Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  

  

 
James Hinchcliffe has been confirmed as the driver of the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda with Andretti Autosport for the remaining three events on the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES calendar. This comes following an announcement Wednesday confirming that Zach Veach would not return to the 26 car for the remaining events.

Hinchcliffe has competed in three prior events [Genesys 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, the GMR INDYCAR Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500] this season with Andretti Autosport in the No. 29 Genesys Honda.

The Harvest GP presented by GMR will see Hinchcliffe join Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda), Colton Herta (No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda) and Marco Andretti (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda) for the doubleheader race weekend. The pair of races on the IMS Road Course will be broadcast live Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to VIRginia International Raceway this weekend (September 25-27) for an event unlike any other on the schedule in its 56-year history.
 
Trans Am will hold separate races for the TA/XGT/SGT/GT and TA2® powered by AEM classes on Saturday (September 26), and then a combined event on Sunday (September 27) for all five classes. 
 
Fifty-one drivers are slated to compete in the Heacock Classic Gold Cup double feature at VIR, and the three-way split start scenario during Sunday’s race is sure to spark excitement from an already rivalry fueled TA2® powered by AEM class.
 
Fans can stream the weekend spectacle from the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.
 
The Drama of TA2®.
 
Since the opening race at Sebring International Raceway, much of the world has adapted to social distancing and no contact interactions. But that is far from true in the TA2® powered by AEM. Since the post-quarantine return at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, TA2® has delivered everything from photo finishes, intense wheel-to-wheel racing, dramatic contact and controversial finishes this season. 
 
The TA2® competitors are eager to get back to competition, having had the Road America round end short of the 100-mile scheduled race distance ( Road America Wrap Up Video).
 
While TA2® points leader Mike Skeen emerged from the Road America melee unscathed, his No. 77 Liqui Moly / Turn 14 Distribution Chevrolet Camaro was not as fortunate. Damaged beyond repair, Skeen traded in his Camaro and will break in a new Ford Mustang at VIR prepared by reigning TA2® team champions Stevens-Miller Racing this weekend. 
 
However, through the trials and tribulations of the TA2® season, Skeen has remained nearly perfect in results, winning three of the four rounds. He leads the championship with 129 points, 21 points ahead of second-place Thomas Merrill.
 
“There have been a lot of tough battles in TA2 this year, but Stevens-Miller Racing has given me a great car at every event to fight up front,” Skeen said. “Even though we’ve switched to a Ford-powered Mustang for our No. 77 Liqui Moly/Turn 14 Distribution car, Howe Racing and Katech have helped tremendously in getting us fixed up after Road America. I can’t wait for the doubleheader weekend here at VIR.”
 
With tensions already high from Road America, VIR also marks a scary moment in Scott Lagasse Jr.’s racing career. Last season on his way to defending his 2018 season VIR win, Lagasse Jr. went airborne as he raced through the Roller Coaster section of the track. The incident saw his white Camaro come to rest upside down. The popular and experienced Floridian emerged from the incident, but missed the last two events of the season for precautionary reasons (Flip Video 2019 ).
 
“VIR is a favorite for everyone on the M1 Racecars team,” said Lagasse Jr. “This is one race we have circled on our calendar every year because of the great people, hospitality and scenery. Last year, the safety crews did an amazing job helping me after the accident. I’ve seen the track from some unique angles and there isn’t a better view than the top step of the podium. I’m focused on the future of Trans Am and M1 Racecars and excited about where the series is going.” 
 
Thomas Merrill (No. 81 Diehl-MerrillRacing/HPTuners/MCR Ford Mustang) crossed the finish line first last season at VIR, but a post-race penalty awarded the win to eventual 2019 Champion Marc Miller. With the speed and power to take the checkered and his strength to use traffic to his advantage, Merrill is looking to turn his 2019 missed opportunity into 2020 victory.
 
The 2018 TA2® champion Rafa Matos is hungry for a victory. In two races he’s rallied from last place (or near last place start) to contesting for a win. At Mid-Ohio, mechanical issues sent him home early, at Road America he made up 25 positions to take first on the red-flag lap, a lap that wasn’t scored. After reverting back to the last scored lap before the red flag, Matos had to settle for third-place, which is the highest placement he’s earned so far this season, three separate times. Driving a new car for a new team this year, No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro, Matos is on the verge of a season breakthrough.
 
“I think this weekend will shape out the final part of this season,” Matos commented. “We are seating third right now but anything can happen at this point. We can leave VIR leading the championship if we handle everything correctly.”
 
At Road America Cameron Lawrence won his first pole position of the season, but failed to complete a circuit after a first-lap incident with another car sent his wounded No. 8 3-Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang to the pits early. Winning at VIR during his championship season in 2013, Lawrence has mastered the 3.27-mile, 17-turn facility, and with an added race to timetable, Lawrence has an additional opportunity to make up points to close the gap on the championship.
 
With the race winner receiving 30 points, the fastest qualifier earning three points and a bonus point awarded for leading a lap and another additional point for leading the most laps, the championship standings after the double-header at VIR could look quite differently than they did before the weekend.
 
Schedule
 
The official Heacock Classic Gold Cup weekend for Trans Am kicks off on Friday with back-to-back group practices starting at 11:20 a.m. Eastern, followed by 15-minutes qualifying sessions in the afternoon starting at 4:40 p.m. Eastern with the TA group, followed by XGT/SGT/GT, then TA2®.  For Live Timing and Scoring, follow www.gotransam.com/livetiming

Saturday opens with the TA/XGT/SGT/GT 100-mile feature (or 75 minutes) at 11:20 a.m. Eastern. The TA2® powered by AEM class will take the green at 1:15 p.m. Eastern for its 100-mile feature (or 75 minutes).
 
On Sunday, all five classes will take the green in a three-way split at 11:05 p.m. Eastern
The two-day race event will be live streamed on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.  

In the spirit of celebrating Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta’s 50th anniversary year, one of the three original founders of the racetrack, Earl Walker, will serve as the Grand Marshal at the 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans.

As the track celebrates five decades of some of the greatest racing in the world, we are honored to celebrate Mr. Walker as one of the reasons this world-renowned facility came into existence. He and his partners had an idea to build a ribbon of asphalt in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains and since it’s inception in 1970, this racetrack has seen some of the most acclaimed teams, series, drivers and cars in all of racing history try their hand at finding victory on it’s 12 turns.

Mr. Walker graduated from Georgia Tech and worked in the aerospace industry from 1961 through 1967. During this time, he met future business partner Dave Sloyer at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. Walker and Sloyer got involved in sports car racing and decided that motorsports fans from the Atlanta area needed a place to race, and the idea for Road Atlanta came to be. They enlisted a third partner, former Coca-Cola president Arthur Montgomery, to help build the racetrack and the rest is history.

Racing fans around the world owe much to Earl Walker and his partners and their vision to create this amazing facility and we are proud to pay tribute to his contributions by having Mr. Walker serve as Grand Marshal at Motul Petit Le Mans this year.

 

A BMW M8 and BMW M5 LCI will serve as the Official Safety and Pace Car at the 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans, respectively.

This marks the third consecutive year that the BMW brand will fill these important roles, as the pace car will lead the field of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams to the green flag and will pace the competitors throughout the race. BMW will also activate at the 10-hour event in the form of prominent trackside signage.

BMW currently sits second in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship manufacturer’s points standings, just eight points behind the leader. With two BMWs competing in the GTLM class at Motul Petit Le Mans, the manufacturer has the opportunity to take the lead as the series heads into the penultimate race of the season following Motul Petit Le Mans.

 

As a reminder – there will be a number of new policies and procedures that will be in effect for the safety and comfort of all fans at the 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans, as outlined below. Although attendance will be limited, we have not yet reached capacity for the event and tickets are still on sale for one of the greatest fall traditions in the South!

Attendance Limitations: The 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans crowd size will be limited to 50% of historical Motul Petit Le Mans attendance. This will create a possibility that tickets will not be available at the gate, but updates will be communicated frequently.

Camping Sales Closed: To ensure that campers maintain proper distance and all can be accommodated safely, camping sales have been discontinued. All previously purchased reserved and non-reserved camping will be honored. All non-reserved camping will be limited to the following areas:

  • Family Camping area inside Turn 3
  • Infield Camping A
  • Infield Camping B

Camper Staging: Campers can start staging on Sunday, October 11th at 12 noon. Non-reserved campers will begin staging in the lanes next to the ticket booths. Reserved campers and Ultimate Fans who have an early entry ticket will stage behind the FOX Factory building.

Gates open to Reserved campers and Ultimate Fans who have an early entry ticket Tuesday morning at 8am. Gates open to non-reserved campers at 8am Wednesday morning.

Free Parking: In an effort to limit guest interaction, all infield parking will be free with admission to the event, with the exception of the designated car corral locations. Spectator shuttles will not be available. Previously purchased parking passes have been refunded. To maximize parking locations, fans will be permitted to turn left at the FOX Factory drive-over bridge upon entry into the facility. The following areas will be available for day parking:

  • Turn 3 Parking
  • Turn 9 Parking
  • Spectator Hill Parking
  • Turn 10 Parking
  • Tower Paddock (Saturday only)

Fan Access: Fans will not be permitted into the Infield Paddock, which houses the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams. Fans will not be permitted into the Tower Paddock Wednesday through Friday but will be allowed to park in the Tower Paddock after teams vacate the area Friday night. Fans may not enter the facility through the industrial park gate. There will be no autograph sessions and the gridwalk will be closed to general admission spectators.

Gate Procedures and Infield Policies: All guests will be required to bring and wear face coverings when interacting with those outside of your group. Each guest will be screened prior to entering the event gates; initial screening will include questions regarding current health status and potential exposure, as well as a non-contact temperature check. Individual bottles of hand sanitizer will be provided to guests upon entry. Strict adherence to the CDC-recommended 6’ social distancing will be mandated onsite.

Podium Club: The Podium Club, which is an all-inclusive hospitality that encompasses the first floor of the Michelin Tower, will be capped at 50% capacity. There will be a number of additional social distancing and sanitation measures in place, but all the amenities will still be available. As of now, the Podium Club is nearing capacity.

After a mid-season break, the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli returns to action at VIRginia International Raceway September 25-27 for the Heacock Classic Gold Cup with a unique doubleheader (VIR Preview Video)

Unlike any weekend before in Trans Am history, Trans Am will hold separate races for the TA/XGT/SGT/GT and TA2® powered by AEM classes on Saturday (September 26), and then a combined event on Sunday (September 27) for all five classes.

Sunday’s 100-mile race will feature a three-way split start with TA taking the green first, followed by TA2®, then the XGT/SGT/GT classes. The grid for the 51-car field will be based on fastest lap time by class set in Saturday's races.

The two-day race event will be live streamed on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.  

The Tight Trans Am Points Battle
Six-time title winner Ernie Francis Jr. leads the Trans Am points championship by just 10 points ahead of Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro). While Francis Jr. is the lone four-time winner at VIR (winning in TA3 American Muscle in 2014-15; TA4 in 2016; and Trans Am in 2017), the Florida native has struggled in his past two visits to put the No. 98 One South Florida Wealth Advisors Ford Mustang on the point, finishing 14th in 2018 and second last year behind legendary TA driver Boris Said.

Drissi is also looking for redemption of sorts after a devastating last-lap spin at Road America took him out of first-place contention. Looking to use the double-points weekend as an opportunity to close the gap on Francis Jr., Drissi and his Burton Racing team are focused on taking the checkered at VIR.

“Going into the weekend with two races to run is an exhilarating challenge,” Drissi said. “I know we all had some extra time between races since Watkins Glen was canceled but everyone on the Burtin Racing team has been putting the effort into preparing for this opportunity.”

While Ernie Francis Jr. and Drissi have padded a small gap in points ahead of the weekend, they have heavy hitters sitting in third, fourth and fifth ready to pounce on the opportunity to take either of their places on top.

Long-time Trans Am driver Simon Gregg (No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro) will be aiming for a repeat of his 2013 VIR victory, driving from a pole-position start to a dominant first-place finish. Gregg is third in the championship with 90 points earned so far.

Chris Dyson has struggled with inconsistent results this season stemmed largely from mechanical issues. But the 2019 Trans Am Vice Champion’s luck turned around at Road America as he shook Drissi on the final lap to run away with his first win of the season. Riding that wave of success, Dyson could very well turn the tables on the championship at VIR with two chances at a victory.

Amy Ruman is fifth in the TA championship, only two points behind Dyson, even after suffering a significant blow to her championship campaign at Road America where she didn’t start due to a mechanical issue that flared up on the gird.

During her long multi-championship history with Trans Am, the top step at VIR has eluded Ruman, but this is the first time in her Trans Am career that she will get two chances in the same weekend to put the No. 23 McNichols Co Chevrolet Corvette in the winners circle.

“We have really taken advantage of the break in the schedule, the crew has gone through the car, made some changes, and we were able to get some testing in,” said Ruman. “The Road America race was a huge disappointment for us, our fans, and our sponsors, it killed me not to race after a strong fourth place showing in qualifying. This weekend is going to be busy and challenging, but we are looking to have two consistent top finishes and gain some valuable points.” 

Returning VIR champion Boris Said is the dark horse as a late entry to the weekend. Always a wild card, Said, whose first win at VIR with Trans Am was in a Ford Mustang in 2002, is looking to upset the championship, driving the No. 2 WeaverRcng/Techniques/SRIPerfor Dodge Challenger. (Video of Said's 2019 Win)

“VIR is a great track,” Said commented. “My first win was also the 100th for the Ford Mustang that was cool. Last year, we had a real good time. We ran off and hid - there's nothing wrong with that.  We tested there two weeks ago, shook the new car down and everything ran good, so we're going back for the race. It's a new car. They sold the car that won last year to Adam Andretti, so he just finished a new one."

With the winner receiving 30 points, the fastest qualifier earning three points and a bonus point awarded for leading a lap and another additional point for leading the most laps, any of these five drivers could end up on top after Sunday’s double-header.

The Dynamic XGT/SGT/GT Creates on Sunday
On a few tracks this season, the new XtremeGT class has been faster than some Trans Am and TA2® cars. This will create an interesting dynamic on Sunday as the XGT cars will take the green with the SuperGT and GT classes in the third start group.

Leading the XGT championship is Ken Thwaits, who will be renewing his rivalry with Erich Joiner. It's an all German duopoly with Thwaits piloting the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 LMS Ultra against the No. 10 Championship Coffees and Tool Porsche 911 GT3R of Joiner.

Another dozen cars make up the SGT and GT group. SGT frontrunner Lee Saunders returns to VIR in the No. 84 Landsearch LLC Dodge Viper to defend his lead against second-place Adrian Wlostowski in the No. 96 F.A.S.T. Auto Ford Mustang. Wlostowski, who is one of the newest full-time drivers in the SGT category in just his second year, is eager at the chance to score a possible pair of victories at VIR.

"Naturally, I was disappointed not to be racing at Watkins Glen this season, but I was fully behind Trans Am's decision to double up at Virginia,” said Wlostowski. “It makes perfect sense with everyone there and setup. I'm particularly excited to get behind the wheel again. VIR is a fun and fast track to drive our Mustang. It's going to be a fantastic weekend."

In GT, reigning champion and Virginia resident Steven Davison (No.22 Davinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage) will make his first Trans Am return at VIR since Sebring. Davison won in the GT class last season at VIR, but will have to get past Billy Griffin (No. 14 GriffinAutoCare/Sheehan'sTowing Ford Mustang) and class leader Tim Horrell (No. 45 Breathless Racing Porsche GT4 Clubsport) to reclaim another class victory.

Schedule
The official Heacock Classic Gold Cup weekend for Trans Am kicks off on Friday with back-to-back group practices starting at 11:20 a.m. Eastern, followed by 15-minutes qualifying sessions in the afternoon starting at 4:40 p.m. Eastern with the TA group, followed by XGT/SGT/GT, then TA2®.  For Live Timing and Scoring, follow www.gotransam.com/livetiming

Saturday opens with the TA/XGT/SGT/GT 100-mile feature (or 75 minutes) at 11:20 a.m. Eastern. The TA2® powered by AEM class will take the green at 1:15 p.m. Eastern for its 100-mile feature (or 75 minutes).

On Sunday, all five classes will take the green in a three-way split at 11:05 p.m. Eastern.
The two-day race event will be live streamed on the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.  

By Mark Robinson
IMSA Wire Service
 
 
 As he returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team co-owner Mike Shank will have a much better view of his home track than in his first visits.
 
Shank initially came to the natural-terrain circuit in Lexington, Ohio, as a pre-teen, tagging along with his father who competed in a Fiat 124 Spider in Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) F Production class events. It wasn’t a free ride for the younger Shank, who literally was put to work headfirst inside the tiny sports car.
 
“They would stuff me by my ankles down in the foot well area and I would clean the pedals out,” Shank recalled with a chuckle. “That’s the true story, too, that’s not BS. That’s how we got going and how I kind of grew up around cars. I was happy to do that. It was what they were letting me do.”
 
Nearly five decades later, the Ohio native now sits atop the timing stand as a team owner and race strategist for the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3. The car and its full-time drivers also lead the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) standings heading into Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
 
The No. 86 is fresh off its first win of 2020, coming in the six-hour TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Sept. 5. It marked the fourth podium finish in five outings this season, allowing co-drivers Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry to build a 12-point gap in the GTD championship. The No. 86 boasts a 14-point edge over the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus, while Acura has an eight-point advantage on Lexus in the manufacturer chase.
 
The Mid-Ohio weekend takes on a meaning of its own for Meyer Shank Racing. It’s the track where Shank’s passion for the sport was born and curated. The team is based in Pataskala, Ohio, just 70 miles south of the track. Partner and manufacturer Acura is title sponsor of the event and considers it a home race as well, since Honda of America Manufacturing’s flagship production plant is in nearby Marysville, Ohio.
 
Bringing home a win for his team and Acura is paramount for Shank, who has had back-to-back runner-up finishes at Mid-Ohio the past two years – including last year when the No. 86 led 85 of the 114 laps but was overtaken for the lead by the No. 14 Lexus with 20 minutes remaining and fell 0.598 seconds shy of victory.
 
In some ways, Shank believes Mid-Ohio owes the team some good fortune.
 
“Of all the success the team has had over the years, we’ve never had a ton up there,” he said. “I’d really like to fix that before I’m done. We’ll see how it goes.”
 
Shank’s drivers understand the significance of Mid-Ohio as well.
 
“It’s the home race for Acura and for Meyer Shank Racing, so it’s a big weekend all around,” said Farnbacher. “We’re really hoping to give the team its first win at Mid-Ohio. Last year we came close, so I’m hoping we can change that this weekend.”
 
McMurry will make his team debut at Mid-Ohio this weekend after his first career victory in the WeatherTech Championship came in Lexington last year racing in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) category. He is also coming off an eighth-place finish last weekend in LMP2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
 
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the Acura, especially at Mid-Ohio because it’s such a special track for Mike and the team,” McMurry said. “Mario and I have a good rhythm going. We are leading the championship right now, but that doesn’t change our focus heading into the next few events. We’ll try to get as many points as we can, and a win would be awesome to give to Mike.” 
 
WeatherTech Championship track activity begins for the GTD, GT Le Mans (GTLM) and Daytona Prototype international (DPi) classes with a practice at 6:10 p.m. ET Friday. A second practice is set for 10:55 a.m. Saturday, with qualifying at 8 a.m. Sunday.
 
The two-hour, 40-minute race begins at 2:05 p.m. ET Sunday and streams live on the NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. NBCSN television coverage airs at 11 p.m. ET Sunday.
 

 As a result of the ongoing travel restrictions and quarantine requirements surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut, the Trans Am SpeedTour Classic at Lime Rock Park scheduled for October 16-17 has been canceled for the 2020 season. The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is slated to return to Lime Rock Park Memorial Day weekend with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association in 2021.

The two 100-mile races scheduled for Lime Rock will now run as one combined feature at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (November 19-22), creating a double-header and double-points scoring weekend for Trans Am competitors, mimicking the Virginia international Raceway schedule set for this weekend.

“We’ve worked diligently to address all health and safety requirements, but Connecticut’s travel restrictions and quarantine requirements made the event no longer feasible,” SVRA CEO and majority owner of The Trans Am Racing Company Tony Parella.  “We are confident that the four remaining events on our national 2020 schedule at VIR, Circuit of The Americas, Road Atlanta and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, will go off as planned.  We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate through the unforeseen challenges this year has repeatedly presented. Please take every necessary precaution to ensure the continued good health of your family and yourself. We look forward to seeing you at a race soon.”

Trans Am first visited Lime Rock during its second season, with Peter Revson winning in a Bud Moore Mercury Cougar. Mark Donohue won the following year in a Roger Penske Camaro, with Sam Posey – who grew up only five miles from the track – took the 1969 victory, while Parnelli Jones and Bud Moore teamed up for victory in 1970, at the height of the Golden Years.

Trans Am raced at the circuit through 1974, returned for one year in 1981, and then became a regular beginning in 1985. Among the key winners were Paul Newman – who won in 1986 in a Nissan – Al Holbert, Greg Pickett, Scott Pruett and Ron Fellows. Dorsey Schroeder became the first three-time winner – winning in 1989, 1995 and 1996.

The series continued on nearly an annual basis through 2003. Then, after a nearly a decade hiatus, Trans Am resumed racing at Lime Rock in 2013 with Paul Fix taking victories three years in a row. Following a three-year break, Trans Am once again returned to the Connecticut circuit with Chris Dyson taking the overall win in the TA/SGT/GT feature and Thomas Merrill was victorious in the TA2® class.

Earlier this year, Trans Am made history hosting the series’ first esports race at Lime Rock Park. The doubleheader featured current, former and future Trans Am Series drivers from all five Trans Am classes with two-time TA2® powered by AEM champion Cameron Lawrence sweeping the virtual event.

“We deeply regret not hosting the Trans Am SpeedTour Classic this year, but we readily acknowledge the challenges associated with bringing race teams and staff from around the country together under the current challenging circumstances,” said Lime Rock Park President Skip Barber. “We know that Tony Parella and his team have exhausted every opportunity to conduct the Lime Rock event this year. Trans Am racing has been an integral part of Lime Rock’s heritage, and we look forward to the return of this tradition over Memorial Day weekend in 2021 and for many years to come.”

After a mid-season break, Trans Am returns to action this weekend (September 25-27) at Virginia International Raceway for the Heacock Classic Gold Cup. The SpeedTour event will feature two individual races for the TA/XGT/SGT/GT and TA2® classes, and then one combined race on Sunday. All three races will be lived streamed on the  Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App.

This. Is. Monster Jam!  The most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today returns after a pandemic pause, roaring into Arlington for a high-octane weekend at AT&T Stadium on October 24th and 25th.  Monster Jam®, one of the first family events to open its doors to fans since the global pandemic began earlier this year, features the ultimate mix of high-flying action and four-wheel excitement. Tickets start at $30 and Monster Jam Preferred Customers can purchase advance tickets starting today, September 22nd, to get the best seats available before tickets go on-sale to the general public on September 29th.  Fans can still sign up to become a Monster Jam Preferred Customer and get exclusive access to the pre-sale offer code.

 

Monster Jam is enthusiastic that fans are eager to attend a live event with family and friends and feel confident about their safety and well-being, as shown in multiple surveys. In order to meet and exceed those expectations, Monster Jam has implemented enhanced health measures to ensure the highest standards of wellness when it comes to today’s live experience. Seating capacity will be reduced at AT&T Stadium to a Pod Seating structure, which will allow family and friends to safely enjoy all the action while social distancing from other groups in attendance. More information about AT&T Stadium’s Safe Stadium Policy can be found here. As an additional precaution for fans, a face covering is required for those age 2 and older.  More information about Monster Jam’s Ultimate Lineup for Fan Wellness can be found here

 

Monster Jam has reimagined the live event guest experience and created contactless shopping for fans to order merchandise in advance or onsite from the comfort of their seat. Once ordered, guests can pick up their items at a convenient, contactless pickup station during the live event.  Additional information can be found here.

 

Arlington fans will witness a fierce battle for the event championship with each skilled Monster Jam athlete tearing up the dirt with gravity-defying feats in 12,000-pound Monster Jam trucks going head-to-head for points in Freestyle, the Skills Challenge and Racing competitions.  Plus, fans can become part of the action by voting for the winner in the Skills Challenge and Freestyle competitions via real-time, in-stadium fan voting on their smartphones.  

 

The all-star truck lineup marks the first time in regular competition that the three Anderson siblings will battle against each other in the same Monster Jam event: the legendary Grave Digger® will be driven by Krysten; fan-favorite Adam trades his black and green wrecking machine for Megalodon®, the truck that redefined the phrase “jumping the shark” and set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ title for the most monster trucks jumped by a monster truck; and in a limited-time, special appearance, Ryan gets behind the wheel of Bakugan Dragonoid™.  

 

12-time Monster Jam World Finals® champion Tom Meents will be competing in Max-D™ Fire, while Todd LeDuc aims to crush the competition in Monster Energy®.  Linsey Weenk will compete in Lucas Oil Crusader®.  Rounding out this world-class roster are GUINNESS WORLD RECORD title holders Bryce Kenny in Great Clips Mohawk Warrior® and Bari Musawwir in Zombie™, both featured in the August Discovery Channel TV special Monster Jam: Breaking World Records. Cory Rummell vies for the championship in Rage, while father and son duo Matt Pagliarulo and Nick Pagliarulo take to the track in Jester and Kraken, respectively.  Axe, driven by Chris Koehler, claims the last spot in the epic 12-truck lineup.

 

Monster Jam drivers are trained, world-class male and female athletes who have mastered not only the physical strength and mental stamina needed to compete, but the vital dexterity to control 12,000-pound machines capable of doing backflips, vertical two-wheel skills and racing at speeds up to 70 miles-per-hour to produce jaw-dropping, live motorsports action seen around the world.  

 

 

WHEN:                       Saturday, October 24, 2020 7:00pm

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020 3:00pm

 

WHERE:                     AT&T Stadium, One AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011

 

 

TRUCK LINEUP:       Megalodon® driven by Adam Anderson; Bakugan Dragonoid™ driven by Ryan Anderson; Grave Digger® driven by Krysten Anderson; Max-D™ Fire driven by Tom Meents; Monster Energy® driven by Todd LeDuc; Great Clips Mohawk Warrior® driven by Bryce Kenny; Zombie™ driven by Bari Musawwir; Lucas Oil Crusader® driven by Linsey Weenk; Axe driven by Chris Koehler; Jester driven by Matt Pagliarulo; Kraken driven by Nick Pagliarulo and Rage driven by Cory Rummell.            

 **Truck and driver line-up subject to change

 

TICKETS:                  Tickets start at $30 each*

 

Tickets will be available for purchase online at SeatGeek.com.                                           

                         *Ticket prices subject to change – venue/ticketing fees may apply.

 

For more info about a Monster Jam event near you, follow Monster Jam on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.  Subscribe to the Monster Jam YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/MonsterJam

CrowdStrike Racing came away with another weekend of strong performances as SRO Motorsports America made its second visit of the season to Circuit of The Americas. With momentum clearly in-hand, the program turns its focus to closing out the season in championship form at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

CrowdStrike Racing drivers Kevin Boehm and CJ Moses turned heads with their performances in the TC America category at COTA with each establishing significant momentum ahead of the Indianapolis finale.

 

The duo of George Kurtz and Colin Braun will look to make their return to GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competition in the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Mercedes-AMG GT3. The car was withdrawn from the COTA weekend Saturday due to an unforeseen family emergency but will return for the Oct. 2-4 Indianapolis weekend, which will run in conjunction with the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s eight-hour race.

 

TOURING CAR AMERICA

One of the biggest stories of the weekend was the performance of CrowdStrike’s Boehm, who surged into the TCA Drivers Championship lead with a stellar showing at COTA.

 

Piloting the No. 9 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT Honda Performance Development (HPD) Civic Si, Boehm won twice at COTA to go along with a three-race sweep at Road America. He arrived in Austin three points out of the championship lead but unofficially is 32 points in front headed to Indianapolis.

 

Boehm had the dominant TCA car all weekend. He set the fastest time in Friday’s qualifying session and began out front in each 40-minute Touring Car race. Boehm led by more than seven seconds after the first eight minutes, won by 12.705 seconds and set the fastest lap in class.

 

It was more of the same Saturday as he raced out to another lead in the opening 20 minutes and again set the fastest lap of the race. He ended the weekend with a hard-fought, fourth-place finish.

 

“I’m really trying to take things one race at a time, and that’s what we’ve been doing all year,” said Boehm. “We’re still new to this series and the car is still new to us. I’m amazed at how much we’ve learned since we were here in March. To come back here and to get the results we did is pretty memorable. Everything has come together really well. We have the CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT HPD Civic Si in a great spot heading into Indianapolis. It may have looked easy this weekend, but believe me, it wasn’t!”

 

In TCR, Moses made huge strides throughout the weekend in his second visit to COTA of the season with the No. 04 CrowdStrike/AWS/DXDT HPD Civic Type R TCR. The familiarity paid dividends throughout the event with one of his most competitive showings to close out the weekend.

 

Moses did well to finish seventh Friday as the Touring Car field made an early jump on the start and was quickly among the TCR pack despite separate class starts. Moses fell back to 15th but made his way back through the TC cars by the halfway point and finished seventh.

 

Saturday was a little more routine, but Moses hit on something with his driving in looking ahead to Sunday. That premonition came to reality in the weekend finale. Moses picked up a spot at the start to fifth and proceeded to set his best lap times of the weekend. In fact, he went toe-to-toe with provisional class champion Tyler Maxson late in the race and finished ahead in fourth place to close out the weekend.

 

“I feel like we came a long way since Friday,” Moses said. “Taking things lap by lap was the key early in the weekend, especially with what happened Friday at the start. I kept feeling more and more comfortable with each lap. By Sunday, I had a level of confidence that I hadn’t felt so far this season. It’s a very satisfying way to close the weekend as we look ahead to Indianapolis.”

 

BEYOND THE TRACK

As was the case at Sonoma Raceway and Road America – the most recent events in GT World Challenge America powered by AWS – crowdstrikeracing.com offered fans exclusive live streams of both 90-minute races at Circuit of The Americas. 

 

Specialized play-by-play commentary with insight from Boehm’s and Moses’ perspectives as a racer and engineer combined with advanced data display using P1Software and tools from Amazon gave viewers the most complete analysis of GT World Challenge competition.

 

In addition, CrowdStrike continued its support of SRO America and its competitors in awarding the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap honors at the end of each race for GT World Challenge America, Pirelli GT4 America Sprint and SprintX, and TC America. At season’s end, the driver with the greatest number of fastest race laps will receive a year-end reward package from CrowdStrike.

 

Boehm also shared more of his winning success at COTA with his teammates at Operation Motorsport. The organization seeks to place retired or injured service members within teams during the weekend. It is one of many ways CrowdStrike supports and lifts up those who have sacrificed by their military service.

 

At Circuit of the Americas, Staff Sgt. William Babineau (Ret.) - an Operation Motorsport team member - was part of Boehm’s victorious effort and will be with the Boehm Racing team again at Indianapolis.

 

He is one of the many veterans whom Operation Motorsport has helped transition into new careers following their military service. Operation Motorsport is a veteran-led and operated, not-for-profit (US 501(c)(3)) that serves American & Canadian service members and veterans, and was founded on the basis of three simple words: Excite, Engage and Empower. 

 

The premise is to engage ill and injured service members and veterans affected by military service, through motorsport activities and opportunities to aid in their recovery and rehabilitation. Operation Motorsport provides a chance for veterans to use their skill sets in a variety of areas including paddock operations, car and tire prep, marketing, social media and other key areas that are part of a racing program.

 

The GT World Challenge Powered by AWS and TC America will wrap up their seasons at Indianapolis Motor Speedway along with the Intercontinental GT Challenge from October 1-4. For more information on the series and for the livestreamed races, visit the new crowdstrikeracing.com.

 

With only four races remaining in the 2020 season when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series arrives at World Wide Technology Raceway on Oct. 2-4 for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil, championship contenders know they will need an impressive weekend in St. Louis to stay in title contention.
 
For Top Fuel’s Justin Ashley, it’s not a situation the rookie standout planned on entering the year, but he’s ready to make the most of it. He picked up his first career victory by winning the NHRA Summernationals in his 11,000-horsepower Strustmasters.com / Manscaped dragster and sits in fourth place in the loaded class, 122 points behind leader Doug Kalitta. He’ll race in St. Louis for the first time in his Top Fuel career, excited about where the team sits heading into the highly-anticipated race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
 
“I definitely feel really good about our team and getting that win under our belt feels good,” Ashley said. “It’s up to us to carry that momentum forward. For me, it’s my first time racing at lot of these tracks, so it will be really cool to see the fans. There’s no shortage of good competition in this class, so we just have to focus on one round at a time. As a team, the more passes we’ve made have helped us and, mentally, the more laps in the car the better you feel. That seat time has been good for me, but there’s certainly a ton of room for improvement.”
 
Billy Torrence (Top Fuel), Shawn Langdon (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are defending winners of an event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including live eliminations coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 4. It is the eighth race during the 2020 NHRA season and Ashley is among a host of competitors trying to track down Kalitta, including Leah Pruett and defending Top Fuel world champ Steve Torrence.
 
In Funny Car, J.R. Todd sits in fourth place and will need a big finish down the stretch in his 11,000-horsepower DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car to challenge points leader Jack Beckman. Todd is 130 points behind, but he used a hot stretch to close 2018 and win his first world title. That gives him confidence his talented team can do something special to finish off an unprecedented year. He finished as runner-up at the NHRA U.S. Nationals to help that momentum, but a win in St. Louis would be big. The Don Schumacher Racing foursome of Beckman, Matt Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps have combined to win the last nine races in the class, a streak Todd knows will have to stop if he wants to remain in the championship conversation.
 
"I look at these last few races as races we can definitely get on a roll and win out,” Todd said. “We did that over the last races of the 2018 season and got the Funny Car championship. We will have four races to go and it won't be easy, but this DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car has been to finals and we just need to get that last win light. We got close last year against Shawn in the final round of St. Louis. Chris Blair and his staff do an awesome job and that track feels like a home track to me. Any track you can drive to you want to do well. I don't want to let any opportunities slip away and we are still in this championship battle.”
 
At this rate, the Pro Stock points battle may come down to the final run of the season. Currently, reigning champ and defending race winner Enders holds the lead following her U.S. Nationals victory. But teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. is only seven points behind, and Jason Line is just 11 points back in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro. Line, who is retiring from Pro Stock following the season, would love nothing better than to close out his banner career with another world title. Line has one win - extending his streak of 17 consecutive seasons with a victory - and two finals appearances in 2020, and would love to get at least one more victory during crunch time.
 
"We don't have much of a season left, so we really have to be on top of everything, every round and every race, if we want to finish the year in the way that we hope to with our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros,” Line said. “It's been an interesting season so far, and thankfully I've had the opportunity to check at least one important thing off the list this year before I'm done. It's hard to believe that I've been doing this for 18 years and it's almost over, at least as a Pro Stock driver, but it's been a lot of fun. I've learned a lot, and it's been an opportunity that not many people get to have." 
 
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Ryan Oehler crossed one major thing off his to-do list in 2020, winning for the first time in his career in the class at the season-opening race. That put him in the championship mix and Oehler hopes to remain there with a solid showing in St. Louis, which serves as a home race of sorts. It’s just two hours away for the Bloomington, Ill. native and he’s eager to put on a memorable performance in front of the fans. He’s currently sixth in points, 47 points back of Scotty Pollacheck, who won in Indy, but with six riders separated by less than three rounds, it’s going to be a furious fight to the finish.
 
“Our team is pumped for the remaining races this season,” Oehler said. “We’re really looking forward to showing the fans what this underdog team can bring to the table as we try to make a run at the 2020 championship. Racing at St. Louis is a big deal for our team, and it gives our friends, families and fans an opportunity to come cheer us on and enjoy the power of the NHRA in our backyard.”
 
The event also hosts the fifth race of the 2020 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season. The defending winner is Rickie Smith. The race includes thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series as well, where future stars of the sport hone their skills, along with the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown Drag Racing Series. Additionally, the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class will make its second appearance of 2020, while tribute cars in the Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association will entertain fans with passes during the weekend.
               
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 12:30 and 4:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, Oct. 3. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 3 and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4. Eliminations will be broadcast live beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, on FS1.
 
A limited number of tickets are on sale now for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Tickets may be purchased by visiting NHRA.com or calling 800-884-NHRA.
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
 Jonathan Gray plans to enjoy every moment of being in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service championship mix during the rest of the 2020 season. But he’s not going to let the moment overwhelm him.
 
Gray is just three points back of reigning world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson as the series closes in on its annual St. Louis stop, the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil at World Wide Technology Raceway on Oct. 2-4. It’s an exciting time for Gray, who returned to the class this year after a two-year absence and already has one victory during the 2020 campaign driving for multi-time class champion Rickie Smith.
 
“You just have to race each event hard and if it’s your day, it’s your day, but as far as the championship is concerned, I’m not going to worry about it,” Gray said. “You just can’t worry about it. Rickie has been as good to me as anybody I could ask for. What’s made it better this year is, as I’ve gotten more runs and more laps in a nitrous car and spent more time with him, he’s been able to teach me more. He’s always watching to try to make me better.”
 
The race is the fifth event of the 2020 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season and will be shown on Fox Sports 2 (FS2). Smith is the defending race winner at St. Louis, possibly giving Gray even more momentum in his nitrous-powered Camaro.
 
He looked impressive in winning the second NHRA Pro Mod race at Indy a month ago before Jackson moved into the points lead with his U.S. Nationals victory. Still, Gray is right in contention, as the top six drivers in the class - Jackson, Gray, Kris Thorne, Chad Green, Mike Janis and Jason Scruggs - are separated by less than two rounds. That makes for a hectic finish, but with Smith in his corner Gray is confident he can compete for a championship.
 
“I feel good and I sure wouldn’t want to be going into this stretch with anyone else,” Gray said. “As long as I can drive the car decent, I know it’s going to go to the other end. When you have Rickie Smith in your back pocket like that, know you’re going to the other end consistently. None of these other guys have that luxury.”
 
It also means Gray has to hold up his end of the bargain, and he’s been a standout in that regard as well. He ousted Bo Butner in the final round to win his first NHRA Pro Mod race in three years and Gray has been consistently regarded as one of the best on the starting line in the talent-filled class. Knowing he’ll have a championship-caliber car for the final stretch of the seven-race 2020 season, Gray is fine with having the onus on him to perform when it counts.
 
“Here’s the deal: as long as I can drive the car and cut a decent light, I’ve got as good a chance as anybody out there,” Gray said. “I’ve got a good chance anywhere I go and that’s just the luxury of driving for Rickie Smith. I have total confidence in him and I believe in him 110 percent. It’s up to me and I’m good with that, and that’s perfect.”
               
Featuring the world’s fastest doorslammer race cars, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars.
 
The first of two E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service qualifying sessions takes place at 8:15 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 2, with the final session taking place at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3. The first round of Pro Mod eliminations is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.
 
A limited number of tickets are on sale now for the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Tickets may be purchased by visiting NHRA.com or calling 800-884-NHRA.
 
(Courtesy of NHRA Communications)
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