Saturday, Jan 29
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

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  

  

 

Rhys Millen became the fifth different winner in six Red Bull Global Rallycross races this season when he took the checkered flag at the inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona, held at the historic Daytona International Speedway. Millen, driving for his own Hyundai-backed team, beat Hoonigan Racing Division's Ken Block and Subaru Rally Team USA's Bucky Lasek to the line on a hot Florida day. 

"To my team, really is where I need to tip my hat," Millen said. "The car put a huge smile on my face in our test on Monday. We came here and, in the first time all year that we had a track this long, we were very surprised with where we were and how amazing the car brakes and turns into tight corners. That was the recipe to get the job done here." 

Millen, who qualified fourth, overcame a cam belt failure in Friday's heats to take the win in his semifinal and earn the top starting position in the main event. A strong start enabled him to jump out to a commanding lead, as Block separated himself from the field to make a late charge from second. In the end, Millen's gap was large enough to preserve the victory, even as his engine failed on the final lap. 

In post-race inspection, the winning car was found to have equipment not permitted under section 14-9.1 of the Red Bull GRC rulebook. Upon further inspection by the Red Bull GRC technical team, it was found that this equipment did not provide any performance advantage. The win will stand, but the team will be penalized 50 points and a fine will be imposed by the series. 

In GRC Lites, Mitchell DeJong had his second perfect weekend of the season, posting the fastest time in qualifying, winning both of his heats, and taking the main event victory. Alejandro Fernandez and Tyler Benson completed the podium, with each driver earning his best career finish. 

Though his four-race podium streak was snapped, Nelson Piquet Jr. maintained his points lead by 40 over Block, who jumped from fifth to second in the championship. DeJong extended his championship lead in Lites to 66 points over Kevin Eriksson. 

Full Supercars results of Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona are as follows:

  1. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
  2. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  4. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
  5. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA WRX STI
  6. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
  7. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST
  9. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta
  10. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Polo R
  11. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo
  12. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  13. Pat Moro, #59 Chevrolet Sonic Racing/PMR Motorsports Sonic

Provisional Supercars points through Round 6 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship are as follows:

  1. Nelson Piquet Jr., 245
  2. Ken Block, 205
  3. Scott Speed, 190
  4. Joni Wiman, 188
  5. Steve Arpin, 170

Olsbergs MSE driver Joni Wiman followed up the fastest time in seeding with a pair of heat victories in the first day of Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona, held at Daytona International Speedway. He joined four other drivers as a heat winner during the event, held on the largest course of the 2014 Red Bull GRC season.

Wiman, Scott Speed, and Patrik Sandell qualified first, second, and third, and followed up those lap times with victories in Heat 1A, 1B, and 1C, respectively. Ken Block and Nelson Piquet Jr. got by Sandell in Heat 2A, while Speed had a mechanical failure in Heat 2C, allowing Steve Arpin to take the heat victory and making Wiman the only driver to go two for two.

In GRC Lites, Mitchell DeJong earned the fastest lap time and coasted to an easy heat victory over Geoff Sykes, Alejandro Fernandez, Tyler Benson, and Blake Fuller. 

Action at Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona resumes on Saturday, with the Supercars semifinals and last chance qualifier, final round of Lites heats, and main events in both classes. Tickets are available online at http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/DIS, over the phone at 1-800-PITSHOP, or on site at the event. Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona will be broadcast on Saturday at 2:30PM ET on your local NBC affiliate, as well as streamed online at http://liveextra.nbcsports.com.

Joni Wiman earned his second pole of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season at Daytona International Speedway, the series' inaugural event at the track. Wiman, whose first pole came at X Games Austin, posted the fastest lap time by just under one tenth of a second over Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed.

Full results from Supercars qualifying at Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona are as follows:

  1. Joni Wiman, #31 Olsbergs MSE Ford, 1:02.120
  2. Scott Speed, #77 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, 1:02.215
  3. Patrik Sandell, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford, 1:02.297
  4. Rhys Millen, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing, 1:02.645
  5. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford, 1:02.882
  6. Steve Arpin, #00 Royal Purple Racing/OMSE2 Ford, 1:02.940
  7. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru Rally Team USA, 1:03.311
  8. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru Rally Team USA, 1:03.815
  9. Nelson Piquet Jr., #07 SH Racing Rallycross, 1:03.857
  10. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross, 1:04.489
  11. Austin Dyne, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford, 1:04.837
  12. Emma Gilmour, #27 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing, 1:05.623
  13. Pat Moro, #59 Chevrolet Sonic Racing/PMR Motorsports, 1:07.900
  14. Sarah Burgess, #04 BMI Racing Chevrolet, 1:20.218

Action at Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona resumes on Saturday, with the Supercars semifinals and last chance qualifier, final round of Lites heats, and main events in both classes. Tickets are available online at http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/DIS, over the phone at 1-800-PITSHOP, or on site at the event. Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona will be broadcast on Saturday at 2:30PM ET on your local NBC affiliate, as well as streamed online at http://liveextra.nbcsports.com.

On the eve of the conclusion of what's been an incredibly successful season, MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, announce the 2015 schedule for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The world's most prestigious motocross racing series will kick off at Hangtown in Sacramento, California, on May 16, visiting the nation's premier motocross facilities throughout the summer and making a return to all 12 venues that made up the 2014 schedule. 

The anticipated return to Southern California's Glen Helen Raceway, along with the addition of the brand new Ironman Raceway in Indiana, proved to be a significant boost to the series' continued growth and both venues will once again be included on the 2015 schedule. Glen Helen will serve as the schedule's second stop, maintaining its Memorial Day weekend spot, while the Indiana National, previously serving as the penultimate round in 2014, will become the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship finale for its second annual event. Tennessee's Muddy Creek Raceway and Utah's Miller Motorsports Park both return for a third consecutive year in June and August, respectively. 

The longstanding tradition of the sport's most storied venues will also continue in 2015, including Thunder Valley, High Point, Budds Creek, RedBud, Spring Creek, Washougal and Unadilla. 

"With the final round of 2014 upon us, the opportunity was ideal to reveal the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule. We have a great line-up of racing circuits that are both diverse and challenging, and the feedback from our competitors and race teams has been terrific," said MX Sports Pro Racing President Davey Coombs. "We look forward to continuing with the best race organizers in the entire sport, the ones that make up the National Promoters Group, as well as all of our major sponsors in 2015."  

Tickets for all 12 rounds of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will go on sale beginning November 1, 2014at ProMotocross.com. Watch for promotions and offers that will roll out continuously leading up to the start of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

 

2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Schedule

 

May 16              Hangtown Motocross Classic    Sacramento, Calif.

May 23             Glen Helen National                   San Bernardino, Calif.

May 30             Thunder Valley National             Lakewood, Colo.

June 6              Tennessee National                   Blountville, Tenn.

June 13            High Point National                    Mt. Morris, Pa.

June 27            Budds Creek National                Mechanicsville, Md.

July 4               RedBud National                        Buchanan, Mich.

July 18             Spring Creek National                Millville, Minn.

July 25             Washougal National                   Washougal, Wash.

August 8          Unadilla National                        New Berlin, N.Y.

August 15        Utah National                             Tooele, Utah

August 22        Indiana National                         Crawfordsville, Ind.

 

The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will conclude this Saturday, August 23, with the Zions Bank Utah National at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

 Christian Potolicchio came to the United States last year from his native Venezuela to race in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series. He was 17 years old. He knew very little English. He was competing in his first full season of auto racing after starting in karting and then graduating to a limited schedule of F1600 junior open-wheel competition in Venezuela. He knew none of the North American tracks on the schedule.

 The only familiar fixture for Potolicchio was his father and 8Star Motorsports team owner, veteran sports car racer Enzo Potolicchio.  Despite those obstacles, Christian Potolicchio ended up sixth in his debut season in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, with a best race finish of third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 But fast-forward a year, and Potolicchio is in a different world in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series. He has become a regular podium visitor in the No. 4 8Star Motorsports this summer and is second in the championship standings entering Rounds 11 and 12 of the season Aug. 23-24 at Virginia International Raceway. 

Christian Potolicchio

"We started with Prototype Lites," Potolicchio said about his North American racing career. "It's an awesome series. In my first season year of racing, all of those amazing tracks, it was hard for me to learn those tracks. Now this year, we are looking more professional. I know more of the car; the team knows more of the car. Everything was new (last year). And now we're almost fighting for the lead in the championship." 

Potolicchio, 19, is the hottest driver in the series entering VIR. He has scored 62 points combined in the last four rounds, more than any other driver, including runaway championship leader Mikhail Goikhberg. Potolicchio, who lives in Hallandale Beach, Florida, has jumped from 10th to second in the championship standings during that span. 

Finding a balance between aggression and patience has propelled Potolicchio on his rocket ride up the standings. 

"At the beginning of the year, I was really complaining about my driving because I wasn't near the podium, I wasn't really fast," Potolicchio said. "So the next race, I was really aggressive. So I talked to my dad a lot, and he said to just be patient and drive how you can and drive the car as you have, and that's what we're doing now. We're getting points and points and now second in the championship." 

Two other factors also have helped Potolicchio emerge as a rising star in the series, with three podium finishes in his last four starts. He finished third in Round 7 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July and second and third in Rounds 9 and 10, respectively, earlier this month at Road America. 

First, his command of English has improved dramatically during this season, which helped Potolicchio communicate better with his crew, led by Gary Neal. Second, coaching from 2013 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda champion Sean Rayhall - a Prototype Challenge driver in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this season with 8Star - has helped Potolicchio learn the handling characteristics of the Prototype Lites car and the secrets of every circuit more quickly. 

"It was difficult for me because my English at the beginning of the year, it wasn't that good," Potolicchio said. "But now I'm better. With the help of Sean Rayhall and the help of Gary, I communicate with them, and I explain myself the best I can. They relate what is happening with the car, and they make some changes. I say to Sean Rayhall what is happening, and he can communicate better what is happening. It was a big help to have Sean Rayhall to put the car together." 

Potolicchio's development is on the fast track. It's been a remarkable rise, considering this is just his second season of sports car racing after only limited action in an F1600 open-wheel car and five years of karting in his native Venezuela. The rapid improvement has caused Potolicchio to revise his goals for this season and 2015. 

"I want to be in the top three at the end of the championship (this year) and see if I can win the championship next year," he said. "I want to stay in the championship next year. I like the competition. The car is an amazing car, too. 

Potolicchio also thinks the Élan DP02 chassis powered by a Mazda engine used in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda is providing him with ideal preparation for an eventual jump to a Prototype Challenge car. 

"I was talking to my dad, and he drove P2 Ferraris, he drove Indy racing cars, and he told me Prototype Lites were the most enjoyable car to drive," Potolicchio said. "The car has something special we like. I like the downforce. The corners are really fast. We like that. 

"But if you go and drive a PC, it's really good (preparation). I did some testing at Daytona in the winter, and it really helped me. I drove the PC well because of Prototype Lites."

NHRA announced today that South Mountain Raceway, Bowling Springs, Pa., (formerly Quarter Aces Dragway) has rejoined the NHRA Member Track Network.   New owner Mike Natoli will handle the day to day operations along with Kathy Jones. 

“South Mountain Raceway is well known for the close-knit group of racers that attend its weekly events,” said Dave Mohn, NHRA Northeast Division Director.  “They all worked together to get the track up and running, taking time out to reorganize and freshen up the facility prior to the reopening last month.” 

As an NHRA sanctioned track, the facility will be eligible to offer racers a variety of NHRA racing opportunities, including the NHRA Summit Racing Series, NHRA Jr. Street program, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA.   Additionally, the track has the opportunity to host NHRA’s specialty events including the National DRAGSTER Challenge, NHRA Summit King of the Track, and NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League Challenge. 

“We can’t thank everyone enough for all their help in getting the track ready for our reopening,” Natoli said.  “It was a solid team effort.  We look forward to a great future with the NHRA here at South Mountain.”

One must wonder if this signals increased competition between the IHRA and the NHRA, as Quarter Aces Dragway was a member of the IHRA network. We shall see.

Don't miss the television or online coverage of the 12th round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the Zions Bank Utah National. Get the rundown below on how to watch practice, the exclusive online pre-show and all four motos on Saturday, August 23rd. 

If you miss a race, full replays will be archived on ProMotocross.com throughout the season.

 

UNITED STATES

Practice

Online: 12:30 p.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra (LIVE)

 

The second practice session will only be available online and viewable on the Live Extra page and Mobile App (iOS / Android).


Pre-show

Online: 2:15 p.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra

 

New for 2014, ProMotocross.com presents an exclusive pre-show which will begin 45 minutes before the first moto at every round. You can watch it on the Live Extra page and Mobile App (iOS /Android).


Moto 1
Online: 3:00 p.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra (LIVE)

TV: 3:00 p.m. ET, MAVTV (LIVE)

 

New for 2014, MAVTV will air the first motos of every round live. Use the MAVTV channel finder to see if you currently get MAVTV. You can also use the link to request that your cable provider carry MAVTV if they currently do not.

 

The live stream of first motos can also be viewed online via the Live Extra page and Mobile App (iOSAndroid).


Moto 2
Online: 5:00 p.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra (LIVE)
TV - 450 Moto 2: 6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN

TV - 250 Moto 2: 1:00 a.m. ET, NBCSN

 

NBCSN will have tape delayed coverage of second motos, with the 450 Class race airing at 6:30 p.m. ET and the 250 Class race airing at 1:00 a.m. ET. Use the NBCSN channel finder to see if you currently get NBCSN in your area.

 

The live stream of both second motos can be viewed online via the Live Extra page and Mobile App (iOS / Android) starting at 5:00 p.m. ET.

 

Please note: In order to watch a live stream of an NBCSN broadcast, you have to verify your cable provider.

 

Live Extra is a service offered through participating cable, satellite and telco TV providers that allows you to watch Motocross coverage of live events on NBCSN. Don't see your provider? Contact your provider by clicking here to express your interest in receiving this service. Provide your email address and they will contact you once your provider has been added.  

 

They are actively working to add additional TV providers to this service, and recent additions include Cox, Charter and DirecTV.


Highlight Show

TV: Thursday 8/28, 11:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

NBCSN will have a one-hour show the week after each race recapping the action.

 

INTERNATIONAL

Practice

Online: 12:30 a.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra (LIVE)

The 2nd practice session will only be available online and viewable on the Live Extra page.


Pre-show

Online: 2:15 p.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra

 

New for 2014, ProMotocross.com presents an exclusive pre-show which will begin 45 minutes before the first moto at every round. You can watch it on the Live Extra page.


Moto 1
Online: 3:00 p.m. ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra (LIVE)

TV: ESPN Brazil, FOX Sports Asia

 

The live stream of first motos can be viewed via the Live Extra page.

The Nationals will also be simulcast to various countries across the globe. Check the TV listings for your local station (listed above) for the time in your area.


Moto 2
Online: 5:00pm ET, ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra (LIVE)

TV: ESPN Brazil, FOX Sports Asia, ESPN Latin America, Speed (Australia), Rogers SportsNet (Canada), Sport1 (Israel)

 

The live stream of second motos can be viewed via the Live Extra page.

The Nationals will also be simulcast to various countries across the globe. Check the TV listings for your local station (listed above) for the time in your area.


Highlight Show

TV: ESPN Brazil, ESPN Latin America, Speed (Australia), Extreme Sports Channel

 

A one-hour highlight show recapping the race will air in various countries across the globe. Check the TV listings for your local station (listed above) for the time in your area.

(Lucas Oil Pro Motocross PR)

 Jack Beckman is in uncharted territory heading into the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, which takes place Aug. 27-Sept. 1 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. But a strong performance in his 10,000-horsepower Valvoline Max Life/MTS Dodge Charger at the world’s most prestigious drag race would be just the turnaround his 2014 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season needs. 

Beckman is currently in 11th place in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and is on the verge of missing the Countdown for the first time in his career as a full-time driver. He trails Tim Wilkerson by 16 points for the final playoff spot, making an already huge event even bigger for the 2012 Funny Car world champion. 

It is also one of the must-see storylines heading into the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, as NHRA competitors in all professional classes will be looking to stay in the top 10 or move into the top 10 with a memorable showing at the last race of the regular season. 

“We've painted ourselves into a corner,” said Beckman, who won the Traxxas Shootout in Funny Car at Indy a year ago. “We've put ourselves into a position where we have to be (darn) near flawless at Indy to get in there. Now that's just the battle. But that's the only thing I can think about right now is Indy. Our goal is to run for the championship, which it isn't possible if we're not in the Countdown. If we can't get this Valvoline car into the Countdown, I'd be devastated, but it means that we didn't earn it.” 

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of an event that will once again be televised on ESPN2 in more than 10 hours of coverage. 

The Funny Car battle between Wilkerson and Beckman is the tightest race for 10th place in any of the four professional categories, but Wilkerson, who has finished in the top 10 in each of the past six seasons, won’t let that affect his approach. 

“There’s not really any added pressure, just the same sort of pressure we feel at every race, where we put it on ourselves to do our sponsors proud and do ourselves proud,” Wilkerson said. “I try to not let it affect the way we tune the car or the way I drive.” 

As for paying attention to what Beckman does during the weekend, Wilkerson, who trails Del Worsham by 52 points for the ninth position, is only worried about his own performance. That is, unless he sees Beckman or Worsham next to his Levi Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang in the opposite lane during eliminations. Eight-place Cruz Pedregon has also not secured his berth into the Countdown and will also be racing to get into the playoffs as well. 

“We definitely pay attention, but the bottom line is that the way we approach each run down the track doesn't really have anything to do with what other people are doing,” Wilkerson said. “If we line up in eliminations against Jack Beckman or Del Worsham, then you can scoreboard watch because all you want to see is the win light. Other than that, we're all too busy to be spectating. If we just win rounds, we don't have anything to worry about.” 

In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson is a six-time winner of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals but the four-time world champion needs another strong performance this year in Indy to secure his spot in the Countdown to the Championship. 

He leads rookie Jonathan Gray by 32 points and certainly understands what is on the line. 

“Sure, there is a little bit of pressure,” Anderson said. “First of all, I love going to Indy. It's a magical place for me. I love that particular race, but this has been a different year for me. It's been challenging, but it's also been very rewarding. I feel very fortunate to be where I'm at, but I want to make the Countdown. If I don't, I might need therapy. I guess there is pressure, but I like that. In the past, I think I've done some of my best work under pressure. I'm going to Indy with a positive mindset and hopefully I can make it happen. 

Anderson, though, does not want to simply squeak into the Countdown. A strong performance from his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro, coupled with his first victory since 2012, would be the ideal start to a championship chase. 

“Right now, I'm thinking about winning races,” Anderson said. “I keep saying that as important as it is for me to get qualified for the Countdown and make up more points than Jonathan Gray, it's not nearly as important to me as winning a race. If I can't win a race, I don't know if I'm worthy enough to win a championship. I have to prove to myself that I can win again. I'm not going to worry about trying to survive an extra round. I'm going to Indy to win that race.” 

Gray, meanwhile, is simply excited for the opportunity to compete against one of the most successful Pro Stock drivers in NHRA history for a shot at a Countdown berth in his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals appearance. 

“I don't feel any pressure,” Gray said. “There is no sense in putting any pressure on myself because it's not going to do any good. It is what it is. I can only go out there and do what I can do. My mindset going into Indy is that we have to get qualified good, and we have to go a minimum of two more rounds than Greg. We have to qualify as good as he does, if not better, to start. I'm excited to go to Indy and have one last shot at trying to get in the Countdown. This is it.” 

Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Adam Arana fully admits there is pressure on him. He trails Steve Johnson by 66 points for the final Countdown spot, meaning the rider of the ProtectTheHarvest.com/MAVTV Buell will need a spectacular performance in the two-wheeled category. Arana hopes that will bring out the best in him throughout the weekend. 

“That's why we race all year, to be able to compete for the championship, and if I don't make it into the top 10, then you don't get that opportunity,” Arana said. "I need to try to stay calm and consistent because if you think too much on the starting line, it can create mistakes. I just want to stay calm. I've been doing a pretty good job of that all year, so if we have a fast bike, I hope to be able to go rounds." 

In Top Fuel, Bob Vandergriff needs a banner weekend to move into the top 10. He trails J.R. Todd by 130 points heading into the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and must have a near-perfect weekend to unseat Todd, who recently won at Denver. 

Bonus bucks and bragging rights will also be on the line at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals for qualified drivers in Top Fuel and Funny Car as they battle in the lucrative Traxxas Nitro Shootout. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be held on Saturday evening, while the Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car is contested Sunday afternoon. The winners in each Traxxas Nitro Shootout will earn $100,000.     

Drivers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and the NHRA Pro Mod Series will look to become winners of the prestigious event during the weekend. The fastest Super Stock cars will challenge for the ultimate bragging rights and a bonus purse during the popular Mopar HEMI Challenge as well. 

NHRA will also conduct official presentations to honor six of the most iconic moments in the history of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in the Hot Rod Junction Friday-Sunday of the weekend. On Sunday of race weekend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits will reenact his famous beard shaving scene that followed his triumphant 1967 victory and the “Indy’s Winningest Drivers” presentation, a ceremony honoring Schumacher, Bob Glidden and Garlits, also will take place; on Saturday Kenny Bernstein will be honored for becoming the first double-up winner at Indy, Shirley Muldowney will look back at her Indy memories including her 1982 victory, one she called the greatest victory of her outstanding Top Fuel career, and the 1978 Funny Car final where Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen defeated Don “The Snake” Prudhomme will be remembered; on Friday the harrowing 1970 Top Fuel final between Jim Nicoll and Prudhomme will be revisited. 

A special Monday edition of the SealMaster NHRA Track Walk also will take place prior to final eliminations, where many of the sport’s most celebrated drivers will walk alongside fans down the historic dragstrip. Fan-favorite Cacklefests and vintage racecars on display in the Hot Rod Junction, along with several autograph sessions featuring the legends of the sport as well as today’s biggest stars will be featured throughout each day of the event. On Friday, a special fireworks show will close out the day’s racing. 

The first of five Mello Yello Series qualifying sessions is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29. Two more sessions will take to the track on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the final two qualifying sessions will take place on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 1. 

The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will be contested Saturday, Aug. 30 with rounds at 4 p.m., 5:25 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car takes place on Sunday, Aug. 31 for the eight qualified drivers, with rounds at 12:30 p.m., 1:55 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. 

ESPN2 will televise more than 10 hours of coverage of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Five hours of qualifying coverage and coverage of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout will air on ESPN2 at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (ET) and 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31. Monday’s (Sept. 1) eliminations for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will be featured in six hours of coverage starting at noon (ET). 

To purchase tickets for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, fans can contact NHRA’s Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472), or get their tickets online atwww.NHRATIX.com.   

 Fans of the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship can now purchase tickets to attend the first ever race in Beijing on September 13 2014.

Raceday tickets, all of which offer reserved grandstand seating, can be obtained from one of three outlets. Local fans can use the www.shuiniaoticket.com platform, whilst spectators outside of China can visit the official website www.fiaformulae.com or global ticketing leader Ticketmaster – Formula E’s official ticketing provider. Ticketmaster will also provide ticketing technology solutions and project management for the championship, and become the exclusive ticketing partner in the countries where Ticketmaster already has a presence.

For the Beijing ePrix - which will see the 10 teams and 20 drivers compete on a temporary street circuit around the iconic Olympic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium – organisers are offering two pricing options – Gold and Platinum priced at 488 RMB and 688 RMB (55 and 85 Euros respectively), dependent on the view of the track. Children under five will have free entry to the Beijing ePrix – as with all Formula E races (if accompanied by an adult) – with Beijing also having a limited amount of free trackside access. Tickets can also be brought at the track on the day.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ticketmaster International’s President, Mark Yovich said: “We are thrilled to be working with Formula E. Ticketmaster’s broad experience, and the global reach we offer to millions of sports fans, positions us perfectly to work with Formula E to grow this exciting new motorsport. We look forward to working with the team at the FIA Formula E Championship and providing the best possible service for motorsport fans.”

Francesca Triossi, Formula E’s Ticketing and Merchandising Manager, added: “Fans have been able to pre-register for tickets for several weeks now, but it’s great to have them officially on sale. We believe the first ever Formula E race in Beijing is going to be a fantastic spectacle with 20 top drivers racing around the ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium and we hope fans, both in China and from overseas, will join us in celebrating a new era of motorsport.

“We’re also very pleased to be working with Ticketmaster as they are the only ticketing provider that had the capabilities to serve our global business. Their world-class technology and service, coupled with their distribution and reach will be beneficial not only to our business, but to fans of Formula E and motor racing across the world.”

Formula E is the FIA’s new fully-electric single-seater championship designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans, whilst accelerating the interest in electric vehicles and promoting sustainability. Competing entirely on city-centre circuits – with races in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, Argentina, US, Monaco, Germany and the UK – it uses cars capable of speeds in excess of 150mph (225kph). Its 10 teams feature some of the leading international names in motorsport including Alain Prost and Michael Andretti, along with high-profile environmental supporters such as Sir Richard Branson.

For more information on Formula E visit www.fiaformulae.com. Prices, further details and sale dates on forthcoming races will be announced shortly.

 

IN BRIEF: Red Bull Global Rallycross returns to action after a month-long break at Daytona International Speedway, competing for the first time at the World Center of Racing as it kicks off the second half of the 2014 season. 14 Supercars, the largest field since X Games Austin, have entered the two-day event.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

  • Saturday, August 23, 2:30PM ET on NBC (live) and liveextra.nbcsports.com
  • Friday, August 29, 2:00AM ET (Thursday, August 28, 11:00PM PT) on NBCSN

SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

LAST RACE: Ken Block completed the first perfect event under the current Red Bull GRC race format at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, sweeping qualifying, two heat races, his semifinal, and the main event. Sverre Isachsen came home second, overcoming a tough start to the season for his first podium and best finish in his Red Bull GRC career, while Nelson Piquet Jr. earned his fourth straight podium by coming home third.

DRIVER CHANGES: PMR Motorsports’ Pat Moro returns to Red Bull GRC for the first time since X Games Austin, while BMI Racing’s Sarah Burgess joins him to create Chevrolet’s first-ever multi-car lineup in a Red Bull GRC event. 12 of the 13 drivers who competed in Charlotte return, with the exception of Brian Deegan.

THE TRACK: Daytona International Speedway has built the largest track in Red Bull GRC history, a .924 mile course comprised of 13 turns within the track’s famed International Horseshoe. A wide, sweeping first corner (which also features the joker lane) will see drivers reaching the rev limiter in top gear, while tight dirt hairpins and technical paved sections complete the course.

NO STRANGERS TO DAYTONA: Four Supercars competitors have competed at Daytona in their racing careers so far. Nelson Piquet Jr., Scott Speed, and Steve Arpin, the top three drivers in the standings through the first half of the season, have all raced on Daytona’s 2.5-mile superspeedway in stock cars. The fourth driver, Rhys Millen, competed on part of the track’s road course as part of the TV special “Driven: A Race Without Boundaries.”

PIQUET IN CONTROL: Nelson Piquet Jr.’s Supercars points lead extended to 46 in Charlotte, the largest gap anyone has had over second place so far this season. To put that in perspective, if Piquet failed to make the final this weekend, second place driver Scott Speed would need to finish second and finish first or second in both heats just to tie for the championship lead.

MINOR CHANGE TO RACE FORMAT: Due to the extra length of the Daytona course compared to previous courses, this weekend’s main event will be comprised of eight laps, rather than the series’ typical 10 laps. All other event formatting remains consistent with typical Red Bull GRC events.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross event at Daytona International Speedway:

Rhys Millen, Driver, #67 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing Veloster Turbo: “My first time here was last year. What an opportunity for myself and the other drivers in the series to come to a site that is so rich in American auto racing, from NASCAR to the Daytona 24 Hours and now GRC. The course is fantastic—the length of the course is incredible, the runoff areas, the space, and just the general design. Even the turn one combination lends itself to the joker combination for the sport of rallycross. It’s just very fitting. Overall, the track, the challenge, the speed, the flow, the feel, the length, everything is really an indication of what GRC racing should be in the US.”

Patrik Sandell, Driver, #18 Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I really like the combination of the fast sections and the twisty, technical sections. Over a lap, you have everything. You have some dirt sections, you have the big jump, you have some really narrow corners where you have to be so precise, and then you have the really, really fast sections as well. For me, this is a proper track, and I love it. I was almost at the rev limiter in sixth gear on the first corner, so that’s the fastest my car goes.”

Austin Dyne, Driver, #14 Barracuda Racing Ford Fiesta: “I’ve always wanted to race here. I like the tarmac part of it, it’s amazing. There’s just so much grip here compared to the parking lot stuff we’ve done, and so much more of what I grew up doing. The dirt here is pretty sand-based, so I’m not sure how that’s going to be. The jump’s got a pretty gnarly kicker, and we won’t have any issue seeing cars in the air! The back section is really cool—it’s really technical, so it might be hard to pass, but as a driver it’s a lot of fun back there.”

Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: “I think the track is quite good, because I think there are some good places to pass here. When you have higher speed stuff that slows down to slow speed stuff, it really becomes very important to figure out the lines and the speeds, and get the braking points right. I think there are some good places to pass here, and there’s some good technical stuff. So I think it’s quite fun. It’s a little bit longer than some of the other tracks we’ve had, so I’m really looking forward to that. But this is the hottest I’ve ever been in the racecar—it’s going to be interesting to see who can handle that and continue to put in good, consistent lap times all weekend dealing with the heat.”

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Nelson Piquet Jr., 227
  2. Scott Speed, 181
  3. Steve Arpin, 164
  4. Joni Wiman, 162
  5. Ken Block, 155
  6. Patrik Sandell, 120
  7. Tanner Foust, 112
  8. Sverre Isachsen, 109
  9. Austin Dyne, 102
  10. Bucky Lasek, 87
  11. Brian Deegan, 85
  12. Rhys Millen, 68
  13. Emma Gilmour, 24
  14. Pat Moro, 3

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 472
  2. Volkswagen, 293
  3. Subaru, 196
  4. Hyundai, 92
  5. Chevrolet, 3

GRC Lites Race Preview: Daytona International Speedway

IN BRIEF: The largest track in GRC Lites history awaits the sport’s class of up-and-comers at Daytona International Speedway. With key championship player Kevin Eriksson out of the picture, full-timers will have a strong chance to make up points in the series championship this weekend.

LAST RACE: Mitchell DeJong got back to his winning ways in Charlotte, overcoming a last place finish in his first heat to win out for the rest of the weekend. Kevin Eriksson earned his third runner-up placement of the season behind him, while younger brother Oliver capped his second Lites race with his first podium.

SPOTTER GUIDE: Click here

DRIVER CHANGES: Blake Fuller replaces Austin Cindric at C4 Motorsports, making his series debut. Kevin and Oliver Eriksson, owing to a schedule conflict, will not compete in this weekend’s event.

THE TRACK: Daytona International Speedway has built the largest track in Red Bull GRC history, a .924 mile course comprised of 13 turns within the track’s famed International Horseshoe. A wide, sweeping first corner (which also features the joker lane) will see drivers reaching the rev limiter in top gear, while tight dirt hairpins and technical paved sections complete the course.

CHAMPIONSHIP SHAKEUP: Kevin Eriksson’s absence from this weekend’s event will allow other full-time drivers to come back into the championship hunt in Daytona. Eriksson currently sits second in series points with 207. Alejandro Fernandez, currently 92 points back of Eriksson at third in the championship, can make up over half of that deficit if he wins the race and both of his heats.

NOTABLE NEWCOMER: Blake Fuller, the 2002 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Open class winner, makes his series debut for C4 Motorsports this weekend in Florida. For Fuller, Daytona is his home race; he’ll step immediately into a vehicle that has shown speed all season, with Austin Cindric earning an X Games medal in his first race in the car and qualifying second in Charlotte last month.

IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE: How strong has Mitchell DeJong been in his second season of GRC Lites? Not only has he earned 217 points in four races, which would put him second to Nelson Piquet Jr. in Supercars standings despite having competed in one fewer race, but he has also posted faster times in heats than Supercars drivers on multiple occasions.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross event at The Dirt Track at Charlotte:

Tyler Benson, Driver, #60 Hyundai/Rhys Millen Racing GRC Lites: “It’s Daytona—it’s the pinnacle of racing, so just being here and experiencing it, it’s almost overwhelming how huge the facility is. I’m really looking forward to running a different style of track that’s a little less tight and more open. I think it should make for some interesting, fun racing.”

Geoff Sykes, Driver, #6 DTV Solutions GRC Lites: “There are definitely a couple of big factors to this race, one being that we are in the NASCAR capital of the world at Daytona International Speedway. But also, it happens to be the longest GRC track we’ve ever done, almost twice as long as some of the other courses. The going to be twice as long, and it’s going to be hot out here, so it’s definitely going to test us as drivers in endurance.”

Blake Fuller, Driver, #79 C4 Motorsports GRC Lites: “Just being a part of the inaugural race here is great, because Daytona International Speedway has been home to so many epic moments in motorsports. So for it to host GRC, and for it to time perfectly—it’s my home race, and it’s the inaugural one for me—it’s really good.”

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Mitchell DeJong, 217
  2. Kevin Eriksson, 207
  3. Alejandro Fernandez, 115
  4. Geoff Sykes, 111
  5. Austin Cindric, 97
  6. Tyler Benson, 95
  7. Oliver Eriksson, 82
  8. Nelson Piquet Jr., 75
  9. Atila Abreu, 72
  10. Pedro Piquet, 43
  11. Colton Herta, 16

(Red Bull Global RallyCross PR)

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