Wednesday, Dec 08
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  

  

 

Coming into round four of the AMA Pro Road Racing series, the RoadRace Factory team was optimistic about their chances to make a spectacular showing in front of the world audience.   This round was to be shared with the World Superbike riders and everyone was anxious to see how the team would perform at the technical Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in front of the international audience.   After a decent weekend at Barber, they were looking to keep on a positive trajectory that would boost them through the remaining three rounds of the season.  Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan and sometimes, the early morning fog, doesn't always clear up.

The World Superbike weekend is an odd weekend for the AMA Teams.  Not only are the teams relegated to limited track time the crews also have to hustle in order to put up the pits and tear them down each session.  It's a lot of energy towards what amounts to very little track time.  However, it is Laguna and it's the only west coast round, so everyone was excited and wanting to put on a great display for the World Superbike audience. 

On Friday's practice session, Jake Gagne was at the top of the timing charts for most of the session.  He was feeling good and the bike was performing well.  Some new components (put on after Barber) had yet to be fully tested and the practice session proved a perfect testing environment.  Tomas and his crew were feeling good about their chances as Tomas loves Laguna and has a history of going fast around the circuit and this was his first time around with a fully prepped DSB bike under him. 

Going into the first qualifying session however, Tomas' crew had made some changes to the machine and for the first time this season Tomas was smiling saying that was feeling really good on the machine.  His times had him well within reach of the top five as the top ten where only separated by a little over a second.  Meanwhile, Jake's crew made only minor adjustments to his machine and once again, Jake was running at or near the top of the timing sheets.  Still though, there was a lingering feeling that something just wasn't going right.  As is normal, Jake was consistently improving his times, but other riders were doing the same at a quicker pace and when the session was over, Jake would be in a provisional fifth place while Tomas was back in ninth. 

For the one and only on track session of the day on Saturday, the crews of both Jake and Tomas had made some changes that were confident would place their riders firmly at top the timing sheets.  For Jake, the changes seemed to have worked.  He was immediately quick and by the time the short session was over, Jake had moved his RoadRace Factory / Red Bull Yamaha R6 to P2 for the start of the race.  On the other side of the pit, Tomas and his crew were scratching their heads as some form of mechanical gremlins had appeared.   The guys spent most of the session in and out of the pits; this inconsistent pace is a determent to running consistently fast lap times.  When the session was over, Tomas was back in P10.  The team quickly rolled his machine into to the transporter and immediately began the hunt for the gremlins. 

With limited time to ensure the changes were good, Sunday morning brought out a quick 20-minute warm-up session.  Jake and his crew went about the business of eking out the last few ounces of speed from his bike, while Tomas and his crew set about to see if the changes were effective.  Unfortunately, the issues that plagued him the day before, were still present and there was only a limited amount of time to resolve them before the race.

As the riders lined up for their one race of the weekend, it was a guessing game to see if all issues had been resolved.  Tomas admitted later, that on the warm-up lap he could tell the issues were still there and he didn't feel he would have the pace.  Jake was focused at grabbing the hole shot and staying up front.  Flags were dropped and the riders took off over the rise for race action.  Gagne was able to get a good start and was riding with the leaders for much of the opening laps.  Tomas was circulating in the second pack of about 8 riders.  

By mid-race, Jake was embroiled in a battle with Triumph rider Danny Eslick.  The pair would battle it out all race long for the final podium position as fellow Yamaha riders Jake Lewis and JD Beach were pulling a gap on battling Eslick and Gagne.  Meanwhile, Tomas was leading the chasing pack riders a few seconds off the pace.  Tomas lead the pack and seemed to be holding his own, unable to pull a gap but no one was able to mount a challenge.  Clearly he was riding around whatever issues he was having. 

Coming down to the wire, the battle with Jake and Danny was heating up.  With several passes by each rider lap after lap, it was clear it would come down to the final few corners.  From the pits, you could see they were side by side coming down through the corkscrew and through Rainey curve.  Out of Turn 11, Eslick got into the corner first and Jake had to adjust his line slightly and that allowed the Triumph rider a better drive off the corner and Danny would edge out Jake by only a few tenths of a second at the line. 

"Definitely wasn't what had hoped for," stated Gagne.  "Got off to a decent start but I was struggling a little bit with the bike.  I was up there in third and doing ok.  After a several laps I came up to some lappers in Rainey (Curve) and almost ran off the track.  After that the top two guys had a good gap and then I got into a battle with Danny (Eslick) and we went back and fourth the last couple of laps.  Ended up fourth which isn't what we wanted, but we have Mid-Ohio next weekend and we'll redeem ourselves."

The drama would completely unfold however for Tomas.  As the pack he was leading for most of the race headed into the final corner, a slower rider caused the group to check up and a chain reaction of bumping and braking would ensue.  Tomas would be the unfortunate victim of the last corner as he as hit and taken down into the gravel.  He would remount and finish the race in 22nd place.

"What can I say? This is a weekend to forget," added Puerta. "I was feeling competitive on Friday and was hoping to do good here.  But something happened with the bike and everyone is trying to figure it out.  For me, I feel like I didn't even race here, this weekend didn't happen and I'm just looking forward to Mid-Ohio.  I know my team will fix the problem and we'll be ready for Mid-Ohio for sure."

"Hey, sometimes this happens in racing," concluded team owner Danny Walker. "You can't win them all and once in a while, things just go sideways on you.  This is Laguna and it's a hard weekend for everyone because you can't really get into any kind of rhythm and I know the guys busted their butts.  Sometimes in racing things just happen, all you can do is find out why they did happen and ensure that they don't happen again.  I'm confident that we'll be back running strong for Mid-Ohio and if I know the guys, they've already found the issues with Tomy's bike and they'll get it fixed.  Onward to Mid-Ohio!"

 Following its hugely successful debut at X Games Austin, the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS series returns to competition at the Honda Indy Toronto this weekend. 

The TRAXXAS trucks will be making their way to the popular Toronto IndyCar circuit for the second consecutive year after debuting in great style in 2013. The trucks will race twice in Toronto – at 2:20 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday – just as they did last season when Justin Lofton and Sheldon Creed won races on the 1.755-mile (2.84 km) circuit. 

The Honda Indy Toronto track is an 11-turn temporary street course located in downtown Toronto. It is constructed throughout and around picturesque Exhibition Place grounds and utilizes Lake Shore Boulevard as its backstretch. 


Creed will return to defend his race win from 2013, along with multiple-time 2014 winners Apdaly Lopez and Robby Gordon among others. 

The Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS series’ only practice session takes place Friday at 11:50 a.m., which will determine starting positions for Saturday’s race. Fastest lap times from Saturday’s race will determine the lineup for Sunday’s race. 

NBCSN will broadcast the race at 10 p.m. PDT on July 31 (1 a.m. EDT Aug. 1). Following its trip to Toronto, the series will shift to the west coast for its final three races of the 2014 season at the Sand Sport Super Show in Orange County, Calif. Sept. 19-20; the Coronado Speed Festival Sept. 21 and in Las Vegas in conjunction with the SEMA Show in early November. 

The Stadium Super Trucks that will race in Toronto will hit huge man-made ramps at more than 100 mph at multiple locations throughout the downtown street circuit hurling drivers nearly 20 feet in the air and 150 feet down course. The series features identically prepared trucks which are made to resemble their scaled-down Traxxas radio-control-car counterparts. Like their Traxxas namesake the trucks are designed to take flight. However, unlike RC trucks, they produce 600 horsepower generating speeds upwards of 130 miles per hour and race on DOT approved Toyo Tires.

Kelly Moss Motorsports extended its Platinum Cup Team and Driver Championship points lead after two second-place finishes in Rounds 7 and 8 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama on July 11-12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The powerhouse team entered the Canadian weekend with a smaller lineup than usual, with only two drivers on the entry list. But that's all it took for Kelly Moss to increase its championship lead to six points over Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport. 

"The plan all along was to come here and increase our lead and pick off any wins if possible," Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone said. "So we're on target for exactly what we came here for."

Colin Thompson, Kelly Moss' young talent, continued his podium streak by picking up two second-place Platinum Cup finishes. Both were hard-earned after the team had problems in qualifying, causing Thompson to start seventh and sixth in the two races. 

"We had a good car all week long but never a great car," Stone said. "We had an OK qualifying but not quite what we wanted. So we had to work really hard in the race. We did some things to the car and Colin worked on a few things, and we had two great races, scored some points and stretched out our championship lead. We had a chance to possibly make a pass for the win, but we decided that was not the right move because we're here for the championship." 

Thompson increased his Driver Championship lead to 14 points, 152-138, over rival Angel Benitez Jr. with seven rounds remaining in the season. 

"You can't complain about moving up five spots in any race, especially at a track like this one," Thompson said. "We didn't have the fastest car out there, but we just ran a smart race. At the end of the day, it's all about the championship and points, and second place is solid points." 

Kelly Moss' second driver, William Peluchiwski, had a hectic weekend juggling work and racing. Qualifying was the first time he had seen the fast, fearsome circuit, but he was still able to finish eighth in Gold Class and fifth in the Gold Masters Championship in Round 9 and ninth in Gold and sixth in Gold Masters for Round 10. 

"Bill was unfortunately tied up with business and wasn't able to show up for either the test day or practice day," Stone said. "He did an unbelievable job coming in here never having seen the track before and having done little preparation. To come in and have the car come home in one piece and have fun, we're just real proud of him for keeping it together and doing as well as he did."

 Peluchiwski is tied for fourth in the Gold Masters standings.

Kelly Moss is heading back to its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin to prepare for Rounds 6, 9 and 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at the team's home track, Road America. Round 6 is being made up after being rained out in May at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.

 

This weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP), Bryan Sellers and Team Falken Tire took a major leap to be race-win contenders in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as the Braselton, Georgia-resident and his longtime teammate Wolf Henzler (Germany) qualified third and finished eighth in the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR.

 "It is gratifying to begin to see some results for Team Falken Tire," stated Sellers. "We got a late start to the season with missing Daytona and all pre-season testing so we have had a lot of work to do as the season has progressed. We still have a lot of things we need to address to continue to improve but this time of year all teams are saying the same thing. We just need to make sure we continue to worry about our program and control the things we can control."

After creating a strong street course race tire and the prevailing rain tire in the North America sportscar racing paddock in recent years, the factory-owned team has been pursuing a comparable tire for natural terrain road course racing slicks. Sellers, the leading test driver for the program, and the Japanese-owned company had found the right combination at the end of 2013 winning the American Le Mans Series finale, the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, in dry conditions. However, the new Porsche 911 RSR demanded a new construction and compound combination to maximize performance. Entering round six of the TUDOR Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class, the effort found a strong combination with its new Azenis race tire. 

 "Our tire engineers at the track and at the Falken Tire factory in Japan have been working their hardest to give us a good product to race on," Sellers continued. "We have not made any steps backwards. We will continue to work and I have full faith that they will as well."

After good performances in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring - where the team debuted the Porsche 911 RSR with a fifth-place finish - and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - where the No. 17 was in contention for a podium finish - the two-hour, 45-minute race at CTMP was the clearest sign of the gains made by the Team Falken Tire entry. Sellers' stint saw the Ohio-native hold-off attack after attack before the close competition saw several cars pass him late in the first hour. Sellers' relinquished the wheel of the blue and teal Falken Porsche to Henzler who continued the battle ultimately taking eighth. 

It was the consistency of the tire over the stint that has the team excited about the future. With this tire, the feeling is that Sellers and Henzler will now be able to fine-tune the chassis to the Falken Azenis to narrow the gap even further to the competition. It will take only a few tenths of a second over the course of the roughly one-hour between pit stops - dictated by fuel usage - to make the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR a threat at every round on the calendar. Small steps and big effort are beginning to payoff. 

"GTLM is an incredible class to be racing in at the moment," Sellers concluded. "It is very clear by watching the races that it is impossible to make a mistake and win a race. It's even very difficult to make a mistake and finish on the podium. There is always a battle on every lap and that is what keeps you sharp as a team and as a driver. I feel like as a program we are getting stronger every weekend and will hopefully be able to make a late season push for podium finishes."

There will be little rest for Sellers after this weekend. The Falken Tire factory driver travels to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next. The Brickyard Grand Prix will be held on the Indy road course, Friday, July 25. The track layout has been modified this year making it slightly different than the course that Sellers raced to a SportsCar Challenge race victory last year. It will be the first time that Falken Tire has competed on the track in any form.

Races in two different locations brought two different results for Scuderia Corsa this weekend.

At the Ferrari Challenge race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Chris Ruud would score twice for Scuderia Corsa as he finished second in each day in the Coppa Shell class.

"I am glad that I was again able to podium in both Saturday and Sunday's race," said Ruud. "Especially here at my 'home' track in front of a large group of family and friends. I'm also really happy to extend my lead in the points championship at the same time. Road America is one of my favorite tracks across all of North America, and this weekend did not disappoint in that regard."

Competing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia would be forced to retire early after sustaining damage in an incident. Starting driver Jeff Westphal passed several cars in his opening stint, but sustained damage when he was caught up in an incident involving lapped GT-Daytona class cars.

The Scuderia Corsa team worked hard to repair the damage and return Westphal to the track, but after running more laps elected to retire the car from the race. Teammate Alessandro Balzan was unable to get behind the wheel of the car.

"We knew that this weekend was going to be a bit of a struggle, but to have our race end this way is really frustrating," said Westphal. "I hate it for the team because they dug and dug all weekend to make the car much better, and with no cautions in the race it would have really suited us. All we can do now is move on and try to get it back at the next race at Indianapolis."

Scuderia Corsa's technical director, Roberto Amorosi, was torn in his emotions from the weekend.

"On one side, I'm thrilled that Chris was able to continue his great season with another weekend of success," said Amorosi. "He has done an incredible job all season, and it was quite a thrill to see him stand on the podium in front of his friends and family. John Horejsi continued his improvement in the Ferrari with each session and earned his best result of the year.

"Unfortunately, we encountered some bad luck with our IMSA team in Canada. Jeff was doing a great job and two cars in front of him started an incident that he could not avoid. It's really unfortunate also because Alessandro was unable to drive and score any points. We are already working on our no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia to come back even strong at Indy."

Scuderia Corsa will compete next at the TUDOR Championship race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24-25. The next North American Ferrari Challenge race is September 19-21 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.

With six rounds down and six more to go, the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual stop in Maryland for the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National. The 25th annual stop at the legendary facility presented the toughest weather conditions to date in 2014, providing an opportunity for some new riders to emerge at the forefront of the 250 and 450 Classes. In the end, each division's leading title contender outlasted his respective points leader to put the momentum in their favor heading into the second half of the season.

 

Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett each made their return to the top of the podium and earned their third consecutive victory at Budds Creek. 

With a legacy highlighted by his raw, world-class speed, Team Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart surprisingly landed his first Oakley Bomb Award of the 2014 season at Budds Creek with a time of 1:57.748. Stewart acknowledged the challenge that lied ahead on the difficult, rutted track, but was happy to be back amongst the top riders in the 450 Class with hopes of continuing that dominance into the motos. Following Stewart's time was Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen with a time of 1:58.217, once again establishing himself at the forefront of the division. 

For the sixth time in seven rounds this season, the fastest rider in the 250 Class was Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel, who held the distinction of being the only 250cc rider to break the 2:00 minute mark with a time of 1:59.331. Pourcel praised the track, referencing the good prep and the nice day that was on hand for racing. Watching his lap times on the timer mounted on his handlebars, Pourcel was able to monitor his progress and capture the Oakley Bomb Award on his last lap of qualifying. Behind him was Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson who put in a great time of 2:00.105 and parlayed that effort to earn his first career win in Moto 1.

The Motosport.com Holeshot Award is brand new to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross this season and it awards $500 to the rider who gets the holeshot of each moto - in both the 450 Class and 250 Class - at every round of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. A total of $2,000 will be up for grabs at each event between the two classes, thanks to Motosport.com

At Budds Creek, it was a pack of Yamaha's that raced to the front of the pack and around the first turn of the opening 450 Class moto. When the gate dropped, all three Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX riders were at the forefront, with the Justin Brayton taking the Motosport.com Holeshot Award for the first time this season ahead of his teammates Josh Grant and Phil Nicoletti. However, Brayton was unable to maintain the pace of the lead pack, ultimately finishing 14th. In Moto 2, Yamahas were once again first to the turn, but Dungey found a way to sneak up the inside and got a great drive up the hill to earn his fourth Motosport.com Holeshot Award of the season. The two-time series champion never looked back, going wire-to-wire to earn his second overall victory of the season.

In the 250 Class, Pourcel got the jump off the gate, leading the pack around the first turn, but it was GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle on the inside lane who powered up the hill past Pourcel to take the Motosport.com Holeshot Award in Moto 1, ultimately finishing fourth. In Moto 2, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha's Jeremy Martin fought hard using the inside lane to get in front of a first turn pile up that caused multiple riders to go down. Powering up the hill, Martin secured his fourth Motosport.com Holeshot Award and began to pull away from the rest of the riders. Baggett later caught Martin, who settled for second overall on the day with 2-2 results. 

The RC Hard Charger Award is entering its sixth season in 2014. Named after Ricky Carmichael, the most winning motocross rider of all time, the award recognizes the one competitor at each of the 12 rounds of the championship who overtakes the highest number of his fellow racers in any of the four championship motos between the 250 and 450 Classes.The award is a testament to "The Greatest of All Time" or "The GOAT" and his never-give-up attitude over the span of a career that warranted 10 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross titles and 102 wins - two feats that will likely never be duplicated. All recipients of the RC Hard Charger Award are given a custom-designed trophy.

After getting caught up in a first turn incident caused by Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Dean Wilson put his head down in the second 250 Class moto to claw his way forward from a 37th starting spot to finish 16th, passing 21 riders along the way. Although Wilson did not go down after the first turn pileup, the bike was in need of attention from his team in the mechanics area. Wilson sat nearly one minute behind the leaders and 10 seconds back of the first rider ahead of him once he returned to action. Other honorable mentions go to Musquin, who went from 34th to 14th after his second moto crash and Soaring Eagle/RCH Racing Suzuki's Ivan Tedesco, who came from dead last in the first 450 Class moto to go from 38th to 19th. Additionally, privateer Chris Proscelle was impressive, climbing from 39th to 20th in the second 450 Class moto.

Hosting the annual Summer Nationals with the International Hot Rod Association's professional drag racing series from 1997-2002, Cordova Dragway Park, famous for its incredible fan and racer hospitality and blazing fast track, produced one of the premier, must-see events on the IHRA schedule. Now, after a 12 year wait, the IHRA is finally back in the Quad Cities.

The facility, located on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, will host the IHRA's biggest summer spectacular as the Summer Nationals return to Illinois for three full days of drag racing action capped off with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series professional competition July 18-19.

Featuring one of the biggest nostalgia Nitro Funny Car races in the country, plus action in Nitro Harley, Nitro Altered, Pro Stock, Jet Dragster and more, fans will be in for a treat when the IHRA returns to Cordova Dragway Park for a massive celebration of all things drag racing.

"Having this event back at Cordova Dragway Park is a big win for the racers, fans and businesses in the Quad Cities area. It has been more than a decade since the IHRA last raced at Cordova Dragway Park and I am thrilled to be able to bring this unique and exciting event back to Cordova," said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports and former manager of Cordova Dragway Park. "This event, coupled with an already stellar lineup of great racing events held throughout the year, will only help elevate the tracks reputation as a leader in providing world class motorsports entertainment in the Quad Cities region."

Race fans will enjoy over two dozen nitro-powered race machines when IHRA returns to Cordova Dragway Park as the track hosts competition in Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, plus racing in the powerful mountain-motor Pro Stock division, the world's only Jet Dragster class, a full weekend of sportsman racing with the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour and more.

And this year, every lap matters as the stars of the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series push their machines to the limit in their chase for the 2014 IHRA World Championships. Already this season, IHRA fans have witnessed multiple records in three professional classes shattered by the intense competition.

Among the record-setting performances in 2014 have been great showings from IHRA's Nitro Funny Car class, made even bigger at the Summer Nationals as Cordova hosts one of the biggest Nitro Funny Car races of the year.

IHRA's only completely open field will welcome more than a dozen of the fastest Funny Cars in the world trying to make an eight-car field and take home one of the most coveted trophies of the year.

"While all of the classes present something unique and exciting, there is no denying the star power of the Nitro Funny Car class at Cordova," Gardner said. "We are going to have the world's best in nostalgia Funny Car racing gathered in one spot competing for, what I believe, will be one of the most sought after wins in the history of this class."

California native Jason Rupert currently leads the IHRA Nitro Funny Car championship standings in the Bays and Rupert "Black Plague" '69 Camaro coming off of four Nitro Jam victories in the first six races and a brand new elapsed time record set in North Carolina earlier this year. Rupert will be joined by fellow 2014 Ironman winners John Hale in the "Mike Burkhart" tribute Camaro and Mike McIntire Jr. in "McAttack" Camaro, along with former Cordova finalists in Top Fuel from the early years in Bruce Litton and Paul Romine, both of which will be entered in Funny Car at the Summer Nationals.

Other drivers scheduled to compete in the Clash at Cordova include "Mr. Explosive" Mark Sanders, Tim Boychuk in "Forever Forward," Ronny Young in the world famous "Blue Max," Mike Halstead in "Candies & Hughes," Marc White in "Flashback," Shawn Bowen in "Violator," Bazz Young in "Down Under Thunder" and more.

The event promises to be one of the biggest nostalgia Nitro Funny Car races ever held with six nostalgia champions represented in the field. The race will feature former champions Hale, a two-time DRO champion, three-time NHRA Heritage Series champion Rupert, two-time DRO champion Romine, former Nitro Jam champion Steve Nichols and 2013 DRO champion Bowen.

Also making history in Cordova will be the debut of the world's only Jet Dragster championship program being contested by the four fastest women in drag racing - the Larsen Motorsports jet team. This four-car team is made up of four very talented female competitors with vastly different backgrounds. From a 19-year-old college student, to a female test pilot and an entrepreneur who holds the operation together, the team will compete in 300 mph, side-by-side jet-powered drag racing action.

IHRA's other nitro divisions will include Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, two radical and extreme classes that are among the most popular in the world for their death-defying competition.

Iconic racer and previous Cordova finalist Jay Turner leads the 220 mph nitro-powered motorcycle class, joining points leader Randal Andras, Canadian Mike Scott, Mark Cox and more. Nitro Altered, another extreme class once banned from organized competition due to the extreme danger behind the wheel, will include Arizona native Ron Maroney in "Blind Faith," Las Vegas native and third generation racer Kyle Hough in "Nanook, the popular "Arizona Thunder" driven by Mike Hilsabeck, "Bullet Bob" driven by Don Blackshear, Ron Hope in "Rat Trap" and more.

Among the special attraction's at this year's event will be a once-in-a-lifetime fire burnout, just like the ones done in drag racing's glory days, performed by one of the sport's all-time greats in Hope.

Wrapping up the professional competition will be the thunderous Mountain Motor Pro Stock division. With powerful 800+ cubic inch powerplants guiding these cars more than 220 mph down the quarter-mile, the intense competition between the Black Diamond Motorsports team, consisting of Kevin Bealko and John DeFlorian, and the Goforth Racing Team, made up of Cary Goforth, Dean Goforth and Todd Hoerner, will resume, alongside former IHRA champion Pete Berner, two-time event winner this season John Konigshofer and more.

In addition to all of the on-track action, the 2014 IHRA Summer Nationals will feature an all-new and fully interactive Fan Fest pit experience. Fans can tour the pits, meet the drivers and take part in a number of fun family activities including the Larsen Motorsports Jet Technology Center, a hands-on look at the design and technology behind a jet-powered racing team, and the Hollywood Cars of the Stars featuring real cars from famous movies and television shows such as the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series and more.

In addition to the professional action, the Summer Nationals will also include two full days of sportsman racing competing on the IHRA's Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL. Racing for that series will take place Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets to the 2014 IHRA Summer Nationals can be purchased in advance at www.nitrojam.com or at the gate day of show.

Showtime is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information on the 2014 IHRA Summer Nationals, visit www.nitrojam.com or call Cordova Dragway Park at (309) 654-2110. 

 SERKET Racing driver Mark Llano picked up the first two podium finishes of his career in Rounds 9 and 10 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. 

"It has been an unbelievable weekend," Llano said. "I was very excited to get my first podium, let alone add another one in the same weekend, especially at such a tough track like this."

It was Llano's second trip to the historic, fast and challenging track. 

"One of my teammates last season described this track as a monkey with a knife," Llano said. "You have to expect the unexpected and be focused every turn of every lap." 

The first podium for SERKET Racing came in Round 9 Friday, July 11. After a rough qualifying in the backup car which saw him start 25th overall, former Marine Llano put down consistent laps to make his way through the field. He climbed as high as second in the Gold Masters class before finishing the race in third position. 

"It was an unbelievable race," Llano said. "It was tight racing, but it was just incredible. I was able to stay out of some of the trouble other drivers got caught in. NGT and the crew gave me an incredible car, as well. I can't thank them enough." 

Llano used the same strategy during the second race Saturday, July 12. After a solid start, he drove his way through the field to gain eight spots to gain his second podium finish and the Yokohama Hard Charger Award, which is given to the driver who gains the most spots from the green flag to the checkered flag. 

"It was a great morning and an amazing weekend," Llano said. "The competition is just insane. The car setup was perfect, and the Yokohama tires were just like glue on the track. The more I pushed, the more the tires seemed to grip the track.

 "I also have to thank all the fans that came out to support us. I saw a bunch of veterans outside of Turn 5 who had an American flag. They would put it in the air every time we passed by. That just gave me more motivation. I'm very thankful for the series and for all those involved."

SERKET Racing will be back on track Aug. 9-10 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

 

Earlier this month , the Key West City Commission reached a unanimous agreement to keep Super Boat International, the largest sanctioning body of professional offshore powerboat racing in North America, in Key West for a minimum of the next 5 years.  In the agreement, the city would be responsible for about 55 percent of costs for security, police, emergency personnel, cleanup and other services. SBI would reimburse the city for the remaining 45 percent

“The city of Key West has committed to work with us to keep SBI and offshore racing here for at least the next 5 years," commented President of SBI, John Carbonell. "The economic impact is very significant for our community here and I’m proud to see how everyone is working together.”

"We're going to begin construction on that park [at the Truman Waterfront where the race boats are staged] and they wanted to make sure that we would accommodate them," added Current Mayor of Key West, Craig Cates. "We want them back, and we will make the accommodations they need.”

"If you look at the statistics, there are two large events in Key West, one being the Super Boat World Championship. We bring in, documented, over $30 million from this event, which, if you add in the taxes and revenue that's brought in, it's huge, “ comments Larry Bleil, president of the Conch Republic Powerboat Racing Association.

Carbonell and his entire team are already working hard in preparation for the upcoming 34th Annual Key West World Championship Event this November 2nd – 9th.

Christina Nielsen completed the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park weekend with a podium finish and respectable consistency in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. The young woman from Aarhus, Denmark, steered clear of on-track incidents Friday, July 12 to take third in Round 9, the first of two 45-minute sprint sessions for the series.

Nielsen, who qualified fifth, fought off competitors through the race and capitalized on the incident that took place between two competitors ahead of her. Once in the third position, she made her charge to the front, turning consistently quick laps. But with the clock running out, she was unable to gain position.

"It's nice to be at the top and to show that we are competitive," Nielsen said of the first race. "We struggled a little bit in the race. But we didn't make any major mistakes during the race, and that is why we ended where we were. Basically, it's nice to see that we are getting pretty close to having all of the boys behind us."

Keeping her consistency in Round 10 on Saturday, July 13, Nielsen ran a clean race with ease. Nielsen focused on putting her previous experience here in a Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada race in May to good use, finishing just off the podium in fifth.

"It is very normal that drivers go faster when they have been away from a track and come back," Nielsen said. "So it was great to keep that rhythm and show people that we are a part of the top. Our lap times were very consistent, and we showed a good speed."

Looking ahead, Nielsen will pull double-duty for the remainder of the race season with European Le Mans Series team IMSA Performance. The team has no ties to the International Motor Sports Association, which sanctions the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Nielsen will join Nicolas Armindo, her former teammate for the 2013 Petit Le Mans with NGT Motorsport. She replaces driver David Halliday for the final three races of the season in the Matmut Porsche RSR.

"Very excited to be back in Europe to race since it will be my first race this year in Europe," Nielsen said. "It will be my first time in the RSR, so there will be a lot to catch up on, but I am looking forward to it."

Nielsen's next Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race will be Aug. 9-10 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Her first race with the European Le Mans Series is July 19-20 at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.


X

No right click

Please link the article.