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
In the dirt bike world, motorcycle brands stick to one color, and for Kawasaki that color has been a bold shade of lime green since 1969. That color choice wasn't random, and in fact it began at Daytona International Speedway, the site of this Saturday’s round of the Monster Energy Supercross series. Prior to that 1969 Daytona 200 road race, a green bike had held a bad luck stigma, but Kawasaki rolled out five bold green machines in a tradition-be-damned marketing shot at convention. It got the brand the attention it was looking for, and the color stuck.
So far, in the dirt of Daytona's infield, the green bike has had a history as brilliant as its Kawasaki Racing Green hue. Supercross’ defending champion, Eli Tomac, has been on a Kawasaki since 2016. The year he moved onto the green bike he earned his first win at Daytona, then went on to win three of the next four, including last year's race. If he can win this Saturday, he will tie Ricky Carmichael as the winningest rider at the venue (5) and Kawasaki will move into a tie with Honda (17) as the manufacturer with the most Supercross wins at the track in the premiere class. Kawasaki already owns the category in the 250SX Class at 13 wins.
But nothing is a given in sports or racing and the 2021 trophy hasn’t been earned or awarded yet. Tomac has never lacked speed, only consistency. His past seasons had been streaks of wins marred by random off nights, strange crashes, or inexplicable off-pace riding. He earned his first Supercross title in 2020, but 2021 has been challenging with only one win so far and his career longest no-win streak of six races in a row without a victory.
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (180)
2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (174)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (149)
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (136)
5. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (133)
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (125)
7. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (123)
8. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (120)
9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (113)
10. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (109)
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (26)
2. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (23)
3. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (21)
4. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (19)
5. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (18)
6. Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (17)
7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (16)
8. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (15)
9. Robbie Wageman, Newhall, Calif., Yamaha (14)
10. Jace Owen, Mattoon, Ill., Yamaha (13)
The opening round of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, which was due to be held in Portimão (Portugal) in early April, has been postponed until June. Spa-Francorchamps will now host the Prologue, as well as the WEC season-opener.
The decision, approved at today's FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting, has been made following the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including travel restrictions from different Governments in various countries, meaning travel to and from Portugal is heavily compromised. Furthermore, it is hoped that the new date for Portimão will increase the possibility of fans being able to attend the race.
For the 100th anniversary of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the Official Prologue will now take place in Belgium from 26-27 April – the first time that the WEC’s pre-season test has been staged in Belgium. The season-opening TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will get underway a few days later (1 May). The 8 Hours of Portimão will slot into the WEC calendar in the original 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend (12-13 June).
The 6 Hours of Monza will remain in mid-July with Le Mans scheduled from 21-22 August – the ACO announcing earlier this week that it will move to August when there will be a higher chance of spectator attendance.
All changes to the 2021 WEC calendar have been made in accordance with the ACO, the FIA and the circuit organisers.
The final two rounds of WEC Season 9, which will take place in Fuji (Japan) and Bahrain, will remain unchanged.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, we have to be extremely flexible in our decision-making. We are continually adapting to government decisions, especially restrictions on travel between different countries. Following discussions with WEC competitors, we have no choice but to delay the start of the season. We have, however, managed to keep all the rounds on the calendar which is our number one priority. We now look forward to the opening race at Spa in May and to seeing the Hypercars do battle on track for the first time.”
Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Commission: “In the reality affected by the global health crisis, all sporting calendars have to be considered fluid and nothing is set in stone. Having said that, I’m full of praise for the efforts of the promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship for their flexibility and reactive approach. Delaying the start of the season should be beneficial for everyone involved, from the competitors to the fans.”
Frédéric Lequien, CEO of the FIA WEC: “I would like to thank our teams, suppliers, partners, the FIA, the Portimão and Spa-Francorchamps circuit organisers, the LMEM team and many others for their cooperation in what continues to be a difficult time for everyone. The new date for Portimão will give us a better chance of allowing fans to attend and we are certain that the change in schedule is more favourable for all concerned.”
Throughout most of New York's Hudson Valley, the ground is still covered in a layer of icy white snow, as it usually is in early March. While for many it may feel like we’re still in the depths of winter, OCFS race fans know they are less than a month away from the start of another exciting season of dirt track racing in Middletown, NY. This year, like those before it, The Orange County Fair Speedway is going BIG for the first event of the season. The “OC OVAL KICKOFF 40” will get the season started in 2021 on Saturday April 3rd with a $4,000 to win DIRTcar Big Block Modified 40-Lapper
Though many top drivers have begun their 2021 seasons in Florida during Speedweeks, most won't be settled into their regular season home tracks by April 3rd, giving them the ability to run the “OC Oval Kickoff 40” without conflict. That combined with a $4,000 to win purse, is sure to entice the country’s top Big Block Modified drivers to register for what will be a field of exceptional driving talent.
Of course, what would all that matter if fans weren’t able to see it? For the entire 2020 season, grandstands at OCFS were shuttered, with fans clamoring for precious drive-in spots or streaming the races online at home instead. Well, 2021 will not go down like that! Grandstands are expected to be open for The OC Oval Kickoff and the rest of the season at OCFS! Track management will still be taking extra precautions and limiting the amount of seating available to ensure proper social distance, but FANS ARE BACK IN THE GRANDSTAND FOR ‘21! Of course, the drive-in section will be back as it has every year since 1967 AND racing will continue to be livestreamed for out-of-area fans too!
Though it seems the worst of the pandemic’s fallout on racing is over, it has forced OCFS management into thinking outside of the box when planning events. One out of the box idea that’s come to fruition, was a reinvention of the Big Block Modified points series. The new 12 race series features a mix of special format or long-distance races and regular Saturday Night 30-lap feature races, but the major change comes in the form of a new "playoffs" style system designed to produce consistently exciting Big Block racing all season. It will also allow for both local competitors and outside invaders to be competitive for the points championship by winning into the "playoffs".
All Big Block races will have a unique combination of qualifying procedures which will include varying types of pill draws ,Time Trials and inversions which will be challenging and entertaining at the same time (2020’s “Revenge” redraw returns on June 17th).
Beginning with the OC Oval Kickoff (a conventional style pill draw to determine heat race positions with a redraw to determine the starting positions of the top twelve) Big Block race winners will automatically transfer to the “Final Eight” which will cut off after the July 10th “Big Block Final Eight” event. The balance of the Final Eight will be determined by the high point drivers. Then it gets taken down to the “Final Four” Big Blocks, with the final Thursday night event on September 2nd determining the order of the final 4 by their finishing positions. A simple new system that shakes things up a bit may prove to be controversial with some fans, but OCFS Management and Brett Hearn are confident it will create one of the most interesting finales in OCFS’s long and storied history.