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Racing News from around the World

Due to mechanical problems and racing incident damage during his race last Sunday at the Rattler 250 in Alabama, Raphaël Lessard has had to withdraw from participating in the Duels at Dominion race, scheduled for Saturday, March 25th on the all-new Dominion Raceway track in Thornburg, Virginia.
 
Unfortunately, mechanical issues for the Toyota Camry #99, combined with an on-track race collision that damaged the car's chassis and suspension with only 5 laps to go, would not have left the David Gilliland Racing team enough time to deliver a car that would meet their expectations and be at the race site in time for scheduled testing on Thursday morning.
 
It is with great regret that Raphaël must forgo his first CARS race of the season, after so eagerly looking forward to joining up with the extended CARS Tour family following his Championship victory last fall.
 
Raphaël will be at Music City 200 next, for his first ever ARCA series race, scheduled for Saturday, April 8th at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
Raphaël was in Nashville on Tuesday with the Venturini Motorsports team, testing out the #25 Musselman's Apple Sauce/Toyota Camry to get familiar with his new ARCA car, a much heavier ride than his Super Late Model (approx. 550 lbs).
 
RLR PR

 Tony Schumacher raced his way to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

 

John Force (Funny Car), Shane Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners in their respective categories at the third of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

 

Schumacher, an eight-time Top Fuel world champion, piloted his U.S. Army dragster to a 3.703-second pass at 329.26 mph for the 83rd victory of his career and first of the season. He defeated reigning world champion Antron Brown who ran a 3.764 at 322.65 in his Matco Tools dragster. With the win, Schumacher becomes the winningest Top Fuel driver at the facility with five after previously being in a four-way tie.

 

“We have great, great people working together. I’m loving driving the car,” Schumacher said. “We’re in the fight every day, every race. It’s going to be a fun year, man. I’m comfortable driving the car. It’s running right down the middle. Its running extremely fast. It doesn’t have any part on the race track where I feel that I’m in danger. Its doing everything that a driver dreams about sitting in a Top Fuel car.”

 

Schumacher defeated Smax Smith, Clay Millican and Steve Torrence en route to the victory. Brown was able to get past Chris Karamasines, rookie Troy Coughlin Jr. and Doug Kalitta before falling to Schumacher in the finals.

 

Force, a sixteen-time world champion and the winningest driver in NHRA history, ran a 3.928 at 328.14 in his PEAK Chevy Camaro Funny Car for the 148th victory of his career, eighth at Gainesville and first of the season. He defeated rookie Jonnie Lindberg’s 3.971 at 314.83 in his Head Racing Toyota Camry.

 

“I made a lot of changes coming here. Don’t know if I’m smart or just lucky. I surround myself with great people. They’re the ones who make it happen, then the sponsors and then the cheer of the crowd. They made one mistake out here. They let me find the music. I found myself. A lot of things area about heart, and about luck. You always feel somebody up there likes ya. I believe hard work, dedication and what we went though, it’s been a draining day. I’m not accepting that I’m done. I’ve been real lucky.”

 

The victory marks the 2,500 Funny Car round-win for John Force Racing. Force raced past Del Worsham, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. on his way to the finals. Lindberg defeated Dave Richards in the first round and upset Robert Hight and Matt Hagan to get to the final.

 

In Pro Stock, Gray picked up the sixth victory of his career and first at Gainesville Raceway when he ran a 6.535 at 212.96 in his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro to defeat four-time champion Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro’s 6.560 at 213.43 in the final.

 

“I wasn’t supposed to win,” Gray said. “When you’re testing parts you’re just not supposed to win which is basically what we’re doing with my car. We had a lucky day today. There were some round wins when the car pulled me out of the whole and there were a couple rounds where I pulled the car out of the whole. It was a complete team effort today.”

 

Gray turned on win lights against Allen Johnson, Erica Enders and Chris McGaha while Anderson won against Matt Hartford, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and teammate and reigning world champion Jason Line before reaching the finals.

 

Three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Eddie Krawiec defeated teammate Andrew Hines for his 37th career victory, second consecutive and fifth total at Gainesville Raceway. Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.763 pass at 199.76 bettering Hines’ 6.802 at 197.10 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

 

“This helps set the pace for the year,” Krawiec said. “Get that first win off your back, keep that momentum rolling, get the points. You know once you win one or two races you kind of solidify your spot. With the extra competitive class we have this year it definitely helps. There’s a lot of great motorcycles. My Harley-Davidson this weekend really has been really fast, we just haven’t been able to harness that power and get it sorted out. I think as the year goes on we’re going to get better.”

 

Krawiec rode past Mike Berry, Matt Smith and Joey Gladstone before racing Hines in the finals. Hines defeated Angelle Sampey, Scotty Pollacheck and Steve Johnson before being defeated himself.

 

The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 31-April 2.

Steven Whitely raced to his first NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series event win at their portion of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals Sunday at Gainesville Raceway. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing was presented by Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Inc. and is the first of 12 races on the season.

 

Whitley in his ’14 Cadillac faced series veteran Mike Castellana in the final round. Whitely was able to post a winning time of 5.791 seconds at 253.52 mph to the trailing run of 10.192 at 87.94 of Castellana.

 

The Whiteley family was able to celebrate the victory in style as his mother Annie won the Top Alcohol Funny Car event on Sunday as well. 

 

“It doesn’t get any better than this. It’s such a blessing being in the winner’s circle with my mom,” Whitely said. “I can’t express how thankful I am. Not only for J&A Service on a couple of accounts. They sponsor this series, but it’s more intimate than that, at least for me. You know, J&A Service, that’s Jim and Annie Whiteley, that’s Mom and Dad. These guys don’t understand how much more this hits me. I just let the clutch petal go. My guys make this happen. I cannot thank them enough.”

 

Also during the course of the racing action Eric Latino recorded a national elapsed time record with his pass of 5.727 seconds in his losing run of semifinals.

 

The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series returns April 21-23 at Royal Purple Raceway for the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston.

 RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing turned in a pair of top-15 performances for the RM Army Saturday night when Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, made its annual stop at Lucas Oil Stadium.
 
Broc Tickle, rider of the No. 20 Suzuki RM-Z450, finished eighth, notching his fourth top 10 of the season while picking up one spot in points, where he now sits ninth in the standings.
 
Meanwhile, Tickle’s RCH teammate, Justin Bogle, won his semifinal going away and was strong early in the main event but after battling strep throat throughout the week, faded to 15th before the checkered flag waved on Round 11.
 
Tickle was eighth in both of Saturday’s pre-race practice sessions and finished seventh in his heat, earning him a trip to the semifinal where he finished third, locking down his place on the starting gate for the main event.
 
The Cary, N.C., native didn’t get the jump out of the gate he was hoping for but after slipping outside the top 10 early on, Tickle made a spirited charge during the 20-minute-plus-one-lap main event to bring his machine home eighth in the final rundown.
 
“Indy was a step in the right direction,” said Tickle who made his 75th career 450SX Class start Saturday night. “After our struggles two races ago in Daytona, I was really looking forward to getting to the race track and picking myself up. I really enjoy racing in the domes in the Midwest. The dirt is great and the tracks get rutted so it’s always a little more technical and those are the kind of races where I ride well. I qualified eighth in both practices and transferred into the main from the semi. I wasn’t completely happy with my start but I made a few quick passes, settled in and finished eighth. I thought I was going to be able to pass (Chad) Reed at the end but I couldn’t get around him.”
 
Bogle finished sixth in his heat but was the class of the field in his semifinal where he led five of seven laps and took the checkered flag with almost two seconds to spare.
 
The Cushing, Okla., rider had a solid start for the main event and made his presence felt inside the top 10 in the early goings. Unfortunately, Bogle’s mind was willing but his body wasn’t able as fatigue from being sick earlier the week caused him to fade just past the halfway mark, leaving him 15th at the checkered flag. 
 
“It was a tough weekend,” explained Bogle. “I was sick all week and couldn’t shake it. I felt great in the semi but about halfway through the main, I just didn’t have anything left in the tank. After the way Daytona went, I was happy to make the main event. It wasn’t the finish we were looking for but I’ll take it and look ahead to Detroit.”

Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads for the “Motor City” this weekend as the series makes its annual visit to downtown Detroit. Round 12 from Ford Field will be televised live on FS1 Saturday, March 25 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 4 p.m. Pacific.

The FIA has today released the names of the nine manufacturers who have been granted the homologation for the 5th, 6th and 7th FIA Formula E seasons. Season Five will represent a very important step in the development of the first FIA championship featuring single-seaters powered solely by electricity, because, as from the 2018-19 season, each driver will use just a single car per race, rather than the current two. The number and the quality of manufacturers that has requested and obtained homologation for their powertrain for three seasons (from 2018-19 to 2020-21) is further confirmation that the championship is constantly growing and is proving very attractive both in terms of its audience figures and the partnerships it is attracting.

This round of homologations means that the powertrains will thus fall into line with the new cycle of homologation for the chassis and battery, which will remain standard up to the end of season Seven (2020-21.) Therefore, any new manufacturer wishing to homologate their powertrain will be able to do so for season 6, for a two year period and for the next one with an annual duration.

The manufacturers are:

ABT Formel E

BMW AG

DS Automobiles

Jaguar Land Rover

Mahindra Racing

NextEV NIO

Penske Autosport

Renault

Venturi Automobiles

"The FIA Formula E Championship has been going for a little over three years now and already it has established itself as one of the most interesting and innovative race series, not just because of the actual format of the events but also and above all, because of its technical development," commented the FIA President, Jean Todt. "The homologation of the powertrains that will be used as from season 5 is a very significant step because it means the cars will be able to run for twice as long while, at the very least, maintaining the same performance level. This highlights how motorsport can stimulate and accelerate development of new technologies which can then be applied to road cars and in this case, it has even more of a key role, given that at the moment, electricity is one of the more practical alternatives when it comes to finding new forms of more sustainable mobility in the future."

Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said: "The mission of the FIA Formula E Championship is to act as a platform to advance the development of electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions - this hinges on the participation of automotive and component manufacturers. When we launched the series in 2012, we had forecast to secure at least three manufacturers by season Five. The news today has highlighted the number and quality of manufacturers joining the championship and tripling our initial expectations. This just goes to show the relevance of Formula E to the motor industry and as an attractive proposition to new audiences and commercial partners, such as the recent agreement with Allianz."

In the current season, the FIA Formula E Championship has made its debut in Africa with the Marrakech ePrix back on 12th November, has brought a motor race to the heart of the Hong Kong metropolis on 9th October last and it will do the same in New York City, which this coming 15th and 16th July hosts the first FIA-sanctioned open-wheel race to take place within its five boroughs. Before then, the championship will also have run at historic racing venues such as Monaco and other major capitals, including Mexico City, Paris and Berlin, with the final round taking place in Montreal at the end of July.

The 2018/19 season will also see the debut of the new-look Formula E car, whose shape has been inspired and defined by the FIA with the aim of having a futuristic and appealing design. It will be produced by Spark Racing Technology, who won the chassis tender. From season five there will also be a new standard battery, produced by McLaren Applied Technologies. According to Article 4.1.3 of the Registration Procedure, each manufacturer is aware that the FIA has selected these single suppliers for the batteries and the chassis and will have to enter into contract with both of them.

 

Andretti Autosport Short Track is ready for another successful 2017 campaign.  After winning a track championship in 2016 and recording multiple wins and numerous Top-Five and Top-10 finishes, the team is preparing to compete in over over 70 races in 2017 throughout the country.  In doing so, Andretti will represent and carry the colors of some of the top companies in the country and the Midwest.
 
For the fifth consecutive season, longtime family partner Window World will return to the No. 18.  Window World has supported the Andretti family for 10 years and will once again become a leader in supporting Jarett.  America’s largest exterior remodeler, Window World will be a primary sponsor of Jarett in over 30 events.  The company will also show a new look and design on the No. 18 sprinter.
 
Also with a new look, Superior Auto is back with a new scheme.  They are also a five-year partner of Andretti and will be with Jarett for 12 races as a primary in 2017.  Superior Auto has locations throughout Indiana, Ohio and Michigan and specialize in “Buy Here, Save Here” used car sales.
 
Two more companies will also return as primary sponsors of the team.  Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants and The Harding Group both return to be a primary sponsor for 12 races each.  Schaeffer's Specialized Lubricants has been with Andretti since 2013 and has provided the team with products such as motor oil, gear oil, greases, cleaners, lubricants and more, not only in their race cars, but also in their transporter.  The Harding Group, the leaders in asphalt surfacing and paving, comes back to support Andretti for their second year.  The Harding Group is a staple around the Indianapolis 500 race weekends.
 
In addition to primary sponsors, Andretti Autosport Short Track will have associate support by returning companies Stoops Buick and GMC, MCL Bakery, UAW, and WELD Wheels.
 
Andretti Autosport is proud to announce that new associate sponsors Casey’s General Stores and Heartland Environmental Associates will join the team throughout the racing season.  Andretti, the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of The Year and 2016 Lawrenceburg Speedway sprint car champion, is proud to represent the brands on his car.
 
“Wow!,” exclaimed Jarett Andretti.  “It’s just awesome to have so much support from so many great partners. I really feel that we have the best sponsors in all of sprint car racing.  All our cars look great, and I feel a lot of pride when we come to the track representing some of the best companies.  I want to get a lot of wins this season because I know that we have a lot of people supporting me.  I can’t thank them enough, so I’ll try to show it on the track this year with a lot of great finishes.”
 
“We have really developed programs to help all our partners in their respective businesses,” added owner John Andretti.  “We try to understand our sponsors' goals in order to represent their brand and help them grow. We take it very seriously, but at the same time we’ve been fortunate to forge some of the best personal relationships we could ask for.  They are all friends and we thank them all for that.”
 
In addition to being the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of The Year, Jarett, grandson of Aldo and son of John Andretti, also has championships in go-karts and the USAC Eastern Ignite Pavement Midget Series.  He has also won Rookie of The Year honors at the Oswego Speedway in the super modified class and last season won the Lawrenceburg Speedway sprint car championship.
 
For more information, please visit Andretti Short Track on Facebook and on Twitter at @AAShortTrack.
TRG welcomes the return of drivers Drew Regitz and Kris Wilson to the team’s Aston Martin squad for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge competition schedule. Both drivers will race the beautiful No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in PWC’s GTA SprintX races, with plans to continue TRG’s previous season success in the SprintX series, winning GTS Team and Driver championships. Their first race will be at Virginia International Raceway, April 28-30.
Regitz raced with TRG in 2013 for seven Pirelli World Challenge GTS events. In 2014 Drew returned for his first pro season recording five top 10 finishes and two third place podiums with the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. In 2016 he achieved a first place finish in SprintX and both a 2nd and 3rd place finish in the Sprint GTA category of which he competed in 18 events.
 
Drew had never sat in a race car until 2012 and was hooked immediately. He credits his relatively short advancement to becoming one of the top in his class, to coaches like former TRG staff member Steve Cameron (two-time Daytona 24 class winner), Justin Wilson (past F1 Driver and IndyCar Driver), TRG pro driver James Davison (current Pirelli World Challenge and IndyCar Driver), TRG pro driver Brandon Davis (former Pirelli World Challenge GT Driver’s Champion and former NASCAR Driver), Dane Cameron (2014 United SportCar Champion), and veteran TRG driver Kris Wilson, his current Driver Coach and respected Skip Barber Instructor.
 
 
Regitz and Wilson have raced with TRG in the past, but this will be the first time they share a car. The two met each other by accident - literally crashing into each other at a kart track in Denver. Both Colorado residents still go karting and do simulator work together, refining both their driving and teammate skills in the offseason. 

Wilson has been with TRG for multiple seasons as well and is regarded as an expert with the highly competitive Aston Martins. Most recently, he and Max Riddle won the PWC Drivers Championship in the SprintX GTS class. Wilson and Regitz raced separately in TRG’s Aston Martin program in 2014 and will enjoy a reunion in the V12 Vantage for 2017.
 
 
 

"It's great to be back with TRG for the 2017 SprintX season. It's where I started my professional racing career and where many of my best driver coaches hail. Looking forward to a concerted Championship effort in the awesome Aston Martin GT3 #007 car with Kris Wilson!” stated Regitz.
 
“I'm looking forward to running with Drew in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 car,” said Wilson. “He and I do a lot of sim work together but we haven't actually been teammates before. The Aston Martin is an awesome platform for SprintX and I love the scream of the V12. TRG knows the car inside and out and we have high expectations to contend for the championship. After winning the GTS championship last year, we are eager to bring home a GT trophy as well.”
 
Kevin Buckler, TRG team owner and master strategist had this to say…”We are super excited to have this program pairing together Drew and Kris. We have been working on this since last year and have put everything together properly. We are coming to the series to chase down the GTA championship in SprintX. The Pirelli World Challenge is doing a fantastic job on all of these programs and we are happy to be involved. We are very proud to have Drew back on board and are going to give him an awesome car, and a solid team to back it up. I love the way he approaches his racing and we have all been preparing in the off-season and will be ready to go in Virginia. He is fast and fit and smart and will be a great teammate with Kris. The Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 is just an awesome machine and we are confident that this is a winning combination all-the-way around!”

 

 The field for the K&N Horsepower Challenge will feature eight of the top Pro Stock drivers in the category and seven racers have secured their position in the starting field. The eighth position will be filled via a fan vote which is still open to the public to select their favorite racers.

 

Drivers that have already clinched a spot into the K&N Horsepower Challenge include Jason Line, Greg Anderson, Bo Butner, Shane Gray, Vincent Nobile, Drew Skillman and Allen Johnson. 

 

The following Pro Stock drivers are currently eligible for the fan vote: Jeg Coughlin, Kenny Delco, Erica Enders, V. Gaines, John Gaydosh, Tanner Gray, Joey Grose, Matt Hartford, Mark Hogan, Tom Huggins, Deric Kramer, Alex Laughlin, Kevin Lawrence, Chris McGaha, Alan Prusiensky, Dave River, Val Smeland, Curt Steinbach, Richie Stevens Jr., Aaron Strong, Shane Tucker and Charlie Westcott.

 

Voting is open now and will end on Monday March, 27 at noon Eastern. Fans can go to NHRA.com or NHRA’s Facebook page or click on this link to vote:http://bit.ly/2KNVote2017. Fans can vote once and they must have a Facebook page to vote. 

 

The K&N Horsepower Challenge will be held Saturday, April 1, during the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

The winner of the fan vote will go up against the other seven entries in a three-round shootout in Las Vegas. The champion of the K&N Horsepower Challenge race will win a $50,000 grand prize. The runner-up will receive $10,000 with $3,000 to the two semifinalists and $2,500 to the four first-round finishers. If a driver doubles-up by winning the specialty event and the national event, that driver will win a $25,000 bonus.

 

Greg Anderson raced to victory last year in the K&N Horsepower Challenge in an uncontested final round when teammate Jason Line’s car broke on the starting line. Anderson’s Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro lost traction at the start, but he was able to cruise down the track to claim his fifth victory in the lucrative Pro Stock all-star event. With the victory Anderson earned $50,000.

 

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

 

 A full day of testing at Barber Motorsports Park pointed to the conclusion that the intense competition that the Verizon IndyCar Series has witnessed in recent seasons is going to be even closer and more unpredictable for the remainder of the 2017 season.

Twenty-two cars turned a total of 1,147 laps on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn scenic permanent road course today, in advance of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama - the third of 17 races on this year's schedule, set for the weekend of April 21-23.

And while two-time Barber race winner and three-time pole sitter Will Power wound up fastest after six hours of on-track action, it was by no means decisive. The top 14 drivers on the combined speed chart were separated by less than a half-second.

Power set the best lap of the day moments before the checkered flag waved, at 1 minute, 7.7518 seconds (122.211 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. The Aussie nudged out second-year Verizon IndyCar Series driver Max Chilton (No. 8 Gallagher Honda) for top honors by less than a hundredth of a second.

"It just shows how tight it is between Honda and Chevy now," Power said. "It's tough, man. We just went through a bunch of stuff (during the test day) to see what it does and I think we got some good answers here. I think we've got a good car for here, I feel good about my setup."

Chilton, driving for the Chip Ganassi Racing team that switched to Honda from Chevrolet in the offseason, put down a lap of 1:07.7591 (122.198 mph) to finish second on the leaderboard.

"Good day apart from Power spoiling the fun at the end of the day, but it's all good fun," Chilton said. "It was a good test day. ... We got a lot done.

"We actually were struggling a lot with the car all day, that's why we took a long, long lunch break to sort of change the car," Chilton added. "Then we definitely made steps forward, did a few fine-tunes. It's amazing, you make a few changes and you jump yourself up the board."

Two of Power's teammates at Team Penske, Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya, finished third and fourth on the speed chart. Newgarden is in his first full season with the renowned team, replacing Montoya, who will drive for Team Penske at the two Indianapolis Motor Speedway races in May.

Newgarden, whose fast lap was 1:07.8402 (122.052 mph) in the No. 2 Team Penske Chevy, said it took him time to adapt to the new tire supplied by Firestone for the Barber circuit.

"Very different feeling form the car today than I've ever had at Barber and that requires a lot of work," said the 2015 Barber race winner. "But we had a good day and the Verizon No. 2 car was fast. I think it has a lot of speed in it, it's just a matter of how we get that out of the car and how to make it consistent so that I can put the lap together for qualifying."

Montoya was fourth quick in the No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet (1:07.8406, 122.051 mph) despite it being his first time in an Indy car since the 2016 season finale six months ago. For the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, it was like riding a bike.

"I feel like I drove the car yesterday," Montoya said. "It's kind of fun. I've been out of the car since September, but I feel fine. I have a new crew, new guys, new engineer. It's working really well."

Andretti Autosport drivers Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively, on the day. Sato was fastest in the three-hour first session, but was among the 19 drivers who improved their times in the second practice as teams honed in on setups. Push-to-pass was also activated on all cars for the final hour of the second practice, giving a 60-horsepower boost whenever it was used.

Sebastien Bourdais, winner of the March 12 season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, was 13th fastest overall today. Defending Barber winner and series champion Simon Pagenaud ran 10th.

The next race on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The famous street-course race airs live at 4 p.m. ET April 9 on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama follows two weeks later at Barber Motorsports Park, airing at 3 p.m. ET on the same networks.

BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK OPEN TEST: Practice 1; Practice 2; Combined practice results

LFR Enterprises, owned by Rob Fuller, has acquired LFR Northeast which was previously operated by Bob Charland.

Fuller will take over the Northeast region for modified distribution and sales for LFR Enterprises.  Charland will no longer be selling parts to the racing industry.

“Rob and I had an agreement that if I ever wanted to change direction that he would step up and take over,” said Charland. “Rob has a very unique product line that really requires a vast knowledge of this industry which he has, so this really makes sense not only for me, but the customers as well.”

LFR specializes in the state-of-the-art design, engineering and distribution of pavement modifieds.  Fuller and his LFR Enterprises team will service all the New England racers, not just the LFR customer base.

“With my focus back in the Northeast, I really look forward to making the Southern racing technology readily available in this region,” said Fuller.

To expand its service in the Northeast, LFR is constructing a new 23,000 square-foot facility for operations out of West Boylston, Mass.  The state-of-the-art facility will include pull down rigs, shock dynos, and a complete inventory of all the highest quality components available.

The new facility will also serve as the shop to a pair of LFR house cars.  The No. 15 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team will be based there along with a LFR SK modified house car.  Both cars will be available to lease, but will be focused on the R&D of LFR products.

“I really enjoy when a driver sits in a LFR car for the first time and the way they describe how the car feels and turns,” said Fuller.  “These house cars will provide an opportunity for not only a driver getting seat time in a LFR car but also the opportunity to work with myself and the equipment we have here.”

Fuller turned the industry on its head in 2015 with the development and success of the LFR Gen One chassis, an innovative design for the modified racing industry. The LFR Chassis set qualifying records and won three NASCAR championships with Doug Coby and Burt Myers.

“My goal is to continue the development of the LFR Modified Chassis,” said Fuller.  “The LFR Gen One design has proved to be extremely safe and a solid, basic design that I knew would be better than the competition as soon as it hit the track.  Now that we have our base set, there are several changes that I would like to work on to advance our designs for an even more innovative product.”

“The future of LFR will continue to be Northeast open wheel modifieds,” said Fuller.  “We are in a great place with the location and direction of the LFR brand. We have a clear plan moving forward and are excited to debut a new design chassis in 2017 that will keep the competition on their heels like we have been.  The LFR brand will continue to evolve and keep its reputation as the most technologically advanced Modified available.”

To contact LFR, visit www.LFRchassis.com or call (704) 232-6990.

LFR Chassis PR

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West started their season over the weekend at Tucson Speedway. The event marks just one of the 14 scheduled races on the series calendar in 2017.

Chris Eggleston, a 27-year old racer with 32 starts in the West division, left the 0.375-mile track with his sixth career victory in the series. Eggleston, who has six career starts in the Camping World Truck Series, led 80 of the 150 scheduled laps of the event.

“Everybody on this NAPA Filters Toyota did a heck of a job,” Eggleston said after the race. “With the guys missing their flight Friday, due to weather, everybody rebounded so nicely. We had a well-balanced race car yesterday in testing. We fine tuned on it. And even though we were good in practice, we just kept trying to find speed.”

It ended up being a back n fourth battle all night between Eggleston and teammate Todd Gilliland. Both drivers went back n fourth for the lead five different times over the course of the NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150. With 59 laps to go, Eggleston cleared Gilliland for the lead and stayed there until the checkered flag.

Gilliland, son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland, finished second in the event. The 16-year old young racer started the event from the pole and led the field for 70 circuits in his No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota.

“We led most of the first half and was out front at the midway break,” said Gilliland after the race. “We didn’t quite make the right adjustments, or the 99 made really good adjustments. He was able to pass us. I felt like he was running too hard,” Gilliland said. “So we kind of let him go, but he just kept pulling away. He had a really fast car. Good job to Chris and everyone on that team.”

Garret Archer rounded out the top three finishers. Archer, a 20-year old from Maple Valley, Washington, started 16th and went on to capture his first career top five finish in his No. 27 Recruit 4 Business Ford.

Tucson being his second career start in the series, Archer made his debut last season at Evergreen Speedway. He started sixth, but finished 18th after developing an issue with his suspension.

Top 10 results:

 

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES – Unofficial Results

POS

DRIVER

1

Chris Eggleston

2

Todd Gilliland

3

Garret Archer*

4

Zane Smith*

5

Will Rodgers*

6

Derek Kraus*

7

Brandon Schilling*

8

Kody Vanderwal*

9

Riley Herbst

10

Nicole Behar

 Unofficial points standings:

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES – Unofficial Points

POS

DRIVER

BEHIND

1

Chris Eggleston

Leader

2

Todd Gilliland

-5

3

Garret Archer

-7

4

Zane Smith

-8

5

Will Rodgers

-9

6

Derek Kraus

-10

7

Brandon Schilling

-11

8

Kody Vanderwal

-12

9

Riley Herbst

-13

10

Nicole Behar

-14

The NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150 will air on NBCSN at 8:30 p.m. ET. on Friday, March 23.

The series will head to Kern County Raceway Park on March 23 for the NAPA Auto Parts 150. Fans can follow live coverage by visiting NASCARHomeTracks.com on Race Central Live.