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
The thunderous roar of American muscle returns to Sebring International Raceway this weekend as the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli headlines the Sebring SpeedTour Feb. 19-21. Fans are welcomed back to the former airfield for the three-day event. (TICKETS)
The roster of contenders in TA2® continues to get more crowded with IndyCar veterans, NASCAR legends, IMSA greats and youthful rookies filling out the entry list with a strong 30-car field for the stand-alone 100-mile TA2® race on Sunday.
“Last season the TA2® field gave us some of the closest races and dramatic finishes all year,” said John Clagett, President of the Trans Am Race Company. “As the field continues to grow with talented drivers, this championship will be even more competitive than its been in the past, and that is saying something!”
The full SpeedTour event, including Trans Am qualifying sessions, will be live streamed starting Saturday on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.
As the new season is ready to launch there are a number of key storylines that are set to develop in 2021.
Trans Am Sebring Entry List
Reigning TA2® champion Mike Skeen returns to defend his title, wheeling the Liqui-Moly/Turn14Distribution Chevrolet Camaro under a new number, No. 1 - the position he ended with in 2020.
Skeen opened his championship-winning season with a victory (his first of six for the year) at Sebring last year, grabbing the lead following a restart with less than two laps remaining. Skeen claimed his first checkered flag of 2020 only .489-seconds ahead of second place, which set the tone for the TA2® class the rest of the season.
“The 2021 TA2 Championship is shaping up to be a great season with many new and returning contenders,” said Skeen. “Having Liqui Moly and Turn 14 back on our Howe Racing Camaro from Stevens-Miller Racing will ensure that we can continue to fight at the front and defend our championship.”
Challenging Skeen’s bid for a second championship is 2018 TA2® champion Rafa Matos. Matos opened 2019 with a win at Sebring, and last year edged himself onto the podium in the final seconds of the TA2® race with a third-place finish.
“Sebring is a track that I love and we have won there in 2019, so we have a good reference and data to make sure we are on the right path as far setup is concerned,” explained Matos. “Winning races and staying consistent throughout the season will be the key to winning the championship.”
After racing with another team in 2020, Matos is back with his championship-winning 3 Dimensional team in the yellow and red No. 88 3 Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang for a full-time championship effort in 2021.
“I’m extremely excited to be back with Peterson Racing,” said Matos. “I had the chance to test the car and I was really happy the way the No. 88 3 Dimensional Services car felt and also the confidence of the team on the car’s preparation.”
Doug Peterson (No. 87 3 Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang) and Maurice Hull (No. 57 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro) were co-champions last season in the TA2® Masters Class. The team owners turned drivers return this season for another bout at the top step in the championship.
TA2® continues to attract a deep roster of talented drivers backed by strong teams, and the rise to championship glory will be even harder this season with several drivers looking to stake their claim to the title.
Last season, Thomas Merrill led 25 of the 27-lap feature at Sebring. Following the late-race restart Merrill spun out of the lead to finish 14th. But, the California native is looking to put the 2020 heartbreaking finish behind him as he makes his full-season campaign with Mike Cope Racing in the No. 81 HPTuners/MikeCopeRaceCars Ford Mustang. As a driver and road racing expert, Merrill will also take on double duty as he expands his role as team driver coach for the rest of the Mike Cope Racing stable. Last season, Merrill was always a front-running factor, finishing fourth overall in the championship with one victory, two podiums and six top-10 finishes in his eight starts.
Scott Lagasse Jr. has more than 115 starts across the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series. While Lagasse Jr. has been a contender in TA2® since 2016, 2021 will mark his first full-season campaign with TeamSLR in the No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro.
“The level of competition in Trans Am increases each year and it’s one of the best in racing,” said Lagasse Jr. “This will be the first year we run the entire schedule and compete for a championship. There are a lot of great competitors and it takes a lot to win each race. The cars are some of the most fun racecars I’ve driven in my career. You can hustle these cars for the entire race, just like qualifying laps. It’s been a good training tool for me. I’ve seen improvements in my road-racing ability and it’s a great series.”
As road-course racing becomes more prominent in NASCAR’s national touring series, TeamSLR will give more seat time to aspiring NASCAR drivers, using Lagasse Jr.’s veteran experience in both series to coach racers like ARCA Late Model driver Connor Mosack (No. 28 NicTailor/IFS M1-SLR/Fields Chevrolet Camaro). After a starting in select races in 2020, Mosack will join Trans Am for a full season of racing.
NASCAR Xfinity Series pilot Michael Self will climb into a TA2® car this season outfitted in a familiar green Sinclair Oil color scheme featuring the red dinosaur on the side of the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro. Self has coached drivers in the TA2® class since 2015, and was recently hired by Silver Hare Racing as General Manager where, in addition to driving, he will oversee operations. Having come up through the ranks of karting, open wheel and sports cars, Self is shifting focus from full-time oval racing back to his roots.
“I’ve always had a passion for road course racing and would always circle those events on the ARCA or K&N schedules as races I looked forward to,” said Self on his transition back to road racing. “The partnership I’ve been fortunate enough to build and grow with Sinclair has really led to all of these opportunities being opened up for me. They took a chance on me with the oval racing a few years ago, and I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished over there together, now I’m anxious to see what kind of splash we can make in the road-racing world. I can’t wait to have Dino on the side of our SHR TA2 car.”
Entering the 100-start club last season, Tom Sheehan set the record for the most starts ever in the TA2® class with 104. Sheehan returns for his 10th season of TA2® racing in the No. 87 LTK Insulation Ford Mustang.
The 2020 Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli West Coast TA2® champion Jim Gallaugher hopes to retain his Iron Man status, making a bid on both the West Coast and National TA2® title.
New Drivers, New Teams, New Cars
Four drivers, Ike Keeler (No. 15 Keeler Racing Ford Mustang), Al Prieto (No. 01 Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang), Bruce Raymond (No. 54 Ford Mustang) and Ty Young (No. 26 Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang), will make their Trans Am debut at Sebring in the TA2® class.
Young is one of four drivers fielding cars for Mike Cope Race Cars this season who will be making his introduction to TA2® after claiming multiple championships in the SCCA and NASA ranks.
“TA2 looks like a ton of fun,” said Young. “I’m looking forward to drive the higher HP cars at some of the most iconic tracks in the world.”
But, the new drivers will have to get through some heavy hitters who are also looking to claim Rookie of the Year status.
After a successful run in the Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship, Tyler Kicera suited up for two in-person racing events in 2020, driving from pole to claim his first Trans Am national win at Virginia International Raceway. This season, the Esports Vice Champion signed a full-season deal with Silver Hare Racing to drive the No. 5 Ford Mustang.
“It's been a long off season since our win at VIR last September and I'm excited to get to work with the Silver Hare Racing crew in our Waukegan Farms, Sabelt No. 5,” said Kicera. “Despite this being my first full-season campaign in TA2® competing for a championship, I think my approach remains the same. Trust in myself, focus on consistency, staying out of trouble and being there at the end of the to maximize the result. If we can do that, I have no doubt we'll be a championship contender come November.”
Adrian Wlostowski took the SuperGT title chase down to the last race in 2020, taking second in the championship in his first full season of Trans Am racing. This season, Wlostowski is stepping out of his SGT Mustang into a F.A.S.T Racing Team prepared Chevrolet Camaro with the help of Hawk Performance.
“I could not be more excited about joining the ultra-competitive TA2 category and having Hawk Performance as our primary sponsor,” Wlostowski said. “It’s a big jump from SuperGT to TA2® but I’m really looking forward to the new challenge. There’s always a large field in a TA2 race so you’re always in a battle with someone and I’m excited to be able to go wheel to wheel with these great drivers. We had a great year in Super GT and hope to keep the momentum going in TA2®.”
Although it will be his first year competing in TA2®, Wlostowski’s F.A.S.T. Racing Team fielded Doug Winston alongside Wlostowski’s SGT efforts last year. The F.A.S.T. Racing Team will expand to a two-car TA2® effort when Winston returns to action at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in March.
Trans Am ProAm Challenge
Indiana-native Raymond will field the first Trans Am ProAm Challenge TA2® car in the No. 54 Ford Mustang.
Partnering with SCCA, Trans Am launched the crossover program during the off season. Making an easy path for road racing teams to crossover to Trans Am is the primary focus of the new ProAm Challenge, with the 2021 schedule and rules package providing flexibility for teams and drivers to chase both their ProAm Challenge and their SCCA Road Racing goals in the same year.
Raymond has spent most of his racing career driving in the Ultimate Street Car Association.
After COVID-19 put a hold on its 2020 season plans, Canadian-based BC Race Cars returns with a two-car TA2® effort for Sebring, bringing a new TA2® Camaro to debut this weekend alongside Misha Goikhberg (No. 10 BC Race Cars Chevrolet Camaro) on the notoriously bumpy circuit.
Built during the pandemic lock-down, the new Camaro features many deviations from BRC’s previous builds, as most of the work was brought in-house. With BCR custom interior, re-packaging of components, hanging brake pedal assembly and X-bracing, among other updates, the result is a car with lower center of gravity and reduced polar moment.
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will join the SVRA Sebring SpeedTour in a thrilling weekend, mixing great race cars from the past and present.
Each of the four Trans Am classes will have testing sessions on Friday to open on-track activities. Saturday begins with practice at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying for each of the classes beginning at 4:10 p.m. Sunday features two 60-minute races with a massive TA2® field taking the green at 11:15 a.m. ET followed by the mixed class of TA/XGT/SGT/GT taking the green at 1:35 p.m. The full weekend will stream on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App. (Click to Download)
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- Championship - $25,000
- 1st - $7,500
- 2nd - $2,500
- 3rd - $1,500
- 4th - $1,000
- 5th - $750
- 6th - $350
- 7th - $250
- 8th - $150
- 9th - $125
- 10th - $100
Not at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway this weekend for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli season opener? Not a problem.
Fans can get their fix of Trans Am racing action no matter where they are this Saturday and Sunday with full coverage from the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App, available for download on Apple iOS and Android Google Play.
Scott Lagasse, Jr., driver of the No. 92 M1 Racecars/Fields Racing Chevrolet Camaro, plans to drive this point home and to Sebring’s victory lane by carrying the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App on the sides of his TeamSLR-prepared TA2 entry.
“Trans Am has some of the best racing around and the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App brings it directly to our fans,” said Lagasse, who is running the full TA2 schedule in 2021 with an eye on the championship. “Streaming is becoming more and more prevalent and Trans Am has been at the forefront of this technology. It’s a great product and an excellent way for our fans to take a deep dive into what we’re experiencing inside the racecar.”
The livestream on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App features high-definition onboard footage and real-time data from the cars thanks to cutting-edge technology from RACELOGIC and its flagship VBOX system. Live scoring, in-race highlights, post-race highlights, full-race replays, race results and series, team and driver news augment the livestream.
“The footage and real-time data available on the app is so good we use it ourselves,” Lagasse said. “Fans use it for entertainment and we use it to find more speed.”
As Trans Am drivers navigate Sebring’s iconic 17-turn, 3.74-mile layout, fans can ride shotgun from anywhere in the world with the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App. Coverage is facilitated by NAGRA, a best-in-class global media technology leader. Its cloud-based video content management technologies and services allow Trans Am to deliver a broadcast on par with traditional, linear programs.
Coverage from Sebring begins at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday with TA2 practice and is carried all the way through TA qualifying at 4:30 p.m. Sunday’s slate begins with the TA2 race at 11:15 a.m. and culminates with the TA feature event at 1:30 p.m.
Lagasse competes in the TA2 division. The 40-year-old from St. Augustine, Florida, has made more than 115 starts across the NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series. The two-time ARCA race winner has been competing in TA2 since 2016.
In Supercross racing the athletes have progressed nearly every aspect of the sport. Even, sometimes, crashing. The 450SX Class Main Event at the Orlando Supercross this past Saturday was a perfect example of some of the best riders in the world pushing the ragged edge of control. Some riders went past their, their bike's, and even the track's limit… and a few of those riders managed to reel things back in before hitting the stadium floor.
Saturday's 450SX Class Main Event started with Husqvarna rider Zach Osborne grabbing the lead early. Osborne had yet to replicate his round 17 performance from last year where the popular racer grabbed his first premiere class win, but round seven of 2021 looked like his chance to tally up another victory.
But on the second pass through the track's whoops section his bike kicked and he lost his balance. He lost drive, but managed to keep the bike largely upright, though falling slowly and uncontrollably left. Still off-balance, Osborne jumped over the next step-over jump and used a left turn's rut to brace off of and keep himself on the bike. He lost two positions immediately, and a third shortly after.
Later in this same race Osborne ran in fourth place and was on the rear tire of opening round winner, GASGAS' Justin Barcia. Barcia got wildly sideways (even for his own very loose riding style) and actually did come off the bike. His hands stayed on the bars, and with balance, strength, a little luck, and some running alongside his machine, Barcia miraculously didn't hit the ground other than his boot soles. Osborne was in position to be the beneficiary this time and he earned back one of the positions he had lost in the same section to finish on the podium in Orlando, his first of the year.
Some riders follow the belief, 'If the grips don't get dirty it wasn't a crash,' though that phrase is usually applied to off-road riding and slow-speed tip-overs. It's quite another thing to add a complete dismount to one of the toughest sections on a Supercross track and still come out with the grips spotless.
This season’s racing has been one thrilling twist after another. The unique limitations of all spectator events this year has resulted in a season that involves four triple-header, two double-header, and one stand-alone venue events. Spectators are allowed in attendance at a limited capacity and in a pod-style seating arrangement. This Saturday, the second of the Orlando rounds takes place at Camping World Stadium. Tickets for the FanFest daytime event and the evening race are available, as well as for future rounds up through the Atlanta races. For ticket information, the full race schedule, and broadcast times on the Peacock app and NBCSN, please visit SupercrossLIVE.com.
450SX Class Results
1. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
3. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
6. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
7. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
8. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
9. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
10. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (161)
2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (148)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (132)
4. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (118)
5. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (115)
6. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (110)
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (109)
8. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (108)
9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (99)
10. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (97)
The BMW X7 has built a reputation of luxury, power, and quality that makes it a symbolic high-end vehicle for individuals such as diplomats, politicians, executives, and VIPs. The vehicle’s OEM specifications make this model the perfect base for armoring, turning this luxurious SUV – the symbol of status – into a symbol of safety and protection. INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing is proud to release the world’s first armored BMW X7, offering exceptional protection and ultimate comfort.
The INKAS® Armored BMW X7 comes with three turbocharged engine options to suit the needs of its clientele. The strong xDrive40i is powered by a 335-horsepower turbocharged inline-six-cylinder, while the powerful V-8 engine is available in either 523 or 612 horsepower. All engine options are equipped with eight-speed automatic transmission and paired with all-wheel-drive to provide torque and a smooth ride, regardless of the terrain and weather conditions.
As a top-of-the-line vehicle, the armored BMW X7 boasts a powerful and elegant appearance, featuring athletic styling that both impresses and commands respect. The vehicle provides exceptional comfort for passengers for both urban drives and long commutes. The stylish BMW X7 offers spaciousness and functionality for its occupants including comfortable seats, adaptive cruise control, ambient lighting, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto compatibility, lane keep assistance and more. The vehicle comes with a variety of high-quality upholstery and decorative element choices to match individual preferences.
“We are thrilled that despite the challenges during this pandemic, INKAS® is able to continue developing and extending our product line with high-quality and innovative products. It’s always a challenge being the first one in the industry to convert a specific model into a bulletproof vehicle, but it’s a rewarding venture,” said David Khazanski, CEO of INKAS® Armored Vehicle Manufacturing. “This first-ever armored BMW X7 is engineered with attention to detail and provides unparalleled protection and comfort for its passengers”.
The INKAS® Armored BMW X7 is equipped with high-quality and innovative ballistic armor, covering the vehicle with 360-degree protection. With INKAS® proprietary armoring system, the vehicle offers protection from top to bottom, and even ensures that no bullets can penetrate the door seals. Meeting the CEN 1063 BR6 ballistic standard, the vehicle can withstand attacks from 7.62x51mm or .308 Winchester FMJ ammunition as well as protect from the explosions of two hand grenades detonated simultaneously. INKAS® offers additional protective upgrades such as sirens and PA systems, air filtration devices, night-vision systems, smoke screen system, engine bay fire suppression system, and emergency lights packages.
The new INKAS® Armored BMW X7 is now available for worldwide delivery to all major seaports, or even airfreight upon special request. For additional information, please watch the video here or visit the vehicle’s page.
Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced today that Adobe Road wines are now “The Official Wine of SVRA.” Adobe Road Winery's product line includes its "Racing Series," comprised of four ultra-premium, California, red wine blends. They are the vision of champion race car driver, team owner, and winery owner Kevin Buckler. Buckler founded the renowned race team, The Racers Group (TRG). Among his numerous accolades, he drove the overall winning car in the 2003 Daytona Rolex 24-Hour race.
"Kevin and TRG have stout racing credentials. No orientation to sports car racing is necessary," said Tony Parella, owner and CEO of both Trans Am and SVRA. "Kevin and TRG’s racing accomplishments alone are off the charts. The team has four Daytona 24 wins, a GT class championship at Le Mans, and the record for the greatest number of wins and podiums of any independent GT team in North American sportscar racing history. Their resume also includes NASCAR competition, including three years at the Cup level. I could talk all day about what they have achieved in the sport we love, but I have to say Adobe Road wines are delicious."
Kevin and his wife Debra, building on the success of TRG, opened Adobe Road Winery in the heart of Sonoma County in 2002. Kevin's auto racing success was a great branding vehicle to distinguish their products from another of his great passions – handcrafted wine. Some might say, they’ve reached that goal by producing award-winning wines. The winery team has produced over forty 90+ score wines from prominent publications like Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and the Wine Spectator.
"Nowadays, making amazing wine is the cost of entry. What we have done is taken the next step forward and have begun construction on a world-class winery and entertainment center in downtown Petaluma (CA) that will serve as our home to share with our fans for years to come," said Buckler. "Sportscar racing is home base for our Racing Series wines. SVRA is the pinnacle of vintage sports car racing, so the association is outstanding. It’s like we have known each other forever."
Adobe Road Winery joins other top-brand companies on the growing list of SVRA partners. Among them are Jaguar, Land Rover, Lucas Oil, NetJets, Sunoco, Avis, Mazda Motorsports, Big Machine Vodka, TireRack.com, RACELOGIC, Mission Foods, Hawk Performance, F.A.S.T., Marathon Coach, and CG Detroit. SVRA's nationwide platform is at the heart of the organization's growth strategy. Agreements with powerful brands combine with the significant participation of legendary professional drivers and the paddock's high net worth demographic for more partnership attraction. This strategy provides three pillars for business expansion. Company officials report consistent annual triple-digit growth since 2012.