Racing News
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  

  

 

General Motors will auction the final production seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette this summer, with the proceeds benefiting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

 

The announcement, along with confirmation of the Next Generation Corvette’s development, was made this evening by General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, who was honored at the foundation’s annual Footsteps to the Future Gala in New York.

 

“GM, GMC and Chevrolet support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to injured and fallen military members, first responders and their families,” said Barra. “The sale of this iconic Corvette will help the foundation continue its good work, and pave the way for the Next Generation Corvette that we will introduce on July 18.”

 

The final seventh gen Corvette — a black 2019 Z06 model — will be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut June 28. Registration information is available at www.barrett-jackson.com.

 

Every dollar of the winning bid will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named for New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who died during the Sept. 11 attacks.

 

The foundation builds mortgage-free, accessible smart homes for the most catastrophically injured service members and helps pay off the mortgages for families of first responders killed in the line of duty. More information is available at www.tunnel2towers.org.

 

“The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation thanks GM, GMC and Chevrolet for supporting the brave men and women of our armed forces and our first responders,” said Frank Siller, chairman and CEO. “This generous gift will help us provide more injured veterans with the independence they deserve.”

 

For the past five years, GMC has supported the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation as its national foundation of choice. In that time, it has helped the foundation raise more than $10 million. That includes $2.2 million raised last year, with $925,000 of it coming from the auction of the first production 2019 Corvette ZR1. It was purchased by Chevrolet dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick at the 2018 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale.

 

Other money has come from employee donations and events across the country such as 5K Tunnel to Towers races and other activities sponsored by GMC dealers.

 

GM is committed to helping those who have given so much for their country. GM’s current and retired workforce includes 60,000 veterans.

 

To obtain the latest information on the Next Generation Corvette, visit the official website linked here.

Andrew Jordan is the next top driver in the line-up for the inaugural 2019 season of the TitansRX Rallycross Series.

 

The Brit first started racing in rallycross, when he entered the Ford Rally Academy in 2003 and enjoyed immediate impact winning the Winter Junior Rallycross Championship and the BTRDA Junior Rallycross Championship the following season.

 

In 2006, Jordan was the youngest ever race winner in the British Rallycross Supercar class and came championship runner-up a year later. Parallel to his touring car endeavours, where he crowned himself British Touring Car Champion in 2013, Jordan has always continued to race in rallycross. In 2014, he returned to the sport and has competed in several FIA World Rallycross Championship events since.

 

For the 2019 season, the 29-year-old will join the brand-new TitansRX Europe Series. "We have known Andrew for some time and are very happy to welcome him on board. He is a highly skilled and exciting driver," series promoter Max J. Pucher said.

 

"Having started my career in Rallycross, I have always loved the sport and re-joined whenever possible. Competing in World series events most recently, I managed to meet Max (Pucher) who signed me for several races over the last two years. I really enjoyed working with them and hearing about his plans moving forward and seeing how ambitious he was, I straight away wanted to be involved”, Jordan was all smiles.

 

“The level of drivers that will be competing from many different areas of motorsport is fantastic and I can’t wait to test myself against these great drivers", he added.

 

The TitansRX Championship will take off on June 29/30 in Dreux, France.

Third-generation racer Jarett Andretti will see a dream come true May 24 when he climbs into an Andretti Autosport Indy Lights machine for the Freedom 100 – his first career Indy Lights race. Jarett is the son of John Andretti, grandson of Aldo Andretti and great nephew of Mario Andretti.

  “To say I’m excited to run the Freedom 100 this year would be an understatement,” said Andretti. “Anytime you get a chance to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it’s special. Obviously, Andretti Autosport has a great track record there and I’ve known all the mechanics on the cars for years – I can’t wait to get the Month of May started!”

  Currently competing with Andretti Autosport in the team’s Pirelli GT4 America effort, Andretti will join new teammates Oliver Askew and Robert Megennis for a Rookie Orientation day at Kentucky Speedway April 18.  He will become the seventh  member of the Andretti family to compete on hallowed ground in Indianapolis, joining the list that includes his father John, great uncle Mario, uncle Adam and cousins Michael, Jeff and Marco. 

“I’m really happy to field a car at IMS for Jarett,” said team owner Michael Andretti. “Running in an Indy Lights car will be a new experience for him, and I know he’s up for the challenge. Our Indy Lights team has shown strong pace this season, and we have a Freedom 100 title to defend. Jarett is already a team driver on the GT4 side, and I’m confident he is going to fit into the Indy Lights team well. He will be a contender and an instant crowd favorite.”

  The youngest racing Andretti has carried on the family tradition and has championships in go-karts, the USAC Eastern Ignite Pavement Midget Series, the 410 Sprint Car division at the Lawrenceburg Speedway and is also an Indiana Sprint Car Series champion.  In addition, Andretti is the 2014 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of The Year and a former Rookie of The Year at the Oswego Speedway in the supermodified class.

  Freedom 100 action begins Monday, May 20 with testing followed by Thursday qualifying and race day Friday, May 24. Andretti Autosport fields three full-time entries in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series with Askew (No. 28 Index Invest Dallara), Megennis (No. 27 Cybersecurity Dallara) and Ryan Norman (No. 48 Evo Dallara).

 

More than 35 high school students from around the region competed in a fast-paced annual competition designed to get students excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and introduce them to the high-demand field of automotive technology. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge was hosted on Saturday by Universal Technical Institute's Mooresville campus, NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech).

 

The Forsyth Central High School team from Cumming, Ga. took home the top prize, competing against five other teams from Georgia and Virginia. Teams are judged on the ability to accurately tear down and rebuild an engine as quickly as possible. Qualifying teams will compete against more than 40 other high school teams at the Dual National Championship Qualifiers in November and December, where students can win up to $10,000 in UTI scholarships.

 

Modern vehicles are powered by sophisticated digital systems - requiring knowledge in each of the STEM areas. Students interested in auto technology are able to combine a strong foundation of STEM education with technology-based, hands-on opportunities.

 

"It's rewarding to see so many students engaged in STEM education, and Hot Rodders of Tomorrow really demonstrates the skill needed to work on today's high-tech engines," said Jennifer Bergeron, campus president at NASCAR Technical Institute. "This competition is exposing students across the country to the high-demand, rewarding jobs available in automotive technology. Universal Technical Institute is proud to offer scholarships to the winning team members, and we're excited about the opportunity to provide those students with the training they need to begin a successful career after high school."

 

Organizers say the competition also teaches soft skills that translate to the workplace.

 

"Our students are the future of our industry, and the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow program gives them the opportunity to earn scholarships, learn team work, and grow as a person," said Greg Parker, event director for Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. "Because of partners like UTI, the instructors, and volunteers, our program continues to grow. Our students earn more than $1 million in scholarships every year to give them a jumpstart on furthering their education."

 

Industry demand for trained automotive and diesel technicians continues to accelerate. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that, by 2026, there will be more than 1.2 million job openings in the automotive, diesel and collision repair industries.1 To help reach that total, the transportation industry will need to fill more than 120,000 technician job openings annually, on average.

 

For more information about Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, visit www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com.

CHANDLER, Ariz. (April 19, 2019) – Following a competitive start to the 2019 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO, last month, the world’s best short-course racers were back at it the second weekend in April with the championship’s annual spring time visit to the Arizona desert and Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. The Super Clean Duel in the Desert, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, provided another nighttime spectacle and thousands of fans filled the grandstands to watch all the drama unfold.   At this early stage of the championship momentum is critical, and while the winners of the opening round looked to build on their advantage, a long list of rivals were just as eager to make an impact as the title fight across all nine classes takes shape. As expected, the racing was incredible, and an array of new winners emerged under the lights in Chandler.  

 

 

A huge crowd was on hand for Round 2 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

 

 

Pro 2   Opening round winner Jerett Brooks led the Pro 2 field into action at Wild Horse Pass, and he continued to build momentum as the fastest qualifier of the afternoon. When the race got underway later that evening it was Troy Cox and Daely Pentico who sprinted off the line first in their Pro 2M trucks. Brooks and the rest of the 13-truck field patiently waited for the green flag to drop, and when it did the field quickly settled into line with Brooks leading RJ Anderson, Brian Deegan and Rodrigo Ampudia. Out front, Pentico took advantage of Cox off the start to assert himself as the leader.   With one race under their belt with the inclusion of the new Pro 2M engine, it appeared as though the standard Pro 2 drivers recognized the more strategic play of closing the deficit to the lead trucks. By focusing on running a consistent pace instead of racing one another and losing time, they were able to erase the advantage of the Pro 2M trucks much more efficiently than the opening round. Brooks, Anderson and Deegan patiently ran in tow of one another for several laps, until a bobble by Anderson gave Deegan an opening to take over fourth place. Rather than put up too much of a fight, Anderson slotted into fifth. This trio had easily distanced themselves from everyone else and started to close in on Cox for second.

 

 

Brian Deegan charged to his first Pro 2 win of the season. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

The yellow flag bunched the field back together halfway through the 16-lap showcase, and it would prove to be crucial in the outcome of the race. Recognizing the importance of the moment, Deegan seized the opportunity to pressure Brooks and successfully made the pass for third. Shortly thereafter, Anderson nearly tipped over in fifth, which allowed Ampudia to take the position. Both Deegan and Brooks stormed past Cox to move into second and third, respectively, on Lap 10, which gave them six laps to catch Pentico, who had comfortably led every lap up to that point.   As Deegan and Brooks continued to inch closer to the lead, Brooks made a costly error in judgment on Lap 12 when he elected to dive to the inside to lap Bradley Morris. While Deegan slid around the outside unscathed, Brooks and Morris made contact, which left Brooks with a flat right rear. The point leader’s pace dropped considerably, and he quickly fell down the running order. That put Ampudia and Anderson into a hotly contested battle for third, where Ampudia held the advantage.   In the waning laps, Deegan had Pentico in his sights and with his quicker pace it was only a matter of time before he got the opportunity to make a pass. Pentico had run a flawless race leading into the final lap, but Deegan was aggressive in his first chance to take the lead. The two trucks made heavy door-to-door contact, which sent them sideways off the next jump. Pentico spun out while Deegan regained control and sped off to his first win of the season. Pentico recovered to cross the line in second, but a black flag was issued and dropped him to the end of the lead lap in ninth. That gave the runner-up spot to Ampudia, who withstood the constant pressure from Anderson, who finished third. Brooks soldiered home in his wounded truck to finish 10th.   Deegan’s second and first-place finishes to start the season moved him to the top of the championship standings. Ampudia jumped into a tie with Anderson for second, four points behind Deegan. Brooks fell from first to fourth, 11 points out of the lead.   Pro 2 Results

1.    #38 Brian Deegan

2.    #36 Rodrigo Ampudia

3.    #37 RJ Anderson

4.    #21 Rob MacCachren

5.    #6 Brandon Arthur

  Pro 2 Points

6.    #38 Brian Deegan – 98

7.    #36 Rodrigo Ampudia – 94

8.    #37 RJ Anderson – 94

9.    #77 Jerett Brooks – 87

10.  #3 Daely Pentico – 80

 

 

 

Pro 4   After a wild path to victory at the opening round, Kyle LeDuc was hoping for a considerably less stressful outing in Chandler, and that’s exactly what he got.   For the second straight race Doug Mittag started on the pole in Pro 4’s 16-lap main. Mittag was definitively the fastest truck at Glen Helen, but a fumble cost him what appeared to be a sure win. He edged out LeDuc on the start at Wild Horse Pass and looked to put some distance between he and the field. Unfortunately for Mittag, a slight miscue off a jump caused him to lose a little momentum, which allowed LeDuc to get alongside and take over the position in the next corner.   From that point on, LeDuc was on rails. He never put a wheel wrong, and the stability of the truck was evident as started to inch away from the field. Mittag and Greg Adler did all they could to keep up with LeDuc’s pace, but the slipping and sliding they endured continued to cause them to lose ground. They instead focused on their tight battle for second as defending champion RJ Anderson lurked in fourth.   Over the middle portion of the race Mittag was able to free himself of the pressure from Adler and even got within a few truck lengths of LeDuc. Adler continued to drop back and soon he had Anderson all over him. Anderson looked to make a pass in several different spots of the track before taking advantage of an inside line on Lap 8 to move into podium position just prior to the caution.

 

 

Kyle LeDuc had his Pro 4 truck dialed in, posting back-to-back wins. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

LeDuc nailed the restart to maintain the lead, and soon he, Mittag and Anderson were on a three-truck breakaway. You could throw a blanket over the top three in the closing laps, with a mere truck length separating them from one another. All three drivers hit their marks each and every lap, which ultimately prevented any serious pass attempts to be made. White smoke started to come out of LeDuc’s truck on the final lap, and Mittag was all over him on every inch of the track, but the truck ran at full tilt to the checkered flag to give LeDuc back-to-back wins to open the season. Mittag was a close second, with Anderson third.   LeDuc’s championship lead extended to 12 points over Mittag, who moved into second. Anderson sits third, 13 points out of the lead.   Pro 4 Results

11.  #99 Kyle LeDuc

12.  #81 Doug Mittag

13.  #37 RJ Anderson

14.  #10 Greg Adler

15.  #24 Bradley Morris

  Pro 4 Points

16.  #99 Kyle LeDuc – 110

17.  #81 Doug Mittag – 98

18.  #37 RJ Anderson – 97

19.  #10 Greg Adler – 93

20.  #11 Adrian Cenni – 85

 

 

 

Pro Lite   Defending Pro Lite champion Ryan Beat couldn’t have asked for a better start to his title defense at the opening round, but he had his work cut out for him at Wild Horse Pass as several of his rivals outpaced him in qualifying.   Christopher Polvoorde led the field to the green flag, while Beat rolled off the line in fifth. Polvoorde and Mickey Thomas ran side by side for the first quarter of a lap before Polvoorde asserted himself as the leader. The top three of Polvoorde, Thomas and Brock Heger were able to break away from the rest of the field, but a caution bunched everyone back together.   On the restart, the lead trio once again established themselves up front. Polvoorde was able to pull away a bit from the two behind him, and soon Heger got around Thomas for second.

 

 

Mickey Thomas (44) took advantage of Christopher Polvoorde's (left) misfortune in Pro Lite. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

The caution flew for a second time, and on the restart Heger applied heavy pressure on Polvoorde, which forced the race leader into a mistake in which he almost tipped over. That handed the lead to Heger as Polvoorde fought back from second. Heger’s control of the race was brief, as white smoke soon poured out of the right rear of his truck, ending his night. Polvoorde reassumed the lead, with Thomas second and Ronnie Anderson third.   A third caution flag bunched the field up once more at the halfway point of the 14-lap race. When the field returned to green, Polvoorde reassumed his position at the head of the field. He established a comfortable gap over Thomas and appeared to be in control of his own destiny, but a flat tire with just three laps to go dashed any hopes Polvoorde had of capturing a win. Thomas surged into first and enjoyed a big lead over the rest of the field. As Anderson came to pass Polvoorde for second, Beat, who had patiently run just outside of the top three for the majority of the race, dove to the inside and took the runner-up spot, which appeared to catch Anderson off guard.   Out front, Thomas cruised to his first win of the season, while Beat came on strong late to grab second. Anderson rounded out the podium in third. Polvoorde limped home to finish 14th after leading the first 11 laps.   Beat maintained his hold on the championship lead, where he sits two points clear of Thomas, who moved into second. Anderson is third, eight points behind Beat.   Pro Lite Results

21.  #44 Mickey Thomas

22.  #1 Ryan Beat

23.  #52 Ronnie Anderson

24.  #38 Hailie Deegan

25.  #35 Cole Mamer

  Pro Lite Points

26.  #1 Ryan Beat – 100

27.  #44 Mickey Thomas – 98

28.  #52 Ronnie Anderson – 92

29.  #38 Hailie Deegan – 88

30.  #59 Jimmy Weitzel – 80

 

 

 

Pro Buggy   Pro Buggy was expected to be one of the most competitive classes in the championship this season, and it lived up to the hype in Chandler. Opening round winner Chris Nunes came into Arizona with all the momentum, but he was never a factor at Wild Horse Pass. Instead, Trevor Briska seized the moment to dominate the field with an impressive wire-to-wire victory.

 

 

Trevor Briska went wire-to-wire for a convincing Pro Buggy win. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

Briska started the 14-lap race from the pole alongside Brock Dickerson, while Nunes rolled off the line in fifth. From the drop of the green Briska had his buggy dialed in and despite his best efforts Dickerson wasn’t able to mount a serious challenge. These two ran 1-2 for the first 10 laps of the race until Dickerson encountered misfortune and rapidly dropped several positions. That allowed Matthew Brister to assume the runner-up spot, capping off an incredible drive for him. Brister started the race in seventh, but he was patient and took advantage of the opportunity to move from seventh to fourth on Lap 5. From there he continued to gain ground, ultimately landing in second.   Briska took an emphatic win by 1.2 seconds over Brister, while Eliott Watson drove to a solid third-place finish after sticking inside the top four through the entirety of the race. Nunes recovered from some early trouble to finish fourth.   Nunes’ resilience kept him atop the point standings, but he now sits in a tie with Watson for the lead. Brister is third, three points out of the lead.   Pro Buggy Results

31.  #59 Trevor Briska

32.  #5 Matthew Brister

33.  #3 Eliott Watson

34.  #2 Chris Nunes

35.  #15 Trey Gibbs

  Pro Buggy Points

36.  #2 Chris Nunes – 100

37.  #3 Eliott Watson – 100

38.  #5 Matthew Brister – 97

39.  #59 Trevor Briska – 93

40.  #15 Trey Gibbs – 90

 

 

 

Production 1000 UTV   Three different drivers took their shot at the front of the field in the 12-lap Production 1000 UTV race, but none of them was opening round leader and defending champion Brock Heger. While Heger was solid, he was just out of the mix for the win.

 

 

Robert Stout (915) charged to the front and held off Myles Cheek (957) for the Production UTV win. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

Dallas Nord parlayed an impressive qualifying effort into early control of the race, but misfortune saw him drop well back in the field after the first lap. That allowed Myles Cheek, who started second, to take over the top spot, but his time out front only lasted a couple laps as Robert Stout was on a mission. After starting fourth, Stout climbed his way up to second after just two laps and proceeded to surge into the lead on Lap 4. Once out front, he was able to maintain control, despite receiving heavy pressure from Cheek.   Stout led the final nine laps to take his first win of the season over Cheek, while Heger rounded out the podium in third.   Heger maintained his lead in the championship standings, where he sits four points ahead of Stout, who is now second. Cheek is third, 10 points out of the lead.   Production 1000 UTV Results

41.  #915 Robert Stout

42.  #957 Myles Cheek

43.  #1 Brock Heger

44.  #906 Brandon Arthur

45.  #986 Ryan Lindsay

  Production 1000 UTV Points

46.  #1 Brock Heger – 106

47.  #915 Robert Stout – 102

48.  #957 Myles Cheek – 96

49.  #906 Brandon Arthur – 90

50.  #916 Robby Hornsby – 83

 

 

 

 

Mod Kart   Reigning Mod Kart champion Brody Eggleston rolled into Wild Horse Pass with an impressive win at the opening round and control of the early points lead. Unfortunately, he was forced to endure through nothing but bad luck in Chandler, where he was forced to record a DNF in 16th place.

 

 

Mason Prater (505) was the class of the Mod Kart field and took his first win of the year. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

With Eggleston out of contention, the door was open for someone to step in a seize control of the division, and that driver was Mason Prater. The youngster was the driver to beat all day in Arizona, where he captured the pole and led the entirety of the 10-lap main. Prater was one of several drivers in the hunt at the opening round, but he got shuffled back in the late stages. At Wild Horse Pass he rebounded with one of the most convincing drives of the evening, taking his first win of the 2019 season 1.6 seconds ahead of John Holtger, who started second but had to battle his way back from as far as fifth to capture the runner-up spot. Braden Chiaramonte was even more impressive in his run to third, dropping all the way to 10th place on what was an up-and-down journey to the podium.   Prater’s win moved him to the top of the championship standings, where he holds an incredible 12-point lead over Chiaramonte. Holtger is now third, 17 points out of the lead, while Eggleston dropped to seventh.   Mod Kart Results

51.  #505 Mason Prater

52.  #544 John Holtger

53.  #573 Braden Chiaramonte

54.  #590 Trey Eggleston

55.  #554 Luke Knupp

  Mod Kart Points

56.  #505 Mason Prater – 106

57.  #573 Braden Chiaramonte – 94

58.  #544 John Holtger – 89

59.  #574 Bronson Chiaramonte – 79

60.  #590 Trey Eggleston – 77

 

 

 

 

Junior 2 Kart   With some of the most evenly matched vehicles in all of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, the Junior 2 Kart division is sure to see an array of different winners throughout the 2019 season. At the opening round Broedy Graham made the first statement with a big win, but in Chandler it was Karaston Hernandez who took center stage in her first race of the year.

 

 

Karaston Hernandez (483) enjoyed a dominant season debut in Junior Kart. Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

Hernandez kicked the day off by capturing the pole over Cade Martin. When the green flag dropped she successfully stayed up front, leading the entirety of the 10-lap race despite incredibly heavy pressure from Martin throughout. Nothing more than a few tenths separated these two drivers at any point during the race, but Hernandez kept her composure like a veteran to take an impressive victory, holding off Martin by just two tenths of a second. Graham was in the mix as well, and followed his win with a third-place finish.   Martin’s runner-up finish moved him atop the championship standings, where he’s just three points clear of Graham. Braydon Beatty is third, 13 points out of the lead.   Junior 2 Kart Results

61.  #483 Karaston Hernandez

62.  #407 Cade Martin

63.  #466 Broedy Graham

64.  #415 Chaden Zane Minder

65.  #497 Jessie Owens

  Junior 2 Kart Points

66.  #407 Cade Martin – 103

67.  #466 Broedy Graham – 100

68.  #405 Braydon Beatty – 90

69.  #497 Jessie Owens – 78

70.  #460 Rhyan Denney – 76

 

The 2019 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series will continue with its third round of the season south of the border from Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The Rockstar Energy Battle South of the Border, presented by Lucas Oil, will be a two-day affair on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. For information about the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series please visit LucasOilOffRoad.com and be sure to follow all of the LOORRS social media channels for exclusive content and additional information on the latest news:

o    Facebook: @lucasoiloffroadracingseries

o    Instagram: @lucasoiloffroad

o    Twitter: @LOORRS

o    YouTube: lucasoiloffroad

# # #

 

 

Courtesy of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

 

 McLaren is moving up.

 

After competing in the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class the past two seasons with its GT4 model, the British high-performance sports car and supercar manufacturer today confirmed plans to bring the McLaren 720S GT3 into the seven-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup series.

 

The seven-race series for GT Daytona (GTD) cars within the overall IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debuts on May 5 with the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio. The race will mark the debut for the 720S GT3 race car in the hands of Compass Racing and co-drivers Paul Holton and Matt Plumb.

 

“The popularity of GT3 racing in North America has dramatically grown over recent seasons, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is one of the most competitive GT series in the world,” said McLaren Automotive Motorsport Director Dan Walmsley. “With the North American market the largest for McLaren Automotive in respect of road car sales, it is great to have customer teams racing with the 720S in such an exciting and well-supported championship.

 

“We are proud to partner with IMSA and having McLaren cars competing in the GTD class from 2019 is an important and significant moment for McLaren Customer Racing.”

 

McLaren already was one of IMSA’s 19 Official Automotive Partners through its Pilot Challenge program. But the expansion into Sprint Cup means that the starting grid will now include 14 different manufacturers; the most for a WeatherTech Championship race since there also were 14 in the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

 

“We are honored and humbled that McLaren has chosen our race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as the venue for the North American debut of the 720S GT3 race car,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “It’s fantastic to see McLaren doubling down on its commitment by bringing this program onto one of our biggest stages. It also reaffirms that IMSA’s platforms continue to provide an unmatched ROI and an attractive target-rich environment for manufacturers and their customer racing programs.”

 

McLaren already has an IMSA victory this season, as Holton and co-driver Kuno Wittmer combined to win the four-hour Pilot Challenge season-opening BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway in January. It was McLaren’s third series victory amid stiff competition that included eight world-class manufacturers in the GT4 class.

 

It won’t be any easier in Sprint Cup. GTD is the largest class, and the addition of McLaren runs the total number of manufacturers in the class to nine.

 

“We’re honored and excited to formally announce our GTD McLaren program with the new 720S GT3,” remarked Compass Racing Team Principal Karl Thomson. “The new WeatherTech Sprint Cup is a logical next step for our IMSA effort, which celebrates its sixteenth-consecutive season this year. We’ve been very successful in the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, but know how hard-fought the battles are in GTD and are looking forward to the challenge.”

 

How will McLaren fare in its debut? Tune in to NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 5 to find out. The two-hour, 40-minute Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio also will be covered live by IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio.

 

Tickets are available now at MidOhio.com

 

Photo Credit: Jordan Lenssen / Compass Racing

 

Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, will offer an enviable selection of Japanese performance cars during the 17th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 11-13, all at No Reserve. Highlighting this import segment of the collector car market at Palm Beach will be a 2012 Lexus LFA (Lot #742), one of only 500 built, and one of only 170 of these naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V10 juggernauts allocated to the U.S. market.

 

“The increasing popularity of performance imports is one of the hottest trends in collecting,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Earlier this year in Scottsdale, the first production 2020 Toyota Supra sold for a staggering $2.1 million for charity, followed up with a 2012 Lexus LFA that sold well into the six figures. The demand for imports is largely being driven by bidders who were born in the 1960s and ʼ70s and now have the means to afford the vehicles of their youth. For those in the market to relive their childhood, we’ll have an incredible selection of imports in Palm Beach.”

 

Lot 742 -2012 Lexus LFA_rear34

A “thoroughbred supercar” ready to sell during the Palm Beach Auction at No Reserve: 2012 Lexus LFA (Lot #742).

Two Toyota Supras are among the most anticipated exports that will cross the block during this year’s Palm Beach Auction. The first, a 1993 Toyota Supra Liftback (Lot #353) is powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter inline-6 engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission originally sold in Japan. The second is a 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo Liftback (Lot #680.1), which is a two-owner, all-original MK.IV twin-turbo version. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine backed by a 4-speed automatic transmission and only has 45,127 original miles.

 

“We build our dockets to reflect the demands of our buyers,” noted Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “The desire for import collector cars is stronger than ever, which is why our team is including more performance imports, like the Toyota Supra and Mitsubishi 3000GT. These cars represented a rebirth of performance in the 1990s and were the postercar for so many young enthusiasts.”

 

Other 1990s Japanese powerhouses crossing the block include this 1996 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Spyder Convertible (Lot #336). Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, it is one of only 1,034 3000GT VR4 Spyders produced, and one of only 84 manufactured in 1996. Also on the Palm Beach docket is a 1992 Mazda RX7 Custom Coupe (Lot #52). A right-hand-drive RX7 Type R, this Mazda was imported into the U.S. from Japan with just over 5,000 actual miles. Rounding out the ʼ90s Japanese lineup is a 1996 Acura NSX (Lot #650) powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

 

300zx

This unrestored 1984 Datsun 300ZX (Lot #82) Anniversary Edition is one of only 5,000 produced.

Original and unrestored Datsuns will also make an appearance in Palm Beach, including this 1984 Datsun 300ZX Turbo Anniversary Edition (Lot #82). One of 5,000 produced, this California car has its original books and window sticker, and is powered by a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine backed by a 5-speed manual transmission. Also on the docket is this unrestored 1975 Datsun 280Z (Lot #335), which is powered by a 2.8-liter 6-cylinder engine and has only 20,000 actual miles since new.

 

Click here to view the complete 2019 Palm Beach Auction docket. For more information on becoming a bidder for the 2019 Palm Beach Auction, follow the link to www.Barrett-Jackson.com/bid.

 As the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger said long ago, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” 

That sentiment carried the day for ProX Racing Parts and Pro Circuit Racing Saturday when Monster Energy AMA Supercross visited Nissan Stadium for the inaugural Nashville Supercross. 

After his teammate and Eastern Regional 250SX Class points leader Austin Forkner went down and was sidleined with an injury he sustained in practice earlier in the day, it was up to Martin Davalos to shoulder the weight for Pro Circuit and to minimize the damage to his teammate’s point lead.

Davalos, a savy 32-year-old veteran, was up to the challenge and rode a smart, clean race to collect his fifth-career 250SX Class victory. The rider of the ProX-sponsored No. 73 Kawasaki KX250, who also picked up his first heat race win of the year earlier in the day, hung with the top five out of the starting gate and when the top two got together, taking themselves out of contention, Davalos took over the point and never looked back. 

The Tallahasee, Fla., resident and native Ecudorian led all 19 laps and took home top honors with a little more than three seconds to spare. Davalos is currently fourth in points after picking up one spot in the standings following the win.

  “It has been a long road to get back here with my neck and knee injuries last year,” commented Davalos, who spent most of 2018 recovering from injuries suffered at a trio of races (Anaheim, Atlanta and Saint Louis).

“The journey has not been easy, so to be up here (on the podium) tonight just means the world to me. My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX 250 was ripping all night. Some of my competitors decided to take each other out in the main event, which left me with a clear track to do my thing and I just rode a consistent race from start to finish.”

While Davalos was confident in his riding and his ability to close out his fifth-career victory, he still made his mechanic, Kyle Defoe, a little nervous in the waning moments after rolling his way through the demanding whoop section before taking the checkered flag. 

“Everyone is talking about that,” explained Davalos. “The whoops were sketchy. It was a challenge to hit them just right every lap, and I like that. It was technical for all of us. I was managing my gap and I saw Chase (Sexton) moved up to second. I saw the white flag and I knew there wasn’t any reason to risk it. When I won my first race in Atlanta, I almost crashed on the last lap so I was like ‘I can’t do that’ so I rolled it and my mechanic was freaking out. When I came off the track he was like dude, you almost got passed. I’m like ‘calm down dude’ (laughs). So, it was alright.” 

Unfortunately, much of the day’s conversation centered around Forkner, who went down earlier in the afternoon after losing the handle on his machine during the first 250SX Class timed practice. As of press time, the extent of Forkner’s injuries had yet to be revealed, but the rider of the No. 24 Kawasaki was on crutches and in the pits when the starting gate dropped for the main event.  While the Richards, Mo., native was out for the night, he still holds a three-point advantage with two races left to determine a champion.


“I am absolutely gutted right now,” lamented Forkner. “I should have been out there racing, but a mistake in practice caused me to crash. We tried to give it a go in the third practice and everything felt fine until I over jumped one of the sections, which aggravated the issue. We still are chasing the championship and the team and I decided to play it safe and take the night off to make sure I am ready to go for the last two rounds.” 

Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads for the Mile High City this weekend where the series will wrap up a 15-week swing that began in January in Anaheim, Calif. The 15th of 17 races on the 2019 supercross championship calendar will be televised live on NBCSN Saturday, April 13 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 5:30 p.m. Pacific

Indian Motorcycle today announced its sponsorship for the 2019 Handbuilt Show in Austin, TX. The brand will have the all-new, highly-anticipated FTR 1200 on display, including the Tracker, Rally, Tour and Sport accessory collections. 

 

The weekend will be jam-packed with activities including demo rides where show-goers will be able to test the Indian Scout and Scout Bobber models. On Saturday, attendees can step outside to catch the live action at round three of the Super Hooligan Series, powered by Indian Motorcycle, where Hooligan racers will battle it out on a TT style track.

 

The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show will take place April 12-14 at the Austin American Statesman located at 305 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX.

Barrett-Jackson will sell 16 vehicles, all at No Reserve, from the renowned William “Chip” Watkins Collection during the 17th Annual Palm Beach Auction, April 11-13, 2019, at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Over the last decade, Barrett-Jackson has become a magnet for prominent collectors seeking to buy and sell vehicles. The Chip Watkins Collection features 16 vehicles, representing seven decades of automotive performance, including a including a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Roadster (Lot #748) featuring an LS2 engine, Corvette C4 polished suspension with coilovers, power disc brakes and a Dana 44 rear end.

 

“From classic Resto-Mods  to  low-mileage future classics, the Chip Watkins Collection represents an enviable diversity of performance vehicles,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Not only does the collection represent a seven-decade span of makes and models, but the quality of each vehicle is unsurpassed as well. For anybody looking to add an incredible vehicle to their garage, the Chip Watkins Collection should be on the must-see list during our Palm Beach Auction.”

 

Lot #689 ‒ 1969 Shelby GT500_side

This 1969 Shelby GT500 (Lot #689) has been in the Watkins family its entire life.

Classic American performance vehicles from the Chip Watkins Collection include an unmolested 1969 Shelby GT500 (Lot #689) that has been in the care of the Watkins family since it was originally purchased in 1969. It has less than 35,400 original miles and includes the original Shelby owner card, copy of the Shelby work order, Window Sticker and the door/data tag. Another offering is a 1964 Chevrolet Corvette (Lot #734),a beautiful example of a no-expense-spared Resto-Mod that competed in the SEMA Battle of the Builders 2015 and has been stored in a climate-controlled collection since completion.

 

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to car collecting,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “That’s why we’ve always built dockets with as much diversity as possible. The Chip Watkins Collection is a natural expansion of our docket, spanning 70 years of some of the finest examples of collector vehicles. Each one is a tribute to their heritage and impact on the automotive culture.”

 

Powered by an LS9 6.2-liter 638hp engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, this 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (Lot #662) has only 3,600 actual miles.

Powered by an LS9 6.2-liter 638hp engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, this 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (Lot #662) has only 3,600 actual miles.

Low-mileage future classics, such as a rare 1996 Chevrolet Grand Sport (Lot #361), will also cross the block. Commemorating the 1963 Grand Sport racing cars, this example is number 34 of only 810 coupes produced and shows only 1,490 miles on the clock. Also featured is a 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Hugger Z/28 (Lot #339). Designed with the help of GM Vice President of Design Bill Mitchell, this example is number 32 of only 90 Huggers manufactured in 1980.

 

The Chip Watkins Collection also includes a 1972 Datsun 240Z (Lot #132) that is originally from Southern California and has been fully restored, including a rebuild of the original L24 engine. In addition to restored and new engine parts, the restoration included a complete refinish of the body. For those who enjoy German engineering, a 1989 Porsche 930 (Lot #727) in the collection was a one-year-only production car with a 5-speed manual transmission.

Click here to view the complete Chip Watkins Collection crossing the block in Palm Beach. To view the complete 2019 Palm Beach Auction docket click here. For more information on becoming a bidder for the 2019 Palm Beach Auction, follow the link to www.Barrett-Jackson.com/bid.

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