Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
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
When Stephanie Corliss was 27 and heard the words “you have cancer,” she never thought anything positive would come of it. This week, when she was asked by 15-40 Connection to be featured on the No. 15 Rob Fuller Motorsports entry in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Stephanie said, “my mind was blown. Whatever I can do to help, I will do – so if that means putting my face on a race car to raise awareness, let’s do it. I don’t want people to go through what I went through.”
15-40 Connection is a non-profit organization that has partnered with Rob Fuller Motorsports to raise awareness of cancer symptoms and the obstacles teens and young adults face to diagnose cancer at earlier stages. A photo of Stephanie will be featured on the decklid of the No. 15 driven by Todd Szegedy at the Thompson Speedway (Aug. 13) and Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 20) events.
Stephanie, a Leominster, Mass. native, spent 10 years with health issues before she was properly diagnosed.
At age 14, Stephanie was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after months of changes in her health – including weight gain and persistent fatigue. In the years following, she took the prescribed thyroid medications that regulated her hormones. She had routine blood tests and her medications would be changed based on the results of those tests. In spite of all that, Stephanie’s symptoms never improved.
While in college she switched doctors a few times still seeking an answer – as the problems were not being solved and she continued to hear comments such as “it’s all in your head” or “you just need to eat right and exercise more” from her physicians.
“After a few years with the same endocrinologist and extensive research online about the different medication options, I asked my doctor why I wasn’t feeling ‘right’ and what I could do to feel better,” Stephanie recalled. “I was at my heaviest weight and everything was just off. My doctor’s response? ‘You just need to admit that you are overweight and lazy.’ I informed his secretary as I was leaving that I wanted my records prepared ASAP. I was going to seek another opinion.”
Stephanie trusted her instincts and found a new doctor who listened and immediately tested her for cancer. When the results came in, Stage 4 thyroid cancer was confirmed. Her story illustrates one of the major challenges to increasing cancer survival rates for teens and young adults – delayed diagnosis.
Fortunately, after surgery to remove her thyroid and 50 lymph nodes, Stephanie said she heard “the best news of my life – the cancer hadn’t spread past my lymph nodes and the likelihood of it returning was slim to none.”
As Stephanie sums it up, “Who knows what would have happened if I hadn't listened to myself, knowing my own body and understanding that something was wrong. My advice? Listen to that voice inside your head that's telling you ‘This isn't right.’ Seek out second, third, even tenth opinions until you know you have someone listening to you. It could save your life.”
Tricia Laursen, Executive Director at 15-40 Connection, uses Stephanie’s story often to illustrate the obstacles teens and young adults face that can delay an earlier cancer diagnosis.
“Stephanie experienced what many young adults unfortunately go through,” said Tricia. “The good thing is that at a young age, she had the courage to stand up for herself, seek another opinion and ultimately secured the proper diagnosis. Improvements in cancer survivor rates among teens and young adults lag behind all other age groups. So sharing experiences such as Stephanie’s is highly important to empowering young adults with information that could save their lives.”
Young adult cancer survivors are an important part of the race weekend for Rob Fuller and the No. 15 team. Earlier this season, Rob Fuller Motorsports featured Josh Bell, a leukemia survivor, at Daytona, Dave McGrath, a brain cancer survivor, at Thompson and Brian Regan, a testicular cancer survivor, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“It’s rewarding going to the race track and being able to share a message that can make a significant difference in people’s lives,” said Rob Fuller, team owner. “She likely doesn’t know it, but Stephanie has a great impact on our team when we’re at the track. The constant reminder of the challenges she faced and overcame keeps us going and thinking positive when we’re working on the car. There’s no question that I’m honored to have Stephanie as part of our team for these upcoming races.”
Race fans are urged to read Stephanie’s full story at 15-40.org and share it with those they care about. Race updates will be provided at the 15-40 Connection Facebook and Rob Fuller Motorsports Facebook pages during the two events.
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series will share the spotlight with the world's elite this weekend in Indianapolis at the highly anticipated Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
The Harleys have quickly become part of the tradition of the Brickyard's two-wheeled weekend and can be counted on to deliver a tremendous show to delight the fans when the MotoGP heroes aren't on the fabled circuit. Draft-fests and multiple riders vying for the win are hallmarks of the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series in Indiana and there's no reason to think this year's doubleheader will be any different.
This weekend is also pivotal for the developing 2014 title fight, representing two of the season's final three races.
Championship leader Danny Eslick on the No. 69 Ruthless Racing Harley-Davidson XR1200 would like nothing better than to add an Indy win or two to his resume. Having taken the DAYTONA 200 earlier this year, the Oklahoman would find himself in rarified air if he were to be victorious at America's two most prestigious tracks in the same season.
2014 marks Eslick's full-time return to the class after claiming the series' inaugural title in 2010. Already one of the more decorated AMA Pro racers with a pair of AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike championships to his name, he's seeking to become the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series' first two-time king. Eslick currently boasts a tight six-point advantage in the standings, built upon three second place finishes and a win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
While Eslick has enjoyed considerable success on middleweight machinery as well as in the premier AMA Pro SuperBike class, his flamboyant style might actually be at its most spectacular when expressed aboard a Harley-Davidson XR1200. "Slick" is always in the mix and a most enthusiastic dogfighter. He may seem like he's just having fun, but underneath the surface he is a fiery competitor who is motivated to excel.
Eslick's closest title rival is Tyler O'Hara, pilot of the No. 29 Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson XR1200. The Californian snapped out of a midseason funk and closed in on Eslick with a thrilling win last time out at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Perennial title contender O'Hara is well positioned to strike with three races to go. Adding to his pair of 2014 wins would allow him to take a big step toward finally accomplishing his goal of earning an AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series crown.
Winning at Indianapolis is something he's done before, too. O'Hara broke through to claim his first-career AMA Pro Road Racing victory in 2011's initial Brickyard showdown, which sparked a wild celebration that will not be soon forgotten. In that one, O'Hara did 'the Superman' as he crossed the line and then smoked his rear tire doing burnouts for the fans in a most memorable celebration.
Since that maiden victory, he's racked up seven more wins and finished in the championship top three in three consecutive campaigns. Now all that is left for the 27-year-old to do is take the title. Racing with a small team against a rare talent like Eslick, O'Hara may seem like an underdog. But if he is, he's an underdog with plenty of bite.
Fellow Supermoto ace Ben Carlson aboard the No. 45 Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson XR1200 has some unfinished business as well. Carlson finished second in Race 1 at Indy in 2012.
Carlson is no stranger to the podium but he's yet to take an AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series race victory. He nearly had that win in his grasp at Mid-Ohio, but the two-time AMA Supermoto Unlimited champion lost the lead on the final lap, with O'Hara coming out on top following yet another unpredictable showdown.
Carlson may still be waiting on that first win, but his results have been top-shelf. The Wisconsin native has bagged a top five in each race this season and sits third in the points. Carlson needs to close a 23-point gap, but he's still alive. In a wild class like the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series, there is no telling what can happen.
For an analytical rider like Carlson, the drafting battles at Indy should be a good test for his racecraft, and may present him with an opportunity to make up some ground.
Fourth-ranked Gage McAllister on the No. 51 Folsom Harley-Davidson XR1200 has been consistent in 2014 despite racing some riders with much more experience. The 19-year-old Californian showed what he could do with a second in the opener at Daytona. Since then, he has been consistently inside the top ten.
McAllister actually leads reigning champ Steve Rapp and his No. 1 Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson XR1200. Rapp's year has been up and down, with two mishaps blemishing his overall points haul. But Rapp has shown that he and his team still have the ability to dominate the class. On his day, the Californian can break away from the field - something very few have ever been able to do with any regularity in the competitive one-make series.
Despite the bad luck of the season, Rapp has rallied to win and shown plenty of speed. He's also one with unfinished business at the Brickyard. The airline pilot was extremely quick last year but was repeatedly and routinely eaten up on the straights, preventing him from earning a win.
Kyle Wyman on the No. 33 KWR/Millennium Technologies Harley-Davidson XR1200 won at Indy before, and the New Yorker would no doubt like to return the victory lane this time out. Wyman won at Road America and the former dirt track ace knows he has what it takes to claim victory at Indy.
Seventh through tenth has shaped up to be a tough battle. Just ten points separate Nick Hansen aboard the No. 97 Aerostar Global Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson XR1200, Ryan Kerr riding the No. 28 Thunder Roads Magazine/Ryan Kerr Racing XR1200, Hayden Schultz on his No. 59 Chili Pepper Racing Harley-Davidson XR1200 and Josh Chisum on the No. 10 Josh Chisum Racing/Bartels Harley-Davidson XR1200.
The allure of Indy typically tempts some international talent to the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series and this year is no exception. Last year's races were both won by international competitors - Hafizh Syahrin of Malaysia and Jeremy McWilliams (No. 99 Harley-Davidson of Bloomington, Indiana/Warr's Harley-Davidson) from Northern Ireland.
McWilliams is back for more this year and racing fans will get to see his familiar No. 99 in action once again. The ageless veteran and former Grand Prix star won the 2010 UK Harley-Davidson XR1200 Trophy and has made some spectacular AMA Pro appearances as well, including a win at Barber Motorsports Park that same season.
He'll be joined this time by Ramdan Rosli on the No.39 PETRONAS/KWR Harley-Davidson XR1200. Like 2013 winner Syahrin, Rosli is another up-and-coming Malaysian. The 18-year-old will be Kyle Wyman's teammate for the weekend and is looking to learn the Indy track for his future endeavors in a world championship.
The AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series competitors will practice and qualify on Friday ahead of the weekend's doubleheader. Saturday's ten-lapper will begin at 4:20 p.m. local time (1:20 p.m. PT) with Sunday's race on the resurfaced and slightly reconfigured 2.62-mile track scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. PT).
It’s common to see Go Pro cameras suction-cupped to vintage race cars at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, but one competition machine is different. It has not only several cameras affixed to its bodywork, but also a variety of aerials and is that a GPS antenna on its roof?
That rumbling race car with the antennas means a Stanford University class is in session. For the past four years, one of the cars competing at the Reunion has been a high-speed lab for engineering students from the famed university near Palo Alto.
It’s all part of an initiative called the Revs Program at Stanford, which was introduced in 2011 out of the vision and initial support of Miles Collier. There are two distinct elements of this partnership, the Revs Program at Stanford in CA and Collier’s Revs Institute for Automotive Research in Naples, FL, which provides the cars for study and its collection and archive for this scholarship.
You might call the Revs Institute the horsepower and sheetmetal side of this automotive alliance. The museum, which is open to the public, has more than 100 significant automobiles, ranging from pre-World War 1 antiques to style and engineering leaders of the 1920s and 1930s to the best assemblage of Porsches in the U.S. Jay Leno has called the collection, “A place where automobiles have an intellectual status and are put on the same level as great artworks.”
The Revs Program at Stanford is designed to forge new scholarship and student experiences around the past, present and future of the automobile. Courses and research are multidisciplinary, and include topics as diverse as car culture and design, autonomous autos, transportation and sustainability, and even the study of how Dale Earnhardt, Sr. built his fan base. One class restored a 1962 Cadillac DeVille.
The two elements of the Revs partnership come together at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, where a car from Naples is matched to students from Stanford. This year those upcoming engineers will be outfitting a V-12 powered 1965 Ferrari 250LM with telemetry to continue gathering data that could be used, among other things, for their autonomous car project.
Driver Gunnar Jeannette will also be “instrumented” to provide biological feedback that is integrated into the Revs database. Last year’s driver, Bruce Canepa, when asked about being checked for brain wave information, commented, “Well, I hope they found something.”
Miles Collier, who founded the Revs initiative, says of the joint institute and program work at the Reunion, “Nothing is more satisfying than using these exciting historical automotive artifacts to inspire brilliant students to undertake innovative, hands-on research that will have important implications for the future."
Speaking from the Stanford side, Revs Director Chris Gerdes sees the opportunity as a big part of ensuring the future of automotive heritage. “At Stanford we aim to inspire new generations of scholars through hands-on learning with historic vehicles and this weekend is the perfect opportunity.”
So when spectators at the 2014 Reunion spot the red Ferrari festooned with cameras, antennas and that disk-shaped GPS they can know it is Revs’ combined horsepower and brainpower at work.
FIRST WIN POSSIBILITIES HAS TOP FUEL DRIVER CLAY MILLICAN STILL THINKING COUNTDOWN LEADING INTO LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
Clay Millican knows where he sits in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points standings. He is also aware it will take an incredible run in the next two races to move from his current 12th position into the top 10 and qualify for the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
In order to complete a magical run over the next two races, Millican would also capture something that has long eluded him in his NHRA career: his first Top Fuel win. That is motivation enough for Millican, who takes a must-win approach into the upcoming 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, which takes place at Brainerd International Raceway, Aug. 14-17.
“I’m sort of taking on that Al Davis mindset of ‘Just win, baby,’” Millican said, “The car has had its ups and downs, but we’re working real hard on it and I’m confident. We just need to go out there and turn on the win lights. All I’m thinking about is just winning. We may have dug ourselves too big of a hole (for the Countdown), but we just have to win. That will make everything that much better.”
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. The race also serves as the 17th of 24 races during the 2014 season and is the penultimate stop in the regular season before the upcoming Countdown to the Championship.
Millican trails J.R. Todd, who is currently in 10th, by 151 points, which means a lot would have to go Millican’s way to earn a playoff berth. But the always upbeat Millican is more focused on continuing to improve his 10,000-horsepower Parts Plus dragster.
The Parts Plus team, owned and tuned by Dexter Tuttle, came together right before the start of the 2014 season, and it has been an uphill battle to find consistency in an ultra-competitive Top Fuel class. Millican and his team, headed by crew chief Jimmy Walsh, has qualified at every event but a rigorous workload hasn’t hampered the team’s ability to make major strides.
“We just haven’t been able to get caught up,” Millican said. “It’s nobody’s fault and everyone has worked incredibly hard. We’ve made a lot of improvements and I feel like we’re getting a lot closer. We had five consecutive runs under power in Seattle and that’s what we like to see. I’m not happy with where we’re at in the points, but I am happy with our team.”
Millican fell in the first round at Seattle to defending Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon, but he remains impressed with how far the team has come in a short time. Despite not qualifying better than 12th at any event this season, Millican has advanced to two semifinals and has recorded seven round wins.
The next obvious step is making a late charge, even if that means not qualifying for the Countdown, and racking up round wins and possibly a first NHRA victory.
“My mindset is to keep getting the car to go down the track consistently and under power, and everything else will take care of itself,” Millican said. “We’ve been holding our own and we just have to keep moving forward.”
Doing so is difficult in Top Fuel, which includes a full field of marquee challengers. Leading the way is points leader Doug Kalitta, who won the most recent event in Seattle, while others include Massey, Tony Schumacher, who leads active Top Fuel drivers with three wins at Brainerd, Antron Brown, Brittany Force, Richie Crampton, J.R. Todd, Khalid alBalooshi, and category veteran Steve Torrence.
But Millican can simply look back to last year for motivation when it comes to racing at Brainerd. He qualified No. 1 and advanced to the final round before losing a memorable matchup to Massey in the championship round.
Millican also enjoys the impressive energy and atmosphere from the Brainerd fans, something he hopes to feed on again this year en route to another positive showing at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
“I love going to race in Brainerd and it’s always a lot of fun,” Millican said. “Last year was an awesome, awesome weekend. We qualified No. 1 and went to the final and ran real well against Spencer, so it was a big weekend all the way around. I love the fans there and that makes it more fun. It’s like one big group outing.”
In Funny Car, Capps took home the victory in Brainerd a year ago, marking his fourth win at the track. But no one owns Brainerd like 16-time and reigning world champion John Force, who has 11 wins at the facility. Both will be challenged from an ultra-competitive Funny Car class that also features Tommy Johnson Jr., points leader Robert Hight, 1992 Brainerd winner Cruz Pedregon, Matt Hagan, Courtney Force, Tim Wilkerson, Del Worsham, and two-time season winner Alexis DeJoria.
Reigning Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin has four wins in Brainerd and has two wins this season. Native Minnesotan Greg Anderson moved to 10th in points with his runner-up finish in Seattle and his fourth Brainerd victory could solidify his position in the championship mix. Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens, who has four wins this season, has one career victory at the track while other top contenders are Allen Johnson, Dave Connolly, Jason Line, Vincent Nobile, Shane Gray, Jonathan Gray, V Gaines and Chris McGaha.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
The event will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, Aug. 15, with sessions at 3 and 5:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Aug. 16, at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17.
French, a native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, has been to Road America more times than he can count in multiple types of cars, including Prototype Challenge machinery. The vast experience of the driver, mixed with a home crowd, is sure to bring out the best in French.
"This whole program with Performance Tech centered around Road America," French said. "Being my home race, in front of friends and family has been important. David and I clicked right away, and I know neither of us will be happy unless we're standing on the podium at the end of the race! I can't thank Performance Tech enough for the opportunity. They are a great team, and I really enjoy the family atmosphere they create, which fits me perfectly."
Ostella's last trip to 4-mile, 14-turn road course was in 2010 in the Pro Mazda Championship, and he welcomes any new information French can pass on. Ostella, from Toronto, plans to continue molding his racing style at Road America, trying to find more speed earlier in all stints on the iconic track filled with fast corners and long straightaways.
"Road America, being so long makes it a tough track," Ostella said. "I would say most of the corners lead into a long straightaway; that's where you'll pick up a lot of speed. For qualifying here, I'll need to learn to find that speed quickly. In the past, my hot laps come at the end. With the length of this track, as phenomenal as the Continental Tires are, they'll come up fast with the heat, so getting up to speed quickly is important."
With his drivers clicking and finally seeing steady results, Team Principal Brent O'Neill can focus more on finding the podium.
"James (French) will be right up to speed at Road America," O'Neill said. "He might be able to help us a lot with setup. I don't worry about David (Ostella). He's like a freight train; he keeps getting faster and faster every session. He does a great job racing and makes no mistakes. Daytona was pretty big for us as a team. I'd like to make it back to the top step this year."
Performance Tech will take to the track at 4:40 p.m. (CT) Friday, Aug. 8 for the first practice session. Qualifying will take place at 5:05 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, with live streaming on IMSA.com. The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, a two-hour and 45-minute race, begins at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10. Live timing will be available at imsa.com, and the race will be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Aug. 10 on FOX Sports 1.
While the 2014 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama features 16 races awarding equal points, the rounds Aug. 8-10 at Road America might be the most crucial this season. It could be a make-or-break weekend for competitors racing for championships in all four classes - Platinum Cup, Platinum Masters, Gold Cup and Gold Masters - since three rounds will take place on the fast, fearsome circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
The regularly scheduled Rounds 11 and 12 of the championship will be joined by Round 6, which was rained out May 24 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Any driver who could sweep all three races will earn 60 points, a vital haul in any championship charge. Round 11 of the series is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 9 on the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit at Road America, one of the fastest and more fearsome circuits in North America with its long straightaways and fast corners. Rounds 12 and 6 are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 10.
Just four rounds will remain in the season for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama - one of 19 global Porsche single-make championships - after this weekend.
An interesting pattern of parity started at the last two rounds in the series, July 12-13 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, that could add spice to the championship race down the stretch.
|Sloan Urry powered away to his first victory of the season in July at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.|
None of the three main contenders in the Platinum Cup (2014 model cars) title race - Colin Thompson, Angel Benitez Jr. or Michael Lewis - won at CTMP, the first time that has happened this season.Sloan Urry, fourth in the standings, won Round 9 in his No. 20 JDX Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car, while 17-year-old Jesse Lazare, seventh in the points, earned his first career victory in Round 10 in the No. 31 Door Doctor/Moorespeed Porsche.
Thompson, from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, still expanded his Platinum Cup points lead to 152-138 over Benitez with two runner-up finishes at CTMP in his No. 14 Kelly-Moss/Porsche of Bucks County entry. He has finished on the podium in seven of the nine rounds this season and will have a "homecourt advantage" this weekend, as Road America is the home track for Platinum Cup Team Championship leader Kelly Moss, a multi-car powerhouse based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Kelly Moss also leads the Platinum Cup Team Championship, 154-145, over Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport entering this weekend.
Formula Motorsport/Avid Motorsport's lone driver, Benitez, started the season by winning three of the first five rounds in his No. 05 Porsche. Benitez, from Valencia, Venezuela, is winless since Round 5 in late May at Lime Rock Park but has stood on the podium in three of the last four rounds to keep Thompson in his sights. Benitez finished runner-up to Craig Duerson last season in a wet, wild race at Road America.
Lewis, from Laguna Beach, California, has used two victories in May at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and consistency to climb to third in the championship with 125 points in the No. 98 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian entry.
Urry, from Park City, Utah, could be one of the drivers poised to launch a championship charge at Road America. He earned his first win of the season last month at CTMP and joins Benitez as the only returning podium finishers from last year's two rounds at Road America. Urry placed second to 2013 series champion Madison Snow in Round 9 last yea.
Kasey Kuhlman and Christina Nielsen also enter Road America as consistent podium threats.
Kuhlman, from Cincinnati, is fifth in the Platinum Cup standings with 111 points in the No. 15 Wright Motorsports entry and is the runaway leader in the Platinum Masters (drivers 45 and older) class. He has earned two overall podium finishes this season and has scored 52 points in the last four rounds, more than any driver outside of the "big three" title contenders Thompson, Benitez and Lewis.
Nielsen, from Aarhus, Denmark, continues to progress in her first full season of racing in North America after competing in Porsche single-make series in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She is sixth in points with 97 in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport entry and recorded her second podium finish of the season in Round 9 last month at CTMP.
Kuhlman has won eight of the nine rounds this season in the Platinum Masters class, but a tight race for second rages behind him. Just 18 points separate second-place Javier Quiros from fifth-place David Williams, with third-place David Calvert-Jones and fourth-place Amadeo Quiros sandwiched between them. Three races' worth of points could jumble the standings this weekend.
Thirty points separate the top five drivers in the Gold Cup (2010-2013 model cars) class, so the triple-header at Road America could be pivotal.
|Jeff Mosing, front, is challenging for the Gold Cup and Gold Masters titles.|
Patrick-Otto Madsen, from Boca Raton, Florida, has held the championship lead since Watkins Glen in late June and paces the class with 144 points in the No. 99 ANSA Motorsports Porsche. Consistency has been Madsen's hallmark, as he has two victories and five other podium finishes.
Fred Poordad, from San Antonio, Texas, is hanging tough in second with 122 points in the No. 02 Competition Motorsports 911 GT3 Cup car.
But reigning Gold Cup champion Michael Levitas looms in the rear-view mirrors of Madsen and Poordad.
Levitas, from Baltimore, didn't start Gold Cup competition until Round 3 in May at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as he raced Platinum Cup equipment at the season opener in March at Sebring International Raceway. But Levitas has surged into contention by finishing in the top two in Gold Cup in six of the seven rounds in which he has competed this season in the No. 35 TPC Racing Porsche, including a sweep of both rounds in June at Watkins Glen. Levitas is third in the standings with 121 points.
Jeff Mosing, from Austin, Texas, is fourth in Gold Cup with 116 points in the No. 01 Topp Racing Porsche. But he could jump into title contention at Road America by continuing his strong recent performance, as he won both Gold Cup rounds last month at CTMP.
Kristin Treager, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is fifth in Gold Cup with 114 points in the No. 52 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Poordad, Levitas and Mosing are the top three in the Gold Masters championship, separated by just 22 points.
|Mark Llano scored two Gold Masters podium finishes in July at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.|
Competition also remains very tight in the Gold Cup Team Championship. ANSA Motorsports leads with 148 points, with Wright Motorsports second at 128. But Competition Motorsports, TPC Racing and Topp Racing are four, six and 10 points, respectively, behind Wright in the chase for second place.
Practice at CTMP starts at 10:25 a.m. (CT) and 2:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, with qualifying at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. Three 45-minute races are scheduled. Round 11 of the season starts at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, with Round 12 at 9:50 a.m. and the rescheduled Round 6 at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10. All three races will be streamed live at FansChoice.TV, and live updates on all on-track sessions will be provided @IMSALive on Twitter.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama continues its 10th season at Road America, offering two unique classes of racing to fuel the competitive spirit of drivers and teams.
The two class divisions in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama are Gold Cup and Platinum Cup, with each class featuring a Masters Championship (for drivers 45 and over). Each class is awarded with a podium at the end of every race, with individual champion honors at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
All Platinum Cup drivers will race this season in the 2014 version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, developed for Porsche one-make Cups worldwide and based on the street version of the current Porsche 911. The 3.8-liter power unit featured in the new 911 GT3 Cup car produces 460 horsepower and a maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm. The new 911 GT3 Cup also includes a new Porsche six-speed sequential gearbox with a mechanical slip differential, with an electro-pneumatic paddle shift system creating faster, more efficient gear changes.
The 2010-2013 versions of the 911 GT3 Cup car will compete in the Gold Cup class, while the new 2014 model will race for Platinum Cup honors.
Teams competed on Lake Michigan this past weekend during the 6th Annual Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix with a crowd that appeared to exceed last year’s reported attendance of 110,000 people. Team Broadco (Superboat Class) excited the crowd by leading green flag to checkered flag in both heats on a spectacular summer August day, and the very recognizable red Lucas Oil Silverhook won uncontested in the Superboat Extreme Class.
Team owner and driver, Chuck Broaddus, commented on his team’s performance. “Everything went great. In the first race, we nailed the setup and we took a wire-to-wire lead. There was no reason to change the setup for the second race and we just nailed it again. It’s always easy when you’re out in front and you have clean water. I just tried to drive the boat to get every mile per hour out of it… Michigan City is an awesome venue and I can’t wait to come back next year.”
Other class winners that enjoyed success were SOS Venezuela (Super Stock Class), Black Pearl (P3 Class), Absolutely Not (Super Vee Class) and Grinch Racing in the P4 Class. The Super Boat teams put on a great race that wowed, what appeared to be, record crowds.
The local event promoter from the LaPorte County CVB, Jack Arnett was very happy. “Everyone is happy here today, our sponsors, the Blue Chip and the fans that have come out. Great crowds all weekend, great weather and everything went really smooth. We are so thrilled to have Super Boat come here and race.” The Great Lakes Grand Prix organization was so pleased with the weekend’s success that they, along with Super Boat International (SBI), made a surprise announcement during the awards banquet, to a 5-year agreement to continue racing in Michigan City.
After the announcement, John Carbonell, SBI President, remarked on how this community and group have made great strides in 6 years. “Every year has gotten better, from the local support and all the fans that come out to see our boats and watch the race. This year went so smoothly with Jack [Arnett] and the team he has put together. We work hard to bring the best boats and put on the most exciting show possible for everyone. This year just seemed like an exceptionally large crowd at the parade and on the beaches for the race.
All teams raced in the 11:00am and 1:00pm heats, putting on record setting paces for the race. Regarding this year’s lake conditions, Lake Michigan delivered nearly the flattest water possible, which makes for the fastest speeds. Many teams like the calmer conditions; however, many favor tougher conditions and higher seas which tends to separate the more experienced teams from the rest of the field.
The next race on the Super Boat circuit is the 11th Annual Thunder on the Gulf and the Inaugural Pensacola Grand Prix on the weekend of August 20th-24th. Join us in Pensacola, Florida and, if you cannot make it, watch it live online.
The drivers in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda may face a second, equally formidable foe besides each other at the next two rounds of the championship Aug. 9-10. The track.
Rounds 9 and 10 are taking place at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, one of the fastest, mightiest natural road courses in the world. The 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit features many corners that demand big speed and even larger commitment to maintain momentum on the track's long straightaways.
It's a circuit perfectly suited for the powerful equipment combination of Èlan DP02 chassis, Mazda engines and Cooper tires used by drivers and teams in the series, as the two rounds at Road America are highly anticipated and marked on calendars months in advance when the series schedule is released.
Road America also could be the site of another important step in the eventual coronation of Mikhail Goikhberg as the 2014 series champion.
Goikhberg, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, has built a 53-point lead over Robert Alon - a gap of more than two and one-half rounds of points - with five victories in the first eight races of the season in the No. 10 JDC Motorsports car. His only major setback of the season took place at the last event, in mid-July at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, when he was eliminated on the first lap in Round 7 after a collision with Hayden Duerson. But Goikhberg rallied to finish second in Round 8.
|Lamont Harris is a strong contender for the Lites 1 Masters championship.|
Alon, from Encino, California, has become a breakout star of the series in his first season of car racing after starting his career in karting. He has steadily climbed the standings into second in the No. 9 Performance Tech Motorsports entry, with two second-place finishes in the last four rounds.
Another first-year driver in the series, Tony Bullock, is third in the standings with 82 points. Bullock, from Auburn, California, earned his first career victory in June at Kansas in the No. 12 car fielded by another series rookie, ONE Motorsports.
Craig Duerson is seeking a return to form at Road America in the No. 27 Performance Tech Motorsports machine. Duerson, from Gulfport, Mississippi, is fourth overall with 74 points and looks for his first podium result since finishing second at Kansas in early June.
A three-way race for fifth will continue at Road America. Andrew Novich, from Novato, Calif., is fifth with 68 points in the No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports car. Christian Potolicchio, from Hallandale Beach, Fla., climbed to sixth with 67 points in the No. 28Star Motorsports car after a strong weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park that included his first podium finish of the season.
Series rookie John Falb, from Las Vegas, is seventh overall at 65 points in the No. 77 ONE Motorsports entry. Falb earned his first career overall podium finish by placing third in Round 8 at CTMP.
Falb also has finished on the podium of the Lites 1 Masters (drivers age 40 and older) class in the last five rounds to seize control of that championship from Craig Duerson. Falb leads Duerson, 114-106, with Lamont Harris third with 93 points in the No. 65 8Star Motorsports entry.
|From left: Todd Slusher, Lee Alexander, Madison Snow and Christian Potolicchio show the tight racing that's a trademark of the series.|
But Jerome Mee, Todd Slusher and Ludovico Manfredi continue to push Alder in the growing Lites 2 class. Manfredi, from Key Biscayne, Florida, won at Watkins Glen in the No. 30 MOMO entry, while Mee, from Bellaire, Texas, earned his first victory of the season at CTMP in the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing car.
Practice starts at 9:40 a.m. (CT) Friday, Aug. 8, continuing at 1:15 p.m. that afternoon. Qualifying completes a busy Friday for the series at 4:05 p.m. The 30-minute Round 9 of the season takes the green flag at 10:40 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9. Round 10, a 45-minute race, starts at 8:05 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10.
For live updates on all the action, follow @IMSALive on Twitter.
Performance Tech Motorsports is entering the final stretch of the 2014 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season with just six races left, including two rounds this weekend at Road America.
Drivers Robert Alon and Craig Duerson are ranked second and fourth in the Drivers' Championship, respectively. But the team remains focused on each of its five drivers' individual success and development, hoping that each can step on the podium before the end of the season in early October.
Team Principal Brent O'Neill believes each individual's achievements make the team successful. Performance Tech is just 14 points behind JDC Motorsports in the Team Championship.
"I don't look at points," O'Neill said. "We go to every race to win with one of our drivers. We want to be on pole. We want to win races, period. The guys do an awesome job. If we can keep giving them good cars, they will be up front battling for wins the rest of the season."
With such a short time left, the team must do everything to stay consistent and clean. Alon, Duerson, Hayden Duerson, Jon Brownson and Joel Janco also must have that same focus. O'Neill can pinpoint one problem that has plagued the team and kept it from this goal.
"We have to cut down on the crashing and getting ourselves in those situations," O'Neill said. "It's also all the small things. But to win championships, we have to be on track and not in the garage fixing the cars."
Performance Tech will send out its fleet for the first practice session at 9:40 a.m. (CT) Friday, Aug. 8. The 30-minute Race 1 will take place 10:40 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 with a 45-minute Race 2 to take place at 8:05 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 10. For live updates on the race, fans can follow Live Timing and Scoring at www.imsa.com and also on Twitter at @IMSALive.
Scuderia Corsa will have a very familiar look at this weekend's Continental Tire Sports Car Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The winners of the most recent TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will field the familiar no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
However, behind the scenes, things are a little bit different as Scuderia Corsa has recently bolstered its management team with the addition of Gary Cummings as the team manager. Cummings was recently the series manager of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and, before that, the series manager of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
"We are enjoying a very exciting time for Scuderia Corsa," said Giacomo Mattioli, team owner of Scuderia Corsa. "Gary Cummings brings a wealth of racing experience to the team. In his capacity as Team Manager, where he will join our Technical Director Roberto Amorosi and Sporting Director Stefan Johannson, we now have a first-class international racing operation. We have been very fortunate to enjoy so much success in our first year in the Rolex Sports Car Series. Now in our second season, we have a winning program in the TUDOR Championship and we are enjoying our best season yet in the Ferrari Challenge."
With two TUDOR Championship races in August, Scuderia Corsa will also compete in a third race this month - the Pireli World Challenge race on August 22-24 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Mike Hedlund, who has driven Ferrari 458 Italia in the Pirelli World Challenge as well as in the Rolex Sports Car Series, will pilot the Scuderia Corsa entry.
"We are now looking to expand our team to the Pirelli World Challenge where we will enter a car for the Sonoma race with Mike Hedlund," said Mattioli. "As it is a very exciting time for Scuderia Corsa, it is also a very exciting time for Pirelli World Challenge and we are looking forward to competing for the first time in the series. Mike is familiar with the series as well as with the Ferrari 458 Italia, and we are looking forward to competing in another competitive championship."
Hedlund, who lives near Sonoma Raceway, is looking forward to his first weekend with Scuderia Corsa.
"After competing against Scuderia Corsa in the last few seasons in GRAND-AM and seeing the success that they have had, I'm looking forward to racing with the team at Sonoma," said Hedlund. "It's a home race for the both of us and the timing was perfect for me to return to the Pirelli World Challenge. Giacomo Mattioli has put together a world class operation and I'm excited to help the team explore a new series."
Scuderia Corsa's TUDOR Championship program will be back in action this weekend, at the Continental Tire Sports Car Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Drivers Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal won their second race of the year in the no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia at the previous round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This weekend's Continental Tire Sports Car Showcase from Road America will be shown on Sunday, August 10 at 6:30 ET on FOX Sports 1. Qualifying will be streamed live on Saturday, August 9 at 4:20 PM ET on IMSA.com.