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
A Unique Partnership Between Fighters, Fast Racers and Brave Kids Battle Real World Challenges Together
By Sean Brennen, Monster Energy Supercross Wire Service
This past weekend 80 Supercross racers in two divisions competed inside Raymond James Stadium on a man-made, custom designed track of challenging jumps, bermed turns, and a deep, beach-sand section that threw their race bikes in unpredictable directions. There's really no aspect of Monster Energy Supercross that isn't extraordinary.
So when the promoters of a sport like Supercross team up with a world-renowned organization like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, it should be no surprise that that partnership is extraordinary as well. When St. Jude first partnered with Supercross in 2017, there was no detailed road map, just two unique organizations coming together to see what was possible while also supporting St. Jude ambassador and four-time Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey.
In 2020, the partnership includes a “This Shirt Saves Lives” text-to-donate campaign, an online auction that is fully supported by the Supercross community, and a specially-themed race aptly named “This Race Saves Lives”, which took place on Saturday in Tampa, Florida.
For the Tampa race, athletes and teams incorporated St. Jude patient-inspired artwork into their riding gear and motorcycle graphics. These one-of-a-kind, race-worn items were collected after the race and will join the crown jewel of the 2020 auction: A Suzuki Boulevard M109R B.O.S.S. street bike that was ridden to Sturgis by five-time Supercross Champion and NBC Sports expert commentator, Ricky Carmichael. Both the text-to-donate campaign and online auction (stjude.org/supercrossauction) will remain open through the final round in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 2.
Round seven also brought forward a new points leader as Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac grabbed his 30th career win and the title points lead in front of 46,173 fans. Shane McElrath also dominated in the opening round of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship.
450SX Class Results, Tampa, Florida
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
2. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM
3. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
5. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda
6. Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda
8. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
9. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda
10. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (155)
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (151)
3. Cooper Webb, Clermont, Fla., KTM (144)
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (135)
5. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (128)
6. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (118)
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda (106)
8. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (103)
9. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Honda (93)
10. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (91)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results, Tampa, Florida
1. Shane McElrath, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
2. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
3. Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Honda
4. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Kawasaki
5. Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Kawasaki
6. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna
7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
8. Joey Crown, Metamora, Mich., Yamaha
9. James Decotis, Huntersville, N.C., Suzuki
10. Jo Shimoda, Irvine, Calif., Honda
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Shane McElrath, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (26)
2. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (23)
3. Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Honda (21)
4. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Kawasaki (19)
5. Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Kawasaki (18)
6. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (17)
7. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (16)
8. Joey Crown, Metamora, Mich., Yamaha (15)
9. James Decotis, Huntersville, N.C., Suzuki (14)
10. Jo Shimoda, Irvine, Calif., Honda (13)
What are some of the ways you deal with the chaos of a race weekend?
The most important is to stay focused in qualifying and the race. For me, the best way to do that is to have a 30 min nap before the start.
What has been your most memorable moment with a fan? I would say it was at the Indy 500.
What is one racing moment you are most fond of? All weekend at Pocono 2016 and of course 24 hours of Le Mans 2019!
Outside of Racing, what are some things you most enjoy? My family and my guitars:)
A wide-ranging, multifaceted plan to boost and strengthen the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was unveiled today featuring significant improvements and financial investment that will resonate with fans from Central Indiana and throughout the globe.
The goal of the plan is to produce a legendary Month of May. Enhancements revealed exactly 100 days from the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24 include:
- The largest purse in Indianapolis 500 history
- Improvements to the Indianapolis 500 qualifying format and television schedule
- New sponsors investing long term in the "500," IMS and NTT INDYCAR SERIES
- A multimillion-dollar investment in the fan experience at IMS
Since Jan. 6, following the change in ownership, the IMS team moved quickly to implement significant upgrades to the GMR Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and the Big Machine Vodka 400 during Fourth of July weekend.
"This is the Racing Capital of the World," Roger Penske said. "It is on par with some of the most historic sporting institutions in this nation and across the globe, from Churchill Downs to Augusta National. Today, we're announcing a meaningful investment in our fan experience that will produce rapid results. It's part of a long-term plan to ensure the legendary status of the Speedway continues to grow and evolve for generations to come.
"I am very excited about the enhancements to qualifying weekend, the largest-ever '500' purse, new sponsors and the significant investments we are making to the INDYCAR SERIES and to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
Indianapolis 500 Purse
The event purse for the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be the largest in the history of the event. The purse will grow by $2 million to more than $15 million, boosting the prize pool for NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams and drivers.
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
Qualifying weekend for the 104th Indianapolis 500 - Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17 - will feature a variety of changes to its format and broadcast to create even more memories and drama.
Multiple attempts will return to the Last Row Shootout, expanding it to 75 minutes. Previous versions of the Shootout featured one attempt per car. While fans enjoyed that format, feedback indicated they wanted even more drama as drivers try to seize one of the three final spots in the field.
A boost in turbocharger level will see speeds climb this year during the Indy 500 qualifying sessions. Turbocharger boost will increase horsepower by 45 HP this year.
An expanded weekend TV schedule will ensure NBC televises coverage of qualifications on both Saturday and Sunday, with total network exposure increasing over 2019. Full weekend broadcast details will be released soon.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES and IMS will add six new major sponsors in 2020. Pennzoil, Verizon, Snap-on Tools, DEX Imaging, Road & Track magazine and Global Medical Response will make significant investments in the racing series and Speedway.
Multimillion-Dollar Fan Experience Investment
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016 saw large investments made to the Speedway. Beginning with this year's GMR Grand Prix, fans will experience many new upgrades to IMS. These enhancements are all projects that will be finished before gates open, with several additional opportunities under consideration for future seasons.
Technology upgrades are a major component of this plan. More than 30 additional large-screen video boards will be added, including 24 along the Paddock seating. The Paddock screens will bring race action and vital information to an additional 25,000 fans. In addition, all seven large infield big-screen monitors will receive a running order addition.
Another exciting addition is the IMS Media Wall. This video board, measuring 100 feet wide by 20 feet tall, will be installed at the base of the Pagoda facing the Pagoda Plaza as a cornerstone of a plan to transform the popular gathering area for fans. It will also provide data-driven race insights to fans from NTT.
Verizon and their 5G Ultra Wideband network will transform the iconic Speedway into a first of its kind technology-led entertainment complex. IMS will be the first motorsports facility with commercial 5G service that will enhance both the consumer experience and track operations.
Infrastructure improvements will be noticeable inside and outside of the fabled, 110-year-old facility.
Pedestrian traffic on Georgetown Road will be widened by two lanes to make ingress and egress easier for more than half of the venue's Race Day customers.
More than 125 restrooms are being renovated inside IMS. New pavement will be added to the Parcel B lot near the IMS Main Gate to improve the parking experience and create a cleaner look for the "front door" of the facility. Approximately 3 miles of fencing will be added to the entire grounds.
The winning driver and team of the Indianapolis 500, Grand Prix and Brickyard 400 will receive higher honors, as the winner's car will be elevated to the same level as the Victory Podium after each race. This will give fans a better vantage point for pictures and social media sharing of the most prestigious Victory Lane in global motorsports.
The atmosphere of the massive facility also will be enhanced through detail-oriented improvements throughout IMS.
Night light signage will be installed over Gates 1 and 2, while IMS will assume responsibility for the beautification project along Crawfordsville Road. Fans will notice fresh paint and new signage on more than 50 concession stands inside IMS, picnic tables added throughout the grounds for more gathering space for families and friends, and the placement of more than 230 racing-themed flags around the facility and Crawfordsville Road.
All aspects of this fan experience investment plan are underway and will be completed before IMS gates open for the Month of May on Friday, May 8.
Tickets are on sale now at IMS.com and the IMS Ticket Office for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, GMR Grand Prix, Big Machine Vodka 400 and all other activities at IMS.
The New York-native followed the success in early May by capturing the pole for the series crown jewel, the Freedom 100. Megennis went on to stand on the podium six times and recorded 12 top-five finishes throughout his rookie campaign.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Robert back to the team,” said J-F Thormann, President of Andretti Autosport. “From the moment he climbed in the car, Robert has been determined to fight for results and it has paid off, earning a victory and a handful of podiums last season. He was a strong contender in the Freedom 100 and we’re happy he’ll have another chance to claim that title. We’re really looking forward to watching Robert mature even more in the car and anxious to see what results he can capture in 2020.”
Throughout his career in the Road to Indy ladder system, the veteran driver has scored 15 podiums and collected 52 top-10 finishes. Heading into his fifth year of Road to Indy competition, Megennis has never finished outside of the top six in each championship run he has competed in. Starting his career in 2016, he earned Rookie of the Year honors along with the Hard-Charger award in Cooper Tires USF2000, where he finished the season as the top American driver in sixth. He went on to compete as a sophomore in Cooper Tires USF2000 in 2017 and ran the Indy Pro 2000 Championship in 2018.
“I’m super excited to join Andretti Autosport for another year in Indy Lights. We had a great 2019 season and 2020 will be even better,” said Megennis. “I’m confident that we’re only going to grow and get stronger together as a team. Thanks to everyone at Andretti Autosport, SailPoint, Sirius Computer Solutions, Juniper Networks, CyberArk and my family for giving me this opportunity. Let’s go win some races.”
The No. 27 machine will receive support from a wide portfolio of partners including SailPoint, Sirius Computer Solutions, Juniper Networks and CyberArk.
“Robert’s work ethic and commitment to the sport is nothing short of impressive. We are eager to put our name behind a racer who we believe is the future champion of Indy Lights,” said Juliette Rizkallah, Chief Marketing Officer for SailPoint. “Robert and his team have been an invaluable partner to us and we look forward to extending our partnership in the year ahead.”
"Sirius is proud to team up with Andretti Autosport and RKM Racing in 2020. This partnership is a great opportunity for us to showcase our focus on technology, innovation and agility," said Michael Harwood, SVP of Marketing at Sirius.
Veteran Megennis will join rookie teammates Kyle Kirkwood (No. 28 Dallara) and Danial Frost (No. 68 Dallara) as the Indy Lights season kicks off on the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, for the first doubleheader of the 2020 season March 14-15.
For more information, visit AndrettiAutosport.com.
Andretti Autosport welcomes back a familiar face this season, announcing today that GT4 racing driver Colin Mullan will again co-drive the No. 36 Window World- MI Windows and Doors Sprint X McLaren along with Jarett Andretti.
The returning Mullan raced along with Andretti during four Pirelli GT4 America Sprint X events in 2019. Jarett Andretti looks to continue the winning streak he shared along with Mullan, stating, “It was great to share so many podiums with Colin last season. For a driver of his age, I think his experience and record speaks for itself. We’re happy to have him back and I look forward to winning more with him.”
Mullan shares Andretti’s excitement, “I’m very excited to be joining Andretti Autosport and Jarett Andretti for the 2020 GT4 America Sprint X championship. Jarett and I meshed very well as co-drivers during my partial season with the team last year. The whole organization has been a pleasure to work with, and I was welcomed into their family immediately. It’s been amazing to work with both McLaren and a team that carries such a pedigree in racing, and I’m looking forward to continuing that relationship into the future. I have no doubt that we’ll be a serious contender for podiums and race wins this year!” stated Mullan.
The 2020 Pirelli GT4 America Sprint X series features a 60-minute race with a halfway pit stop and driver change. Mullan and Andretti will each drive for 30-minute intervals. The season kicks off on March 7 at The Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.
American Flat Track and American Honda Motor Co. proudly announce a renewal of the official partnership between the powersports industry leader and AFT that will introduce an expansion of its Honda Talon experiential program at all rounds of the 2020 season.
In 2019, American Honda partnered with AFT to bring Honda's revolutionary sport side-by-side to AFT fans across the country, and the Talon was named the Official Sport Side-by-Side of American Flat Track.
As part of the unique Honda Talon Flat Track Experience, VIP guests and members of the media were given full-speed rides around AFT's racetracks to demonstrate the Talon's power and maneuverability. Additionally, the vehicle assisted in the conditioning of certain racetracks as part of the evolution of AFT's track-prep efforts.
The Honda Talon Flat Track Experience will expand for 2020 with a Friday pre-race activation aimed to garner more exposure for both American Honda and AFT. Local media will be invited to experience the thrill of flat track racing via the latest-generation four-seat Honda Talon 1000X-4.
Furthermore, excitement about American Honda's AFT involvement is rising following the recent announcement of its support of TT king Henry Wiles joining the Honda family for 2020 AFT Singles competition. Wiles has signed with the Richie Morris Racing and will campaign an American Honda-backed CRF450R in what will surely be an aggressive championship hunt.
With 2020 Red Rider Rewards contingency offerings from American Honda totaling over $104,000 - $20,000 more than 2019 - AFT fans can look forward to seeing even more athletes choosing to Ride Red in the upcoming season of American Flat Track.
“The Honda Talon is an exciting entry into the side-by-side market and AFT is proud to partner with Honda to showcase its capabilities in our series," said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. "Honda’s support for AFT, with the Talon and their partnership with RMR and Henry Wiles, represents their biggest commitment to AFT since the days of Bubba Shobert and Ricky Graham and we are looking forward to seeing how the 2020 season develops.”
“The Honda Talon Flat Track Experience has been a fun way to give people a firsthand flat track thrill, while also letting them experience the performance of Honda’s Talon side-by-side,” said Chris Cox, Manager of Experiential Marketing/Public Relations of American Honda. “Between the program’s expansion and Henry Wiles joining Richie Morris Racing, we can’t wait for the 2020 AFT season to get started.”
Tickets are on sale now for the first-ever doubleheader - DAYTONA 200 and DAYTONA TT - at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. Watch both historic motorcycle racing events during Bike Week at DAYTONA for just $35 when you purchase an advance General Admission ticket online. Get yours at www.americanflattrack.com.
For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.
To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.