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.
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For the past seven years, Kevin Bealko has played second fiddle on his own race team.
After nearly a decade of success in the world of Pro Stock, just not in his own car, Bealko finally broke through with his first career Mountain Motor Pro Stock victory Saturday night in front of a jam-packed crowd at the IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park.
Bealko bested No. 1 qualifier and the quickest man all weekend, Scott Hintz, to collect his first career Ironman trophy, doing so on a holeshot as the entire Black Diamond Motorsports team gathered on the starting line to witness the occasion. Joining Bealko in the winner's circle on Saturday were Ron Maroney (Nitro Altered), Randal Andras (Nitro Harley), Marisha Falk (Jet Dragster) and Dom Lagana (Top Fuel) as the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series season winds down with only one race remaining on the tour.
"This means a heck of a lot to me. I have never been able to win a Pro Stock race in all these years of trying and to do it here today in this division, with these great racers, on the quarter-mile and right here in Michigan where John (DeFlorian) got his first win a few years back, is just tremendous," Bealko said. "The whole gang has done a wonderful job for us, we are fortunate to have them. I just strap in and drive this thing; they deserve all the credit here."
The Black Diamond Motorsports team, headed by Bealko, has enjoyed a great deal of success since it was founded in 2007. The team has won multiple races, set a number of world records and has been a force in the world of Pro Stock for the past several seasons. But a lot of that success has resided with Bealko's teammate, Missouri native John DeFlorian, and not with Bealko himself.
On Saturday, however, Bealko had his own moment in the spotlight as the Bridgeport, W.Va. native drove the AMSOIL-sponsored Black Diamond Motorsports 2014 Chevrolet Camaro to the winner's circle in dramatic fashion. Going up against top qualifier Scott Hintz in the final, Bealko got the jump on the line with a .039 reaction time to a .085 and used that narrow margin to edge his opponent with a 6.289-second pass at 222.13 mph. Hintz ran a 6.280 at 223.60 in the runner-up effort.
"There are just so many people to thank. My wife, she has put up with a lot these past few years, AMSOIL has been great to us and we think the world of their product and IHRA has just been magnificent. This has been the best drag racing experience I have ever had running with a great organization like IHRA," Bealko said.
Bealko added wins over Pete Berner and Cary Goforth on his way to the victory.
"The car has been great lately. We had to tweak it a bit on day one when it was brand new, but slowly we have been getting the balance right on it," Bealko said. "We have strived to win one of these with our second car for a while and now that we have done it, it is a pretty good feeling. The Lord has blessed us in a big way."
Ron Maroney was Saturday's other big winner as the driver of the "Blind Faith" Nitro Altered collected his third win of the year and, more importantly, locked up his second career Nitro Altered championship.
Maroney was quickest in class for most of the weekend and entered the finals as the fast car from round one. In the final, Maroney drew Kyle Hough and dominated from starting line to finish line with a 6.382-second pass at 217.95 mph. Hough had a 6.899 at 162.48 as he just missed collecting his first win of the season.
With the win, Maroney locked up his second IHRA Nitro Altered championship, winning his first back in 2010 running in the very same car Hough drove in Martin.
"It is exciting to get our second championship. They both mean a lot to me, but they are also very different," Maroney said. "I love the Hough family to death and they gave me that opportunity to drive the 'Nanook' car, a car I grew up idolizing, to win a championship. Now, to win it in my own car, a car that my wife and I own 100 percent, is really special."
Maroney's victory capped a wild weekend in the nostalgia class as three different teams had run-ins with the wall while others took out timing blocks and traded lanes, a trademark of the class.
"It was a great weekend, but it was a weekend that really showed what these Altereds are all about. We went out and ran 6.20s on one pass, then the next pass we are taking out cones while other guys are hitting the wall. Then we come back and run 6.30s right down the center," Maroney said. "You just never know what these things are going to do. Sometimes they go straight as an arrow and sometimes you are just along for the ride."
Troy Martin and Shane Harter collected consolation round wins to close out the Nitro Altered class.
IHRA's other major eliminator, Nitro Harley, was won by Louisiana native Randal Andras as the championship battle in the nitro-powered motorcycle class reaches new heights. Any one of four drivers will have an opportunity to clinch the title in Memphis in two months.
Andras made his case for the Nitro Harley championship with his second win of the season, besting Mike Pelrine in the final. Andras had little trouble powering down the US 131 quarter-mile with a 6.857 at 220.15 pass in the final, while Pelrine ran into trouble and had to shut it off early.
Andras added wins over Jim Fagan and Alvin Kobernusz on his way to the win.
Dom Lagana ceremoniously welcomed Top Fuel Dragster back to the IHRA Nitro Jam lineup over the weekend as the younger of the two Lagana brothers swept the weekend, taking all four round wins over his brother Bobby.
To cap the weekend, Dom had passes of 4.664 at 306.27 and 4.835 at 243.71 to seal the win.
Finally in Jet Dragster, Marisha Falk placed the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University jet-powered dragster in the winner's circle as the Florida native dominated the class from start to finish. Falk was the top qualifier on Friday and used that momentum to eliminate Allison West and Elaine Larsen for her third Ironman of the season. Falk had a 5.744 at 278.17 in the final, just edging Larsen's 5.799 at 275.38.
The IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series will return to action October 10-11 at Memphis International Raceway for the season finale at the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals featuring the Nitro Jam Nationals.
Martin, Mich. - Final results from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park
Top Fuel Dragster - Dom Lagana, Scarsdale, N.Y., dragster, 4.835, 243.71 def. Bobby Lagana Jr., Scarsdale, N.Y., dragster, 5.266, 206.26
Pro Stock - Kevin Bealko, Bridgeport, W.Va., '14 Camaro, 6.2899, 222.13 def. Scott Hintz, Odessa, Texas, '13 Mustang, 6.280, 223.60
Nitro Harley - Randal Andras, Amelia, La., motorcycle, 6.857, 220.15 def. Mike Pelrine, Bruderheim, Alb., motorcycle, 9.075, 102.89
Nitro Altered - Ron Maroney, Chandler, Ariz., '32 Bantam, 6.382, 217.95 def. Kyle Hough, Las Vegas, Nev., '23 Ford T, 6.899, 162.48
Jet Dragster - Marisha Falk, Port Orange, Fla., 5.744, 278.17 def. Elaine Larsen, Port Orange, Fla., 5.799, 275.38
Martin, Mich. - Final round-by-round results from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park
Top Fuel Dragster
Round 1 - Dom Lagana, 4.664, 306.27 def. Bobby Lagana Jr., 4.881, 322.53
Final - Dom Lagana, 4.835, 243.71 def. Bobby Lagana, 5.266, 206.26
Round 1 - Scott Hintz, 6.301, 223.53 def. Dean Goforth, 6.295, 222.29; Todd Hoerner, 6.356, 221.44 def. John DeFlorian, 6.396, 220.15; Cary Goforth, 6.354, 220.37 def. Matt Bertsch, 6.402, 218.96; Kevin Bealko, 6.355, 219.19 def. Pete Berner, 6.378, 219.07
Semis - Bealko, 6.365, 212.88 def. Goforth, broke; Hintz, 6.297, 221.45 def. Hoerner, 6.346, 221.13
Final - Bealko, 6.289, 221.21 def. Scott Hintz, 6.280, 223.60
Round 1 - Mike Pelrine, 6.897, 159.65 def. Jay Turner, 8.202, 107.53; Mark Cox, 6.476, 215.11 def. Lyle Newton 7.740, 131.42; Randal Andras, 6.418, 217.91 def. Jim Fagan 7.273, 186.71; Alvin Kobernusz, 7.389, 153.69 def. Mike Scott, 10.613, 85.06
Semis - Pelrine, 6.380, 206.17 def. Cox, foul; Andras, 6.368, 228.97 def. Kobernusz, 7.230, 163.11
Final - Andras, 6.857, 220.15 def. Pelrine, 9.075, 102.89
Round 1 - Ron Maroney, 6.205, 221.28 def. Troy Ray, no time; Kyle Hough, 6.250, 227.00 def. Shane Harter 6.408, 207.02; Don Blackshear, 6.600, 216.16 def. Troy Martin, DQ
Consolation - Martin, 6.284, 204.16 def. Ray, 8.990, 148.57; Harter, 6.382, 220.14 def. Blackshear, 7.154, 141.14
Final - Maroney, 6.382, 217.95 def. Hough, 6.899, 162.48
Round 1 - Marisha Falk, 5.780, 274.96 def. Allison West, 6.044, 195.54; Elaine Larsen, 5.851, 271.41 def. Kat Moller, 6.026, 264.22
Consolation - West, 6.009, 199.75 def. Moller, foul
Final - Falk, 5.744, 278.17 def. Larsen, 5.799, 275.38
Dungey Continues Late Season Surge in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship with Third Victory in Last Four Rounds at Unadilla
Following its final break in action for the 2014 season, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, began its stretch run on Saturday with the 10th round of the summer from Central New York's legendary Unadilla with the Red Bull Unadilla National. With just two rounds and four motos remaining, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey made another major jump in the 450 Class title fight by earning his third win in the last four rounds and closing to within single digits of his teammate Ken Roczen atop the standings. In the 250 Class, Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel became the fifth different winner this season in the division, signifying the Frenchman's first victory on U.S. soil since the 2010 season.
Dungey (5) continues to close in on his teammate Roczen (94).
Photo: Simon Cudby
For the third consecutive moto, Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX's Justin Brayton put himself out front of the start to earn the Motosport.com Holeshot Award in the first 450 Class moto, bringing his JGRMX teammate Phil Nicoletti with him. Not far behind them was Dungey, who wasted little time is making his march to the front and passed both Yamaha riders to assume control of the lead on the opening lap. Roczen kept pace with his teammate and fought his way from a start outside the top five to move into second. From there it became a two-rider battle for the moto win between the KTM duo.
Dungey kept Roczen at bay throughout the entirety of the moto, with mere bike lengths separating the teammates for the bulk of the race. However, in the closing laps Dungey extended his advantage and ultimately posted a wire-to-wire victory to put him in the drivers seat for the overall. Behind this pair, GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac quietly rode to a solid and consistent third-place finish. Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard, who was fastest in practice, fought his way forward from a start outside the top 10 to finish fourth. BTO Sports KTM's Andrew Short rounded out the top five.
With all eyes on Dungey and Roczen in Moto 2, it was once again Brayton who emerged with the Motosport.com Holeshot Award for the fourth straight time, but his time out front was short lived as both Tomac and Canard moved to the forefront and ultimately steal the spotlight. With the Honda duo out front, both Dungey and Roczen were forced to fight their way from starts outside the top five. When the jockeying was complete on the opening lap it was Tomac leading, followed by Canard, Dungey and Roczen.
Tomac and Roczen opened a significant gap over the rest of the field, but then started to engage in an exciting battle for the top spot that lasted several laps. The two riders traded positions multiple times on the track, which allowed Dungey to close the deficit to a matter of bike lengths and make it a three-rider fight for the win. Eventually Canard logged consistent laps to assert himself in the lead, leaving Tomac and Dungey to fight for second, with Roczen a distant fourth.
Canard (41), Tomac (3) and Dungey (5) did battle in Moto 2.
Photo: Simon Cudby
Dungey made his way past Tomac with four laps remaining and pushed to close in on Canard. About a second separated the two riders throughout the closing laps and Dungey moved within striking distance on the final lap, but the Honda rider held on to earn the first 450 Class moto win of his career. Tomac followed in third, with Roczen finishing off the podium for just the second time this season in fourth.
Dungey's 1-2 results ensured him of the overall, his third at Unadilla. He now has four wins this season, tying him for the most in the division with Roczen.
"It was an awesome day. We just wanted to make the most of the day and not get sidetracked [with the championship]," said Dungey. "There's a lot of racing left still with two rounds to go, but things are going good. It feels great to get another overall, but I made it hard on myself in the second moto and let those guys [Tomac and Canard] get away. Maybe a couple more laps we could have got Canard, but he was riding really good."
Canard earned his best finish of the season in second (4-1) thanks to the moto win, with Tomac (3-3) edging out Roczen (2-4) for third overall via a tiebreaker. It marked the first time this season that Roczen failed to finish on the overall podium.
"I can't tell you how good that feels," said Canard after his moto win. "I'm not going to sit here and cry about what's happened [in the past with injuries], but I am just so thankful to have the opportunity to be here [on top of the podium] again. I'm just so happy to be up here and I'm looking forward to the next two races."
Dungey's win marked another seven-point swing in his favor, bringing his deficit to Roczen atop the championship standings to just seven points. Dungey has gained 17 points on Roczen the past two rounds. Canard sits third, 74 points behind, with Monster Energy Kawasaki's Brett Metcalfe fourth (-167) and Tomac jumping up all the way to fifth (-195) despite missing the first four rounds of the season with injury.
Canard's first career moto win was an impressive one.
Photo: Simon Cudby
Throughout the 2014 season, Pourcel has proven to be one of the fastest riders in the 250 Class, consistently posting the fastest lap of practice and regularly earning the Motosport.com Holeshot Award. At Unadilla, he earned his fifth straight holeshot to begin Moto 1 and used that to his advantage to pace the field for the entirety of the moto. While fellow Frenchman Marvin Musquin ultimately challenged him late aboard his Red Bull KTM, Pourcel was able to break through for his first moto win of the season with relative ease.
While the action up front was under Pourcel's control, the battles behind him were captivating. The Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha duo of Cooper Webb and Jeremy Martin slotted in behind Pourcel early, but Musquin was on a mission, moving past both riders from his fourth-place starting spot before closing in on Pourcel. A late crash by Webb while battling his teammate for third dropped the sophomore rider several spots back, which allowed Martin to finish third. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Dean Wilson finished in fourth, with GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle fifth. Webb dropped to seventh.
Pourcel was the rider to beat all afternoon at Unadilla.
Photo: Simon Cudby
The start of the second moto resulted in more of the same for Pourcel, who captured his sixth consecutive Motosport.com Holeshot Award to put himself in position to earn the overall. Martin began the moto in second with Bogle following in third. Musquin had to fight his way forward from a fifth-place start, while Webb was mired in ninth.
Pourcel dominated the first half of the moto but slowly began to lose ground to Martin. On Lap 6, the championship points leader took over the lead from the Frenchman and quickly pulled away. The pair maintained their large gap over the rest of the field, while Bogle maintained his hold on third for the whole moto.
In the end, Martin raced to his class-leading eighth moto win, with Pourcel second and Bogle third. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett was fourth just ahead of Musquin. Webb suffered an apparent bike issue and was forced to retire, finishing 36th.
After a three-year hiatus from full time competition in America, Pourcel was back on top of the podium thanks to his 1-2 moto results. It was the seventh win of his 250 Class career and his second at Unadilla.
"The first moto was good and we got a good start in the second moto," said Pourcel. "I love the track here [at Unadilla] and it really works for my style. I'm just really grateful to be back up here [atop the podium] and want to thank everyone for the support they've given to me. Jeremy was riding great in that second moto, so I had to give it to him."
Martin maintains his hold over the field in the 250 Class.
Photo: Simon Cudby
Martin's 3-1 results landed him second overall and extended his double-digit points lead to an even greater margin. Musquin rounded out the overall podium in third (2-5).
"I got off to a great start [in Moto 2] and battled with Christophe [Pourcel] for a while, then I chipped by tooth after getting hit by a rock," said Martin. "After that I realized I needed to make my move. I haven't won a moto in a while so it felt good to get back out front. I did make a few mistakes out there today, so I'll do some work during the week to come back stronger next weekend."
Martin moved to 66 points over Baggett, who jumped into second following Webb's misfortune. Webb sits third, 74 points back. Musquin sits fourth (-93), while Pourcel rounds out the top five (-101)
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship hosts the penultimate round of the championship next Saturday, August 16, with the 11th round of the season and the inaugural event from Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Action for the Thor Indiana National begins at 1 p.m. ET.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Red Bull Unadilla National
Unadilla - New Berlin, New York
August 9, 2014
Round 10 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
450 Class Championship Standings
250 Class (Moto Finish)
250 Class Championship Standings
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world's most prestigious professional motocross series - the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The industry leader in off road power sport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visitwww.mxsportsproracing.com.
Alli Sports is a media, event and branded content company that specializes in action, adventure, and adrenaline based sports. Alli Properties include the Dew Tour, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the Red Bull Signature Series and World of Adventure Sports presented by Go Pro. Alli Sports is a division of the NBC Sports Group. More information can be found at www.Allisports.com.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Lucas Oil Products
Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products, Inc is the world leader of High Performance Lubricants and Problem Solving Additives and produces and markets 272 unique formulations in thirty four countries around the globe and is growing country by country, market by market every year. Through innovative product research and development, along with progressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the "Official Motor Oil of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship." Visit: www.lucasoil.com.
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(Lucas Oil Pro Motocross PR)
Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) earned its second consecutive pole position in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series today. Ryan Dalziel, co-driver of the No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD), saved the best lap for last at Road America. With seconds to spare in the 15-minute session, the Scotsman vaulted to the top of the charts with a lap of 1:55.166 (126.537 mph), nearly eight-tenths quicker than the second-place qualifier.
“We’ve had a tough weekend," added Dalziel. "The track has been changing every session. We felt like we rolled off the truck pretty good and then we lost our way a little bit. During that last practice and qualifying the guys did a great job. We went back to how we unloaded from the truck and then the car was excellent."
ESM owner Scott Sharp will start the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase for the No. 1 team and Dalziel will drive second.
In the No. 2 Tequila Patrón HPD, van Overbeek lapped the 4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course in 1:56.319 (125.283 mph), which sets him fifth on the starting grid. Co-driver Ed Brown will start the race for the No. 2 team and van Overbeek will drive second.
Sunday’s two-hour, 45-minute Continental Tire Road Race Showcase is the ninth race of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Green flag is 1:15 p.m. CT on Sunday, Aug 10.
Television coverage of the Road Race Showcase starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
Patience helped Chris Green earn his second victory of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin season after a rough-and-tumble race Saturday during the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières (GP3R).
"I'm really proud of the Pfaff Motorsports Castrol guys today, especially here today in front of my Castrol family, my friends and family here at home," Green said. "I'm pretty pumped."
Green, from Montreal, beat rival Scott Hargrove to the finish by 4.996 seconds in his No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche. He also trimmed Hargrove's Platinum Cup (2014 car models) championship lead to 14 points, 134-120, with three rounds remaining in this season.
"Unfortunately, we were battling really hard," stated Hargrove. "Everybody was pushing really hard, but we've got to try to make it a little cleaner because you're not going to get so lucky every time. But the OpenRoad Racing Porsche was fast, and we'll be back tomorrow and try to secure the win here at Trois-Rivières."
Carlos de Quesada, from Odessa, Florida, finished third in the No. 22 Alegra Motorsports entry for his first Platinum Cup overall podium finish of the season.
"I was just sitting back there taking it easy, just running my race, trying to run good, consistent laps," added de Quesada. "I knew once I got up on Etienne (Borgeat), just keep on putting pressure, that my shot would be a lot better getting a good pass. I didn't try pushing it hard. Just ran consistently and found the opening. He ran wide in Turn 8, and I took advantage of that. It was a good race." (About first podium of season): "It's about time. I've been waiting a year. It's funny: Two years ago, I got multiple podiums, and last year I ran Gold class. So it's nice to be back on top again."
Spencer Pigot, from Orlando, Florida, finished fourth in the No. 21 Alegra Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car. Etienne Borgeat, from Montreal, rounded out the top five in the No. 2 GT Racing entry on the 11-turn, 1.53-mile (2.46 km) Circuit Trois-Rivières.
Green started from the pole but fell to second in the early laps after a joust with Hargrove, who started second in the No. 69 OpenRoad Racing Porsche. Pigot also squirted past in the early moments of the 45-minute race, dropping Green to third.
But Pigot nudged Hargrove in Turn 9 with 34 minutes remaining, causing Hargrove to spin. Pigot lost momentum in the contact, and Green drive past both of his title rivals to take a lead he never would lose.
"As soon as I got shoved out of first place again, I just was able to settle back in position behind Spencer," Green said. "I knew I had a faster car than the guys ahead of me. I kind of had a gut feeling something would happen in front, so I just went with the flow. There was lots of time left in the race."
Race officials judged Pigot was responsible for the contact with Hargrove, and he was forced to the pits from second place to stop for a 20-second penalty.
Hargrove, from Surrey, British Columbia, dropped to fifth after the incident with Pigot. But he jumped into third behind Green and Borgeat when Pigot served his penalty, and Hargrove dove under Borgeat for second with 23 minutes remaining in the race.
It was the second consecutive race in which Hargrove was forced to fight from deep in the field. He was assessed a penalty July 20 in Toronto after contact with Green but still drove through the field to finish second.
"The last one in Toronto was my fault," Hargrove said. "But here, it was unfortunate because we weren't really even side by side or anything. I just got punted from the rear. Spun around, had to work my way back up."
Green led Hargrove by 10.541 seconds with 21 minutes remaining, but it was anything but smooth sailing for him to the finish. His car developed a gearbox problem, causing him to slow over the last 20 minutes. But Green had enough of a cushion to keep Hargrove out of sight until the checkered flag.
"That made it a little bit interesting for a while, but I just maintained the pace," Green said.
Hargrove has finished first or second in all seven rounds this season.
2013 Gold Cup champion de Quesada earned his first Platinum Cup podium finish since 2012 after a spirited duel with Borgeat for third. De Quesada pulled to within six-tenths of a second of Borgeat with 16 minutes to go.
Both drivers wove through lapped traffic, with de Quesada applying heavy pressure to Borgeat. The high-horsepower stalemate broke with 12 minutes left in the race with Borgeat slid wide in Turn 8, and de Quesada powered past for third.
|Platinum Masters podium finishers (from left): Carlos de Quesada, Perry Bortolotti|
De Quesada earned his first Platinum Masters victory of the season with his third-place overall finish.
Mark Motors Racing teammates Marco Cirone and Perry Bortolotti finished second and third, respectively, in Platinum Masters.
"It was lots of banging and knocking and people closing doors on each other," Bortolotti stated. "It was pretty hairy, for sure. I'm a little disappointed in myself. I ended up trying to get by one of the backmarkers. He shut the door on me. I had to lock the tires up, and I flat-spotted them. So I was hunting Carlos (de Quesada) down, but with the flat spots, I had nothing left. At the end there, it was just uncontrollable. I lost it in (Turn) 8 and had to get it back around and get going again. Really disappointing finish, actually, but good race overall, still."
Cirone, from Toronto, spun early in the race and was hampered by water leaking from the box that fed the "cool suit" under his driving suit. He still holds a 12-point lead over de Quesada in the Platinum Masters championship with three rounds remaining.
Bortolotti, from Kanata, Ontario, threatened de Quesada for position during the race. But he spun in Turn 8 with two minutes remaining on tires that were flat-spotted a few laps earlier when he was forced to lock his brakes while trying to pass a stubborn lapped car.
|Gold Cup podium finishers (from left): Shaun McKaigue, Tim Sanderson, Martin Harvey|
Tim Sanderson regained the Gold Cup (2010-2013 car models) championship lead with his second victory of the season in the No. 07 Alegra Motorsports/Northwest Atlantic Motorsports Porsche. He leads Jerimy Daniel, 122-118, with three rounds remaining.
Daniel was forced to drop out of the race with mechanical problems in the No. 75 TRC Porsche.
Sanderson, from Pickering, Ontario, never was threatened after Daniel's misfortune and cruised to a victory. Shaun McKaigue, from Gilford, Ontario, finished second in the No. 34 Fiorano Racing entry. Martin Harvey, from Berthierville, Quebec, was third in the No. 08 Wingho Racing Inc. 911 GT3 Cup car.
"Things couldn't have worked out better for us today," Sanderson said. "I guess the race gods are with us a little bit. Great start - we did exactly what we were wanting to do, which was put a car between me and the 75 car (Jerimy Daniel), and it worked out well. I think Jerimy had some problems. I guess he overheated or something.
"That is really unfortunate because you always want to race them to the end. But hats off to him: He's a great competitor, he pushes the hell out of me, and I hope to do the same for him. Tomorrow's a new day, and I hope he's back."
Just 20 points separate Sanderson from fifth-place Ilker Starck in the tight championship chase in Gold Cup.
|Silver Cup podium finishers (from left): Chuck Harris, Keith Bass|
Keith Bass ended the perfect streak of Alegra Motorsports teammate Chuck Harris with his first Silver Cup (2005½-2009 car models) victory of the season in the No. 49 Alegra Motorsports Porsche.
"I've been working hard for it," Bass said. "Beautiful city, the people are wonderful. The track is fantastic. I had a blast. Great track."
Bass, from Tampa, Florida, took the Silver Cup lead after Harris hit the wall in Turn 1 early in the race and damaged the cooling system on his No. 50 Alegra Motorsports entry.
Harris, from Tampa, Florida, pursued Bass but was forced to pull off into a runoff area due to overheating and eventually retired from the race. Harris had won in Silver Cup for the first six rounds of the season.
"I got tangled up, crossed up in Turn 1, hit the wall," Harris stated. "I must have pulled a hose off or something because I started getting temp issues and then oil issues and then water level. So I ran as long as I could and brought it in. Good time, great track. Lots of walls out there, and I found one today. The car will be good to go tomorrow."
Round 8 of the 2014 Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin - another 45-minute race - is scheduled for 9:20 a.m. (ET) Sunday at Trois-Rivières.
Qualifying for Saturday’s race was held under dry conditions, and the No. 88 Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier/Euroquipe Piper/Honda of defending SCCA Runoffs® National Champion Tim Kautz set the pace, turning a 1:33.942. The lap put him 0.020-second ahead of Futrelle, with 16-year-old Max Mallinen, Jason Generotti and Cliff Johnson each within a half second of the front row.
50-year-old Jeremy McWilliams leveraged every last bit of his vast racing experience to claim Saturday's AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series race victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The GP race winner led across the stripe to open all but one lap after starting from pole, but that fact masks the contest's actual hard-fought nature. Four and five riders packed tightly at the front, jockeying for position in the draft down the fabled venue's long start/finish straight.
McWilliams found another gear on his Harley-Davidson of Bloomington XR1200 on the race's last lap to successfully counter a late strike from Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson's Ben Carlson.
The Northern Irishman took the white flag with just over a half second in hand, but Wisconsin native Carlson made a desperate bid to chase him down. Feet in the air and bars locked at one point, Carlson made good in his effort, diving past McWilliams at the end of the circuit's back straight.
However, McWilliams calmly settled in and ultimately leveraged the slipstream to claim his second Indy victory at the line by a scant 0.083 seconds.
"You put a bit of pressure on yourself when you start from pole because I suppose you've done all that work and you don't want to give it away on the first lap," McWilliams said. "So I got the hammer down and stupidly thought I could break away. I gave it everything - I tried to maintain the tire a little bit but to be honest, that didn't really work - Benny caught me.
"He taught me a few things when he got through - he was just using his superior height to get the bike back on the big, fat part of the tire and I thought if he keeps doing this, we're going to be in trouble. So I had to keep working hard to get back on him on the last sector, because once the draft's broken, it's gone. I'm lucky Bloomington Harley gave me a bike that can stay in the draft. It's as good as it was last year and it's a pleasure to ride. That's a big weight off my shoulder to get a win here. I just wanted one again because it's such a special place to do it."
Meanwhile, Carlson continues to knock on the door, drawing ever closer to finally securing his first-career AMA Pro Road Racing victory.
"Turn 1 last lap, I almost went down," Carlson said. "I don't know the gentleman on the PETRONAS bike but I thought 'I'm going to push him off line if I have to because I'm not going to let (McWilliams) get away.' I haven't won one yet - so that's why.
"I drafted (McWilliams) down the backstretch up the inside. I knew I was getting a better drive down the front stretch so I thought if I could get five or ten bike lengths, I could beat him. But..."
Third place finisher Kyle Wyman came from seemingly nowhere to claim the final spot on the box. Wyman had been rendered to a relatively lonely fifth as the race took shape, falling more than two seconds back of the fight for first, which included McWilliams, Carlson, defending champ Steve Rapp and PETRONAS-backed Malaysian Ramden Rosli.
However, Wyman was able to better tend to his tires. This allowed him to claw his way back into contention over the contest's final three laps, which positioned him to displace both Rapp and Rosli on the last lap.
"I just showed up a little late to the party," said Wyman. "I didn't really get a bad start, but I was on the third row and got caught up with a couple of guys. By the time I was free, I had lost some ground. I knew we had a little better tire life on our bike with our Nitron shocks, so that was the key for me. I knew if I stayed consistent with fast laps and didn't make any mistakes, the tire life would be in my favor. The last laps, those guys slowed down and I stayed the same. It allowed me to make two passes on the last lap. I would have liked to have seen what I could have done if I had been up there from the get-go."
Rosli, who actually opened the final lap in second place, came up less than a half second short of the podium in what was a most impressive Indy debut for the teenager.
For the second consecutive race, Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson ace Rapp lost out on the last lap, seeing what appeared to be a potential race win turn into a fifth-place finish.
As expected, title rivals Danny Eslick and Tyler O'Hara battled for position, both on track and in the points standings today in Indianapolis. However, unexpectedly, this fight took place well below their usual spots in the order. Eslick ultimately padded his championship advantage by a single point by finishing seventh on Saturday, one position ahead of O'Hara.
Eslick fell 0.002 seconds short of opening up just a bit more space in the title hunt, losing out to Harv's Harley-Davidson's Travis Wyman for sixth at the checkered flag. It was the opposite story for O'Hara, who edged ChiliPepperRacing.com's Hayden Schultz for eighth by 0.028 seconds.
Their combined struggles have opened the door for the surging Carlson, who now sits just 12 points back of first.
Thrashed Bike Racing's David Estok completed the race's top ten.
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Race 1 top 10 finishers
1. Jeremy McWilliams
2. Ben Carlson
3. Kyle Wyman
4. Ramden Rosli
5. Steve Rapp
6. Travis Wyman
7. Danny Eslick
8. Tyler O'Hara
9. Hayden Schultz
10. David Estok
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series top 10 in points
1. Danny Eslick 134
2. Tyler O'Hara 127
3. Ben Carlson 122
4. Kyle Wyman 90
5. Steve Rapp 89
6. Gage McCallister 84
7. Nick Hansen 68
8. Hayden Schultz 65
9. Josh Chisum 60
10. Darren James 58
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series contenders are set for a Sunday rematch, with the weekend's second 10-lap contest scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT) tomorrow afternoon.
Performance Tech survived multiple yellow flags to pick up three podium finishes in Round 9 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Saturday at Road America.
Hayden Duerson finished third for his second podium finish in his rookie season. Duerson led the race and briefly started to pull away from the field before his progress was halted by two back-to-back yellow flags.
"It was a great race," Duerson said. "We started 3rd. After the first lap we were leading and I maintained the lead for most of the race throughout what was very hectic as there were accidents almost every turn. After the first restart we were still first. Another accident happened on that lap and Mikhail was able to get me in Turn 1 and Christian got me in Turn 5 after that. I got a little ambitious and tried to pass and it didn't work and by then they were able to gap me. We finished third and that's very good for us and we hope to be there tomorrow."
Craig Duerson, Hayden's father, led the L1 Masters Championship (Drivers aged 40 years and older) and finished fourth overall.
"I didn't get a great qualifying yesterday because I had some engine issues," Duerson said. "But I had a good handling car so I knew going into the race I should be fast. I've had some experience here so I just paced myself and picked off people as I could. The full course yellows didn't help a lot. There was quite a bit of banging going on out there that somehow we need to stop. Overall the front-runners ran a very clean race. Hats off to Mikhail (Goikhberg) and Christian (Potolicchio) and Hayden (Duerson) and (Andrew) Novich. We all drove each other clean which made for a good clean race."
Joining Duerson on the Masters podium was teammate Joel Janco, with his first podium of the season, finishing P3 in L1 Masters.
"The race was very exciting today in Road America," Janco said. "We've worked very hard all year at Performance Tech Motorsports, and we finally got our first podium today! There were many on-track incidents today, and I definitely had some contact out there. Luckily it didn't cause any lasting damage and we were able to finish."
Not too far behind Craig Duerson was Robert Alon, with a sixth place overall finish, picking up some valuable championship points.
"First of all I have to say Performance Tech put a great car under me," Alon said. "It felt super solid out there. We definitely had a podium car. It was an interesting race to say the least. I started in ninth and we made it up to sixth but that is only half of the story. There was so much passing and re-passing going on out there. It was just a really fun race."
Rounding out the Performance Tech lineup was Jon Brownson, who finished 18th in L1 after going wide in Turn 7 and hitting the tire wall.
"I was starting at the back so I thought I would have a lot of passing opportunities and I wanted to take advantage of those," Brownson said. "As the race unfolded I dropped two wheels off of Turn 7. I was going through there around 120 mph and I know that is a corner infamous for turning you around and putting you into the inside wall. So I kept the wheel straight but it didn't do any good. I ended up getting turned around and went into the inside wall. I was lucky to hit the tires and not the cement wall. That's racing, but that doesn't mean you have to like it. We hope to do better tomorrow."
Team Principal Brent O'Neill is happy with his team's fight during the race, despite having little green lap time to work with.
"It was crazy," O'Neill said. "It really wasn't even a race; it was more of a drive around under caution. You know, Hayden (Duerson) did a good job and went right to the front. It's racing. They were racing hard and it ended up being a two or three lap shootout to the finish. But it was a good day.
"Joel (Janco) finished P3 in Masters and he had a great race. To have four guys in the Top-10 is always a good day. Jon (Brownson) had a little mistake in seven but we'll see if we can fix it for the next race. Tomorrow we're just going to do the same thing and go try and win a race."
The second race of the weekend, a 45-minute sprint, will start at 7:55 a.m. tomorrow. Sunday, August 10. Follow live timing and scoring at scoring.imsa.com/prototype-lites/ and also follow the action live at @IMSALive on Twitter.
Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda championship leader Mikhail Goikhberg drove one step closer to his quest to win the 2014 championship Saturday morning at Road America. Goikhberg, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, mastered his way around the historic 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit in the No. 10 JDC Motorsports car, claiming his sixth win in nine races this season.
The victory in the 30-minute sprint came amid multiple incidents and two full-course caution periods.
"The race had a lot of yellow flags today," Goikhberg said. "I was afraid we might not finish and had championship points on my mind. We had the pace to pass the cars in front of us without putting ourselves at high risk. It's great to get a win, and I'm looking forward to finishing the weekend on a high note tomorrow in Race 2."
|Lites 2 podium finishers (from left): Brian Alder, Todd Slusher, Ludovico Manfredi|
Just 2.823 seconds separated the top three overall finishers in the frantic race.
"We had to navigate around a lot of debris and cars going off track, but once we got through it I said, 'OK, now it's time to go driving,'" Slusher said. "I just kept my head down, and between the various yellows I managed to get some decent lap times. Not great but good enough to keep me in the lead. I'm happy. It's my first win this season, so it's pretty cool."
"That was a very eventful, hectic race," stated Manfredi. "There were several full-course yellows and a lot of debris on the track. On the last lap, I started losing my brakes, and in the Canada Corner I lost them completely and had a spin. That lost me second position on the final lap."
|Masters podium finishers (from left): Don Yount, Craig Duerson, Joel Janco|
Craig Duerson of Performance Tech Motorsports stood on the top of the podium in the Masters category (drivers age 40 and older), followed by Don Yount of Yount Motorsports and Joel Jancoof Performance Tech Motorsports. It was the first podium finish of the season for Janco.
"We had a mechanical issue yesterday in qualifying, which meant that we had to start last in 25th," commented Yount. "Starting that far back, it feels great to end on the podium. There was a lot of carnage out there, but I had a great time. For tomorrow, it's important to remember slow in, fast out through each of the corners."
Kenton Koch, of Glendora, California, proved to be the class of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires field by qualifying for the pole position for Championship Round Nine at Road America, part of the Road Race Showcase. Nathanial Sparks, of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and Dean Copeland, of Bowie, Maryland, completed the top three, in that order.
Jerimy Daniel leads the Gold Cup championship as a rookie in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin with just four rounds remaining in the 2014 season. Daniel, from Candiac, Quebec, enters Rounds 7 and 8 of the championship Aug. 9-10 at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, Quebec, with a two-point Gold Cup (2010-13 car models) lead over veteran Tim Sanderson. Daniel has won four of six rounds this year in his family-owned No. 75 TRC Porsche.
But only some smooth talk from Daniel and his mother saved his season. Daniel crashed on the first day of the season opener, a cold, blustery afternoon in mid-May at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. His father was exhausted and frustrated after working all winter to build the Quebec-based team while also operating his auto body repair business, only to see the front bumper and radiator of the team's Porsche damaged on its first day on track.
"We worked so hard, and my father was a little bit tired, so he chose to pack the stuff," Daniel said. "My father is expressive. He's emotional. I just told him and my mother told him, 'Just calm down and let's look at the car, what we can do.' We decided to repair the car, and it took two hours.
"My father has an auto body repair shop, so he's really good at repairing cars. So that helped."
|Jerimy Daniel swept both Gold Cup rounds in May at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and in July at Toronto.|
Daniel wasted no time proving his father's change of heart was wise. He won both rounds at CTMP in his first weekend in the series. He also swept the most recent two rounds of the championship on its biggest urban stage, July 19-20 in Toronto.
"I want to get that championship," Daniel said. "It's my goal this year."
Daniel started his racing career at age 5 when the father of Canadian racing star and IndyCar veteran Alex Tagliani suggested to Daniel's father - a close friend - that he buy a kart for young Jerimy. Daniel's father agreed, and Jerimy practiced on the kart for two years until going racing at age 7. He then raced for the next seven years in all of the major Canadian karting championships and the prestigious Florida winter series.
He climbed to car racing in 2009. But after a tough 2012 season in Pro Mazda and an even more disappointing debut year in the CTCC in 2013, Daniel looked for a new challenge.
Need met opportunity when Daniel and his father took a look at the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin. It was a perfect fit, in more ways than one.
"Everyone has the same car," Daniel said. "That's really good for me because I think I'm a good driver, and I can prove it. I don't have the money to go in Star Mazda and spend a lot of money to be in these teams to go up in the ladder. On the other side, I'm someone who is very tall and big, and in a formula car it's very hard to fit me in the seat.
"I decided to choose GT racing because it's a lot more fun. I think there's more competition, and you can play a little more aggressive because it's closed wheel. All of these things made me choose the GT car. But what made me choose the Porsche was the fact that everyone has the same car, and I think it's a pretty competitive series. You have a lot of people who know Porsche Cup all over the world."
Daniel's plan is to climb to the Platinum Cup next season with a new car and aim for that championship. While he will have different machinery in 2015, one thing won't change: He will race with his family at his side.
"I've always, always been with my father and my mother at the track," Daniel said. "They've always owned my race car. It's pretty fun.
"We always take this as a vacation when we go racing. We hang out all weekend together. In the night, we sit in the motor home, we eat together, we have nice dinners. At the same time, we have a lot of fun. There's not much difference between a family team and if you ran for another team. I just think I have more support than any other driver."
That support network is growing this weekend at Trois-Rivières. It's the only event in the championship this season in Quebec, so extended family and friends will engulf Daniel.
Another advantage for Daniel at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières (GP3R) is track knowledge. Daniel raced on the 11-turn, 1.53-mile (2.46 km) street circuit four times during his career, twice each in Pro Mazda and Formula Ford.
The GP3R weekend will be special for one more reason - Daniel turns 21 Sunday. A race victory would be the perfect gift.
"It's like a big party," Daniel said of the Trois-Rivières weekend. "It's going to be pretty fun. Trois-Rivières is one of my favorite tracks. I think it's a really fun track. Action there is really nice; the people are nice."