Star Mazda team back in the day. We go back a ways. I have a lot of respect for the Rahal organization. The performance they showed last year was strong. The package he put together was attractive.”

“We wanted the right thing for Spencer. There are a lot of options out there, but this is a package that we think Spencer can really shine in his debut performances. It was very important to us not to simply put him in a car, but to put him in the right car.”

Keep up with the IndyCar off-season at www.indycar.com

Quotes in this piece provided by IndyCar.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kurt Busch extends with SHR, brings Monster Energy to the Cup Series

credit: Stewart-Haas Racing via Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton
Stewart-Haas Racing has announced that Kurt Busch will return to the stable following the signing of a multi-year extension and the signing of Monster Energy as his primary sponsor. Monster Energy has been on the hood of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Xfinity Series car for a number of seasons, with Busch’s brother Kyle serving as the primary driver.

”These Busch boys can drive,” said Monster Energy vice president of sports marketing Mitch Covington. “I expect nothing less than battling for the win every week. You guys have known Kurt for a long time. He goes to race every lap. Our expectations are high. We had great success with Kyle and the team in XFINITY. We're looking to move up to the next level, look for the same type of results.”

“Since Kurt has been onboard (at SHR), he's probably the one guy I've leaned on the most,” said team co-owner Tony Stewart. “When it comes to the race weekends, our setups are closest alike. I really lean on Kurt for information. We've been able to communicate so well as far as the feel of the car. Somebody I really like and believe in as a driver. He's a guy you can take anywhere, any track, at any time and he can win races.”

Monster Energy will have primary sponsorship on the hood for 17 races, secondary sponsorship on the quarter panel for 18 races and one full primary race sponsorship. Fans won’t have to wait until 2016 to see the car on the track, however – the No. 41 Monster Energy Chevrolet SS will be on track at Martinsville next weekend, October 30-November 1.

“Beautiful cars. Definitely a trendsetter,” said Busch. “With being able to have co-primary sponsors, in my mind you have shots to win every week. But when you have a primary sponsor and you get to go to Victory Lane at one track, the other sponsor says, Wait a minute, where is our love, when is the next time we're going to be able to go to Victory Lane?”

“When you have this situation that we've been able to produce at Stewart-Haas Racing with Gene Haas' blessing, Tony Stewart's guidance, all of the marketing team, it makes sense to have two primaries such as this to be able to enjoy the spotlight, leading laps, sitting on poles and going to Victory Lane. To me it ties the two brands together with this synergy that is very powerful.”

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

Truex Jr.’s Talladega plan: “Stay out of trouble”

Martin Truex Jr. at Pocono - July 2015
credit: pauathompsonfreelance.com
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship contender Martin Truex Jr. is on the bubble, sitting in eighth place as the series heads to its wild-card playoff track, the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The track hasn’t been kind to the New Jersey native in the past, but then again, it’s ‘Dega – it’s not kind to many drivers.

“You can be leading the race, taking the white flag, get knocked out on the last lap,” said Truex Jr. in a recent NASCAR teleconference. “It's going to be tense, for sure. It's going to be a crazy deal at the end. We're going to race hard and not worry about where we're at throughout the day because we know how it can be there. Honestly just hope we can stay out of trouble and go race for it at the end.  I think that's all we can really hope for. Just looking forward to that and wait and see what happens, I guess.”

Something that might happen this weekend is a change by NASCAR: the reduction of green-white-checkered attempts at Talladega, going from three to just one. Truex Jr. sees that as a potential cost-saver for teams.

“I think it's a good idea just based on past history of what would you have seen on green-white-checkereds as far as really just destroying racecars,” said Truex Jr. “I think the chances when you go to Talladega of bringing a car home are slim. If you have green-white-checkereds there, the chance of not bringing a car home goes up pretty dramatically. I think for the owners or everybody involved, I would be okay limiting it to one. Hopefully it doesn't even come down to one, but you never know. I think it's a good idea to think about it.”

Truex Jr., who finished fifth in the May Talladega race, worked his way into the Chase with a win at Pocono in June, a feat that followed up 12 top 10 finishes in the first 13 races of the season. He finished the “regular season” with 17 top 10s in the first 26 races of the season, and has stayed in contention with finishes of third and 15th in the Contender Round. Going forward, Truex Jr. said it’s business as usual.

“I think that we've really just tried to focus on not letting outside distractions get to us and really honestly business as usual,” said Truex Jr. “Just do what got us here, do what we've done all year long. Obviously we've tried to step up our program each and every week. A lot of that is parts and pieces and equipment, building better cars and things. I don't have to pump my team up. They're always working hard and pushing for the next level. I think they feel the same way about me. So it's been a great relationship, a good season for us to show what we're made of.”

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

NASCAR 2015: Who’s hot and who’s not in the Chase at Talladega

credit: NASCAR Media
Four more drivers will be sent packing after Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, as the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup comes to an end. Of the 12 drivers left in the playoffs, only one is safe – and he’s winless at the 2.66-mile track.

HOT – Joey Logano – Logano has won the last two races, and is the only driver to have won in the Contender Round. Talladega is such a wild-card race that no-one in the Top 12 has an average finish in the Top 15, but Logano’s 20.9 is among the bottom three (only Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are worst). Logano has four top 10s and four DNFs in 13 starts at Talladega.

NOT – Matt Kenseth – it’s not Kenseth’s fault that he sits in the No. 12 spot, a whopping 60 points back of Logano after a 42nd place finish at Charlotte and being bumped out of the top spot in the closing laps of last week’s race. Unfortunately, Kenseth is in a must-win situation at ‘Dega, a track where he has one win and 10 top 10s in 31 starts – as well as four DNFs.

LUKEWARM – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior is in the rear of the Top 12 with Kenseth, 56 points back of Logano – but he’s heading to one of the top spots in the Junior Nation, a track where he has six wins and 15 top 10s in 31 starts, with an average finish of 15.1 (best among the Contenders). Much like his father before him, Earnhardt Jr. is a master of the restrictor plate, especially at Talladega.

LUKEWARM – Kyle Busch – after a 20th-place finish at Charlotte, Busch finished fifth at Kansas – that wasn’t enough, however, to push him in the top eight, as he’s currently in ninth, on the outside looking in, just six points back of eighth-place Ryan Newman. At ‘Dega, Busch has one win and five top 10 finishes – plus five DNFs – in 20 races, with an average finish of 22.4.

HOT – Denny Hamlin – Hamlin has finishes of fourth and second in the Contender Round, and sits 13 points behind Logano. As his teammate Busch proved last year, however, he’s nowhere’s near safe: Busch went into ‘Dega second in points and came out in ninth – and out of the championship hunt. At Talladega, Hamlin has one win and seven top 10s in 19 starts, with an average finish of 18.5 and three DNFs.

Qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway begins Saturday at 3:15 p.m. CT with the race going green Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT. Keep up with the weekend action at www.nascar.com.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: October 16-18, 2015

Sprint Cup Series – Joey Logano won his second-straight Chase race with a late race bump on then-leader Matt Kenseth, who finished 14th in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.

(l-r) Jerry Savoie, Erica Enders, Del Worsham and Richie
Crampton in the winner's circle at Texas Motorplex
credit: NHRA Media
Xfinity Series – Busch won Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway over Kenseth and Logano. Xfinity Series regulars Ty Dillon and Regan Smith finished fourth and fifth, respectively.


NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – Del Worsham (Funny Car), Richie Crampton (Top Fuel) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) joined reigning Pro Stock champ Erica Enders in the winner’s circle for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex. With the win – her eighth of the season – Enders became the winningest female in a single season in NHRA history.

BREAKING NEWS: Packman coming home to Lancaster

credit: Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway
Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway has announced an organizational change to its management staff as it preps for the 2016 racing season. Akron’s Tim Packman will return to the track to oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility as Track President. Melissa McGowan will continue to be part of the speedway management team in a reduced role.

“I just fell in love with Lancaster when I was part of the team that promoted the 2014 U.S. Open,” said McGowan. “It was my goal to continue to rebuild and restore the tradition of such a great racing facility. We were able to accomplish some of that in just a few months, and created some great momentum for next year. I feel confident leaving that mission in Tim’s hands.”

Packman, who has spent the past 15 years of living in Mooresville, North Carolina working in NASCAR, is an award-winning writer who has worked in Communications and Team Management for the past decade, spending time at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Richard Childress Racing while learning the business side of racing and more about promotions and advertising. His most current position with RCR was Director of Corporate Communications. Packman previously worked at Lancaster as a track announcer, and was the President of Stock Car Operations during the 2012 season.

"Returning to Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway is a dream come true in many ways," said Packman. "During my entire time in NC traveling the NASCAR circuit, I always kept an eye on what was taking place at the track.”

"What the ownership group, Melissa and the entire Dragway and Speedway staff have done this past year was incredible. People in WNY and surrounding areas want to see and be part of short track racing. The proof was in the increased car counts and fans in the stands. It is our responsibility to give them a safe, clean and fun place to enjoy what we all love - racing.”

"The biggest goal ahead of us for 2016 is to build upon the achievements of 2015. The track cannot go backwards - ever again. Too many people put too much into it through the years, it is my intention to give racers and fans alike a place to enjoy our sport for many, many years."

In other management news, neither the stock car nor drag racing programs will see any major changes in their respective leadership for 2016. John Nelson will return as the Program Director for the stock car program, while Sharon Hughes will remain the IHRA drag racing Program Director.

The 2016 season will begin at Lancaster the weekend of April 16-17. On Saturday, April 16 the drag racing season kicks off with a Box/No-Box shootout. Stock car racing begins Sunday, April 17 with a 75-lap race for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour. Keep up with the off-season at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Quotes and information in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lake Erie Speedway to host Race of Champions Asphalt Modifieds in 2016

2015 champ Matt Hirschman and the rest of the Race of 
Champions Asphalt Modified Series races at Lake Erie 
Speedway June 11, 2016
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Lake Erie Speedway, located at 10700 Delmas Dr. in North East, Pennsylvania, will host the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series on Saturday, June 11, 2016. The Saturday event will also include US Legend Cars, NYPA TQ Midgets and the Can-Am Midgets and be highlighted by the RoC Modifieds in a 75-lap feature – the first time the series has raced at the oval since 2005. 

“Lake Erie Speedway is an outstanding facility and when we were contacted by (Lake Erie Speedway) Operations Manager, A.J. Moore, we jumped at the opportunity to build an event that fans and participants will enjoy,” said Joe Skotnicki from the Race of Champions. “It is our goal to contribute to the success of events at great facilities like Lake Erie. It’s a tremendous stage for the Series to compete on in 2016 and we look forward to building a long standing tradition with events for years to come.”

“We’re looking forward to going back to Lake Erie,” said Matt Hirschman, 2015 RoC champion. “It is a first class facility, I’ve been to victory lane there with my Dad (Tony won a NASCAR Modified Tour race) and I ran the race in 2005. It’s going to be an exciting night for our Series and it’s a very competitive track. I think it will be one of the must-see races of the season. We are already gearing up for 2016 and this is definitely circled on our calendar.” 

Lake Erie Speedway is a 3/8-mile banked asphalt oval which opened in 2002. East Aurora’s Billy Putney took the checkered flag the last time the series raced at Lake Erie in 2005. 

“We are excited to play host to the Race of Champions asphalt Modified Series,” said Moore. “The excitement and competition that the Series brings to the table is incredible and a perfect fit for what we are looking to give our fans in 2016. It will be a great event.”  

Tickets for the “Lake Erie 75” for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series will be available November 2, 2015. Contact Lake Erie Speedway at 814-725-3303 for tickets, camping and venue information.

Quotes and information in this piece via raceny.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

NASCAR 2015: Who’s hot and who’s not in the Chase at Kansas

credit: NASCAR Media
The second race in the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup is the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, taking place this Sunday, October 18. This will be the 20th event at the 1.5-mile track, which hosted its first Cup Series event in September 2001 – with its winner still among the “contenders” this season.

HOT – Jeff Gordon – Gordon, who has three wins at Kansas, was the winner of that inaugural event, and is one of five drivers – all currently “contenders” – to have competed in all 19 previous events. Gordon has an average finish of 9.9, with 13 top 10 finishes in those 19 starts; he’s seventh in points in the 12-driver Contender Round, just over the line to stay in contention for the next round.

LUKEWARM – Carl Edwards – Edwards is winless at Kansas, but he has 11 top 10 finishes in 16 starts, with an average finish of 10.8 – second-best of the Chase Contenders. Edwards is just nine points out of the top spot in the Contender Round, but the cut-off spot of eighth (Brad Keselowski) is just 13 points back.

NOT – Matt Kenseth – as Kevin Harvick proved in the Challenger Round, one race can take you right out of contention, which is what happened to Kenseth at Charlotte: he went from pole sitter to next-to-last in the first race of the round, and now faces the same problem Harvick faced – win or you’re done. Kenseth has two wins and 11 top 10 finishes in 19 starts at Kansas, plus two poles; his average finish is 13.8.

HOT – Kevin Harvick – he nearly missed the cut-off in the Challenger Round, but now he followed up his win at Dover with a runner-up finish at Charlotte last weekend. At Kansas, he has one win and nine top 10s in 19 starts, and also has three poles; he was runner-up at Kansas in May of this year.

NOT – Kyle Busch – Busch is 10 points back of the cut-off spot, and there are still two races left to move on, but Kansas is not Busch’s best track, so a bad finish will put him even farther back. Busch has just three top 10s in 15 starts at Kansas, with an average finish of 21.4 – 12th of the 12 Contenders.

Qualifying for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway begins Friday at 5:15 p.m. CT, with the race going green Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: October 9-11, 2015

Logano wins at Charlotte
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/
Robert Laberge
Sprint Cup Series – Joey Logano won the rain-delayed Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, postponed until Sunday afternoon after a Saturday night rainout. Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by Martin Truex Jr. in third. Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.


Xfinity Series – Austin Dillon won the Drive for the Cure 300 Friday night at Charlotte, ahead of Erik Jones and Brak Keselowski. Daniel Suarez finished fourth, followed by Regan Smith in fifth. 

Fredric Aasbo takes Formula Drift Championships

2015 Formula Drift champ Fredric Aasbo
credit: Scion Racing/Larry Chen
Fredric Aasbo and Papadakis Racing didn’t just win the season finale Formula Drift race at Irwindale Speedway in California this weekend, they took the 2015 Formula Drift and the Formula Drift World Championships, and helped partner Scion Racing secure the series' Manufacturer Cup and Hankook Tire win the Tire Cup.

"It doesn't even feel real," said Aasbo, driver of the Rockstar Energy Drink/Hankook Tire Scion tC. "We've been working really hard for this and we made it a grand slam. It is mind-blowing and the feeling is really hard to describe: Imagine working half your life for something and then making it happen... It feels like that. Incredible!"

Aasbo went into the season finale with an 80-point lead over fellow Scion Racing and Hankook Tire driver Ken Gushi, needing to win the first battle of the contest to clinch the title. He sealed the deal when opening-round rival Kristaps Bluss made a critical error and spun.

"Even though everybody kept telling me, 'You've got this,' I know there's no such thing as an easy battle in Formula Drift and those minutes between the last practice session and the Round of 32 were the most intense of my life. I've never felt pressure like that," said Aasbo.

Aasbo faced Daigo Saito in the Top 16 face-off, then fought past "Mad" Mike Whiddet in the Great 8 and Forrest Wang in the Final 4. The event came down to a close battle between Aasbo and Gushi.
"You have to save the best for last and we certainly did," said Aasbo. "Putting down that run in the finals and taking the win like that was amazing."

It is the first Formula Drift Championship for Aasbo, and the third for the team. Papadakis Racing won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008 with driver Tanner Foust. Aasbo's win at Irwindale Speedway made it four victories in seven rounds of U.S. Formula Drift competition – a series record.

"These championships aren't just mine. I owe a lot to Steph, the team and our sponsors including Rockstar Energy Drink, Hankook Tire and Scion Racing," said Aasbo. "I'm grateful to have this amazing group of people behind me."

"I love to build things that other people haven't built before and to trail-blaze,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “It has been a progression to get here to the top with Fredric and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC and to have all of our hard work pay off in this championship is a real validation of what we've been trying to do. I'm thankful to our sponsors for believing in us and designing such amazing products that help us with our reliability and competitiveness."


Quotes and information in this piece provided by Papadakis Racing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NASCAR 2015: Who’s hot and who’s not in the Chase at Charlotte

credit: NASCAR Media
The first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup is in the books, and now the 12 Contenders will duke it out at Charlotte Motor Speedway, home of Saturday night’s Bank of America 500. The biggest surprise from the Challenger Round was who didn’t make it to the top 12, namely Jimmie Johnson, who owns seven trophies from Charlotte – expect him to try and play the role of spoiler for the next seven races.

HOT – Jeff Gordon – next to Johnson, Gordon is the most prolific winner among the original 16 Chase competitors with five wins and 24 top 10 finishes in 45 starts, along with nine poles. Gordon is still seeking his first win of the 2015 season – his last – and needs to start collecting some better finishes if he wants to continue on past the Contender Round: he finished 15th in May at Charlotte and has finishes of 14th, seventh and 12th through three Chase races.

HOT – Kevin Harvick – Harvick advanced to the Contender Round in the only way he could: by winning. Finishes of 42nd and 21st in the first two Chase races left him in a hole, but he dominated at Dover, leading 355 of 400 laps for his first win at the “Monster Mile.” Harvick has three wins and 12 top 10s in 29 starts at Charlotte, and finished ninth in the May race; his last win at the 1.5-mile track came last October, leading nearly half the laps (162 of 334) on his way to victory lane.

LUKEWARM – Kurt Busch - at Charlotte, the elder Busch brother has one win and eight top 10s in 30 starts, with an average finish of 19.1 – the worst among the 12 Contenders. Busch finished 10th at Charlotte in May, and has finishes of third, 19th and 17th in the first three Chase races.

NOT – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt Jr. has never won at Charlotte, collecting 12 top 10 finishes in 31 starts at NASCAR’s “home track,” with a career-best finish of third twice, including the May race. So far in the Chase, he has finishes of 12th, 25th and third, and advanced to the Contender Round after winning a tie breaker with Jamie McMurray.

NOT – Martin Truex Jr. – Truex Jr. picked up a career-best finish of fifth at Charlotte in May, but to date has just five top 10s in 20 starts, with an average finish of 17.8. He has, however, had a nice Chase to date, with finishes of 13th, eighth and 11th in the first three races.

Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 begins Thursday night at 7:20 p.m. ET, with the race going green Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

NASCAR Most Popular Driver voting for Xfinity, Trucks, touring series now open

credit: NASCAR Media
Voting for the Most Popular Driver Awards for NASCAR’s Xfinty Series, Camping World Truck Series and seven touring series is open as of Tuesday, October 6. Fans can vote once per day online for the Most Popular Driver Awards at www.nascar.com/mostpopulardriver.

Voting runs through Friday, November 20 for the Camping World Truck Series and Saturday, November 21 for the Xfinity Series, prior to the respective season finale races at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. Voting for the seven NASCAR touring series will also conclude Saturday, November 21.

The winners will be announced at the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards Banquet at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida on Monday, November 23.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners for the K&N Pro Series East, K&N Pro Series West, Whelen Modified Tour, Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Canadian Tire Series, Whelen Euro Series and Mexico Series will be honored at the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame/Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday, December 12.

To be eligible to receive Most Popular Driver votes, Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series drivers must have selected to receive 2015 championship driver points in their respective series. Additionally, drivers in every series must have attempted at least half of each of their series’ races this season.

Information in this piece provided by NASCAR Media.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekend wrap-up: October 2-4, 2015

Kevin Harvick moves on to the Contender Round
after winning at Dover
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Rainier Ehrhardt
Sprint Cup Series – Kevin Harvick is in, Jimmie Johnson is out: Harvick won the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, punching his ticket to the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but a rear axle seal failure left Johnson on the outside looking in after finishing 41st. Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray and Aric Almirola.

Xfinity Series – Regan Smith picked up the win on Saturday in the Hisense 200 at Dover, beating Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch to the checkered flag. Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson completed the top five.

Camping World Truck Series – in a stand-alone race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, John Wes Townley picked up his first career win in the series after Matt Crafton and others ran out of gas in the closing laps. Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy, John Hunter Nemechek and Brandon Jones rounded out the top five.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Chris McGaha (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home Wallys from the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pennsylvania. Brown, the 2012 Top Fuel champ, has won the first three races in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff program.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pocono Raceway adds Xfinity Series race for 2016

credit: NASCAR Media
Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania will host its two traditional NASCAR weekends in 2016 with an added bonus: the first appearance by the Xfinity Series at the “Tricky Triangle.”

The Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 weekend will take place Friday through Sunday, June 3-5 featuring the 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race on June 5 as well as the inaugural 250-mile Xfinity Series race and the Pocono 200 ARCA Racing Series race. The Pennsylvania 400 weekend will take place Friday through Sunday, July 29-31 featuring the 400-mile Cup Series event on July 31 plus the Pocono Mountains 150 Camping World Truck Series race and the Modspace 125 ARCA race.

“I like Pocono Raceway, so I am happy that we will get to go there in the XFINITY Series,” said Erik Jones, who has raced at Pocono in the ARCA and Truck Series. “It will be different than the trucks for sure, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out and see what is different from the trucks or the Cup cars to the XFINITY Series cars at Pocono. I am sure it will put on a good show and should be exciting for sure. It’s always cool to go to a new race track for a new series and see how things play out.”

“It’s really neat to have the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Pocono Raceway,” said Xfinity Series driver Brendan Gaughan. “It’s a fast track, and I’ve always liked racing there. If you watch the current NASCAR Sprint Cup or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and see them go six-wide into Turn One, it definitely makes for an exciting race for both the fans and the drivers. I can’t wait to race there in the XFINITY Series.”

Tickets for the 2016 NASCAR races are on sale now at www.poconoraceway.com

Saturday, October 3, 2015

2015 Super DIRT Week ‘Finale at the Fairgrounds’ takes place October 7-11

credit: SuperDIRTWeekOnline.com
Dirt track racing fans will be converging on the Syracuse area for the annual festivities of Super DIRT Week next weekend, but this time it will be extra special: it’s the final time the five-day event, including the headline event, the Syracuse 200 Big-Block Modified race, will be held at the New York State Fairgrounds. Super DIRT Week 2015 gets underway on Wednesday, October 7, culminating with the 44th annual Syracuse 200 Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified race on Sunday, October 11.

Super DIRT Week events take place at four Central New York speedways: the New York State Fairgrounds Speedway in Syracuse, Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, Weedsport Speedway in Weedsport and Brewerton Speedway in Central Square.

On Wednesday, Super DIRT Week kicks off with practice for the Big Block Modifieds at the Fairgrounds at 3 p.m., followed by the DIRTcar 358-Mods and DIRTcar Sportsman Mods at Weedsport – action begins at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Big Blocks and 358-Mods practice beginning at 10 a.m. at the Fairgrounds, followed by time trials for the 358s at 1:20 p.m. and the Big Blocks at 2:45 p.m.; there will also be practice and qualifying for the DIRTcar Futures program. That evening, the 358s hit the track for the 23rd annual Hurricane 100 at Brewerton – action gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday, practice for Pro Stocks and Sportsman Mods begins at the Fairgrounds at 9 a.m., followed by Sportsman Mod time trials at 9:40 a.m. and USAC Silver Crown practice at 10:45 a.m. DIRTcar Futures races follow beginning at 11:05 a.m. for these series: 358-Mods (11:05 a.m.), Sportsman (11:35 a.m.), Pro Stocks (12:10 p.m.) and Big Blocks (12:25 p.m.). After Silver Crown practice at 1:05 p.m. and qualifying at 1:20 p.m., there will be practice sessions for the Modified, Sportsman, 358-Modified and Pro Stock classes beginning at 1:45 p.m. At 2:45 p.m. the 358-Mods take to the track for Twin 20-lappers, followed by Triple-10s for the Sportsman Mods and Triple-20s for the Big Blocks. Action for the evening shifts to Rolling Wheels for the Sprint Car 360 Open and 358-Modifieds beginning at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, practices for the 358-Mods, Pro Stocks and Sportsman Mods kick off the day at 9:30 a.m. Pro Stock time trials at 11 a.m. are followed by the 358 Modified last chance qualifying race at 11:45 a.m., the Sportsman last chance race at 12:05 p.m., the Pro Stock last chance race at 12:30 p.m. and the Big Block last chance race at 12:45 p.m. The USAC Silver Crown Salt City 78 goes green at 1:30 p.m., followed by Big Block Modified practice at 2:45 p.m. and the 358-Modified Series Salute the Troops 150 at 3:30 p.m. at the Fairgrounds, followed by Big Block Modified final practice at 5:15 p.m. Evening action shifts to Rolling Wheels, where the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series hits the track along with the Big Block “Win and You’re In” feature (winner earns 45th starting spot for Syracuse 200) – action starts at 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the Sportsman Mods practice at 10 a.m., followed by Pro Stock practice at 10:15 a.m. Racing action kicks off at 11 a.m. with the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Championship 30-lap race, followed by the Pro Stock 25-lapper at noon and the 44th annual Syracuse 200 for the Big Blocks at 2 p.m.

Rain date for Saturday or Sunday events is Monday, October 12.

Get the complete details on Super DIRT Week XLIII at www.superdirtweekonline.com.   

Wyoming County International Speedway hosts Shootout at the Bullring October 9-11, 2015

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David
Castillo Dominici
Wyoming County International Speedway, located at 35 Adrian Rd. in Perry, will be hosting the Shootout at the Bullring Friday through Sunday, October 9-11. Highlighting the weekend is the $10,000-to-win Modified American 100, which will take place on Sunday.

Festivities kick off Friday night with open practice from 5 to 7 p.m. On Saturday, practice begins at 10 a.m. with two sessions each for the 4-cylinders, 6-cylinders, SST Modifieds and Modifieds. Heat racing begins at 1 p.m. and features all four classes, followed by features for the 4-cylinders, 6-cylinders and SST Modifieds.

On Sunday, practice once again begins at 10 a.m. with two sessions each for Modifieds, Super Stocks and Vintage Late Models. Heats begin at 1 p.m., including last chance qualifying heats for Modifieds as well as heats for the Super Stocks and Vintage Late Models. A consi race for the Modifieds takes place before features for Super Stocks and Vintage Late Models, with the American 100 Modified race completes the schedule.

Saturday admission to the grandstand is $25 for adults, $10 for kids 10 to 16 and free for kids 9 and under; a family pass for Saturday is $60.On Sunday, admission is $35 for adults, $15 for kids 10 to 16 and free for kids 9 and under; a family pass on Sunday is $85. Two-day admission passes for adults are available for $50.

Find out more about the Shootout at the Bullring at www.thebullringwcis.com

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Newgarden returns to CFH Racing for fifth season

credit: CFH Racing
Josef Newgarden will return for a fifth year as the driver of the No. 67 Chevrolet for CFH Racing during the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The Hendersonville, Tennessee native is coming off the best season of his career, earning his first career win in the fourth race of the 2015 season at Barber Motorsports Park. His second win came on the streets of Toronto over teammate Luca Filippi, leading CFH Racing to its first ever one-two finish. Newgarden also had podium finishes at Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway. Newgarden finished seventh in the IndyCar Series standings this year.

"I am very excited to be back at CFH Racing," said Newgarden. "It all really comes down to the confidence and belief that our owners Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher, Wink Hartman, Stuart Reed and Tony George have in me. They've given me all of the tools I could ask for to drive a racecar and to be successful. It's easy to be excited about coming back to work with this group knowing the level that we are operating at. I can see the capabilities that we have and I think we are going to be able to fully execute in 2016."

Newgarden has 67 starts in the Verizon IndyCar Series, all with what is now CFH Racing. His IndyCar career started in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) one year after he captured the Firestone Indy Lights Championship. When SFHR merged with Ed Carpenter Racing prior to the 2015 season to form CFH, Newgarden remained the team's full-time driver.

"It was great to finalize a deal with Josef to keep him with CFH Racing for 2016," said team co-owner Carpenter. “Just as he was a priority to sign before this past season, he was a priority for us again this year. We are focused on becoming a force in the Verizon IndyCar Series and we see Josef being a large part of that.  It is our intention to have him in a CFH car for a long time."

"It is with great pride that our team will support Josef behind the wheel of the 67 car in 2016," said co-owner Fisher. "I'm certainly encouraged to see the energy, enthusiasm and dedication that Ed and our partners have given to the 67 car program to make this happen. I am looking forward to a second year of racing at a championship level!"

Quotes in this piece provided by CFH Racing.