Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 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
Robin Larsson Wins Inaugural Group E Championship at Nitro Rallycross 2022/23 Finale; Nitro RX to Kick Off 2023/24 Season June 16-17 at Visions Off-Road
Nitro Rallycross wrapped up its inaugural global season this weekend in thrilling fashion at Los Angeles’ iconic Glen Helen Raceway. Following a triple shot of fiercely contended finals, with three different drivers winning each round, Robin Larsson (SWE) clinched the series title on Sunday. He also had the honor of hoisting the new Ken Block Championship trophy, which was presented by Lucy Block and the Block family.
After winning under the lights on Friday night’s opener, Larsson’s Dreyer Reinbold Racing (DRR)/JC teammate Andreas Bakkerud (NOR) came in third on Sunday, earning second place in the season standings. Keeping it in the DRR family, rising star Fraser McConnell (JAM) finished second on Sunday and took third in the championship.
Larsson had built a strong series lead going into the LA finale, with two victories and six podiums across the season’s first seven rounds. But Larsson went cold during the first two races this weekend, uncharacteristically finishing last on Friday and off the podium in fourth on Saturday.
Sunday though, it was a very different story. Larsson reasserted himself with a Top Qualifier win, then in a tight semifinal battle, beat Travis Pastrana (USA). In the final, Larsson launched from row two, quickly passing McConnell and then - with his trademark precision and tenacity – worked his way through the field to take the checkered flag and seal the Group E championship.
Afterwards, Larsson said: “This feels really good. It’s special. My prior wins were in Europe. But here, we have top guys from all over the world. It’s so competitive. With five different winners throughout the series, you never knew going into each race who was going to win it. You had to be at your best and take advantage of every chance you got. That’s what I like.”
Bakkerud said: “Big up to Robin. All season long, he has been Mr. Consistent. It shows his attitude and commitment… Of course, I would’ve loved to have been the one lifting the trophy. But I’m just immensely proud of him and the whole team.”
Sunday brought McConnell full circle. He scored the first major rallycross victory of his career at Nitro RX’s prior Glen Helen stop in October, then in the finale capped off his breakout year by securing his third-place series finish.
McConnell said: “This is incredible. I still consider myself quite new to this sport, and coming from Jamaica, nothing in rallycross exists to this scale. So, I’m looking to push the sport back home… To be able represent my country on a stage as big as Nitro RX is an incredible feeling. It’s an honor every time I go out on the track.”
Regarding the debut of Group E’s revolutionary all-electric FC1-X, McConnell added, “The sky is the limit with it, and I think we have a great thing going.”
Fans will not have to wait long to get their first taste of Nitro RX’s 2023/24 season: Nitro RX will headline Visions Off-Road 2023 at MidAmerica Outdoors in Jay, Oklahoma on June 16-17.
In addition to hosting to the first stop of Nitro RX 2023/24, fans can see Nitro Circus shows, the biggest off-road racing series in motorport - from the new Truck Championship Series to Ultra4 USA endurance to MAO Racing short course - and more.
On top of that, live shows and entertainment every day will provide all kinds of fun and adventure for the whole family. Plan a summer vacation your family will never forget at the biggest and best Visions Off-Road event yet.
Visions Off-Road 2023 tickets and camping reservations are available now at visionsoffroad.com.
Mission Foods Announces Angelle Sampey as Brand Ambassador to Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge
Mission Foods, the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps, has signed three-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion Angelle Sampey to serve as brand ambassador for the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, an exciting new race program for the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
As brand ambassador, fan-favorite Angelle, the winningest female competitor in NHRA history and third-winningest driver in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle history, will bring her 26 years of racing expertise to TV viewers with fresh commentary on the Challenge. She will also post live from the Challenge on social media, interview drivers, present medals and checks to Challenge winners, and meet and greet with fans during autograph signings.
“We are very excited to bring Angelle Sampey on board to promote the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge,” said Juan Gonzalez, chief executive officer, Mission Foods. “Angelle brings so much with her passion, dedication and experience in everything she does. I strongly believe that this partnership will not only be great for the Challenge but also for Mission Foods and fans of the NHRA.”
The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge offers an exciting twist for drivers and their fans, as it introduces competitive racing, as opposed to qualifying races only, to the regular-season Saturday schedule.
In a must-see challenge, semifinalists from the previous race will compete against each other in a rematch in all professional categories. The drivers will face off during the first qualifying session on Saturday, with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session.
Drivers in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge will also race for more than just redemption. Racers have a chance to win a portion of the half-million-dollar purse over the course of the season, plus bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. These bonus points are added after the Countdown points reset and could ultimately lead to a shot at competing for a NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world championship.
“I am so excited and honored to be chosen as the face of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. I was fortunate to represent Mission Foods over the past two years while racing a Pro Stock motorcycle,” said Sampey. “One thing I learned during that time is that I love the people at Mission Foods as much as I love the products. I look forward to spending time with fans and racers at all 12 Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge events. This is going to be a new and exciting adventure for me!”
“Angelle has always been a favorite with our fans and is such a terrific ambassador for NHRA drag racing. It will be great to see the energy and excitement she adds to the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge this year,” added Brad Gerber, vice president and chief development officer, NHRA. “This is such a thrilling new initiative for our drivers and fans, thanks to Mission Foods, and Angelle will be the perfect representative to add even more interest to this Challenge.”
The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge will begin during the NHRA Arizona Nationals on March 24-26 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix. After its debut, the Challenge will take place at all regular-season races in the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, except for the two four-wide races in Las Vegas and Charlotte. The Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge will end at the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Fans can tune in to all the thrilling action these Saturday races promise on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) or buy tickets to catch the excitement in person at https://www.nhra.com/schedule/2023. Don’t forget to grab a sample of Mission Foods’ tasty tortilla chips at the Mission Foods tent, where Angelle and the top qualifiers will be signing autographs for fans!
You can also check out Angelle’s commentary on social media at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And if you want to eat like a racing champion, check out Mission Foods’ Protein Tortilla Wraps — one of Angelle’s favorite ways to fuel her active lifestyle.
Topo Chico Mineral Water Continues Motorsport Splash with Patricio O’Ward in NTT INDYCAR SERIES
Patricio O’Ward will partner with Topo Chico Mineral Water as a personal sponsor for the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Sporting the Mineral Water’s traditional bright yellow logo from atop his Arai helmet since 2019, Topo Chico has become a staple of the onboard footage seen on the nationwide broadcast of the premiere American open-wheel championship.
O’Ward and Topo Chico Mineral Water are bound by their heritage and their birthplace of Monterrey, MX. Their relationship began in 2016 in the INDYCAR junior series formally known as Pro Mazda, and the 2016 Formula 4 NACAM Championship. They were also personal sponsors in the 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge and O’Ward’s 2018 INDYCAR debut in Sonoma.
After years of victories, pole positions, and fastest laps together, they look forward to having another podium-studded season. O’Ward has the best finish ever by a Mexican driver and has his sights set on becoming the first to ever win an Indianapolis 500 or the overall NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship.
Next up, O’Ward will be running his home race, the PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will display the country’s best open-wheel drivers compete side-by-side at more than 200 mph on the 1.5-mile oval. Broadcast coverage goes live at noon ET Sunday, April 2 on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Topo Chico Mineral Water General Manager Gerardo Galvan:
“Topo Chico Mineral Water’s relationship with Pato O'Ward goes back many years, and it has always been a very successful relationship. Pato is a born winner and is originally from Monterrey, as is Topo Chico Mineral Water. We are very proud of his career, which never ceases to amaze us day after day, race after race and the best is yet to be written.”
Patricio O’Ward - Driver of the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet:
“I go way back with Topo Chico! It’s great to have such a recognizable brand on board and to see just how much their company has grown both in Mexico and the United States since we first got started together. I’m confident we will secure many more podiums together in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet this season.”
Montucky Cold Snacks announces Mascot Contest; prizes include Face on 100k+ Beers, NASCAR truck +More!
Have you ever wanted to have your face slapped on the side of a NASCAR truck? Be appointed an emissary to the sovereign nation of The Republic of Molossia? Undertake a liquor store can-signing tour?
While this isn’t Make-A-Wish Foundation, Montucky Cold Snacks, the beer flavored beer for everyone, is making dreams come true, by giving one lucky fan bonafide minor-celebrity status, via its debut Montucky Mascot Contest. This is no joke! The winner’s face will cover hundreds of thousands of Montucky Cans and that’s just to start…
The Montucky Mascot will also enjoy a major local liquor-store signing tour, host a Race Day NASCAR party while watching a NASCAR truck with their FACE on it zip around the track, first pitch for Reno Aces’ opening game, and get shredded with a summer training session with an ice curling icon. Montucky’s Mascot is going to be L-I-V-I-N’ this year!
Launching on March 22, with no rules and no parameters, contestants simply create a :30 sec video showing and/or telling Montucky why they should be the first-ever official mascot. Worst case scenario, participants get :30 seconds of fame on Montucky’s socials for their “better luck next time” efforts. Best case they could see their face on a billboard in some rural location in the middle of nowhere.
Much like those of the Royal Family members, the duties of The Montucky Mascot are serious, our mascot will be called upon to hold this title with no real expectations beyond being a sterling legend redeeming these unremarkably legit prizes.
If you think you are up to the challenge, send us your best, and we’ll see you on the can!
The official list of prizes below:
- Appointed the official mascot as an emissary to their sovereign nation of The Republic of Molossia
- Face on Cans
- Your face on a NASCAR Truck (one race)
- A trip to the NASCAR Truck Race where your face is featured on the side of the truck
- Your face on a MCS Billboard somewhere in America
- Your name on a Montucky Cold Snacks Adopt-A-Highway in Montana
- Opening throw at Reno Aces game
- Liquor store can-signing tour
- Randomly found used mixtape
- Sample 50 Fried Foods at a State Fair in One Day
- A year’s worth of snacks
- Face on mouse pad
- Face on Coffee Cup
Prototype Sprint Series Association presented by Hankook (PSSA) celebrated a successful debut weekend at Road Atlanta, March 24-26. The series attracted drivers from three countries with a variety of Radical and Revolution prototypes for the Mission Foods Atlanta SpeedTour.
Local driver Raiden Nicol led both Practice and Qualifying 1 on Friday, with his quickest lap of the weekend—a 1:20.918 lap—coming in the opening qualifying session. A wet track on Saturday morning led to a limited number of drivers participating in the second qualifying session, where Yaxley, UK native, James Abbott laid down the fastest lap in his 2021 Revolution 500sc.
With a dry track and sun shining over Road Atlanta, Nicol, who lives just minutes from the track in neighboring Hoschton, Ga., drove his 2022 Radical SR10 XX to victory in both Saturday’s Feature Race 1 and Sunday’s Feature Race 2. Behind Nicol, Jon Field and Zac Moseley each claimed two podiums, swapping positions with Field taking second in Race 1 and third in Race 2, while Moseley finished third in the PS1 class in Race 1 before taking second in Race 2. Both Field and Moseley piloted 2022 Revolution A-1 500SCs.
In the PS2 category, Canadian Peter Dyck took both feature wins driving his 2020 Revolution 427.
“We had a great opening weekend of competition for PSSA,” said Tony Parella, CEO of Parella Motorsports Holdings and founder of PSSA. “We just announced the series two months ago, so to have seven cars at our opening event, I am certain that we’ll see significant growth before the season’s end. Hankook put together a great tire for these prototypes, and our friends at Revolution and Radical did a great job getting the word out to their customers about this new series. The racing was entertaining, and the competition was both clean and safe; there’s nothing more that we could ask for.”
PSSA will be back in action on Hankook tires for a West Coast doubleheader with back-to-back races at Sonoma Raceway (April 27-30) and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (May 4-7).
State Bicycle Co. Named Official Bike of the Little 500
State Bicycle Co. has been named the official bike supplier of the Little 500 bicycle race, one of the most iconic and highly anticipated collegiate events in the United States. Held annually at Indiana University, the Little 500 is a grueling race around the quarter-mile cinder track at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The event dates back to 1951 and draws thousands of spectators every year.
"We feel that we’re bringing an authentic perspective that students can really relate to," said State Bicycle Co. co-founder Mehdi Farsi on IU student blog, Ringer Bike Review. "The Little 500 is very much in line with what we find to be exiting, interesting, and fun about cycling. We're honored that we’re able to partner with the IU Student Foundation and the Little 500 for this race."
Over 200 custom-designed State Little 500 bikes were shipped to IU, supplying each four-person team with a quality bike to rip around the track. The steel frame provides a compliant ride without sacrificing durability, while the custom paint designed by the Little 500 Riders’ council reflects the iconic race with a retro colorway. As qualifiers took place this past weekend, riders got their first chance to put the race bikes to the test. “We had zero mechanical failures. It is absolutely unheard of that no riders experienced even a dropped chain on this day,” said Little 500 mechanic, Greg Souder.
After a decades-long partnership with Schwinn, the iconic race is excited about this new partnership with State. "The new bikes are beautiful," said Little 500 race director, Emily Carrico on Ringer Bike Review. "We have some fun changes to them, like the sealed cartridge bearings in the bottom bracket. It makes it a lot easier for riders to maintain their bikes throughout the season.”
The 35th edition of the Women’s Little 500 is Friday, April 21 and the 72nd edition of the Men’s Little 500 is Saturday, April 22.
“Win the Weekend,” the recently released eight-part docuseries capturing behind-the-scenes development of the International Motor Sports Association’s new hybrid-electrified GTP class, has exceeded expectations from both the sanctioning body and Michelin, the presenting partner on the project.
The catalyst to create the docuseries originated with a vast IMSA-Michelin consumer research project conducted by Navigate that provided data insights around potential new audiences for IMSA content. The late 2021 study revealed that 65% of those unfamiliar with IMSA indicated they were potential fans.
“We found obvious direction from the Navigate research data that indicated a desire for IMSA content,” said IMSA Senior Vice President, Marketing and Operations, David Pettit. “But jumping straight into an IMSA race could be challenging for potential fans for various reasons. So, we opted for a different approach and utilized a platform that’s always on, always available and free to view.”
“’Win the Weekend’ is a great example of a client creatively utilizing the data, expertise, and consulting we provided to maximize the reach of their brand,” added AJ Maestas, founder of Navigate. “This project helps them connect with a massive new audience, while also providing value to existing fans.”
With an average of 1.5 million viewers per episode, “Win the Weekend” has exceeded viewership expectations, but also achieved exactly what IMSA and Michelin hoped it would – reach new audiences.
“We opted to utilize the YouTube platform so that we could intentionally target the various automotive affinity groups and passionate auto enthusiasts throughout North America,” Pettit said. “The goal was to build brand awareness and product interest among those not previously exposed, and early key performance indicators show that we are succeeding.”
Of the 4.7 million total viewers over the first three episodes, 4.2 million were previously unexposed to the IMSA YouTube page. IMSA has also seen increases in its subscriber base (+9,000 since episode 1, a 4% increase), and positive sentiment (+82%) in reaction to the on-demand content. *
Michelin, a longtime IMSA Corporate Partner, which spearheaded the research project with Navigate to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the IMSA audience potential, is also pleased with the results to date.
“Thrilling races have always been a part of the IMSA series, and 'Win the Weekend' shares a new perspective of life in the paddock,” said Katelyn Berry, vice president of business to consumer marketing of Michelin North America, Inc. “Seeing an increase of new viewers is exciting, and we are proud to partner with IMSA in unique ways to tell their story.”
Produced by the automotive creative agency, Tangent Vector, “Win the Weekend” offers an exclusive, inside perspective from teams, drivers and industry professionals around the new GTP class. The docuseries is available for free to all viewers on the official IMSA YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/imsaofficial).
Does Richmond Raceway Still Belong to Joe Gibbs?
As many of my listeners, and some readers know, I have been waiting for my 2023 Ford Maverick for what seems like an eternity. In reality, it has been more than a year since my wife and I first started researching the hybrid model of Ford's newest pickup. Now that it has been built and shipped from the factory in Hermosillo, Mexico, the real fun starts. But, how many of you are considering the move from traditional internal combustion to hybrid, or even full electric? If the online polls are correct, I'd say more than a few!
New study reveals that the Tesla Cybertruck is the most widely searched electric vehicle set to debut in 2023, with a total of 1,854,710 searches
The Cybertruck's search volume was found to be eight times higher than that of the equally iconic Mercede's EQS SUV, which received only 231,510 monthly searches and secured the second place in the list
Despite the DeLorean Alpha being the electric successor to the iconic car featured in the "Back to the Future" trilogy, ranks at the bottom of the list with a search volume of only 14,700
A study conducted by automotive industry experts at Rerev involved gathering and analyzing Google search data of the most anticipated electric cars over the past 2 months. Google search data revealed Tesla Cybertruck as the most awaited out of them all especially after Elon Musk’s recent video on his Twitter showcasing the Cybertruck at Tesla Engineering Headquarters.
Within less than 24 hours, the video received 27.2 million views, 10.3 thousand retweets, and 157.3 thousand likes and has led to an increase in the global search volume for "Tesla Cybertruck" over the past two days
In response to this rising trend in searches, Rerev conducted a deeper analysis to find which are the most anticipated cars to be released in 2023 based on google search volume over the past two months.
How do you feel about the move towards a fully electric fleet? How will it effect the future of auto racing? These and other questions will be addressed here, as well as on Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder. Be sure to tune in!
- Becoming the first woman to break the top 10 in AMA ArenaCross Lites Main
- The first woman in Monster Energy AMA Supercross to qualify for the Fast 40
- The first woman to compete in a freestyle Moto X Competition
- Being named the Loretta Lynn’s AMA Women’s Amateur National Champion
- Earning four gold medals in Women’s Moto X Racing at the X Games
- Receiving the title of TransWorld Motocross Magazine’s Female Motocross Rookie of the Year
- Nominated for an ESPY Award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete