Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 
10-time United States rallying champion David Higgins has won the 2021 edition of the New England Forest Rally on his return to the sport after a nearly two-year absence. Teamed up once again with his longtime co-driver Craig Drew, with whom he won eight championships in nine years from 2011 to 2019, Higgins and Drew took the #75 McKenna Motorsport Ford Fiesta S2000 to the top step of the podium with four victories in 14 stages over the weekend.
 
“This is absolutely amazing, honestly!” said Higgins. “To get back here again after two years out, to get back into the fight early like we did yesterday, I didn’t think we would be able to do that. But once we started matching their times and getting with it, I thought there was a chance. We’re not 100% familiar with the car, so we had to drive hard but not take crazy risks. This is one of those rallies where it’s very hard to drive 100% the whole rally and not have a problem. But it’s been an amazing feeling to come back.
 
“I’m so thankful to Barry (McKenna), Dom Buckley, and the guys for giving us a chance to come out and do it again. This one probably means more than lots of the other ones, because when you don’t know it’s coming and you come on short notice to do it, it’s pretty cool!”
 
Through the first day of the rally, five drivers were all within 30 seconds of one another, with Higgins closing out Friday’s five stages at third overall. The first pass at Aziscohos on Saturday would begin to reshape the weekend, with Higgins taking his first stage win as a puncture for teammate Barry McKenna and a drivetrain failure for Ken Block removed both crews from contention. Higgins would continue to drive a consistent pace, winning the first pass at Morton Cutoff and sweeping Aziscohos, to be just nine seconds out of the lead with two stages remaining.
 
The second pass at Morton Cutoff was where everything changed. Overall leader Travis Pastrana would suffer a rollover not far from the end of the stage, with the crew walking away unhurt but nonetheless giving up the top spot. Higgins would then finish up the event with a final stage victory at North Road, and the comeback win was complete.
 
Notably, the rally was Higgins’ first event since suffering a major leg injury. It also gave him six victories and 11 podiums at NEFR since the rally made its summer debut in 1994, including wins in the past three instances of the event. Higgins took his fourth and fifth NEFR titles in 2018 and 2019, respectively, while the 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

History can be a colorful subject, with the interpretation of what is historical fact changing depending on the authors' point of view.

Since the first season of Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, we have had the opportunity to work with Waldorf Publishing to get to know some of their authors, many of whom have a passion not only for the written word, but for speed!     

My former co-host Mykkal Mulalley-Kapalo and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled pandemic, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who help make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to highlight Rosalie A. Abbey.



What was your first car? 
A Toyota Corolla


What do you drive now? 
A Toyota Camry

 
What is your dream car that you wish to own? A Subaru

 
Do you see yourself ever buying a battery operated car? Yes, if it will, truly, help the environment.

 
If you went on a road trip, what book would you bring? A book about the places on my road trip.
 

 What do you think about Elon Musk and his advances in technology? I do not know much about Elon Musk. I heard about him only last year on the radio, as he was dealing with a conflict with his company’s shareholders. I am not sure why he wants to engage in Space’s business. I am interested in his electric cars’ project.

 

Stay tuned for more insights into the amazing authors of Waldorf Publishing in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Capps powered to the top in Funny Car qualifying on Saturday, earning his second straight No. 1 qualifier during the 61st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
 
Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 in their respective categories at the 10th race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final event of the famed three-race NHRA Western Swing.
 
In the final qualifying session of the day, Capps went 3.941-seconds at 321.35 mph under the lights in Pomona in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, racing to his fourth No. 1 qualifier this season and 29th in his career. The former world champ is also after his first win of the 2021 campaign and he will open eliminations against Bobby Bode looking to grab some momentum to close out the Western Swing on a winning note.
 
“Tomorrow is going to be new territory for a lot of drivers and that sort of makes it exciting,” Capps said. “That run tonight was pretty fun. You really have to be on your game and race the racetrack. It would be fitting to get our first win this year and first as a team at a home track. These are the trophies you want.”
 
Robert Hight, who won last weekend in Sonoma, qualified second with a 3.953 at 323.27, while Friday’s provisional No. 1 qualifier, Blake Alexander, finished third thanks to his 3.961 at 318.84.
 
Force put on a show at her home track to close out qualifying, rocketing to a run of 3.714 at 330.72 in her 11,000-horsepower Flav-R-Pac dragster to qualify No. 1 for the third straight race and fifth time this season. It also gives Force her 25th career top spot as she now focuses on trying to get her first win of the season. To do so, Force will have to be successful in far different conditions on Sunday.
 
“Another No. 1 qualifier is amazing for this team,” Force said. “We want to be on top, but really our focus is raceday. That’s going to be tough coming off that run where we had great conditions and now we have to turn around and try to figure it out for raceday tomorrow. It’s going to be really hot, but we’re looking for a long day. We want to go all day and end up in that winner’s circle at my home track in Pomona.”
 
Leah Pruett, who was the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday, dropped to second with her run of 3.780 at 321.88 from Friday, while Mike Salinas qualified third with a 3.790 at 318.09. Points leader Steve Torrence, who has a chance to sweep the Western Swing with a win on Sunday, qualified fourth and will open eliminations against Antron Brown.
 
There is no stopping Anderson in Pro Stock qualifying this season and that continued in Pomona, as he picked up his eighth No. 1 qualifier in nine Pro Stock in 2021, going 6.586 at 208.42 in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro. The points leader improved on his run from Friday in the final qualifying session on Saturday, earning his 114th career No. 1 qualifier. But the real number Anderson is after is his 97th career win, which has eluded him in recent races. He has 12 career wins in Pomona and if he could add to that on Sunday, Anderson would tie Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history.
 
“The important run today was in Q2 when the track was 150 degrees,” Anderson said. “It’s fun racing at night and it’s fun to go fast, but that means nothing for tomorrow. The second run today is going to tell it all. We weren’t quite where we needed to be, but we got the data we needed, so I think we’ll be good. I hope we’ll be good. I need a win and I need a win bad.”
 
Defending world champ Erica Enders stayed in the second spot with her run of 6.590 at 207.15 from Friday and Matt Hartford qualified third with a 6.593 at 207.82.
 
Smith lowered the boom to close out Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying, staying on top and qualifying No. 1 with a stellar pass of 6.760 at 201.91 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. The run set the new track speed record at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and gave him an even bigger separation between the next-closest competitor, as Smith qualified No. 1 for the third time in 2021 and 46th time in his career. The points leader and defending world champ will look for his second win on the Western Swing on Sunday, and his impressive run to close out qualifying certainly turned heads.
 
“We just have to turn on four win lights and take it one round at a time (on Sunday),” Smith said. “We have the bike to beat and we’ve had the bike to beat all year long and I just haven’t done my job on Sundays at some of these races. We’re going to do the best we can and we’ll see if we can turn on four win lights (on Sunday).”
 
Angelle Sampey jumped all the way to second on her final pass of the day, going 6.830 at 197.51 and teammate Eddie Krawiec is third thanks to his 6.843 at 199.70.
Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com begin at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

NHRA and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona have announced the dates of the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season opener of the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Presented By ProtectTheHarvest.com as Feb. 17-20.
 
As is tradition at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the NHRA Winternationals will kick off the year at the famed track in Southern California.
 
“We are thrilled to start our 2022 season at Pomona with the NHRA Winternationals,” said Kasey Coler, NHRA Vice President of Track Management and Operations. “The Pomona facility holds so much history and we’re excited to return to our traditional NHRA Winternationals dates for 2022.”
 
The historic Pomona track sees two of NHRA's most significant events on tour: the NHRA Winternationals and the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Both events are on the bucket list of wins for NHRA drivers and must-see races for NHRA fans. The 2021 NHRA Finals is slated for Nov. 11-14.
 
To purchase reserved and general admission seats to the 2021 NHRA Finals and the 2022 NHRA Winternationals, fans can visit NHRA.com/tickets.

 

(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)

 Rette Jones Racing (RJR) confirmed today the addition of this weekend’s ARCA Menards Series (AMS) race at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway to the team’s 2021 schedule with NASCAR rookie Kris Wright at the helm. 
 
Wright will tackle his fourth career ARCA Menards Series short track race, but first with the Mooresville, N.C.-based team, and overall eyes a career-best finish in his ninth career start.
 
“Anytime you add a race to your schedule that you weren’t planning to be a part of it is a good day,” said Wright.
 
“I’ve heard a lot about Winchester not only from Mark (Rette, crew chief and co car-owner) but other drivers who just really embrace the track.
 
“I’m excited to get to Indiana and experience the racetrack for myself. We had a fast car at Pocono Raceway last month but had some bad luck. Hopefully, we can bounce back on Saturday night and give our team some momentum for the ARCA Menards Series race next weekend at Watkins Glen.”
 
While expected to be a favorite for the series’ return to the Finger Lakes region of New York on Aug. 6, Wright is eager to continue his development in stock cars since transitioning from Sports Car Racing during the 2020 season.
 
Wright doesn’t have any experience at Winchester’s historic half-mile oval, but he does have laps at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in an ARCA car. Bristol’s “Thunder Valley” often is compared to Winchester with its extremely fast lap times and the demeanor required to negotiate passing and even lap traffic.
 
“I’ve heard that Winchester is a high-banked half-mile with some similarities to Bristol and last fall I had a blast there,” added Wright. “Unfortunately, we had some battery problems in the race that hindered our finish – but I’m thankful now more than ever for the experience and hope it will be beneficial for our race on Saturday night.”
Long-time Wright partner Wright Automotive Group will serve as the primary marketing partner for Wright’s third ARCA start of the season.
 
Since 1927, family-owned and operated Wright Automotive Group and WrightCars.com has been serving the Pittsburg area’s automotive needs featuring its Chevrolet, Buick, GMS, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, Lotus, Genesis and Explorer Vans brands.
 
They offer an extensive selection of new and pre-owned inventory in Pennsylvania.
 
Find the perfect vehicle for your lifestyle at Wright Automotive Group.
 
“We’ve had speed just not the results for things that were completely out of Kris’s control,” offered Rette. “He has done everything we’ve asked of him and then some. Hopefully, the bad luck ends on Saturday night.
 
“Even though he doesn’t have any laps at Winchester, I think he will adapt quickly and have a chance of a strong night and finish in our No. 30 Wright Automotive Group Ford Fusion.
 
“I am thankful Kris has chosen Rette Jones Racing to help further his stock car development and the team is looking forward to Winchester and Watkins Glen for sure.”
 
In his previous eight ARCA Menards Series races, Wright has four career top-10 finishes, including a career-high seventh twice at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in 2020.
 
In addition to Wright Automotive Group, iHeart Radio, Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks join the Mooresville, N.C.-based team as partners this weekend.
 
RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones. 
 
 
For more on Kris Wright, please visit, kriswrightmotorsports.com, like him on Facebook (Kris Wright Racing) and follow him on Twitter (@KrisOnNASCAR).
 
For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@RetteJones30).
 
The Calypso Lemonade 200 (200 laps | 100 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Sat., Jul. 31 with a forty-five-minute practice session from 4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for a short time later at 6:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold Pass. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).
 Determined to pick up the pieces of an unfortunate weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway last month, Greg Van Alst Motorsports today announced the addition of Saturday night’s ARCA Menards Series race at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway to his 2021 schedule. 
 
The addition of his first short track race of the season brings a new race car to the Greg Van Alst Motorsports fleet, purchased from the former potent Chad Bryant Racing team.
 
Van Alst had hoped to make his “Tricky Triangle” debut at Pocono Raceway, but a crash in the opening laps of practice at the 2.5-mile triangle forced the Anderson, Indiana-based team to withdraw and regroup.
 
While disappointed with the outcome of Pocono, the team led by interim crew chief Donnie Richeson has worked harder than ever to prepare not only for Saturday night’s Calypso Lemonade 200 but upcoming races on the 2021 premier ARCA Menards Series schedule.
 
“I am blessed to be able to add another ARCA Menards Series race to our schedule,” said Van Alst. “Winchester is such a historic place, but I have a love-hate relationship with the track. But I think that’s the tempo when it comes to racing at Winchester. Some races you love it, others you hate it. Hopefully, we’re on that good side when the checkered flag waves on Saturday night.
 
“I can’t thank Chad Bryant enough for offering us a stout short-track car.
 
“Pocono was certainly tough to swallow, but we are determined to turn a positive out of a negative and adding Winchester Speedway – a race that was not on our schedule just shows the drive and determination of our race team.”
 
Van Alst has plenty of experience at Winchester’s half-mile high banks and while the track is dubbed as his hometown ARCA Menards Series race, the 2019 ARCA CRA champion is hoping to put on a show and contend for his first career top-five finish in the highly anticipated 200-lap barn burner.
 
“I’ve never won a race at Winchester, but I won a championship there,” added Van Alst. “There is definitely an opportunity for us to win on Saturday. It is not going to be easy, but it is possible.
 
“Whatever happens on Saturday though, it will be a good test for Bristol later this year for our team. We have a lot to look forward to this summer and fall. I’m just so appreciative to everyone who helps make this happen.” 
 
CB Fabricating, a longtime partner with Greg Van Alst Motorsports has boosted its commitment to the team and will continue its role as the primary marketing partner of Van Alst’s No. 35 Ford.
 
Headquartered in Anderson, Ind., CB Fabricating offers a complete list of fabricating from design, laser cutting, CNC punching, forming, welding, powder coating, and assembly.
 
Their 26,000 square foot facility allows them to service the needs of many different industries. Everything from the Automotive, agricultural, aquatic, medical, transportation, electrical enclosures, and much more.
 
For the second consecutive race, not only is Van Alst racing for his second top-10 finish of the year on Saturday, but awareness too.
 
CB Fabricating president Chris Barkdull was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and will utilize the ARCA event to bring attentiveness and awareness to the disease as Barkdull continues treatment.
 
“We would not be racing at Winchester – heck any of these ARCA races this season without Chris,” added Van Alst. “He’s just not an investor or a partner in this thing – he’s family. When he was diagnosed, he was determined to do his part to educate the public and that is exactly what he is going to do.”
 
In addition to CB Fabricating, Top Choice Fence, Norton Transport, KRJ Race Products and Lintz Creative will serve as associate marketing partners for Van Alst’s eighth career ARCA start.
 
Earlier this month, Van Alst turned heads with a spirited fourth-place ARCA | CRA Super Late Model run in the historic 55th Greg Hubler Automotive Group Redbud 400 presented by Mitch Smith Auto Service and Perfecto at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway.
 
Throughout the 400 laps, Van Alst improved nine positions after his 13th place qualifying effort in the No. 35 CB Fabricating | Top Choice Fence Chevrolet.
 
Following Winchester, Van Alst’s next ARCA Menards Series race with regular crew chief Jim Long is nestled in the Irish Hills of Brooklyn, Mich. at Michigan International Speedway for the Michigan 200 on Fri., Aug. 20, 2021.
 
For more on Greg Van Alst and Greg Van Alst Motorsports, please stay tuned for a new website, but like them on Facebook (Van Alst Motorsports) and follow him on Twitter (@GregVanAlst35). 
 
For more on CB Fabricating, please visit CBFabricating.com and like them on Facebook (CB Fabricating).
 
The Calypso Lemonade 200 (200 laps | 100 miles) is the 12th of 20 races on the 2021 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Sat., Jul. 31 with a forty-five-minute practice session from 4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for a short time later at 6:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 8:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold Pass. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).

Extreme E, the new electric off-road motorracing series, can today reveal it has reached an agreement in principle with Sardinian officials to host the fourth event of its opening season, the Island X Prix, from 23-24 October.

The move to the Italian island follows the series’ decision to postpone its originally planned events in Brazil and Argentina due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Latin America.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “I am pleased to confirm that Extreme E is finalising plans to hold an Island X Prix in Sardinia, Italy, and that we are delighted to have the support of Sardinian president Christian Solinas, and the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) as we plan our first European event.

“Extreme E was built around the ethos of racing electric vehicles in remote environments in an effort to raise awareness for climate change issues and showcase the performance and benefits of low carbon vehicles. However, this crisis is not a problem which only affects remote locations. It is becoming increasingly noticeable closer to home, across North America, and here across Europe, with rising temperatures, heatwaves and wildfires, which currently rage in Sardinia itself, being some of the latest devastating examples.

“Together with our supportive hosts and our Scientific Committee and Partners, we will use the power of sport to educate on the causes of these climate issues which are taking place right here in front of us, as we aim to open eyes even wider to the need for all of us to take collective action, now, before it’s too late.” 

Sardinian president Christian Solinas has confirmed the news that the Sardinian Region will work alongside the organisers for the success of the event.

Scientists are warning of worsening extreme weather patterns if global temperatures continue to rise without solutions being put in place to cut carbon emissions, and that greenhouse gas levels are already too high “for a manageable future for humanity”.

Richard Washington, Professor of Climate Science at the University of Oxford, and founding member of Extreme E’s Scientific Committee, explains: “Rising temperatures and wildfires are now a threat across every continent. In just the last couple of years we have seen devastation in the Amazon, Australia, Siberia, Canada and the Mediterranean region. With thresholds already crossed by climate change, wildfires are more extensive, more intense, more damaging and last longer. New ways of forecasting wildfires and new ways of adapting to them are urgently needed.

“Ultimately, the driver of all this is climate change. To reduce the devastation, we need to stem the driver of that change and that means cutting carbon emissions. Continue to live as we do, and the carbon emissions by the end of the century will make the wildfires of recent years look modest. Extreme E is at the forefront of the drive towards a better future, a new way of doing things and a world which does not rely on deadly carbon emissions.” 

So far the series has journeyed to the deserts of AlUla, Saudi Arabia, and the beaches of Senegal, West Africa, where it has so far educated on the issues of desertification, coastal erosion and plastic pollution, and is about to race in Greenland to shine a spotlight on the melting ice cap. The sport for purpose series highlights the impact of climate change and promotes the benefits of electric vehicles and low carbon solutions in the fight to help reduce global emission levels.

President Angelo Sticchi Damiani – President of Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) said: “The ability to look to the future and to design or support new initiatives that have an important horizon both from a technical evolution and from a sporting spectacle perspective, has always been in the DNA of the Automobile Club d’Italia, which since its inception has been the “engine” of motorsport, anticipating motorsport trends and developments over the years.

“In this broad context, the ACI, the Region of Sardinia and Alejandro Agag are working together on an agreement to host an Extreme E event. A championship for off-road cars conceived by the FIA ​​International Automobile Federation and dedicated exclusively to electric SUVs, which will take place in Sardinia on 23 and 24 October 2021. As usual, ACI has played a fundamental role in the birth of this event and will follow it by supporting in its development.”

Extreme E includes top racing names from the biggest and best disciplines in motorsport. Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg’s Rosberg X Racing (RXR) currently leads the championship standings, closely followed by Seven-Time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s X44 team. Former F1 competitor Jenson Button also leads his own JBXE entry. The world-class drivers in Extreme E include rally legends Carlos Sainz Snr. and Sébastien Loeb; FIA World Rallycross Champions Johan Kristoffersson, Timmy Hansen and Mattias Ekström, competing alongside leading female drivers, including Molly Taylor, Jamie Chadwick, Catie Munnings, Cristina Gutiérrez and more.

All teams include a male and female driver who complete a lap apiece of the Extreme E race course, with a driver ‘switch’ taking place midway, with both drivers competing together for success.

Extreme E races - known as an X Prix - take place over two days, within an area no larger than 10 km2. Course designers are tasked with carefully selecting options, which provide the most challenging and exciting racing action whilst crucially generating no negative impact from either environmental or social perspectives. Routes will be designed to incorporate existing obstacles and features with elevation changes and jumps, without the need to adapt the environment. 

As well as using sport to shine a global spotlight on climate issues in its five locations, Extreme E will work alongside local experts in each region to implement positive legacy initiatives dependent on local needs. Further details on the Island X Prix’s overall purpose and legacy plans will be confirmed in coming weeks.

 To learn more about Extreme E, visit - www.Extreme-E.com

Professional off-road racer Keegan Kincaid returns to action in the Championship Off-Road Pro 2 class this weekend at Dirt City Motorplex, the fourth of six events on the 2021 calendar. Kincaid will aim to extend his 12-point championship lead at a track where he posted two podium finishes last year.
 
“I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel this weekend at Dirt City,” said Kincaid. “This track was kind to us last year with two solid finishes, and after ERX challenged us all a few weeks ago, and kind of worked out as a wash in the points, we’re ready to turn the tide and put the momentum firmly back in our corner. It’ll be great to see all the fans at Dirt City again, and we’re ready to put on a show for them!”
 
Kincaid’s time at ERX Motor Park saw him survive what was a difficult weekend for most drivers with his championship lead intact. He managed a top five finish in the second race of an event where most of the front runners struggled for points. That was still enough to not only maintain, but actually extend, his advantage to 12 points against a closely matched field.
 
A return to Kincaid’s home state of Wisconsin may prove to be the shot in the arm that breaks things wide open. In last year’s Lena rounds, he posted back-to-back second place finishes as part of his runner-up championship campaign. With three wins already under his belt in six races in 2021, another victory isn’t far out of his sights—and another big weekend could begin to put the top spot out of reach for the rest of the field.
 
Tickets for the Championship Off-Road event at Dirt City Motorplex can be purchased here. As always, the event can be streamed live at champoffroad.com/livestream, with the first show of the weekend beginning on Saturday at 11:30AM ET. In addition, TV coverage of the previous two events at Crandon and ERX will air on Sunday at 7PM and 8PM ET, respectively, on the CBS Sports Network.
 
Keegan Kincaid is supported by Lucas Oil, Cooper Tire, Vision Wheel, Discount Tire, Fox Shocks, Langlade Ford, Impact, Traxxas, Champion Power Equipment, Roush Competition Engines, FK Rod Ends, Truck Country, NTN, and VP Racing Fuels. For more information and to stay in the loop, follow Keegan on Facebook and Instagram.
 
Images via Noggs Photo
By John Oreovicz
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
You love racing, but you’re realistic enough to know you’re not going to make it as a driver. Perhaps you’re not especially mechanically inclined, either. But you feel like you’re more than just a fan and you want to get closer to the action. How do you get involved?
 
The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) offers several ways for volunteers to get “inside the ropes” of events ranging from local autocross competitions to regional road racing events to IMSA-sanctioned 24-hour races. Formed in 1944, the SCCA boasts more than 67,000 members who share a love of cars and competition. The club features nine geographic divisions across the U.S., encompassing 114 local regions.
 
Aside from organizing and sanctioning races at the professional and amateur levels, the SCCA also provides free training for corner workers, timing and scoring workers, and other officials to work at events across North America and even around the world. These are the people who serve behind the scenes as the “mechanics” who put together a race.
 
Corner workers are crucial to the safe operation of any race event. Their primary job is to warn competitors of hazards ahead or faster cars approaching from behind. That’s especially crucial in sports car racing, where the inclusion of multiple classes can create serious traffic jams.
The role of a corner worker isn’t glamorous but the rewards are immeasurable. True, the hours are long – from early morning until the last checkered flag waves – and workers endure all elements of weather. But the opportunity to be part of the action and as close to the action as possible without actually being in a race car is the primary drawing card for most volunteers.
 
Not to mention the camaraderie developed among the community. At some IMSA road courses, in fact, many corner workers spend the race weekend camping onsite and gather when the day’s work is done to spend time together.
 
At the recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekend at Detroit’s Belle Isle, their day started with a 6:30 a.m. meeting for the more than 100 volunteer corner workers, an hour before gates opened to the public and a full three hours before the first racing car turned a wheel. Their day ended with the track shrouded in darkness, activity having been delayed by a pair of incidents during the IndyCar race earlier in the afternoon.
 
Yet they were out there, laughing and joking, for 14 hours, on a hot, muggy day, under a constant threat of rain. As unpaid volunteers. With all due respect to the Peace Corps, being a corner worker might be the toughest job anyone could ever love.
 
Bob Duncan, formerly from the Lansing, Michigan, area but now residing in Florida, served as corner captain for Turns 8, 9, 10 and 11 on the street course, supervising two or three flaggers at each station.
 
Duncan showed interest in becoming an official when he attended an SCCA Track Day event in 2002, and he was quickly recruited.
 
“It was free training, and as soon as you get trained, you’re in – you’re doing everything,” Duncan recalled. “It took about two years to get enough experience for my local administrator to write a letter that said I could work at a pro event, which was an ALMS sports car race.”
 
He noted that things are more intense for corner workers at the professional level. “Suddenly, the cars were a lot faster than the amateur racing I had seen,” he said. “Within a year or so after that, I worked the Formula One race at Indianapolis, waving the blue flag, and I remember being able to see Michael Schumacher’s eyes working as he came around.”
Since then, he’s worked events across the country and around the world, even managing to incorporate flagging the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps into a European business trip.
 
“I build my entire relaxation around this,” Duncan said. “It’s what I do instead of vacation, though we do integrate an element of that. My wife supports me. She knows it’s my hobby and she actually comes to some races – she likes IMSA and Formula One. As corner workers, we often receive guest passes.”
 
Brian Sumeracki became involved with the SCCA in 1990. “I started out in club racing as a technical inspector, but I wanted to get into the racing part,” he said. “But life happened, and I got married. A friend suggested that I try flagging.”
 
He completed training in 2002 and mainly worked events at tracks in his region – Waterford Hills, Grattan Raceway Park and GingerMan Raceway. A longtime Chrysler employee, he also campaigned a Dodge Neon showroom stock car at SCCA events, and he also served two terms on the board of directors of the club’s Detroit Region.
 
He now works up to eight events a year and says the SCCA National Runoffs is his favorite.
 
“I got a couple cousins into flagging,” Sumeracki said. “I enjoy the camaraderie. You generally work with people from similar fields. I’ve met people from different parts of Chrysler who also work as flaggers.”
 
Shelby Township, Michigan, resident Jim Megel claims he’s not a car guy, yet he has worked as a flagger at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
“I just like the racing,” he explained. “Some of these folks can tell you what the drivers had for breakfast, but I just like the competition. Racing is very technical.”
 
He started thinking about volunteer work when Roger Penske helped bring the Super Bowl to Detroit in 2006.
 
“I hit the wrong button on the computer and that didn’t go through, but about a year later, the Detroit Grand Prix came back to Belle Isle,” Megel said. “I reached out to the local SCCA and they just took me by the arm. I went to school, did the training.”
 
Clearly, for all the hard work that goes into being a volunteer, there’s plenty of payoff. And not just the legendary corner worker parties that traditionally cap a race weekend.
 
“It’s a volunteer thing so there is a satisfaction doing something for the racing community,” said Duncan. “You have that interaction with the drivers, and you are connected to the race in a different way than just sitting in the grandstand watching them go by.
 
“You get to be in absolutely the best seat in the house.”
 
To learn more about the SCCA and become a member and corner worker, visit SCCA.com.
Kyle Koretsky is looking forward to racing at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the first time in his young career, which is reason enough for the rising Pro Stock star to want to do well at this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com. But the fact it’s also his sponsor’s race has Koretsky even more excited for his Pomona debut in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro.
 
Koretsky made his Pro Stock debut after the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series resumed racing in July last year, meaning last weekend’s race in Sonoma was a whole a new experience. That sentiment holds true for this weekend as well, and Koretsky will look to build on qualifying second in Sonoma as he tries to pick up his first career victory in the class.
 
“I look forward to every single race and I’m really looking forward to this one,” Koretsky said. “Racing is my life and I’m definitely there to perform. Car-wise, we’ve got a great hot rod right now. Driver-wise, I really struggled last weekend cutting a light. I’m working on that and I’ll head to Pomona with a lot of confidence in the car. I’ll go to Pomona as calm and as relaxed as I can, and with a clear head, and we’ll look forward to a good outcome.”
 
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of a race that will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and FOX, including finals coverage beginning at 4 p.m. ET on FOX on Sunday, Aug. 1. It marks the 10th race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final race of what has been a memorable three-race Western Swing. It’s also the first time the NHRA will race at Pomona in the summer, adding another special note for the weekend.
 
To get his first career win, Koretsky will have to race past his KB Racing teammate and points leader Greg Anderson, who has enjoyed a huge amount of success at Pomona, defending world champ Erica Enders, Sonoma winner Aaron Stanfield, who has two victories in the past three races, standout rookie Dallas Glenn, Mason McGaha, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Deric Kramer. Currently eighth in points, a big weekend for Koretsky could pay off down the road as well.
 
“This year, we’re trying to stay humble and race each race, but getting into the right position for the Countdown to the Championship is huge and something you’re starting to think about,” Koretsky said. “We just have to keep trying to make as many clean runs as we can. All those points really start adding up now and I want to give my team the best shot I can. If we can keep the car where it’s at and I can get myself going, we can have a winning combination and really show what this car can do.”
 
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Karen Stoffer will try to keep rolling after winning last weekend in Sonoma. It was a breakout weekend for the veteran and her teammate Jerry Savoie. He advanced to the semifinals, while Stoffer picked up the victory with an impressive performance on her Ray Skillman Auto Group/Big St. Charles Motorsports Suzuki. Stoffer jumped to fifth in the points standings in the process, giving her plenty of momentum to finish off the Western Swing.
 
Getting a repeat win would keep Stoffer on a positive path, but replicating her performance from Sonoma will be difficult in what will be far different conditions at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. On top of that, Stoffer will have to contend with a number of top riders, including points leader and defending world champ Matt Smith, Sonoma runner-up Andrew Hines, Angie Smith, Ryan Oehler, Scotty Pollacheck, Eddie Krawiec and Angelle Sampey.
 
“The one thing about drag racing is you’re only a winner for a week and then you have to try to climb the hill again,” said Stoffer, who has 10 career wins. “Coming right back and racing the next week, hopefully the tuner and rider can stay consistent. We’ve made some big strides and I think we’ll continue to do that. It’s definitely going to be different going from Sonoma and Pomona, but we’ll try to maintain that team support and keep those good feelings going that we enjoyed last week.”
 
Top Fuel’s Steve Torrence will have an opportunity to sweep the Western swing, which hasn’t been done since 2009 and has only been accomplished by seven different drivers in NHRA history. The three-time defending world champ has been red-hot, but he’ll be challenged by the likes of Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Sonoma runner-up Leah Pruett, Clay Millican and Doug Kalitta.
 
Funny Car’s Robert Hight won in Sonoma for the third straight year and he’ll look for more California success this weekend in the loaded class. Trying to stop him are a host of standouts, including points leader Bob Tasca III, John Force, defending world champ Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and Gainesville winner J.R. Todd.
 
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills. Following nitro qualifying on both Friday and Saturday, there will be a special and thrilling fireworks and hot rod cacklefest celebration on the return road that fans won’t want to miss. After nitro qualifying on Saturday, fans can also enjoy a special “Hemi Under Glass” wheelstander exhibition driven by Mike Mantel.
 
As always, fans are granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity gives fans a chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds. 
 
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 7:15 p.m. PT on Friday, July 30 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 31 at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, Aug. 1. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations action at 4 p.m. on FOX on Sunday.
 
To purchase general admission or reserved seats, call 800-884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also are available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.  
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
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